Tag Archives: music

Let Me Count the Ways

I first encountered a synthesizer in 1975. I had just been hired as an assistant editor at a startup magazine called Contemporary Keyboard. (The name was later changed to Keyboard.) My boss, who was living down the walkway in the … Continue reading

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Fumble-Fingered

I’ve memorized a fair amount of piano music. I can sit down at the piano and play for an hour, going through ten or fifteen pieces, without opening any of the books of sheet music that are stacked next to … Continue reading

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Strike Up the “Band”

Lately I’ve been doing bits of recorded music for the Sunday services at my local Unitarian-Universalist church. Before the pandemic (and before the lovely woman who was our pianist died) I used to play cello in services from time. I … Continue reading

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Not Being Trendy

Pop music has always been about trends — either setting a trend or following one. Partly this is for reasons of finance: In order to stay in business, a record company has to purvey predictable platters. Most listeners, be they … Continue reading

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Music and Senescence

There are two ways to make music. First, you can physically play an instrument. (For simplicity we’ll lump your throat and mouth in with the other instruments.) Instead, you can record it, most likely using a computer. What you’re recording … Continue reading

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Presentation & Substance

At what point does the presentation of a piece of music — its staging — become an essential part of the music’s significance? To look at it another way, at what point does the staging become a distraction? This is … Continue reading

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Tune Time

If you play music, everybody wants to know what kind of music you play. Classical? Bluegrass? Prog rock? It’s wearisome. Saying, “I just do whatever pleases me,” is true, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of information. Some … Continue reading

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Imperfections

Synthesizers will spoil you. That’s one of the possible answers to today’s pressing question. There are other possible answers. I love microtonal music. There are many, many interesting tuning systems, and my piano, as lovely as it is, only does … Continue reading

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Sound in Motion

Music is a much nicer thing to write about than religion, so let’s get back to it without delay, shall we? I try to avoid buying new bits of music software, because I already have too many great devices, but … Continue reading

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Music as Property

In most parts of the world, and in European/American culture until about 200 years ago, music was not something that could be owned. Musical traditions were freely shared among musicians. If you heard a troubadour play a particular tune, and … Continue reading

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