“O, Death”: Ralph Stanley dies

 

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Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” compared with Spirit’s “Taurus”

A lawsuit claimed that the opening riff to Led Zeppelin’s iconic “Stairway to Heaven” was plagiarized from the earlier song “Taurus” by the rock group Spirit.  A jury has  just ruled in Led Zeppelin’s favor.

Go to this site, which lets you play both tunes.  Do they not sound EXACTLY THE SAME? [Read more…]

Bob Dylan’s new album

Bob Dylan has released a new album, Fallen Angels.   (If you have Amazon Prime, you can listen to its various tracks for free.)   This is another set of interpretations of Frank Sinatra-type standards like his previous album Shadows in the Night (also on Prime).

Pete, resident Dylan expert here at the Cranach Institute, put me onto an excellent review of the album from the student newspaper of Cambridge University.  I call it excellent as a music review because of its close attention to the actual music.  Also of interest is how it takes up the charge that “Dylan can’t sing.”  I quote the beginning after the jump, but follow the link and read it all. [Read more…]

Music composed by artificial intelligence

Google engineers are trying to see if Artificial Intelligence can generate works of art, thus morphing into Artificial Creativity.  The company’s Project Magenta is working on algorithms that would allow computers to compose music.  See Can machines make music? Google tests creative boundaries of AI. – CSMonitor.com.  

The first composition has been released.  It consists of only four notes.  (The drums are human additions.)  Hear it after the jump.

Then discuss:  Do you think machines with Artificial Intelligence will be able to create art?  What’s the difference between the Artificial Intelligence of a machine and the Actual Intelligence of a human being? What else is needed to create a work of art besides “intelligence”?  Can machines ever have those things?
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The vocation of Duke Ellington

Jazz great Duke Ellington knew where his talent and opportunities came from.  King’s College president Gregory Alan Thornbury has a great story about Duke Ellington and vocation.   [Read more…]

You can’t understand Bach apart from his Lutheranism

You can’t fully understand Bach’s music apart from its context in the Lutheran liturgy and its emotions in Lutheran piety.  So says Yale music historian Markus Rathey in, of all places, the Wall Street Journal. [Read more…]