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Countries of the World Cup: Argentina

As we gear up for the conclusion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we’re highlighting some interesting facts about the final four competing nations with information pulled right from the pages of the latest edition of Oxford’s Atlas of the World.

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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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Countries of the World Cup: Brazil

As we gear up for the conclusion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we’re highlighting some interesting facts about the final four competing nations with information pulled right from the pages of the latest edition of Oxford’s Atlas of the World.

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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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World Cup puts spotlight on rights of migrant workers in Qatar

By Susan Kneebone
As recent demonstrations in Brazil around the staging of the FIFA 2014 World Soccer Cup show, major sporting events put the spotlight on human rights issues in host countries. In the case of Qatar the preparations to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup are focussing worldwide attention on the plight of migrant workers.

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Poetic justice in The German Doctor

By Roberta Seret
One can say that Dr. Josef Mengele was the first survivor of Auschwitz, for he slipped away undetected in the middle of the night on 17 January 1945, several days before the concentration camp was liberated. Weeks later, he continued his escape despite being detained in two different Prisoner of War detention camps.

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The first rule of football is… don’t call it soccer

By Fiona McPherson
The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language – a phrase commonly attributed to Shaw sometime in the 1940s, although apparently not to be found in any of his published works. Perhaps another way of looking at it is to say that they are two countries separated by a different ball – a sentiment that is particularly apt when football’s World Cup comes around.

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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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Does the “serving-first advantage” actually exist?

By Franc Klaassen and Jan R. Magnus
Suppose you are watching a tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The commentator says: “Djokovic serves first in the set, so he has an advantage.” Why would this be the case? Perhaps because he is then ‘always’ one game ahead, thus serving under less pressure. But does it actually influence him and, if so, how?

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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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The Lady: One woman against a military dictatorship

By Roberta Seret
When Luc Besson finished filming The Lady in 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi had just been released from being under house arrest since 1989. He visited her at her home in Yagoon with a dvd of his film as a gift. She smiled and thanked him, responding, “I have shown courage in my life, but I do not have enough courage to watch a film about myself.”

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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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