Category Archives: Reviews

By Heart (book review)

Earlier this year, I received a copy of “By Heart: the Art of Memorising Music” by harpsichordist and blogger Paul Cienniwa. Published in 2014, this little gem is exactly the kind of book I had been searching for when I started … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

No one can take it away

The “Lady in Number 6” is a short but truly inspirational film about 109-year old Alice Hertz-Sommer, a concert pianist and the oldest holocaust survivor until her death earlier this year. After a remarkable and long life, this irrepressible lady … Continue reading

Posted in Musings, Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spontaneity in Music

Over on the Cross-Eyed Pianist’s blog, the wonderful pianist Stephen Hough said something in his interview that has really resonated with me: “study the score intensely then play as if you’re improvising”. I’ve written previously about improvisation, or spontaneous composition … Continue reading

Posted in Musings, Reviews | Tagged | 4 Comments

Strategies for Memorising Music

“Musical Excellence” edited by Aaron Williamon offers a wealth of sage advice for enhancing performance, including Jane Ginsborg’s wonderful chapter on memorising music. The chapter outlines some of the basics about short and long term memory but particularly focuses on strategies … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged | 1 Comment

Earworms – commonplace musical memories

We’ve all had the initially enjoyable then endlessly irritating experience of a tune being stuck in the head. Typically, a fragment of a half-remembered melody gets repeatedly hummed and whistled over and over again throughout the day. Sometimes this earworm … Continue reading

Posted in Musings, Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pianists on Playing (book review)

Compiled by Linda Noyle, “Pianists on Playing” is a collection of interviews from the 1980’s with twelve international concert pianists. The pianists, who are all giants of the classical piano world, include household names like Vladimir Ashkenazy and Jorge Bolet. Each pianist … Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

Music and Memory (book review)

Initially envisaged as a text to accompany an undergraduate musical composition classes, Bob Snyder‘s “Music and Memory” gives a fascinating overview of the basics of both cognitive psychology and musical structure. Perhaps most interesting of all is his unifying perspective … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment