Front and Center: The Place for Western Classical Music in the Curriculum

Daniel Asia

Music in the academy is at risk. 

NAS vs. Nas

Peter Wood

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) is sometimes confused with the hip hop artist and actor, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, widely known as Nas. The mistake is understandable.  Here’s how to tell the difference.

Test Your Knowledge: Christmas Music

Glenn Ricketts

A quiz on some of the traditions behind traditional Christmas music.

Test Your Knowledge: Music Education

Rachelle Peterson

Do you know your scales and arpeggios?

The Transformational Decade

Daniel Asia

The University of Arizona debuts its new hip-hop major.

The Put On of the Century, or the Cage Centenary

Daniel Asia

It is the John Cage Centenary and the 100th birthday of the Rite of Spring. Why is the former so unimportant, and the latter so important?

Stravinsky and Hip-hop Culture

Daniel Asia

In today's culture of non-judgmentalism, can we still distinguish between Stravinsky's ballets and local DJs' synthesized beats?

Mumford and Sons: God, Literature, and Rock and Roll

David Clemens

A deeper look at the lyrics of popular band Mumford and Sons reveals influences of Steinbeck and explorations of the 21st century male experience and his spiritual yearnings.

Ruminations at the end of the semester

Daniel Asia

I have recently returned from a trip abroad.  In receiving my peanuts, pretzels and drink during the flight, I also received two napkins.

Comments on "The Razor's Edge"

Daniel Asia

A brief look at Fox's article on Western Civilization.

More on William Byrd

Glenn Ricketts

A response to reader inquiries about the sixteenth-century English master.

Multiculturalism in a Different Key

Glenn Ricketts

A look at multiculturalism through a different lens.

Culture and the NY Times

Daniel Asia

I am aware that I am getting older, and therefore have less patience. But is it really that important where I or you were when John Lennon died? Thirty years after his untimely death this still seems to be an important question for some. I guess I need to ask why. John wrote some very nice tunes. A major thinker he was not. His activities in retrospect, seem a little tawdry, a little silly, and often downright foolish. I keep hoping the baby boomers will grow up, but my hopes are dashed repeatedly. I am left with the awful image of 90 year olds tottering in the old-age home to the streaming sounds of Satisfaction (yes, I know this is Mick's and not John's) and I want to hold your hand. Help!!

Finishing a Recent Article

Daniel Asia

I have recently finished an article for a future Academic Questions on the difficult place in which Classical Music finds itself in the Academy. I also suggest that the problem is a symptomatic of a larger societal one. I was asked to give some anecdotes for the article, and didn't come up with any good ones. In giving a talk a few nights ago I realized I did in fact remember one, that since it won't be in the article, I relate here. Last summer I gave a talk to a talented group of students who are hoping to become future entrepreneurs. As an opening question, I asked if they knew of any American composers of classical music. I thought they might mention Copland, Gershwin, Bernstein, or perhaps even Glass or Adams. After a long silence, a bold student finally answered--John Williams. And a question to you. I notice that many of my very sophisticated friends feel uncomfortable with classical music, and in particular, that of a more recent vintage. They don't feel this way about movies, theatre, or the visual arts. Why is this the case? I have various hypotheses, which I will elaborate on at a latter time. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts on the subject.

Fanfare on NAS Homepage

Ashley Thorne now greets readers with a festive fanfare; these are the opening bars of Gateways, the title piece of the 2001 album by composer Daniel Asia.