Category: listening

Considering orchestration and arrangements with Laura Mvula’s Sing to the Moon

I often enjoy listening to multiple examples of the same song by the same artist. In addition to being enjoyable in and of itself, having multiple recordings of the same music can be a nice way to have learners listen to and discuss the decisions that musicians make when orchestrating or arranging music. Check out some of these recordings of Laura Mvula’s Sing to the Moon and maybe have students/learners listen and chat about the

Rap, rhyme, and rhythm for music teaching and learning

The following Vox video Rapping, deconstructed: The best rhymers of all time, produced by Estelle Caswell, provides an introduction to the ways that rap musicians use rhyme and rhythm in their music and traces changes over time. (NOTE: The video contains language from some of the music that is not appropriate in many school settings). Take a look & listen and consider any connections you might make to existing or potential music curricula: What implications might this

Visualizing Music

I’m always interested in the ways that people visualize and represent music. As a field, we can often be very Western standard notation-based. I’m increasingly interested in digitally mediated ways of visualizing sound and music. I discuss some aspects of this in my chapter Inter/trans/cross/new media(ting): Navigating an emerging landscape of digital media for music education. If you are interested in the topic of music visualization, I also highly recommend Webb’s articles Music analysis down the (You) tube?

Blurred lines, forensic musicology, and music

[updated 3/17/15] Musicologists, and more specifically forensic musicology, are receiving some attention in the mainstream press lately over the lawsuit regarding whether Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams violated copyright law by essentially creating music substantially similar to Marvin Gaye’s music without permission or providing royalties to Gaye’s estate. (To make a long story short, jurors found Thicke and Williams guilty.) You might be interested in musicologist Joe Bennett’s analysis and commentary on the issue. I’m

Music, Expression, Responding to Current Events, Trayvon Martin, & National Music Standards

Music plays numerous important functions in society and as part of the human experience. Merriam (1964), for instance, outlines 10 functions of music. Several functions of music apply to the role that music can play in responding to current events, such as the death of Trayvon Martin, recent acquittal of George Zimmerman and related issues. The following four functions of music hold particular relevance in this context: Emotional expression (including the opportunity to provide people