Archive for August, 2008

Music History as a Subway Map

August 20, 2008

Here‘s the history of 20th century depicted as a map of the London Underground. Be sure to click on the link to the PDF to see the actual map You can also order a t-shirt, though when I tried, the server seemed to be down.

I found it very interesting to locate groups like the Everly Brothers and the Louvin Brothers on the map. Both groups show up on the line designated as “Blues and Country” (an odd conflation in and of itself). The Louvin Brothers seem to be situated on the more “country” end of the line. The opposing end includes Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, and others from the early days of rock and roll. The Everly Brothers are placed (without their own station–I guess you just have to jump out when you get there) between these two camps, between country and rock and roll. They are inside the Circle Line, which the author describes as pop music. All lines intersect with the Circle Line and all music in the twentieth century intersects with pop. The Everly Brothers sit right in the middle.

Honestly, I started out searching the edges for the Everly Brothers. I assumed that was the place that they would appear, if at all. Their role in shaping the sounds of rock and roll and its successors seems obvious to me, but I recognize that the standard orthodoxy does not necessarily admit groups like them.

Do your favorite groups/artists/composers show up where you would expect them?


Fun Music

August 18, 2008


That’s right everyone! The electric guitar can make music fun. And following in the great French conservatory tradition, you can learn right here in Fun Music School in beautiful Chantilly, France, because what is fun if we do not learn to make it properly?








Sayings of Kyle Gann

August 14, 2008

I came across Kyle Gann’s homepage this morning. I particularly liked his page on Kyleisms, his sayings in this classroom. My favorite one is this:

Webern was a musicologist who became a composer. Bartok was a composer who became a musicologist to get material for his music. I’m a composer who became a musicologist to get a job.

I feel like the computer scientist who became a musicologist to be unemployed! Maybe I should have tried composing instead.

Color Is Like Music

August 12, 2008

This plaque was posted on the wall of a house in Burano, Italy. It says:

Color is like Music
It uses shorter way to come to our Senses to awake our Emotions.

I can’t quite read the name underneath.

You can see the house where it is posted here. More shots of Burano are in this set on Flickr.

Bodyless Guitar

August 11, 2008


We found this man in Montmartre in Paris, playing his guitar. If you look closely you may notice that the guitar has only the outline of a body, in other words it is neither a solid- nor hollow-body guitar. On the rear portion he had a headphone jack and some controls. When he played, I couldn’t really hear the strings that well. They look to be steel strings.

Carmina Burana

August 10, 2008

One of my favorites!