Recording and Playing Machines

 “This exhibition, drawn from the collections of nine major cultural institutions gathered in the Europeana Sounds project, offers a selection of machines that illustrate a wide range of techniques and technologies.



This exhibition includes recording and playing machines such as: wax and cylinder disks, shellac and vinyl disks, radios and more.

Recording and Playing Machines

A World of Shared Ecstasy: How John King’s String Quartet Fuses Western and Arabic Music

Written by Adam Shatz

A new suite for string quartet weds Western and Arabic music with intelligence, integrity, and feeling.



“…The inspiration for Free Palestine came from the Old City of Jerusalem, which King visited in 2011 while touring with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He wandered into a Palestinian cafe, ordered a mint tea, and listened to the men around him…”


Read Adam Shatz’s take on John King’s “Free Palestine.”

A World of Shared Ecstasy

Can a Novel be a Fugue?

Written by Margot Singer

“Learning to play the piano as a kid, I was not especially fond of Bach. I loved Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorák, Brahms. Bach, on the other hand, hurt my head…”

Can a Novel be a Fugue?


It’s Here!!! Arvo Pärt’s White Light: Media, Culture, Politics

Our very own Laura Dolp has recently released her newly published book, Arvo Pärt’s White Light: Media, Culture, Politics. 
BOOK COVER Arvo Parts White Light
The authors in this book investigate how Arvo Pärt’s music has formed pathways of meaning through its listeners, musicians and the institutions that have performed, promoted and published it. As the editor, Laura Dolp’s goal is to deepen the conversation about the nature of this impact, its forms, and the mechanisms that drive it. Beyond the rhetoric of “holy minimalism” that has accompanied much of Pärt’s reception since the mid-1980’s, the included essays seek to broaden the methods of this conversation and the terms of its disputes. The volume embraces a variety of theoretical approaches, textual studies, histories of listening, and analysis of media and aesthetics. The result is a dynamic exchange between filmgoers, concertgoers, listeners, activists and performers.
For you modern composer lovers and composition majors, this is a must have! You will be inspired to think critically beyond your normal pathways and see how modern music is impacting our current world.
For more information on this book and others, please go to:


Icons of sound

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A collaboration between Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and Department of Art & Art History. This research focuses on the interior of Hagia Sophia built by emperor Justinian in 532-537 and employs visual, textual, and musicological research, video, balloon pops, the building of architectural and acoustic models, auralizations, and the recording of Byzantine chant.

Jacek Blaszkiewicz ’10 wins AMS 50 Fellowship

Montmartre headshotCongratulations to Jacek Blaszkiewicz, a former Cali School student in piano performance (B.M.), who has won a prestigious Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship from the American Musicological Society. The Award is awarded solely on the basis of academic merit.

Jacek is currently a PhD candidate in musicology at the Eastman School of Music. After graduating summa cum laude from MSU, Jacek earned an M.A. in Music History & Theory from Stony Brook University. He is completing a dissertation, “City Myths: Music and Urbanism in Second-Empire Paris,” which explores the ways in which music helped articulate urban identity during a period of intense architectural, economic, and cultural change in the nineteenth century. Jacek’s research has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, the Elizabeth Bartlet Grant from the American Musicological Society, and the Eastman School of Music. He has presented his work at conferences in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Italy.

Music History Day at the Met 2017


Kudos to Dr. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, Associate Curator of Musical Instruments, for a fascinating tour of the musical instrument galleries at the Metropolitan Museum, which are still under construction (due to open Spring of 2018). Cali students witnessed in the real time the wholesale reworking of this world-class collection, both in terms of its new physical layout but more importantly, the reasons for these changes. Instead of a division between “West” and “the rest,” the new exhibition will feature one hall devoted to “Music through Time” and another featuring “Music through Place.” This means that some of the Met’s most famous examples – like the 1560 “Kurtz” Amati violin and the Ming Dynasty pipa (with its spectacular ivory ornamentation) – will be side by side in the exhibit. Students also examined up-close the 1840 Érard piano, which is one of the first instruments to be placed in its new position.

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After the instrument tour, we fanned out into the museum to explore the other examples of music-making in the collection.



During our decompression session near the Temple of Dendur, there was general consensus that the museum is an awe-inspiring lesson in the human experience. We can’t wait to go back!