Speedy Beet- RadioLab

“There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit.”

This is an entertaining look at Beethoven’s use of the metronome. Jad talks with Alan Pierson, Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, about the fact that neither of them really like Beethoven’s Fifth. They discuss the use of Beethoven’s metronome markings and the fact that Beethoven was actually deaf when the metronome was invented (1817).   This podcast can be used as an adjunct to understanding that tempos feel and sound different in different spaces.  Beethoven would have only heard tempos in his head. With the metronome he went back into his symphonies, and marked them with tempos that are shockingly fast — so fast, in fact, that most conductors simply refuse to play them at these tempos.

http://www.radiolab.org/story/269783-speedy-beet/

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About christinepoythress

Tiny Biography: Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, I’ve wandered from coast to coast, so I am a bit of a gypsy. I left home at 17 only to come back to mama’s house seven times—but all that’s Sprinkled amid my wanderings are the many creative hats I’ve worn. Like many artistic souls, I have supported myself with my craft (singing in multiple churches) and with those ubiquitous pesky food and beverage jobs. Most of my adult life, I have been an actor/ singer/musician of one ilk or another. I started out as a folkie, but, after I fled to California in 1970, I discovered classical singing. So while I was in LA studying singing, I began taking acting classes. I wanted to be an opera singer who did more than park and bark. I had a few tiny parts in commercials and feature films—got my toe wet with extra work. Chasing the operatic dream, I did a stint in Manhattan studying and coaching while serving steaks at the fabulous Mrs. J’s Sacred Cow. I had the opportunity to sing three guest performances of the National Anthem in Madison Square Garden—2 for the New York Knicks and 1 for the Rangers. That was a thrill. Shedding my operatic skin, I moved back south in 1980 spending the next 13 years belting out country and rock tunes. During this 13 year hiatus from the legit singing (I am a soprano), I played “flattop” guitar in a variety of country bands and was the “girl” singer at the Silver Saddle Saloon in Atlanta, GA. I also worked the Southeastern hotel circuit as a solo act. I played the gamut of venues from swanky to honky-tonks—thankfully, though I did witness a brawl or two, at no time did I perform behind chicken wire. I went back to school when I was 43 and completed my Bachelor of Arts degree; then, it was off to Nashville where I earned my Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, TN in 2000. After graduation I began teaching in academia in the spring of 2001. I got involved with Instructional technology during the mid-2000’s. Now I teach primarily online classes for both Middle Tennessee State University and Chicago City Colleges. In 2009, I began working in film and television again—with a bit of theater thrown in for good measure. I now call myself a freelancer because I have 3 university adjunct positions, a church job, work as an actor, teach a bit of voice in my private studio, work as a Digital Faculty Consultant for McGraw-Hill Higher Education, and, occasionally, pet sit for my friends.
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