Random Monday: Provenance, Standards, Stereotypes and Dreams

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That Lennon horn picture
Thanks to C. Scott Smith I have some background on a picture that I own, of John Lennon tooting on a horn.

That horn was originally owned by one of my former teachers: Neill Sanders who is the horn player who performed and helped organize the for horns for Sgt. Peppers.

The second owner was former wife of Douglas Campbell (one of my teachers for many years), Ellen Campbell. Dr. Campbell and Neill were best friends.

That Paxman T1 is now in my possession – about one year after Ellen’s death. I first played it in the late 70’s during grad work while at MSU. It is a great solo horn. The ascending third valve makes life much easier in many cases.

Music education basics in the U.S.
Dave Wilken reminds us of the National Association for Music Education’s overview list of 9 standards for music education. They include:

  1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
  4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
  5. Reading and notating music.
  6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
  7. Evaluating music and music performances.
  8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
  9.  Understanding music in relation to history and culture


Desert island dreams
If you were stranded on a desert island (and presumably had an audio player with unlimited battery supply) and could only have 8 recordings to listen to, which recordings would you pick? James Boldin takes a look at this question, and more specifically a BBC Radio 4 program that archives answers to this question from famous English personalities – even a few horn players.

Looking at epigenetics in music
Epigenetics is the study of inheritable “memories” in genetics caused by something other that just our DNA. At Music Therapy, Lyle Sanford wonders if this might explain musical households like the Bach family.

It would also further convince me that people growing up in musical households where music is a second language will never be able to appreciate what it’s like to come to music making on one’s own outside the home and later in life. To my mind, so much that natural musicians assume – have in their genes, know without learning – has to be approached very differently for people without that advantage.


Stereotypes in the workplace
In just about any work environment, people talk about other people and stereotype groups of people. This includes the world of symphony orchestras and a recent article in the L.A. Times looks into some familiar stereotypes.

Who are the string players? The divas.

What do you call oboists? The orchestra neurotics.

And the brass? Drunken bullies.


How to negotiate with an ax
In Minneapolis, Minnesota things are heating up with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Management has proposed huge wage cuts – ranging from 57 to 67 percent.

These proposals have caused some musicians to sell their homes, audition for jobs elsewhere, and request leave in order to seek work in another field. We fully acknowledge the financial pressures felt by the management and board and how this weak economy has impacted everyone.

We musicians have accepted reductions in compensation that have saved the SPCO more than $2 million over the past 10 years, repeatedly offered ideas for fundraising, volunteered to perform at fundraising events, and donated our services, playing free concerts throughout the community.


 Random stuff

Random videos

The Boston Brass and Imani Winds perform an arrangement by Chris Castellanos of Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So.”

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An entertaining video on extended techniques.

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On the new U.S. standard for music education mentioned previously in this article.

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A nice video of Mark Houghton, Principal Horn in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

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University of Horn Matters