Chuck Berry, Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer, Dies at 90

NY Times

I had a sheltered childhood – not too far from St.Louis, in miles – but another world entirely, in terms of popular music.

We had black people, in Ft.Madison, Iowa – but they were respectable people – even more respectable than the whites.

Chuck Berry was not respectable – but was a hero for many teenagers, black and white. Something the Rural MidWest, that I was from, could not comprehend.

This Rural Midwest, as I have labeled it, contained cities such as Kansas City and Cleveland.

But not Chicago and St.Louis. They were out of bounds for us.

Joshua Bell, the NSO, and the Dance Heginbotham

medici.tv Click on the Lalo Symphony on the right

This is quit a mixture – Joshua Bell, as a solo violinist – the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), of Washington, DC – and a dance company from Brooklyn, I never heard of before, where the dancers, men and women, all wear the same kind of costume – and perform a dance, not a ballet.

The Kennedy Center is determined to upstage the Lincoln Center – and it is giving them a good run for the money.

Facing Agrippina

Medici.tv

Agrippina was the mother of Nero.

This opera, composed by Handel, was first performed in 1710.

It is brought up-to-date here with some innovative staging – that bridges the gap between the Roman Empire and the present.

If is also a video, with some clever camera work and editing.

Leonard Bernstein’s Omnibus, Beethoven’s Fifth

Medici.tv

I have been waiting for this for quite a while. I saw the original on TV – and like everyone else was mesmerized by America’s latest genius. This guy directs with his whole body!

This video shows its superiority over an audio recording – an amazing technology in its time. I had stacks of LP records. And they helped me through some rough times.

I hope you can see the whole thing – even if you haven’t subscribed to the service.

Frameworks

This is a huge subject, but I want to concentrate on two areas – classical music and software development.

Classical Music

Nietzsche,  that strange genius, touches on this (and much else) according to Tanner, Michael, in his book, Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction.

The mere use of the concept of style is enough to make us think of given frameworks within which people work, achieving individuality thanks to the support which the framework offers. An obvious case is the Classical Style in music, as manifest from Haydn through Mozart and Beethoven, petering out at some indeterminate point. The constraints of that style were rigorous, but one cannot imagine any one of those three composers thriving without it. They were able to be themselves because so much was already given. It is in the tension between the style which was available to anyone at the time, and which we can see working perfectly satisfactorily without producing works of genius in the hands of, say, Hummel, who owes it entirely to the style available to him that he can be worthwhile at all, and the strongly defined individualities of its great masters that we locate its supreme achievements.

I am still devoted to Classical music, that was written over a hundred years ago – and is still being performed today, with the musicians wearing clothing of the period. But I am also impressed by the recent developments in software development.

Software Development

What a strange place this is! In my attempt to understand it I am taking a MOOC – friends, money, bytes – which begins with an overview, showing how complicated it is! A lot of stuff is hidden here. Lots of room there for people to hide a weenie.

I am also studying the Java programing language and the Netbeans IDE – which provides an integrated environment for program development – a framework, in effect. After floundering around for awhile – there are so many tools available! I have settled on this one. They don’t mind holding your hand while you learn.

An alternative is Javascript – which is being pushed very hard – but doesn’t feel right to me.

 

Beyoncé

I am so ignorant of popular music, I had too look her up on Wikipedia – that soon set me straight.

After a careful reading of her early life – I probably know more about her than most of her fans.

Here is the first paragraph:

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born in Houston, Texas, to Celestine “Tina” Knowles (née Beyincé), a hairdresser and salon owner, and Mathew Knowles, a Xerox sales manager.[20] Beyoncé’s name is a tribute to her mother’s maiden name.[21] Beyoncé’s younger sister Solange is also a singer and a former member of Destiny’s Child. Mathew is African-American, while Tina is of Louisiana Creole descent (with African, Native American, French, Cajun, and distant Irish and Spanish ancestry).[21][22][23][24] Through her mother, Beyoncé is a descendant of Acadian leader Joseph Broussard.[23] She was raised in a Methodist household.

Another product of the American Melting Pot!