Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Here’s Johnny––and Bette!

New York-based talk shows in the 1970s offered plentiful opportunities for quirky young talents like Bette Midler to sing a song or two and maybe kibitz with the host, regardless of whether they had a Broadway show or film or new record to promote. Midler had none of these when her manager Budd Friedman got her booked on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson not long after she began her legendary run at the Continental Baths.

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The musician’s journey: preparing our students as entrepreneurs

Today, our college and university music students are facing a rapidly changing global market place. There are new technologies, career options, virtual education, and so forth. As educators, we continue to focus on the highest standards of pedagogy. Nevertheless, we need to also expand our curricula to include the necessary preparatory training for skills that will transcend a dizzying rate of change.

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Cello and the human voice: A natural pairing

I’ve heard the phrase “It’s the instrument most like the human voice and that’s why it’s so expressive” countless times over the years. As a cellist myself I’m probably biased to some degree, but I truly believe that the cello has a unique voice which wonderfully synergises with the human voice.

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Fiddle Time Duets, edited by Kathy Blackwell and David Blackwell, published by Oxford University Press

The joy of playing duets

“There is an irresistible appeal to playing with another musician.” In this blog post, Kathy Blackwell discusses the history of duet playing in classical music, and the benefits it can have for musicians.

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"Rhythm Man: Chick Webb and the Beat that Changed America" by Stephanie Stein Crease, published by Oxford University Press

A listener’s guide to Rhythm Man [playlist]

Explore the musical legacy of the Swing Era’s pioneering virtuoso drummer and bandleader, Chick Webb! Listen to the playlist and read about each track to trace Webb’s legacy on record and radio from 1926 to 1939.

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"Music for Prime Time: A History of American Television Themes and Scoring" by Jon Burlingame published by Oxford University Press

Music for Prime Time: 15 of the greatest TV themes

Music composed for television had, until recently, never been taken seriously by scholars or critics. Catchy TV themes, often for popular weekly series, were fondly remembered but not considered much more culturally significant than commercial jingles.

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The Dominant, 1 April 1928 edition, OUP Music

Nicholas Bugsworthy: an unknown Tudor composer?

Simon Wright digs into the curious history of an almost forgotten Tudor composer, Nicholas Bugsworthy. Thanks to an insert in OUP’s in-house magazine, ‘The Dominant’, published on 1 April 1928, Sir Richard Runciman Terry was able to bring the music of this prolific composer into the public domain. Simon Wright picks up where Terry left off, considering, amongst other things, the origins of a curious tune almost certainly shows the earliest version of musical patterns later to become threaded within Irving Berlin’s 1911 hit ragtime song “Everybody’s Doin’ It Now.”

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Façade Entertainment Study Score

“Through Gilded Trellises”: a reflection on one hundred years of Façade

The making of Façade “Poetry is more like a crystal globe, with Truth imprisoned in it, like a fly in amber. The poet is the magician who fashions the crystal globe. But the reader is the magician who can find in these scintillating flaws, or translucent depths, some new undiscovered land.”  Osbert Sitwell, writing in 1921 […]

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