Analysis

Appropriate Behavior

The value of bootlegs, copies, forgeries, tributes, covers, pastiches, variations, quotations, samples, rip-offs, hijacks, plagiarisms, and recontextualizations collide and crisscross in a potholed web that means many things to many people.

Humor in Music

Daniel Felsenfeld Paul Bowles wrote, in his autobiography, of watching his friend John Cage listening, for the first time, to an acetate of one of his own string quartets—and laughing inconsolably. For years, we have been swallowing Cage and the PR machine around him as a truly serious presence, as a composer in the great […]

Saying No to Yes

Philip KennicottCourtesy of The Washington Post When I was a teenager, I didn’t have much use for popular culture and especially popular music. It didn’t speak to me and it didn’t offer any particularly useful clues to negotiating adolescence. I didn’t turn to music for rebellion (I got my rebellion elsewhere) because popular music didn’t […]

Kiss and Tell

Steve SmithPhoto by Andrew Kochera Peter Criss taught me to love Haydn. That remark deserves explanation, of course. To begin with, Peter Criss—neé Peter Crisscoula—was the original drummer for the loud, lewd, and garishly painted rock band Kiss. And it was my adolescent discovery of that band that started my long, ongoing relationship with music. […]

Got a Minute? A Few Words on Music in 60 Seconds or Less

with additional reporting by Frank J. Oteri No one has enough time to do anything these days. Early 21st century life is a world of information overload. Channel surfing has become an aesthetic onto itself. An oft-cited criticism of classical music is that symphonies, operas, etc. are just too long. Many classical radio stations these […]

Taking Sides: Patrolling the Line Between Pop and Classical

Music that melds diverse styles and “defies classification” is almost its own cliché these days. Yet no matter how many boundary-smashing genres we add to the ever-expanding list, the fence between pop and classical seems to be well patrolled and holding strong. Even for those who listen to and enjoy all kinds of music, that […]