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Top 10 composers and an experiment on musical minds

16 January 2011

1. Great composers

The New York Times has been reporting a series of interesting articles exploring the qualities of great composers.  The final product of this series will be a list of top 10 classical composers.  I’m following this interesting series for my curiosity and find this process exciting. It’s been really enjoyable to read Anthony Tommasini’s (the reporter and a music critic) thoughtful and intelligent reasons for his selection of each composer and to view short videos in which he plays and explains some pieces of some composers. I like the way he invites readers to this conversation! I’d also like to share this interesting project with those who love music and care about this issue. I’ll keep updating this entry until the reporter finalizes his list on Jan. 21. It would be interesting to compare my own list with his and other NYT readers’ vote!

The Greatest (Jan. 7, 2011)

Top 10 Composers: Help Write the List (Jan. 7, 2011)

Top 10 Composers: The Vienna Four (Jan. 11, 2011)– We can’t talk about classical music without Bach, Beethoven and Mozart! I’m not a big fan of operas, but love Mozart’s arias. Aha, I understand why I love Mozart’s arias after listening to Tommasini’s explanation about the relationship between Mozart’s piano sonatas and his operas!

Top 10 Composers: The Vienna Four, Part 2 (Jan. 11, 2011)

Top 10 Composers: Which 20th-Century Masters Will Make the Cut? (Jan. 12, 2011)

Top 10 Composers: Hailing Opera’s Shakespeare, and Its Proust (Jan. 17, 2011)

Top 10 Composer: The Female Factor (Jan. 18, 2011) — I’m glad to see an article about great “female” composers who didn’t make the cut, but deserve more recognition.

Top 10 Composers: The Romantics (Jan. 19, 2011)– Yes, Brahms!! I’d be heartbroken without Brahms!

The Greatest (Jan. 21, 2011)– It’s done! Here’s Tommasini’s final list with his reasons, which convinced me.  But, I’m still disappointed with his list without Mahler despite his hint that there would not be a place for Mahler.

  • Tommasini’s list: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Stravinsky, Brahms, Verdi, Wagner, Bartok
  • NYT readers’ list: Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Haydn, Schubert, Wagner, Debussy
  • My list: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Haydn, Mahler, Verdi

Top 10 Composers: A Few Last Thoughts (Jan. 24, 2011)

2. How musical are you?

Perhaps Open Culture is my favorite website. I often find many interesting things through that website. Particularly, a recent post drew my attention. It’s an experiment about musical minds run by BBC.  If you’re interested in finding out the musicality of your brain, take this experiment here. It’s really fun!

A relevant PBS video:

Nova: Musical Minds with Oliver Sacks

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Heidi Hammond permalink
    26 January 2011 4:42 pm

    Thank you for alerting me to this series in the New York Times, Sook. I’m going to enjoy reading each article. ~Heidi

    • 26 January 2011 5:00 pm

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, Heidi!
      I am excited about sharing this series with you! This series is too good to miss!
      Sook

  2. Meejeong Choi (Stephanie) permalink
    29 January 2011 6:04 am

    안녕 숙. 아까 분명히 여기 몇자 적었는데 지금 보니 없당.
    이 기사 나 또한 아주 흥미롭게 읽고 있고 잼나기도 하고. 땡큐.
    계속 잼난 기사 있으면 여기 실어다고. 난 구몬한 이래로 완존 무식. 계속계속 무식의 행진을 이어가고 있지. 그러니 책임감을 가지고 존 책 존 기사 올려다고. 다시 한 번 땡큐.

    • 29 January 2011 1:45 pm

      미정아, 네 코멘트를 보니 무척 반갑다. 오늘 아침 무척 늦게 일어 났는데, 네글을 보면서 하루를 시작하니까 나 기분 진짜 좋다~. 자주 다녀간 흔적을 남겨 나를 기쁘게 해다오~ 또 니가 이 시리즈를 즐기고 있다니 동지를 만난 것 같다. 너 알잖니. 나 뭐 좋은 거 보거나 알면 내 주변 사람을 괴롭히는것, 히히~

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