Articles

Sonic Uprising: Songs for Freddie Gray

Baltimore Uprising

Creative work in a time and place of crisis is essential to a community coping with tragedy and can become a necessary and powerful agent of change. If we truly believe that black lives matter, it’s essential that we commit to hearing what their voices have to say.

To Stream or Not to Stream? That is the Wrong Question.

do the same thing

If you’re in the business of making and selling records, then streaming means your job has changed, and it’s not as simple as opting in or opting out. Whether you want to stream or not, things are different now. The one thing you mustn’t do is ignore it.

The View from the Bottom of the Heap

A long-haired Charlie Morrow leaning at a table and surrounded by a lot of electronic equipment

The composer faces a future more uncertain than that of anyone, except perhaps the poet. When school days come to an end, the composer mortality rate—not to mention that of their all too perishable idealism—is close to 100 per cent. I am one of the many in that uncertain middle ground trying to survive, pen in hand.

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade? A Notation Software Update

Sibelius 7

There have been big changes in the notation software market in recent years, and a lot of people are confused about what is going on and what the future might hold. So here are a few updates (if not upgrades) from the land of music notation software.

Singing It—Generations in Jazz

Jen Shyu, Fay Victor and Sheila Jordan

What a jazz singer does with a melody is every bit as compositional as an improvised instrumental solo, and not only when those singers are scat singing. Over the course of the next three weeks, three extraordinary jazz vocalists who come from three very different backgrounds and span three generations—Sheila Jordan, Fay Victor, and Jen Shyu—will tell the story of why they sing, what they sing, and perhaps most importantly, why they sing what they sing.

The Opposite of Brain Candy—Decoding Black MIDI

BlackMIDIbanner

“Black MIDI” refers to the moments in a piece where the notes, if displayed on a traditional two-stave piano score, are so dense that there appears to be just a mass of black noteheads. The increased density of notes also affects the computer, which is sometimes unable to process all of the notes within a particularly complex section. The goal of Black MIDI is to approach this processing failure without actually crossing that line.

Musings on the Media

tv cameras

Composers and performers today look to the media (whatever they think that might be) as a conduit between their art and the general public. As digital media and social networks continue to evolve, both the proximity and the fixed boundaries between creators and the media have been affected.

In search of Musical Integration Between the United States and the Rest of the Americas

A photo of the street sign showing the intersection of Grand Street and Avenue of the Americas with a rusty plaque of the USA on top

Today, across South America, one finds dozens of tourists from all over the world (including many from the United States) who wish to explore the richness of the region. But within the world of notated music, the situation is the opposite. In fact, we can no longer talk about Latin American as a single unit, given the lack of information that exists between its different countries.

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