• Asleep at a concert
    Articles

    Who cares about live music?

    Time for a rant/ rave/ vent, methinks. It’s been a while. Bear with me: Who cares about live music? Everywhere I look there are stories of musicians being yelled off their stage, performers crying for “decent” pay, orchestras and opera houses closing down, music schools diminishing beyond recognition, and a host of other music-related news that simply doesn’t play a pretty tune. So, who actually still cares about music? Musicians do (instrumentalists, singers, composers, conductors). Politicians will if it makes them popular. Some film producers and directors do. Music writers and administrators do. Music teachers and professors do. Some corporate executives hoping to make their company look good by supporting local…

  • Articles

    What is Classical Music?

    Enjoying live [classical] music concerts could be one of the most exciting relationships you’ll ever develop.   But here’s one thing any valuable and interesting article or document shouldn’t start with: a definition. The term “Classical Music” is difficult to embrace for three reasons: – It conjures up images of rich elitism, boringness and dead white men. – It actually refers to a specific period in musical history (1750-1830) – Much of society is prejudiced against anything associated with it. The enigmatic Founder and Artistic Director of The Discovery Orchestra, George Marriner Maull, visited two inner-city schools one week and worked with young children on “listening.” The heart-warming outcome is…

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    Quest #9 – Perspective

    This was an odd composition that kind of came out of nowhere, but ended up being the ninth composition in my psalm composition quest. And it’s a little strange, being written for bass clarinet and drum kit. Uh-huh. I met Calvin Falwell recently and during our chat he mentioned a project he and his USF Faculty colleague Robert McCormick were undertaking. I know Robert and was therefore interested. Vox Novus commission lots of new music from composers for a project called “Fifteen Minutes of Fame.” Composers submit brand new compositions no longer than one minute (60 seconds) and 15 of them are selected and joined together to form one piece…

  • The Towaco Story by Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown
    Articles

    Why the next 20 years of classical music will smash the last 20

    OPINION. That’s all this is. Totally unmerited, unfounded, unresearched, unverified 🙂 I’m in the UK right now, where I spent my childhood and early professional career. My teens and current professional career were/are in the USA. My college life was mostly spent up & down the UK, throughout East & West Europe, and later a sojourn in a couple of countries in the Southern parts of Africa. Next stop? Ah well, wouldn’t you like to know! But as I’m sitting here for a few moments, pondering the extraordinary life I’ve lived split primarily between two continents, cultures and languages (yes, I’m bilingual: I speak English and American), I find it remarkable how much…

  • How to play guitar chords
    Articles

    How I compose 3 – Chords

    “A chord in music is any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously.” (Wikipedia, accessed August 7, 2013) To me, chords form the shell of a piece of music – the walls and roof of a house, so to speak. For me, this is the most difficult part of composing and always has been. Possibly because I’m a percussionist and therefore spent a lot of time focusing on rhythmic patterns and combinations rather than harmonic. Harmony? “Harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of…