(Music) Pavane for a Dead Princess

A pavane is a slow, stately dance, two beats to the measure, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries and performed in elaborate clothing, or a piece of music written for the same. "The original piano version of the Pavane pour une infante défunte was composed in 1899 and dedicated to the Princesse Edmond de... Continue Reading →


The only original American art

It's been said that blues, jazz, and their progeny, which includes rock n roll and hip hop, are the only indigenous American art forms -- that is, ones that did not exist earlier somewhere else. This is not a slight to the first nations. Native peoples of the southwest, notably the Navajo, are famous for... Continue Reading →

(Music) Yé-yé! Oh yeah!

Yé-yé was a style of pop music that emerged from Southern Europe in the early 1960s. The term "yé-yé" was derived from the English term "yeah! yeah!", popularized by British beat music bands such as the Beatles. The style expanded worldwide, due to the success of figures such as the French singer-songwriters Serge Gainsbourg and... Continue Reading →

(Music) Ambush from Ten Sides

A single ethnic group constitutes fully 18% of the human species. At 1.3 billion in number, Han Chinese are the largest "tribe" in the world. There is simply nothing analogous in the West -- not just their size but their unbroken antiquity. Chinese people speak the same language(s) as their forebears. Mandarin and Cantonese have... Continue Reading →

(Music) The album nobody wanted

Automat is an album of instrumental electronic music composed by the Italian musicians Romano Musumarra and Claudio Gizzi. It was produced in 1977 and released in 1978 by EMI Italy, through its Harvest label. All the sounds in this album were generated by the MCS70, a monophonic analog synthesizer designed, built and programmed by the... Continue Reading →

(Music) The Maestro of Villarreal

Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea (1852-1909), known simply as Francisco Tárrega, is considered the father of the classical guitar and one of the greatest guitarists in history. Born in Villarreal, Spain to a watchman at the Convent of San Pascual, Francisco ran away from his father many times, despite that his father made great... Continue Reading →

(Music) Why hit songs sound the same

The data visualists over at The Pudding have put together a fascinating analysis of pop music going back to the 1950s using an eight-point measure originally developed at MIT. From the article: In 2005, Tristan Jehan, a PhD student at MIT, published his dissertation, “Creating Music By Listening,” a framework for AI-created music. The immediate... Continue Reading →

(Music) Fine and Mellow

Lester Young (August 27, 1909 – March 15, 1959), nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. After achieving prominence in Count Basie's orchestra, Young became one of the most influential players on his instrument. In contrast to many of his hard-driving peers, Young had a relaxed, cool manner that he paired with... Continue Reading →

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