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Why should African graduates be honoured with a Latin song when the continent has plenty of its own music and ways of celebrating? Direct Relief/Flickr

Why Gaudeamus igitur has no place at graduations in African

A Latin song takes centre stage at graduation ceremonies around the world, including in South Africa. Isn't it time the continent used its own methods to celebrate major events?
Does listening to certain songs help us slip into the ether? 'Clouds' via

Can listening to music help you sleep?

Composer Max Richter – with his epic, eight-hour-long piece Sleep – aims to be an auditory sandman.
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s last collaboration The Seven Deadly Sins, first performed in 1933, in circumstances not dissimilar than those we face today. Pictured: Meow Meow. Victorian Opera

How now Meow Meow? The Seven Deadly Sins is a Weimar Opera with 21st-century resonance

Victorian Opera this week stages The Seven Deadly Sins, the final collaboration between Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. First staged in 1933, it is a masterpiece by two of the most revolutionary artists of Weimar Germany.
Music notation itself has changed from the early modern period to the present day. Provenance Online Project/flickr

Musical literacy: a skill of some note(s)

Technological advances in music production have all but obliterated the need for popular music to be transcribed into musical notation. So why is musical literacy still important?
The real force of Star Wars is to be found in its music, an aural cocktail of orchestral pieces punctuated with lightsabers, hyperspace leaps, and a hint of droid. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – a sound fetishist’s guide to the trailer and beyond

For all the speculative commentary as to what the new Star Wars trailer reveals plot-wise, its true “force” is surely located in the various sounds that infuse this perfectly constructed teaser.
French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand presents Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (centre) with the highest decoration in France, Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, in 2011. Wikimedia Commons

The case for the music of Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt created contemplative and innovative music during the most oppressive years of the Soviet Union.
A number of IS videos feature the songs of Maher Mesh'al, who was killed over the summer in Syria. YouTube

For the Islamic State, music is the ‘alcohol of the soul’

Whether it's the Islamic State, the Ku Klux Klan – or, yes, even American political parties – groups use music in many of the same ways, for many of the same reasons.
Jockeying for power in the rap world: earlier this summer Drake and Meek Mill traded barbs. Drake (on left): Steve Marcus/Reuters; Meek Mill: Kevork Djansezian/Reuters

Drake, Meek Mill and beef’s prime place in rap culture

Taking a lyrical swing at another rapper is part and parcel of the genre. So why the profound backlash when Meek Mill accused Drake of not writing his own lyrics?
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump on the campaign trail. Reuters

Trumping musical misappropriation

Donald Trump provoked the ire of REM frontman Michael Stipe this week after he played an REM hit on the campaign trail. In this push-pull between politicians and musicians, let's revisit the music.

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