A (Female) Bach Scholar Takes Down The Anna-Magdalena-Wrote-The-Cello-Suites Theory For Good

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Ruth Tatlow: “My decision to undertake this analysis of Written by Mrs Bach was not taken lightly. I had to weigh up the pain of writing critically about the well-meant research effort of an acquaintance, against the temporary relief but longer-term discomfort of remaining silent. I offer this analysis in the hope that it might help clarify some of the confusions and defuse some of the widely-felt frustrations.” (pdf)

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Why Are Non-Musicians Running Our Great Opera Houses?

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“Sure, some of them will have worked in opera houses for quite a while, learning the ropes on their way up the greasy pole. But I bet I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of opera directors who are musicians in any shape or form. I’ve certainly met very few who can actually read a score.”

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Eight Effective Ways To Practice Music

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“A group of researchers led by Robert Duke of The University of Texas at Austin conducted a study several years ago to see if they could tease out the specific practice behaviors that distinguish the best players and most effective learners.”

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How Musicians Conquer ‘Unplayable’ Works

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“Classical composers have for centuries been dreaming up pieces so physically challenging they have initially been considered beyond the realm of human capability – until someone comes along and exerts such superhuman effort that they raise the bar for everyone else.”

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€50,000 Karajan Music Prize To Period-Performance Star Thomas Hengelbrock

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“Hengelbrock is founder and director of the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor and the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, each dedicated to historically informed performance. … The annual award, presented by the Festpielhaus Baden-Baden in Germany, … [rquires] that the cash sum be used by the recipient to help further the careers of young musicians.”

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Why Sampling Music Is A Creative Act

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“Among sampling musicians, discovery has the same creative status as invention. DJs always want to play something that listeners don’t already know but that they will immediately like, and hip-hop producers have inherited this attitude. In a world saturated with recordings, creating more music ex nihilo is not the valuable service to humanity that it once was. I make sample-based music because I feel like it’s more worthwhile to identify existing sounds that have been overlooked, to bring them to fresh ears, and to give them fresh meaning in new contexts.”

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How Do Young Musicians’ Brains Develop?

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Learning a sport develops gross motor skills “like how to kick a ball,” while music training develops fine motor skills, “like the way you draw a line. They’re complementary. Both are necessary and important.”

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This Week’s Copyright Ruling Against Pharrell Was Based On Sheet Music? In 2015?

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“Owing to the specifics of copyright law, the jury was instructed to base its decision on the sheet music, a fact that reflects how inadequate copyright law is when it comes to contemporary songwriting and production practices. In 2015, the arrangement of notes on a sheet of paper is among the least integral parts of pop music creation.”

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Barbara Hannigan: Gender Is Not A Trait Of Conducting An Orchestra

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“Conducting is one of those few final frontiers in which there is a dearth of women. For me, though, the issue is much more complicated than a call of “We need more women conductors!” It is musicianship, psychology and technical skill all bound together in a rare type of leadership that is elusive. It is neither male nor female.”

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What Are We Really Losing As The Sheet Music Business Dies?

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“There are a few publishers that understand the problem and are adjusting in the way that recording companies adjusted to the MP3 revolution. The problem is that many of them are trying to cling to their old models as they see their income dwindling. This is a tragedy because no one will produce this high-quality type of musical research that their editions will produce.”

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Pharrell and Robin Thicke Lose Plagiarism Case – Why This Is A Blow To Creativity

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“While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. Blurred Lines was created from the heart and minds of Pharrell, Robin and T.I. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”

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San Diego Opera Names A New Leader

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He is David Bennett, director of the adventurous Gotham Opera in New York. “In New York, Bennett helped build an international reputation for Gotham based on its acclaimed presentations of largely unknown operas in nontraditional and alternative venues.”

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Thomas Dausgaard To Be Next Chief Conductor Of BBC Scottish Symphony

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“After all the fuss and fanfare of last week’s appointment of Simon Rattle as new music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC SSO’s announcement is a veritable coup-de-théâtre of understatement. True, Dausgaard isn’t the household name that Rattle is, and the BBCSSO isn’t saddled with the hype and politics of London’s flagship orchestra. But it would be wrong to mistake the unshowy Dausgaard for any kind of musical lightweight.”

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Evelyn Glennie And Emmylou Harris Win 2015 Polar Music Prize

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“Dame Evelyn, who played at the opening of the London 2012 Olympics, was the first person in history to have a full-time career as a solo percussionist. … Harris, from Birmingham, Alabama, has recorded more than 25 albums over four decades and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.”

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