From the category archives:

Music miscellanea

Who owns musical licks?

September 6, 2008

There is this unfair phenomenon that exists for us 21st century composers. There are certain stylistic gestures and textures that are ultimately attributed to a single composer. For instance: anyone who tries to orchestrate an American folk tune for orchestra will automatically be accused of sounding like Aaron Copland. Aggressive modal or atonal writing for […]

{ 1 comment }

What a find! A treasure trove about the friendship between George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. George Harrison’s sitar lesson with Ravi Shankar Chants of India, Part 1 Chants of India, Part 2


This is a music video that effectively explains what all of us music theory teachers believe and try to impart to our students. [Thanks to Richard Garrin for this.]


I first heard Ketjak in Fellini’s SATYRICON and then later when I studied Indonesian music as an undergraduate. Last year I heard a riveting realization of Ketjak in the film BARAKA. (see below) I love the first performance (above) for its raw power. I was taught that this was an example of hocketing, or rhythmically […]


A fascinating poll on the Norman Lear Center website about the musical tastes of conservatives and liberals. I would be curious to redo this poll when all the baby boomers are senior citizens. There are many interesting conclusions one can draw from this information and composers would do well to think long and hard about […]


In the blogosphere, rankings get made from time to time. Scott Spiegelberg seems to have been the instigator a few years back in so-called classical music blogs. I have reblogged a new set of rankings by Classical Convert. Visit CC to get all the links for the blogs below. I notice that very few of […]


Naughty notes

November 9, 2007

This just in from Angus (who else?). A perfect inspiration for a wonderful weekend for all you sexy musicians (and non-musicians as well) out there. This naughty prelude is in D flat (major I presume) with one flat on the D line. Hmmm. The time signature is in 2/2, sounds right. But why D flat? […]


Minor musical passings

October 3, 2007

One of the “joys” or habits many of us newspaper readers have is reading the obits, learning of someone’s passing, and offering up a personal sigh of appreciation of how they touched our lives. One such man showed up in today’s paper: Mahlon Clark, who died at age 84 in Los Angeles. Doesn’t sound familiar? […]


RIP Bruce Benward

September 27, 2007

“Benward,” as we used to call him, was an excellent music theory teacher. I had him for two year. We were always proofing his new text books, so we never got the real publications, just grey photocopies Benward had “Ism-itis” and could cull down every trend in the 20th century with an ISM. ModernISM, mimalISM, […]


The Smirking Chimp dug up a marvelous piece of reseearch from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, is entitled “Elvis to Eminem: Quantifying the price of fame through early mortality of European and North American rock and pop stars.” Why am I not surprised that rock stars’ health is not as robust as they get […]