David Yaffe— The biggest misconception about Dylan, among the unbelievers, is that his cawing derision is somehow an impediment to appreciation. The second biggest (and this is among the believers) is that he is a poet before he is a lyricist and a performer, and that the latter two represent
Markus Rathey— We listen to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passions in strange isolation. Originally composed for the Lutheran liturgy in Leipzig, Germany, these magnificent pieces were embedded into a liturgical framework, which created its own references and its own meaning. During the season of Lent (forty-four days before Good Friday), concerted
David Cooper— Béla Bartók, the great Hungarian composer, pianist, ethnomusicologist, and pedagogue, died in Manhattan’s West Side Hospital on 27 September 1945 at the age of sixty four. The final five years of his life had been spent in the United States of America, a stranger in a strange land.
Today is the birthday of the composer John Cage, who is best known for 4’33”, a piece of music in which no intentional sounds are made by the artist or performer. Many, if not most, have encountered references to the piece, at least in comics and cartoons. Yet it may not be immediately
Adam Bradley— Last fall saw the publication of The Anthology of Rap, a collection that I co-edited with Andrew DuBois. The book gathers nearly 300 lyrics by dozens of artists from across rap’s four decades. Our purpose was to highlight rap’s development as a literary art form by underscoring the