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Q&A

General Q&A about music, for fans, artists, and composers.

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Is there any cultural background in Bob Dylan's "Boots of Spanish leather" final desire?

I recently discovered Boots of Spanish Leather, a 1963 song by Bob Dylan through Joan Baez's cover in Any Day Now (1968). Its lyrics really moved me, so I tried to understand them deeply. The Wiki...

1 answer  ·  posted 6mo ago by fedorqui‭  ·  last activity 11d ago by CodeFarmer‭

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Why do you need sheet music of John Cage's 4′33″ to perform it?

At 1:45, Kirill Petrenko has the paper score for 4'33" opened on his conductor stand. But use of sheet music feels guileful and uncandid for 4'33". Can't a competent conductor or musician "conduc...

1 answer  ·  posted 7mo ago by TextKit‭  ·  last activity 6mo ago by gmcgath‭

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How can I learn to hear an octave-displaced popular piece, as easily as the popular piece?

At 0:20, Duke University Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Music R. Tarry Todd Education Ph.D., Yale University 1979 M.Phil., Yale University 1976 B.A., Yale University 1974 pur...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 7mo ago by TextKit‭

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Why does a conductor need to gesture and hand wave, to "conduct" John Cage's 4′33″?

At 0:24, as this comment correctly REaffirms Love how serious the conductor is, putting his hand up for all the time Kirill Petrenko starts his handwaving. Why? His handwaving and gestures fe...

0 answers  ·  posted 7mo ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 7mo ago by TextKit‭

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Why are lute-like instruments found in so many cultures?

Instruments with parallel strings, a resonating body, and a neck over which the strings are stretched appear in many cultures. The oud is an Arabic instrument, from which the European lute develope...

1 answer  ·  posted 9mo ago by gmcgath‭  ·  last activity 7mo ago by InfiniteDissent‭

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Did W. F. Bach copy J. S. Bach in this piece?

Please consider these two excerpts: J. S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio 2, Chorale: Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht W. F. Bach: O Wunder, wer kann dieses fassen cantata, Chorale: O liebes Kind Th...

1 answer  ·  posted 8mo ago by Quasímodo‭  ·  last activity 8mo ago by gmcgath‭

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How do I insert a verse in an existing MuseScore document's lyrics?

If I want to insert a verse in the lyrics of a MuseScore document, e.g., adding a verse that goes above all the others, how do I move the existing verses to make room for it? Obviously it can be do...

1 answer  ·  posted 9mo ago by gmcgath‭  ·  last activity 9mo ago by gmcgath‭

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Please identify this instrumental? Is this "Ocean" by This Night Alone?

This video uses an instrumental version, which https://www.aha-music.com/identify-songs-music-recognition-online/rec/04d5ec380b0c7a48dc815be0ae3c6e81#record-div identifies as Ocean by "The Nights A...

0 answers  ·  posted 9mo ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 9mo ago by TextKit‭

id
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How is the title of "Dust Bowl Dance" relevant to the song?

I was introduced to the song "Dust Bowl Dance" by Mumford and Sons through this video, about the character Percy from Campaign 1 of the D&amp;D show Critical Role (spoilers in video). The song fits...

1 answer  ·  posted 9mo ago by Mithical‭  ·  last activity 9mo ago by Kevin Shenouda‭

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How can you productively find all recordings of a piece?

I'm unsettled to find merely 2 CD's of Rautavaara's Piano Concertos 1 and 2 Laura Mikkola (pianist), Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Eri Klas (conductor), Naxos (record company) Ralf Go...

0 answers  ·  posted 11mo ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 11mo ago by TextKit‭

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Which of Pierre Boulez's composition(s) are considered unlistenable, and/or the (Modernist) Emperor's New Clothes?

I can brook listening to Boulez's 3 Piano Sonatas, Le Marteau sans maître, Pli selon pli, and Répons. I've listened to Boulez's OTHER compositions THE PAST 20 YEARS, but nothing else of his resonat...

0 answers  ·  posted 11mo ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 11mo ago by TextKit‭

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Why was Haydn "the father of the symphony"?

Joseph Haydn is frequently called "the father of the symphony." He made important advances in symphonic composition, but he wasn't the first to write symphonies in the classical form. The title ar...

1 answer  ·  posted 12mo ago by gmcgath‭  ·  last activity 12mo ago by gmcgath‭

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Is there any genre of music (or a song) that eschews silence or rests within a piece?

A friend and I were having a conversation about the similarity of music to speech, and the importance of phrasing with silence or resolution to allow reflection on what has been heard. Is there any...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Sigma‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by gmcgath‭

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Why did classical-era composers associate keys with moods?

Composers of the classical era, especially Mozart and Beethoven, considered certain keys appropriate for certain moods. What reasons did they have for this? There are practical reasons for choosin...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by gmcgath‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by gmcgath‭

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Why no International Piano Competitions (as lofty as the Chopin) for less popular composers of ≥ 3 Piano Concertos, like Rautavaara?

I trust my reasoning is obvious, self explanatory. I'm referring to relatively arcane composers who composed AT LEAST 3 piano concertos like John Field, Paul Hindemith, Ernst Krenek, Bohuslav Mar...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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(How) does bow shape affect playing the bowed psaltery?

Years ago I acquired a bowed psaltery, with a bow shaped something like this: Every psaltery bow I've seen "in person" has this arched shape. Bows for other instruments (like violins) have a fl...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by elemtilas‭

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Why do some composers gesticulate wildly, while others reserve their composure?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoZdwam7wgw is based on just one piece, Mahler's Symphony 2, and a sample size of one from which we can't conclude anything. But I've noticed these wildly different ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by elemtilas‭

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What is this bowed, fretted, lyre-shaped instrument?

I came across this video and would like to know more about the instrument the woman is playing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF9mtpw365c (Starting at 0:16.) The instrument is shaped sort of l...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by elemtilas‭

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Best techniques for singing while masked

What are the best techniques for singing while masked? Completely or partially uncovering while singing defeats the purpose, since projecting our voices increases the chance of spewing pathogens in...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by gmcgath‭

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We love the Second Viennese School, but daughter's practice of Boulez's music is wearying us. How can we appreciate Boulez? [closed]

We love and listen to the Second Viennese School like Berg, Schoenberg, Webern — even before my daughter was born! My daughter's studying music at university. To guard privacy, I don't want to writ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  closed 1y ago by Mithical‭

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Did Schoenberg consider dodecaphony in terms of democracy and freedom?

Can anyone substantiate the asserveration below? Why do some people dislike Schoenberg so intensely? : classicalmusic That didn't happen, I think, for two reasons. First, as I mentioned, his mus...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by gmcgath‭

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'differential' vs 'different' : as adjectives, not nouns.

Are the textbooks below using 'differential' correctly? Why not just write 'different'? The structure of differential identity is such that in order for there to be a limit at all, one differen...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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In Kim Taeyeon's "I", why do the C7 and Six-Four Chords conceal the chord changes?

I don't understand the analysis and dialogue, starting at 15:04, between Kevin Wang BMus (Eastman) in Piano Performance and Jenny Yunyi Ji BMus (Eastman), MMus (San Francisco Conservatory of Mu...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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How much ear training is required to identify chords and their progressions, without perfect pitch and reading any scores?

I'm impressed by Kevin Wang's ability to identify chords aurally. He graduated with a BM in Piano Performance from the Rochester School of Music in 2016. I'm assuming that he has never seen t...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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In Taeyeon Kim's "I", why does the Leading Tone or Seventh sound like the Tonic?

I'm assuming that Jenny Ji hasn't hoodwinked us by covertly consulting the score, before reviewing this song in this Youtube video. To improve my ear training, I deliberately refrained from readi...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭

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Why does Korean Pop feature so much backbreaking, grueling dancing?

My daughter's been listening to KPop, like Girls' Generation Into the New World. You can watch the Ballad versions, with NO dancing, at the Tokyo Dome for the 2011 Girls Generation Tour, and Girls ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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Why can't a pop singer on stage, wearing earpieces, hear someone right next to her?

Please see https://youtu.be/P_6i0Js-aw4?t=184. This is Tiffany Young singing Not Barbie, on her Lips on Lips tour in San Francisco, dated March 15 2019. As her fan (to her right) tries to speak to...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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How else is Girls' Generation "Into the New World" related to Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World"?

I've been listening to Into the New World (song) since 2007. But I didn't realize until today that Mindblown. : SNSD the opening phrase in ITNW contains the same sequence of notes as the first ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭

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Why does Cathay Pacific's 2018 boarding music feel "Chinese"?

I hope it's obvious to you that this music sounds "Chinese". Why though? Does it use a Major Pentatonic scale? parallel harmony in fourths and fifths? portamento? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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What genre of music is "Gobi Moon", composed by Dave Randall after 2014?

I love this piece, and I've been craving similar music! The vocals feel like yipping, but liberating and uplifting! I don't know how to embed video in http://www.splitmusic.co.uk/placements/cathay...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭  ·  edited 1y ago by TextKit‭

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Why did Mravinsky refuse to conduct the premiere of Shostakovich's Thirteenth Symphony in 1962?

The emboldened sentence below isn't evidenced on Wikipedia. Is it true? If so, why? Yevgeny Mravinsky - Wikipedia The music of Dmitri Shostakovich was closely associated with Mravinsky, beginni...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by TextKit‭

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What are the advantages of knowing the theory behind serialist compositions?

Great Music of the Twentieth Century (2018), by Robert Greenberg B.A. music (magna cum laude) from Princeton, Ph.D. music composition from U.C. Berkeley. Lecture 14 "The World Turned Upside Down"....

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by TextKit‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by MattheasBoelter‭

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Ought laypeople be able to imagine a tone row's transformations in their head, without hearing or playing them?

I've been listening to the Second Viennese School for 5 years now, and I love their music. Yet whenever I listen to a tone row, especially a new one, I can't hear its transformations in my head. I ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by TextKit‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by DonielF‭

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Why was Stravinsky alleged to be a lousy conductor?

I'm assuming that Stravinsky was healthy, could see and hear well, and had no personality disorders. How could a skilled composer like him be unskilled at conducting? Stravinsky as Pioneer of a Ne...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by TextKit‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Did Xenakis intend his gratingly dissonant music to express his personal hardships?

I enjoy, and have no problems with: Xenakis's pieces for Solo Instruments (esp. tonal pieces like Six chansons pour piano), Percussion (Ensemble), or String (Ensemble). no more than a ha...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by TextKit‭

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DANTE networking vs. traditional sound

I've been seeing that many traditional sound systems have switched from long runs of audio cable to using networking cable using the DANTE system. Is this a proprietary system or open standard? Doe...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by laserkittens‭

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"Properly" naming rotations of unusual scales?

Consider the following musical scale, with a root of A: A — B — C — D — E — F — G# — A This is, quite clearly, A Harmonic Minor. Let me rewrite the above scale in terms of tone (step) differ...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by DonielF‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by celtschk‭

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Why do bass guitarists avoid open strings and double bassists don't?

Some bass guitar players seem to avoid playing open strings in most situations, reportedly for the reason of the sound. Open strings are generally not avoided when playing double bass, although th...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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Why is Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 considered one of the most technically challenging piano concertos?

I recently watched the film Shine (1996, by Scott Hicks). It depicts the life of the pianist David Helfgott. As Wikipedia explains in Shine (film): In London, David studies under Dr. Cecil Park...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by fedorqui‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by 10 Rep‭

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