Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Music'

Freudenberg and Advance Australia Fair – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 2nd, 2012 · Comments Off on Freudenberg and Advance Australia Fair – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Australian Labor Party, Australiana, Culture, History, Music

Graham Freudenberg’s skill as a subeditor played a part in the Fraser Government settling on Advance Australia Fair as the national anthem. Long before Paul Keating initiated the move to a republic, the Whitlam Government decided to ditch God Save the Queen as the anthem, arousing outrage among monarchists and joy among republicans. At the […]

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Music and Death – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Music and Death – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Genocide, Music, Totalitarianism, WW2

In Auschwitz: People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prision, people going to their death, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply […]

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Before a Big Thing I Fill a Room With Music – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson

March 10th, 2012 · Comments Off on Before a Big Thing I Fill a Room With Music – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson · Culture, Humanism, Music, Politics

At our first meeting Keating said he listened because (classical music) humbled him. ‘Before a big thing,’ he said, ‘I fill the room with music. It reminds me that what I have to do is just a speck of sand.’

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Conquering Juliet – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 27th, 2012 · Comments Off on Conquering Juliet – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua · China, Music, Parenting

As promised, here’s the ending of Sophia’s essay on “Conquering Juliet”: I didn’t quite understand what was happening until I found myself backstage, petrified, quaking. My hands were cold. I couldn’t remember how my piece started. An old mirror betrayed the contrast between my chalk-white face and my dark gown, and I wondered how many […]

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The Richest Cultural Moment in History – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

September 27th, 2011 · Comments Off on The Richest Cultural Moment in History – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Art, Civilisation, Criticism, Culture, ICT, Music, Poetry

It would be a desirable and enviable existence just to earn a decent wage at a worthwhile job and spend all one’s leisure hours improving one’s aesthetic appreciation. There is so much to appreciate, and it is all available for peanuts. One can plausibly aspire to seeing, hearing and reading everything that matters. The times […]

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A radio interview between Phillip Adams and Paul Keating playing classical music:“Goodbye Jerusalem: Night Thoughts of a Labor Outsider” – Bob Ellis

September 12th, 2011 · Comments Off on A radio interview between Phillip Adams and Paul Keating playing classical music:“Goodbye Jerusalem: Night Thoughts of a Labor Outsider” – Bob Ellis · Australian Labor Party, Culture, Music, Politics

“I see two powerful forces pulling at you,’ said Adams in his gentle, challenging way. ‘One is your public, politics, that whole arena. The other is the arts, beauty, sensuality. Which these days, as you now step off one role into another, which as the stronger pull?” “Well… I think the latter’s always had the […]

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Fate Tunes – “Vernon God Little” – DBC Pierre

August 8th, 2011 · Comments Off on Fate Tunes – “Vernon God Little” – DBC Pierre · Culture, Music

Muzak plays near the cells tonight. It fucken lays me out and buries me alongside my friends. It goes: ‘I beg your par-den, I never promised you a rose gar-den.’ Hot weather always brings these fucked ole tunes, always in the background, in fucken mono. Fate. Like, notice how whenever something happens in your life, […]

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Beauty ends where Intellectual Expression Begins – “The Picture of Dorian Gray” – Oscar Wilde

May 18th, 2011 · Comments Off on Beauty ends where Intellectual Expression Begins – “The Picture of Dorian Gray” – Oscar Wilde · Architecture, Art, Civilisation, Criticism, Culture, Music, Poetry, Quotes

But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins.

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Music is a Human Construct – “The Music Instinct : How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It” – Philip Ball

May 8th, 2011 · Comments Off on Music is a Human Construct – “The Music Instinct : How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It” – Philip Ball · Civilisation, Culture, Music

Music is not a natural phenomenon but a human construct. Despite claims to the contrary, no other species is known to create or respond to music as such. Music is ubiquitous in human culture. We know of societies without writing, and even without visual art – but none, it seems, lack some form of music. […]

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Expectation and Anticipation -“The Music Instinct : How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It” – Philip Ball

May 8th, 2011 · Comments Off on Expectation and Anticipation -“The Music Instinct : How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It” – Philip Ball · Culture, Music

For now it is enough to say that the hierarchy and different stabilities of musical notes create a context of expectation and anticipation, which the composer or performer manipulates to make music come alive and convey something akin to meaning. If the melody moves from a note of lesser to greater stability, we sense a […]

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