Posts for Tag: music

Steinway Hall

From an unsettling report in this morning New York Times that Steinway Hall has been sold in advance of the whole Steinway company.

First, Steinway & Sons closed on the sale of its Beaux-Arts Manhattan building on West 57th Street, where the likes of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Vladimir Horowitz once practiced.

It'a hard for me to forget the time I was visiting Steinway Hall and another visitor rushed in and asked the staff as he approached "Where's the Rachmaninoff piano?" Once that building is lost to Steinway, an incredible amount of history—and music—will be gone.

To Tug the Heartstrings, Music Must First Tickle the Brain

“The stopping of sounds and rhythms,” he added, “it’s really important, because, you know, how can I miss you unless you’re gone? If you just keep the thing going like a loop, eventually it loses its power.”

An insight like this may seem purely subjective, far removed from anything a scientist could measure. But now some scientists are aiming to do just that, trying to understand and quantify what makes music expressive — what specific aspects make one version of, say, a Beethoven sonata convey more emotion than another.

The results are contributing to a greater understanding of how the brain works and of the importance of music in human development, communication and cognition, and even as a potential therapeutic tool.

Fascinating reading at The New York Times—the article quotes Paul Simon, Roseanne Cash, Yo Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, and Daniel Levitin (This is Your Brain on Music). Conversations about synesthesia and stuff like this took over many a piano lesson when I was actually playing. When I think about this, I have to admit that I'd like to be able to understand and explain what makes one piece of music or one performance great, but I'd really just rather appreciate the genius of Mozart or Schubert and enjoy the gift that's been given us.