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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Music, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,895
1. Prince and “the other Eighties”

Prince died Thursday, and I am sad. I've been asked to write about his death, but staring at the empty expanse beyond the flashing cursor, all I really know how to say is in the line above. Plenty of writers, more ably than I could, have written and spoken movingly about Prince since his death.

The post Prince and “the other Eighties” appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. 10 facts about the “king of instruments”

The organ is a complex, powerful instrument. Its history is involved and wide-ranging, and throughout the years it has commanded respect as it leaves its listeners in awe. To celebrate the organ, we compiled a list of 10 facts you may or may not know about this magnificent instrument.

The post 10 facts about the “king of instruments” appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. Revitalising Cambodian traditional performing arts for social change

I am recently returned home (Australia) from six months on a music research project in Cambodia. There were, of course, the practical challenges of the type I quite expected. In the monsoonal downpours, getting around in central Phnom Penh meant wading through knee-deep, dead-rat kind of drain-water. In the thatched huts of the provinces, malarial critters droned their way under my net by night. Gastro and heat exhaustion laid me flat.

The post Revitalising Cambodian traditional performing arts for social change appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Finally

All these years of the kids’ piano lessons have been leading to this.

Hamilton Vocal Score

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5. Bittersweet melodies of Agustín Lara in Güeros

The story of four teenagers on a quest to locate their ailing musical idol requires a mix of nostalgia, myth, apathy and disillusionment. Played out across the vast urban expanse that is the City of Mexico, Güeros is conceived in the alternative deadpan style of Jim Jarmusch’s early films or, perhaps, Wim Wenders’ mid-1970s road movie triology.

The post Bittersweet melodies of Agustín Lara in Güeros appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. PAPER THIN

Laura Kidd's latest album "Direction of Travel" has just launched digitally, with a music video - and I made the animations on it. Watch and listen!


I am so proud to be part of this - it's an amazing song from a brilliant album.  I had to listen to it a LOT to synch up the drawings, and I still love it.


It took me a week of mostly drawing and redrawing rain drops, with assistance from my niece Paula who did the lettering.

An early test. A bit too inky!


Making a big neat sheet of regular rainfall, painted with a calligraphy brush pen.
Scanned and animated.

Most of the rain is hand-drawn to suit the specific scene, though.

Editing the rainfalls drop by drop to make it look more natural  that they are missing her face...

Experimental digital weather

Drawing a thunderbolt

Extremely helpful cat


All the lettering and some of the rain, by Paula


Zonked assistants


READ MORE ABOUT THE VIDEO AND THE REST OF THIS EXCELLENT ALBUM HERE!



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7. The history behind Ukraine’s 2016 Eurovision song

Most entries to the Eurovision song contest are frothy pop tunes, but this year’s contribution from Ukraine addresses Stalin’s deportation of the entire Tatar population of Crimea in May 1944. It may seem an odd choice, but is actually very timely if we dig a little into the history of mass repression and inter-ethnic tensions in the region. Almost a quarter of a million Tatars, an ethnically Turkic people indigenous to the Crimea, were moved en masse to Soviet Central Asia as a collective punishment for perceived collaboration with the Nazis.

The post The history behind Ukraine’s 2016 Eurovision song appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Composer Richard Causton in 10 questions

Richard Causton’s studies took him from the University of York via the Royal College of Music and the Scuola Civica in Milan, to King’s College, Cambridge where he is Lecturer in Composition. In addition to composition, Causton writes and lectures on Italian contemporary music and regularly broadcasts for Italian radio. In our occasional series, in which we ask Oxford composers questions based around their musical likes and dislikes, influences, and challenges, we spoke with Richard Causton about his writing, new music, and his desert island playlist.

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9. Free e-book for April: Pilgrimage to Dollwood

9780226536521

Download your copy of our free e-book for April,
Pilgrimage to Dollywood: A Country Music Road Trip through Tennessee by Helen Morales, here.

***

A star par excellence, Dolly Parton is one of country music’s most likable personalities. Even a hard-rocking punk or orchestral aesthete can’t help cracking a smile or singing along with songs like “Jolene” and “9 to 5.” More than a mere singer or actress, Parton is a true cultural phenomenon, immediately recognizable and beloved for her talent, tinkling laugh, and steel magnolia spirit. She is also the only female star to have her own themed amusement park: Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Every year thousands of fans flock to Dollywood to celebrate the icon, and Helen Morales is one of those fans.

In Pilgrimage to Dollywood, Morales sets out to discover Parton’s Tennessee. Her travels begin at the top celebrity pilgrimage site of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, then take her to Loretta Lynn’s ranch in Hurricane Mills; the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville; to Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and finally to Pigeon Forge, home of the “Dolly Homecoming Parade,” featuring the star herself as grand marshall. Morales’s adventure allows her to compare the imaginary Tennessee of Parton’s lyrics with the real Tennessee where the singer grew up, looking at essential connections between country music, the land, and a way of life. It’s also a personal pilgrimage for Morales. Accompanied by her partner, Tony, and their nine-year-old daughter, Athena (who respectively prefer Mozart and Miley Cyrus), Morales, a recent transplant from England, seeks to understand America and American values through the celebrity sites and attractions of Tennessee.

This celebration of Dolly and Americana is for anyone with an old country soul who relies on music to help understand the world, and it is guaranteed to make a Dolly Parton fan of anyone who has not yet fallen for her music or charisma.

Just to reiterate, download your free copy here.

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10. Selena Gomez Trivia Quiz

Selena GomezSelena Gomez Trivia Quiz

Selena Gomez is what show business calls a “triple threat.” She can sing, dance, and act. Along with her acting success, she has an awesome musical career as well. But there are a few things about Selena that you might NOT know. Take this trivia quiz to learn a few interesting facts about the beautiful starlet.

  1. In the hit show Wizards of Waverly Place, what was the name of Selena’s character? A) Alex B) Sandy C) Max D) Theresa
  2. Which of these is NOT the name of a movie in which Selena stars? A) Monte Carlo B) Princess Protection Program C) Ramona and Beezus D) High School Musical
  3. Selena played a character named Mikayla on which other popular TV show? A) The Suite Life on Deck B) Hannah Montana C) iCarly D) Victorious
  4. On which children’s show did Selena get her big break? A) Blue’s Clues B) The Wiggles C) Yo Gabba Gabba D) Barney & Friends
  5. In which U.S. state was Selena born? A) Illinois B) New York C) Texas D) California
  6. True or False? Selena is of Mexican and Italian heritage.
  7. Selena’s birthday is in which month? A) July B) June C) April D) December
  8. True or False? Selena was the youngest UNICEF Ambassador.
  9. Selena’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber planned a romantic date for the two of them at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, during which he screened which of these classic movies? A) Grease B) Titanic C) The Wizard of Oz D) Clueless
  10. Which pop star gave Selena the song “Rock God”? A) Rihanna B) Pink C) Katy Perry D) Taylor Swift

Read on for the answers . . . 

1. In the hit show Wizards of Waverly Place, what was the name of the character Selena played? A) Alex. Selena talks about how she created her character in this video.

2. Which of these is NOT the name of a movie in which Selena stars? D) High School Musical

3. Selena played a character named Mikayla on which other popular TV show? B) Hannah Montana

4. On which children’s show did Selena get her big break? D) Barney & Friends. Yep, that’s rightBefore making it big on Wizards, Selena could be found hanging out with a giant purple dinosaur named Barney! She was just seven years old.

5. In which U.S. state was Selena born? C) Texas

6. True or False? Selena is of Mexican and Italian heritage? True.

7. Selena’s birthday is in which month? A) Selena was born on July 22, 1992.

8. True or False? Selena was the youngest UNICEF Ambassador. TRUE. UNICEF is an organization that provides needy children emergency care, education, and other necessary aid. Selena, who is proud to offer her voice and recognition to their cause, has traveled as far as Africa to help out.

9. Selena’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber planned a romantic date for the two of them at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, during which he screened which of these classic movies? B) Titanic

10. Which pop star gave Selena the song “Rock God”? C) Katy Perry. Ms. Perry also sang backup on “Rock God.” Selena says, “I actually had to fight for that song. I wanted it so bad.”

Selena Gomez image © Jason Merritt/Getty Images/Thinkstock

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11. An eventful weekend at the 2016 Society for American Music conference

The 2016 Society for American Music (SAM) conference was held in Boston, where scholars and institutions from around the globe gathered together in a supportive and uplifting five-day meeting that consisted of panels, presentations, discussions, field trips, musical performances, receptions, and the celebration of books and authors.

The post An eventful weekend at the 2016 Society for American Music conference appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Three Cuts

Songs leave unique imprints on people and places. In India, especially, songs from films offer a multitude of trajectories for anyone who is more than deferentially familiar with them, contained in or limited by larger prospective areas of film study material. Film songs form a major portion of its popular culture; hence, they are etched into individual and collective memories weaving unique tapestries of such imprints. As there are growing studies of Indian song production and consumption, I see myself having travelled across these trajectories, my memories of them intersecting my local, national, and global journeys. Songs and singers have a great capacity to intrigue and enervate you, charm and choke you, with their virtuosity and subtle (and sometimes loud) communication. The following three cuts are a reflection of such subjective encounters, many of which have long stayed buried without articulation. Here they are hoped to take one on a short journey of three very different experiences linked to three songs in Hindi, Telugu, and Bengali languages. Their evocative and perhaps provocative potential, as linked, montaged yet aggregated experience of an aural cinema, is a good starting point to learn more about Indian film songs.

First Cut

A rare Lata Mangeshkar song. That’s what it was. I had never heard it before.

But, when my father played it on a Sony multi-player on a late evening, it became a discovery — one of the many songs of the great singer of the subcontinent. It was a lullaby. A few weeks prior to this event, it was played on Chaya Git (10 p.m.) (or Aap ki Farmayish at 10.30 p.m.), a programme that broadcast Hindi film songs – often, the old ones — on Vividh Bharti, to which my father listens avidly. And, on his first encounter with the song, he was in near tears.

His Geminian curiosity put him on a quest for the song; as a retired employee of All India Radio, it wasn’t tough for him to talk to his (retired) colleagues at Vivid Bharti and track the song through their friends to Mumbai’s station. So, soon, there it was, a CD arriving at his doorstep. He clung to it dearly and played it many times, one of which was my visit to him.

I had never heard anything more magical. It was a song composed by Brij Bhushan (Kabra) for the film Pathan (1962), the Hindi lyrics penned by B K Puri. That day, listening to the song I again wondered what that ‘Lata-Mangeshkar-quality’ in Hindi popular film music was all about. Mesmerising. It is something that one is so accustomed to, feel comfortable with; it’s like taking sanctuary under a thick mango tree on a summer day. Even then, you never know what is in store for you until ‘it’ finds you, throws you off guard and makes you carry an imprint of it to the end of all experiences. It is just an experience of, somehow, coming home.

Second Cut

If you lived on the east coast of North America, you’d know how blizzards hit you. And if you passed through one, or just reached home in time only to wake up the next morning to let in a pile of powdery snow through the threshold, then you knew you had it for the day. But, the fun part is when you play old Indian film songs on the system, cooking rice or parathas, and wondering what you’re doing with your life in snow there, you end up singing the song that’s playing on the system. How frequently you sing such songs, and how many, is a different story. You’re perhaps not thinking about songs but about mending those thick, unmusical boots to wear for work the next day. That’s the life of a person straddling two landscapes and two cultures.

On one such occasion, a group of us travelled from Toronto (I was doing my MFA at York University in Toronto) to New York, and to Boston, around the start of the new millennium. There was a big blizzard awaiting our arrival, but we drove through Boston listening to some old Telugu film songs. And what fun it was! Neither the faces outside nor the words of the song had anything to do with each other. We shopped for Indian vegetables somewhere close to Cambridge, cooked an elaborate Indian meal, ate, drank, and finally agreed, along with a television channel, that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was the best and most popular number of the previous century as we chimed our destinies into the new millennium. Pop music? In India? I cannot decide who the best singer can be when I think about it. But I know one thing. That almost all singers sang at least one ‘English song-like number’ — something that had a waltz tempo, and some tune that had an everlasting appeal. You don’t need to know the words to listen to them. So on a blizzard afternoon, you can listen to an English song in your mother tongue like this one. (Well, you can listen to it even when there is no blizzard).

 

The song was from a 1954 Telugu film Raji naa Pranam (Raji, My Life), sung by R Balasaraswati to a tune composed by S. Hanumantha Rao, whose filmic output is very small. Perhaps this was the only film he scored music for. I’m not sure.

Third Cut

Indian film songs are the most mobile these days. Imagine what life would be without the Internet, and if you cannot play a “Thriller”, a Telugu, Bengali, or Hindi film song of rarity to ‘just listen to it once’. Technology too brings blizzards. Perhaps it brings so many of them, there is so little time to appreciate all…

The only one I remember, sitting in India, on a warm afternoon in Bangalore, is the one of the turn-of-the-millennium. That blizzard is somehow about identifying “Thriller”, and through it, remembering so many other songs that have no connection to Michael Jackson. This summery afternoon brings to my mind, as I write this, a beautiful Bengali song of Sandhya Mukherji that Salil Chowdhury so effortlessly composed. Ask any Bengali friend for its meaning.

The world remembers the best numbers in a certain way; you can remember your songs by playing on YouTube reverentially without consigning them to the crushing feet of time, especially those little gems tucked away in beautiful voices unknown to many who have neither the means nor the inclination to judge.

Featured image: Brigade Road in Bangalore. Photo by Ryan. CC BY 2.0 via ryanready Flickr.

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13. Music and what it means to be human

Music is a human construct. What is acknowledged as ‘music’ varies between cultures, groups, and individuals. The Igbo of Nigeria have no specific term for music: the term nkwa denotes ‘singing, playing instruments and dancing’.

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14. Taylor Swift Trivia Quiz

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift Trivia Quiz

We love Taylor Swift! Our Taylor Swift: Would You Rather got over 250 Comments. She has accomplished more than most people will in a lifetime. She’s racked up many Grammy Awards and has been ranked by Forbes magazine as the 12th-most powerful celebrity. She’s also starred in blockbuster movies like Valentine’s Day, The Giver, and even hosted Saturday Night Live. Test yourself to find out how much you know about Taylor Swift!

1. What was Taylor Swift’s very first #1 Billboard song back in 2012? A) “You Belong With Me” B) “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” C) “Love Story” D) “Shake it Off”

2. Fill in the blank. “Welcome to ___ _____.” (Hint: it’s a city!)

3. What is Taylor Swift’s lucky number? A) 7 B)13 C) 1989 D) 1

4. What is Taylor’s favorite nail polish color? A) Red. B) Blue. C) Black. D) Pale Green.

5. TRUE or FALSE? Taylor Swift originally wanted to be a country music singer.

6. Name the number of Grammy Awards Taylor Swift has won. A) 10 B) 3 C) 29

7. Her 1989 album has had five #1 Billboard hits! See if you can name them by filling in the blanks.

  • W——  D—–
  • S—-  It  O–
  • B–  B—-
  • Bl— Sp—
  • St—

8. TRUE or FALSE? Taylor’s parents both have backgrounds in the finance and banking industry.

9. What is Taylor Swift’s favorite animal? (Hint: she has two of these as pets.)

How was the Taylor Swift Trivia Quiz? I hope it was beyond your “Wildest Dreams” and you were able to fill in each “Blank Space.” Ok, I’ll stop now! Seriously, before I create any more “Bad Blood” (oops!) here are the answers . . .

1. What was Taylor Swift’s very first #1 Billboard song back in 2012?
ANSWER: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together!” This was her first song to hit Billboard’s Top 100 at #1 back in 2012. (“Shake it Off “was also a #1 hit but that was later in 2014!)

2. Fill in the blank. “Welcome to ___ _____.” (Hint: it’s a city!)
ANSWER: New York!

3. What is Taylor Swift’s lucky number?
Answer: Taylor was born on December 13, 1989 and considers “13” to be her lucky number. She even turned 13 on Friday the 13th! If you’re lucky enough to go to one of her concerts, you’re bound to find the number 13 in at least one place. Taylor has been known to scribble “13” on her hand in eyeliner.

4. What is Taylor’s favorite nail polish color?
ANSWER: Blue!

5. TRUE or FALSE? Taylor Swift originally wanted to be a country music singer.
ANSWER: True. She’s always loved country music, and moved to Nashville when she was 14 where she signed a recording contract! In 2009 she became the first country music star to win a MTV Video Music Award for “Love Story.”

6. Name the number of Grammy Awards Taylor Swift has won.
ANSWER: 10! They range from Album of the Year (Fearless and 1989) to Best Country Solo Performance (“Mean”) to Best Music Video (“Bad Blood”). Not to mention she has tons of Billboard Awards, American Music Awards, Teen Choice Awards – the list goes on and on!

7. Her 1989 album has had five #1 Billboard hits! What are they?
ANSWERS: “Wildest Dreams” ”Shake It Off” ”Bad Blood” “Blank Space” and “Style.”

8. TRUE or FALSE. Taylor’s parents both have backgrounds in the finance and banking industry.
ANSWER: True. Here dad was a financial advisor, and her mom was a mutual fund marketing executive!

9. What is Taylor Swift’s favorite animal? (Hint: she has two of these as pets.)
ANSWER: Cats! Their names are Meredith and Olivia Benson and she is always posting adorable pictures of them – sometimes with her on tour!

And to keep it going, let us know your favorite Taylor Swift song in the Comments below! Fans look forward to lots of new music and movies in the future from this talented singer, songwriter, and actress.

-Ratha

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15. Cambiata choirs explained

At the beginning of May 2015, I spent some time at the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival, a massive affair with 70 choirs at 60 events in 50 venues all over Cornwall, packed into a long Bank Holiday Weekend. The mastermind behind this well-organised event was Festival Director Peter Davies, director of the Huntingdon Male Voice Choir.

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16. Local opera houses through the ages

Nineteenth and twentieth Century opera houses are finding new lives today. Opera houses were once the center of art, culture, and entertainment for rural American towns--when there was much less competition for our collective attention.

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17. The evolution of flute sound and style

This March, we’ve been focusing on the flute and its history and importance in the music scene. Resident OUP history editor Nancy Toff is also active in the flute world, as a performer, researcher and instructor. In order to delve into Nancy’s wealth of knowledge about the flute, we asked Meera Gudipati, currently attending the Yale School of Music as a Master of Music, to interview her about flute performance, music history, and other favorite flutists.

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18. Passion season / Bach season

The arrival of Lent and the anticipation of Holy Week on the Christian liturgical calendar bring with them what professional musicians call "passion season." In a close parallel to "Messiah season" in December, singers and players hope to find work performing musical settings of the crucifixion narrative, to help audiences and congregations listen and worship and to help get themselves through the next few months’ rent.

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19. 10 reasons to love the flute

This month’s spotlight instrument is particularly important to me; I played the flute for ten years as an adolescent and continue to have a soft spot for it. From long practices at high school band camp to dressy solo performances at the Colburn School where I studied on weekends, the flute was a dear and constant companion. Here are a few reasons I’ll always prefer it.

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20. Justin Bieber Trivia Quiz

Justin Bieber PurposeJustin Bieber Trivia Quiz

How well do you know Justin Bieber?

  1. Which of these songs is NOT a Justin Bieber song? A) “Baby” B) “Boyfriend” C) “Love Me” D) “Hate Me”
  2. What has Justin Bieber been quoted as saying he suffers from? A) Claustrophobia B) Arachnophobia C) Fear of snakes D) Fear of floods
  3. Which of these superstar musicians was the first to sign Justin to a record deal? A) Jon Bon Jovi B) Usher C) Kanye West D) Rihanna
  4. Who was Justin’s girlfriend? A) Selena Gomez B) Miranda Cosgrove C) Miley Cyrus D) Demi Lovato
  5. Where is Justin from? A) America B) Switzerland C) Canada D) England
  6. What website was responsible for getting Justin noticed by talent managers? A) YouTube B) Facebook C) Twitter D) Snapchat
  7. Which of these record labels signed Justin first? A) Def Jam Records B) Universal C) Sony D) Justin Records
  8. True or False? Justin writes a lot of his own music? 
  9. Which of these instruments does Justin play? A) Trumpet B) Piano C) Guitar D) Drums E) All of the above
  10. Which of these singers was in a bidding war with Usher to sign Justin when he was just twelve years old? A) Taylor Swift B) Bobby Brown C) Michael Jackson D) Justin Timberlake

Read on for the answers.

  1. Which of these songs is NOT a Justin Bieber song? D) “Hate Me”
  2. What has Justin Bieber been quoted as saying he suffers from? A) Claustrophobia. Although Justin’s motto is “Never Say Never,” he’ll never enjoy riding in elevators. It’s quite amazing to think he could take the stage in front of thousands of fans without hesitation, but is afraid of small spaces.
  3. Which of these superstar musicians was the first to sign Justin to a record deal? B) Usher
  4. Who was Justin’s girlfriend? A) Selena Gomez
  5. Where is Justin from? C) Canada
  6. What website was responsible for getting Justin noticed by talent managers? A) YouTube. Talent manager Scooter Braun saw his YouTube videos and was so impressed, he flew Justin to Atlanta to meet with R&B singer Usher.
  7. Which of these record labels signed Justin first? A) Def Jam Records
  8. True or False? Justin writes a lot of his own music? True.
  9. Which of these instruments does Justin play? E) All of the above. Check out this video of Justin playing drums.
  10. Which of these singers was in a bidding war with Usher to sign Justin when he was just twelve years old? D) Justin Timberlake. It seemed like it was a done deal for Usher and JB, but then Justin Timberlake tried to steal him away. A bidding war ensued and ultimately Usher won.

There are your Justin Bieber fun facts so you’ll have something to talk about just in case you ever meet him!

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21. "But why should it be assumed that great music emanates from a great human being?"


John Eliot Gardiner, from Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Preface):
A nagging suspicion grows that many writers, overawed and dazzled by Bach, still tacitly assume a direct correlation between his immense genius and his stature as a person. At best this can make them unusually tolerant of his faults, which are there for all to see: a certain tetchiness, contrariness and self importance, timidity in meeting intellectual challenges, and a fawning attitude toward royal personages and to authority in general that mixes suspicion with gain-seeking. But why should it be assumed that great music emanates from a great human being? Music may inspire and uplift us, but it does not have to be the manifestation of an inspiring (as opposed to an inspired) individual. In some cases there may be such correspondence, but we are not obliged to presume that it is so. It is very possible that "the teller may be so much slighter or less attractive than the tale." [source] The very fact that Bach's music was conceived and organized with the brilliance of a great mind does not directly give us any clues as to his personality. Indeed, knowledge of the one can lead to a misplaced knowingness about the other. At least with him there is not the slightest risk, as with so many of the great Romantics (Byron, Berlioz, Heine spring to mind), that we might discover almost too much about him or, as in the case of Richard Wagner, be led to an uncomfortable correlation between the creative and the pathological.

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22. Five years after: The legacy of the Japanese anti-nuclear movement

This month marks the fifth anniversary of 3.11--the moniker for the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear disaster that struck northeastern Japan on 11 March 2011, killing nearly 20,000 and displacing as many as 170,000 people. In addition to mourning for lost souls, the anniversary was marked by loud anti-nuclear protests all over Japan.

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23. Affekt: the foundational pillar in eighteenth-century music

How does one capture the Classical style sound aesthetic when approaching performance of eighteenth-century repertoire on the modern piano? Although it is important to know of the period instruments and their associated physical sound qualities, knowing how period musicians approached their art emotionally and intellectually will provide even deeper insight into discovering how to recreate the sound aesthetic.

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24. Mal De Fleur for Seattle Review of Books

Mal De Fleur for Seattle Review of Books

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25. The trick of the lock: Dorothy L. Sayers and the invention of the voice print

Pre-eminent among writers of mystery stories is, in my opinion, Dorothy L. Sayers. She is ingenious, witty, original - and scientific too, including themes like the fourth dimension, electroplating, and the acoustics of bells in some of her best stories. She is also the inventor of the voice-activated lock, which her hero Lord Wimsey deploys in the 1928 short story 'The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba'.

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