Musical Space / Creative Commons / Google Images


Advertising has become embedded into our digital lives--I suppose if people aren’t willing to pay for music anymore, then having ads interrupt your Spotify playlist is a unavoidable. But recently, some lines have been crossed, and I worry that it’s affecting the experience.

clownhousethethird / Flickr / Creative Commons

Science fiction is a place where art meets forward thinking, and African American music has its own science fiction thread, called Afrofuturism, which is populated by some of our most progressive musicians.

vansassa / flickr

When I think of songs that mention Wichita, I can’t help but try to find a common thread, some consensus from songwriters about what they think of us. Unfortunately, there’s a sadness that comes through, an image of Wichita as a distant locus of ordinariness.

Going To Extremes

May 12, 2015

A lot of talented musicians like to show off their technical skills, and sometimes it’s annoying. There’s the jazz tenor saxophonist who won’t stop after 10 choruses, the lead guitarist who has never heard the expression “less is more.”

A musician’s ego can get the best of them. “Higher, faster, louder” is sometimes the quickest way to kill the mood.

Anetode / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Blues guitarist Robert Johnson is said to have gotten his musical talent by selling his soul to the devil at the crossroads close to the famous Dockery Plantation in the Mississippi Delta. The same story was told earlier about another bluesman named Tommy Johnson.

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.

Musicians Who Sing Along

Mar 31, 2015
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.

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.

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.

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.