kottke.org posts about classical music
An interesting article about how composer and programmer David Cope found a unique solution for making computer-composed classical music sound as though it was composed by humans: he wrote algorithms that based new works on previously created works.
Finally, Cope's program could divine what made Bach sound like Bach and create music in that style. It broke rules just as Bach had broken them, and made the result sound musical. It was as if the software had somehow captured Bach's spirit -- and it performed just as well in producing new Mozart compositions and Shakespeare sonnets. One afternoon, a few years after he'd begun work on Emmy, Cope clicked a button and went out for a sandwich, and she spit out 5,000 beautiful, artificial Bach chorales, work that would've taken him several lifetimes to produce by hand.
Gosh it's going to get interesting when machines can do some real fundamental "human" things 10,000x faster and better than humans can.
Today only on Amazon: 99 Vivaldi masterpieces on mp3 for $2.99. (US only.) See also other great Amazon music deals.
Alternate post title: I've got 99 Vivaldis but a Bach ain't one.
Amazon's mp3 store has another one of those deals today where you can get hours and hours of classical musics for pennies a song: 99 Bach masterpieces (8+ hours!) for $2.99. Even though Bach's works preceded copyright protection, this is a good example of how our culture benefits from sensible copyright term limits: eight hours of some of the finest music ever composed for about the price of a Happy Meal. More good classical music mp3 deals here.
Interview with New Yorker music critic Alex Ross about, among other things, his upcoming book on 20th century music. "Why, when paintings of Picasso and Jackson Pollock go for a hundred million dollars or more on the art market and lines from T. S. Eliot are quoted on the yearbook pages of alienated teenagers across the land, is twentieth-century classical music still considered obscure and difficult? In fact, it's better known than most people realize. Post-1900 music is all over Hollywood soundtracks, modern jazz, alternative rock."
The Wordless Music Series is an attempt to bring together classical music and more contemporary music, the differences between which "are an artificial construction in need of dismantling". The next concert is on 11/15/2006 in NYC and tickets are priced for young concertgoers in mind.
Top 100 most popular classical music pieces, featuring stuff like Beethoven's 5th, Pomp and Circumstance, and Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Among classical music composers, the "curse of the ninth" is a fear of ninth symphonies because many prominant composers have died after completing them. (via 92y)
Stats on the BBC's Beethoven downloads. "Live performances of Beethoven's first five symphonies, broadcast as part of The Beethoven Experience on BBC Radio 3, have amassed an incredible 657,399 download requests during a week long trial."
BBC Radio will be offering mp3s of all nine of Beethoven's symphonies. "All the symphonies are performed by BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda."