I’m truly excited to be flying to Boston next week to participate in an amazing MIT event, “Deconstructing Beethoven’s Improvisations,” based on Marvin Minsky’s legendary paper, Music, Mind, and Meaning , and his love of Beethoven’s improvisations. A whole bunch of the world renowned pianists, musicologists, and scientists are on the 12+ hour program.
Some of you may not know that I studied music intensely through my mid-20s. I had four years of music theory in high school, studied music at Berklee College of Music, Rutgers, and William Paterson College, plus arranging with the great Frank Foster, Chico Mendoza, Andy Jaffe, and John Stubblefield. I “get” improvisation as an avid jazz fan who once aspired to be a professional jazz musician (before my considerable lack of talent caught up with me)
That said, my knowledge of Beethoven is infinitesimal and my music analysis skills are quite rusty. I’m really looking forward to burning up some brain cells at this event.
I’m busy downloading the pre-homework for the event and will be doing some serious cramming of the following materials suggested by the event organizers.
SUGGESTIONS FROM OUR PRESENTERS
- Listen: Beethoven Fantasy, op. 77, Serkin Recording – YouTube
- Listen: Beethoven Fantasy, op. 77, Schnabel Recording – YouTube
“The Serkin and Schnabel recordings are both excellent. Probably as close to Beethoven’s actual improvisations as anything we have on paper.”
- Read: “Music, Mind, and Meaning” – website version
- Watch: Marvin with Hockenberry for the Media Lab h2.0 conference, 5 min – view or download video
- Listen: Marvin Minsky BBC Radio interview about Beethoven’s 9th, 20 min – listen to MP3
- Listen: Marvin Minsky,Nursery Rhyme Suite, 1960’s, recently digitized from reel-to-reel collection – download MP3
Listen: Shadows, by Stephen Prutsman, 9 min – listen to MP3
Listen: Hammerklavier Sonata – YouTube
Read: Ludwig Rules: A Guide for Studying Beethoven, by Jan Swafford – PDF
SUGGESTIONS FROM OUR HOSTS
- Read/Watch: Dialogue with Pio Barone Lumaga – PDF
- Peruse: Opera of the Future – website
- Read: Music, Mind and Marvin Minsky – website version
- Listen/Watch: Minsky Melodies – website version
- Read: Composing Your Thoughts – web article
- Read: Listener Correlation – PDF
- “All deeply influenced and inspired by Marvin”
- Listen:Visitations – website
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.