Articles tagged variations on a theme

Classical Radio Communities: Thoughts on Mediation

Classical music radio gives rise to a prophylactic form of community: we are somehow participating with other listeners without having to engage directly with those others. The music becomes a pretense for communal participation.

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Why Don’t the Planets Speak?: An Inquiry Into Music and Language

Speech involves saying something individual in a rigid system of conformity. Music seems to attempt something similar -- or, more appropriately, people attempt something similar through music.

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The Sounds of Now, Part Three: Anthony Braxton and the Ethics of Improvisation

Jenkins's latest installment in a series of contemporary composer profiles discusses Anthony Braxton, who seems to have looked to music as a means not to erase or ignore cultural dissonance but rather to confront it directly.

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An Overheard Conversation Concerning Musical Taste

'But who determines the criteria by which one determines if something is well formed?' A debate of taste rages in a small field outside Maryland.

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The Sounds of Now, Part Two: Meredith Monk

For the second installment in an ongoing series profiling contemporary composers, Jenkins reports on Meredith Monk, whose compositions and performances integrate the personal aspects of the body in a manner wholly removed from the majority of current musical production.

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Melodic Patriotism: A Look at Some Lesser-Known Pieces for the Fourth of July

In observance of Independence Day, Jenkins examines some overlooked classical manifestations of American patriotism that may be more appropriate than Tchaikovsky's US-adopted 1812 Overture.

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The Devil’s Music: Franz Liszt’s Musical Representation of Mephistopheles

Liszt's Faust symphony offers a solution to the conundrum that faced so many Romantic and post-Romantic composers: how does one create a musical form that continually and progressively unfolds and yet manages to hold together, to be all 'of a piece'?

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Judging a Bach By Its Cover

If people are no longer as interested in classical music as a cerebral escape from the banalities of the everyday, then certain producers of classical recordings are willing to embrace this cultural condition by selling Bach not as an alternative to popular image culture, but as a part of it.

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On the Necessity of Listening As Confrontation

How can you possibly know why you 'like' something you assume you like unless you confront that which you have dismissed? Jenkins discusses the importance of spending time with the music that immediately displeases us.

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The Sounds of Now: Brian Ferneyhough

In the first of a series of contemporary composer profiles, Jenkins discusses Brian Ferneyhough, whose complex scores force performers to confront the boundaries of the possible.

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Stop Playing with Your Ticket: An Investigation of Concert-going Practices

Feeling stifled by symphonic stodginess? Jenkins reviews concert-going practices of previous centuries and suggests ways to improve the concert experience in our own.

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Songs Without Words, or So They Say: A Meditation on Titles

Exactly how should the title of a wordless piece of music influence our experience of the music itself? Jenkins muses on how titles interact with the instrumental pieces they represent and, furthermore, on musical selections with no titles at all.

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Out of Proportion: Understanding the Medieval Motet

There is a parallel heard in the complex, seemingly conflicted harmony of 13th century music to today's dissonant world. As we struggle to fold our differences into an orchestrated 'global' accord, we might do well to challenge ourselves to stop, and truly listen.

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A Historicist Manifesto: Why Classical Matters

Classical music, as a culturally archaic archetype of stodginess, has long been disassociated from a contemporary relevance. Can we make it meaningful again now that we've told Beethoven to roll over?

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//Mixed media
//Blogs

Ubisoft Understands the Art of the Climb

// Moving Pixels

"Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed and Grow Home epitomize the art of the climb.

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