Analysis

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 […]

It’s About Time

Matthew TierneyPhoto by Melissa Richard When musics from all cultures of the world are considered, rhythm stands out as most essential. Unfortunately, rhythm, despite its musical importance, has been less studied than melody and harmony, the history of Western music being primarily a history of pitch. This neglect has been especially unusual because with music […]

Fit To Print: A “Hyperhistory” of the Current State of American Music Publishing

John RobinsonPhoto by Melissa Richard The English verb “to publish” is derived from the Latin verb publicare, meaning “to make available.” Most people think that music publishing is similar to book publishing, and many aspects are parallel. Selection: Publishers of both books and music employ editors who sift through countless submissions by aspiring writers and […]

America’s Most Fascinating Jazz Clubs

Lara PellegrinelliPhoto by Melissa Richard One minute, you’re just sitting around in some dark, dank, tiny, crowded, smoke-filled basement room with a drink in your hand; the next, you’re intently focused, completely absorbed, magically transported into the light of improvisation. That, in a nutshell, is the power of jazz, a power which moves listeners and […]

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