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Category: Music

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

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April 5, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

It’s an unlikely pairing, but reading Moby Dick feels a lot like taking a deep dive into a Queen album. First, you’re in gospel, then punk rock, then opera, and all of this about some seemingly mundane thing, like a bicycle. Or, in the case of Moby Dick, into the world of whaling. There are entire chapters on the shape of a whale’s head,

 » Read more about: Moby Dick and Queen  »

March 8, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

If there’s one thing you know about me by now, it’s that I value discussion. This past weekend, a number of students, staff and alumni gathered in Tempe, Arizona for a rare in-person meeting. We last met just before COVID, which caused a few years hiatus. Happily, we were finally able to renew this tradition. HMU President Joe Coulson started us off with an excellent introductory discussion about the similarities between music and poetry.

 » Read more about: Sonny’s Blues Discussion  »

September 10, 2021

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know/ Silence like a cancer grows/ Hear my words that I might teach you/ Take my arms that I might reach you”/ But my words, like silent raindrops fell/ And echoed/ In the wells of silence/ And the people bowed and prayed/ To the neon god they made/ And the sign flashed out its warning/ In the words that it was forming/ And the sign said,

 » Read more about: Modern Day Chorus: Lord of the Rings and Ceremony  »

July 17, 2020

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I would like to go back to July 11, 1804 and tell Hamilton not to engage, that Burr is not worth it. Of course, the famous duel between Burr and Hamilton is now a piece of America’s folklore. It is a story that I heard as a child, that lodged itself into the periphery of my mind and education.

 » Read more about: Hamilton’s Spinning World  »

April 3, 2020

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Most of us had plans that have been interrupted by COVID-19. Medical complications aside, healthy humans still have to deal with time in isolating atmospheres, which can be very difficult. In fact, humans are so social that they will sometimes avoid those restrictions, even when advised. We at Harrison Middleton University have some ideas about how to help keep boredom and isolation at bay.

 » Read more about: Book Groups from Home  »

September 13, 2019

“Nothing surpasses the joy of creation.” – Clara Schumann

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I am indebted to Jade Simmons (pianist and storyteller) for most of this information. Check out her podcast Decomposed for a more detailed history of Clara Schumann.

How is it that Clara Schumann became a famous classical pianist at a time when women were not allowed on the stage?

 » Read more about: Clara Schumann  »

July 26, 2019

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Forms have recognizable shapes. Typically we speak of visible forms, such as the difference between smoke and a cloud. These two share commonalities, but also have some very recognizable differences. Sound also has a shape of its own, though it is rarer to discuss forms of sound than visual forms. Musicians, however, are tasked with the goal of modeling sounds which create recognizable forms for the listener.

 » Read more about: The Form of Sound  »

April 5, 2019

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Whiplash is a film from 2014 both written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It follows the life of Andrew (played by Miles Teller), a young, brilliant and ambitious drummer, through the trials and errors of college life. Fletcher (played by J.K. Simmons) is a strict, difficult music instructor who asks for as much as his students can give and more.

 » Read more about: Whiplash  »

February 15, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

“Beyoncé doesn’t release albums; she creates cultural events.” – Daphne A. Brooks

According to Wikipedia, Beyoncé is the most nominated female singer in the history of the Grammy Awards (and she has also won 22 of them). Furthermore, Wikipedia cites: “In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time‘s 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row.

 » Read more about: Beyoncé Makes Lemonade  »

August 24, 2018

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

How do algorithms know which options are right for you? They are purportedly a mathematical calculation based on personal tastes, previous preferences and your own interaction. I will use examples from Pandora and Netflix to express my meaning, but really, I could broaden this discussion to any number of entities. Also, I am using a very broad understanding of algorithms for this general discussion.

 » Read more about: Swing and A Miss  »

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