The Difference Between Visual Meter and Aural Meter in Music

Of all the structures and elements of music, meter is arguably one the most confusing. This is due at least in part to the fact that unlike rhythm and pitch, and to a lesser extent unlike dynamics and tempo, our Western system of music notation is often vague or imprecise when it comes to representing … Continue reading The Difference Between Visual Meter and Aural Meter in Music

When Teaching Music Appreciation, Keep It Simple

I've always had a love for classical music. I'm not sure why, but for as long as I can remember, and my family tells me it goes back further than that, I have pulled myself away from distractions and settled in to enjoy a symphony, concerto, or sonata. With this background, it is not surprising … Continue reading When Teaching Music Appreciation, Keep It Simple

Strong Beat and Driving Rhythm Found in Top Classical Pieces

The popularity of classical music is of interest to those who teach music, and to those who run symphony orchestras. One of the things that attracts audiences to concert halls is favorite repertoire being on the program. Contemporary composers of classical music have at times been at odds with audiences, because their music was not … Continue reading Strong Beat and Driving Rhythm Found in Top Classical Pieces

Inside Music Appreciation, Part 2

One of the things we must understand about classical music is that it wasn't intended to be something people just listened to sitting silently in a concert hall. In an excellent article in the New York Times, the author wrote, "When Chopin played his Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” with orchestra, the audience … Continue reading Inside Music Appreciation, Part 2

Musical Contrasts: The Changes People Actually Like

We often hear that people don't like change. This is especially true of the very young and the very old. The young need the security of routine and unchanging surroundings, and the old fear they will be unable to cope with change. In the context of life changes, I'm convinced that this is true. Change … Continue reading Musical Contrasts: The Changes People Actually Like

How Can Video Be Used To Develop A Young Classical Music Audience?

While there are any number of what I would call novelty classical music videos on the internet, these can only peek an interest in classical music. They do nothing to bring a person to a live orchestral concert or even to introduce the novice to a symphony orchestra. The forest xylophone played by a rolling … Continue reading How Can Video Be Used To Develop A Young Classical Music Audience?

The Importance of Early Music Listening Experiences

With all of the evidence suggesting that listening to classical music early in life has cognitive benefits, an article on early listening experiences could be all about how music promotes brain development. That is not, however the topic of this piece. Instead, I want to write about the importance of early music listening experiences in … Continue reading The Importance of Early Music Listening Experiences

Where Is That Meter?

Recently, I attended a chamber music concert that included the first of Beethoven’s “Razumofsky” string quartets, the Op. 59, no. 1. The performance was by an ensemble made of advanced musicians from prestigious music conservatories that had gathered to attend a music festival. As the performance got under way, I quickly became unsettled. I couldn’t … Continue reading Where Is That Meter?