Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Echoes of Billie Holiday in Fancy Free

When Leonard Bernstein first arrived in New York, he was unknown, much like the artists he worked with at the time, who would also gain international recognition. Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War looks at the early days of Bernstein’s career during World War II, and is centered around the debut in 1944 of the Broadway musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free.

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Debussy and the Great War

By Eric Frederick Jensen
When war was declared in the summer of 1914, Claude Debussy was fifty-one. Widely regarded as the greatest living French composer, he lived in Paris in a fashionable, elegant neighborhood near the Bois de Boulogne.

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In remembrance of Elaine Stritch

Oxford University Press is saddened to hear of the passing of Broadway legend Elaine Stritch. We’d like to present a brief extract from Eddie Shapiro’s interview with Elaine Stritch in November/December 2008 in Nothing Like a Dame.

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Songs for the Games

By Mark Curthoys
Behind the victory anthems to be used by the competing teams at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which open on 23 July, lie stories both of nationality and authorship. The coronation of Edward VII in 1902 prompted the music antiquary William Hayman Cummings (1831-1915) to investigate the origin and history of ‘God Save the King’.

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William Mathias (1934-92) by his daughter, Rhiannon

By Rhiannon Mathias
My father was a man of exceptional energy. Warm and generous in character, he lived several different kinds of musical lives. First and foremost, of course, as a composer, but also conductor, pianist, public figure, Professor of Music at Bangor University (1970-88) and Artistic Director of the North Wales Music Festival (1972-92).

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OK Go: Is the Writing on the Wall?

By Siu-Lan Tan
When I saw OK Go’s ‘The Writing’s on the Wall’ video a few days ago, I was stunned. If you aren’t one of the over eight million people that has seen this viral music video yet, you’re in for a visual treat. OK Go is known for creative videos, but this is the band’s richest musical collage of optical illusions so far.

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10 fun facts about the banjo

By Sarah Rahman
The four-, five-, six- stringed instrument that we call a ‘banjo’ today has a fascinating history tracing back to as early as the 1600s, while precursors to the banjo appeared in West Africa long before it was in use in America. Explore these fun facts about the banjo through a journey back in time.

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Getting to know Grove Music Associate Editor Meghann Wilhoite

Since joining the Grove Music editorial team, Meghann Wilhoite has been a consistent contributor to the OUPblog. Over the years she has shared her knowledge and insights on topics ranging from football and opera to Monteverdi and Bob Dylan, so we thought it was about time to get to know her a bit better.

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Scoring independent film music

Ever wondered what goes into scoring film music? Is the music written during filming? Or is it all added after the film is finished? Regular OUPblog contributor Scott Huntington recently spoke with film composer Joe Kraemer about his compositional process, providing an inside look at what it’s like to score music for an independent film.

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New questions about Gustav Mahler

For many years, scholarship on composer Gustav Mahler’s life and work has relied heavily on Natalie Bauer-Lechner’s diary. However, a recently discovered letter, introduced, translated, and annotated by Morten Solvik and Stephen E. Hefling, and published for the first time in the journal The Musical Quarterly, sheds new light on the private life of the great composer.

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Music parenting’s unexpected, positive benefits

By Amy Nathan
When parents sign up kids for music lessons, probably first on the list of anticipated outcomes is that their youngsters’ lives will be enhanced and enriched by their involvement with music, possibly even leading to a lifelong love of music.

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A 2014 summer songs playlist

Compiled by Taylor Coe Now that summer is finally here — dog-eared paperbacks and sunglasses dusted off and put to good use — it’s also time to figure out what we should be listening to as we loll about in the sun.

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Composer and cellist Aaron Minsky in 12 questions

We asked our composers a series of questions based around their musical likes and dislikes, influences, challenges, and various other things on the theme of music and their careers. Each month we will bring you answers from an OUP composer, giving you an insight into their music and personalities.

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Behind-the-scenes tour of film musical history

As Richard Barrios sees it, movie musicals can go one way or the other — some of them end up as cultural touchstones, and others as train wrecks. In his book Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter, Barrios goes behind-the-scenes to uncover the backstories of these fabulous hits and problematic (if not exactly forgettable) flops.

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