What are you reading?

Posted by: theJourney

What are you reading? - 11/21/07 03:37 AM

What could be more of a compelling subject for the pianist than the hand? I am in the middle of a very interesting book "The Hand - How its use shapes the brain, language and human culture" written by the American neuroscientist Frank R. Wilson.

This is an ambitious work sprawling across evolutionary biology and the importance of the hand to our success as a species towards new ideas on human creativity and how to nurture it. Special attention for music and music making and the recent, peculiar cultural evolution in the West turning music into something primarily performed by thoroughbred professionals for the consumption of the masses versus music making as something that everyone does as a matter of course.

Highly recommended.

Sample quotes:

"It may well be that the social and cultural inhibitions that prevent the flowering of musical genius are more significant than any individual ability that may seem to promote it."

"When we form something through artistic activity, we are formed and changed in the process, and that spurs the developmental process."
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 03:55 AM

I've just ordered a copy of Bruce Lipton's Biology of Belief. He is a biologist who seems to be saying that all 50 trillion cells in your body are the same as the 50 trillion cells in mine. The only difference is on the OUTSIDE of the cell. Attached to the outside of the cell wall are the individual's identity markers. He concludes that identity is EXTERIOR to the body. Relevance to piano playing? Hmm, you got me there.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 09:56 AM

Lost Genius-The Curious and Tragic Story of an Extraordinary Musical Prodigy by Kevin Bazzana.
This is a bio of Nyiregyhazi.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 11:27 AM

Cortot, Alfred. Aspects de Chopin
Opienski, (trans. by Danysz). Lettres de Chopin.

Regards,
Posted by: Donna R.

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 11:34 AM

Tony Faber: Stradivari's Genius: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection
Posted by: Aduke

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 11:52 AM

Nassim Taleb: The Black Swan
Malcolm Gladwell: Blink
Posted by: Pianorak

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 01:05 PM

Oliver Sacks: Musicophilia. Tales of Music and the Brain.
Posted by: guest1013

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 07:03 PM

Just picked up Beethoven's Hair by Russell Martin.
Posted by: gpiu

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 07:08 PM

"Ending Aging"
by Aubrey de Grey

If he is at all right, we will have plenty of time for practice
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 07:10 PM

Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson

The World Before, by Karen Traviss

Shadows Linger, by Glen Cook

(yeah, I'm a big sci-fi nerd)

A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, by Anderson, Krathwohl, et al.

Nobrow : The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture, by John Seabrook
Posted by: Brendan

Re: What are you reading? - 11/21/07 07:58 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
I've just ordered a copy of Bruce Lipton's Biology of Belief. He is a biologist who seems to be saying that all 50 trillion cells in your body are the same as the 50 trillion cells in mine. The only difference is on the OUTSIDE of the cell. Attached to the outside of the cell wall are the individual's identity markers. He concludes that identity is EXTERIOR to the body. Relevance to piano playing? Hmm, you got me there. [/b]
That sounds interesting. Does it read like Stephen Hawking or is it more approachable?

Current list:
Hemingway - To Have and Have Not
Kenneth Drake - The Sonatas of Beethoven as He Played and Taught Them
Franz Cumont - Astrology and Religion Among the Ancient Greeks and Romans

In studying for my comprehensive exams, I rediscovered a lot of material that I originally rolled my eyes at. I'm going back and trying to independently "start over" beginning with the Greeks. It's been very rewarding so far and I only wish that I hadn't been a snobby 18-year-old at the time. Oh wait...
Posted by: Auntie Lynn

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 12:00 AM

I'm wait-listed at the liberry for Grand Obsession and Lost Genius...also there's a new (2007) Chopin book - it's on reserve. Otherwise, I'm re-working the Battle of Kursk, Operation Citadel...
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 12:58 AM

"John Stainer: A Life in Music" by Jeremy Dibble.

Don't laugh.

Stainer's contributions to Anglican Church music are incalculable in importance. As organist and music director at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, his musicianship was a model for the country, and his church compositions set new standards.

With the reaction against Victorian musical values, Stainer's stock fell precipitously and only a pittance of his many -and fine- hymn tunes remain in New English Hymnal.
Posted by: ctnski

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 01:28 AM

Herbert von Karajan: A Life in Music by Richard Osborne.

Craig
Posted by: vanityx3

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 02:06 AM

The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stphen Chbosky

Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen [Boring so far]

The Fountainhead- Ayn Rand

Becoming a Writer- Dorthea Brande

Madame Bovary- Gustave Flaubert in orig. french [challenging for me]
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 04:14 AM

The Back Door of History by R. A. Lafferty. Iäm readin ti while rwiting this..,.
Posted by: Phlebas

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 08:29 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Lost Genius-The Curious and Tragic Story of an Extraordinary Musical Prodigy by Kevin Bazzana.
This is a bio of Nyiregyhazi. [/b]
I forgot that book should be out now. I'll order a copy.

I'm reading:

- Ian Rankin: Black and Blue.
- Karin Slaughter: Faithless
(I read a lot of mysteries)

- Barbara Tuchman: The First Salute.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 10:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
"John Stainer: A Life in Music" by Jeremy Dibble.

Don't laugh.

[/b]
Jason :

I'm not laughing. I've always had a "soft spot" in my heart for Stainer's "Crucifixion." If one can make allowances for the composer's Victorian sensibilities, it is a charming work. That is not to damn it with faint praise, but while it is not a great work of music it has an element of naive sincerity about it that appealed to me when I first heard it as a teenager. My musical tastes in music may have changed in the intervening eons, but I still enjoy the work for what it is.

Regards,
Posted by: Janus K. Sachs

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 12:29 PM

Finished rereading (3rd time) Swafford's wonderful Brahms biography a few months back. Am planning to reread Mann's Dr. Faustus as soon as I finish an orchestral piece.
Oh, I'm in the market for a good translation of the Aeneid (no prose translations please). Can anyone recommend me their favorites?
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 08:47 PM

Warning: off topic.
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
I've always had a "soft spot" in my heart for Stainer's "Crucifixion." If one can make allowances for the composer's Victorian sensibilities, it is a charming work. That is not to damn it with faint praise, but while it is not a great work of music it has an element of naive sincerity about it that appealed to me when I first heard it as a teenager.
Thanks Bruce, as usual your comments are spot on and elegantly expressed.

That said, I find The Crucifixion a bit dull -I have tried to love it- yet its modest difficulties are sufficient enough that when a parish church (either side of the pond) attempts it, the scenario is enough of an "event" so that a fair turnout may be expected. Good on this...

Myself, I fail to understand why Stainer's settings of the Anglican canticles and hymn tunes are no longer considered de rigueur... they have a life-affirming excitement about them which quite exceeds some of the drivel his contemporaries were writing.

Back to The Crucifixion, it was the moment of quiet before the storm. The next generation produced Elgar's Gerontius, and England finally got the choral composer to take on Handel and Mendelssohn.
Posted by: Theowne

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 08:52 PM

I am reading "The Piano Works of Claude Debussy" by Robert Schmitz.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 09:19 PM

I am slowly studying every word of Mr. Larry Fine


4th edition \:D

Matt
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 09:27 PM

Chopin The Child and the Lad - a 1907 annotated elaboration of his Szarfarnia letters

The Practice Revolution
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 10:06 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Janus Sachs:

Oh, I'm in the market for a good translation of the Aeneid (no prose translations please). Can anyone recommend me their favorites? [/b]
There's a new translation, which has been well received, available both in bookform and as an audio book:

http://www.amazon.com/Aeneid-Virgil/dp/0143059025/
Posted by: tomasino

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 10:15 PM

"The First Salute," by Barbara Tuchman. A historical treatise on the American Revolution,

Tomasino
Posted by: DaWF

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 10:21 PM

The Shipping News - Proulx
Evidence for the Christian Faith - McDowell
My Antonia - Cather (re-reading for literature class, probably my least favorite "classic")
The Percussionist's Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams - Schick
Posted by: playadom

Re: What are you reading? - 11/22/07 10:23 PM

How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life.

Fascinating book on a fascinating subject.
Posted by: Minaku

Re: What are you reading? - 11/23/07 01:46 AM

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina
Posted by: Daffodil

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 07:05 PM

Lots of interesting books listed on this thread!

I bought "The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the Extraordinary Number of Nature, Art and Beauty" by Mario Livio yesterday.

Started reading it last night and couldn't put it down.

Also reading bigraphies on Isaac Albeniz and Roger Quilter as study for my exam in two weeks.
Posted by: apple*

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 09:32 PM

Evening in the Palace of Reason

Bach meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment

James R. Gaines

it's great... looking forward to 'Grand Obsession'
Posted by: tomasino

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 09:32 PM

"Understanding Toscanini." A social history of American concert life.

Tomasino
Posted by: Rach.3Freak105

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 09:48 PM

I'm reading a book called Lamb by one of my favorite Authors, Chris Moore. However I picked up a book the other day called This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of A Human Obsession. It looks to be pretty interesting.
Posted by: Rach.3Freak105

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 09:49 PM

Haha Minaku, I didn't read before I posted, I see you picked up the same book also. How is it?
Posted by: apple*

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 09:52 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by DaWF:
The Shipping News - Proulx

My Antonia - Cather (re-reading for literature class, probably my least favorite "classic")
[/b]
i love both those books..
Posted by: Ferdinand

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 10:24 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Daffodil
I bought "The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the Extraordinary Number of Nature, Art and Beauty" by Mario Livio yesterday.
You might also be interested in "The Divine Proportion: A Study in Mathematical Beauty" by H.E. Huntley. (1970, Dover Publications.) I don't know if it is still in print. It puts much emphasis on the Fibonacci numbers and related series.
Posted by: BB Player

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 10:41 PM

I'm midway through Vol. 1 of Walker's three volume biography of Liszt.
Posted by: DeepElem

Re: What are you reading? - 11/25/07 11:20 PM

Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner

(reading for the 2nd time, I did a bit too much skimming the first time through)
Posted by: Daffodil

Re: What are you reading? - 11/27/07 09:34 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ferdinand:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Daffodil
I bought "The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the Extraordinary Number of Nature, Art and Beauty" by Mario Livio yesterday.
You might also be interested in "The Divine Proportion: A Study in Mathematical Beauty" by H.E. Huntley. (1970, Dover Publications.) I don't know if it is still in print. It puts much emphasis on the Fibonacci numbers and related series. [/b]
Thank you. I'll be looking for that next time I'm in Borders.
Posted by: L'echange

Re: What are you reading? - 11/27/07 11:31 PM

"Walden" by Thoreau. Its about my fourth time reading this book. Just love it \:D
Posted by: John Citron

Re: What are you reading? - 11/27/07 11:39 PM

Chemical Dependencies in the Workplace. I start a new class next Tuesday, and decided to read ahead a bit. This reading is all online so I turn on the Acrobat Reader speech reader option and let the ebook read to me when my eyes don't see the words anymore.

John
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: What are you reading? - 11/27/07 11:57 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by L'echange:
"Walden" by Thoreau. Its about my fourth time reading this book. Just love it \:D
Concord, Mass, USA. Walden Pond is 1.7 miles in circumference.

Amazing what we Brits know... \:D

Then there is the battle of Lexington Common... "what a glorious morning for America" and all that silly bilge. Oh you people... do you have any[/b] idea what it cost Britain to defend her colonies?

And that's the thanks we get...
\:D \:D \:D
Posted by: T.S.R.

Re: What are you reading? - 11/28/07 02:58 AM

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig
Posted by: Ragnhild

Re: What are you reading? - 11/28/07 03:33 AM

"Isakskatedralen"[/b] by Kari Hotakainen

(No, I don't expect anyone else to read the same..)


About John Stainer's Crucifixion:
(originally posted by BruceD):
 Quote:
That is not to damn it with faint praise, but while it is not a great work of music it has an element of naive sincerity about it that appealed to me when I first heard it as a teenager. [/b]
We have sung Crucifixion for Easter a few times, it is a work that is possible to perform with quite limited resources (even if I'm glad you did not hear it, Jason).
For me the expression of faith was the most important when singing my alto part. But I still like the chorals "For God so loved the world"
and "Jesus the crucified, pleads for me". I am not that happy about the more "majestic" parts.

Ragnhild
Posted by: cruiser

Re: What are you reading? - 11/28/07 03:46 AM

'Autobiography of a Yogi[/b]' - Paramahansa Yogananda

Also, 'The Power of Now[/b]' - Eckhart Tolle... this one's never finished \:\) I've got the hard-back at home and a well thumbed paperback which is with me constantly and in which I write notes.

cruiser
Posted by: Bryan P. Carney

Re: What are you reading? - 11/28/07 09:28 PM

Reviewing Hesse's "Das Glasperlenspiel" This is moving up on my favorite books list.

Camus' "The Stranger"

Dennett's "Consciousness Explained"
Posted by: Fleeting Visions

Re: What are you reading? - 11/28/07 10:22 PM

If it counts, Griffith's E & M Book, an Analytical Chemistry Book, and an Anal. Chem. lab manual.

Daniel
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: What are you reading? - 11/29/07 02:44 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dnephi:
If it counts, Griffith's E & M Book, an Analytical Chemistry Book, and an Anal. Chem. lab manual.
Would any of those be coming out in a mini-series?
;\)
Posted by: twitchy

Re: What are you reading? - 11/29/07 07:14 AM

 Quote:
I've just ordered a copy of Bruce Lipton's Biology of Belief. He is a biologist who seems to be saying that all 50 trillion cells in your body are the same as the 50 trillion cells in mine. The only difference is on the OUTSIDE of the cell. Attached to the outside of the cell wall are the individual's identity markers. He concludes that identity is EXTERIOR to the body. Relevance to piano playing? Hmm, you got me there.
That's strange, isn't DNA contained *inside* the cell?

I'm reading Aunts Aren't Gentlemen by P.G.Wodehouse. Rather amusing
Posted by: theJourney

Re: What are you reading? - 12/02/07 08:45 AM

Famous Pianists and Their Technique (New Edition 2007) by Reginald R. Gerig, Indiana University Press

Even contains a whole chapter devoted to Ortmann and that perennially discusssed topic of "can touch effect tone?"

In addition to being a compelling survey of the last three centuries of keyboard technique developement it also contains a very useful topical index to the book and to the bibliography.

Topics thusly indexed:

1. The Aesthetic Imperative
2. Mental and Psychological Control
3. An Intellectual Grasp of Basic Technical Knowledge
4. Isolated Movements
5. Coordinated Movements
6. Muscular Coordination
7. The Kinesthetic Sense
8. Posture
9. Means for Specific Technical Development
10. Historical Concepts and Perspective of Piano Technical Thought

The need for a more exhaustive update of this book is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Georgy Sandor enjoys only one meager anecdotal quote with virtually nothing said of his impact on piano pedagogy or development of technique.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: What are you reading? - 12/02/07 10:06 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by twitchy:
 Quote:
I've just ordered a copy of Bruce Lipton's Biology of Belief. He is a biologist who seems to be saying that all 50 trillion cells in your body are the same as the 50 trillion cells in mine. The only difference is on the OUTSIDE of the cell. Attached to the outside of the cell wall are the individual's identity markers. He concludes that identity is EXTERIOR to the body. Relevance to piano playing? Hmm, you got me there.
That's strange, isn't DNA contained *inside* the cell? [/b]
No. As the sleeve note says - It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts.

Now I've read it I can say he knows what he's talking about. If nothing else it's a great primer on cell biology. Stupid New Age cover.
Posted by: keyboardklutz

Re: What are you reading? - 12/02/07 10:08 AM

Thejourney, you are the proud owner of the best book EVER on piano playing. Congrats.
Posted by: thepianist2008

Re: What are you reading? - 12/03/07 10:44 AM

On Piano Playing - Gyorgy Sandor
Mastering the Chopin Etudes and Other Essays - Abby Whiteside
The Odyssey - Homer
The Libation Bearers - Aeschylus

If you've read the Iliad, Agamemnon by Aeschylus is a really great read. \:D
Posted by: JerryG

Re: What are you reading? - 12/03/07 04:56 PM

Frank Conroy's "Body & Sole". Just finished it for about the 7th time. It is inspirational for me as well as takeing place during a time and location I can relate to.
Posted by: jotur

Re: What are you reading? - 12/03/07 09:45 PM

Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History, David A. Jasen and Trebor Jay Tichenor

Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things, Richard Wiseman, Ph.D. The music-related chapter \:\) was about infrasound (very low frequencies) and how it's experienced without being heard. It was responsible for one researcher's lab equipment moving independently across the floor (a poltergeist!) and also for some strange feelings by audience members during a concert. He talks about it's effects from organs, and that it may be part of the response that moves people in ways they describe as being very close to God. His experiments are done in the "real world" (he did one of the follow-up experiments on the "6 degrees of separation" finding), but he also reports on lab experiments.

Cathy
Posted by: STEAVEN PAIK

Re: What are you reading? - 12/03/07 11:35 PM

"Shine" written by the wife of David Helpgod. Good book!! like the movie.