28. June 2008 · 3 comments · Categories: Ramble

Maybe I’ll comment later … I have to teach soon so I can’t now. Or maybe I’ll just leave it here (more likely).


“If you have a deceptive cadence be sure to raise your eyebrows. Then everybody will know.”

A personal peeve is the ridiculously high horn writing in almost all of the finalists’ scores. But who is to blame them? A computerized horn can hit a hundred high Cs over the course of ten minutes without blinking. But I definitely wouldn’t want to be in the room when the fourth horn player in the LSO attempts the same.

I read this over at Lawrence Dillon’s site. I’ve heard horn players mention this. Computerized oboes can hit low notes with a perfect pianissimo too. (I just stuff my swab in my oboe unless the note is a low B-flat or B.) I’m so weary of these composers who think we can do what a computer can do. But I do tell students who end up playing these things to just do their best without stressing too much; the composers will quickly learn. I hope.

28. June 2008 · Comments Off on What If? · Categories: Links, Ramble

The music lowered the patients’ blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates before any sedation or pain medication, according to a paper in the Medscape Journal of Medicine, a Web resource for physicians of peer-reviewed medical journal articles.

Dr. Jorge Camara, a classically trained pianist and ophthalmologist, played music for patients before surgery as part of a study from May to August 2005 to demonstrate the medical benefits of music.

The classical and semi-classical pieces ranged from Debussy’s “Arabesque No. 1 in E Major” and Chopin’s “Etude in E Major, Op. 10 No. 3,” to “The More I See You,” by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon.

What if the pianist isn’t very good? Would better musicians find that they actually react negatively? I wonder. What if the patient doesn’t care for Debussy, Chopin or whoever the pianist chose to play? Can the patient request his or her favorite music?

And I don’t quite understand how “The More I See You” is a classical or semi-classical piece.

The symphony orchestra in the 21st century has become something of a dinosaur, and dinosaurs cannot be saved from extinction by external intervention. Orchestras are extremely expensive to maintain, and the present-day public is simply not going to support them monetarily.

I believe that the solution for both audience and musicians lies in, horrid as the term may sound, downsizing. A string quintet plus a woodwind quintet and a pianist/harpsichordist, augmented as necessary by one to four professional singers, is able to deliver thousands of works ranging from the early 17th century to the most outré modern compositions.

I read it here.

I have no words for this writer. Aside from “Get the heck outa music, please.”