Does it Need to Sound Pretty? Part One

A. Kori Hill If you study classical music, you’ve probably been told to take the edge out of your sound and make it pretty. There is so much classical music […]

What Defines Musical Style?

A. Kori Hill When you hear “popular music,” what do you think of? Likely, a big name like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, maybe Elvis Presley, or the Supremes. But in terms […]

A Lesson on Minimalism

A. Kori Hill Repetition is a funny thing–it can be boring or exciting. It can make you feel like you’re going nowhere or rediscovering something familiar. You can feel all […]

Let’s Learn About Serialism

A. Kori Hill Over a hundred years ago, there lived a guy named Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951). He was frustrated because Classical music had gotten so big, long, complex, and chromatic […]

Understanding Symphonies

Dun dun dun DUN! Four of the most recognizable notes in classical music. All thanks to Ludwig van Beethoven and his Symphony No. 5 in C minor.

Music Scholars

There are SO many great music scholars out there. So many folks that make it easy for us to access information on music and its history. That’s the cool thing about music scholarship: it doesn’t stay the same. Because there’s always something new to uncover or reinvestigate.  

What is Ethnomusicology?

If you love reading about composers, compositions, and music traditions, you’ve likely enjoyed something written by a music scholar. These folks go by many names and use many tools to study all these things. Not all musicological topics are historical, and not all music scholars are musicologists. So today, I want to break down for you the three major disciplines of academic music study people pursue when they want to write about music history and culture: musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory.

Understanding Opera: Part 2

The operas discussed here are not set in 18th century France or a mythological country. One is set in 21st century Cincinnati, Ohio; the other in 19th century South Carolina. Both deal with topics you may not expect from an opera: four high schoolers prepping for college admission essays; an enslaved Muslim man finding his way in pre-Civil War America. But what they tell us is that opera is only limited by what we decide it can express.

Understanding Opera

A. Kori Hill Opera. A small word for a tradition with a long history and a big personality. Maybe you saw a production of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme (1896) as […]