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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Music, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,961
1. A Complete List of Every Song in Illumination’s ‘Sing’

The complete list of songs that appear in Illumination's "Sing."

The post A Complete List of Every Song in Illumination’s ‘Sing’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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2. Music and Songs From ‘Moana’ Getting Heavy Push Online

Several songs from "Moana" can now be re-lived online, as part of the Disney's strategy to promote the film and boost visibility during awards season.

The post Music and Songs From ‘Moana’ Getting Heavy Push Online appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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3. Two Big Surprises And One Big Snub In The Golden Globes Animation Nominees

The Golden Globes animation category is much more interesting than we thought it would be!

The post Two Big Surprises And One Big Snub In The Golden Globes Animation Nominees appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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4. a sweet little duet....

autumn serenade
6x6, mixed media on canvas panel
©the enchanted easel 2016
between a cute little bird and a wide eyed baby bear...an "autumn serenade".

this is the second (but it sure won't be the last) piece i created this summer when i was trying my hand at mixed media. can i just tell you what a total blast it was creating this piece?! so much fun and a bit out of the box for me as i am a SUPER DUPER AWESOME planner. seriously. it's one of my finer traits....i think so, anyway. ;) this little creation was kind of spontaneous....kind of....

i knew i wanted to do a bear with an autumn color scheme. the rest just kind of happened the more i kept adding different layers, different supplies...and, being my absolute own worst critic well, i'm rather pleased with the way it turned out. i mean, c'mon..look at the face on the baby bear...you just gotta love him. :)





PRINTS available here. ORIGINAL PAINTING is FOR SALE. contact me here if interested. 

also, here's a link to sweet ophelia...a colorful owl done in this same mixed media style.

perhaps 2017 will bring about some more of these little *experiments*....


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5. BANG: 30 Songs About Guns

I’ve made mixes all my life. Still do, though now we call ’em playlists. In this case I went thematic. I can’t say why, it just worked out that way. I’m passing it along for your (possible) enjoyment. And, of course, as document. Feeding the interweb’s gaping maw.

Note: As with any playlist, I created it for my own listening pleasure. There are some obvious songs I didn’t include here — “Saturday Night Special” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, for example — and entire genres that I ignored in the interest in continuity. Also, there’s simply a lot of songs I haven’t heard or didn’t think of. If you’d like to add a song, make a comment. Sonically, I think it holds together pretty well through the first 20 tracks, then it gets kind of wobbly after that. But it’s an interesting subgenre. Guns & America. Let’s get it started with a banjo . . .

 

Time To Get a Gun, Fred Eaglesmith

Miranda Lampert covered this song, which I gather was good news for Fred Eaglesmith and his bank account. For my mix, I’ll stick with the man who wrote the song.

“Time to get a gun.
That’s what I’ve been thinking.
I could afford one,
if I did just a little less drinking.

Time to put something,
between me and the sun.
When the talking is over
it’s time to get a gun.”

– –

Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash

This song had to be here, so might as well get it out front.

“When I was just a baby
My Mama told me, “Son,
Always be a good boy/
Don’t ever play with guns,”
But I shot a man in Reno
Just to watch him die.”

 

The Devil’s Right Hand, Steve Earle

Another song that begins with a Mama’s warning, unheeded.

“My very first pistol was a cap and ball Colt,
Shoot as fast as lightnin’ but it loads a might slow.
It loads a mite slow and I soon found out
It can get you into trouble, but it can’t get you out.”

 

Put Down the Gun, Peter Case

He was the leader of the mighty Plimsouls for crying out loud. The man is a legend. And he’s a legend, too, for writing this song.

““I don’t want to swear it/ But it’s something that I’ve heard/ A gun in the first act/ Always goes off in the third.”

 

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), Nancy Sinatra

Written by Charles Harmon, Shaffer Smith, and Mr. Sonny Bono. To me, Nancy Sinatra forever owns this song. Quentin Tarentino used it to great effect in the film, “Kill Bill.”

“Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down.”

 

Bang Bang Bang, Ellen Jewell

Ellen Jewell offers a new take on Cupid, who in this version has upgraded his weaponry.

“He fired off a few hot rounds
Right into the sorry crowd.
No blood, no gore, no one hit the ground.
They all just fell in love
With whoever they happened to be around.

It’s funny, till it happens to you,
But be sure you stay well out of his way.
Love is careless, random and cruel,
He don’t take aim he just —
He don’t take aim he just bang bang bang.”

 

Gun, Uncle Tupelo

More gun as metaphor than actual gun, but a great tune and one of Jeff Tweedy’s best Uncle Tupelo numbers.

“Don’t tell me which way I oughta run
What good could I do anyone.
‘Cause my heart, it was a gun,
But it’s unloaded now. . .”

 

That’s When I Reach for My Revolver, Mission of Burma

Punk anthem, 1981.

 

“Tonight the sky is empty
But that is nothing new
Its dead eyes look upon us
And they tell me
We’re nothing
But slaves (That’s when I reach for my revolver)
Just slaves (That’s when I reach for my revolver)
That’s when I reach for my revolver
That’s when I reach for my revolver
That’s when I reach for my revolver
That’s when I reach for my revolver.”

Guns on the Roof, Clash

From the great “Give ‘Em Enough Rope” LP.

“Guns guns, a-shaking in terror
Guns guns, killing in error
Guns guns, guilty hands
Guns guns, shatter the lands.”

 

The Eton Rifles, Jam

Written by Paul Weller, who is awesome, in 1979.

“Sup up your beer and collect your fags,
There’s a row going on down near Slough,
Get out your mat and pray to the west,
I’ll get out mine and pray for myself.”

 

Bullet With My Name on It, The Dream Syndicate

I finally caught these guys live at Solid Sound, 2013, but I can still remember the first time a friend introduced them to me, on vinyl, in his East Village apartment.

“If you ever saw me
walking around
swear I’d try to disappear
I wouldn’t make a sound
Then something
got me on the run
it’s gonna be the last time
I let you hold my gun.”

 

Shoot Out the Lights, Richard and Linda Thompson

Thompson matches the gun’s menace note for note with his slashing guitar riffs.

“In the darkness the shadows move
In the darkness the game is real
Real as a gun
Real as a gun

As he watches the streets of the city
As he moves through the night
Shoot out the lights
Shoot out the lights.”

 

99 Year Blues, Hot Tuna

Originally written by blues musician Julius Daniels, this song appeared on the famous Anthology of American Folk Music box set. This “Burgers” LP was just huge with my friends and me back in high school. Jorma, man.

“Well, now give me my pistol, man
And three round balls
I’m gonna shoot everybody
That I don’t like at all.”

 

Bring Me My Shotgun, Lightnin’ Hopkins

Another “my woman done me wrong” song — with a nice twist at the end.

“Go bring me my shotgun,
You know I just got to start shootin’ again.
You know I’m gonna shoot my woman,
Cause she’s foolin’ around with too many men.”


Billy, Green on Red (Dylan Cover)

Nice cover by Green on Red of a minor Dylan classic off the underrated “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” soundtrack. Gillian Welch also covers this tune in a way that’s worth hearing.

“They say that Pat Garrett’s got your number
So sleep with one eye open when you slumber
Every little sound just might be thunder
Thunder from the barrel of his gun.”

 

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Bob Dylan

Live by the gun, die by the gun. Sticking with the same LP, here’s the tune everybody knows — and everybody, it seems, has covered.

“Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.”

 

Me and Billy the Kid, Joe Ely

One more in our Billy the Kid trilogy. Here’s a classic take by the great Texas songwriter Joe Ely.

“Yeah, me and Billy The Kid never got along:
I didn’t like the way he buckled his boots an’ he wore his gun all wrong.
One day, I said to Billy: “I got this foo
lproof scheme.
“We’ll rob Wells Fargo, it’s bustin at the seams.”
I admit that I framed him. I don’t feel no remorse.
It was just my way of gettin’ even with the man who shot my horse.”

 

The Rifleman, The Minus 5

Scott McCaughey’s pop collective out of Seattle. Maybe it would have been brighter if I grabbed something of their 2006 release, “The Minus 5”, AKA “The Gun Album,” but I don’t know it that well. Sorry. So shoot me.

“Did you see the rifleman, did you see that episode?
Every Crawford in the country got to see his little head explode.
Just a loaded Texas tin star who tried to fill his boots
With bullets from a stocking Christmas morn'”

 

Shoot Out on the Plantation, Leon Russell

Another fallen legend, Leon died on 11/13/16. I’ll always love him best for his work leading Joe Cocker’s sprawling band, Mad Dogs & Englishmen.


“Yeah, the drummer’s got the drum, the colonel’s got the gun,
And Junior’s only got a knife, he’d better run.”

 

I Wanna Be Your Gun, The Mayflies USA

Sonically maybe not the best fit for this playlist, but I’ve long had a soft spot for this NC band’s melodic power pop and vocal harmonies. Their first two CDs were produced by the great Chris Stamey, so there’s your bona fides.

 

“I don’t want a shot, I just wanna be your gun.”

 


Tommy Gun, Clash

The only band that gets two songs on this playlist, breaking all the rules. Boy, they seem to matter now more than ever. We miss you Joe Strummer!

“Tommy gun
You ain’t happy less you got one
Tommy gun
Ain’t gonna shoot the place up
Just for fun
Maybe he wants to die for the money
Maybe he wants to kill for his country
Whatever he wants, he’s gonna get it!”

 

Hand of Fate, Rolling Stones

Pretty good band. They might make it someday.

“My sweet girl was once his wife
He had papers the judge had signed
The wind blew hard, it was stormy night
He shot me once, but I shot him twice.”

 

Jeannie Needs a Shooter, Warren Zevon

The man, the myth, the legend.

“The night was cold and rainy down by the borderline
I was riding hard to meet her when a shot rang out behind
As I lay there in the darkness with a pistol by my side
Jeannie and her father rode off into the night.”

 

With a Gun, Steely Dan

“I could be wrong but I have seen your face before
You were the man that I saw running from his door
You owed him money but you gave him something more
With a gun
With a gun”

 

Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Beatles

Another song where they are not really singing about a gun, but there’s a lot of shooting going on. “She’s not a girl who misses much.”

“Happiness is a warm gun (bang bang shoot shoot)
Happiness is a warm gun, mama (bang bang shoot shoot)
When I hold you in my arms (oh, yeah)
And I feel my finger on your trigger (oh, yeah)
I know nobody can do me no harm (oh, yeah)
Because, (happiness) is a warm gun, mama (bang bang shoot shoot)
Happiness is a warm gun, yes it is (bang bang shoot shoot)”

 

Ray’s Automatic Weapon, Drive-By Truckers

A man slowly losing it . . . with a gun in his possession. Songwriting Patterson Hood style.

“I got to tell you
You got to take that gun back
Cuz these things that I been shooting at are getting all too real
Don’t want to hurt nobody, but I keep on aiming closer
Don’t think that I can keep it feeling like I feel.”

 

Ten Cent Pistol, Black Keys

A scorned woman with a gun. That’s a combo for you. Hell, the song practically writes its darn self.

“There’s nothing worse
In this world
Than payback from a
Jealous girl
The laws of man
They don’t apply
When blood gets in
A woman’s eye.”

 

Pray for Newtown, Sun Kil Moon

Mark Kozelek was at his shambolic, idiosyncratic best on the 2014 CD, “Benji.” This is one of the songs on a weird, great disk.

“December twenty-fifth, and I was just laying down
I picked up a pen, I wrote a letter to the guy in Newtown
I said I’m sorry bout the killings, and the teachers who lost their lives
I felt it coming on, I felt it in my bones and I don’t know why.

So when Christmas comes and you’re out running around
Take a moment to pause and think of the kids who died in Newtown.
They went so young, who gave their lives
To make us stop and think and try to get it right
Were so young, a cloud so dark over them
And they left home, gave their mom and dad a kiss and a hug.

So when your birthday comes and you’re feeling pretty good
Baking cakes and opening gifts and stuffing your mouth with food
Take a moment for the children who lost their lives
Think of their families and how they mourn and cry.”

 

Shots, Neil Young

One of those great Neil songs it’s easy to miss, because this hidden gem is off the  1981 “Re-ac-tor” LP, which is about when I began losing some enthusiasm for Neil who wandered lost in the 80s wilderness until he surprised us with “Freedom” in 1989. I went with the electric version here, though there’s some really nice solo acoustic versions floating around the interwebs. If I was feeling clever, I could have started this thing off with the acoustic and then closed it out with the visceral noise of Neil and Crazy Horse kicking up a storm.

“Shots
I hear shots, I keep hearing shots
I keep hearing shots
I hear shots.”

 

Two Gunslingers, Tom Petty

Off the “Into the Great Wide Open” CD. My last song for this set, and I hope a fitting way to close it out.

“Two gunslingers walked out in the street and one said
“I don’t want to fight no more”
And the other gunslinger thought about it and said
“Yeah, what are we fighting for?”

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6. In conversation with cellist Evangeline Benedetti

What was it like as one of the few female performers in the New York Philharmonic in the 1960s? We sat down with cellist and author Evangeline Benedetti to hear the answer to this and other questions about performance and teaching careers, favorite composers, and life behind the doors of Lincoln Center.

The post In conversation with cellist Evangeline Benedetti appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Art in the age of digital production

Between 1986 and 1988, the jazz musician and experimental music pioneer George Lewis created the first version of Voyager. After spending some time making work that involved compositional programmes in Paris, Lewis returned to the US and began work on Voyager. His aspiration was not simply to use computers as a tool or raw material, but to create software that could take an equal improvisational role to the other (human) musicians in the performance.

The post Art in the age of digital production appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. A Long and Narrow Way


And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
"It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)" 
First, some axioms. Points. Nodes. Notes. (After which, a few fragments.)

From Alfred Nobel's will: "The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: ...one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction..."

Even if every winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature were universally acclaimed as worthy, there would still be more worthy people who had not won the Prize than who had. Thus, the Nobel Prize in Literature will always be disappointing. The history of the Nobel Prize in Literature is a history of constant, repeated disappointment.

The Nobel Prize in Literature's purpose is not to recognize the unrecognized, nor to provide wealth to the unwealthy, nor to celebrate literary translation, nor to bring attention to small publishers. Occasionally, it does one or more of these things, and doing so is good. It would be nice if any or all of those were its purpose. I'm not sure what purpose it does serve except as a sort of Hall of Fame thing, which reminds me of what Tom Waits said at his induction to the Rocknroll Hall of Fame: "Thank you very much. This has been very encouraging."

As with many things, Coetzee probably got it most right: "Why must our mothers be 99 and long in the grave before we can come running home with a prize that will make up for all the trouble we have been to them?"

"Ballad of a Thin Man" via Sotheby's
My personal pick for a Nobel Literature laureate among the writers who seem like plausible candidates — that is, among the small group of writers whose names continue to be mentioned, year after year — is Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Among such American writers, I guess I'd pick Pynchon (not just for the early work — Mason & Dixon is a wonder, and Against the Day continues to seem to me to be the best science fiction novel of the 21st century), though I doubt they'd give it to him because he's pretty much guaranteed not to show up for the ceremonies. Among writers never/seldom spoken of for the Prize, I can hardly come up with a list without narrowing it somehow; for instance, U.S. writers I would like to see in contention include Ursula Le Guin and Samuel R. Delany, as well as countless poets, various nonfiction writers, a playwright or two (Wallace Shawn! Suzan-Lori Parks!), and maybe some unclassifiable weirdos. (I certainly feel no excitement for the idea of Philip Roth or Joyce Carol Oates winning, the two Americans typically mentioned.) We live in a very rich time for literature of all sorts, whether popular or elite.

But — brace yourself — hard as it is to believe, my personal desires are irrelevant to the Nobel Prize in Literature. I'm not even Swedish!

Anyway, I'm quite happy with Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature because I like Bob Dylan's songs. Thus, the Prize as such seems to reflect well on my taste, and I want to defend it because my taste is mine and therefore I like it. If the Prize went, as it sometimes has, to a writer I don't especially care about, or whose work I don't especially like, I would feel annoyed, because isn't the job of prizes to flatter my taste?

I suppose this is how people who have passions for corporate sports teams feel when their favorite corporate sports team wins the corporate sports team tournament.

I adore Dylan and thus I agree with the Nobel Prize Committee. Their referees this year have made good calls, generally, though of course if I were one of the referees this year, the calls would have been even better.

No, I don't think Dylan is a poet in a strict, contemporary sense. He doesn't have to be. It's not the Nobel Prize in Poetry. ("Literature" is always in the making.) Dylan is a songwriter and a performer. Separating his lyrics from performances of those lyrics can be clarifying, but it does violence to the work, leaves out an entire realm of communication. Nonetheless, his lyrics have proved portable, his music malleable, as he himself has often shown in performance (listen to "The Times They Are A-Changin'" on MTV Unplugged or "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" from Live 1975 for just a couple of the many examples) and countless musicians of various styles have proved (one of my favorites is Chris Smithers' version of "Visions of Johanna"; also, Antony & the Johnsons' "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"). 

The living U.S. Nobel Laureates in Literature are Toni Morrison and Bob Dylan. Obviously, American literature (what means "American"? what means "literature"?) is far more capacious than any two people, no matter how talented or accomplished, can represent, but nonetheless, look at the idea of American literature embodied in those two figures together: there's a perspective there on history, myth, and experience, on culture and creation. Both are popular artists, despite their obscurities and weirdnesses and highbrow allusions. They draw on and contribute to what can be called, for all such a term's inadequacies, an American vernacular. They are both obsessed, in their own unique ways, with the old, weird America, its slave songs, murder ballads, hymns, blues, and jazz. There is something that feels very right to me about the pairing of their oeuvres, the way their poetries sing stories together.

I don't really care about the Nobel Prize, though. All prizes are awful. I won't defend the Nobel as a prize. Say what you want about it; I don't care. (Unless they give it to me. Then I'd care and I would accept the prize and I would do whatever they wanted me to do, because hey, why not? And the money would be nice.)

I care a lot about Bob Dylan, though — not the man, who I doubt I'd get along with very well, but his work, which awes me. The song "Blind Willie McTell" alone would be enough to assure its writer of a place in the pantheon, and he's written dozens more of equal wonder.

To draw a bit of attention away from the ultimately useless questions of "Is it poetry?" or "Did he deserve to win?", here are some random, fragmentary thoughts on just a few corners of Dylan's body of work:

Everyone who has any liking for Dylan at all likes some Dylans more than others. I don't at all care for the current torchsong-singing Dylan. The last album I really adored was 2003's "Love and Theft", though there are individual songs on the later albums, particularly Tempest, that I enjoy. But there's a looseness to his later work, a tendency to let songs go on and on with the same rhythm, that doesn't do much for me. My favorite period is the 1970s, the period from roughly Self-Portrait through At Budokan, a period I often prefer in bootlegs and alternate versions of individual songs rather than the album versions, but which also includes my single favorite album, Blood on the Tracks. Maybe it's because I was born the same year as Blood on the Tracks, and maybe it's because I grew up listening to Dylan — but I didn't grow up listening to the '70s Dylan, since my father, the Dylan fan in the house, seemed to have given up on Dylan after he went electric. By the time I entered high school, I knew all the words to the first five albums, but had no idea there were later albums. Those later albums would be a revelation, first with Highway 61 Revisited, then Blood on the Tracks. A friend in college had the first official Bootlegs album, and we listened to it like a secret hymnal. (I feel a bit sad that I heard "official bootlegs" before I ever heard the real boots, but the official ones are pretty great, and now that the Basement Tapes have been released, there are only a handful of unofficial tracks I really love.)

Two somewhat unheralded albums are among my favorites: Hard Rain and World Gone Wrong. Hard Rain is punk Dylan — live recordings in bad weather, with all the instruments going out of tune and the musicians furiously trying to get through their set. That album's versions of "Maggie's Farm" and "Stuck Inside of Mobile..." are especially fierce, but it's all great, wild, angry, dissonant. World Gone Wrong is one of a pair of albums (with Good as I Been to You) that brought Dylan back from the brink and rejuvenated him for some of his later masterpieces. Good as I Been to You is good, but World Gone Wrong somehow goes beyond it, and sometimes vies for position as my favorite Dylan album: it's just Dylan and his guitar, singing old songs. Each track is wondrous, a reinvention that is also a summoning.

I love how much of a magpie Dylan is, a thief and a scoundrel, a channeler of all he's ever heard. I said a year ago, and still say: "Dylan's references, allusions, echoes, riffs, cut-ups, and copies expand his work and connect it to networks of meaning." Also: "Dylan is all poses, all artifice, and he always was. He's not, though, a postmodern ironizer; his earnestness is in the earnestness of his artifice. (His art is real for as long as he performs it.)"

Ahh well, enough of this. Go listen to some songs.

This is hard country to stay alive in
Blades are everywhere and they're breaking my skin
I'm armed to the hilt and I'm struggling hard
You won't get out of here unscarred
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way
If I can't work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday...
"Narrow Way"


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9. Ten fun facts about the theremin

Have you ever wanted to control sound waves? Or spook your friends with an eerie melody? If you answered yes, check out OUP's instrument of the month, the theremin.

The post Ten fun facts about the theremin appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Fiddle parts and sound: how objects tell stories

Biography chooses us when there is alchemy between biographer and subject—a perfect fit of interlocking puzzle pieces. In my case, a lifelong fascination with objects and the craftsmen who make them led me to the story of a pioneering violinmaker—American Luthier: Carleen Hutchins—the Art and Science of the Violin.

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11. Rihanna and representations of black women – Episode 39 – The Oxford Comment

“Come and put your name on it,” is the first line in Rihanna’s song “Birthday Cake.” She is referring to her female anatomy as she dances in a hip-centered motion, reminiscent of Caribbean movement.

Across the globe, reactions to the song’s connotation and the provocative dancing varied greatly, each individual interpreting the sequence of events based on their own experiences, culture, race and gender. Regardless of the response to the song, the fact that Rihanna’s persona and image are an implication of something greater than herself cannot be denied.

In this episode of the Oxford Comment, Adanna Jones, contributor to the Oxford Handbooks Online, Oneka LaBennett, author of She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn, and Treva Lindsey, author of the forthcoming Colored No More: New Negro Womanhood in the Nation’s Capital, discuss the transnational icon, born in Barbados with Guyanese roots instilled from her upbringing, that challenges the exploitation of the black female body, female empowerment, and what that means in a global space.

Featured Image Credit: Rihanna performing at the Kollen Music Festival 2012 by Jørund F Pedersen. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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12. Sype meetings, coffee, and collaboration: a Q&A with Ariana Milligan

Ariana Milligan recently started working with Oxford University Press’s Global Digital Products Marketing team in New York. She tells us about how working on products such as Grove Art Online and Oxford Music Online creates an inspiring day-to-day life.

The post Sype meetings, coffee, and collaboration: a Q&A with Ariana Milligan appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. The eighteenth-century rhythm riddle: what is the quarter note quandary?

If you were to ask a modern musician what the quarter note means in Common Time the answer would be simple: “It lasts for one full beat, to be released at the beginning of the succeeding beat.” Ah, but eighteenth-century rhythm reading is not a simple “one-size-fits-all” affair. Just as spoken language has evolved over time, so has music notational language.  The notation has remained much the same; it is how the notation is read that has changed.  So, how is the quarter note quandary solved?  Gazing at the issue through an eighteenth-century lens will answer the riddle.

Eighteenth-century style is one of clarity – expressive rhythmic clarity – that projects character or affekt through the notation at hand.  And the crisp, articulate fortepiano is the perfectly suited instrument for executing the style. All rhythmic elements are chosen to reflect affekt; so much so that when certain elements are present a particular affekt is understood. The Rhythm Schemata diagram provides insight to the interacting elements:

diagram-rhythm-schemata

Rhythm Schemata

 

Notice that affekt is at the center of the wheel.  All notational decisions – appropriate tempo and meter, carefully crafted formal and phrase structure to allow for execution of rhetoric, and specific rhythm choices – are made to express the desired affekt.

Execution of the quarter note varies greatly depending on tempo and meter choices, which are directly related to period dances. For example, a march in duple meter commands a different affekt than a minuet in triple meter. Just like there are heavy and light meters, note values act in much the same way.  A time signature with a 2 in the bottom denotes heavy affekt, one with a 4 lighter, and one with an 8 in the bottom lighter yet.  Note value choices within the meter provide execution clues.  For instance, a piece made up primarily of half and quarter notes would be heavier than one of eighth and sixteenth notes.  A comparison of Beethoven’s Sonata, op. 10, no. 3 to his Sonata op. 14, no. 2 demonstrates how note values take on differing character based on these period practices. So, the quarter note may take on a variety of characters, and consequently lengths, based on affekt.

Today, legato is the ordinary way of playing.  If a line is presented with no markings (staccato or legato), the performer assumes to play legato, holding every rhythm for the full value. Not so in eighteenth-century style.  This is where the answer to the riddle lies: The quarter note is held for its full value only when it occurs under a slur or a tenuto marking. How long should it be held?  Just when is it appropriate to release the quarter note?  This is where affekt is essential (and why it is at the center of the wheel). Depending on affekt, a quarter note may be cut quite short (like a crisp timpani attack) or held for most of the beat (as in a forlorn oboe solo). One must turn to the nuances of notation –  formal structure, meter, expression marks, dynamics, and beaming – for clues.

Taking specific steps will facilitate creating a rhythmically authentic and personal eighteenth-century style on the modern piano.

  • Begin with Urtext. It is essential to work from an authentic score to determine how best to follow the clues left by the composer rather than an interpretation offered by an editor.
  • During initial experiences work with a piece that contains simple textures and is quite bare (few slurs or dynamic markings). Simple dances from Mozart’s Klavierstücke, Beethoven’s German Dances, or Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545 by Mozart are good starting places.
  • Do some digging: What dance is being described? Is the meter heavy or light? In context, are the note values heavy or light? Unearthing answers will impact the length of the quarter notes.
  • Hold the quarter notes for full value only when under a slur or tenuto.
  • Strive for a strong metrical pulse. The down-beat is extremely important in this style.
  • Allow the energy and expression (determined by the affekt) to influence carefully placed timing and rubato within metrical boundaries.
  • Sing each line; this will go a long way in deciding tasteful rhythmic length and timing.
  • The fortepiano’s strength is crispness and clarity of tone, the modern piano’s is to produce a long, legato line. Listen carefully and continually. Adjust to the feedback from the instrument to prevent a choppy tone and choked endings of phrases.

Hear the improvement in the sound aesthetic as you move through the following audio examples: 1) a frequently-heard modern rendition, 2) an interpretation on a Belt-Walter replica ca. 1780’s five-octave fortepiano, and 3) a reconciled and historically informed rendition on a modern piano. The energy and vibrancy provided by using period rhythm-reading strategies is markedly noticeable.

 

Clementi, Piano Sonatina in C Major, op. 36, no. 1/I, mm. 1-6.

Taking the time to view the score through an eighteenth-century lens and apply the period performance practices judiciously to modern playing provides the opportunity to discover an old language that may be recreated in a new way.

Featured image: “Fortepiano label” by Ching. CC by 2.0 via Flickr.

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14. Secrets and trivia from the Broadway stage

Why do some great Broadway shows fail, and mediocre ones thrive? How does the cast onstage manage to keep tabs on the audience without missing a beat or a line? Ken Bloom, author of Show and Tell: The New Book of Broadway Audiences, delves into the inner workings of the Broadway stage and the culture surrounding Broadway hips and flops.

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15. The Devil’s best tunes

It’s been said that the Devil has all the best tunes. If this is true, he likes to keep a conspicuously low profile. While songs of praise for Jesus, God, Krishna, Buddha, the Virgin Mary, and a host of other deities, saints, and semi-deities abound, Satan is seldom properly hymned.

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16. How did you approach setting the Shakespeare text you chose for your recent work?

Shakespeare has inspired countless and varied performances, works of art and pieces of writing. He has also inspired music. In this 400th year since Shakespeare's death we asked five composers 'how did you approach setting the Shakespeare text you chose for your recent work?'

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17. Is College Radio Relevant?

You take out the scratched up Beatles’ Abbey Road LP from its musty slipcover, cue it onto the turntable, and broadcast it to the small, rural area surrounding your college campus. It’s 5:00 AM, you’re the only one in the booth, and you ask yourself: is anyone listening? Does what I’m doing matter? Little do you know, as you speak into the microphone introducing “Here Comes the Sun” (as the sun is literally rising), you are part of a long history of college radio. But how is college radio relevant today?

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18. 10 interesting facts about the cello

Every summer since 1895, the Henry Wood Promenade Concert (commonly known as the BBC Proms) presents an eight-week orchestral classical music festival at the Royal Albert Hall in central London. This year’s Proms put a special focus on cellos.

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19. A new (musical) direction for healthcare?

Most would agree with the idea that music can have a powerful hold over us—our thoughts, feelings, and movements. Given this, how might music help measure thoughts, feelings, and movements in a way that allows professionals in healthcare improve client treatment? The music therapy profession seems to be experiencing a surge in developing data-measuring tools that incorporate music in the client assessment.

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20. Effective hallmarks for teaching the Kodály Concept in the 21st century: part 1

To teach music effectively, we must know our subject—music. We must embody and exemplify musicianship.” (Elliott, Music Matters, 1995, p. 271). But how are we to communicate our musicianship to students in meaningful ways?

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21. 10 facts about the recorder

You might associate the recorder with memories of a second grade classroom and sounds vaguely resembling the tune of “Three Blind Mice” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” While the recorder has become a popular instrument in music education, it also has an extensive and interesting history.

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22. How well do you know your Broadway trivia? [quiz]

September marks the new Broadway musical season and the opening of fledgling shows like Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and familiar revivals like Cats.

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23. Effective hallmarks for teaching the Kodály Concept in the 21st century: part 2

The Kodály Concept of music education is based on the philosophical writings of Zoltán Kodály (1882–1967) and incorporates principles of teaching music developed by his colleagues and students. His writings on music education provided the impetus of developing a new pedagogy for teaching music. On August 30th, we discussed five essential lessons from the Kodály Concept. Below are five additional hallmarks of his work.

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24. So not a form: Structure evolves from dramatic ideas

The sonata concept served some of the greatest imaginations in the history of music, but seriously it is, as I like to say to students, “so not a form”. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms were not in need of a standardized template, and in essence what has come to be called sonata form is more like courtroom procedure: a process that allows for an infinite variety of stories to be unfold, from a fender bender to vandalism to murder.

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25. The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour: The Life and Music of George Jones. Rich Kienzle. 2016. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Would he or wouldn't he show up?

Premise/plot: The Grand Tour is a biography of George Jones that seeks to balance a focus on his life and on his music. The author takes on the role of music critic and biographer. In the prologue he explains his approach, "Jones's life and music are inseparable. The music often triumphed even during his worst personal moments. His evolution from twangy imitator to distinctive new voice, from influential vocalist to master of his craft, is as important as his personal failings. Exploring that musical side--how he found songs and recorded them; the perspectives of the public, those involved in creating his records, and Jones himself--is pivotal to understanding the story. I've attempted to take the long view, examining not only his life and the events that shaped him from start to present, but simultaneously exploring his immense musical legacy, all in a clear chronological context." (13)

My thoughts: I started listening to George Jones' music this summer. And what I loved, I really, really LOVED. So I was curious to pick this new biography up at the library. I picked it up as a new fan and not an expert, so perhaps keep that in mind. But I enjoyed this biography very much. I think I might have appreciated aspects of it even more if I was familiar with more of his albums, more of his songs.

The prologue of this one had me hooked. Here is how the author describes Jones' voice: "The voice was raw nerve put to music...Yet above all that was his consummate ability to explore pain, sorrow, heartbreak, and emotional desolation." (9)

It was an often absorbing read full of highs and lows. I would definitely recommend it.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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