Back To School Musicology Blog Reading
In an effort to read more widely, I’ve been exploring my way through scholarly music blogs beyond my previous working definition. Here are a few that I’ve been reading/just recently found. Also, be sure and check out the many others found in our blogroll.
Unsung Symphonies: Musicologist (and Amusicology guest blogger) Matthew Mugmon and theorist (and Amusicology guest blogger) Frank Lehman join forces to battle the canonical dominance of the so-called “big guys”: Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Dvorak, Brahms, Mahler, etc. Each week they offer a new post on a symphony that neither they nor their readers know that well–if at all. So far they’ve offered up insightful and witty entries on no less than seven (and a half) symphonies or what they call symphonies-in-all-but-name (SIABN). Among those unsung on their blog you will find Walter Piston’s Pulizer Prize winning Symphony #3, the “infinite series” based Second Symphony by Per Nørgård, the seascape inspired third symphony by Kurt Atterberg, titled Vastkunstbilder” (West Coast Pictures), and Lee Johson’s Ode to the Grateful Dead. Each eloquently authored post offers up a digestible balance of history and analysis. Through a combination of highly descriptive language and a thorough integration of audio, they revive and re-approach these otherwise forgotten symphonies. And, indicative of their late 20th-century upbringing, pop-culture references abound (and abide). Bravo!
Bibliolore — The Official Blog of RILM: When I encountered this blog my first thought was: “Is there an unofficial blog of RILM?” [Answer: Not that I’ve found.] What I like about this blog is its ability to locate and promote seemingly random items of interest to those interested in music reference and research. Their About Page claims that every post relates to at least one or two entries in the RILM catalog. As one might expect of such a concise database, the posts are short and to the point, prompting the interested reader to click through to the source for further reading. Click on their “Curiosities” Category, for example, and you will find music-related posts about Bees, Sharks, and Bananas. Their “New Periodicals” Category is also a great resource, calling attention to publications from around the world.
Harvard’s Loeb Music Library Blog: While it could use a catchier name, I’m always happy to read what the staff (arguably the best of any library I’ve been in) have to share about my home away from home. It has been quiet for a while, but I hope that the arrival of the new school year will bring more posts about digitization projects, recent acquisitions, and recordings. The music library may be one of the things I miss most about Harvard when I graduate this spring. With this blog, however, we can all keep up on their new and exciting additions.
New blogs and bloggers pop up all the time. If you’ve got a blog you think we should know about, add it to the comments section below.