By: Sheryl Kaskowitz (Providence, Rhode Island) // Blackface minstrelsy was a popular and pervasive form of entertainment in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1920s, and its legacy continues to haunt American popular culture. Whether or not songs have roots in minstrelsy can be difficult to determine; their lyrics have often been changed … Continue reading Before It Goes Away: Performance and Reclamation of Songs from Blackface Minstrelsy
By: (Andrew Dell’Antonio, University of Texas at Austin) // It’s been a common schtick among music history teachers to tell our students that sixteenth-century Italian and English madrigals are not the wholesome, jolly songs about shepherds, nymphs, and fa la la they learned to sing in high school. Ultimately, they’re about sex. Amused at having … Continue reading Bromantic Singing: Madrigals and Authenticity
By: Andrew Dell’Antonio (University of Texas at Austin) // In a genius-composer-centric tradition, a lot of ink is spilt over finding performance approaches that are "faithful" to the composer's intentions. One of the crucial components of this concern, beyond identifying the most accurate score (the "urtext") is the choice of instrumentation: timbre is such a … Continue reading Adapting Flutes: Authenticity, Ingenuity, and Accessibility
Like any good farce, the 1983 comedy Trading Places opens with an overture. In this case, it is the overture to Mozart’s opera, The Marriage of Figaro—slightly amended, yet still recognizable. Mozart’s overture accompanies the opening credits of the film, which feature an extended montage of a waking city.