19. September 2013 · Comments Off on From Jennifer Higdon · Categories: Opera

For those of you following its progress…


20 months later…8 hours of composing daily …I feel like a need a nap.

When I put the double bar on, it literally felt like Ada was the last to leave the room, and she closed the door behind her as she went out. I was sitting there alone, listening to the silence. Not sure whether to laugh, smile, or weep.

(I read this on Ms. Higdon’s Facebook page.)

Oh. In case you aren’t aware, the opera is Cold Mountain. (No, I never saw the movie.)

19. September 2013 · Comments Off on I Need To Have Mendelssohn Playing On This Blog · Categories: Read Online

New research published in Computers in Human Behavior reveals a relationship between the type of music used on someone’s personal webpage and whether they are seen as attractive by the opposite sex.

Researchers Qinghua Yang and Cong Li from the University of Miami created four versions of a personal website containing identical information about the owner’s hobbies and interests. The websites were then randomly matched with two different soundtracks: Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words, and Lost in the Headlights by metal band Pelican.

After viewing the pages for four minutes, men taking part in the study found women more attractive if classical music was playing in the background, whereas women perceived men to be better-looking if their webpage had a heavy metal soundtrack.


19. September 2013 · Comments Off on … and in response … · Categories: Read Online

I can imagine that my argument may seem over-the-top. But I have no way to know. Those childhood violin studies of mine have shaped my adult ear and brain, and, when I listen to Mendelssohn or to any of the greats, I naturally respond in ways that are encouraged by the grand tradition. I do not know what it is to be a person without access to that tradition, and I can only picture a lack of access as a kind of poverty.

— Paul Berman

Parents Absolutely Should Force Their Kids to Take Music Lessons

19. September 2013 · Comments Off on Just Watch It · Categories: Videos


19. September 2013 · Comments Off on Music is Pointless? · Categories: Read Online

Our daughter Rebekah, who is in second grade, takes three after-school classes every week. On Monday there is violin; on Wednesday, Hebrew; and on Thursday, ballet. One of these classes connects her to a religious tradition going back three thousand years. Two of them are pretty well pointless.

— Mark Oppenheimer

Go ahead … read the article called Stop Forcing Your Kids to Learn a Musical Instrument. Then you decide ….

As a quick note: I sometimes find a parent has forced a child to study oboe and, after a number of lessons, can tell that the student just hates it. But more frequently they end up liking it and stick with it even if it was initially their parents’ idea.

But pointless??!! Sigh and double sigh.

19. September 2013 · Comments Off on Just a reminder … · Categories: Ramble

Since my “TQOD” today was quite questionable, I thought I should remind people that these are “Twitter Quotes of the Day” and NOT my words! I suppose maybe I should always have that at the bottom of the TQODs. People might be wondering about me if they don’t know what these are. Hmm ….

19. September 2013 · Comments Off on Unwise Words · Categories: Read Online

We don’t care what you did for the orchestra. The orchestra’s irrelevant; they could be replaced tomorrow by a computer or a record. We’re entitled to more because we are the product.

Alan Gordon, national executive director of AGMA

Whether or not orchestra members should be paid more or less than dancers, that wasn’t a very wise thing to say. What a spark! Fires have started. It’ll be interesting to see if someone can put them out.


Can ballet companies move to recorded music? Yep. Have they? Yep. Do audiences like it? I’ve heard they do not. I’ve heard some stop attending. I have only heard these things, though, and haven’t seen cold hard facts. But does the fact that people prefer live music mean orchestra members should be paid more? I’m guessing not. These things aren’t always “fair” or “balanced” … welcome to the world. Do dancers really want to dance to inflexible recordings that never change? Sounds like music box mentality to me.

Why do ballet dancers earn less than musicians? Why do chorus members earn less than orchestra members? There is most definitely some off balance in groups. I have theories but I won’t put any of them in writing for the time being. Everyone in the performance world plays an important and vital role.

I remember, years ago, when a colleague told me that the position s/he had in the orchestra (as a section string player) was much more difficult than what I did, as a solo English horn player. THe person’s somewhat hostile conversation with me was surprising and I didn’t feel like arguing. I, of course, would have loved to tell her that I thought it was just the opposite! Truth is, we all have difficult jobs, and all are necessary. I can only speak for myself, but I also feel that I have a wonderful, fulfilling, challenging, frustrating, exhilarating, exhausting, fantastic job. I received wise words from someone else, when I whined to hear about the other colleague and it was suggested that comparing wasn’t necessary. It only causes strife. Who needs to ad divisions between sections or groups of people in the performing arts? We have enough strife as it is.

19. September 2013 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

only rich white kids play the Oboe