Soviet Union Polemicist On Jazz Music:

“The dry knock of an idiotic hammer penetrates the utter stillness. One, two, three, ten, twenty strikes, and afterwards a wild whistling and squeaking as if a ball of mud was falling into clear water; then follows a rattling, howling and screaming like the clamor of a metal pig, the cry of a donkey or […]

I Should Refer My Older/Adult Students to This Article When We’re Working on Bow Technique!


The conditions for minimum and maximum bow force can tell us something interesting about the difficulty of playing the violin. When a simple analysis is done of these two conditions, it turns out that they both depend, among other things, on the position of the bow on the string. Suppose the length of […]

Slides from University of Miami Lecture on Being A Young Composer


This is Your Brain on Music

Now that I’m done with Mr. Sacks, I’ve moved on to Levitin’s This is Your Brain on Music. While Musicophelia was much more focused on anecdotal discussions of evidence, Levitin gets much deeper into details of music theory and research. In a way, this was the book I was hoping to read when I picked […]

More From Oliver Sacks

Deborah speaks of the “momentum” of the music in its very structure. A piece of music is not a mere sequence of notes, but a tightly organized organic whole. Every bar, every phrase, arises organically from what preceded it and points to what will follow. Dynamism is built into the nature of melody. And over […]


I am finally working my way through Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, about four years after I received the book as a gift. While the reading is mostly anecdotal, there are also some general ideas that I find are spot on and others that are wildly inaccurate. I’ll start with the end of the opening chapter […]

A Famous Composer Agrees With My Interpretation of Ego In Aleatoric and Totally Serial Music

Aleatoric, in the ‘rationalists’ usage, means dependent on chance or, in the usage of the advocates of New Music, set free from the ‘subject’.

Here the subject is clearly meant to be the composer’s ‘ego’.

But even if the ‘integral rationalisation’ succeeds and everything is ‘calculated’ in advance down to the last detail, there must […]

Some Notes On Open Hearts

Whatever music might do, it does only when one approaches it with an open heart and shares actively in its being.

~Ernst Krenek

Today I was reading a blog post about Minimal music and boredom by Andrew Lee on and some good points were made.

Last May, I had the wonderful opportunity […]

Adorno Convinces Krenek of Rochbergian Idea of Musical Space-Time

Many years earlier Adorno had convinced Krenek that music might be moving toward the condition of extemporaneous speech, developing its subject matter on a line through time as a thought is developed in speech. Forward movement was achieved by exploration, confrontation, interlocution, contradiction—perfect process for piecing together his interesting cells. Such an open form did […]

It’s Easy to Pick on Dead People (v. Krenek No. 234362)

I’m combing my way through Krenek’s set of essays Exploring Music, and it’s providing some great insight into the man and his beliefs. His vignette on Milhaud that I wrote about before was really cool. I’m currently digesting ‘New Humanity and Old Objectivity’ and some of his views on vernacular forms of art (pop music […]