Musical Space

Musical Space is a look at all things music, by KMUW Music Commentator Mark Foley. Mark is Principal Double Bass of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Double Bass and head of Jazz Studies at Wichita State University.

He has been a featured soloist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, performs extensively as a jazz artist is also an avid bluegrass player. Passionate about promoting new and diverse music, Mark is the founder and music director of the Knob Festival of New Music, a series of concerts held in Fisch Haus Studios every Fall.

The Musical Space commentary airs on KMUW on alternate Tuesdays. You can subscribe to the Musical Space podcast on iTunes or Google Play

Musical Space: Cartoons

Aug 7, 2012

Composer Carl Stalling created some of the most recognizable musical scores of the last century, the sounds that fueled many Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons.


[Music: Carl Stalling: “Coyote and Road Runner”]

You may not know Carl Stalling’s name but you do know his work.  He was the composer who scored the music for Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes cartoons, the music that was the perfect accompaniment to sugar-cereal-fueled Saturday mornings, the music we associate with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, and their various escapades.

Some film scores are best when they take the familiar and make it unfamiliar, as Mark Foley notes this week on Musical Space.

Let’s talk about the score to the 2004 Wes Anderson-directed film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. The film and its score are remarkable for their refreshing perspectives on the familiar.

Courtesy Photo

Minimalism was the last great revolution to happen in the world of art music. Young American composers began experimenting with using limited materials and processes in the 1960s, and the result was music that relied on repetition and very slow change over time.

Mark Foley looks at the history of the electric guitar.


Two thousand and twelve marks the 80th anniversary of the invention of the Electric Guitar, an event more important than the first moon landing or the isolation and identification of DNA. The very first electric guitar debuted in Wichita in 1932. Local musician Gage Brewer had vacationed in Los Angeles that summer and a friend happened to work for the Rickenbacker Company.

Into It: Vinyl Records

Jun 12, 2012

Mark Foley explores the joys of vinyl.

For the past decade, vinyl records have been making a comeback. Today, LPs are the fastest-growing medium for recorded music. One estimate of sales for last year is four million—impressive in an industry that has been shrinking since the early 1980s.

Musical Space: Mix Tape

Oct 4, 2011

Cassettes may have largely gone the way of parachute pants but their spirit lives on.

Mix Tape

It was my brother’s birthday the other day and I had no idea what he would want, until I remembered how much we both like music. So I made him a mix tape.

OK, so I didn’t really use a cassette - I just messaged him a list of YouTube links on Facebook, mostly indie rock things that he might not have heard before - but the concept is the same: it was an ordered list of songs chosen by a person tailored for another person.

Pages