Perceptions about music, perceptions that affect music, perceptions colored by music, perceptions expressed by music.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
52nd Grammy Awards
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
1. "Love" performed by Chet Baker on Chet Baker With Strings.
2. "Love Came to Town" by U2 on Rattle and Hum.
3. "Love For Sale" by Cole Porter, performed by Dexter Gordon on Go.
4. "Love Is Here To Stay" by George Gershwin, performed by Stanley Irwin on Irwin Sings Gershwin. (RIP, Stan)
5. "Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)" by Sting on Ten Summoner's Tales.
6. "Love Is Teasin'" arranged by Paddy Moloney, performed by Marianne Faithful & The Chieftains on The Long Black Veil.
7. "Love Me" by Victor Young, performed by Art Tatum on Solos (1940).
8. "Love Me or Leave Me" by G. Kahn, W. Donaldson, performed by Basie's Bad Boys on The Essential Count Basie Vol. 1.
9. "Love Rescue Me" by U2 on Rattle and Hum.
10. "Love Song" from Pippin by Stephen Schwartz, performed by John Rubenstein & Jill Clayburgh on the Original Cast album.
11. "Love Walked In" by George Gershwin, performed by a) Chet Baker on Chet Baker With Strings, b) Stanley Irwin on Irwin Sings Gershwin.
12. "Love Went A-Riding" by Frank Bridge, performed by Arleen Augér on Arleen Auger, American Soprano.
13. "Love You To" by George Harrison, performed by the Beatles on Revolver.
14. "Love's Philosophy" by Roger Quilter, performed by Arleen Augér on Arleen Auger, American Soprano.
15. "Lovely Ladies" from Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer, from the Broadway Cast recording.
16. "Lovely Rita" by Lennon/McCartney, performed by the Beatles on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
17. "Lover Come Back To Me" by Hammerstein and Romberg, performed by a) Mildred Bailey & Her Orchestra, b) Dinah Washington on Dinah Jams.
18. "Lover Lay Down" by David J. Matthews, performed by the Dave Matthews Band on Under the Table and Dreaming.
Remember that you can listen to these tracks in the left sidebar, and purchase them there if you wish. Yes, I get a little cut if you do it from those links.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Granted, these fine young gentlemen will be performing in public, at St. Mark's Church in NY. But the spirit is still that of something fun, eclectic, and intimate. I wonder what kind of business model musicians could come up with to make salons profitable. Or perhaps salons will signal the rebirth of the amateur musician, with a piano/guitar/accordian/didgeridoo in every house.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Are YOU hip and cool?
1. "Long December," Counting Crows, Films About Ghosts: Best of Counting Crows
2. "Nightswimming," R.E.M, Automatic for the People
3. "White Flag," Dido, Life for Rent
4. "Mercy," Duffy, Rockferry
5. "November Rain" Guns and Roses, Greatest Hits (you'd think I'd know this, but not one of the GnR songs I'd experienced back in the day)
6. "Look After You," The Fray, How to Save a Life
7. "Stay," Sugarland, Enjoy the Ride
8. "Secret," Maroon 5, Live from Le Cabaret
9. "Say Goodbye," Dave Matthews Band, Crash
10. "Come Back to Bed," John Mayer, Live
11. "If my heart was a house you'd be home," Owl City, Ocean Eyes
12. "Me and Bobby McGee," Janis Joplin, Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits
13. "Cream," Prince and the New Power Generation, Best of Prince
14. "In Your Eyes," Peter Gabriel, So
15. "In My Dreams," REO Speedwagon, Best of REO Speedwagon
16. "Chasing Cars," Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
18. "Shadowboxer," Fiona Apple, Criminal
19. "Mysterious Ways," U2, Achtung Baby (I know many U2 songs, but not this one)
20. "Help Me," K. D. Lang, Tribute to Joni Mitchell
21. "Wicked Game," Chris Isaak, Best of Chris Isaak
22. "Sign your name," Terence Trent D'arby, Introducing the hardline according to Terence Trent D'arby
23. "Halo," Beyonce, I am Sasha Fierce
24. "Champagne Supernova," Oasis, What's the Story Morning Glory?
25. "Bittersweet," Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Sister Sweetly
26. "Look After You," The Fray, How to Save a Life
27. "Come on Get Higher," Matt Nathinson, Some Mad Hope
28. "Last Request," Paolo Nutini, These Streets
29. "Love Song," 311, Greatest Hits '93-'03
30. "Too Funky," George Michael, Ladies and Gentleman
31. "Down to the River to Pray," Allison Krauss, O Brother Where Art Thou? Soundtrack
32. "Bless the Broken Road," Rascal Flatts, Greatest Hits vol 1
33. "Wind it Up," Gwen Stefani, The Sweet Escape
34." Just Dance," Lady Gaga, The Fame
35. "Lips of an Angel," Hinder, Extreme Behavior
36. "Sexyback," Justin Timberlake ( featuring Timbaland), FutureSex/Lovesounds
37. "Dreams," Cranberries, Stars: The Best of the Cranberries (I have one Cranberries CD, but not this one)
38. "Land of Canaan," Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls
39. "Jealousy," Natalie Merchant, Retrospectve (1990-2005)
40. "Viva La Vida," Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Some of these groups I've never even heard of, so this will definitely be an education. Coming soon, a list of classical pieces to show that one is hip and cool.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Let Freedom Ring
Friday, January 15, 2010
FriPod: Sacred Spaces
1. "O magnum mysterium" by Morten Lauridsen, performed by the Robert Shaw Festival & Chamber Singers.
2. "Down to the River to Pray" performed by Alison Kraus on O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack.
3. "God Only Knows" by Brian Wilson, performed by Petra Haden.
4. Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 8, Adagio by Arcangelo Corelli, performed by Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields.
5. "Nimrod" from the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar, performed by Andrew Davis; BBC Symphony Orchestra.
6. "I Will" by Lennon/McCartney, performed by (a) the Beatles on the White Album, (b) Jonathan Coulton.
7. "Not the Same" by Ben Folds, performed on Ben Folds Live (the audience singing along gives me chills every time).
8. "I'm Your Moon" by Jonathan Coulton, performed on Best. Concert. Ever.
9. Danses Sacrée et Profane by Claude Debussy, performed by Yolanda Kondonassis.
10. "Gloria" from Missa Pater Peccavi by Andrea Gabrieli, performed by His Majesty's Cornetts and Sackbuts, His Majesty's Consort.
There are many more, I just picked the first ten that I saw in my lists that spoke to me about this subject.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
It wants to be free!
"Minimum description length modelling of musical structure" by Panayotis Mavromatis (a friend from grad school).
"Ionian theorem" by Thomas Noll.
"Counterpoint in 2k-tone equal temperament" by Octavio A. Agustin-Aquino.
"What pre-whitened music can tell us about multi-instrument compositions" by R.E. Dumas and A.P. Georgopoulos. (Apparently pre-whitened music is music with the melody and harmony removed, so only timbre and rhythm is considered. This looks interesting to me.)
So if you find your month not nearly math-mad enough, go on over to the website and browse through some math-tastic music or musical math.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Second, this story reminded me of an NPR story I heard recently about Men At Work getting sued for plagiarizing "Kookaburra" for their song "Down Under." I have a problem with extended copyright in general, because of this sort of nonsense that could impede the creation of new art. Does "Down Under" significantly sample "The Kookaburra Song" (a friggin' 4-bar melody)? You judge (listen to the flute part in the Men At Work piece):
This idea of egregious lawsuits deserves unnecessary censorship (though no one deserves Barney):
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Technology and Blues
SHB felt that he was such a good musician that he would definitely know the song. I said that since he was relying on the tablet for about half of his pieces, that he wouldn't know it from memory, and would have to use the tablet, if it was in there. SHB felt that any decent music list would include this song. So SHB went to request the song, and he proceeded to look it up on the tablet. He didn't know it, but sightread it (piano and vocals) incredibly well. It was very exciting to see a tablet used this way, allowing a great musician to expand the repertoire in such a compact way.
Later we joined some others at the Slippery Noodle to hear a great blues band, the winner of a Blues Jam contest. They were from Mooresville, and had lots of friends and family in the audience which created a very festive environment. The others teased me for my lack of knowledge about some of the blues songs, especially as one of the others was a major blues expert. Ah well, I smoked them on Beethoven trivia.
Friday, January 08, 2010
FriPod: Frogs to Funk
2. "From Border to Border from Quiet Flows the Don" by Ivan Dzerzhinsky, performed by Paul Robeson Jr. on Songs of Free Men.
3. From me flows what you call Time (1993) by Toru Takemitsu, performed by Andrew Davis and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
4. "From Me to You" by Lennon and McCartney, performed by (a) Arthur Wilkinson Orchestra, (b) Bobby McFerrin, (c) The Beatles.
5. "From the Steeples and the Mountains" by Charles Ives, performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
6. Fugue for string quartet in Bb major ("Grosse Fugue"), Op. 133 by Beethoven, performed by the Alban Berg Quartet.
7. Fugue from Violin Sonata No. 1 by J.S. Bach, performed and arranged by Christopher Parkening.
8. "Fulgebunt Justi" by Orlando Di Lasso, performed by Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer.
9. "Funeral of Amenhotep III Edited" by Philip Glass on The Orange Mountain Music Philip Glass Sampler Vol. 1.
10. "Funk the Dumb Stuff" by F.R. Prestia/S. Kupka/Castillo, performed by Tower of Power on Monster on a Leash.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Tom Selleck was right!
CD Tsang and NJ Conrad, "Does the message matter? The Effect of song type on infants' pitch preferences for lullabies and playsongs," Infant Behavioral Development, Dec 2009.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
The single most important thing you can say about a work of art is that it is real, that the artist to whom it is attributed made it. Until you are certain that a work of art is authentic, it is impossible to say much else that is meaningful about it.
As would be expected, most commenters followed John Quiggin's lead in denouncing this claim, pointing out that the artwork should have some worth outside of its provenance. And I certainly agree with this. But then I read a comment by Bad Jim, who asks a provocative question:
"Does anyone even bother to try to fake music from folks like them [Brahms and Schumann]? And if so, why not? An original manuscript of Mozart’s variations on “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” would be pretty damned valuable; how much more would his noodlings on “Happy Birthday” fetch?"
This is an excellent question, and one to which I didn't know the answer. I am familiar with the probable forgery of Shostakovich's memoirs, and of the Joyce Hatto plagiarisms. There are certainly pieces that were once attributed to someone famous, like the pieces in the Anna Magdalena Bach notebook that are now believed to not be written by Johann Sebastian. But those were honest attempts that were corrected as more facts became known. The closest thing I can imagine is David Cope's EMI project, but he was always upfront about the provenance of the Chopin-esque or Bach-ish pieces his software composed.
Let's assume there haven't been any serious attempts to forge a piece by one of the masters. There certainly is motive for doing so, a Beethoven score sold for $2 million in 1991. There certainly is a large amount of expertise needed to create such a forgery, but that is the same with paintings. Is it because the forger would need to be a expert at composing in the style of a master, and be an expert at copying the handwriting of the master, two very different skills? Certainly a painting forger has the single skill of painting in the style (yes, there is brushstroke vs. structure vs. color palate vs. materials used), but that is all still very closely related to the art of painting. Whereas a music forger would need to master the counterpoint, melodic construction, orchestration habits, notational idiosyncrasies, paper and ink properties, handwriting, and means of properly aging the score. A team of experts would be needed to carry off such a forgery, cutting down on profits and increasing the likelihood of someone getting caught and spilling the beans.
As it turns out, there is a history of musical autograph plagiarism, at least in the 1930s. A man named Charles Weisberg forged scores by the American composers Francis Hopkinson and Stephen Foster, and sold them to various collectors during anniversaries of these composers. He was caught, thanks to the efforts of musicologists and rare book experts, but his efforts have apparently caused some havok to music librarians, according to this article in Notes: "Forgery in the Music Library: A Cautionary Tale" by Gillian Anderson, et al (Vol 60 No. 4, June 2004), 865-892. Apparently the forgeries were not good at all, being copied from Sousa marches and Rubinstein's "Melody in F", college fight songs, and an opera by Grétry. The only reason Weisberg had any success at all was due to the lack of fame and ability of Hopkinson. Musical ability that is, he was a well-known satirist and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, which is why his scores were collectible.
Monday, January 04, 2010
New Year's Resolutions
1) I resolve to post at least 3 times each week, unless I get another paid writing gig.
2) I resolve to participate in at least one triathlon (sprint level) this year, which means I need a good road bike. I will probably run in another marathon, but I will wait until the summer to start training for that.
3) I resolve to be better at communicating with family, friends, acquaintances, and commentors.
4) I resolve to get to bed by 11 pm on school nights, allowing 30 minutes of leeway per week.
I have some other resolutions, but those will be saved for my journal.