Steve Reich is Calling: A Minimalist Ringtone for the iPhone

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What if minimalist composer Steve Reich got his hands on the iPhone’s familiar Marimba ringtone? That’s what the website Steve Reich is Calling imagines.


Rock Band: Hear The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” Played with Electromechanical Instruments That Make Music with Rocks

≡ Category: Music, Technology |1 Comment

From Neil Mendoza comes “Rock Band,” an amalgamation of “electromechanical instruments that make music with rocks by throwing them through the air, slapping them and making them vibrate.” Above, hear the band play one of my favorite Beatles songs, “Here Comes the Sun.” There’s no Paul, John, George and Ringo here.


How Did Beethoven Compose His 9th Symphony After He Went Completely Deaf?

≡ Category: Biology, Math, Music, Science |4 Comments”>massive

You don’t need to know anything at all about classical music, nor have any liking for it even, to be deeply moved by that most famous of symphonies, Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th—“perhaps the most iconic work of the Western musical tradition,” writes The Juilliard Journal in an article about its handwritten score.


See Japanese Musicians Play “Amazing Grace” with 273 Theremins Placed Inside Matryoshka Dolls–Then Learn How They Perform Their Magic

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In the arts, technology, or any other realm, Japanese culture encourages taking one’s chosen pursuits to the limits, even when their material comes from other cultures.


Download 1,500+ Episodes of the BBC’s Desert Island Discs, Where Famous Guests Name the Songs They Can’t Live Without (1942 to the Present)

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Introvert, bookworm, homebody… labels I have gladly worn throughout my life. I believe in civic engagement on principle, but there have been many times in the past few months, indeed in life, when I’ve wanted to strand myself on one of those proverbial desert islands, surrounded by my favorite books and records.


Tony Conrad’s 200-Hour Avant-Garde Piano Composition, “Music & the Mind of the World”: Now Free Online for the First Time

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Last year, Tony Conrad–an avant-garde video artist, experimental filmmaker, musician, composer, and sound artist–died at the age of 76. In its obituary, The New York Times wrote:
Mr. Conrad was relentless and rigorous in expanding the parameters of the fields in which he worked.


The Music in Quentin Tarantino’s Films: Hear a 5-Hour, 100-Song Playlist

≡ Category: Music |Leave a Comment”>Misirlou

Image via Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this week we told you about this 326-track, 20-hour playlist of music from the films of Martin Scorsese. One of the masters of juxtaposing song with image, Scorsese paved the way for another director with a fine record collection, Quentin Tarantino.


Watch a 5-Part Animated Primer on Afrofuturism, the Black Sci-Fi Phenomenon Inspired by Sun Ra

≡ Category: Music, Sci Fi |1 Comment

We recognize its hallmarks in music especially. It is the province of Sun Ra, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Afrika Bambaataa, and, in recent years, Janelle Monae, Andre 3000, Beyoncé, and many other black artists who have updated for the 21st century the styles and sounds of Afrofuturism.


Leonard Bernstein Introduces 7-Year-Old Yo-Yo Ma: Watch the Youngster Perform for John F. Kennedy (1962)

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Asked to think of a virtuoso cellist, many of us immediately imagine Yo-Yo Ma, not just because of his considerable skill but also because of the sheer length of his residency in popular culture.


Hear the Earliest Known Piece of Polyphonic Music: This Composition, Dating Back to 900 AD, Changed Western Music

≡ Category: History, Music |7 Comments

Like digging for fossils or panning for gold, the research process can be a tedious affair. But for any researcher, long days of searching and reading will eventually result in discovery. These are the moments scholars cherish. It’s the chance discovery, however rare, that makes the long hours and bleary late nights worthwhile.


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