Music & Musicology.

FEATURE IMAGE: Views from Symphony Center, Chicago, October 2014. Firebird Today (SIGNS); Conductor; and Jazz Series (both STREET II).

Music & Musicology explores the history, culture, and critical mass of music and music-making.

Within culture and by way of available illustrative recorded works, there is an attempt to present and understand the composer(s), time period, style, and genre of different musics from ancient to modern, classical to contemporary, and Western to global and their various impacts.

Heino Eller (1887-1970) and Lepo Sumera (1950-2000): Two Influential 20th-Century Estonian Composers Whose Contemporary Classical Music Spanned from World War I to the “Singing Revolution” of the 1990s.

Heino Eller (1887-1970) and Lepo Sumera (1950–2000) were both influential Estonian composers and music composition teachers. Following his graduation in 1920 from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Heino Eller taught music theory and composition in Estonia for the next 50 years. The list of Eller’s students who are well-regarded composers in Estonia and internationally is lengthy […]

SUPERTRAMP: From Musician-Poets to Rock Stardom, the First Six Albums of the English prog-rock band, 1970-1979.

Roger Hodgson (above) and Rick Davies (below), Supertramp co-founders, in 1979. 1970 debut album, Supertramp, has U.S. release in 1977 Supertramp’s July 1970 debut album simply dubbed Supertramp, wasn’t released in the U.S. until 1977. For the enterprising American traveler in the 1970’s, such a distribution shortfall could add to the purpose of a trip to […]

“Inner City Blues,” the third hit single from Marvin Gaye’s 1971 album, What’s Going On.

Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)—often abbreviated to Inner City Blues—is a song by Marvin Gaye (1939-1984) who released it as the third and final single from his 1971 album, What’s Going On. R&B’s AND SOUL’S FIRST “CONCEPT” ALBUM What’s Going On is one of rhythm and blues and soul’s first “concept” albums and […]

Christmas Choral Concert: Bel Canto Chorus, Basilica of St. Josaphat, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

INDEPENDENT CHORUS FOUNDED IN 1931 Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s independent 100-voice Bel Canto Chorus–founded in 1931–performs carols and hymns in the historic Basilica of St. Josaphat, a Polish-style church in Milwaukee completed in 1901 and boasting one of the largest copper domes in the world. SOLD OUT CONCERTS AT CHRISTMAS The Bel Canto Chorus is made up […]

Christmas Choral Concert: The Tuskegee University Golden Voices Choir, University Chapel, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama.

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was called “The Sage” of Tuskegee Institute outside Montgomery, Alabama. Founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881, the Institute thrives today as Tuskegee University, home to more than 3,000 students from the U.S. and dozens of foreign countries. The historically African-American college boasts several academic distinctions today, especially in the broad […]

Christmas Choral Concert: John Rutter’s “Gloria” performed by the Angeles Chorale in Pasadena, California at the First United Methodist Church.

VOLUNTEER CHORAL GROUP FOUNDED IN 1975 For over 40 years, the Angeles Chorale has brought inspiring choral music to greater Los Angeles, California. It is an all-volunteer choral group comprised of about one hundred voices. The Angeles Chorale was founded in 1975 as one of the local Valley Master Chorales and merged in 1987 with […]

Christmas Choral Concert: St. Bavo Cathedral Choir, Haarlem, Netherlands.

The St. Bavo Cathedral Choir performs Christmas carols and other seasonal music for voice, many in modern settings. CONCERT SPACE IS EARLY 20TH CENTURY CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL IN HAARLEM, NETHERLANDS The concert was performed and recorded at the (Catholic) Cathedral Basilica St. Bavo in Haarlem on December 16, 2012 during Advent. The construction of the immense […]

History of The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love.” The First Hit for the 1977 film “Saturday Night Fever” still defines the Disco Age.

By John P. Walsh How Deep Is Your Love (1977) by the Bee Gees ranks number 375 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.1 It sits between White Room (1968) by Cream and Unchained Melody (1965) by The Righteous Brothers. Barry Gibb, the lone surviving Bee Gee today, reportedly said that […]

Anglo-American musical duo: Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White.

Flo Morrissey. English singer and songwriter Flo Morrissey (b. 1994) and Richmond, Virginia-based producer and musician Matthew E. White (b. 1982) teamed up for a collaborative full duet album of ten cover songs called Gentlewoman, Ruby Man. It was recorded in 2016 and released in January 2017 on Glassnote Records. Following months of preparation, the cover […]

5 African-American Classical Composers: William Grant Still, Florence B. Price, Harry T. Burleigh, William Levi Dawson, and Mary Lou Williams.

African American pianist, composer and arranger, and vocalist Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981). She  demonstrated remarkable musical talent in modern genres as diverse as classical, free jazz, hard bop, swing, big band, and gospel. By John P. Walsh Following the tradition set down by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, the White House officially announced that June […]

The Origin, History, and Meaning of the Irish Folk Song “Bríd Óg Ní Mháille” (“Young Bridget O’Malley”).

All variations of the name Brigid mean “power, strength, force, and authority” as well as “vigor, virtue and fortitude.” By John P. Walsh In Ireland a generation ago the girl’s first name of Brigid (along with Mary) was one of the island’s most popular. In the 1960s and 1970s, it seemed that a lot of Irish-American girls were named Brigid, or […]

The origin, history and meaning of the popular Irish Folk Song, “Weile Weile Waila.”

By John P. Walsh There are thousands of Irish folk songs, a traditional and often nationalistic musical genre that is experiencing today a renaissance and renewal as song collections are widely available that began to be compiled in the nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth century at a productive pace. These folk song collections […]

Leandro “Gato” Barbieri: From the “Last Tango in Paris” (1972) to the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), he was one talented “Cat” on the sax.

By John P. Walsh Released in September 2002 on Peak Records, the Latin jazz ballad “Beautiful Walk” is from Argentine-born saxophonist Leandro “Gato” (the “Cat”) Barbieri’s 50th album, Shadow of the Cat. Shadow of the Cat was Grammy-nominated for Best Latin Jazz. Gato Barbieri looked to two major sources for the album’s inspiration. The first […]

Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, & Georg Solti: A Critical Look at the Modern Music Directors of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Part 1.

By John P. Walsh PART I: Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, & Georg Solti. In 2013 just ahead of Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals the principal conductor and music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra dressed up in a Chicago Blackhawk’s sweater to conduct his orchestral version of their pep rally song.1 Riccardo Muti (Italian, born […]

Italy’s “Ensemble Accordone” writes contemporary music for the 21st century listener inspired by musical forms of the 6th and 16th centuries.

By John P. Walsh The Italian early Baroque ensemble “Ensemble Accordone” was founded in 1984 by two musicologists—composer Guido Morini (b. 1959) and tenor Marco Beasley (Italian-English, b. 1957). In the last decade the duo, in collaboration with other musical artists, has recorded and released 10 albums. The 45-minute opera called Vivifice Spiritus Vitae Vis (Revive […]

Revolution of 1800: the early “new” music of 30-year-old Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Ludwig van Beethoven, 1804/05, Joseph Willibrord Mähler (German, 1778-1860), Wien (Vienna) Museum. December 16 is the birthday of Classical-Romantic German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Throughout the 1790’s young Beethoven composed in the drawing-room tradition. In 1800, around his 30th birthday, Beethoven was telling friends that he was determined to “open a new path” for […]