Here's an edited transcript of The Classical Gabfest Podcast (Episode 10) where I was interviewed about Slave Orchestras from November 2020. I've linked relevant content/sources within the text and the podcast link for the episode has other related links listed. The interview is the third segment and starts at about minute 00:34:12 and ends at … Continue reading Slave Orchestras: Classical Gabfest Interview Transcript
US Orchestras and Large Ensembles
The Orchestra as an institution is constantly evolving and taking many different forms all around the world, but like the White Male Classical Music Canon, we tend to only see canonical ensemble types and treat them, like the repertoire canon, as universal and neutral.
Classical Music and its Slave Orchestras
It was just five years ago that Dr. David Hunter revealed his discovery that Handel repeatedly invested in the Royal African Company, a slave trading company in Britain. A year later, Musicologist Hannah Templeton wrote that some of Leopold Mozart's patrons were likely slavers or heavily invested in plantations in the West Indies. In that … Continue reading Classical Music and its Slave Orchestras
There are covers and then, there are Covers
I do a lot of covers. In a sense, I spend most of my musical life doing covers. Playing a Beethoven Symphony? Cover. Playing a 14th century Turkish Mevlevi song? Cover. Playing a piece I wrote? Cover. Wait...what? "But you're playing an original tune, not a cover," you might say. Well, as I've been saying … Continue reading There are covers and then, there are Covers
New Music for Kids!
A recent piece by Kenneth D. Froelich at NewMusicBox has spurred some interesting discussion on my facebook timeline here. I posted it with the following quote from the piece: Then she played Steve Reich for them. The response was, in a word, astonishing. The students began tapping along and became actively engaged in their listening. … Continue reading New Music for Kids!
on singing while playing the cello (part 5: singing in multiple languages)…
One of the questions I often get after shows is how I manage to sing in so many languages. Even for those who do regularly sing this can seem like a herculean task, but really it isn't. Singing while playing doesn't come naturally to me and I've never had the type of training that most … Continue reading on singing while playing the cello (part 5: singing in multiple languages)…
Are music schools serving the needs of its students?
I really do plan on getting back to the Aging of Orchestra Audiences issue--really, I do! But I'd been having a stimulating and thought-provoking dialogue with some folks over at Eric Edberg's blog in a post titled, Orchestra Audiences: Aging and Dying Out, or Just Shrinking? Something I hadn't thought about in some time, but … Continue reading Are music schools serving the needs of its students?
Modern Cello Techniques
Modern Cello Techniques is a fantastic new website dedicated to extended cello techniques by Chicago based cellist, Russell Rolen. Of special interest to my blog readers who also are interested in Arabic and Turkish music, there is a section on Quartertones and a page with some samples from usage of them by Western classical … Continue reading Modern Cello Techniques
on Klingon weddings and playing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy circuit
So, as I mentioned in the previous post, there is an embarrassment of riches as far as performing options are concerned, if you're willing to think outside the box. The past few years I've been playing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy circuit. I hesitate to call it the "Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention circuit" if only because some of the best … Continue reading on Klingon weddings and playing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy circuit
Why bellydancers, anyway? (part 3) “confessions of a bellydance musician”
This one is four years coming. I can't even remember if I ever posted the "part 3" or not, but was considering blogging about some things relating to being a being a dancers' musician and thought I'd look up the blogs I'd done regarding this. I still can't believe I'd blogged those over four years … Continue reading Why bellydancers, anyway? (part 3) “confessions of a bellydance musician”
the economics of underserved audiences (part 3): Baumol’s Curse and Liberation from Local Arts Organizations
William J. Baumol and William G. Bowen first described what is sometimes called Baumol's cost disease in the Performing Arts in 1966. The gist of the cost disease (which is just as applicable to sports, hospitals, and other fields where human labor cannot be replaced) is that all things considered, the labor cost in the … Continue reading the economics of underserved audiences (part 3): Baumol’s Curse and Liberation from Local Arts Organizations
Audience Stereotypes, Gender and Race in Classical Music
One of the outstanding things about the Classical Music field in the US is the relative gender equality you'll find in the field. Looking across the pond at some of the world class Orchestras (e.g. Berlin Philharmonic) and we can see that in many ways it is still a struggle to open up the field … Continue reading Audience Stereotypes, Gender and Race in Classical Music
Just a quick note. Paul Katz has started a website titled CelloBello which is a fantastic resource for all things cello. I watched all of his videos regarding bowing technique and it's so nice to know that what I've been teaching my students is something that is accepted as the "norm" with this … Continue reading CelloBello
“The Cello in Britain: A Technical and Social History”
The titled of this blog post is an article published by Brenda Neece in The Galpin Society Journal (Volume 56, June, 2003). I had downloaded it some time ago (JSTOR is my friend!) but in between lessons yesterday I decided to skim the contents. Some very interesting tidbits here, and I had already learned a … Continue reading “The Cello in Britain: A Technical and Social History”
Wednesday Teaching Reflections
As I mentioned in my previous post I spend most of the afternoon and early evening giving private cello lessons. Wednesdays are much the same though I do start and end a bit later in the day (roughly 4:30 - 9ish). I first started giving private lessons while I was still in high school. Occasionally, … Continue reading Wednesday Teaching Reflections
Monday Cello Coaching Reflections
Mondays are usually a cello coaching day for me--at least during the k-12 school year. Nearly every afternoon I coach the cello section of the Floyd Central High School 7th period Orchestra. This is a high school group that has gone every year for 21 (or maybe 22 or 23? I lost count) years in … Continue reading Monday Cello Coaching Reflections
The Cello in the Non-Western World
This was the title of a talk I gave for the performance class at IU Southeast (where I currently teach) last Tuesday, 02 February 2011. The short description given by Erich Stem, who had invited me to give the presentation, stated "present[ing] music for the cello and performance approaches with works representing different cultures" which was … Continue reading The Cello in the Non-Western World
I was tempted to call this the "Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D Major Project" but thought that might incline me to have an end point for the project. As it stands, what I've decided to do (since I've decided I should go ahead and do this performance of Mahler 1 with the IU Southeast … Continue reading Mahler Project