Classical Music

Dmitri Shostakovich

16 hours ago

Dmitri Shostakovich's political views have long been subjects of controversy. Was Shostakovich a loyal Communist, or was he a secret rebel who suffered for years under oppressive conditions and yet contrived time and again to encode powerful subversive messages into his music?

Wind Instruments

Aug 15, 2017

A wind instrument is any instrument whose sound is produced by a column of air vibrating inside some sort of tube, or pipe.  But I’d like to clear up a common misconception: Wind players aren’t blowing away to try to fill up their instruments with air —the air inside a wind instrument is already there.

The Waltz

Aug 14, 2017

When the dance known as the waltz first became popular in Europe in the late 1700's and early 1800's, it was considered by many observers to be the ultimate in lewdness and licentiousness, a corrupter of youth.

The Double Bass

Aug 11, 2017

The double bass is the one member of the modern violin family whose roots are in the viola da gamba, or viol family. The next time you see a double bass, notice that its back is flat, like a viol’s, not arched, like a violin’s, and it has the steeply-sloped shoulders of a viol.

Art Song

Aug 10, 2017

Art song is a general term that refers to the kinds of songs written by classically-trained composers for classically-trained singers. Composers themselves don’t talk about writing “art songs,” they simply say “songs.” But it can be a useful term for distinguishing songs in the classical tradition from folk songs and pop songs.