Instrumental Music in Representations of Ancient Greek Cult

By Dr. Gullög C. Nordquist Professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History Uppsala University Introduction Music was indispensable in Greek cult: almost all kinds of musical performances, hymns and dithyrambs as well as the musical agones[1] and theatre performances, belonged to cult in one form or another. It is of course this art-music that has[…]

The Jazz Age: Redefining the Nation, 1919-1929

Figure 24.1 The illustrations for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tales of the Jazz Age, drawn by John Held, Jr., epitomized the carefree flapper era of the 1920s. By Dr. P. Scott Corbett, et.al. / 12.2014 Professor of History Ventura College Introduction Following the hardships of the immediate postwar era, the United States embarked upon one of[…]

The Guitar in the Classic and Romantic Periods, c.1750-1850

Classical 19th-century six-string guitar / Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg By Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves / 12.2015 Professor of Music Theory and Guitar Marshall University Towards the Six-String Guitar The transition between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries revealed a new context for the guitar. The socio-political context of Spain under the leadership of Philip[…]

The Guitar in the Renaissance

16th-Century Spanish guitar / Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix By Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves / 12.2015 Professor of Music Theory and Guitar Marshall University Introduction The evolution of the guitar achieved a new phase during the sixteenth century, as documentary evidence can confirm. The instrument passed through transformations during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and some[…]

Origins of the Guitar

By Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves / 12.2015 Professor of Music Theory and Guitar Marshall University Introduction Las Mujeres y Cuerdas Las mujeres y cuerdas De la guitarra, Es menester talento Para templarlas. Flojas no suenan, Y suelen saltar muchas Si las aprietan.[1] The poem above, used by Catalan composer and guitarist Fernando Sor in one[…]

Forever Bringing Joy

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has found new life in the digital age, the subject of a work in progress by Alex Rehding Fanny Peabody Professor of Music, which examines the deeper analyses and unique reinterpretations enabled by modern technology. / Wikimedia Commons Book project on Beethoven’s Ninth has been an ear opener for professor By Colleen Walsh[…]

What Makes Franz Liszt Still Important?

Leon Botstein, President of Bard College and music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, explores what we can still learn from the life and music of Franz Liszt. By Dr. Leon Botstein / 10.17.2011 Director and Principal Conductor American Symphony Orchestra Marking anniversaries of the birth and death of historic figures, particularly[…]

A Short History of Three Very Famous Christmas Carols

Carolling wasn’t just for Christmas back in the day. Easter, New Year, and even political events such as battles were occasions for carol singing. 1000 Words/www.shutterstock.com By Dr. Peter Roennfeldt / 12.18.2016 Professor of Music Griffith University Singing and Christmas seem to go naturally together, like plum pudding and custard. Even those who would not[…]

The Neuroscience of Singing

By Cassandra Sheppard / 12.11.2016 Singing Together Brings Heartbeats Into Harmony The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people[…]

Leonard Cohen: The Stranger, the Master

Courtesy leonardcohen.com By Dr. Jayan Jayatilleka / 11.11.2016 The master of the modern love song, whose intricate and intense musical cartography of the relationships between men and women provided the soundtrack of our private lives, has come down like Moses or Zarathustra from the mountain, gaunt, courtly, priestly, yet slightly noir-ish in broad-striped double breasted[…]

No, Bob Dylan Isn’t the First Lyricist to Win a Nobel

A portrait of Indian poet and musician Rabindranath Tagore. Cherishsantosh/Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Alex Lubet / 10.14.2016 Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music University of Minnesota There’s been a great deal of excitement over Bob Dylan winning the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. It’s rare for artists who have achieved widespread, mainstream popularity to[…]

‘Disillusioned Words Like Bullets Bark’: Folk Great Bob Dylan Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature

Bob Dylan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, pictured in New York City in 1965. (Photo: Simon Murphy/flickr/cc) ‘For having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,’ American lyricist and social icon receives prestigious award By Jon Queally / 10.13.2016 Bob Dylan, the folk music icon who first[…]

Why Do Some People Love Sad Music?

By Dr. Tuomas Eerola / 09.29.2016 Professor of Music Cognition Durham University Tear-jerkers such as Adele’s Someone Like You frequently top the charts these days, while gloomy classical compositions like Mozart’s Requiem have moved people for centuries. Both portray and bring about a strong sense of loss and sadness. But our enjoyment of sad music[…]

Cat Pianos, Sound-Houses, and Other Imaginary Musical Instruments

Robert Fludd’s Temple of Music. One of the great seventeenth-century occultist’s contributions to the domain of speculative technology. From his Utriusque cosmi (1617) / archive.org Deirdre Loughridge and Thomas Patteson, curators of the Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments, explore the wonderful history of made-up musical contraptions, including a piano comprised of yelping cats and Francis[…]

Achille et Polyxène (1687): The Trojan War and a Plea for Peace at the Académie Royal Musique

Attributed to Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder (German, 1722–1789) / La rencontre entre Achille et Polyxène   By Dr. Géraldine Gaudefroy-Demombynes Professor of Musicology University of Franche-Comté Oxford Journals Journal:  Early Music, November 2015 43 (4) Abstract Jean-Baptiste Lully and (following Lully’s death) his disciple Pascal Collasse set to music a libretto by Jean Galbert[…]