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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.

What Happens to Music Majors After They Graduate From College?

A new study by two Jacobs School of Music researchers Peter Miksza and Lauren Hime reveals surprising details about music education and performance alumni as they pursue their careers. Using data from a 2010 US multi-institutional survey by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), the study confirms that nearly half of the music performance degree graduates reported performing as their current job, and slightly more than half of the music education degree graduates reported working in K–12 schools. SNAAP is administered by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.


Have We Been Playing Gershwin Wrong for 70 Years?
New York Times: Michael Cooper
It’s one of the most famous pieces of American music – but for 70 years, orchestras may have been playing one of its best-known effects wrong.

Could Music Projects Cut the Cost of Dementia Care?
The Guardian: Rachel Pugh
The Manchester Camerata orchestra is pioneering music projects in care homes; now academics are to study whether the sessions do more than just entertain participants.

Music’s Role in Digital Content as Small and Shrinking
The Sonicbids
Digital music (at retail values) will be just 10% of digital content revenue by 2020, down from 16% in 2015. So digital music is both small and losing market share. Online video, which is at an earlier stage of its development, is already bigger (at retail value) than the entire recorded music business (at trade value), while mobile app revenue is double that of online video.

A Closer Look at Wagner and #OscarsSoWhite
The New Yorker: Alex Ross
Using Wagner’s “Die Walküre” as the backdrop to much of this year’s Academy Awards caused an eruption in social media and gave Alex Ross an opportunity to offer a more nuanced historical overview of the work.

Kendrick Lamar’s Latest Restless Innovation
The New Yorker: Vinson Cunningham
To listen to Kendrick Lamar's “untitled unmastered” is to look at hip-­hop itself—to be reminded of how young an art form it is, and to be tantalized by how many evolutionary transformations it must have left to undergo.

Now Streaming on a Device Near You: New Music Playlists
NewMusicBox: Eddy Ficklin
A little while ago, New Music USA quietly released a new feature.


Mostly Mozart Festival Marks 50th Anniversary with Opera
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
The festival will include the premiere of a David Lang choral work for 1,000 singers, and 50 new works performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Bob Dylan’s Secret Archive
The New York Times: Ben Sisario
Sitting in climate-controlled storage in a museum are two additional “Blood on the Tracks” notebooks — unknown to anyone outside of Mr. Dylan’s closest circle — whose pages of microscopic script reveal even more about how Mr. Dylan wrote some of his most famous songs.

Late Jazz Singer Sarah Vaughan to be Honored with Forever Stamp in Newark
Classicalite: Ian Holubiak
Iconic jazz singer Sarah Vaughan will be given a most resounding tribute in her hometown of Newark, N.J. this month. It's been announced the U.S. Postal Service is honoring the timeless artist with a forever stamp portraying the singer in an oil painting.

Philadelphia Orchestra to visit Mongolia, First Step to a Residency David Patrick Stearns
In June 2017, the well-traveled ensemble will touch down at Genghis Khan International Airport in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar for concerts that may well be attended by nomads on horseback.

New York Philharmonic Presents Week-Long Messiaen Program Ian Holubiak
The New York Philharmonic will present a week-long program of everything by the French master composer Olivier Messiaen. Shows will take place everywhere from Brooklyn all the way to the Metropolitan Museum's Temple of Dendur.

Sixteen Jazz Composers’ Works to be Performed by Three Orchestras
Three different orchestras will give public readings of new works for symphony orchestra written by a total of sixteen jazz composers as part of the third Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) Readings, a program coordinated by EarShot, the National Orchestra Composition Discovery Network.

Barack and Michelle Obama to Headline South By Southwest Festivals
NPR: Camila Domonoske
President Obama will be talking with the editor in chief of The Texas Tribune in an conversation that will open SXSW Interactive, while first lady Michelle Obama will deliver the keynote address for SXSW Music.


Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Conductor and Early-Music Specialist, Dies at 86
New York Times: James R. Oestreich
A pioneering and influential early-music specialist and respected mainstream maestro, Harnoncourt died on Saturday in the village of St. Georgen in Attergau, west of Salzburg. He was 86.

The Other Classical Musics: Celebrating Non-European Classical Traditions from Afghanistan to Aleppo
The Independent: Michael Church
The Wigmore Hall in London will launch a new concert series – co-produced by the Aga Khan Music Initiative – which is also entitled “The Other Classical Musics”, and which will celebrate the music of the Muslim world.

A New Composers' Fund in U.K. to Award £150,000 Annually
Classicalite: Steve Nagel
The new fund will be worth £150,000 annually and is aimed specifically at young U.K. composers looking to realize projects that otherwise might not be possible "via traditional commissioning routes"

US Promotes Gay Rights at UN with Broadway Musical Visit
The Guardian: Mark Tran
US ambassador takes 17 UN envoys to see award-winning play Fun Home, centred around lesbian character and her gay father.

English National Opera to Cut Senior Pay by 20 Percent
The Stage: Matthew Hemley
The target is part of a business plan that is aimed at saving £5 million to cover a reduction in ENO’s funding from Arts Council England.

Noted Pianist Piotr Anderszewski Takes a Break From His Career
The New York Times: Anthony Tommasini
Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski does not want to become a “200-concert-per-year performing machine,” as he said in a recent interview with Humans of New York. Read Anne Midgette’s response – “Give me a break: classical musicians who step away

An Acoustic Museum of Byzantine Sound
Hyperallergic: Allison Meier
The sonic intentions of architecture are often lost over the centuries. In 2014, a team of researchers investigated the acoustics of Byzantine churches in Thessaloniki, Greece, to retrieve some of that design through sound mapping.

Music Freedom Day in Pakistan: A Call for Cultural Policy
Freemuse: Sher Alam Shinwari
Participants gathered with great enthusiasm across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata to celebrate the annual Music Freedom Day, calling on their leaders to formulate a comprehensive cultural policy, reported Sher Alam Shinwari from the city of Peshawar on 3 March 2016.


What Ballet Dancers Can Teach You About Finding a New Career
Huffington Post: Chloe Angyal
In this series, The Huffington Post profiles some of the best ballet dancers in the world, working in some of the rarest and most unusual work environments imaginable, to try to understand how they deal with the same workplace issues that confront the rest of us mere mortals.
Harry Price and Andrea Carrucciu talk about what it means to take leaps in your professional life.

Who Uses the Top 10 Social Media Networks and How They Use Them
Do you want to target your social media efforts more effectively? This chart looks at who uses the top 10 social media networks along with how and why they uses each.

The Musician's Essential Guide to Merch: What to Get, How Much to Charge, and Where to Buy


Be Amazed By This Marvelous Music Machine, Powered By 2,000 Marbles
NPR: Anastasia Tsioulcas
The "Marble Machine" is a musical instrument by way of a Rube Goldberg contraption, the love child of a barrel organ, a kick drum, a vibraphone and a bass — all powered by hand-cranked gears and 2,000 steel marbles.


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