a history of western music

Red River Valley
Squeek Steele
Red River Valley

Red River Valley - Squeek Steele, Pianist

“Red River Valley” is a folk song and cowboy music standard of uncertain origins that has gone by different names—e.g., “Cowboy Love Song”, “Bright Sherman Valley”, “Bright Laurel Valley”, “In the Bright Mohawk Valley”, and “Bright Little Valley"—depending on where it has been sung. It is listed as Roud Folk Song Index 756, and by Edith Fowke as FO 13. Edith Fowke offers anecdotal evidence that the song was known in at least five Canadian provinces before 1896. This finding led to speculation that the song was composed at the time of the 1870 Wolseley Expedition to Manitoba’s northern Red River Valley. It expresses the sorrow of a local woman (possibly a Métis) as her soldier lover prepares to return to the east. The earliest known written manuscript of the lyrics, titled "The Red River Valley”, bears the notations “Nemaha 1879” and “Harlan 1885."Nemaha and Harlan are the names of counties in Nebraska, and are also the names of towns in Iowa.The song appears in sheet music, titled "In the Bright Mohawk Valley”, printed in New York in 1896 with James J. Kerrigan as the writer. The tune and lyrics were collected and published in Carl Sandburg’s 1927 American Songbag. In 1925, Carl T. Sprague, an early singing cowboy from Texas, recorded it as “Cowboy Love Song” (Victor 20067, August 5, 1925), but it was fellow Texan Jules Verne Allen’s 1929 “Cowboy’s Love Song” (Victor 40167, March 28, 1929), that gave the song its greatest popularity. Allen himself thought the song was from Pennsylvania, perhaps brought over from Europe.


Not sure if this is your style, but I found these books in the past two years at this tiny place (it’s basically a thrift store but everything’s free??? Not sure what to call it.) at the tip of cape cod.

The books date from 1990-1951 (the red one says Three Centuries of Harpsichord Making) the drawing was inside “A History of Western Music” along with a phone number and a note that I can’t read dating to 1975.


Nil Yalter

- D’Apres “STIMMUNG”


Nil Yalter’s cycle D’Apres “STIMMUNG” was created in 1973 in Paris, immediately after a performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s vocal work Stimmung. Stockhausen’s composition — a commission by the city of Cologne, which was premiered in 1968 by the Collegium Vocale Cologne — is a significant work in the history of music. It is probably the first work by a Western composer to make use of overtones of the human voice.

In her seven-part assemblage, Yalter points to Stockhausen’s strict formal schema and visualizes the names of gods called upon by the singers, from the Hindu Vishnu to the Aztec Ueueteotl to Jesus. The documentary, almost didactic arrangement and the slightly mocking references — “nails” and the “hair of Jesus” allude to the Catholic veneration of relics — could express a distancing: divine experience can no longer be conveyed to a Western audience. It is only possible to document the attempt, and the failure thereof.

Stockhausen’s intercultural approach could have also appealed to Yalter for biographic reasons. The artist comes from a Turkish family. She was born in 1938 in Cairo and has lived in Paris since 1965. In the late ‘60s she turned to political art. Since the '70s she has been among the most important representatives of artistic feminism.

Med School Interviews

Hey all!

Having survived the interview process last year and experiencing a few different types of interviews, I just wanted to give some of my advice for medical school interviews.

  • When you get an invitation from the admissions committee to interview at a school, schedule is for as soon as you can. And schedule it quickly, as spots can fill for interviews fast! My advice for all things med school apps is to get it done and submitted ASAP because if a school has 200 seats, you’re competing for 200 initially, but that number winds down as they start to offer acceptances throughout the process.
  • Plan, plan, plan your trip. If your interview is >2 hours away, I would definitely book a hotel near the school. This depends on the location, the traffic going into/out of cities and towns, you personal comfort level with traveling, and of course, your finances. If you need to book a flight, do so ASAP. Driving? Make sure your car is reliable and the tank filled. When booking a hotel room, you obviously don’t need to book the penthouse suite of the Hilton (hey, if you can afford it, by all means…go for it!). But I wouldn’t recommend staying in the cheapest place either. I did this for one of my interviews to save money, and once I saw the condition of the hotel room, I started crying (LOL there was blood on the curtains of the window and the peephole literally was missing and had a piece of tissue stuffed into it) and felt way more anxious than I needed to be the night before the interview. Finally, don’t wait until the week of the interview to ask off from work, or ask someone to cover for you. If you’re still in school, check to make sure you don’t have important tests, quizzes or projects and discuss the absence with your profs as necessary. Get these things arranged early so that when that week rolls around, you’re not worrying about it!
  • Know both your primary and secondary applications INSIDE AND OUT. This includes what classes you took! You may have an interviewer pick out the smallest, one-day volunteering thing you did that time with those people and wait, why were you there? What club were you… NO. Don’t wait until that day to remember the details of that experience. Have a prepared answer for your experiences in volunteering, shadowing, working, etc. As for the classes bit, I took an introductory music course my Sophomore year to fulfill a general education requirement which included most Western/European music styles and music history. One of my interviewers asked me what my favorite piece of music was that I learned about in that class!! Luckily, I actually loved that class, and had an immediate response that I was able to elaborate upon. 
  • Dress the part. Suits. Suits. Suits. For guys, this is pretty easy. For gals, you have some more variability. I saw mostly skirt suits or pant suits on my interviews, black, grey, and navy blue. I know that some people are way more fashionable than me and might want to show off some style, but keep it mostly conservative for the interview. You might get some old guy who is very traditional as your interviewer. He’s obviously not going to say, “UGH she was wearing a bright pink suit so we can’t let her in!” but you don’t want your clothes to be the center of attention. You want YOU and your awesome qualifications and experiences to be the center of attention! Also, be well groomed. Go get that trim and root touch up if you need it (looking’ at you, my fellow highlight lovers).
  • Practice interviewing. Prior to my interviews, I had many experiences with interviewing, both as the interviewee and the interviewer, so I didn’t ask people to do mock interviews with me. However, if your school provides them, DO IT! They provide really helpful feedback. My graduate program had a committee interview for me and gave me so much helpful feedback, even on the smallest of details. Do this, even if you think you’re gonna rock it! You can also always ask a good friend to mock interview you.
  • Wondering what they might ask you? Check out this book called Why Medicine? It has lists of questions (without the answers of course!) and some questions have pointers and “things to consider” before answering. I found it really helpful! You could also have your friend helping you mock interview pick and choose questions from the chapters to ask you!
  • Investigate what you’re about to go into. Many SDN threads (though I detest SDN) will have people who have already interviewed there write about their experience. This can be both good and bad, because you may want to know how many interviewers you’ll have, but people on there can be so rude. Try to found out what the format is beforehand, if possible. You could have one on one, which is pleasant because you can really have a conversation with this person, and don’t have other people in the room drilling you. I actually preferred the interviews with 2 interviewers because I would shift eye contact between both of them and it just overall felt easier. Some schools will have you interview with a student first, then a professor later (or vice versa). If you interview with a student, DO NOT BLOW IT OFF. I have heard so many students who interview applicants say that their interviewee blew off the interview, talked about inappropriate things such as partying (are you serious….), and essentially acted in ways that were less than professional. Treat the student interview the same way that you would treat the professor /doctor interview. Lawd have mercy. Also, know the school, their mission, values, etc. BEFORE going into your interview. I know a lot of applicants apply to 20+ schools, but when you get that invitation to interview at Far Away Medical School That Looked Cool on the Internet, spend some time on their website gathering information.
  • Remember to be a decent human being and hold doors for those behind you, talk to staff of the institution, don’t ignore the secretary who gives you a friendly “hello” because you’re nervous. Talk to your other interviewees, be positive and encouraging. Remember, the whole day is the interview, not just the part where they’re asking the questions. If the dean of admissions overhears you being rude to the Starbucks barista that morning, you’re toast. (Side note: you shouldn’t ever be rude to the people that handle your food/drinks, just think about it.) 
  • On that note, talk to everyone! I felt so much more relaxed after asking another person in the group about where they were from/their undergraduate institution/jobs/family, etc. 
  • Pump up music on the drive/bus/train on the way in. Nuff said. 
  • RELAX. You were chosen to be at this interview for a reason (because you is kind, you is smart, you is important). Your qualifications stood out among many other applicants and they invited you to be there that day. You might get tripped up in your interview, stumble over your words, or even say something you didn’t mean to say. Take a deep breath, it’s not the end of the world. Just keep with it. 
  • Pay attention to when they give you post-interview details. Some schools allow you to call the office for your status, some will cast you to the pits of hell for asking that over the phone (not really, obviously). A few weeks after your interview, you might start going crazy wondering what’s going on. But maybe their admissions committee is behind on decisions and it’s gonna take a while longer. 
  • Afterwards, celebrate! Have a glass of wine, eat some ice cream, if you’re one of those crazy people who actually enjoys running, then go for a run. Job well done, you deserve some relaxation and fun! And lastly, don’t obsess over the interview. Once it’s done, it’s done. Worrying over the fact that you mispronounced someone’s name accidentally, or dropped your papers all over the place is NOT going to get you accepted to medical school. If you’re wait listed, send updates if the school allows it. The big bad interview is behind you now, it’s just time for the waiting game. 

Also: Interview Tips part 2

Rey and Kylo Theme parallels and The Day of Wrath?

I was asked to give my thoughts on the discussion in this post/podcast. Here ya go!

So yes, there’s no denying that both Kylo and Rey’s melodies have overlapping notes. However, what is interesting is that even though this parallel exists, not once was it ever utilized (at least not that I picked up on. If you know of a place, let me know!) At no point in time did we hear Kylo’s melody morph directly into Rey’s, maintaining the exact same key and octave or anything. Something that would have these general pitches (ignore Sibelius’s stupid measure numbers):


There are definitely interactions. Who cares if they overlap?! Well, I’m kidding because obviously I would, but at this point, what’s important is how they INTERACT!

 Enjoy this (way too long meta) below the cut. 

Keep reading

Check Please at Music School

I have been led to understand that there’s a powerful tradition of alternate universes in this fandom that I have fallen into, mostly because of the morning I spent giggling over all of @itsybittle‘s beautiful AUs. Let’s unleash this unholy fury of my own AU idea upon the world.

The Check Please! cast as music majors rather than hockey nerds, performing in orchestra and solo settings while learning all about musical theory and history. I deeply apologise to anyone who’s already thought of this. But:

Bitty plays the flute, duh. That’s one of those no-brainer choices. And he’s godly at ensemble playing, since Coach eventually just gave up on trying to get him away from music and signed him up for a community orchestra. He’s been first flute in that orchestra for years, and it just seemed natural to go into music because it’s what he’s good at, and what he knows. So he got himself a tutor to prepare for the uni audition.

And then discovered that he has stage fright. Like, really bad stage fright. Like, piss your pants and fall over in a faint in front of the audience stage fright. And it’s only when he has a solo. As long as he has backup on stage with him, he’s fine. But solos are impossible, which he never realised because he’s only done ensemble playing. He gets through the uni audition on sheer nerve, and he’s a nervous wreck for a week afterwards. That’s when his family decides that he should see a psychologist before this does murder to him and his potential career.

Anyway, he gets in to his University’s school of music. Here comes the slew of characters.

Keep reading


United Western Recorders was originally known as Radio Center and United Recorders Corp. Arguably the greatest recording studio in pop music history, it was the sight of countless hits. So much was recorded here! The Mamas and the Papas hits Monday, Monday and California Dreaming. Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco. Jan & Dean’s Surf City. Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction. Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds. Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country Music. Dean Martin’s Houston.

But wait, there’s more.

Live for Today by The Grass Roots. Feelin Groovy by Harper’s Bizarre. Up, Up and Away by the 5th Dimension. Boots are Made for Walkin by Nancy Sinatra. Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers. MacArthur Park by Richard Harris. Frank Sinatra’s My Way, Lady is a Tramp, Somethin’ Stupid and That’s Life. Almost everything by The Monkees. So much Beach Boys from California Girls to Surfin USA to Good Vibrations to the aborted Smile. All kinds of stuff produced by Phil Spector and Lou Adler and Kim Fowley and Sonny Bono.

The Righteous Brothers. The Association. The Turtles. Spanky and Our Gang. Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Mel Carter. Sam Cooke. Petula Clark. Walter Wanderly. Cal Tjader. Roy Ayers. Johnny Pate. Herbie Hancock. Art Pepper. John Coltrane. Randy Newman. Elvis. Lee Hazlewood. It was ground central for Hollywood’s most famous studio musicians, The Wrecking Crew.

It was also used for television and film. The theme songs for The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres and The Partridge Family were done here as were the television underscores for Gunsmoke, Hawaii 5-0, He & She and the failed late 60s Blondie sitcom. Les Baxter did many of his scores for American International here. Voice over sessions for the cartoon Roger Ramjet, Joey Bishop’s country and western LP, Lalo Schifrin’s soundtrack for Bullitt, Captain Beefheart’s Lick My Decals Off Baby (produced by Frank Zappa). That’s some of the famous stuff, and then there are the obscure tracks lost to time (like Voices Green and Purple by The Bees).

Quite amazing considering this place is about the size of a shoebox. It still stands, an icon of music history.

G-Dragon Praised by European Scholars

The Hallyu International Conference is being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for two days, between November 3 and 4. Some 200 scholars around the world analyzed Hallyu, including K-pop and K-dramas, but other scholars researched Korean street fashion, indie music, and non-mainstream movies.

Dr. Ute Fendler of University of Bayreuth started a presentation by showing G-Dragon‘s music video. The professor said, “G-Dragon doesn’t make his video just to look cool. You also need to look at his creativity, or the depth of his understanding in humanities. European music videos cannot compare his.” The professor praised G-Dragon, saying, “You can tell that he understands the mythology and history of Western culture, but his music videos remain oddly Korean.”

The professor also criticized viewers of his music videos and commented, “However, I don’t think many Koreans pick up on the depth of his work.”

How do you think European music videos compare to G-Dragon’s music videos?

Source: Soompi


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (Palestrina, 1525 - Roma, 1594),
Missa Papae Marcelli (via:Mnemósine Amnésica youtube)

The Tallis Scholars,
Peter Phillips, director.
The Palestrina 400 Collection

[00,01→]  Kyrie
[04,44→]  Gloria
[11,00→]  Credo
[20,54→]  Sanctus et Benedictus
[28,33→]  Agnus Dei 1 et 2

The Tallis Scholars
Jane Armstrong
Alison Gough
Stephanie Sale
Judy Stell

Matthew Bright
Paul Bropy
Joe Cooke
David Cordier

Joseph Cornwell
Andrew King
Rufus Müller

Colin Mason,
Francis Steele
Julian Walker
Jeremy White

Peter Phillips, director

Description from Wiki:  ”The mass was composed in honor of Pope Marcellus II, who reigned for three weeks in 1555. Recent scholarship suggests the most likely date of composition is 1562, when it was copied into a manuscript at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

The third and closing sessions of the Council of Trent were held in 1562–63, at which the use of polyphonic music in the Catholic Church was discussed. Concerns were raised over two problems: first, the use of music that was objectionable, such as secular songs provided with religious lyrics (contrafacta) or masses based on songs with lyrics about drinking or lovemaking; and second, whether imitation in polyphonic music obscured the words of the mass, interfering with the listener’s devotion. Some debate occurred over whether polyphony should be banned outright in worship, and some of the auxiliary publications by attendants of the Council caution against both of these problems. However, none of the official proclamations from the Council mentions polyphonic music, excepting one injunction against the use of music that is, in the words of the Council, “lascivious or impure”.  

Starting in the late 16th century, a legend began that the second of these points, the threat that polyphony might have been banned by the Council because of the unintelligibility of the words, was the impetus behind Palestrina’s composition of this mass. It was believed that the simple, declamatory style of Missa Papae Marcelli convinced Cardinal Carlo Borromeo, on hearing, that polyphony could be intelligible, and that music such as Palestrina’s was all too beautiful to ban from the Church. In 1607, the composer Agostino Agazzari wrote:

— Quoted in Taruskin, Richard, and Weiss, Piero. Music in the Western World:A History in Documents. Schirmer, 1984, p. 141.

Jesuit musicians of the 17th century maintained this rumor, and it made its way into music history books into the 19th century, when historian Giuseppe Baini, in his 1828 biography of Palestrina, couched him as the “savior of polyphony” from a council wishing to wipe it out entirely:

— Quoted in Taruskin, Richard, and Weiss, Piero. Music in the Western World:A History in Documents. Schirmer, 1984, p. 142.

An entry in the papal chapel diaries confirms that a meeting such as the one described by Baini occurred, but no mention is made of whether the Missa Papae Marcelli was performed there or what the reaction of the audience was.[2] This legend persisted into the 20th century; Hans Pfitzner’s opera Palestrina is based upon this understanding of the deliberations of the Tridentine officials. While Palestrina sympathized with many of the Council’s decisions, and, like Vincenzo Ruffo, sought deliberately to compose in a simplified, easily understood style to please church officials, there is no evidence to support either the view that the Council sought to banish polyphony entirely or that Palestrina’s mass was the deciding factor in changing their minds.

In the latter part of the 20th century, the Missa Papae Marcelli has been recorded frequently, and is often used as a model for the study of stile antico Renaissance polyphony in university courses on music..”

Artemis: lascivious or impure :-/   They considered everything lascivious and impure. LOL


Who knew that a bunch of cloistered monks could have such a huge impact on the history of Western music?

In the newest installment of TLG, we explore the development of Western Counterpoint… in as much depth as we can in only 5 minutes or so!

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