With the exception of maybe Bruce Springsteen, there is no musician I enjoy seeing live more than Andrew Bird, whom I’ve been fortunate enough to see play at least a half-dozen times over the past ten years throughout New York City. Each performance is a real show for the senses— attendees are not only treated … Continue reading Feeling Gezelligheid on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, December 2012
By: Robin Wallace (School of Music, Baylor University) // Ludwig van Beethoven receives a waltz by Anton Diabelli in early 1819, about a year after getting his new Broadwood piano and well into the final decline of his hearing. The piece initially seems unpromising to him, but it feels amazing on this new instrument, whose … Continue reading Where There’s a Waltz There’s a Way: Exploring the Secrets of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations
By: Sheryl Kaskowitz (Providence, Rhode Island) // Blackface minstrelsy was a popular and pervasive form of entertainment in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1920s, and its legacy continues to haunt American popular culture. Whether or not songs have roots in minstrelsy can be difficult to determine; their lyrics have often been changed … Continue reading Before It Goes Away: Performance and Reclamation of Songs from Blackface Minstrelsy
Patti Smith performs Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” at the 2016 Nobel Prize ceremony. Smith accepted Bob Dylan’s award on his behalf. The Swedish Academy’s decision to award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan was one of the biggest news stories of 2016. Major news sources including the New York Times and The Guardian reacted to the announcement, and Dylan’s initial refusal to acknowledge the award brought another wave of comment and criticism. Some critics focused on the meaning of literature in the wake of this award.
By: Linda Shaver-Gleason (Lompoc, CA) // In a scene from the 1995 movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, music teacher Glenn Holland tells his high school students about Beethoven’s deafness while playing the second movement of the composer’s seventh symphony (the same movement used fifteen years later during the climax of The King’s Speech). Holland has just … Continue reading Beethoven’s Deafness and the Myth of the Isolated Artist
May 23, 2009, Izod Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen sings Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More” with a spoken introduction asking for people to support local relief efforts. “We’ve gotta stand up, support our neighbors, and please support the local community food bank of New Jersey.”
J. C. Bach’s Symphony in B-flat Major, Op. 9, no. 3. This symphony is one of the three Op. 9 symphonies that were at the heart of J. C. Bach’s second lawsuit against the London publishers Longman and Lukey, who were accused by Bach of producing and selling unauthorized copies of the symphonies.
By: Reba A. Wissner, Montclair State University // Radiohead’s video for “Reckoner. A remix is the digital reinterpretation of a song by adding, removing, or altering its constituent parts such as beat, tempo, and instrumentation. Many artists remix their own songs, and DJs often remix the songs of other musicians. More and more frequently, artists … Continue reading “Dedicated to All Human Beings”: Remix Culture, Fandom, and the Case of Radiohead’s “Reckoner”
By: Stefan Sunandan Honisch (Vancouver, British Columbia) // My hands evoke sight and sound out of feeling,Intershifting the senses endlessly,Linking motion with sight, odor with sound.They give color to the honeyed breeze,The measure and passion of a symphonyTo the beat and quiver of unseen wings.In the secrets of earth and sun and airMy fingers are … Continue reading Deaf-Blindness and the Avid Musical Touch of Helen Keller
By: Joanna Smolko (Athens, Georgia) // “I liked Springsteen before he became political,” a friend of mine commented on Springsteen’s performance at the 2009 Super Bowl. But in actuality, Springsteen has always been political. From the outset, he infused his music with elements of working class identity: unions and families, steel and rust, coal and … Continue reading Politics and Protest in Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”