Friday, May 18, 2007

The Top 51 53 Classical Music Blogs

Here is the semi-annual listing of the bløgösphère, not quite as painful as the running of the bulls. My decisions on whether a blog is about classical music was based upon painstaking research and whimsy. I have calculated the ranks using Technorati, despite the imperfections, because there is nothing else that provides near universal statistics. Roger Bourland pointed out that some of you are frisky, constantly changing your URLs around so you might end up with more than one listing in Technorati. Since the big T provides the number of unique blogs linking to a given blog, now called the Authority number, I decided to add these numbers together for blogs that had two listings. This was a painful decision, as it allowed Terminaldegree to bump me from the top 20. There were many other big moves and some new kids on the list, though Alex is still the top dog (sorry, Soho). The ranking listed is the new Authority number. If you don't see your blog up there, and it is mentioned somewhere in my blogroll or in comments, you didn't make the cut (which I had to extend to 52, since there was a three-way tie for 50). I have the rankings on a spreadsheet going past 100, so if you want to know your ranking, you can email me. For those curious about how classical music blogs stack up against everyone else, Alex's blog is #6247, and the lowest ranked blogs were ranked 198,543. So we stayed in the top 200,000, w00t! The categories stay the same as last time: C = composer, A = academic (musicology/music theory), L = listener, and O = opera fan, the rest are self explanatory. Link to the last ranking. Update: Technorati finally responded to my ping on Timothy Mangan's blog, so I can include his Classical Life in the list.
Update #2: Welcome to NewMusicBox readers. I would like to reiterate the comment made by Rob Deemer, that this list makes no claims about quality. What it does claim is how influential a given classical music blog is, as shown by how many other bloggers read and react to a given author/group. And that reminds me, should I include magazine style blogs like NewMusicBox (Authority = 171)?

1 The Rest is Noise: 508 Alex Ross (Crit)
2 About Last Night: 347 Terry Teachout (Crit)
3 A Singer's Life: 248 Michelle Bennett (voice)
4 Opera Chic: 193 (O) [two listings of 106 and 87]
5 Sequenza21: 182 Jerry Bowles (C)
6 Night after Night: 149 Steve Smith (Crit) [two listings 96 and 53]
7 On an Overgrown Path: 145 Bob Shingleton (producer)
8 PostClassic: 129 Kyle Gann (C)
9 Ionarts: 123 Charles T. Downey (A)
10 Diaries: 114 (violin)
11 Sandow: 107 Greg Sandow (Crit)
12 Think Denk: 96 Jeremy Denk (piano)
13 La Cieca: 94 James Jorden (O)
14 Soho the Dog: 87 Matthew Guerreri (C)
15 Jessica Duchen: 86 (Crit)
16 Dial “M” for Musicology: 67 Phil Ford and Jonathan Bellman (A)
17 Aworks: 65 Robert Gable (L)
17 The Concert: 65 Anne-Carolyn Bird (voice)
19 Sounds and Fury: 62 AC Douglas (L)
20 Terminaldegree: 61 (kazoo) [57 + 4]
21 Musical Perceptions: 58 Me (A)
22 Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog: 57 (bass)
23 Adaptistration: 54 Drew McManus (orchestra management)
23 Mad Musings of Me: 54 Gertsamtkunstwerk (O)
25 Deceptively Simple: 53 Marc Geelhoed (Crit)
25 Loose Poodle: 53 Peter Kaye (C)
25 The Rambler: 53 Tim Rutherford-Johnson (A) [41 + 12]
28 Roger Bourland: 52 Roger Bourland (C) [43 + 9]
29 Oboeinsight: 50 Patty Mitchell (oboe)
30 Meanwhile, here in France: 43 Ruth (cello)
31 The Standing Room: 40 Monsieur C (L and voice?)
31 Sieglinde’s Diaries: 40 Leon Dominguez (O)
31 Classical Music: 40 Janelle Gelfand (Crit)
34 A Sort of Notebook: 38 Waterfall (L)
34 ANABlog: 38 Analog Arts Ensemble
36 The Well-Tempered Blog: 37 Bart Collins (piano)
36 The Iron Tongue of Midnight: 37 Lisa Hirsch (Crit)
36 My Favorite Intermissions: 37 Maury D’annato (O)
36 Renewable Music: 37 Daniel Wolf (C)
40 An Unamplified Voice: 34 JSU (O)
40 Classical Life: 34 Timothy Mangan (Crit)
42 On a Pacific Aisle: 30 Josh Kosman (Crit)
42 Chicago Classical Music: 30 (L)
44 Listen: 29 Steve Hicken (C and Crit)
44 Wellsung: 29 Alex and Jonathan (O)
44 Twang twang twang: 29 Helen Radice (harp)
47 Trrill: 28 Nick Scholl (O)
47 Am Steg: 28 Kris Shaffer (A)
49 Musical Assumptions: 26 Elaine Fine (C and viola)
49 Sounds Like Now: 26 Brian Sacawa (saxophone) [18 + 8]
51 Eric Edberg: 25 (cello)
51 Collaborative Piano: 25 Chris Foley (piano)
51 Catalysts & Connections: 25 Evan Tobias (education)


Anonymous said...

Hmm, there are several blogs here that I haven't subscribed to yet. Thanks for the pointer.

By the way, I suspect the top two listeners on the list don't read each other's blog. Just a hunch...

Terminal Degree said...

That was a valiant move on your part, but I'd be happy to give up 20th for you and move to 21st. :)

Scott said...

Robert, I discovered some of these blogs just this week while doing the research. And I think your hunch has the veneer of truthiness.

TD, let me be the internet gentleman my mother always wanted me to be.

Lisa Hirsch said...

There's internal evidence that Alex and Terry read each other's blogs.

I cannot believe I rank above Joshua.

Patty said...

My, but I just keep moving down in the world, don't I? My poor heart ... I become less important all the time. Sigh.

Ah the lowly oboist;
She plays a lowly reed.
And slowly she moves down the list--
she isn't what they need.
They do not care to hear her whine.
They do not read her all day long.
And so she sits, alone and sad,
Her pity party going strong.

And Lisa, I think what Robert was saying was that the two top "L" folks on the list don't read each other; in other words, Aworks & Sounds and Fury somehow don't ... um ... connect. Am I correct, Robert? ;-)

A.C. Douglas said...

Since the big T provides the number of unique blogs linking to a given blog, now called the Authority number, I decided to add these numbers together for blogs that had two listings.

Your above methodology is fundamentally flawed as when there are two Technorati listings for the same blog, the linking blogs which determine the Authority number are in large part duplicated on both lists. A better methodology in such cases would be to use the higher of the two Authority numbers. In any case, adding the numbers is dead wrong and totally misleading.

It would also be wise to mention in your intro that those Technorati Authority numbers change daily, and sometimes even more frequently. For instance, the Authority number for Sounds & Fury is today 65, not 62 as you have it.


Unknown said...

You can have my slot. I had a 9 left over from my RedBlackWindow blog that Scott generously added. If you take it away, then you'll be 28th. But listen girl, if you switch to another blog server, you'll have to start ALL over in the Technorati numbers. AC is right in that those numbers change every day: up and down. Scott drew a line in the sand for one day, and that's ok.

A.C. Douglas said...

Here's an interesting comparison.

I simply took the first 20 blogs in Scott's list (didn't have the patience to do all 52), and ran them through a Google referencing links search (i.e., the number of referencing links on the Web to each blog). Here's the resulting list ordered in number-of-links ranking.

1: About Last Night (8130 referencing links)
2: The Rest Is Noise (4790 referencing links)
3: Overgrown Path (2380 referencing links)
4: Sandow (2090 referencing links)
5: Postclassic (2050 referencing links)
6: Ionarts (2000 referencing links)
7: Night After Night (1250 referencing links)
8: Sounds And Fury (999 referencing links)
9: Jessica Music (998 referencing links)
10: Sequenza21 (997 referencing links)
11: Jeremy Denk (944 referencing links)
12: The Concert (880 referencing links)
13: Aworks (792 referencing links)
14: La Cieca (702 referencing links)
15: Diaries(607 referencing links)
16: Terminal Degree (566 referencing links)
17: Dial "M" For Musicology (405 referencing links)
18: A Singers Life (111 referencing links)
19: Soho The Dog (111 referencing links)
20: Opera Chic (107 referencing links)


Unknown said...

OK AC, here is your reordered list. This IS a different list. This one is historic, whereas the Technorati covers ONLY the past 6 months. Links that are older than that fall off. So both lists are, as you say, interesting!

01 About Last Night (8130)
02 The rest Is Noise (4790)
03 Overgrown Path (2380)
04 Sandow (2090)
05 Postclassic (2050)
06 Ionarts (2000)
07 Adaptistration: 1560
08 Night After Night (1250)
09 Classical Music:1090
10 The Iron Tongue of Midnight:1050
11 Sounds And Fury (999)
12 Jessica Music (998)
13 Sequenza21 (997)
14 Musical Perceptions: 992
15 Oboeinsight: 984
16 Mad Musings of Me: 978
17 Jeremy Denk (944)
18 The Concert (880)
19 Listen: 872
20 Twang twang twang: (829)
21 Aworks (792)
22 Deceptively Simple: 747
23 La Cieca (702)
24 The Well-Tempered Blog: 700
25 The Standing Room: 640
26 Wellsung: 633
27 Diaries(607)
28 Terminal Degree (566)
29 Meanwhile, here in France: 504
30 ANABlog: 485
31 Dial "M" For Musicology (405)
32 Loose Poodle: 402
33 An Unamplified Voice: 389
34 A Sort of Notebook: 373
35 Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog: 367
36 Sieglinde’s Diaries: 360
37 Chicago Classical Music: 343
38 The Rambler: 338
39 Roger Bourland: 355
40 Renewable Music: 242
41 My Favorite Intermissions: 220
42 A Singers Life (111)
42 Soho The Dog (111)
43 Opera Chic (107)
44 Trrill: 98
45 On a Pacific Aisle: 92
46 Musical Assumptions: 85
47 Eric Edberg: 25 (cello) 81
48 Collaborative Piano: 69
49 Catalysts & Connections: 54
50 Sounds Like Now: 45
51 Am Steg: 41

Scott said...

Authority numbers are different from referencing links, in that they only count one link from any given blog (or site). So a blog that links to itself or has many links from one other blog such as a reblogger would do better in the referencing links than in the Authority number.

As for my adding Authority numbers in the case of multiple listings, the listings were non-overlapping as far as my rudimentary research could tell. I wasn't going to check all of Opera Chic's 87 listings, but the first 20 were different, and all of Roger's were non-overlapping.

Of course the numbers change rapidly, it is the internet. My authority number jumped up after I published this list, because I published this list. A Spanish music blog linked to this list, and Michelle Bennett added me to her blogroll because her referrals told her this blog exists. This is meant as a fun list, and as a snapshot of current influence, not as an academic claim of trends.

Patty, I added six new blogs to the list that knocked you down, so that is a large part, not any fault of your reeds ;)

A.C. Douglas said...

Nice work, Roger! And just in time, too. I was really starting to feel guilty about leaving out those other 32 blogs in my truncated ad hoc list.

BTW, there's one blog on all three lists that really doesn't belong on a list of classical music blogs: Terry Teachout's "About Last Night". Terry has blogged about classical music only rarely, and then only en passant. That would make Alex "The Rest Is Noise" Ross the 800-pound gorilla of the classical music blogosphere.


A.C. Douglas said...

This IS a different list. This one is historic, whereas the Technorati covers ONLY the past 6 months.


Authority numbers are different from referencing links, in that they only count one link from any given blog (or site). So a blog that links to itself or has many links from one other blog such as a reblogger would do better in the referencing links than in the Authority number.

There's a further — and significant — difference between Technorati's Authority number and Google's referencing links number: the former counts only blogs linking to other blogs; the latter counts ALL referencing links whether the link was located on a blog or elsewhere on the Web.

Big difference.

And as for Scott's,

As for my adding Authority numbers in the case of multiple listings, the listings were non-overlapping as far as my rudimentary research could tell.

The listings were largely overlapping as far as my rudimentary research could tell. One has also to take into account that the two listings cover different time periods. They're both the last 180 days for each listing but the start date of each listing would be different with no way to tell the actual start date for each. As I've already said, in any case, adding the Authority numbers is bad methodology.


A.C. Douglas said...


My, "start date" should have read, "end date".

Sorry 'bout that.


A.C. Douglas said...

Arrgghhh! Scratch that bit about different time periods for the double listings. I was just told both the start and end dates are "hard" and exactly the same for each listing.


Lisa Hirsch said...

Argh, Patti, you're right, of course.

Herb Levy said...

I like About Last Night, I probably read it as often as I read any other cultural blog, but the focus of the two bloggers is clearly not classical music. It's a general cultural blog that covers theater, books, movies and several kinds of music, not just classical.

Including ALN in a ranked list of classical music blogs, no matter what method you use to rank them, is absurd. It's like comparing the circulation of, say, Gramophone with the arts section of a daily newspaper. Sure a lot of people read it, & link to it, but many of these folks do so for reasons that have nothing to do with classical musicbe acuse much of the content has nothing to do with classical music.

I'll let someone else do a detailed statistical analysis on this, but About Last Night is a general cultural blog that seems to have posts about classical music less than 20-25% of the time. & I'm including a number of "Almanac" posts in this rough count. These are brief quotes from a book or article posted without comment. The percentage of posts on classical music would be even lower if one were to only include posts with some kind of substantive discussion.

Deleting About Last Night from your ranked list of classical blogs won't create as large a change as analyzing the rankings using a different method, but it would up nearly everyone's ranking a notch.

Scott said...

I was torn on whether to include ALN. I didn't have it on the first list in December, for most of the reasons Herb mentions. But Terry Teachout clearly influences classical music thought. His posts on classical music do get linked on other music blogs regularly, and he is often the only face of classical music to some blog readers. Thus I felt it was important to include his blog (OGC never writes about music as I recall).

Jerry Bowles said...

I'm not a competitive guy, mind you, but I just checked Opera Chic on Technorati and found that its Authority ranking was 110 while Sequenza21's was 187. That's a big difference.

Peter (the other) said...

Dear Scott and Roger B. too, you guys are toooo kind to invite me into the classical crowd. But if I am honest, I would say Loose Poodle is about 50% film music, 10% other music and 40% personal musings. Besides, inspite of my own personal enjoyment of many ancient musics, I am beginning to cast myself as a bit of an anti-classical music guy!

HA_HA!!! I AM THE EVIL SUPERHERO ANTI-CLASSIC!! (and I slipped in amongst ya, and managed to get meself another link! WHO HOO!!!


Anonymous said...

Methodology be damned, I preferred Scott's list :(

A.C. Douglas said...

Jerry Bowles wrote: I'm not a competitive guy, mind you, but I just checked Opera Chic on Technorati and found that its Authority ranking was 110 while Sequenza21's was 187. That's a big difference.

Neither am I competitive in this matter, but I just discovered that Sounds And Fury has TWO listings, each with its own Technorati Authority Number: (Authority: 67) fury (Authority: 38)

Given Scott's methodology of adding those Authority numbers, that would make the Authority number 105 for Sounds And Fury which would place it at position #12 instead of position #19 in his list.

There must be a better way to do this.


Hucbald said...

Oh yeah, that list looks good to me. *eyes roll into back of head and bounce out through nostrils*

Rankings by links and hits and whatever might be the only way to rank weblogs by objective criteria, but seriously: Who cares, in the grand scheme of things?

My blogging costs me a lot of money because, 1) I put big images up, 2) Almost nobody contributes, and 3) I don't run ads. But my traffic is THREE TIMES HIGHER NOW THAN IT WAS A YEAR AGO. Still small potatoes, for sure, but seriously: Dial "M" in the top 20 and I don't even make the list?

I call BS.

Not that I care. Seriously, I don't. LOL!

Anonymous said...

A ranking is good only for one reason: attracting more readers to one's message - whatever that may be.

If a ranking changes the way you blog, or has any great affect on your emotional well-being it is time to examine your motivation.

Scott said...

Hucbald, by Technorati stats you have an Authority of 7, putting you at #86. Google links = 167, putting you at #72. I certainly don't know what makes for a successful blog in terms of traffic or links, I only know how I want to write my blog.

Anonymous said...

Despite all the debate about the rankings, no matter how I slice it I went downhill in the last year! I'll have to up the post quality. More porn, that's gotta be the secret. Post more porn...

Actually, it might have something to do with my URL change. Anyone know how to make Technorati include more than one url for a blog?

Anonymous said...

Ooh ooh ooh! I just had a look at Technorati, and sure enough - they didn't have my new URL. Can I request an amendment? Between my two URLs for the same blog ( and, I have Technorati authority of 33... I may not have Alex Ross beat, but I'm on there!

Anonymous said...

Next year... next year I'll be on the list!

Or else I'll, err, stamp my feet and complain a bit. Or something.

Anonymous said...

Great list, Scott. I'm still pretty new to all of this. Hadn't even heard of Technorati until recently.

Look forward to staying tuned to your blog.

Anonymous said...

I think Ronnie Segev should be on this list - have you seen Ronnie Segev's blog site yet? He has all these beautiful new websites!

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this post . it would very difficult for a music lover like me to find so much classic blogs at one time

Curtis 24thRCT-President said...

Opera/Play of Margaret Garner
Last night (11-9-08) I attended the opera/play of Margaret Garner which I am sharing via my online photo gallery. I shot them from the balcony of the Chicago Auditorium without flash.

PS: Now I am hooked for life :-)

Favorite Piano said...

I think the Jeremy Denk has one of the best blogs that I have seen. Covers piano topics that no one else does and is very up to date with all the piano news.

Unknown said...

Really great list! And I'm so happy to see some of my favs on there :)