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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.


This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music
NPR: Cory Turner
Musical training doesn't just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That's the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.


The Musicology of the Present
New Music Box: Robert Fink
An introduction to a series of articles about the future of musicological thought in 2014. Musicologists who turn their attention to the present moment will not necessarily bring along with them their trusty narrative-machines, ready to process yesterday’s news into tomorrow’s historical truth.

The Role Of College Teaching In The Life of A Creative Musician
New Music Box: Payton MacDonald
Being successful at a university gig and climbing the academic ladder has more to do with what you do outside the university than what you do inside.

Should Artists Own The Copyrights For Public Art?
Willamette Week: John Locanthi
You would think the image of Portlandia would adorn postcards, photos and T-shirts. She doesn’t. That’s because her maker, Washington, D.C.-based sculptor Raymond Kaskey, has, over the past three decades, often threatened to sue those who dare use photos or illustrations of Portlandia for commercial purposes.

Artists Should Not Retain Copyright in Publicly Commissioned Art
For What it’s Worth: Michael Rushton
The rights of the artist can be rewarded in an initial contract, at the time the commission is set, that allocates rights in the most efficient way.


New president Deborah Rutter is Kennedy Center’s Breath of Fresh Air from Windy City
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
Rutter’s career has played out entirely in the orchestral world. Three times — at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony and in Chicago — she has brought organizations out of dire financial straits into rude good health.

Andris Nelsons Gets Ready to Lead the Boston Symphony
New York Times: James R. Oestreich
Mr. Nelsons takes his place in a youth movement that has swept across American podiums in recent years: perhaps fate’s final revenge on the grizzled, tyrannical maestros of the mid-20th century (Arturo Toscanini, Fritz Reiner, George Szell and the like).

New York Philharmonic Sets Date For Overhauling Avery Fisher Hall
New York Times: Michael Cooper
The target date to begin the long-delayed renovation of Avery Fisher Hall is now 2019, and the New York Philharmonic is planning a campaign to raise its share of the construction costs and double its endowment.

Fears Resonate that the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Lockout Could be for the Long Haul
ArtsAtl: Jenny Jarvie
After eight months of negotiations, the gulf between the two sides remains wide, with management claiming a $2.4 million discrepancy proposals.

San Francisco Opera Musicians Ratify New Four-Year Contract
SF Gate: Joshua Kosman
With a minimum of strife or public posturing, members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra have ratified a new contract with the company that provides the musicians with annual raises of 3 percent a year for the next four years.

Columbus Symphony Names Rossen Milanov as New Music Director
The Columbus Dispatch: Nancy Gilson
Rossen Milanov, currently maestro for the New Jersey orchestra and formerly an associate conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra, has signed a four-year contract to become music director of the Columbus Symphony.


The Future of New Music is at Risk if We Continue to Undervalue Composers
The Guardian: Susanna Eastburn
Professional composers are being asked to create new pieces for ‘shockingly low’ fees, Sound and Music report finds.

World Ballet Day – Global First: Five World-Class Ballet Companies, One Day of Live Streaming on Wednesday 1 October
The first ever World Ballet Day will see an unprecedented collaboration between five of the world’s leading ballet companies.

Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra: Congo's Musical Lifeline
The Telegraph: John Allison
In spite – or because – of being based in a city that counts among the poorest, most dysfunctional in the world today, the OSK is not just Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra but a vital lifeline in its community.


U2's Apple Launch: What it Means for the Band and the Company
The Guardian: Eamonn Forde
The fact that U2 are letting people hear Songs of Innocence for free speaks to their diminishing powers – but the launch also suggests Apple fears for iTunes

Billboard Refuses to Recognize U2′s Latest Album
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
On Tuesday, U2’s Songs of Innocence was distributed to approximately 500 million iTunes Cloud accounts, with every copy paid for by Apple. Still, the album won’t appear on Billboard’s album sales chart, despite being the largest album ever released in the history of recorded music.

On Instagram’s Hyperlapse, and Fast-Forwarding to the Future
NY Times: Jenna Wortham
Instagram introduced a new video editing app this week, called Hyperlapse, which allowed users to create “high-quality time-lapse videos” and import them into the photo and video sharing service.

Social Media for Choruses
Chorus America: Nancy Roberts
6 Commandments and the Golden Rule

7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of your Crowdfunding Giving Levels
Fractured Atlas: Nathan Zebedeo
We see new campaigns being launched on an almost daily basis and here are some of the best tips we offer to budding crowdfunders about their perks or giving levels - the rewards that they are offering to their donors.

Women Entrepreneurs Take the Stage During New York's Jazz Age Donald Miller
The 1920s was a breakthrough decade for women in business and other professions. In Manhattan, a number of ambitious women became celebrity entrepreneurs.



James Murphy is Making Songs out of Tennis Matches
AV Club: Kayla Reed
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy is making music out of the sounds of U.S. Open tennis matches.

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