Articles on Music

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Ok, which one of you is trying to get attention? I can hear it in your voice. karavai/shutterstock

When girls are in the audience, choir boys sing for attention

Did we evolve the capacity to produce sublime music simply to get more sex? Or are we driven by higher ideals related to living together in harmony? Maybe it's a bit of both.
Shirley from Skyhooks in Countdown. ABC

Countdown - just nostalgia, or still breaking new ground?

Audiences of a certain age still gush about Countdown, the ABC’s music show that ran between 1974 and 1987. The ritual of sitting down to watch the ABC at 6pm on a Sunday (and maybe again for the Saturday…
A still from the documentary, Long Time Running, premiering at TIFF next month, captures frontman of the Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, as he leads the band through a concert in Vancouver last summer. The writer attended the Tragically Hip’s final tour stop in Kingston, Ont. (Courtesy of TIFF)

Ahead by a century: The Hip imagines a better future

Good songs are like good poetry. Literature professor Robert Morrison reflects on The Tragically Hip's best song, "Ahead by a Century," and explains the politics of hope within the tune.
Debussy’s Clair de Lune belongs to the Impressionist movement, which included visual artists like Claude Monet. Wikimedia

Decoding the Music Masterpieces: Debussy’s Clair de Lune

Debussy's Clair de Lune, meaning 'moonlight', is one of the most easily recognised pieces of music, but its origins are complex. The piece was influenced by poetry, Baroque music and the Impressionist movement.
Pied butcherbirds, such as this one, sing solos, duos and trios. © Duade Paton

Birdsong has inspired humans for centuries: is it music?

Is birdsong simply a hard-wired, functional, primitive sound – or could we call it 'music'? Australia's pied butcherbirds show there are surprising overlaps between birds' and humans' musical abilities.
Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag, painted by Maxwell Newhouse for John Burge. (Maxwell Newhouse)

Powerful painting inspires composer to connect Canadians

Composer John Burge speaks of his drive to create a musical piece to mark Canada's 150th year of confederation and to capture our collective experiences.
Some musicians believe certain instruments, such as the trumpet, are more ‘masculine’. Alenavlad/shutrerstock

Why is there so little space for women in jazz music?

Women are disturbingly under-represented in Australian jazz, with relatively few female composers and instrumentalists. What's holding them back? And what can be done about it?

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