Music on Earth

This post offers a broad view of humanity’s musical customs. It explores the evidence for prehistoric music making, and it explains how music got passed down through the ages. Musical instruments, traditions, and notation systems are also examined.

The Frayed Ends of Schumann

This blog post is about the nineteenth-century Romantic composer/pianist Robert Schumann (1810-1856).

It focuses on Schumann’s struggle with neurosyphilis and how this infirmary deformed his final musical compositions.

One of these final compositions, an unusual piece known as Theme and Variation in E-flat Major, “Ghost Variations,” is considered as an example.

The Emergence of Polyphony

This blog post covers the rise of polyphonic chant during the Middle Ages. It focuses on the tradition’s development in southern France and its coming of age in northern France. Two famous composers, Leonin and Perotin–liturgical musicians operating at the Notre Dame Cathedral School–are also covered.

1 2