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welcome and index pages
home page -- updated every Friday with new articles and recordings.
Site Index -- you are here.
About page -- for those of you who like to read the manual!
Listening pages -- all the sound and video files on the site in one central location  
pages about composers  
Bach, J. S. And now, a word from our friend, Mr. Bach: Some friendly, or perhaps not-so-friendly advice about organ playing.

And now, another word from our friend, Mr. Bach: It can't possibly all come down to hard work!
Beethoven, Ludwig van Looks Aren't Everything, Unless you are a Legend  -- what did Beethoven really look like?
Brahms, Johannes It's Only the Truth If You Can Yell the Loudest  Brahms writes a letter to the editor
Buxtehude, Dietrich What a long, strange trip it must have been: Bach travels 250 miles to hear Buxtehude
Chopin, Frederic
Chopin at an impasse  decisions, decisions....

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau Not Your Average Concert Tour: Louis Moreau Gottschalk tours the United States during the Civil War
Joplin, Scott Respecting Mr. Joplin  Joplin's battle to bring dignity to his person and his art
Mendelssohn, Felix Thank you, Mr. Freud   Even great composers are human beings. Which, alas, makes them pretty irrational. So much so that many of them didn't wait around for the advent of psychoanalysis to be born, write great works, throw themselves into rivers, and die. What would Freud have to say about all this? You'll have to ask him. This essay's only concern is the relatively tame case of Felix Mendelssohn.
Moszkowski, Moritz The Sunshine Composer Answers his Critics  Was he just too nice to produce great art?
Mozart, W. A. Not bad, for a five-year old: Mozart's first compositions
Mussorgsky, Modeste With Friends Like These... pals dish a little gossip about Modeste Mussorgsky
Praetorius: Michael,
    Hieronymus and Jacob
'The Three Mayors': Michael, Hieronymus, and Jacob Praetorius in the digital age

Satie, Erik Erik Satie, the Individual
Scarlatti, Domenico The Solace of Noble Minds: The Strange Employment of Domenico Scarlatti
Schubert, Franz Back to School with Franz Schubert  Schubert chooses the last week of his short life to start taking counterpoint lessons
Schumann, Robert

Who wants to be a genius?  Shall we gather at the river?
Tchaikovsky, Pyotor I. All I want for Christmas is to have my mentor and roommate completely trash my piano concerto   A heartwarming anecdote regarding one of the most popular pieces in the repertoire
various composers He was Born  it's so much more interesting when you connect the dots
  How they died  the eerie deaths of several composers
  Take this Job and...      great composers and their employers

articles about instruments and the people who play them
The Anatomy of the Piano
Thousands of parts, tons of pressure, hundreds of precision adjustments--a karaoke machine this isn't!

Moving a piano
Wouldn't it be nice if they were inflatable?
The Behemoth of Instruments   Inside the mighty pipe organ
part two: the pipe room
part three: how to register a complaint

Simple Gifts   A brief guide to the things musicians do
simple gifts     
an essay on same
Don't your fingers get tired? A friendly question and answer page for the curious...

In Concert...
A Page Turner's Survival Guide   How to get an up-close look at your favorite artists!
I Survived the St. Paul's School Holiday Concert   The closest thing to a blow-by-blow description of being a pianist during a concert I've come up with so far!

Things you might not know about classical music
Koechel, God Bless You!     What's the deal with those funny numbers?
What's with all the Italian?  Have you ever wondered why musical terms always seem to be in Italian?
On the Nature of Harmony:  (Orthodoxy and the Overtone Series) What makes harmony so--er, harmonious?
The Wonderful World of Enharmonic Spellings  Wouldn't the world be a nicer place without F-double sharp? Well....
A Semi-brief Explanation of When to Clap   Afraid to enter the cathedrals of music because you might genuflect at the wrong time? Then, would-be concert-goers, this is for you!

Mixing it up (musical issues)
When Is a Piano not a piano?  How most of our greatest pianist-composers didn't know how to write for their instrument, according to some of our mediocre academicians.
Is Music theory Really Necessary?    Would I deserve a doctorate if I didn't answer "yes and no"?
Music and Math   Music is just math in sounds, right?

Inside the Music (the creative act of writing and understanding music)
The Gymnopedie Project: students take on the eccentric Frenchman by writing their own Gymnopedies
Taking a Chance with the Music: Mozart's Dice Game (you too can play at composing music)
What's in a name: Fugue
How Not to Write a Musical

a little speculation on the graphic representation of sounds...
Looks Like it Sounds--or, those bizarre squiggles we call music.
Why do we write music the way we do and is it actually the best method? Dare we ask?
           Part One (the staff that ate Chicago...)
Part Two  (mock some sages, clefs for me) 
Part Three (it's about time) 
           Part Four (in perfect harmony)
What's the meaning of this?  Essays on Art and society
Sandwich Artist  Does art have to pass a qualifying exam? (2003)
Speak For Yourself    Christo's Gates spark the usual diatribes about what art isn't, but it's not coming from the critics (2004)
Music and Its Uses, United States, circa 2010   Music in the 21st century is about as plentiful as running water, electricity, and food, and is often treated as such. (2007)
The Universal Language of Mankind  After reading this essay, you will agree with everything I have to say. If you don't, go find yourself another universe, buddy. (2006)
Topping the Charts  an uberpopular ringtone signals the decline of civilization for those who like to lament this sort of thing (2005)
Does it matter if we care if you listen?  Milton Babbitt's controversial article struck a nerve in the war between high and low art (2009)
Before the blog arrived in 2012 there was a monthly web column on matters musical. Here they are...  (2009-2011)

5-Second Rule have browser, will--
Rhetoric  on music's persuasive power
Resolution  mediocrities, I absolve you!
Marking Time  Cage and Gould
Music Appreciation  try it, you'll appreciate it.
What I Did this Summer  Europe, and the toccata
Finding my Footing  on the organ pedals, that is.
The Big 1-0  one big OLD website
This is your brain on Microsoft  Stages of practice
Of All the Nerves... a guide to the kinds of nerves musicians face on stage
A Brief Survey of "mom and pop" organists on the Internet
Music of the Future Did a robot write this post for me? hmmm
You Better not Cry complaining about Christmas
Mix Tape what is the point of all this recording?
Bring on the Noise! at last, a decent way to post audio
Thoughts upon a Toccata You're not gonna like this.
Birthday Party I know, everybody does it like that...
Canonically Speaking what's in and what's out
Billions and Billions of Arpeggios Sold  mass production for the masses
A Night at the (concept) opera  electric sheep, anyone?
Apparently Diamond-Studded Pianos aren't Forever  but then, what is?
Your Lucky Day!  first you have to create a password
Does Music Make you Rude?  Should it?
Do you have somewhere to Be? tempo boosto
Hit Parade who's ever heard of Beethoven's 4th?
Thoughts During a Concert think of them like interior program notes in real time
Do Not Disturb introducing my composer's hut
Skills I Have Acquired Recently you won't believe number 4
They Laughed When I Started to Play... Which is just the way it should be
Bless the recording stars and the children (somebody sign that grasshopper to a recording contract!)
Civil War (you are an idiot. I mean that in the nicest way possible.)
Dialogue with a Steinway (a recording session with a cantankerous instrument)
I'd Like to Thank the Academy (nobody does it alone)
Precedent (the last bad performance?)
An Exercise in Creative Ignorance (or why trying to sight-read your throw pillow probably won't work)
Mailbag (questions I've gotten from readers)
That reminds me of something (thoughts about quoting popular tunes in classical music)
Beethoven on Facebook (a romp through a parallel universe)
My Apologies (stress and predictability in music)
What's with all the Italian? (Why so much about classical music seems to be in a foreign language)
The rest is silence (how silence is important to music--and sanity!)
Know your limits (how Chopin's strengths and weaknesses helped him forge a unique musical career)
The 'F' Word (thoughts on Musical Form)

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