Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Byrd's "My Ladye Nevells Booke"

"'My Ladye Nevells Booke' contains 42 compositions by William Byrd, and was compiled by the scribe John Baldwin in 1591, in an elegant style quite unlike that of contemporary keyboard manuscripts. Handel's original manuscript of Messiah, written in London between 22 August and 12 September 1741, shows all the signs of rapid composition, with short-cuts in notation, ink blots, and hasty cancellations and corrections."
To view the manuscript, please see the British Library.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mary Curtis-Verna

"Mary Curtis-Verna, beautiful outstanding international star of the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala[to mention only a few!] passed away at her Seattle home December 4, 2009... UW Music Department won Mary for the Head of the Voice Department, a position she retained until her retirement."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times and Can Belto.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mozart may help babies grow faster

" Is Wolfgang Mozart good for babies?

A group of Israeli doctors plunged into this long-running debate with a small study that found the soothing sounds of the 18th-century composer may help premature babies grow faster."

For the full story, please see the Seattle Times.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Woody Guthrie Fellowship Program

"The BMI Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Foundation offers short-term fellowships to support scholarly use of the Woody Guthrie Archives Research Collection."

For more information please see BMI.

Rebuilding An Instrument By Leonardo's Design

"More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci designed a completely new musical instrument. But the harpsichord-viola was just a figment of the his imagination until now.

Industrial designers from Italian firm Leonardo3 have reconstructed the instrument from sketches in Leonardo's notebooks. There's a slight problem, though: The mind of the great renaissance genius didn't count on how noisy the machine would sound."

For the full story please see

Friday, December 11, 2009

Spanish fan calls police over saxophone band who were just not jazzy enough

"Jazzman Larry Ochs has seen many things during 40 years playing his saxophone around the world but, until this week, nobody had ever called the police on him.

That changed on Monday night however, when's Spain's pistol-carrying Civil Guard police force descended on the Sigüenza Jazz festival to investigate allegations that Ochs's music was not, well, jazz."

For the full story please see The Guardian.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Archive Watch: New Orleans Stomp

"Now that so many archives have gone digital, it can be easy to forget that many collections exist only partly online, if they have a digital component at all. An interesting case is the William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz at Tulane University. The Chronicle sat down with the archive's director, Bruce Boyd Raeburn, to talk about the collection, jazz scholarship, and how the brass-band tradition will not die."

For the full story, please see The Chronicle.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Scientists dymystify the Stradivarius 'secret'

"But after years picking apart scraps of varnish taken from Stradivarius instruments, scientists have ruled out any secret ingredient as the key to the fiddles' superb timbre. They reveal that Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) applied two simple products in his workshop in northern Italy: oil and pine resin."

For the full story, please see

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Composer's Ties to Nazi Germany Come Under New Scrutiny

"The composer Jean Sibelius is arguably as important to early 20th-century music as Ezra Pound was to literary modernism. Now, more than 50 years after the Finnish composer died, in 1957, at the age of 91, a musicologist in Texas is claiming that Sibelius was culpably entangled with Nazi Germany, and should join Pound, Richard Wagner, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline in the select group of artists who have been cast into anti-Semitic ignominy."

For the full story, please see The Chronicle Review.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nature, love inspires Grawemeyer Award-winning piece

""Spheres," a six-movement work for orchestra by German composer York Hoeller, has earned the 2010 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

The piece (MP3), chosen from among 136 entries worldwide, was performed for the first time in 2008 by the West German Broadcasting Corp.’s symphony orchestra in Cologne, Germany."

For the full story, please see the Grawemeyer Awards.