“Ave Maria” is quite commonly heard at both Christmas and Easter, particularly among those of Roman Catholic faith. Of course, it is Schubert’s version, and to a lesser extent, the one attributed to Bach and Gounod with which I’m familiar. Imagine my surprise and, later, my sheer delight, on learning there are, in fact, several interpretations. Why so many, and how did they come about?
It follows that parents with a love of music want to instill in their children a similar appreciation of music, but at what age should they begin? Two-year-old Samantha is clearly too young to take up the violin and her brother, although three years older, is still eclipsed by a standing bass. How, then, do parents spark their child’s interest in music, whatever the genre? Are there any particular pearls of wisdom out there? This post offers a few suggestions.
With the 2020 United States presidential election now behind us, I’m thinking about candidates’ tactics heading into past elections and also about the use of campaign songs. Artists like Neil Young, the Village People and Aerosmith expressed displeasure over Donald Trump’s unauthorized use of their music. How have music and politics become so inextricably linked?
What role do music and lyrics play in chronicling events and in helping to understand the mood of a generation? It’s not for me to speculate, but I do submit that lyrics—as much as music—play an unequivocal role in chronicling the zeitgeist of a particular era.
Do cover songs pay proper respect to, or debase and sully, the original work? Do they add to, improve upon, or advance it in any way?