V.com weekend vote: Should certain movie soundtracks be considered classical music? border=0 align=

V.com weekend vote: Should certain movie soundtracks be considered classical music?

February 24, 2017, 11:59 AM · With the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, I thought a movie-music vote was in order!

Here is the question I've been pondering: should certain movie soundtracks be considered classical music?

Now, obviously I'm not referring "Classical music," music from the period between 1730 and 1820 that encompasses the time of Mozart.

I'm referring to the more generic use of the term "classical music," with a small "c," the term we commonly apply to Western art music, which ranges from Renaissance church music to Beethoven symphonies, from the Rite of Spring on through 21st century music.

Why would I consider such a thing? Because it would seem that, over the years, soundtrack music has become a fixture in the classical world.

Driving around Los Angeles this week, for example, I noticed that the classical music station has been airing movie soundtracks almost non-stop, in preparation for the upcoming Oscars. I've heard music from La La Land, Rogue One, Moonlight (which does some interesting stuff with violin sound)...the list goes on.

For a long time, symphony orchestras have featured "night at the movies" concerts, and in recent years the Hollywood Bowl actually screens full movies, with the score played live by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Certainly movie soundtracks are long-form art music. As with any other genre of music, the quality of soundtracks varies widely, from genius invention to complete schlock. If you are a classically-trained composer in the 21st century, soundtrack music -- for movies, video games or shows -- is certainly one of your most promising options for employment.

I would even argue that the soundtrack is one of the most relevant new-music forms of our current times.

Should it fall under the umbrella of "classical music"? Please vote, and then tell us your thoughts about it.

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Mind Your Habits

February 23, 2017, 3:52 PM · Are you creating good habits?

A few years ago I picked up a book in the airport called The Power of Habit, which made a convincing argument that our habits control nearly everything we do, every day. We have so many habits, and yet we notice very few of them.

I thought about this when a teaching colleague, Cheryl Scheidemantle, was describing a lesson she'd been teaching her third-grade beginning violin class. I realized that her lesson could apply just to the most advanced player, as well as the beginner: Mind your habits!

"Do any of you have any habits?" she asked the kids in her class. They did, and they told her a few healthy ones: brushing their teeth, eating breakfast slowly, arriving to school on time. They confessed to a few bad ones, too: staying up too late, watching too many videos, forgetting to clean their rooms.

She explained that we also have violin-playing habits. For example, some good violin-playing habits might include standing upright as we hold the violin, holding the bow correctly, playing notes in the right order, producing a beautiful tone. There are also bad habits: droopy posture, collapsed violin wrist, stiff bow hand, out-of-tune notes, squeaky sounds. Keep reading...

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The Week in Reviews, Op. 169: Hilary Hahn, Christian Tetzlaff, Alina Ibragimova border=0 align=

The Week in Reviews, Op. 169: Hilary Hahn, Christian Tetzlaff, Alina Ibragimova

February 20, 2017, 10:21 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Hilary Hahn performed the Mendelssohn with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Christian Tetzlaff performed works by Beethoven, Bartok, Mozart and Schubert, in recital with pianist Lars Vogt.

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