A Guide to MMmusing

MMmusing Guide I started this blog in February of 2007, partially to fill the time created when I decided to give up following sports for Lent. I began the blog to get myself writing regularly, but I've also ended up creating quite a bit of multimedia content to complement my musings. The most fun way to sample that content is to spin (click) the MMmusing Wheel over in the right margin; there are more than 300 different possible outcomes. If you're less daring, you could just check out some of the "signature" posts in the margin, or browse the index below. You can also explore MMmovies at MMtube and MMmusic at the MMjukebox. You can also view the interactive table of contents below on its own page here.

Best of MMmusing: Interactive Table of Contents

Enter keywords into the search box below to find posts by subject.

Suggested Keywords: aesthetics, amateur, animation, atonality, bach, beethoven, best, canon, chopin, christmas, coding, composition, connections, fragments, fun, hatto, loops, mashup, meaning, mozart, pedagogy, peterman, poetry, program notes, random, recordings, satie, strauss, stravinsky, theory, translation, twitter, viola
Tip of the Hatto: Debut post, explores the fascinating story of pianist Joyce Hatto who became famous for recordings that turned out to be by other pianists. Explores implications for how we hear music. 2007/02/24 meaning; hatto; recordings
The Hatto Sonnets: A series of six sonnets (in "Onegein" style), retelling the story of Joyce Hatto. 2007/03/14 hatto; poetry; creativity; best
Great Moments in Stupid Headlines: More exploration of the Joyce Hatto story, particularly the idea that what "we know" about a performance greatly affects what "we hear." 2007/03/18 meaning; hatto
Hyperspace: Musings on how the hyperlinked world of the Internet might particularly appeal to creative minds. 2007/03/27 meaning; tech; connections; creativity
Bell Failure: 2 sonnets summarizing the notorious "Joshua Bell in the Subway" experiment. 2007/04/10 poetry; creativity; aesthetics
Too Good To Be True?: Problems with perfection. 2007/05/07 meaning; amateur
A Taste of 1825: An imaginary conversation, in which a culinary master reflects on how recordings change the way we think about music. 2007/05/19 meaning; recordings
Translation, Transcription, Transimpson: How does a work retain its identity when transferred to another medium? With Stravinsky transformed into Simpsons form! 2007/07/31 translation
Transcription as a Metaphor for Listening: In short: when we're listening, we're transcribing. 2007/08/12 translation; recordings
Tradition!: Thoughts on performance traditions which, in spite of distortions, have much to offer. 2007/11/12 meaning; aesthetics
Saving the best for first: A classical problem: when the best part comes first, is the rest a letdown? (not really answered!) 2007/11/19 aesthetics
Classical Vanity: License Plates Inspired by Classical Music 2007/11/22 fun
The Metamorphoses of Don Juan: An unexpected link between early and late Strauss works. 2007/12/01 connections; strauss
The 12 Composers of Christmas: The classic song re-imagined with 12 composers and their music joining in. 2007/12/11 mashup; pedagogy; fun; christmas
The Best Christmas Party Music Ever: Chamber music in its natural environment. 2007/12/23 amateur
An Old Viola Joke: Fun little personal jab hidden in Britten's Albert Herring 2008/01/28 fun; viola
the kind of infectious it's good to spread around: In praise of A Mighty Wind 2008/02/13 fun
Warhorse Wordsmithing: Program notes for Fauré's Requiem and Dvořák's 'New World' Symphony 2008/02/22 pedagogy; program notes
Strange Loop: A Tchaikovsky sequence looped so that it never ends, mixed with an ever- rising staircase. 2008/02/28 loops; scorimation; Bach
Canon Loop: Bach's infinitely rising canon, recorded with infinitely rising "Shepard Tone" technique. 2008/03/02 loops; animation; Bach; canon
Retro Loop: Bach's "crab" canon, animated with crabs. 2008/03/25 loops; animation; Bach; canon
Ambigramania: An original ambigram of Bach's name, turned into an animation in which the ambigram takes shape along with a Bach canon. 2008/04/13 Bach; canon; creativity
Carrousel perpétuel: The score of Poulenc's most famous work is wrapped around a carousel. 2008/04/27 loops; animation
The Doctor in Spite of Himself: A blog devoted to my performing edition of Gounod's comic opera, including links to six "Doctor Karaoke" singalong videos. 2008/08/07 animation; translation; creativity
Webern in Mayberry: A video illustration of how comfortably atonal music fits into a lighthearted 60's sitcom. 2008/11/24 atonality
Le sacre du Peterman: Stravinsky's most iconic work, imagined as a page in the J. Peterman catalog. 2008/12/08 Stravinsky; fun
For that special masochist in your life...: Schubert's iconic Erlkönig becomes the subject of a J. Peterman ad. 2008/12/09 fun; best
The Rite of Appalachian Spring: One of my first really successful mashups, exploring influence of Stravinsky on Copland. 2008/12/11 stravinsky; best; mashup; connections
Canon a 2 Tempi (Take Two): Maria Callas and Renee Fleming square off in a Puccini Showdown. 2009/03/06 mashup; animation; canon
Piano Hero Reflections: Musings on an innovative series of noontime "sightreading" recitals. 2009/03/12 fun; amateur
Twynopses: A large collection of original, Twitter-sized #operaplot summaries from the legendary online contest. 2009/04/27 twitter; program notes
Magical Music: Description of an experiment in having a class create an original opera scene in the style of a historical model. 2009/05/15 pedagogy; creativity
Meta-music: Thoughts on transcribing Stravinsky for piano. Do we end up hearing more than a piano? 2009/06/05 connections; stravinsky; translation; aesthetics
The Seinfeld Sonnets: Seven episodes of Seinfeld retold in sonnet form. 2009/10/14 poetry; fun
Chopin's Funeral March (with ghosts!): A surprisingly successful mashup of the final two movements of Chopin's Funeral March Sonata. 2009/11/01 animation; best; mashup; chopin
The Joy of (looking at) Music: An experiment in projecting an annotated score of the 1812 Overture for a live audience. They loved it! 2009/11/14 animation; aesthetics
Name That Bassoon: An odd juxtaposition of two very different works, by Copland and Mendelssohn, with strikingly similar passages. 2009/11/18 connections; animation; mashup
Illuminating Ornamentation: Description (and audio/video) of a collaboration with an artist who "decorated" scores in ways I then interpreted in performance. 2009/12/01 mashup; creativity
Testing with the Stars: Comical (?) puns and other suggestions from composers which originally appeared on music history exams. 2009/12/10 fun; pedagogy
Reflections on a 2-part Invention: An audio/video "re-enactment" of a remarkable experiment in having two completley different works played simultaneously. 2010/02/18 mashup; best; random
...in which Winnie the Pooh inspires Twitter-like program notes: An experiment in micro-program-notes. Each work in a long program described in 140 characters or less. Also features rhyming program notes. 2010/03/02 program notes; twitter; poetry
Why Twitter exists...: Remembering the great #composerfilm meme. Does "Batman and Scriabin" arouse your interest? 2010/04/13 twitter; fun; creativity
Should there be a "Free the Movements" Movement?: An argument for not always playing the whole thing. 2010/11/22 program notes; fragments;
Bach Doubled: Showing how two closely connected Bach movements can be played simultaneously. 2010/11/29 Bach; mashup; animation; connections
Sleigh Ride in a Fast Machine: A fun mashup of classics by Adams and Anderson. 2010/12/08 mashup; fun; christmas
Sax and Violence: Inspired by the "saxophone craze" in classical music, a disco- style rendition of Brahms, with mixed meter. 2011/03/27 translation; mashup
Good Friday Bach: An experiment in using YouTube annotations to show musical analysis. 2011/04/22 bach; animation; pedagogy
Und singen Halleluja!: An exploration of how Bach's musical techniques reinforce the theological content in his amazing Cantata No. 4. 2011/04/24 bach; meaning; best
Meta-unpredictability: How Stravinsky can you "surprise" you when you know what's coming. 2011/04/26 stravinsky; random
Multimedia Moonlight March Madness Mashup: A very odd mashup of works by Stravinsky and Schoenberg. 2011/06/04 stravinsky; mashup; animation
Somewhere between Beethoven and Strauss: Looking at how passages from Beethoven and Strauss can be combined to create some Bernstein. 2011/06/08 Beethoven; Strauss; mashup; connections; animation
Mozart Mashup Medley: Weaving back and forth among three different Mozart violin concertos. 2011/06/10 Mozart; mashup; connections; animation; best
Atonality on Ice: Comparing the brutal worlds of ice hockey and atonal music. One of my favorite essays. 2011/06/23 atonality; sports; best; aesthetics
My Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring: A mashup of Bach's famous triplets with a different hymn and a different meter. 2011/08/09/ bach; mashup
Musical Storyboards: Condensing recordings to help reveal large-scale musical structures. 2011/09/27 theory; fragments
Fun with the First Figaro Finale: First in a series of online, integrated listening guides featuring analysis, score, and video. 2011/10/18 Mozart; pedagogy; theory
Beethoven - more ahead of his time than you thought!: A "fake" musicological discovery about proto-Stravinsky hiding out in a Beethoven manuscript. 2011/10/25 mashup; beethoven; stravinsky; connections
Eroica Mix'n'Match: Demo for an integrated, online listening guide for Beethoven's most revolutionary symphony. 2011/10/21 pedagogy; Beethoven; theory
Ballade Blogging: A series of seven posts inspired by a week spent re-learning a Chopin ballade. Some of my favorite bits of writing. 2012/03/09 chopin; best; aesthetics
Child's Play: A children's story, told in sonnets, about a young violinist with performance anxiety. 2012/04/06 poetry
Now just a minute...: What does the "Minute" Waltz sound like played in a minute? 2012/07/05 chopin; fun; animation
Dances with words: Creative reflections on re-reading Douglas Hofstadter's Le ton beau de Marot. 2012/07/08 creativity
Happy Augmented Sixth Day!: Realization that Aug 6 is the day to celebrate the wonder of Augmented 6th chords. 2012/08/06 pedagogy; theory
Gateway to Insanity: Successfully (?) creating sonnets within Twitter's 140- character limit. 2012/08/22 poetry; twitter
MMrecital - the Program Booklet: An innovative program booklet in quasi- comic book style. 2012/09/14 program notes
Willkommen, Bienvenue...: Original cabaret lyrics about: 1) cabarets and 2) historically informed performance. 2012/10/01 poetry; creativity
A Splendid Sunrise: How harmony and orchestration can transform a D Major scale into something magical. 2012/10/09 theory; animation
Mr. Stravinsky's Random Accent Generator 2.0 - Now With More Random!: An experiment in randomizing Stravinsky's iconic sycnopations. Does it sound more surprising? 2012/10/18 stravinsky; random; coding
Imitation as Inspired Improve-ization: The power of imperfect imitations. 2013/08/25 translation; aesthetics
Fragmented Thoughts on Fragments: How it is that fragments can be satisfyingly complete. 2013/09/07 sports; fragments; aesthetics
Recital Revisited I: Moonlight Mashup: Live video of the "Moonlight" Sonata and Clair de lune played simultaneously. 2013/10/09 Beethoven; mashup; best
Using MMmusing: A guide to various MMmusing resources, especially for use in the classroom. 2013/11/07 pedagogy
Shostakovich 5: Mashed-up Memories: Daughter's youth orchestra performance brings up lots of memories - and makes a strange Shostakovich/Vaughan Williams connection. 2013/11/24 mashup; amateur; connections; memory
The Good, The Shred, and The Ugly: A distinctively viola-esque mashup of a Bach prelude and "Pop, Goes the Weasel." 2014/04/04 fun; viola; mashup; Bach
Satierical Gymnasium: Satie's most famous piece, randomized in various ways as an exploration of its timeless qualities. 2014/05/01 satie; random; fragments; coding
Twelve Little Notes: A 12-tone matrix generator which can play back rows and their transformations in counterpoint. 2014/05/01 atonality; random; coding
Serial Satie (Gymnopédie No. 12): A program which converts 12-tone rows (original or randomly generated) into variations on Satie's most famous piece. 2014/05/28 satie; atonality; random; mashup; coding
12-Step Program: Describing an experiment in composing accessible (?) 12-tone music. 2014/10/27 atonality; composition
Music + Music = Music: Musing about mashups, with discussion of my own mashup ("The Luigi Rag") of music associated with two different Luigis. 2014/11/05 mashup; composition; fun
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Dodecaphony: Extending the 12-tone composition experiment with a new, lighthearted scherzo for string quartet. 2014/11/08 atonality; composition
Season's Greetings in C: Converting the idea behind Terry Riley's iconic "In C" into a new mashup of seasonal tunes. 2014/11/22 christmas; mashup; random; fun; composition
What lurks under the sea of my mind?: Strange combination of two popular songs from the 80's. 2014/12/10 mashup; fun
Louange a l'eclat de Messiaen: "Happy Birthday" in the style of the great French composer. 2014/12/10 mashup
The Rite of "Spring Sonata": Mixing two famous works of spring. 2014/12/16 stravinsky; beethoven; mashup
Sleigh Ride in 7/8 Time (The 12 Musings of Christmas #7): MM performing John Eidsvoog's brilliant take on a Leroy Anderson classic. 2014/12/19 christmas; performance
Notes on a Recital: Program notes for a trio performance of works by Beethoven, Ravel, and Brahms 2015/06/03 program notes
MM's Musical Manipulatives: Newly designed interactive pages which synchronize score, audio/video, and analysis. 2015/09/08 best; coding; pedagogy; beethoven; mozart; brahms; mendelssohn
Adding Words to Wordless Music: Examing some ways in which instrumental music has been vocalized, for better or for worse. 2015/09/25 KEYWORDS
Founts of Inspiration: New chorale prelude based on an old hymn tune. 2015/09/29 composition
Pugilistic Pianism: A Flintstones joke inspires a marriage of Rocky and Rachy. 2015/10/03 mashup; fun; rachmaninoff
Turning the page...: Blow-by-blow description of top level professionals fighting with paper. 2015/10/09 fun
What if the great composers wrote the music for the closing credits of '80's TV shows? Part I.: First of a three-part (!) series. 2015/11/17 fun; dvorak; beethoven; franck
Fugue in Royal David's City: Newly composed chorale prelude based on a classic Christmas carol. 2015/12/17 composition; christmas
Triangulated Counterpoint: Bringing two tunes together with the help of a third contrapuntal line. 2016/08/17 mashup

See also: There's also an older version of this guide here.