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A Brief History Of Music Shaped By Technology

Music has been around as long as there have been people. Longer if you count music made by animals. It’s safe to say that music will be a part of this world as long as there is life. So what happens when new technology encounters an eternal constant for humans? – 3 Quarks Daily
Tags: Art, Music, 08.10.20

How Music Is Gaining A Bigger Role In Sleep

To combat sleeplessness, people are turning to all sorts of techniques, iWhile sleep music used to be confined to the fringes of culture—whether at avant-garde all-night concerts or New Age meditation sessions—the field has crept into the mainstream over the past decade. Ambient artists are collaborating with music therapists; apps are churning out hours of new content; sleep streams have surged in popularity on YouTube and Spotify. – Time
Tags: Art, Music, 08.06.20

Considering Poulenc – A New Biography

“Poulenc was a composer who melded the incompatible. Famously described as a combination of “monk and ragamuffin”, he wrote music that the mind can mistrust but the heart will adore. He clung resolutely to tonality and melody in a century that had other ideas. His humour and light, his sheer loveliness, have led to suspicion.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Music, 08.03.20

Reconsidering Poulenc

He was no originator, like Schoenberg or Stravinsky, nor did he possess Britten’s or Shostakovich’s command of manifold genres. He was, however, a composer of rare gifts, particularly in the setting of sacred and secular texts. As the decades pass, he grows in stature, and his aloofness from musical party politics matters less. – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, Music, Britten, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, 08.10.20

Reflections On A Music Theory Fight Over Race

Insisting that music theory, musicology and ethnomusicology are separate disciplines with no shared ground impoverishes all of our work. By narrowing our focus and policing our boundaries, scholars miss connections and opportunities, and we remain frozen in disdain for all that we don’t know. A distinction between applied and academic music may have its uses, but hyper-specialization leads ultimately to a belief that scholars can’t be creative and that artists are incapable of critical thought....
Tags: Art, Music, 08.09.20

How A Record 100 Years Ago Changed Music

With “Crazy Blues,” Mamie Smith opened the door to a surge of powerfully voiced female singers who defied the conventions of singerly gentility to make the blues a popular phenomenon in the 1920s. Indeed, the blues became a full-blown craze, with listeners of every color able to buy and listen at home to music marketed as “race records.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Mamie Smith, 08.08.20

Where’s Classical Music Performance Headed Post-COVID? Here Are Some Clues

Having listened to recent online offerings from North America and Europe (where concerts are carefully starting to move back into halls), David Patrick Stearns predicts that “innovation and experimentation will continue to be part of the package …, but in a less reckless form than in the past, and with a strong streak of social responsibility. Performances will be more intense. Decorative elements will be at a minimum. The pursuit of artistic truth could easily translate into a lack of polish. ...
Tags: Art, Europe, Music, North America, David Patrick Stearns, 08.06.20

Stop Panicking Over The Age Of Classical Audiences, Says NY Times Chief Critic

Anthony Tommasini: “Elements of dismaying ageism run through the chronic bemoaning over the graying of classical and opera audiences, something that bothered me even before I entered this older demographic myself. … But images and television broadcasts make plain that even back in the 1960s, when Leonard Bernstein was galvanizing the Philharmonic and attracting young people like me to his concerts, audiences were dominated by those in their 50s and older. Yet, year after year, devoted older fan...
Tags: Art, Music, Audience, Ny Times, Leonard Bernstein, Anthony Tommasini, 08.06.20

Lessons On Coping With COVID From A Bankrupt Opera House In 17th-Century France

The Lyon Académie de Musique officially went bust on New Year’s Day 1693, but it was back in business two years later. “How did Académie musicians transform hardship into productive creativity?” writes musicologist Natasha Roule. “How did they assert their relevance in the local community? What worked — and what didn’t? The answers to these questions could fill a book, but we can break them down into three key takeaways.” – Early Music America
Tags: Art, Music, France, 07.27.20, Lyon Académie de Musique, Natasha Roule How

This Bizarre-Looking Synthesizer Plays Music Using a Vibrating Ruler

If you ever entertained your fellow students at school (while annoying teachers) with an impromptu performance involving twanging a metal ruler hanging off the edge of a desk, then you already have a firm grasp of how Dmitry Morozov’s latest creation works. It’s a synthesizer built around office supplies, and it …Read more...
Tags: Art, Music, Science, Hacks, Instruments, Synthesizers, Dmitry Morozov, Rbs 20

Virtuosity Doesn’t Mean Playing Lots Of Notes

You don’t think minimalists can be virtuosos? Tell it to Ernest Hemingway. Tell it to Thelonious Monk. Tell it to the Japanese calligrapher who spends his entire life perfecting a straight line, or drawing a flawless circle. –
Tags: Art, Music, Ernest Hemingway, 08.04.20

Can Neil Young Really Win A Lawsuit Against Trump Playing His Music At Rallies?

“If he has withdrawn those two particular songs from BMI’s political license program, then the Trump administration does not have a license to play them at a political rally and they have a good case that they will more likely win.” – Rolling Stone
Tags: Art, Music, Bmi, Trump, 08.05.20

The Forgotten Black Musician Who Helped Create Bossa Nova

João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim were just two of many Brazilian musicians who considered pianist-singer-composer Johnny Alf a genius and his “Rapaz de Bem” the first bossa nova song. So why isn’t he as famous as they are? Racism was certainly a factor, but not the only one. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Johnny Alf, 08.04.20, Rapaz de Bem

San Francisco Opera Costume Shop Repurposed: Sews 10,000 Masks

Since April, more than 20 members of the opera’s costume crew have been toiling away sewing face coverings which the opera is donating to firefighters, social service agencies and front line medical staff. – NBC San Francisco
Tags: Art, Music, San Francisco

Notre-Dame’s Organ Is Being Taken Apart Piece By Piece To Get The Lead Out

Miraculously, the enormous instrument suffered no structural damage from the April 15, 2019 fire at the medieval Paris cathedral. But the 8,000 pipes, five keyboards, and intricate mechanisms were covered and filled with toxic lead dust from the destroyed roof and spire. Disassembly will take until the end of this year and the cleaning will take more than three years; after the organ is all back together, it will take six months to tune and voice it. – Yahoo! (AP)
Tags: Art, Music, Paris, 08.03.20

The Iconic Album Covers of Hipgnosis: Meet “The Beatles of Album Cover Art” Who Created Unforgettable Designs for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel & Many More

Try calling to mind Nirvana’s Nevermind without its naked, swimming baby; or London Calling without Paul Simenon smashing his bass. Think of Sgt. Pepper’s or Abbey Road without thinking about their sleeves. Classic rock albums and classic, unforgettable album covers are inseparably intertwined. Imagine Dark Side of the Moon without its prism…. Hipgnosis, the design team behind the nearly 50-year-old album cover/t-shirt/poster/bumper sticker/coffee mug/etc. completely nailed it, as they say, wit...
Tags: Google, Art, Music, London, College, Pink Floyd, London Calling, Peter, Syd Barrett, Zeppelin, Facebook Twitter, Peter Gabriel, Powell, Josh Jones, Rory Gallagher, Abbey Road

Musicians Blast Spotify CEO For Comments On Royalties

The CEO ― whose net worth is estimated at over $4 billion ― argued in an interview with Music Ally published Thursday that there was a “narrative fallacy” around claims that Spotify’s royalties were too low, saying: “Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.” – HuffPost
Tags: Art, Spotify, Music, 08.01.20

Man builds guitars using wood from a lynching tree

Freeman Vines is a luthier in Fountain, North Carolina. For half a century, he's crafted beautiful guitars from wood taken from a tree used to lynch Black people. Vines deeply moving work is the subject of a new photography book, Hanging Tree Guitars, with tintype images by Timothy Duffy and essays by Zoe Van Buren and Lonnie Holle. Duffy is the co-founder of North Carolina's Music Maker Relief Foundation, "founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the mu...
Tags: Art, Photography, Video, Music, News, Race, Racism, North Carolina, Guitars, Freeman, Timothy Duffy, Lynchings, Freeman Vines, Fountain North Carolina, Zoe Van Buren, Lonnie Holle Duffy

It Took 80 Years For This Piece By Composer Ulysses Kay To Have Its World Premiere

Why? Perhaps this: “While Ulysses Kay shared stages with the greats of his day, his daughter said over time his compositions haven’t been performed as widely and are often programmed for cultural anniversaries or events including Black History Month.” – WBUR
Tags: Art, Music, Ulysses Kay, 07.31.20

Neighbors Performing Music For Neighbors Hasn’t Stopped

And, in the U.S., it may be just getting started. A cellist in Pasadena who performs weekly with his wife, a pianist, says, “We thought with so much suffering, and so much anxiety, this is something very small that we can try to do to help.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Music, Pasadena, 08.01.20

That Time A Research Librarian Discovered His Library Owned A First Edition Of Beethoven’s Sixth

At the Moravian Music Foundation, librarian David Blum “was doing a routine cataloging of material that the foundation has owned for years, [when] he noticed the plate number of the printing was 1809, his first clue that he was onto a first edition. He thought that would be great — but unlikely.” And yet. – Winston-Salem Journal
Tags: Art, Music, David Blum, 08.01.20, Moravian Music Foundation

Musicians Fear Disruptions Will Be Permanent

It seems like the entire edifice is teetering. If you can’t pay musicians, you can’t get live music. Culture, while a major economic sector, will likely be one of the last to restart after the shutdown. – Van
Tags: Art, Music, 07.30.20

Recreating The Sound Of Hagia Sophia

For a group of scholars, scientists and musicians, Hagia Sophia’s rededication as a Muslim place of worship threatens to cloak a less tangible treasure: its sound. Bissera Pentcheva, an art historian at Stanford University and an expert in the burgeoning field of acoustic archaeology, has spent the past decade studying the building’s extravagantly reverberant acoustics to reconstruct the sonic world of Byzantine cathedral music. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Stanford University, Sophia, Hagia Sophia, 07.30.20

Salzburg Festival Will Happen This Year, And Here’s How They’ll Do It

“A sprawling, 44-day anniversary program has been mostly postponed until next year. It has been replaced with a reduced, 30-day schedule, through Aug. 30, of concerts, plays and two (instead of seven) staged operas.” Artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser says “we have measures for cultural institutions — which are 200 percent necessary — that respect the health of the people working and the audience.” And those measures, it turns out, were designed partly by a baritone-otolaryngologist. – The N...
Tags: Art, Music, Salzburg, Audience, Markus Hinterhauser, 07.31.20

How Earlier Black Classical Musicians Faced (And Faced Down) American Racism

Shirley Verrett: “Maestro Stokowski called. He was embarrassed, but said that it would not be possible for me to sing with the Houston Symphony because the symphony board did not want to use a Negro singer.” (Stokie made it up to her later in Philadelphia.) And then there was the time Jessye Norman was invited to play a maid in a sitcom … – WQXR (New York City)
Tags: Art, Music, Philadelphia, Jessye Norman, HOUSTON SYMPHONY, Shirley Verrett, 07.28.20, Maestro Stokowski, Stokie

Black Classical Musicians Share Stories Of The Crap They’ve Had To Put Up With

“During my senior year of undergrad, my voice teacher complimented me on my final Mainstage role by saying: ‘You did great! And you don’t even look African-American on stage!'”“[The language coach] said, ‘Silly me … no ‘decent’ French ever comes from such big lips anyways … Maybe patois, but not Français.'” –
Tags: Art, Music, 07.28.20

Classical Music’s Social Media Racism Wars

Controversies broke out on a few fronts this week. – NPR
Tags: Art, Music, 07.29.20, Social Media Racism Wars

Where Are The Thousands Of Musical Instruments Looted By The Nazis?

There has been a lot of research into the Nazis’ plunder of Jewish-owned artwork in Europe during World War II, though far less attention has been paid to the looting of instruments. But a number of scholars have been focused on bringing this facet of Nazi crimes to light. – NPR
Tags: Art, Europe, Music, Nazis, 07.29.20

Music Of America’s First Known Women Composers Is Headed To Disc

Their names were Sister Föben, Sister Katura, and Sister Hanna, and they were members of the Ephrata Cloister, a radical commune of Pennsylvania Dutch Evangelicals in the mid-1700s. Baritone and musicologist Chris Herbert (of New York Polyphony) has digitized and transcribed the manuscript in which these composers’ hymns (“just devotional, simple music,” he says) were found, rounded up four singers, and recorded the works in the Ephrata Cloister Meetinghouse. – NPR
Tags: Art, Music, America, Pennsylvania, Hanna, Ephrata, New York Polyphony, Chris Herbert, 07.24.20, Katura, Ephrata Cloister

How America’s First Drive-In Classical Concert Since Lockdown Turned Out

San Diego’s Mainly Mozart got together an eight-member chamber group headed by L.A. Phil concertmaster Martin Chalifour to play octets by Mozart and Mendelssohn in the parking lot of a SoCal horse-racing track. – Newsweek
Tags: Art, Music, America, San Diego, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Martin Chalifour, 07.28.20, L A Phil

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