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.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Here Come Termination Rights

Credit Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Congress changed copyright law in the 1970s with a provision that allows songwriters to get out of their contracts 35 years after they had signed away their rights to record companies.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Musicians Who Sing Along

Glenn Gould
Credit Don Hunstein / Glenn Gould Foundation

This is Glenn Gould’s famous 1981 recording of Bach’s "Goldberg Variations." If you listen very carefully, you can hear him singing along. He sang so loudly that his recording engineers often couldn’t avoid it being picked up by the microphones.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Tue March 17, 2015

The Delta Blues Of Germany

Kraftwerk performing live
Credit bluesmuse / Flickr / Creative Commons

You may not be aware of this, but the last four decades of music have been heavily influenced by German underground rock from the 1970s.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Why Music Is Greater Than The 'Mozart Effect'

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Credit Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

You’ve all heard about The Mozart Effect, the theory that listening to classical music will “make you smarter.” Whether or not research bears this out, the Mozart Effect has become a rallying cry for music educators and is even a trademarked way to sell CDs to parents hoping their kids would eventually get high-paying jobs.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Distributing Music Outside The Box

Credit tyler.stefanich / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

Recorded music now makes so little money that some artists have gone to a completely different business model.

Musicians are now releasing their work for free in the hopes that their music will reach the ears of someone willing to put it in a movie, or that it will help promote a live tour or merchandise sales. This is called a “Creative Commons License,” and it grants everyone the right to freely distribute the work, provided they don’t sell, alter or claim it as their own.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Tue February 3, 2015

How To Turn A Studio Session Into Art

PJ Harvey
Credit londonist.com / Google Images / Creative Commons

There is a raw honesty about the music of PJ Harvey, and that is probably the reason she’s the only person to twice win England’s Mercury Prize for best album of the year.

Now, she has figured out a way to make her next album a much more intimate and meaningful experience for the listener: she is treating the recording as an art exhibit.

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Commentary
5:30 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Stairway To Litigation

Led Zeppelin in Hamburg, Germany 1973. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page
Credit Heinrich Klaffs / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

Led Zeppelin was one of a wave of British bands enamored with American delta blues, and they covered a large number of blues artists like Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon.

“Borrowing” songs from someone else is part of the blues tradition, but Led Zeppelin might have taken things too far. They have already been sued in the past for plagiarising Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson. Now, they find themselves in court again, this time over the authorship of the band’s colossus, "Stairway to Heaven," a song that has earned more than half a billion dollars.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Musical Space: Cinematic Soul

Soundtracks to films such as Shaft and Cleopatra Jones changed the pop music landscape by providing a new perspective on soul sensibility with funky drum, slap bass, clavinet and the sound of wah wah pedals.

You could hear strings and horns collide with orchestral movie music and a James Brown style groove.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Musical Space: Perfect Pitch May Be Closer Than You Think

Perfect Pitch is the ability to recall any note at will without relying on a reference note. People with perfect pitch can tell you what key a song is in just by hearing it, and can sing a given note, say, a C#, out of the blue. This is associated with freakishly talented musicians like Mozart.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Musical Space: You Really Got Me

The Kinks reached Number One on the British charts 50 years ago with their new single “You Really Got Me.” The band solidified their sound with this song, and also pushed rock music a quantum leap forward, and for that we owe the Kinks a great debt.

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