So one reed I worked on yesterday and today is really working well. Or it worked well today. Of course who knows how long it will last? I played it for the first act of Onegin tonight, and then played two others for the next two acts. The thing is … if you don’t play on a reed it may change while it sits in the reed box. If you do play a reed it may change because you are playing on it. Some get better as you play on them, some get worse.

You can see the win-win situation I’m in, right?

But in any case, tomorrow I’ll continue to work on reeds. And the next day. And the next. And then next. And then next. And then next.

Yeah. Like that.

… that if the new book, The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature, by Daniel J. Levitin (author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, which I never quite finished) doesn’t come with a CD of the tunes he’s talking about I just might be lost. (But I was lost with TiYBoM as well, since he’s coming from a pop place.) I don’t know titles of a lot of songs. My kids will be talking pop music and I’ll say, “Sing some of it,” and then I’ll realize I know something. Otherwise I’m probably a goner.

Let’s see …

What do the following scenes have in common? A pubescent boy becomes the star of his sleep-away camp by introducing his bunkmates to Poison’s heavy-metal hit “Talk Dirty to Me”; a young man learns to fear Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” because it is the one song his mother always plays when his father doesn’t come home at night; a prospective groom and bride give their D.J. instructions not to play any sexually explicit hip-hop jams that might perplex guests of a certain age.

No, I don’t know “Talk Dirty to Me”. Yes, I know “At Seventeen”. I highly doubt I know a single hip-hop tune. I’m just sort of pathetic that way. Or 51. Or both.

A Muncie musician has been reunited with his rare Italian violin 24 years after it was stolen from his car.

I’m glad he has his instrument back. I’m sorry for the person who thought he was going to make a bundle selling what he didn’t know was a stolen instrument.

Lessons?

  • Never leave your instrument unattended in a car.
  • Never buy an instrument that seems to good to be true.
  • Never give up trying to locate the instrument (especially now, with the internet as such a handy tool).
  • Always choose oboe; they are, at least, less expensive than violins.

Okay. Never mind that last bit of advice.

But really, don’t leave a so easily transportable instrument in a car. It’s just asking for trouble.

I wonder if the instrument was insured, and if the owner would now have to return the insurance money if it was. (If my stolen English horn ever showed up I think I’d ignore it; it was not a good instrument!)

I read the news here.

Or does the picture for The Bonesetter’s Daughter sort of look like a Barbie Doll?

Okay. Probably just me. As usual.

(Well, silently anyway. I think a lot of white people mean that even if they type “lol” or “rofl” … we really just laugh on the inside.)

There are a number of industries that survive solely upon white guilt: Penguin Classics, the SPCA, free range chicken farms, and the entire rubber bracelet market. Yet all of these pale in comparison to classical music, which has used white guilt to exist for over a century beyond its relevance.

Though white people do not actually listen to classical music, they like to believe that they are the type of people who would enjoy it. You can witness this first hand by going to any classical performance at your local symphony where you will see literally dozens of white couples who have paid upwards of $80 for the right to dress up and sit in a chair for hours reading every word in the program.

This is from Stuff White People Like and if you don’t “get” that site you can just skip reading the whole blog entry. But if you found yourself “rofl” from reading the above, or if you even let out a little chuckle, you might go read the rest. Because it really is pretty funny. At least to this white girl who enjoys being made fun of. ;-)

From ehow.comhow to enjoy classical music, step 3:

Find a Genre and start listening!

Did you know that classical music, like modern rock and jazz, was and is an ever changing form? You can really tell the difference between, say, Beethoven and Samuel Barber because their music is 2 centuries apart! Below is a list of some of the more famous composers out of each of the periods of classical music and my own preferences:

Medieval (500 – 1400)
* Please don’t waste your time with this era. If you’re already bored with classical music, this will make you bang your head against a wall.

Renaissance (1400 – 1600)
* See note above.

Baroque (1600 – 1760ish)
– Bach
– Pachelbel
– Vivaldi
* I still think this period is boring with the exception of some of Bach’s dark organ music – scary!

Classical (1730 – 1820)
– Mozart
– Haydn
– Early Beethoven
* Still yawning. They’ve got good stuff, but beginners just can’t handle it yet. Keep reading.

Romantic (1815 – 1910)
– Middle and Late Beethoven (YES!)
– Brahms – Check out Symphony #4
– Tchaikovsky – Check out 1812 Overture
– Dvorak – Check out Symphony #9
– Wagner (good operas)
*This is by far my favorite era. This is when the size of the orchestra expanded, the piano became widely used, and composers were using music as a revolutionary outlet in protest of their various governments.

20th Century (1900 – 2000 but you already knew that!)
– Prokofiev – Excellent!
– Samuel Barber – Check out Violin Concerto
– Stravinsky – Check out Firebird and Rite of Spring
– Shostakovich – Check out 5th Symphony
– Gershwin – Check out Rhapsody in Blue
– Debussy – Check out Clair de Lune
– Copland – Check out Billy the Kid
– Orff – Check out Carmina Burana
* There are so many, I can never hope to list them all! The last century had some really revolutionary music – music that spawned Jazz, Blues, Rock and Roll, and even Hip-Hop. This is where the action is folks!

Thoughts?

02. September 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: BQOD

ландшафтThere’s a lot of fear surrounding classical music, and it’s true that to someone raised on modern “pop” music, a first visit to a classical music concert can be a bewildering and confusing experience – a seemingly random cacophony of noise without melody or rhythm. But when the conductor arrives on stage, they start playing, and you realise that the previous noise was just the orchestra warming up, it all starts to make sense.

It used to be a nerdy thing, for people with stooped posture and glasses, but the image of classical music has changed and now musicians looking like supermodels grace the covers of CDs.

Yeah. Here I am. With glasses. Sigh. I sort of slump a lot too. But at least I’m not on the cover of CDs! Whew.

So how important are looks in the classical music biz now? I wonder.

You can read the article here.

Or you can just go take a gander at all the beautiful women at Beauty in Music. No men. Sort of seems unfair, doesn’t it?

02. September 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Quotes

In opera, looks aren’t everything. Sometimes they aren’t even anything.

-Terry Teachout

(Read here.)