How ancient churches sounded

Church buildings are acoustic spaces, in which music is performed.  Researchers are studying the acoustics of ancient and medieval churches.  They are finding that certain design elements were intended to adjust sounds, “trying to tune the space.”

Moreover, the acoustic data they are uncovering enables the researchers to reproduce the effects electronically.  Once a digital signature is discovered, it is possible to play recorded music–say, Gregorian chants–and filter it so that we can hear what it sounded like in that particular building.  “It’s like time travel,” says a musicologist.  We can make “a museum of lost sound.”

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Oklahoma gets Bob Dylan archives

Bob Dylan’s archives will be housed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, near the Woody Guthrie museum.  An Oklahoma foundation that was also involved in building the Guthrie museum put up $15-20 million to buy the treasure trove of manuscripts, recordings, and memorabilia.

I moved back here and now Oklahoma has become a happening place.  I can’t, however, find a connection. [Read more…]

New Mozart/Salieri composition discovered

A score of a new composition by Mozart has been discovered, the music to an opera libretto.  And he wrote it in collaboration with Antonio Salieri, whom the play Amadeus accused of murdering Mozart!

I can’t find a recording of what the piece of music sounds like.  Let us know if you come across one. [Read more…]

Gordon Lightfoot’s vocation

The London Telegraph interviewed songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, who reflected on his life and career.  We can see how the most seemingly ordinary things–parents, church, small-town life, listening to Bing Crosby Christmas records–turned him into the artist that he became.  The interview reads like a meditation on vocation. [Read more…]

A true rock ‘n’ roll rebel

Rock ‘n’ roll icon David Bowie died of cancer at the age of 69.  He had the reputation as a rebel against pop culture conventions.  But perhaps you didn’t know just how rebellious he was. [Read more…]

Lutheran vs. other traditions’ Christmas songs

The latest Christmas offering from Hans Fiene at Lutheran Satire:

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