Mark Foley

Music commentator

Mark Foley is Assistant Professor of Double Bass and Electric Bass, and Principal Double Bass in the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.

He has been a featured soloist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. He also has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Heidelberg Castle Opera Festival, the Binghamton Symphony, the Minnesota Opera and also performs extensively as a jazz artist.

Ways to Connect

Page 62 of the official Kansas Driver’s Handbook states: “A horn should only be used in emergency situations.” And, yes, the car horn is a safety feature, but how often have it ever helped prevent an accident? The only time I hear a driver using a horn is when they want to send an audio signal to express their feelings. In other words, a car horn is a musical instrument.

When Subwoofers Attack

Nov 10, 2015
laffy4k / Flickr / Creative Commons

As I’ve talked about before, the Fletcher-Munson curve warps how we hear music depending on how loud it is. Low volume equates to less “fullness.” That’s why we like to turn up the bass.

Virtual Bands

Oct 27, 2015
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license / Ian T. McFarland

Virtual bands are a thing.

I’m talking about real bands with real songs, but represented as animated cartoon characters. Virtual bands have been around for generations, starting with Alvin and the Chipmunks in the late '50s. The Archies were a band on TV, as were Josie and the Pussycats and Jem and the Holograms. These were all television studio creations, as is Dethklok from Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse series. Some virtual bands, though, seem instead to have been imagined by the musicians themselves, and they are capable of very interesting things.

6tee-zeven / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

I can’t imagine two people as different as Neil Young and Donald Trump, so when The Donald recently used Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” as a campaign song, I wasn’t too surprised by Young’s unequivocal negative reaction. R.E.M. also had a tune appropriated by Trump, much to the chagrin of the band. It turns out that presidential campaigns of both parties have been asked by artists to stop using their songs.

Yves Lorson / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

On this week's Musical Space, Mark Foley recognizes a movement that helped radio stations become a lot more creative.

Oarih / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Human ears are most sensitive to frequencies around 2,000 to 5,000 cycles per second. That’s the most useful range for hearing human speech.

But music can encompass sounds down to about 20 cycles and up to 20,000. We just can’t hear the highs and lows as well as the middle. Strangely, the louder the music, the better we hear the lowest and highest sounds. In fact, we get the fullest spectrum of sound as close as possible to the threshold of pain.

Frank Swider

OK, you all know by now how I feel about local music. Wichita is fully capable of making music just as well as anybody on either coast. The music of Kirk Rundstrom is a case in point and should not be forgotten. / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Film director Wes Anderson announced last year that he wants to create an amusement park. He says that it would have "hundreds of animatronic characters and creatures, rides through vast invented landscapes and buildings, extensive galleries of textiles and sculptures, plus an ongoing original music score piped in everywhere," and he wants the whole thing to be designed by a musician named Mark Mothersbaugh.

nico7martin / Flickr / Creative Commons

Crowdfunding Music

Jul 21, 2015
Bizking2u / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Selling records has historically been a capital-intensive undertaking. This has always been a problem for new music, and record companies are less likely than ever to risk money on new artists in the post-Napster era.