Civil Disobedience Through Music

Civil Disobedience Through Music

Civil disobedience is defined as the refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or policy. This article briefly explores two works, The March of the Women and Finlandia, which were composed in the spirit of rebellion.

Why Didn't Berlioz Play the Piano?

Why Didn't Berlioz Play the Piano?

Unlike the majority of his contemporaries in the 19th century, Hector Berlioz was a successful composer without also being a pianist. His compositions and techniques were so unusual that several of his peers scoffed at the idea that he could even be successful in a professional capacity.

A Brief History of Piano Accompaniment

A Brief History of Piano Accompaniment

You might have noticed the persistent presence of a pianist in instrumental and vocal solo performances. These musicians, or accompanists, are responsible for playing the other half (or sometimes more) of the sounds that the audience hears. One might wonder, from where did the tradition of “serious” music requiring a piano voice originate? 

Symphonic Chocolates: A Soundtrack for Valentine's Day

Symphonic Chocolates: A Soundtrack for Valentine's Day

Symphonic Chocolates (2012) by Maxime Goulet, was commissioned by the National Academy Orchestra of Canada to celebrate the 25 th anniversary of the Brott Music Festival. The piece is a “soundtrack for chocolate tasting” and is frequently performed on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. The four-movement work evokes four distinct flavors; caramel, dark chocolate, mint, and coffee.

Contemporary Composers

Contemporary Composers

In music, there is a general aversion to change. Modern educators still teach musical notation using medieval methods, the youngest instrument (the saxophone) is nearly one hundred and seventy years old, and several of the staple pieces performed by most ensembles are from the 18th century. Despite this, new composers continue to spring up around the world and are making a constant effort to improve and enrich the arts. In honor of the new year, here is a brief introduction to a few contemporary composers who are keeping instrumental music alive.

Works That Give Thanks

Works That Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States that celebrates our ancestors’ first harvest in the New World and a spirit of friendship between the colonists and Native Americans. The holiday is celebrated with parades, large family gatherings, and a home-cooked meal. 

A Brief Introduction to Native American Music

A Brief Introduction to Native American Music

Merriam-Webster defines indigenous as “living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.” According to the United Nations, “there are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world.” In 2007, the United Nations declared that August 9th is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. In honor of the tenth celebration of this event, here is a small tribute to the music of Native Americans.

Famous Composers and the Introduction of Coffee to Europe

Famous Composers and the Introduction of Coffee to Europe

John Rice from Eighteenth-Century Music makes an interesting point about the introduction of coffee to Europe in the late 1600’s and the “astonishing level of productivity achieved” by many composers in the seventeenth century. Several famous composers including Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart were known for indulging in the caffeine craze.

Tchaikovsky's Famous Works (That He Hated)

Tchaikovsky's Famous Works (That He Hated)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was one of the most prolific Russian composers of the Romantic Era. Despite the success, Tchaikovsky found himself regularly overcome with frustration and loneliness. He regularly took it as a personal affront when the general public celebrated one of his simpler works over a composition that he personally treasured.