Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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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A Winter Breviary by Rebecca Gayle Howell and Reena Esmail

A Winter Breviary: Q&A with poet Rebecca Gayle Howell

A Winter Breviary is a triptych of carols that tells the story of a person walking in the woods on solstice night. This pilgrim—she, he, they—searches for hope, the hope they cannot name, or hear or see. And still, they walk deeper and deeper into the dark.

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Oxford Music

Ralph Vaughan Williams: preserving the publishing legacy

In the Vaughan Williams’s 150th anniversary year, his primary publisher Oxford University Press are donating around 60 items to the British Library, to be preserved and made available to musicians and researchers. These items include artefacts from all stages in the publishing process, from conductor’s marked scores, copyist’s copies and handwritten notes by the composer. In this blog, Simon Wright highlights some interesting features amongst the titles being donated.

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Solo Time for Cello

Eight composers whose music we should know

From Teresa Carreno to Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, this blog post features composers who experienced barriers to music education within their lifetimes, leading to their exclusion from the historical canon.

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Performing Antiquity

Why we all need more Lesbian Dance Theory

Last month a Member of Congress joined Fox News to claim President Joe Biden is “robbing hard working Americans to pay for Karen’s daughter’s degree in lesbian dance theory” in response to the announcement that the President was providing $20,000 in debt relief for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for many other borrowers.

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Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams and the art of the amateur

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) was one of the twentieth century’s great champions of and advocates for amateur music-making. Explore his views on the amateur vs professional relationship, and discover what he might have thought of America’s Got Talent, and other reality talent shows.

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