Analysis

Minimal Music, Maximal Impact

Minimalism hit me in my teens like a bolt of fate. About 1972 (I was 16), Steve Achternacht on radio station WRR-FM in Dallas played Terry Riley’s In C on the air. His janglingly repetitive octave C’s started up (which we learned years later had been Steve Reich’s suggestion to hold the piece together), and I didn’t know how to react. This was crazy. All that pulsating repetition gave me a headache, every time I listened. But I kept listening anyway.

Stars, Stripes, Batons and Circuits: American Music For Orchestra and Electronics

Elliott SchwartzPhoto courtesy Ohio State Universi The launch of the American Symphony Orchestra’s “Orchestra Tech” Initiative this October seems an appropriate occasion to survey the history of American music for orchestra and electronics. Before beginning, however, we need to define our terms and set boundaries. Specifically, three words–”American,” “electronic” and “orchestra”–can be, and have been, […]

The MP3 Phenomena and Innovative Music

Reprinted with the permission of Judy Dunaway. All rights reserved. (The following paper was presented at the Institut für Neue Musik und Musikerziehung in Darmstadt, Germany on April 9, 2001. Since then, many of the topics discussed have undergone considerable changes (most notably the corporate assimilation of MP3.com and Napster), and certainly more changes will […]

The MP3 Phenomena and Innovative Music Webliography

Books: Bettig, Ronald V. 1996. Copyrighting Culture: The Political Economy of Intellectual Property. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Hacker, Scot. 2000. MP3: The Definitive Guide. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly & Associates. Hull, Geoffrey P. 1998. The Recording Industry. Boston : Allyn and Bacon. Rathbone, Andy. 1999. MP3 for Dummies. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide. Focus Groups: […]

Age: Does It Matter?

D.C. Culbertson over the yearsFinal photo by Mark Longaker, others unknown By D.C. Culbertson© 2001 NewMusicBox “Act your age!” “Age is nothing but a number.” “With age comes wisdom.” “He looks good for his age.” People talk a lot about age. They speak of golden years, midlife crises, middle-age spread, callow youth, being young at […]

The Asian Connection

Iris BrooksPhoto by Kevin Misevis, courtesy Iris Brooks As both a musician and writer I have been drawn to Asia like a magnet for many years. It is not merely the exotic sounds of the hypnotic instruments that lure me in, but a more all-pervasive aesthetic, incorporating space and grace in the sounds and intent […]

Appropriate Conduct? The Maestro in America in the Year 2001

Brian WisePhoto by Melissa Richard As American orchestras come to terms with dwindling, aging audiences, music directors are increasingly called upon to roll up their sleeves and develop bolder, more inventive ways of awakening the public’s appetite for orchestral music. The image of the Great Maestro – the heroic, omnipotent and often tyrannical conjurer who […]

The Form Without a Name: American Music Theater

Barry DroginPhoto by Lindsay Drogin Here’s a frustrating parlor game: Come up with a term for the form that includes the operas of Gian Carlo Menotti, the musicals of Leonard Bernstein, the dance-theater of Meredith Monk, the music-theater of Robert Ashley, and such hard to classify works as Porgy and Bess, Four Saints in Three […]