RILM
Bessie Smith analyzed

Happy 120th birthday to Bessie Smith!

Bessie Smith 1923

Bessie Smith 1923

An examination of Bessie Smith’s first two released recordings—Down hearted blues and Gulf Coast blues—demonstrates that her interpretative originality and expressive individuality were evident from the start of her recording career in 1923.

Full transcriptions of her vocal line on each of these recordings combined with detailed descriptions and analysis of the pitch content, the main rhythmic…

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Jack Casady’s signature bass

Happy 70th birthday to Jack Casady!

Casady

Casady

In a 2006 interview, Jack Casady recalled the development of the Epiphone Jack Casady Signature Bass:

“When I first started playing, I ran across a short scale semi-hollow bass. Despite lacking some low end, I really enjoyed the semi-hollow nature of that bass and over the years tried to capture that characteristic.”

“In 1985 I was living in New York and happened to stop in a music store one day…

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A new series from Libreria Musicale Italiana!

Libreria Musicale Italiana launched the series Miroirs in early 2014 with Prassi esecutive nella musica pianistica dell´epoca classica: Principi teorici ed applicazioni pratiche…

A new series from Libreria Musicale Italiana!

Libreria Musicale Italiana launched the series Miroirs in early 2014 with Prassi esecutive nella musica pianistica dell´epoca classica: Principi teorici ed applicazioni pratiche…

International journal of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies

A new online journal in English and Bengali!

IJIMS

IJIMS

International journal of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies (ISSN 2348-0343) is an open-access, international, monthly, bilingual (English and Bengali ), peer reviewed, indexed, online journal.

IJIMS publishes original research articles, review articles , short communications, and case studies. A team of reputed academics from different disciplines tackles the review work and…

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Spohr and German opera

Happy 230th birthday to Louis Spohr!

Spohr

Spohr

In 1823 Louis Spohr’s article “Aufruf an deutsche Komponisten” appeared in Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung. He wrote it to encourage young German composers to contribute to the genre of German opera, but he may have had other intentions as well.

Spohr was determined to promote his latest opera, Jessonda, which he mentioned as a model for his ideas of German opera—but a closer look at that work…

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Snowball gets down
Snowball

Snowball

Snowball, a male sulphur-crested cockatoo, was brought to the rescue shelter Bird Lovers Only in 2007; his caregiver had gone off to college, and the family was having trouble managing him.

The family gave a CD to Irena Schulz, the shelter’s director, and told her to play it and watch Snowball. She was amazed to see the cockatoo dance to the music, accurately keeping time with his head,…

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Bhāgavata purāṇa as performance

Bhāgavata purāṇa as performance

Bhagavatapurana

Bhagavatapurana

A week-long festival centered on stories about the deity Kṛṣṇa is held in the hamlet of Naluna, Garhwal district, Northern India; this practice (known as a saptāh) is primarily a product of an elite Hindu community of the North Indian Plain.

Two loci of power are salient: the village deity representing local authority, and the text-as-artifact of the Bhāgavata purāa, the metonymy of the…

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Tracy Chapman restarts

Happy 50th birthday to Tracy Chapman!

SONY DSC

Following a wrenchingly poor childhood and a hard-won scholarship, Tracy Chapman was hit by stardom right after graduating from college, when her 1988 self-titled debut album sold 10 million copies.

She had only recently overcome her fear of playing for coffeehouse-sized audiences, and suddenly the machinery of celebrity was bolted around her. Despite her success, she recalled in 2000 that “they…

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Sarah Vaughan crosses over

Happy 90th birthday to Sarah Vaughan!

Sarah_Vaughan_1946

Sarah_Vaughan_1946

Aided by her extraordinary voice, technical proficiency, and mastery at adopting multiple performing personas, Sarah Vaughanobscured conventional divisions between jazz and pop, masculinity and femininity, and blackness and whiteness. By transcending these binary oppositions, she crafted a vocal identity that was commercially viable, artistically satisfying, and which undermined racial…

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Diana Ross and Lady Day

Happy 70th birthday to Diana Ross!

Diana Ross Billie Holiday

Diana Ross Billie Holiday

The 1972 film Lady sings the blues, starring Diana Ross as the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, merits close analysis as a historical marker.

Sidney J. Furie’s film is a crossover text, created to win the sympathies of both white and African American audiences. In its effort to provide for all possible viewer positions, the film negotiates racial, gender, generational, and political issues.

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