Temperamental Differences

By: Blake Howe (Louisiana State University) // In their lessons, violinists must train very hard to play “in tune.” Singers face the same challenge; some, fearful of sounding “pitchy,” might even use Auto-Tune to prevent mistakes in live performance. The slightest change in temperature and humidity can knock a piano “out of tune,” so concert … Continue reading Temperamental Differences

Nintendo, Stravinsky, and the Aesthetics of Limitation

By: William Gibbons (Texas Christian University) // Not many video game consoles have the historical or cultural cachet of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The unassuming gray and black box became a ubiquitous feature of living rooms across much of the world in the 1980s and early 1990s, its massive success simultaneously revitalizing the flagging … Continue reading Nintendo, Stravinsky, and the Aesthetics of Limitation

Silence from the Salon: In Search of Sara Levy

By: Rebecca Cypess (Rutgers University, New Brunswick) // If history is written by the victors, how can we recover the stories that have gone untold until now? Especially in the history of music—an artform that is difficult to describe and gone in an instant—how can we recover voices of the past that have been silenced? … Continue reading Silence from the Salon: In Search of Sara Levy

Adapting Flutes: Authenticity, Ingenuity, and Accessibility

By: Andrew Dell’Antonio (University of Texas at Austin) // In a genius-composer-centric tradition, a lot of ink is spilt over finding performance approaches that are "faithful" to the composer's intentions. One of the crucial components of this concern, beyond identifying the most accurate score (the "urtext") is the choice of instrumentation: timbre is such a … Continue reading Adapting Flutes: Authenticity, Ingenuity, and Accessibility

Musical Virtuosity

By: Travis D. Stimeling (West Virginia University) // When I was in my late teens and early twenties and was aspiring to a career as a professional musician, I surrounded myself with as many examples of excellent playing as possible. This meant that I sought out recordings of musicians who challenged the boundaries of their … Continue reading Musical Virtuosity

If History Is Written by the Victors

By: Sara Haefeli (Ithaca College) // At the very beginning of the music history survey, right before diving into the music of the early Christian church, I play examples of chant from all over the world: a Ramayana Monkey Chant from Bali, a Muslim devotional chant from Ethiopia, and a Native American Pow Wow Grand … Continue reading If History Is Written by the Victors

Spiritual Listening

By: Andrew Dell'Antonio (University of Texas, Austin) // Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,how it sings of separation …Whoever has been parted from his sourcelongs to return to that state of union.—Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, The Song of the Reed, Chapter 1; trans. Kabir Helminski Islamic Middle-Eastern Sufi practice has long established … Continue reading Spiritual Listening