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Friday Miscellanea

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Friday Miscellanea

Catalina Vicens playing an organetto

This picture is from an article describing the revival of an obscure medieval instrument, the laptop organ called an "organetto."
What experts know today about the organetto comes from its depiction in hundreds of medieval paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and stained-glass windows, and well as the literature of the period. The instrument is mentioned, for example, in the Roman de la Rose, a famous medieval poem written in Old French, and the organetto playing of Francesco Landini, a famed 14th-century Italian composer and organist, is described in a novella by Giovanni da Prato.

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Those tireless music researchers have another study out: What does your music taste say about you? Nothing actually
Does music taste reflect personality? A study from the University of Cambridge involving 350,000 participants, from 50 countries, across six continents, posits that people with similar traits across the globe are drawn to similar music genres. So, “extroverts” love Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. The “open” thrill to Daft Punk, Radiohead and Jimi Hendrix. The “agreeable” are into Marvin Gaye, U2 and Taylor Swift. The “neurotic” enjoy, presumably as much they can, the work of David Bowie, Nirvana, and the Killers. And so on.

I think we can safely file this under pointless, academic make-work.

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Why is CBC radio forgetting its classical music lovers?

Growing up in Vancouver decades ago, I remember concerts by its national network of orchestras, offering often challenging music and often intelligent commentary. It was a serious business.

Those days are history now. The orchestras and concerts have disappeared and so has most of the critical commentary associated with them. To be blunt about it, from a musical point of view, CBC English-language radio has dumbed down.

Oh yes, I got a great deal of musical benefit from the CBC decades ago. Some of the first Bach I ever heard was performed by Glenn Gould on a Sunday afternoon television show. On CBC radio you could hear a great deal of new music on Two New Hours, a weekly program. Living in Montreal I got my first radio exposure as an artist on the program Banc d'Essai and later on Jeunes Artistes. As a more mature artist CBC Vancouver recorded my concerts quite often and I was a soloist with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra playing the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto. A lot of that has simply vanished--the CBC Vancouver Orchestra no longer exists.

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Ok, this is a little off our beaten path, but interesting nonetheless: Jordan Peterson’s Next Move? Taking Out the Universities

“I want to tell you a story. It’s a crazy story. I hope it’s interesting.”

Those were Jordan Peterson’s first words when he took the stage recently at a theater in Austin, Tex., as part of his “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life” tour. What followed was a description of an encounter with a Canadian politician who believes that vaccination mandates violate that country’s charter of rights and who, not incidentally, helped draft the charter.

The rest is behind a paywall, but you can find a lot of Jordan Peterson at YouTube where he comments on just about everything. He has the kind of passionate, penetrating wisdom that makes you realize how rare these traits are in academia these days where so many seem to have transformed into petty careerists and outright cowards. I feel a certain affinity with Peterson for several reasons: he and I were born in the same part of remote northern Alberta and both graduated from McGill in Montreal. I also like his way of brilliantly striking to the heart of so many issues.

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On an Overgrown Path has a post up titled: New classical audiences need new music

Electronic dance music and related non-classical genres leave the listener's brain free to make its own interactions. Classical music want a new young audience. The starting point for bringing listeners across the classical/non-classical divide is giving the new audience music they can relate to. Once that relationship is established the new audience will move on to Mahler, Shostakovich and Beethoven. Giving the new audience music they can relate to doesn't mean dumbing down or exorcising the standard repertoire. It simply means being far more experimental and adventurous in classical programming. Because, despite the stereotyping of the classical marketeers, audiences - young and old - are not backward children. And new classical audiences don't just need new music: they also need new thinking.

That's the conclusion, but read the whole thing. I can find something to quibble about in nearly every sentence, but I'm probably just an old fuddy.duddy.

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Here is an interesting piece: the Cello Concerto by Friedrich Gulda:

Something else really interesting: the Rite of Spring on two pianos:

 And here is a piece by Francesco Landini, he of the famous Landini cadence, played on the organetto:

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