Wednesday, January 16, 2013


  • There is a new classical music online magazine from the UK called Sinfini Music. Unfortunately it looks like one of the more ADHD fashion magazines and uses as a motto "Cutting Through Classical" so I'm sure it will be quite successful while at the same time offering very little actual content.
  • Here is an article on some research into what happens when you start to learn how to play an instrument very young as opposed to starting later. If you start before the age of seven you can actually rewire the corpus callosum for greater speed and synchronisation of the hands. This doesn't necessarily make you a better musician, but it probably means you will have a better and more reliable technique. I started very late, around age sixteen, which probably put a limit on how much virtuosity I was capable of. If you work very hard, you can still become a very good player.
  • If you want an introduction to the aesthetics of music, this might be a good place to start. This may give you an idea of the approach:
Music supplies us with no definite images of nature, as painting and sculpture do, and with no ideas, as poetry does. It contains feelings, but no meanings. Music offers us no background for emotion, no objects upon which it may be directed, no story, no mise en scene. It supplies us with the feeling tones of things and events, but not with the things or events themselves. It moves wholly in a world of its own, a world of pure feeling, with no embodiment save only sound. It may express terror, but not terror over this or that; joy, but whether the joy that comes from sight of the morning or of the beloved, it cannot tell. In one brief space of time, it may arouse despair, hope, triumph–but all over nothing.Yet–and this is the central paradox of music–despite its abstractness, nay, because of this very quality, it remains the most personal and intimate of the arts. For, itself offering no images of things and events to which we may attach the feelings which it arouses, we supply our own. We fill in the impersonal form of musical feeling with the concrete emotions of our own lives; it is our strivings, our hopes and fears, which music expresses.

  •  I'm preparing to do a post taking a fresh look at Schoenberg, Webern and Berg because they are historically very important. If you want a very concise introduction, you can find it here.
And now, for the traditional musical selection. Here is "Nacht" (Night) from Seven Early Songs by Alban Berg (1885 - 1935)

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