From the category archives:

Music miscellanea

Steinway in LA

October 2, 2009

Jennifer Snow and I went to the grand opening of Steinway & Sons new west coast store in West Hollywood (call it Beverly Hills adjacent) last night. It is in an amazing neighborhood and is a wonderful store. There is a loft upstairs that functions as a little concert space. We visited with the store […]


Ready, set, GO

September 28, 2009

School started with a bang at UCLA. The first day featured a faculty strike, with students and staff encouraged to join in. Robert Winter put it succinctly: “I’ve waited for 25 years to teach this class; you think I’m gonna strike?” — this referring to our new first year core course offered for the first […]


Finding even more stuff

August 22, 2009

I spent a total of three days this week going through old musical instruments in three different rooms at school. We were dumbfounded to find the most amazing instruments: viols, sackbuts, shawms, recorders, and many other well-known early music instruments, but the most amazing discovery was a Cecilium. The most lovable, if not slightly homely […]


Top Classix

August 4, 2009

Scott Spiegelberg has turned over ranking the top Classical blogs to invesp consulting. They track thousands of websites and blogs for all areas of interest. They have an ongoing page that tracks the second by second rankings of classical music blogs. tracks blogs using a long list of criteria: * Classical Music Blogs: The […]


Music as a Thing

May 20, 2009

I was saddened to see that two blocks from my home, the last sheet music store in Los Angeles, Hollywood Sheet Music, has closed its doors. Petelson’s days are numbered, so I hear. (Can’t they just move to an online business??) With Ralph Jackson and Mark Carlson at lunch yesterday, we wondered about the future […]


I am finally reading Oliver Sacks’ terrific MUSICOPHILIA. It has truly been a life-changing read. In it, he discusses musical hallucinations. I had always assumed that everyone had a constant playlist going in their heads as I do, but I guess not. My brain is full of earworms as well as an enormous playlist of […]


It occurred to me to look back at the top selling singles from the past 60 years in increments of 10 years. I’ll bring this to my class and use these songs for analysis and discussion. Questions: why do you think this song was so popular? What is unique about this song? What is the […]

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Last night, sitting around on the porch shooting the breeze with Gareth’s dad (Gareth and Jenny are getting married today), he spoke of his love for the blues scene in London in the late 60s. I told him that I had just taught the 12-bar blues form to my students this week. He continued to […]

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It occurs to me as I watch many musicians perform expressively, that this behavior might be perceived as a similar act to being erotic with one’s lover. The caress of a breast, the touch of a finger on a key; the approach of a kiss, raising your instrument high in the air and letting the […]


The three types of requiems

February 24, 2009

There are three types of requiems: a Type One requiem is performed by a symphony orchestra with chorus and soloists as a part of an orchestra or chorus’s concert season, that is really just another piece of classical repertoire that commemorates no one in particular; a Type Two Requiem is programmed to celebrate the death […]