Analysis

More Song, Less Art(ifice): The New Breed of Art Song

Enter the artsongwriters! They are merging the benefits of their classical training with the tools and frameworks of pop music. But don’t mistake what they’re doing as “breaking down barriers between genres”—these composers are developing a new and unique style of creative songwriting that does not fit comfortably into any pre-existing genre.

Charles Ives’s Approach to Intonation

It is generally thought that, except for a few pieces with specifically notated quartertones, the remainder of Ives’s music was conceived for conventional twelve-tone equal temperament. However, there’s a great deal of evidence in Ives’s scores and writings suggesting a general tuning for his music that can best be described as Extended Pythagorean.

In Search of Julius Eastman

Three CDs of African-American postminimalist Julius Eastman’s music have just been released by New World Records, marking the end of a seven-year search to reassemble the composer’s scattered scores and archival recordings.

Across The Universe

Ives wrote that the themes and general plan for the Universe Symphony are quite clearly indicated in the sketches he left behind. But deciphering those sketches has been one of American music’s greatest detective sagas.

Waiting for Hello

On-hold music is a strange Janus-faced beast. Neither background nor foreground, this forced-listening netherworld sounds like a perfect spot for art to intervene.

Composer, Interrupted

A composer takes a step away from his own work to examine how the act of creation fits into the life of an individual and its impact on the surrounding artistic, cultural, and economic environment.

The Musical Ear

How does the ear decode the acoustic information that we receive, and what can we learn about music from an understanding of how the ear and the brain respond to sound?