Saturday, September 10, 2005


Perhaps all music, even the newest, is not so much something discovered as something that re-emerges from where it lay buried in the memory, inaudible as a melody cut in a disc of flesh. A composer lets me hear a song that has always been shut up silent within me.

Jean Genet

It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites -- opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity -- where energies flow smoothly in one direction -- there will be much doing but no music.

Eric Hoffer

Great music reaches into, and enriches, the soul of a listener. Such experiences cannot be termed “entertainment” and I chafe when it is so described, media-bundled together with films, Michael, Foxworthy, Oprah, and Vegas floor shows.


Daniel J. Wakin has written a provoking essay re concert attendance. See

Peter Dorbin writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the cost of concert tickets have far exceeded the inflation rate and suggests that declining attendance may be because it is more than many people are willing to pay. see (free subscription)

Farewell Readers

It has been a pleasant exercise during the past many months to post blogs. But, like all things, a time arrives to stop. My travels take much time and attention. Maybe again-later.

For those who have read my stuff, many thanks.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Agnus Who?

For those music teachers who believe their message is heard, consider the following true and real answers from music students.

Agnus Dei was a woman composer famous for her church music.

Refrain means don't do it. A refrain in music is the part you better not try to sing.

A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.

John Sebastian Bach died from 1750 to the present.

Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was rather large.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling him. I guess he could not hear so good. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.

Henry Purcell is a well known composer few people have ever heard of.

Aaron Copland is one of your most famous contemporary composers. It is unusual to be contemporary. Most composers do not live until they are dead.

An opera is a song of bigly size.

In the last scene of Pagliacci, Canio stabs Nedda who is the one he really loves. Pretty soon Silvio also gets stabbed, and they all live happily ever after.

When a singer sings, he stirs up the air and makes it hit any passing eardrums. But if he is good, he knows how to keep it from hurting.

Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel.

I know what a sextet is but I had rather not say.

Caruso was at first an Italian. Then someone heard his voice and said he would go a long way. And so he came to America.

A good orchestra is always ready to play if the conductor steps on the odium.

Morris dancing is a country survival from times when people were happy.

Most authorities agree that music of antiquity was written long ago.

Probably the most marvelous fugue was the one between the Hatfields and McCoys.

My very best liked piece of music is the Bronze Lullaby.

My favorite composer is Opus.

A harp is a nude piano.

A tuba is much larger than its name.

Instruments come in many sizes, shapes and orchestras.

You should always say celli when you mean there are two or more cellos.

Another name for kettle drums is timpani. But I think I will just stick with the first name and learn it good.

A trumpet is an instrument when it is not an elephant sound.

While trombones have tubes, trumpets prefer to wear valves.

The double bass is also called the bass viol, string bass, and bass fiddle. It has so many names because it is so huge.

When electric currents go through them, guitars start making sounds. So would anybody.

Question: What are kettle drums called? Answer: Kettle drums.

Cymbals are round, metal CLANGS!

A bassoon looks like nothing I have ever heard.

Last month I found out how a clarinet works by taking it apart. I both found out and got in trouble.

Question: Is the saxophone a brass or a woodwind instrument? Answer: Yes.

The concertmaster of an orchestra is always the person who sits in the first chair of the first violins. This means that when a person is elected concertmaster, he has to hurry up and learn how to play a violin real good.

For some reason, they always put a treble clef in front of every line of flute music. You just watch.

I can't reach the brakes on this piano!

The main trouble with a French horn is it's too tangled up.

Anyone who can read all the instrument notes at the same time gets to be the conductor.

Instrumentalist is a many-purposed word for many player-types.

The flute is a skinny-high shape-sounded instrument.

The most dangerous part about playing cymbals is near the nose.

A contra-bassoon is like a bassoon, only more so.

Tubas are a bit too much.

Music instrument has a plural known as orchestra.

I would like for you to teach me to play the cello. Would tomorrow or Friday be best?

My favorite instrument is the bassoon. It is so hard to play people seldom play it. That is why I like the bassoon best.

It is easy to teach anyone to play the maracas. Just grip the neck and shake him in rhythm.

Just about any animal skin can be stretched over a frame to make a pleasant sound once the animal is removed.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Barely Worth a Glance

Monday, August 15, 2005 Jerry, The Opera: No Funding Pressure... A tour of Jerry Springer, The Opera is in doubt, and some are saying it's because Arts Council England bowed to pressure from religious groups and denied funding. But a Council spokesperson says: "The decision not to provide funding for the tour was financial, as the musical was already a 'commercial success', and not over fears of a religious backlash. It is nonsense to say that the Arts Council has refused to fund the tour of Jerry Springer over fears of protests from Christian groups, or anyone else." BBC 08/15/05


Yet Another Mozart Festival


Hip-Hopping Mozart "The home of Britain's classiest opera parties is about to strike out in a new direction by staging 'hiphopera', complete with f-words and rap music, in the country house setting of Glyndebourne. The transformed version of Mozart's masterpiece is part of an increasingly successful attempt to draw new, and particularly young, audiences to the venue, which has a largely unfair but deep-rooted image of exclusivity and expense." (Re: Cosi) The Guardian (UK) 08/14/05


Mozart “Buffets”


Lecture: Hidden Symbolism in the Early Flute Sonata No. 62 in G by Pierre Solieux.


BYOH: The Latest In Personalizing The Concert Experience The strangest new trend in live concertgoing is all about pretending that you're actually alone. Rather than piling up walls of speakers to pump sound into a room, several music festivals have begun providing a bank of headphone jacks for people to plug in their personal ear gear, and the whole room rocks in what sounds to a non-participant like silence. "The idea of a live show experienced solely through headphones originated eight years ago in France when a Paris musician named Erik Minkkinen streamed a concert from his closet. As the story goes, three people in Japan tuned in. Despite the tiny audience, the idea evolved into a decentralized organization under the name le placard, or the closet, a kind of open-source music festival where anyone can establish a streaming and/or listening room." Wired 08/31/05


Lecture: An Implication/Realization Model of Mozart’s Symphony No. 25


Oboist's Tell-All Is A Juicy Read
"Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music," (Atlantic Monthly Press, $24), a tell-all memoir by oboist and journalist Blair Tindall, zooms in on the unseemly, dysfunctional side of classical music. ...


In Praise Of Mozart's Wife Mozart owed a lot of his success to his wife. "Constanze and her sisters were brought up in Mannheim, a centre of musical excellence. And, in addition to the sophistication she absorbed from this artistic milieu, she was intelligent - speaking excellent Italian and French as well as her native German. In many ways, she was an ideal wife for a composer. Mozart himself was firmly of that opinion." The Guardian (UK) 09/01/05