Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pierre Boulez a work in progress at 85

"Having just turned 85 on Friday, he is no longer feared but feted as one of the great men of music, present and past, in a town that knows what that means. Boulez celebrated his birthday by conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in its ornate, historic home, the Austrian capital's Musikverein. Future musicologists will no doubt mark the splendid occasion."

For the full story, please see the Los Angeles Times.

For a sample of Boulez's music, please see the Library Catalog.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship 2010-2011

The Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship Program is made possible by a grant from the Anne Ray Charitable Trust.

The fellowship program's purpose is to encourage scholarly use of Berea’s non-commercial audio collections that document Appalachian history and culture, especially the areas of traditional music, religious expression, spoken lore, and radio programs. Awards in support of such research projects are made for a period of one to three months.

For more information, please see Berea College.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Composing Software for Students

"Notating a composition for one instrument or a vocalist on a page can be tedious, Michelle McKenzie, a senior in Music Composition and Music Education, explained as she demonstrated a MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) keyboard and a software program, Finale, on a computer workstation in the Music Library."
For the full story, please see the University of Washington Libraries.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Who Needs Labels When You've Got ASCAP?

"The indie music scene has gone beyond record labels now," Porter says. "We don't need Sony giving us $200 million to make an album. We can cut an album fairly cheaply and the quality's still there, and you can play in so many places online. You can get online like CD Baby and all that, and you're distributing to all those places. You don't need a label anymore."

For the full story, please see

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Q. Why do I find some of the melodic themes “playing” in my mind for several days after a concert?

"How a melody becomes an earworm, however, is unclear. A 2001 survey by James J. Kellaris of the University of Cincinnati, a consumer psychologist, found that “music characterized by simplicity, repetitiveness and incongruity with listeners’ expectations is most likely to become ‘stuck.’ ” Up to 98 percent of people will experience a sticky tune, his study suggested, and some people, like musicians, women and the worry-prone, are more susceptible than others. The causes may be psychological or even physical, tied to sound frequencies that resonate in the body."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Telling a story with voices

"'I’m a formerly homeless woman,” said Silva Colvin during the UW women’s choir concert on Tuesday. “I have a home now. After the struggle of pulling your bags everywhere you go and passing by people who just don’t want to be bothered, different things can get to you. I’ve been through all that, and I’m in my right mind. I was offered a bed at Noel House – that’s right, I was offered. That is an honor. To be welcomed, to leave the garbage outside the door, and it won’t come in with you.' Colvin and several other women who use the services from Noel House joined the UW Women’s Choir class, MUSEN 201A, on stage at St. Mark’s Cathedral for their benefit concert, Homeful."

For the full story, please see the UW Daily.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Alex Ross: Time to show our appreciation for classical music

"Last autumn, Barack Obama hosted an evening of classical music at the White House. Beforehand, he said, "Now, if any of you in the audience are newcomers to classical music, and aren't sure when to applaud, don't be nervous. Apparently, President Kennedy had the same problem. He and Jackie held several classical music events here, and more than once he started applauding when he wasn't supposed to. So the social secretary worked out a system where she'd signal him through a crack in the door. Now, fortunately, I have Michelle to tell me when to applaud. The rest of you are on your own." Obama was having fun at the expense of the No Applause Rule, which holds that one must refrain from clapping until all movements of a work have sounded. No aspect of our modern concert ritual causes more bewilderment."

For the full story, please see the Guardian.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition: results

"The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra’s International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition has been won by 31-year-old Latvian, Ainars Rubikis."

For the full story, please see Gramophone.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New at the UW Music Library in February

Check out our new materials list to see what we added to the collection in February! We are also running a trial of Naxos Video Library through March 31st. For more information on the trial, please see our blog post.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Search of Lost Sounds

"You find the denizens sitting silently and waiting in the old library. They look lonely, huddled against the midwinter chill, until they start to speak. All of them are old. Some of them were once noted for their voice and personality, but now they are remembered mainly in obscure pages of history. Some of them are spindly and whispery, others burly and assertive. They used to be companions of famous people. Their intimates included Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Debussy. Which is to say: This library is filled with the pianos great composers wrote for. Instruments like these were etched in the composers' consciousness; they were co-creators of splendid music. Their retirement home lies in a little town in central Massachusetts. They aren't allowed to molder, however—their supervisors keep them active."

For the full story, please see

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Mozart Effect: Nonsense

"So much for “the Mozart effect.” It turns out that what has apparently become a highly lucrative industry for sellers of CDs to parents eager to produce mini geniuses is basically “crap,” according to Glenn Schellenberg, a music-impact research psychologist at the University of Toronto. Schellenberg is among those interviewed for an article in The Los Angeles Times indicating that listening to music, while certainly pleasurable (in most cases), does not affect intelligence. Playing it, however, does."

For the full story, please see Musical America.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The String Quartet, Reinvented

"CREDIT for inventing the string quartet tends to be laid at the feet of Joseph Haydn, that industrious, fecund genius whose life’s work counts among the crowning achievements of the 18th-century Austrian Empire...Credit for intuiting that the medium could be opened wider — in a sense reinventing the string quartet as a vehicle of limitless stylistic breadth — belongs to the violinist David Harrington, who founded the Kronos Quartet in 1973."

For the full story, please see the New York Times.