Category: Blog

Baroque or (ba)Rock and Roll?

How does one define “classical” music? How is it different from other genres, such as “rock and roll” or “jazz”? In what way is “baroque” music different (or the same) as other so-called “classical” music?

Why do we carve musical genres into these subsets, anyway, and what are the characteristics that define each and create distinctions from other genres? Is there more commonality between genres than we realize?

Go, team!

Rumor has it there is some sort of big sporting event happening today. Not knowing much about these things, I can’t take sides or even comment!

But it brings to mind some famous (and a few infamous) MUSICAL competitions and rivalries in the baroque era!

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone

Let’s be honest: we often take important things for granted, despite our best intentions.

Being deprived of something that has become a regular, expected part of life can bring us to a screeching halt. Despite the immediate inconvenience, there can also be a silver lining.

Resolve to share your love of music

Happy New Year! Even if you’re not the type of person who makes New Year’s Resolutions, I’d like to offer a suggestion to consider.

As a classical music broadcaster and a musician, I am frequently faced with the question of how to get more people to listen to classical music. For decades, pundits have been raising alarms about the supposed “graying” of the audience, forecasting the demise of symphony orchestras and other performing groups, and lamenting the decrease of classical music on the broadcast airwaves.

Music & Human Connections

Sunday Baroque listeners frequently contact me to say how much they enjoy the music and how much it means to them. You’ve told me it helps you feel happy, provides companionship, enlightens you, and more. These stories affirm my personal belief in the power of music, and remind me to appreciate how extraordinary that power can be and not take it for granted.

Delicious traditions

I love to bake. I love to cook. I love to entertain. That’s why, at this time of year, I am in my element!

As the winter holidays approach I get a little giddy as I start stocking up on flour, sugar, butter, cream cheese, sprinkles, walnuts, extracts and other staples of my winter baking pantry. I pull out the recipes employed for decades to bake a variety of holiday goodies, including many that are longtime family traditions.

Suzanne’s First Turkey and Other Thanksgiving Adventures

At this time of year, I contemplate how grateful I am for my good fortune, including the gift of music my parents gave me. They were not musicians themselves, but they loved music and had many LPs in the house that played frequently, and they sang along and danced. They also had a piano, and when it came time for me to choose a band instrument they willingly rented, then bought, a flute for me. Soon after, they signed me up for private lessons.

World Kindness Day

Today is (apparently) World Kindness Day. I was alerted to this by a kind friend, and in looking up the observance I learned it was established on November 13, 1997 by a consortium of humanitarian groups. They wanted to encourage people to do something kind, whether it’s donating time, money or goods to a worthy organization or person, or committing an act of kindness — large or small — for a friend or stranger.

Keeping it Fresh

We are marking the 30th anniversary of Sunday Baroque — the program I originated on WSHU Public Radio as a local show, and which we ultimately began distributing nationally 19 years ago. Listeners frequently ask me how I keep Sunday Baroque fresh week after week, especially after so many years. Probably the most important factor is that I retain the same wonder and enthusiasm for sharing music as I did in the beginning — maybe even more so, as I’ve learned and experienced more myself.

Lifelong learning

If you follow Sunday Baroque on Facebook, you may have seen the recent posts from Germany. I was privileged to travel with a group of music lovers to significant places, including Berlin, Leipzig, K├Âthen, Arnstadt, and Dresden, where we were steeped in the history, architecture, art and music of the region, including several musical performances.