Archive for March, 2013

Your first shakuhachi lesson

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

You’ve decided to study the shakuhachi – a traditional flute from Japan. You know that it’s steeped in history and tradition, but what’s really grabbed your attention is its focus on meditation, using the sound of music. You have some prior experience with Western music instruments, and you can even read the notation of Western Art […]

Ethnomusicology in the band room

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

One of the ethnomusicologists I follow closely is David G. Hebert, currently a faculty member at Bergen University of College in Norway, but in fact, born and raised in Seattle.  His specialty is the study of concert bands in Japanese high schools which on the surface, would be as far as you could possibly get […]

Fife and Drum: a different ethnomusicology ensemble

Friday, March 15th, 2013

One of the intense pleasures of attending a music school in a large university is the opportunity to actually play music from other cultures, thanks to a department of ethnomusicology. The most common ensembles are gamelan from Indonesia, drum circles from sub-Sahara Africa, and various chamber music ensembles from East Asia and elsewhere. If the […]

The Sociomusicology of an RCM Music Exam

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Many students of mine have arrived at the School of Music via the well-travelled road of the Royal Conservatory of Music examination system. And almost all of them trod down this path as youthful pianists. For those not in the loop, I should quickly summarize the august institution that is known simply as the RCM. […]

Re-enactment. Boon or bust?

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

There have been several times in my life when I decided that re-enacting the original context of a music composition’s performance was an exciting and viable option. I once called it Theatre of Music (as opposed to Music Theatre). When you hear or read the word “re-enactment”, you might recall vacations or school day-trips when […]

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