Musicology for Everyone

an All-Purpose Guru blog
David M. Guion

About All-Purpose Guru About David

Sharing fascinating facts about the music of the past–even if it was only yesterday. I look it up so you don’t have to.

Musicology for Everyone examines mostly “classical” music, but also some kinds of “popular” music.

Why does “classical” music have the reputation as either stodgy or merely soothing? It’s beautiful! It’s exciting as often as it’s soothing. It has a greater emotional range and greater stylistic diversity than any other “genre” of music.

And what is classical music, anyway. Just old? Does popular music somehow become classical music when tastes change and it no longer has a mass following?

Actually, the whole concept of classical vs popular music is a little over 200 years old. Arguments over their relative merits haven’t changed much in that time. Musicology for Everyone is the only blog that regularly looks at those issues based on what people have written over that entire span.

Speaking of people, it’s people who write music, perform it, listen to it, and write about it. People are fascinating. Musicology for Everyone is as much about people as anything else.

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What qualifies David Guion to write Musicology for Everyone?

  • I have a bachelors and one masters in music performance as a trombone major. I also have another masters and a doctorate in musicology. (Musicology is the academic study of music as opposed to composition or performance. I am a historian of music.)
  • I have written two books and numerous journal articles on the history of the trombone. Expect to find a lot of trombone content here. After all, there are lots of other trombonists out there!
  • I have written some articles about American music that are unrelated to trombone. I have also written orchestral program notes and the like.
  • I have performed both as trombonist and choral singer for years and remain active in both.
  • I have always cared about music in its social setting. What people compose and perform music? For that matter, what people listen to it, pay for it, write about it? How do politics, diplomacy, wars, economic conditions, etc. influence that kind of music people compose, perform, and listen to in a particular time and place?
  • I confess that when I first heard rock music (in 4th grade), I hated it. I have had little to do with the popular culture of my own time, but it’s not that I hate popular music. Much of earlier popular music still retains wide popularity, but most people probably think it’s classical music.
  • On the other hand, I notice that film music (obviously popular music) often turns up on symphony orchestra concerts. We can distinguish classical from popular, but we can’t divide them. I love to write about how they connect.
  • I know how to write for the general public, not for specialists only.
  • If you are interested in reading about music, I can promise well-researched and pleasingly written content you won’t find anywhere else.

To subscribe to Musicology for Everyone, click on the link at left that says “Subscribe via RSS.”

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