19. January 2010 · Comments Off on One Thing About UCSC · Categories: UCSC

I could write a ton of things about teaching at UCSC. But right now there’s only one thing that comes to mind: today’s drive was a bit hairy!

Yes indeed, the drive today was not the sort I do frequently. We had quite the storm, and highway 17 had a ton of water on it. Fortunately everyone was driving at a decent speed, aside from two crazy people who sped on by. Guess they must have done okay since I never saw them overturned anywhere.

The drive home was a piece of cake … the way it should be. The way it usually is.

I hear we are going to continue with this storm stuff. I’m hoping next Tuesday we’ll be done with this. For the day, anyway; I LOVE stormy weather!

19. January 2010 · Comments Off on Once again … Sigh … · Categories: Grumble

BAD behaviour at a Derby school has been halved – by playing classical music to unruly children.

Brian Walker, head of West Park School, has seen the improvement in behaviour among his pupils since he introduced two-hour detentions, complete with Verdi and Mozart.

Mr Walker also “names and shames” disruptive teenagers on video screens in the school.

And instead of handing out lines, pupils are forced to write out the poem Jerusalem, a favourite of Mr Walker’s.


Using classical music as punishment ticks me off. If you don’t know why … well … I guess you don’t know why. (This particular article I find especially disturbing. And if you don’t know why … well … again, I guess you don’t know why.)

19. January 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Every few years, I think about buying an oboe and do all the research. But this year, I have the money to do it. This may be dangerous.

19. January 2010 · Comments Off on Timing is Everything · Categories: Symphony

NewsChannel5 has learned that there is a tentative agreement in the Cleveland Orchestra strike.

Both sides met through the night during a mediated bargaining session.

Both sides still have to ratify the terms of the new deal.

We’re told the musicians are voting later this afternoon.

The musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra put down their instruments Monday and went on strike because of a pay impasse with management, which jeopardized upcoming performances.

19. January 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: News

Why do tunes in a major key, such as Singin’ in the Rain, sound cheerful, while those in minor keys – Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall, say – sound gloomy and depressing?

The answer – in part – seems to be that the patterns of pitches in major keys mirror those of excited speech, whereas minor keys parallel subdued speech. That suggests that language shaped our musical expression of emotion.

Several factors affect music’s sentimental influence, and some are common sense: a fast, loud, jumpy rhythm sounds happy because it reflects the way an excited person behaves, and slow, quiet music with a regular beat mimics a mournful emotional state.


Doesn’t change much for me. Some music makes me sad. Some makes me happy. So sometimes I listen to the sad stuff because I’m sad and feel like wallowing. And sometimes I don’t. That is all.

But I’m glad scientists have figured this out. Now they can move on to something much more important: creating the “Everlasting Oboe Reed”, known as EOR — pronounced Eeyore (American pronunciation, that is — … and yes, I know it’ll never happen. Sigh.

19. January 2010 · Comments Off on 9 Types · Categories: Links

The Musicians
Let’s not forget the musicians… technically also concert goers, though they are onstage, forced to wear penguin suits or pretend are going to a funeral. They have a pretty cool job—they get to play music for a living. But so many of them are cynical and depressed—they hate rehearsals, and they “don’t really listen to music any more because they play so damn much of it,” to quote a San Francisco Symphony Musician. They, like everyone are waiting for the concert to be over so they can go drinking.

From “The 9 Types of Classical Concert Goers”. Go here and then you can see the other types.