284 Posts
My Beethoven by Nicolette
My first encounter with Beethoven was through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music aural tests back when I was a little kid. One part of the test was to clap the rhythm of a short excerpt and
Read more
Music Is Everywhere
Different Forms of Music in Our Modern World
What is the function of music? Can it be considered as useful? If so, what is its value? There are many answers to these questions, and each is debatable. What is sure though, is that music is everywhere. In our
Read more
Ambient Music
The Benefits of Art Sounds and Some Recommendations Pollution, rain, fog, mist, wallpaper, machinery, people, the sounds of wildlife and music all exist as part of the surrounding ambience. Throughout most of history, music was never thought of as a
Read more
The Modern Theremin: The Theremini
The tradition theremin, developed in the early 20th century by Léon Theremin and patented in 1928, looks like a box with antennas. It’s not stylish, it really only has one sound and it’s not even something you want in your
Read more
On Tradition & Innovation: The Case of Stravinsky
Artists are taught tradition in order to innovate. While there are some discussions about tradition and innovation, they are both essential to the wellbeing of art, to progress and continuity. I like to think that one looks at the past,
Read more
Tapering and the Craft of Performance Preparation
Athletes and experts in peak performance understand very well the concept of “tapering” – a significant reduction in training load in the days before a competition which is, paradoxically, thought to have the effect of optimising performance. This often involves
Read more
Double the Fun?
Auxiliary Instruments and the Strange World of Doubling
A large aspect of an orchestral wind player’s life can involve playing auxiliary instruments – instruments that you learn alongside your main instrument, for example the bass clarinet, cor anglais, piccolo or contrabassoon. Not everyone specialises on auxiliary instruments: firstly,
Read more
On My Music Desk……
Philip Glass – Wichita Vortex Sutra
It starts quietly, a haunting nostalgic hymn-like sequence of gentle chords in both hands. A few bars in, the bass accompaniment changes into a gently undulating pattern of broken fourths, anchored by a low F. In this opening section, Glass
Read more