What makes a melody beautiful? I’m intentionally not asking what makes music beautiful, because there are many different kinds of music and with them, different kinds of beauty. But the beautiful melody is much more likely to transcend genres; it’s properties are more universal, so it seems most tenable to ask, “what makes a melody … Continue reading What Makes A Melody Beautiful?
To many, maybe even most in the Western hemisphere, the term "classical music" refers to a select repertoire of music composed exclusively by European or European trained composers. Some restrict the term to refer to music composed only in the mid seventeenth to early nineteenth century, while others use it to mean a broader repertoire … Continue reading What Is Classical Music?
Elsewhere on this site, I wrote about the top 25 classical music works, and key words that help explain why they are as popular as they are. After writing that post, I decided to take the results to my eighth grade students and see if the key words in the survey resonated with these adolescents. … Continue reading Classical Music and Contemporary Culture
For some years now, I have been interested in music appreciation. I have come to consider it something of an oddity. At the center of any text or class on music appreciation is the premise that in order to appreciate music, one must understand how music works; how it is put together. The listener, or so the … Continue reading Inside Music Appreciation
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?
Though music is always a product of the cultural context in which it is created, American popular music is perhaps more than others genres placed in a position of sociological prominence. Both from its characteristic rebelliousness and its bent toward social commentary, American popular music, unlike other musical genres including jazz and Western classical art … Continue reading The Power of Music X 2: What Happens When Music and Video Join Forces?
Some would say that music is a reflection of the past. While this may be true, music must be more than that, or become irrelevant in spite of scholars insisting that certain music is great and worth hearing. Indeed, if any music were only a reflection of the past, it would be astounding that it lasts at all. Surely an … Continue reading Some Musing (Maybe Ranting) on the Unhealthy State of Classical Music
One of the more popular composing projects in music classrooms is taking a video clip and assigning the students to compose music to accompany what they see on the screen. Such projects must be preceded by instruction on how to use musical elements and structure to convey, express, and represent emotions, images and even stories. … Continue reading Creating Music and Audiences
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
Unless I make an effort to read scores, there are some musical terms that I am apt to forget because either I just don’t come across them that often in music I am apt to be teaching to my students, or because the definition has become distorted by common misuse. Today, I thought it would … Continue reading A Small Refresher in Musical Terms