What (Musical) Kids Compose Over The Summer, And Why


“This is a piece that reflects the life of a G, F, or A type star. This pulls together two major interests of mine: astronomy and composition. This piece is for a middle-sized orchestra with the addition of saxophones, but a few future projects I had in mind would be smaller chamber works. Specifically, I wanted to write a piece about the western United States.”

How Dolly Parton – And Dollywood – *Are* America


“Parton’s skill at being many things to many people accounts for the diversity of her fan base, capacious enough to hold drag queens and the sorts of hard-core emotional supplicants depicted in the documentary For the Love of Dolly, as well as the more mainstream country fans who surrounded us at her parade, which kept going long after Parton had fled the scene.”

Why ’78 Records Aren’t Like Any Other Recording

Do Not Sell at Any Price.

“The way that 78s are nothing like LPs has to do with the music recorded on them. 78s are often the only remaining example of a recorded song. Since metal masters were usually not made of 78 recordings, as Petrusich puts it, “if the records themselves break, or are crammed into a flood-prone basement, or tossed into a dumpster, then that particular song is gone, forever.” It took a couple of chapters to really sink in for me. But think about that for a second: There are amazing songs out there that no one living today has ever heard, or will ever hear.”

Why Are Popular Songs More Or Less The Same Length?


“Since 1990, it seems that the average song length has sort of stabilized around 250 seconds (over 4 minutes). Maybe that’s because humans prefer 4 minute songs. Clearly there is no technological limit to song length anymore, right? So, did new technologies influence song length?”

We Could Honor Artists By Selling Detroit’s Art?


“A good deal of the outrage directed at the idea of selling off art from Detroit’s museum is a backlash against the vague idea that doing so would mean rejecting art as a whole, or would amount to a declaration that the residents of Detroit do not deserve to enjoy art. On the contrary. I can think of no higher expression of Van Gogh’s artistic worth than the fact that Detroit could—with the sale of a single one of his paintings—provide water to all of its citizens.”

Convincing People To Come See Your Show, Even If It’s Free

free show

“That the majority of people don’t go to the theatre is fine: it’s a free choice. But when too many people think it’s not for them, that’s a problem. They would have an amazing time if they just rocked up one night.” So this artistic director went to a supermarket parking lot to talk people into coming, one at a time.

British Dance Council Seeks To Ban Same Sex Ballroom Dance

Same-sex ballroom dancers the Sugar Dandies

“The British Dance Council is to consider proposals that would define a dance partnership as having to consist between a man and “a lady” on 21 July, just before a major competition in Bournemouth. If it is passed, it will ban same-sex couples from mainstream contests, regulating them to same-sex-only categories.”

Scholarly Journal Retracts 60 Articles In Review Scandal


“The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published. You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

Report: French Museums Are Badly Run


“The preliminary document, released Wednesday after eight months of research and ahead of a full report due at the end of the year, cites several shocking oversights; for example, the Louvre is critiqued for storing Classical sculptures in a subterranean chamber that could not be properly evacuated in the event of an overflow of the Seine river.”

Is Arts Council England Penalizing The English National Opera For Being Adventurous?


“We are told that ENO is being penalised for failing to meet audience targets. But a theatre devoted to artistic adventure is bound to risk occasional box-office failure: it was precisely to buttress such eventualities that the subsidy-principle was established. If we are back to measuring artistic success by the old bums-on-seats philosophy, then we are truly heading back to the dark ages.”

These Days We Map Everything. Here’s What We Lose By Doing That


“We are all cartographic obsessives these days. It’s great in some ways, but it also feeds into the unhealthy situation in which if we don’t know exactly where we are and where everything else is in relationship to us, we start prodding our screens and thinking something is amiss. This is profoundly disempowering, for it suggests that without constant expert advice, we would all be driving in circles or off cliffs.”

Seymour Barab, 93, Cellist And Composer Of Whimsical Chamber Operas

seymour barab

While he did write serious stage works based on Dostoevsky and de Maupassant, “he was still more widely known for lighter one-act works whose accessibility, tunefulness and economy of scale made them among the most frequently performed operas in the world … perennial favorites of college, semiprofessional and regional companies.”