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Patterns in Presidential Politics

By Elvin Lim

As the race for the Republican nomination warms up, it is too early to tell who would head the party’s ticket next Fall. But there is more to understanding politics than predicting the horse races, and for those ready to look, there are already patterns emerging from the available field of potential candidates.

First, the next Republican nominee is not likely to come from the other end of Pennsylvania avenue. With the announcement of Senator John Thune (SD) that he would not be running, there are no more

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Dances of Death

By Jessica Barbour
An eerie image emerged from Europe’s 14th-century bubonic plague epidemics into popular imagination: Death, in skeleton form, leading living souls in a processional dance to the grave. This idea, the danse macabre, was evoked by artists and writers across the continent, a cultural reaction to daily lives spent surrounded by death. I was introduced to the genre in school when I first heard Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre, a boisterous seven-minute work for orchestra written in the 1870s.

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Glissandos and glissandon’ts

As a musician, I found this absolutely shocking — here I thought I’d been hearing the glissando (the effect created when, for example, a pianist runs his finger up or down the keyboard), all my life, and suddenly it turned out that the very legitimacy of the word had been dismissed by Blom, a prominent music-writer linguist, more than 30 years before I was even born.

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Remembering Joe Muranyi

Joe Muranyi, the American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, and singer — perhaps best known as the last clarinetist to perform with Louis Armstrong and his All Stars — passed away on April 20th at the age of 84. Muranyi was a working musician for over 60 years, from his time as a teenager playing in an Air Force band to his recordings with the Orient Dixieland Jazz Band in the 1990s and for years afterward. He toured with the All Stars in the heart of his career, from 1967 until 1971, the year of the eponymous bandleader’s death.

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Five things you should know about Grove

By Jessica Barbour
There is a reference work on the subject of music to which English-speaking music students are referred every day. It has been around, in various editions, for over 130 years, and in its current online form it includes more than 40,000 full articles. As a 1955 article in Time put it, “For three-quarters of a century, the sun never set on Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians.”

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Baseball scoring

What is it about the sounds of baseball that make them musical, and so easily romanticized? In Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball, George Plimpton says that “Baseball has these absolutely unique sounds. The sounds of spring and summer….The sound of the ball against the bat is absolutely extraordinary. I don’t know any American male that doesn’t hear that in the springtime and get called back to some moment in the past.” These sounds are especially vivid in a game that’s often so quiet.

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April Fools! And the winner is…

By Anna-Lise Santella
This is no April fool. The results of the contest to write the best spoof of a Grove Music article are really in! We received many excellent submissions and thank all contributors for providing us with entertainment, hysterical laughter, and frequent groans of recognition. Our choice was extremely difficult.

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The 1812 Overture: an attempted narration

I was a sophomore in college, sitting in my morning music history course on the Romantic period, and my professor was discussing the concept of program music, which Grove Music Online defines as “Music of a narrative or descriptive kind; the term is often extended to all music that attempts to represent extra-musical concepts without resort to sung words.”

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Entitling early modern women writers

By Andrew Zurcher
As Women’s History Month draws to a close in the United Kingdom, it is a good moment to reflect on the history of women’s writing in Oxford’s scholarly editions. In particular, as one of the two editors responsible for early modern writers in the sprawling collections of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO), I have been going through the edited texts of women writers included in the OSEO project.

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Valentine’s Day serenades

Love is in the air at Oxford University Press! As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked staff members from our offices in New York, Oxford, and Cary, NC, to share their favorite love songs. Read on for their selections, and be sure to tell us what your favorites are too. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Breaking Bad’s Faustian Cast

In a Reddit AMA session a few months ago, Bryan Cranston was asked when he thought his character on Breaking Bad broke bad. His response: “My feeling is that Walt broke bad in the very first episode. It was very subtle but he did because that’s when he decided to become someone that he’s not in order to gain financially. He made the Faustian deal at that point and everything else was a slippery slope.”

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Music we’re thankful for

Thanksgiving is upon us in the US. Before the OUP Music team headed home for some turkey and stuffing, we compiled a list of what we are most thankful for, musically speaking. Read on for our thoughts, and leave your own in the comments. Happy Thanksgiving!

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The quintessential human instrument

The neat thing about the voice is that, while we don’t usually change the material, the shape is very flexible, and we can manipulate it to change our timbre. Overtone singing like Hefele’s takes an element of vocal sound and turns it into a new sort of instrument, inverting the typical relationship between instrument and timbre.

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Women and Literature: The Dual Tradition of African American Fiction

Each month, the editors of the Oxford African American Studies Center provide insights into black history and culture by offering specially commissioned featured essays, photo collections, and a selected list of articles to further guide the reader. The September 2006 report explores the contributions of women to American literature. Twice a week we’ll offer additional […]

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Clair de supermoon

May 12th, which falls exactly one week after last Saturday’s Supermoon, marks the 167th birthday of Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924), a composer whose best-known song was inspired by the moon. Fauré is known today as the paramount composer of the French mélodie, and his setting of the poem Clair de lune (“Moonlight”) by Paul Verlaine (1844–1896) demonstrates why his works are beloved by pianists and singers alike.

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