Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cause The Way You're Steppin' Around / You're Steppin' Out Of Line

Not tone rows exactly, but definitely rows of tones.

"Czardas on 146 bottles"

"400 drums in 1 minute"

(via christoph and haveyouseenthis?!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Melody / It Was A Second Name

If you can't appreciate a 35-year-old man playing Josquin on multi-tracked melodica, then I don't want to know you.

(check out James Howard Young's youtube channel.)
(via metafilter)

Monday, March 21, 2011

People Call Her Sassy / That's Her Attitude

So why was I looking up musical affects mid-semester?

Readers, meet The Detritus Review.
I've been waiting for the right moment to introduce one of my favorite blogs, and this is it.

You know how sometimes you read concert reviews in newspapers and you wonder how someone who clearly knows nothing about music is not only getting paid to write about this Thing You Love The Most, but Is Simultaneously TAKING AWAY JOBS FROM LEGIT AND UNEMPLOYED MUSICOLOGISTS? (I feel strongly about it.)
Anyway: the three bloggers responsible for "Detritus" don't just wonder about these things. This is the mother of all music-criticism-deconstruction blogs, and it is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud no matter where I am (sorry, other library patrons) and to fill my daily snark quota. Maybe yours too?

I'll let it speak for itself: the 3/19/11 post.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Second That Emotion

Musical affects: they used to be kind of a big deal.
Enter equal temperament and all of a sudden they didn't mean so much anymore - but no student is going to get through a music history class without some mention of "emotions associated with individual keys."
On the other hand, very few music students are going to take the time mid-semester to look up which emotion goes with which key (cough cough: I'm guilty) - and that's too bad, because there were some IMAGINATIVE music scholars when it mattered.

According to Schubart: Ab major is all about putrefaction, Db major is a leering key, and f# minor "tugs at passion like a dog biting a dress." And of course our theorists had their differences: Schubart was convinced Eb major was the only key for representing intimacy with God, while Charpentier labeled it "cruel and hard." Oops?

[French] Compare treatises by: Charpentier (1682), Mattheson (1713), Rameau (1722), Schubart (1806)
[Not-so-good English translation]

[English] Schubart's Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkunst ca. 1806

An excellent overview of "Characteristics of Musical Keys"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Is This The Real Life / Is This Just Fantasy?

Fourteen women / fourteen accordions: The Main Squeeze Orchestra.

Quote member Kelly Alba: "You put it on your chest and you wear it right next to your heart. You squeeze it, and it's like a big musical hug."

They also competed on America's Got Talent. America hated it.

[Now, if only the press (I'm looking at you, Village Voice) would stop calling this an "all-girl" orchestra, and if only America's Got Talent would take back comments like "[the (male) director is] kind of like the Hugh Heffner of the accordion world" and "for some reason I thought this was going to be sexy."
Respect and equality, wouldn't that be novel?]

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bum Dadada Bum Bum / Two Bits

And now for something totally mindless. Ha(i)rebrained, would you say?

A Visual Compendium of Notable Haircuts in Popular Music

(roll your cursor over the poster for the zoom)
(via notcot)

Friday, March 11, 2011

You / Light Up My Life

This is...just the coolest.

Dr. Charles Limb
, an otolaryngologist from Johns Hopkins, is conducting experiments trying to get at the neurological basis of musical creativity. Specifically: he put jazz musicians and freestyle rappers in an fMRI machine to learn how activity in the brain changes when musicians improvise v. when they perform memorized material.

I know this TED talk is 17 min, but you can hack it: you're on spring break!
No? Okay fine, here are the results highlights: 10'30" and 15'40". (But it really is worth watching the whole thing. And besides: what a charismatic otolaryngologist!)

(via metafilter)