This week's Carnival of Music is hosted by Jeff Low at Solitude in Music. He's done a fine job, creating a much more organized carnival than my silliness last week.
As I'm wrapping up this year's class on 20th Century Theory and Literature, I'm wondering about what pieces to focus on next year (assuming I teach it again next year). Should popularity be a criterion? Or should the students be exposed to composers they wouldn't learn about in the concert hall? Illustrate as many different musical languages as possible, or limit the class to those rigorous techniques that have been used by many composers? Part of this is a pedagogical question, part of it is a matter of canon. I don't have any jazz, pop, or rock music included, no film music (except Glass who will be covered by a student presentation tomorrow), and a woefully Euro/US-centric selection of composers. What did you learn or wish you learned in your 20th century classes?
Today should be my wife's favorite day, as her favorite number is 8. Our eighth anniversary is coming up next week (8/16, another great date for her). The traditional gifts are bronze/pottery, and the modern gifts are linens or lace.* Our anniversaries are often rushed affairs, as we were usually moving to another state/job at that time of year or getting ready for a new school year to begin. We have plans to have a nice lunch after taking our kids to the first day of school, but I'd like to come up with some additional presents/plans as she absolutely deserves it and it is a special anniversary in her numerology. (She also reads this blog, so I can't brainstorm specifics here.)
*Another site said rubber instead of pottery. Rubber is just weird as a gift medium.