J. C. Bach’s Symphony in B-flat Major, Op. 9, no. 3. This symphony is one of the three Op. 9 symphonies that were at the heart of J. C. Bach’s second lawsuit against the London publishers Longman and Lukey, who were accused by Bach of producing and selling unauthorized copies of the symphonies.
By: Reba A. Wissner, Montclair State University // Radiohead’s video for “Reckoner. A remix is the digital reinterpretation of a song by adding, removing, or altering its constituent parts such as beat, tempo, and instrumentation. Many artists remix their own songs, and DJs often remix the songs of other musicians. More and more frequently, artists … Continue reading “Dedicated to All Human Beings”: Remix Culture, Fandom, and the Case of Radiohead’s “Reckoner”
By: Stefan Sunandan Honisch (Vancouver, British Columbia) // My hands evoke sight and sound out of feeling,Intershifting the senses endlessly,Linking motion with sight, odor with sound.They give color to the honeyed breeze,The measure and passion of a symphonyTo the beat and quiver of unseen wings.In the secrets of earth and sun and airMy fingers are … Continue reading Deaf-Blindness and the Avid Musical Touch of Helen Keller
By: Joanna Smolko (Athens, Georgia) // “I liked Springsteen before he became political,” a friend of mine commented on Springsteen’s performance at the 2009 Super Bowl. But in actuality, Springsteen has always been political. From the outset, he infused his music with elements of working class identity: unions and families, steel and rust, coal and … Continue reading Politics and Protest in Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”
By: Joanna Smolko (Athens, Georgia) // On January 18, 2009, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen sang together at We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, accompanied by Seeger’s grandson Tao Rodríquez-Seeger and a choir. Seeger invited the crowd to sing along, reflecting his lifelong commitment to group singing; even in staid … Continue reading Bruce Springsteen, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger: “This Land Is Your Land”
By: Alexandra Apolloni (UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Los Angeles, CA) // Each year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (henceforth Rock Hall) announces a new list of inductees: artists that are deemed worthy of commemoration—and canonization—as rock greats. And in 2016, none of the inductees were women. The underrepresentation of women … Continue reading What’s a Girl Gotta Do to Get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
By: Reba A. Wissner (Montclair State University) // Hearing the unseen through non-diegetic music is nothing new to film. Although John Williams made the technique famous in his scores for Jaws (1975) and Star Wars (1977), it dates back to horror films of the 1930s and radio dramas of the 1940s. Early radio plays were … Continue reading Hearing with Your Eyes: Science Fiction Television and Hearing the Unseen
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first satellite, on October 4, 1957, triggering the space race with the United States. Although the satellite was only the size of a beach ball and emitted nothing more than radio beeps, many Americans feared it, supposing that it had some sort of militaristic purpose. This fear can be tracked through three novelty songs from the late 1950s: “Russia, Russia (Lay That Missile Down),” “Sputniks and Mutniks,” and “A Russian Love Song.”
By: Tim Smolko (Athens, Georgia) // American record producer Dickie Goodman made a career out of writing novelty songs. From the mid-1950s to the 1980s, his songs poked fun at current events, politicians, dance crazes, films, and especially the Russians. He is best known for creating and popularizing the “break-in,” a technique of inserting brief … Continue reading Cutting It Up with Dickie Goodman: Communism, Castro and the Wall
By: Tim Smolko (Athens, Georgia) // Like Pez, Peeps, and Pop Rocks, a novelty song is a sugar rush for the ear. The great number of novelty songs about the Cold War attests to the fact that people needed to diffuse their fear of the Soviet Union, and the possibility of nuclear war, with humor … Continue reading Celebrating the Nuclear Apocalypse with Tom Lehrer