The Pointy End

The 10 best music documentaries

As films about Ginger Baker and the Stone Roses are released, here's our pick of the movies in which film-makers focus on the drama behind the songs.

The Guardian

Six-hour opera wins music and theatre award

A six-hour long opera streamed live from four flying helicopters has been honoured at the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) music awards.

BBC

Over 100 million viewers watch Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Final and Semi-Finals

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced today that 64 million television viewers tuned in for the 2012 Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest ; 19.4 million for the first Semi-Final and 19.6 million for the second Semi-Final making it once again the most watched entertainment programme on television screens in Europe.

European Broadcasting Union

How does the oldest grand piano sound?

The oldest-surviving English grand piano, one of the first ever made, was built by the piano maker Americus Backers in London in 1772 and has now been returned by English Heritage to the home of its former owner, the Duke of Wellington.

BBC

How long is a piece of music?

I wonder if the last bar of Beethoven's First Symphony has ever been heard in public. It only contains rests, but Beethoven would not have written it if he didn't want its silence to be experienced in some sense.

Limelight

Star Wars theme voted third most popular piece of orchestral music

The theme tune to Star Wars has been voted the third most popular piece of orchestral music by Radio 2 listeners, beating Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Grieg in a poll of classical music fans.

The Telegraph

Nazi-themed Wagner opera cancelled in Dusseldorf

A controversial production of a Wagner opera at one of the major German opera houses has been cancelled because of harrowing scenes involving Nazis.

BBC

Mariinsky 2 opens with a seamless gala

An internet petition called for its immediate demolition, critics likened its shiny glass bulk to 'a shopping mall' but Mariinsky 2, second home to St.Petersburg's legendary opera and ballet companies, opened without protest.

The Telegraph

How music plagiarism ruined a composer’s career

Suppose you want to write a brand-new popular tune. A piano has only eighty-eight keys, and the span of the human voice is even narrower. Is it possible to write a new one that doesn't echo an old one?

The Nation


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