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

Hearing Place in Music

By: Travis D. Stimeling (West Virginia University) // In his book Space and Place: The Perspective of Experiences, cultural geographer Yi-Fu Tuan defines place as “centers of felt value where biological needs, such as those for food, water, rest, and procreation, are satisfied.”1 It is in place, most cultural geographers argue, that we make meaning of … Continue reading Hearing Place in Music

The Popular Songwriter

By: Travis D. Stimeling (West Virginia University) // In November 1975, Barry Manilow hit the top of the Billboard “Top 40” chart with “I Write the Songs.” Singing from the perspective of Music itself, the song’s protagonist “write[s] the songs that make the whole world sing.” Although that line has made headline writers happy for the past four … Continue reading The Popular Songwriter

Recording: A Team Process

By: Travis D. Stimeling (West Virginia University) // Much of the music we encounter in our daily lives comes to us through recordings, whether we stream it over our phones, pull it out of the ether on our car radio, or passively hear it over the public address system at the local supermarket. But despite … Continue reading Recording: A Team Process