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Instruments Style

‘Real’ instruments in popular music

“We’re seeing a big evolution of production, of recording techniques, and of the actual sounds. Everything’s getting sampled and synthesized…. When we do have an acoustic instrument like a saxophone, it tends to get processed to where [it’s] almost unrecognizable.” Jeff Harrington, saxophonist. Cited in, Kelsey McKinney, “Where Did All the Saxophones Go?”,        https://getpocket.com/explore/item/where-did-all-the-saxophones-go?utm_source=pocket-app&utm_medium=share, accessed 29 […]

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Rorem’s affinity with French music

“Bartók’s music as a whole is a music I never think about when its not around.  It’s impeccable, it’s theatrical, it’s even great.  It dazzles, thrills, horrifies, sometimes irritates, but also moves me.  But I’m not touched by it, as by, for instance, the outset of the quartet by Ravel – Ravel, supposed to be […]

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Murray Perahia

“It’s a very reactionary viewpoint and I’m slightly ashamed, but I find it very difficult to access contemporary music. I am not prejudiced, but my work in tonal music leads me to believe nothing can be organic if it doesn’t have a [sense of] “home.”  This idea of belonging, or home, can’t be an intellectual […]

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Smooth jazz finds new way to reach audiences

With shifts in the commercial music industry away from smooth jazz, musicians are finding new niches for smooth jazz such as cruises. Twenty years ago, of course, smooth jazz wasn’t a code to be cracked so much as a wave to be caught. Like most species of pop, it felt ubiquitous and maybe a little […]

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Composers quotes Style

Adding quality music to the world

“My music is melodic.  After all, why add to the world’s problem’s with bad music.” Alexander Prior, composer. Source: Classic FM, December 2009, p.9

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The framework of a symphony

The framework of a symphony must be so strong that it forces you to follow it regardless of the environment and circumstances: [it is] an “ethical necessity”. Jean Sibelius, to Jussi Jalas, 1 October 1939 Cited at: www.sibelius.fi [accessed 31 Mar 2010].

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It must be worth the effort

Martinu on creating beautiful music: “It must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort.” Cited in: Calum MacDonald, “Bohuslav Martinu: Cosmopolitan Dreamer”, BBC Music, August 2009, p.45.

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Against Gregorian

In Anglican England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there was considerable opposition to the Roman Catholic Gregorian chant.  The Parish Choir or Church Music Book, published by the Society for the Promoting of Church Music (October 1847), applauds those who “deal heavy blows at Romanism and every other form of dissent.” (1)  Part […]

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I write for all ears

When Mozart was writing his opera Idomeno, his father warned him to make sure it was accessible to all the audience. Mozart replied: As far as the so-called Popular style is concerned, don’t worry about it; in my Opera you’ll find Musick for every kind of listener = except for those with the long ears […]

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Mozart on aesthetics

Mozart’s musical aesthetics are revealed in a letter to his father about Osmin’s first aria in The Abduction of the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail).  The Eighteenth century classical ideals of balance and refinement are evident: I have sent you only the beginning and the end of the aria.  I think it will prove […]