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RICHARD SPARKS: Building Skills, Part 12. “So it’s important for us to know that in every rehearsal that we’re singing something at concert level, no matter how small.

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EARLIEST KNOWN POLYPHONIC MUSIC DISCOVERED from 900 AD.  And here’s what it sounds like (more here).

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THE ATLANTIC ON The Death of Music Sales: “But today the disruption is being disrupted: Digital track sales are falling at nearly the same rate as CD sales, as music fans are turning to streaming—on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and music blogs. Now that music is superabundant, the business (beyond selling subscriptions to music sites) thrives only where scarcity can be manufactured—in concert halls, where there are only so many seats, or in advertising, where one song or band can anchor a branding campaign.

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A SELECTION of treble clefs by several composers in history. Schubert’s and Mozart’s are the best. Beethoven is as expected. I would have thought Haydn’s would be neater.

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BRUCE SELLERS writes about working with Ward Swingle: “I can’t remember exactly what was on our part of the program, but I remember Ward wrote a Cole Porter Medley specially for us that was quite difficult, but really lovely. We also did stuff like the Bach G minor Fugue, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Agincourt Song, When I’m 64, Ward’s setting of “Roadside Fire”, “All the Things You Are”, and a thing called “Music History 101” that featured “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as done in various periods of music history (Mediaeval, Renaissance, Baroque, etc.), right down to a “rap” version…

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JEFF TILLINGHAST: Speaking the Two Languages of Technology. “What is surprising, though, is how many people have an imbalance between their levels of comfort with general and discipline-specific technology. Furthermore, both of these categories are essential to our trade, but while we categorize them all as “technology” I find that many users have a subconscious preference for one over the other that reflects their own “tech comfort level.” Some users are highly comfortable working online and have their smartphones or tablets completely dialed in to their organizational and communication needs, but have never used a notation program or have never worked with a MIDI device. These users often have a high level of comfort with technology from their own personal use, but there’s a huge leap in complexity from consumer-oriented devices to a complex notation program.

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RICHARD SPARKS: Building Skills, Part 11. “I remember that Lloyd Pfautsch, in his chapter on rehearsing in the Decker and Herford’s Choral Conducting—A Symposium, suggests ranking the sections of a larger work by difficulty, then learning the toughest portions first to make sure they get more rehearsal time, rather than mindlessly starting at the beginning and working your way through in order. So, if there are 10 sections of a work and numbers 3, 6, and 9 are the most difficult, you’d begin by working on them, then gradually work on the others, connecting as you learn adjacent sections. Seems like common sense, but it’s really a brilliant statement about how to approach larger pieces…