It is often quite interesting the little tidbits of information that are left out of textbooks. For example: Mozart had a potty mouth and a dirty sense of humor, Schubert spent lots of time living with “friends” in Vienna, and Haydn, oh yeah, he was decapitated after he died. The culprits? Joseph Carl Rosenbaum, a […]

8:56 a.m. Groggy undergraduates rush to sign in before their class begins. Unaware of what exactly they are about to see, all they know is that it is a performance of some sort. As the digital clock changes to show 9:00, Dr. Timothy Russell directs the class to the powerpoint displayed on the screen and […]

More and more these days, commercialized pop music is attracting artists which often posses something different from the norm. No, not gender neutral hair, eyeliner on guys or meat themed attire, but performers with graduate degrees in music. These classically trained musicians, many of whom have spent tens of thousands of dollars for their education, […]

  Politics…. Oy vey. For our overseas readers (all four of you) consider yourself lucky. The past few months in the land of Uncle Sam have been some of the most divisive I can remember. Democrats calling Republicans names, Republicans returning the childish behavior, all while refusing to work together serving the public whom elected […]

= We are fortunate to have another guest blogger here at A Close Shake. While I have been busy with the launch of the Boston Chamber Orchestra’s Commission Competition, Nick Burtius has been kind enough to step in and write an entry which might ruffle the tail feathers of many a diva. “For one who […]

Twinkle, Twinkle, little Supernova, How I wonder what you… ….. .. Bossa nova …. If there is anything more difficult than finding a legitimately good rhyme for the word supernova, it would be composing a piece of interesting and engaging music. Seriously, it’s much harder than you think (the rhyme, that is.) I have long […]

Carl E. Seashore wrote many things in his life. Some articles perturb certain friends of mine (and rightly so) but regardless, his scientific approach to analyzing vibrato should be considered a cornerstone to any research regarding the mechanics and application of vibrato in the early twentieth century. But this post isn’t about degrees of pitch […]

Today’s post at A Close Shake comes to us from a guest author, Jerome Cardan. Jerome is an established writer of mathematics, medicine and astrology (oops, probably shouldn’t have shared that one, sorry J.) He is also an Italian with a slight flair for the dramatic in prose. Why do musicians rarely become rich? (That […]

The genesis of vibrato in instrumental performance has long been thought (and taught) to have made it’s way across the great divide originating in the vocal world. Indeed, this is what many sources today state. Possible points of origin include early Italian opera (which seems to have been the first adopter of the trembling voice) […]

While perusing a not so recent edition of The Strad (pub. 1898) looking to further my research, I couldn’t help but enjoy the advertising and think about how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Tucked in between articles about violin maintenance and biographies of prominent string players of today 1898 and […]

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