A cellist sits on stage. As he plays, the instrument produces music that no typical cello could. That’s because he’s playing a hypercello, a technologically augmented instrument that interprets the movements of the performer so that his bowing and plucking produce both acoustic and electronic sounds. The hypercello is just one of a variety of “expanded musical instruments” that make it possible for skilled players to create even more unique and striking music.

The Problem with Geniuses

By: Sara Haefeli (Ithaca College) // Our monolithic history of Western classical music is largely a story about the great composers, many of whom are described as geniuses. The label has convinced many that we can’t enter the inner circle of musicians and composers. It is an elite cadre, and the chances that a new … Continue reading The Problem with Geniuses

Does Music Evolve?

By: Sara Haefeli (Ithaca College) // The founding fathers of musicology had a tremendous impact on the shape of Western music history. The “victors” craft the historical narrative in order to make their victory seem inevitable. But how has our traditional study of music history made it seem like Western classical music is inevitably the … Continue reading Does Music Evolve?