Did you ever leave an opera performance wondering why the singers use so much vibrato? Or a symphony, wondering who decided where on stage the orchestra members should sit, or why they tune their instruments to an oboe rather than an electronic tuner? Why is Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture played on the 4th of July? And how does a composer choose what key to compose in? In Who Knew?: Answers to Questions about Classical Music You Never Thought to Ask, master music educator Robert A. Cutietta provides lucid answers to these and more than 140 other questions submitted by listeners to his popular weekly radio program.
Opera Acts explores a wealth of new historical material about singers in the late nineteenth century and challenges the idea that this was a period of decline for the opera singer. In detailed case studies of four figures – the late Verdi baritone Victor Maurel; Bizet’s first Carmen, Célestine Galli-Marié; Massenet’s muse of the 1880s and’90s, Sibyl Sanderson; and the early Wagner star Jean de Reszke.
In a career that spanned five decades, Prince really did change the world. After making some of most inventive albums of the 80s – including 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign’O’The Times – he turned his attention to redefining his role in the music industry, changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol, declaring war on Warner Bros, and leading the internet revolution. When he died, on April 21 2016, the world lost one of the few artists who could truly claim to be called a genius.
This volume presents a unique study of war songs created during and after World War II, known in Russia as the “Great Patriotic War”. The most popular war songs, such as “Katyusha”, “The Sacred War”, “Dark Night”, “My Moscow”, “In the Dugout”, “Victory Day”, provide illuminating insights into the musical culture of the former Soviet Union and modern Russia. In the year of the 70th anniversary of victory in the war, the book studies the cultural heritage of famous war songs from a new perspective, exploring the historical background of their creation and analysing their lyrics as part of Russian cultural heritage.
In Experiencing Jazz: A Listener’s Companion, writer, teacher, and renowned jazz drummer Michael Stephans offers a much-needed survey in the art of listening to and enjoying this dynamic, ever-changing art form. More than mere entertainment, jazz provides a pleasurable and sometimes dizzying listening experience with an extensive range in structure and form, from the syncopated swing of big bands to the musical experimentalism of small combos.
Biography of one of the leading figures of Argentine tango, Carlos Gardel.
Les stéréotypes sur les fans sont encombrés de jugements négatifs : ils seraient victimes d’une pathologie des sociétés de masse. Bien loin des images héritées de Beatlemania, la rencontre avec les fans d’aujourd’hui fait découvrir un monde passionnant et sensible.
Now a byword for beauty, Verdi’s operas were far from universally acclaimed when they reached London in the second half of the nineteenth century. Why did some critics react so harshly? Who were they, and what biases and prejudices animated them? When did their antagonistic attitude change? And why did opera managers continue to produce Verdi’s works? Massimo Zicari’s Verdi in Victorian London reconstructs the reception of Verdi’s operas in London from 1844, when a first critical account was published in the pages of The Athenaeum, to 1901, when Verdi’s death received extensive tribute in The Musical Times.
How do keyboards make music playable? Drawing on theories of media, systems, and cultural techniques, Keys to Play spans Greek myth and contemporary Japanese digital games to chart a genealogy of musical play and its animation via improvisation, performance, and recreation. As a paradigmatic digital interface, the keyboard forms a field of play on which the book’s diverse objects of inquiry-from clavichords to PCs and eighteenth-century musical dice games to the latest rhythm-action titles-enter into analogical relations. Remapping the keyboard’s topography by way of Mozart and Super Mario, who head an expansive cast of historical and virtual actors, Keys to Play invites readers to unlock ludic dimensions of music that are at once old and new.
Carbon dioxide. This small book aims to open a door. It is an experiment in thinking about an object made extremely familiar to many people across the world in recent years through science, the news, governments, and public discourses. One of the first names given to carbon dioxide was spiritus silvestre or wild spirit, a moniker that has fallen out of favor. This experiment is a chance to hold what we think we know about this object in our hand and ponder our own knowledge for a while by looking at it in one particular historical context long after more modern names became familiar.