Analysis

Americana Arcana: What is the Most-Performed American Classical Music?

Bradley BambargerPhoto by Melissa Richard There is no doubt that American composers have come a long way since Dvorák admonished them to stop mimicking Europe and come up with a distinctly native form of expression. Yet determining just who are the most popularly successful (i.e., the most frequently performed) American composers on their home soil […]

Whatever Happened To Supermarket Music?

Joseph Lanza Whatever happened to supermarket music? There was a time – not very long ago – when one could stroll through the aisles of an A&P or a Safeway while violins, pianos, guitars, harps and trumpets played soft instrumental versions of old standards and current hits. These ceiling serenades offered the musical equivalent to […]

Intellectual Property: Whose Song is it Anyway?

Heidi WalesonPhoto by Melissa Richard Intellectual property has been a locus of debate for centuries. The difficulties of establishing standards for its ownership and exploitation stem from the fact that such property is not tangible, but rather the expression of the human mind and spirit. What is more, most creations of this kind can only […]

Smoke and Mirrors: Mr. Smith Returns to Washington

Photo of Ken Smithin front of “Smoke Free” (1999){cigarette butts and wood, 45″x67″}by John Salvest(courtesy Rudolph Projects)Photo by Melissa Richard A former political journalist turned music critic offers up a HyperHistory uncovering “smoke and mirrors” politics in the American classical music business. My name is Ken. I’m a recovering addict. I can trace my awareness […]

BETWEEN U S: A HyperHistory of American Microtonalists

Twelve-tone equal temperament, as this common tuning is called, is a 20th-century phenomenon, a blandly homogenous tuning increasingly imposed on all the world’s musics in the name of scientific progress. In short, twelve-tone equal temperament is to tuning what the McDonald’s hamburger is to food.

On the Money: New Music Funding in the United States

Theodore WiprudPhoto by Melissa Richard Think “new music,” and chances are, whatever you mean by “new music” does not earn its keep. Fortunately, there is more to musical life than earned income. That’s because in the United States there exists a highly developed world of nonprofit institutions, and a tax code that encourages their support […]

American Contraband: Alternative Rock and American Experimental Music

Jason Gross and Steve SmithPhoto by Melissa Richard Much as it might bewilder major record companies and fundamentalist critics, rock isn’t only background music for TV commercials and cherished momentos for teenybopper spend-a-thons. It’s a lot more (and a lot less). About five years after Elvis started strumming “That’s Alright Mama” for Sam Philips, Buddy […]

Don’t Quit Your Day Job. Yet…

Kenneth GoldsmithPhoto by Melissa Richard Conventional wisdom says: Don’t quit your day job yet. Stick it out until you are sure that the opportunities and cash is plentiful enough. Then quit. It could be a long time. Let’s face it: day jobs suck. Or do they? I’ve recently spoken to 5 composers who have not […]

Page 17 of 19« First1516171819