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A SUMMARY OF MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES.  I’m a big fan of Spotify.

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FOR FACULTY MEMBERS WHO CONTRIBUTE TO PUBLIC PENSIONS: 85% of pensions could fail in 30 years. “Bridgewater set up a sophisticated model to simulate many of the possible market environments to see how they would affect public pension’s [sic] resources. In 20% of those scenarios, public pensions run out of money in 20 years. And in 80% of the scenarios, public pensions run out of money within 50 years, Bridgewater says.”  Of course, pensions can fix this problem by increasing contributions or cutting benefits over the long term, and these are only projections.  Nonetheless, if you do contribute to a public pension (like me), have a backup plan.

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I IMAGINE THIS WILL BE MUCH DISPUTED, BUT IT’S HARD TO ARGUE WITH A SCIENTIFIC STUDY: In Blind Test, Soloists Like New Violins Over Old.

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FRANK PESCI on why it is so hard to sing in tune: “Here’s a more drastic example: the ‘F’ below A4 vibrates at 349.228 Hz on our imaginary piano. The interval between this F and A4 is a Major Third. Just Intonation tells us that the ratio between the frequencies of these two pitches should be 5/4, or (349.228 Hz x 5)/4 = 436.536 Hz, which is significantly different from 440.000 Hz.”  This is one reason conductors stress the importance of getting away from the piano as much as possible.

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MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS HAS BEEN named as a professor at USC starting Fall 2015.  It is a huge boon for the University to hire such a big name.  The press release does not say whether MTT is leaving any of his current positions, but he’s pretty busy already: “In addition to being the longtime music director of the San Francisco Symphony, he also is the principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and the founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony, America’s orchestral academy.”  It’s hard to see where he can find the time to fit it all in.

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PAUL SALAMUNOVICH has died.  He was a fantastic champion of choral singing, especially of understanding melodic line and contour.

UPDATE: Richard Sparks also has more to say here.

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THE MYTH OF WORKING YOUR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE: “[T]he average student in 1979 could work 182 hours (a part-time summer job) to pay for a year’s tuition. In 2013, it took 991 hours (a full-time job for half the year) to accomplish the same.”  The rising cost of college tuition is a disincentive for students to work before and during college.  After all, what’s the use of busting one’s buns over the summer (or during the semester) to make a small dent in the tuition bill?  Why not let that student loan balance ride until you’ve finished your degree and landed that high-paying job?