Music the artform and artists

In the Footsteps of Alan Lomax: The Artists Behind the Music

If you know any of Aaron Copland's music, then you probably know "Hoedown," the finale of "Rodeo," the score that Mr. Copland wrote in 1942 for Agnes de Mille's ever-popular ballet about love among the cowpokes. "Hoedown" is a high-stepping orchestral fantasy based on "Bonaparte's Retreat," a 19th-century fiddle tune that Mr. Copland ran across in "Our Singing Country," a 1941 book co-edited by Alan Lomax, the celebrated folk-song collector. The version of "Bonaparte's Retreat" found in "Our Singing Country" was transcribed from a recording made by Mr. Lomax on a 1937 trip to Kentucky for the Library of Congress. It's a note-for-note rendering of the way the song was played by a fiddler named Bill Stepp. Every time you hear a symphony orchestra perform "Hoedown," you hear the ghost of Mr. Stepp's supremely virtuosic playing.


Source : The Wall Street Journal

Treatment With Fungi Makes a Modern Violin Sound Like a Stradivarius

A good violin depends not only on the expertise of the violin maker, but also on the quality of the wood that is used. The Swiss wood researcher Professor Francis W. M. R. Schwarze (Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St. Gallen, Switzerland) has succeeded in modifying the wood for a violin through treatment with special fungi. This treatment alters the acoustic properties of the instrument, making it sound indistinguishably similar to a Stradivarius.


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Paralympics closing ceremony review: an emotional and fiery finale

Six weeks after Bradley Wiggins rang in a golden summer that has exceeded all expectations, Coldplay have soundtracked an emotional final extinguishing of the flame by two of the biggest names of the Paralympics.

Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock were as much of a draw as musical guests Jay-Z and Rihanna when they stepped forward to finally put out the flame that has burned brightly throughout both Games.


Source : guardian

London Jazz Festival 2012 full programme announced

The London Jazz festival today announces the lineup for its 20th festival with over 250 shows at over 50 venues across the city.

The festival, which runs from 9 to 18 November, will host some of jazz's biggest stars, including Herbie Hancock playing his first ever UK solo show, the 82-year-old Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea and Jan Garbarek. Younger talent will be amply represented by the likes of double bassist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Robert Glasper and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire.


Source : guardian

Stalker Festival at Kultuurikatel opens a gate to the power plant

In today’s Kultuurikatel Andrei Tarkovski filmed the key scene of his cult movie „Stalker“ – entering the zone. The gate of the zone was the threshold into a mystical world where a person could fulfil his most hidden wishes. This symbol of the stalker or the adventurous seeker lives on in Kultuurikatel as Stalker Festival, where the visitor will experience unexpected situations, sense the presence of the future and feel the special atmosphere of the power plant of adventurous culture.


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Julien Weiss Discusses Traditional and Contemporary Arab Music

In 1976, a 23-year-old French classical guitarist listened to a record of classical Arab music, fell in love with it, and dedicated the rest of his life to studying this art. Born and raised in Paris, Julien Weiss, of Swiss and Alsatian heritage, has become one of the few accomplishedqanun players in the world, having studied with masters from throughout the Arab world.


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Iraqi Traditional Music Revisited in a War Era

As Iraq makes daily news coverage for the rapidly progressing political events many are concerned about the preservation of traditional Iraqi arts. Among them is the uniquely Iraqi music genre called Maqam Baghdadi, a style of singing distinguished from the rest of the Arab World in the performance, composition, and instrumentation.


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Creating their own music

The British Library was alive with noise on a quiet Sunday morning, with the children waiting for Jessica Morwood and Daniel Ship’s arrival. Almost 25 excited children from the age of seven to 12 were brought in by young parents willing to sacrifice their Sunday morning, while their wards were given an overview of unusual musical instruments from different countries and were taught how musical sound is made.


Source : The

Celebrating Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s 50th Season

“Thank you, celli,” Marin Alsop said in her understated way when she finally took the podium at the penultimate concert of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s 50th season. Somehow it felt entirely appropriate at this festival, which is unconventional in so many other ways, that the cello section had interrupted the orchestra’s tuning by barging onstage wearing party hats and blowing party favors, with a banner marking the anniversary.


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