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Joey Baron

Harmonies That Welcomed Imagination—Remembering John Abercrombie (1944-2017)

John Abercrombie set the template for me as far as how to play music with an open mind. The special thing that stands out about John is his natural democratic manner as a player and writer. He could not help it—it’s just the way he was.

Articles
Shi-An Costello (世 安)

Orientalism in American Classical Music

The perpetuation of Orientalism is alive and well in U.S. classical music circles, and it needs to stop. The more conscious we are of our words and actions, the more likely we are to replace them with more humanizing gestures, in hopes of a kinder, more tolerant world.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

George Walker: Concise and Precise

If there’s any quality that distinguishes all of the music of George Walker, who at the age of 95 is still actively composing, it’s its conciseness and preciseness. Walker often creates visceral music, but his compositions are also filled with moments of tenderness and beauty even though, for Walker, beauty might be a by-product but it is never an explicit goal.

Articles
Stephen K. Steele

Suspending Time and Figuring Out the Impossible—Remembering David Maslanka (1943-2017)

My first exposure to David Maslanka’s music was a monumental, life changing experience for me as a young college wind band conductor. His music speaks, regardless of the technical proficiency of the individuals or the collective ensemble, and it communicates at a deeply intense and personal level. I grew very close to his music and this quiet, generous man became my dear friend.

Articles
Will Robin

New Horizons, Old Barriers

Funded by the organization Meet The Composer, the New York Philharmonic’s Horizons festivals represented a major shift in how new music was supported in the 1980s, as composers newly embraced the orchestra, turned away from academia, and entered the classical music marketplace. But declining to properly represent the diversity of the American musical landscape was one of its failures.

Articles
Elaine Walker

Composing Xenharmonic Music

You can throw most of the harmony lessons you’ve ever had right out the window when composing xenharmonic music. Dissonance is just as important as consonance. Any tuning can just as easily sound ugly or exotic or beautiful. In musician speak, if it’s close enough for rock’n’roll, it will sound in tune!

Articles
Per F. Broman

Amateur Hour: Karin Rehnqvist, The City’s Choir, and the Gift that Kept Giving

Karin Rehnqvist was never afraid of being labeled a composer for amateurs (nor was she afraid of being labeled a feminist), and after numerous commissions from professional ensembles and international performances, she didn’t have to prove herself. The amateur path she started on actually showed itself to be an ideal schooling in outreach and entrepreneurship.

Articles
Elaine Walker

Essential Tools for Xenharmonic Music

Even if you are an acoustic musician, I suggest expanding your xenharmonic universe into the digital world because there will be more choices of tunings and sounds. And vice versa.

Articles
Ryan Ebright

How to Produce Opera Outside the Opera House

How do you get an opera company to produce an opera that’s not really an opera? You don’t—you do it yourself. But it takes a network of support. Ryan Ebright explores the personal connections and professional collaborators that allowed Steve Reich and Beryl Korot to self-produce their first video opera The Cave.

Articles
Elaine Walker

The Science of Sound and Tunings

As a composer, what drew me to use scales that have more, or less, notes per octave than our standard twelve-tone tuning–or xenharmonic music–was the boredom that crept up on me over the years of using the same twelve notes over and over, plus a curiosity about other possible tunings and what emotional chords they might strike.

Articles
Paul Frucht

Rediscovering Ives’s Legacy

As I got older and began to compose, I began to understand why all of my local music teachers talked so much about Charles Ives. It wasn’t what I suspected growing up, that he was a middling-famous composer who happened to have been born in our town. No, they kept talking about Ives because he really is that important.

Articles
Elaine Walker

What is Xenharmonic Music?

Using a different number of notes per octave, it is possible to write new music with new harmonic relationships that humankind has never heard before.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Chris Brown: Models are Never Complete

Despite his fascination with extremely dense structures, California-based composer Chris Brown is surprisingly tolerant about loosely interpreting them. Chalk it up to a musical career that has been equally devoted to composing and improvising.

Articles
Katherine Balch

Mentor, Me—Mentoring is Hard

As a young and very green teacher of both classroom and private students, I have no illusions about making mistakes in my teaching. Teachers face challenges in managing many different personalities in a classroom, particularly in equating vocality with interest or aptitude.

Articles
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Building Curriculum Diversity: Technique, History, and Performance

We must build greater gender and racial diversity into curriculums and concert programs so that students may see themselves in history.

Articles
Sasha Metcalf

How OPERA America Has Supported New Works

In the 1980s, OPERA America members became concerned with the dearth of new American operas and the stagnation of standard European repertoire. In response to this perceived crisis, they decided to take action. But the need for financial support was only part of the problem.

Articles
Linda May Han Oh

A Fearless and Kind Leader—Remembering Geri Allen (1957-2017)

The vast number of people in this world that the great Geri Allen has influenced is undeniable. She has been an outstanding musician, mother, educator, mentor, and role model to many—including myself.

Articles
Katherine Balch

Mentor, Me—Momentary Mentorship

In October of last year, Ashley Fure became a mentor to me without her knowing it. Beyond the striking impression of the music, I was moved by Fure’s comments about it.

Articles
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Building Curriculum Diversity: Analytical Essays

Why is it important to include women in curriculums or histories? Why is it important that women’s contributions are visible? If they’re not, we run the risk of their absence being accepted as some kind of unquestionable natural state. We need to actively resist this by ensuring women and their music are present in our classrooms and concert halls.

Articles
Donna Arnold

Schoenberg’s Punk Rocker:  The Radical Transformations of Dika Newlin

Anyone who knew her would agree that multifaceted composer, musicologist, teacher, Schoenberg disciple and punk rock singer Dika Newlin (1923-2006) was one of the most brilliant, eccentric people they ever encountered. Her extant works certainly deserve to be rediscovered. But for her multimedia pieces, it is almost certainly too late.

Articles
Gahlord Dewald

Beyond SoundCloud: Why We Share

In the wake of questions surrounding SoundCloud’s future, it may seem important to quickly figure out “What service do I use now?!?” But Gahlord Dewald suggests that we might first take this opportunity to clarify our goals when we share our music online, and then let those answers lead us to the best tools. He’s found several to get you started. What would you add to the list?

Articles
Katherine Balch

Mentor, Me—Beyond Musical Mentorship

Having someone as a mentor figure who was outside of music–Vickie Sullivan, a popular professor at Tufts University particularly well known in the political science and classics departments–was really grounding: it reminded me that my art and the skills I need to make it didn’t exist in a vacuum.

Articles
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Building Curriculum Diversity: Pink Noises

Tara Rodgers chats with Anne Lanzilotti about electronic music, gear, gender, and the ways in which music is a starting point for exploring questions of belonging and nonbelonging, of identity and difference.

Articles
Edward Ficklin

History Repeating: Today's Net Neutrality Day of Action

Today is a net neutrality day of action! New Music USA is certainly interested in preserving a free and open internet and has filed a comment with the FCC to this effect. Eddy Ficklin outlines what’s at stake–especially for creative artists–and shows you how to submit a comment of your own.

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NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation.

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NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.

NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation. NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.