Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The rock band Rush resonates widely for musician-fans and others interested in structural complexity, individualism, and a range of literary and stylistic influences. The group has explored such genres as heavy metal and hard rock, progressive and synth-rock, and post-progressive "power trio," along with various secondary influences. However, the band has also wandered among such lyrical interests as relationships, fantasy-adventure, classical mythology, European and world history, science-fiction, libertarianism, atheism, science, and technology.
We are looking for short articles (of around twenty pages) to add to this proposed anthology for the series that began with "Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing" (2000), but since 2005 has also included (see http://www.opencourtbooks.com/categories/pcp.htm) music-related books about hip hop, Bob Dylan, U2, the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, and Jimmy Buffett. Writers in philosophy, musicology, economics, and psychology have already committed to "Rush and Philosophy," and they are exploring the following areas from across Rush's career (1974- ):
-personal tragedies, self-determination, and Sartre
-the anthropic cosmological principle and atheism
-Canadianness in Anglo-American genres and in lyrics and images
-tribute projects of the band's music in death metal, trip-hop, and classical strings
-the band's combination of secular humanism and mysticism
-libertarianism and left-libertarianism, rather than "right-wing"
-the cognitive function of riffs and other music in expressing difficult ideas
-a roundtable on political economy, Ayn Rand, and Rush's "2112"
Contributions from women, minorities, and people from outside of North America are most welcome! Particular areas of interest for further articles include: balance through instrumental “songs,” humour, roundtables on music technology and rock critics, live albums as career anthologies, and recent "sightings" of the band in the mainstream media.
Deadline for one-page abstracts: July 19, 2009
Deadline for completed first-drafts: August 31, 2009
Please send to Durrell Bowman and Jim Berti: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
However, looking deeper in the survey, almost all the criticisms made by Chad or his commenters are covered in the actual study, just not in the brochure or the media coverage. There are questions about musical preference that include other genres. The survey includes "Classical or Chamber, Opera, Broadway/Show Tunes, Jazz, Classic Rock/Oldies, Contemporary Rock, Rap/Hip-hop, Blues/Rhythm and Blues, Latin/Spanish/Salsa, Country, Bluegrass, Folk Music, Hymns/Gospel, Other." And the survey includes downloading or streaming performances of "music, theater or dance" and images of "paintings, sculpture or photography" from the Internet. There is personal creativity: "Did you use the Internet to create or post your own art online including design, music, photography, films, video, or creative writing?" And consuming art in recorded or broadcast format (though that is limited to the "high arts", no movies or TV shows). As for commenters at Chad's blog who critique the study for ignoring literature, it doesn't. TThe survey includes reading books that aren't required for work or school and tallied whether they were Novels/Short Stories, Poetry, or Plays, and genres (Mysteries, Thrillers, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Other Fiction, Self-Improvement, Religious texts, History/Political, Biographies, Other Non-Fiction, Other). They also include questions on reading online materials, books-on-tape, and writing your own materials. However, movies and television shows are not covered in the survey.
Monday, June 15, 2009
First up, violist Robert Levine has a series of posts on performing Mahler's 8th Symphony as a tribute to the departing Music Director Andreas Delfs. 'But I'm having great difficulty with the big triumphant theme in the second movement of the Mahler 8 being the same motif as "Silver bells, silver bells, it's Christmas time in the city.' I hate that carol almost as much as I hate the 'Carol of the Pogroms Bells.'"
Peter Matthews imagines dueling pianists in adjacent brownstones. "As if I needed another reason to love my nabe: I was walking along 12th Street yesterday when I was stopped in my tracks by the sound of a piano playing incredibly difficult figures."
Bruce Hodges is disarmed by Hilary Hahn. "But while I came for Ives, I was seduced by Ysaÿe"
Molly Sheridan finds a filk of the media industry.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Cognitive Daily writes about a study on the association of pitches with direction, either piano-oriented with high pitches associated with the right side and low pitches on the left side, or staff-oriented, with high pitches associated with upper and low pitches associated with lower. The results: musicians have strong associations with both orientations, non-musicians only have strong associations with the staff orientation.
Somewhat related to this study, a recent article in the journal Laterality (May 2009, 1-30) shows that right-handed musicians have more control of their left hands than non-musicians, and that string players have more control than pianists. This control is calculated through tapping exercises that measure speed, regularity, and fatigue. However, the non-dominant hand is still slower than the dominant hand, regardless of musical training.
Kopiez R, Galley, N, Lehmann, AC (2009). "The relation between lateralisation, early start of training, and amounts of practice in musicians: a contribution to the problem of handedness classification." Laterality, (epub).
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The second CD is D'Arc: Woman on Fire, a music theater piece by Jay Cloidt and Amanda Moody. Based on the life of martyred Joan of Arc, this is much more like the brashness of Golijov's Ayre cycle, with 14th century hymns sitting next to electronica, indy pop sounds, solo cello (featuring ex-Kronos Quartet member Joan Jeanrenaud), and lots of recorded sounds mixed in. The vocals by Amanday Moody are more pop-ish than Dawn Upshaw's performance in Ayre, raw and focused more on the drama than the beauty of sound. The whole D'Arc recording production seems to lack some aural depth, making it feel a little amateurish despite the interesting compositions and good performances. The religious music isn't as spiritually intense or authentic as Kline's work, but still interesting.
*Recently by my standards, rather long ago for the Kline CD by blogging standards.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
“The legion also has its tubicines, cornicines and buccinatores. The tubicen sounds the charge and the retreat. The cornicines are used only to regulate the motions of the colours; the tubicines serve when the soldiers are ordered out to any work without the colours; but in time of action, the tubicines and cornicines sound together. The classicum, which is a particular signal of the buccinatores or cornicines, is appropriated to the commander-in-chief and is used in the presence of the general, or at the execution of a soldier, as a mark of its being done by his authority. The ordinary guards and outposts are always mounted and relieved by the sound of the tubicen, who also directs the motions of the soldiers on working parties and on field days. The cornicines sound whenever the colours are to be struck or planted. These rules must be punctually observed in all exercises and reviews so that the soldiers may be ready to obey them in action without hesitation according to the general’s orders either to charge or halt, to pursue the enemy or to retire. For reason will convince us that what is necessary to be performed in the heat of action should constantly be practised in the leisure of peace.” (De Re Militari, Book II.)
Like the Greek salpinx the Roman trumpets were not regarded as musical instruments. Among the tems used to describe the tuba’s tone, for instance, were horribilis (“horrible”), terribilis (“terrible”), raucus (“raucous”), rudis (“coarse”), strepens (“noisy”) and stridulus (“shrieking”). When sounding their instruments, the tubicines sometimes girded their cheeks with the capistrum (“muzzle”) which aulos (“flute”) players used to prevent their cheeks from being puffed out unduly.
This is the type of signal music Daniel meant in his comment to Saturday's post. However, while these trumpets were not intended to produce music themselves during Roman times, they were both reappropriated for musical use by Bach's time, and of course were the inspiration for those crazy trumpet parts in Respighi's Pines of Rome. Here is a video that includes pictures and audio of the litui used in Bach's "O Jesu Christ, meins lebens licht":