Bill's Musical Notes
Listening to Music
I've certainly been listening to more music since lock down and have found that my habits have modified somewhat. One thing in particular has been worth recounting. For classical music, my main source of entertainment is still the CD. You can't beat it for sound quality in particular and there are those sleeve notes to browse while listening which always give useful background and context to what you are listening to.
My attention span is somewhat less than the length of a CD and I quite often found myself not knowing where one symphony ended and another began, where one quartet movement blended into the next. So, I began to limit my listening to one lengthy piece of music at a time, with a natural break before the next. I suppose that is what happens at a live concert, when there is always a clear demarcation with applause between one piece and the next. Not only does this discipline keep you focused and increase enjoyment of the listening experience but it tends to encourage variety, too. In effect, I'm now making up my own listening-experience concert programme.
Another recommendation, which you may well have come across already is Radio 3's 'Mixtapes' series, which further enhances the cause of eclecticism. The idea of these is half-an-hour of a seemingly random selection of short pieces, played continuously. The pieces move seemlessly, without any intervening continuity announcer, from one style to another, from classical to jazz to baroque to folk to opera to world music to contemporary. The series has been aired early evening but I like to use the subsequent podcast recordings via the BBC's 'Sounds' app to listen just before bedtime. The mix is a great way to come across gems, to discover new composers and styles and, essentially, to relax at the end of the day as the general atmosphere of the pieces is soothing.
More than this, in the Sounds app's play list is a link to find each piece on Spotify so that the listener can then add particular favourites and discoveries to create their own play list and, as with my approach to CD listening, make up your own concert programme. That may sound a little "What's he talking about?" but explore and you'll easily discover these delights for your self.
Stay safe, stay well.
Find out more about our leader, Bill Anderton's work:
Violin lessons online, too:
The Final Score - book
Exploring music and
in particular the composition of a new piece of music. Features the Newent Orchestra. Available on Amazon as paperback or Kindle.
Ramblings About Music
New book discussing a wide range of musical topics, from the ancient Greeks to modern times, with the beautiful Offa's Dyke trail as a backdrop. Also available on Amazon as paperback or Kindle.