Eugene Lew reflects on a year without live performances
During the pandemic, the lecturer and director of Sound and Music Technology in the Department of Music switched from organizing live performance events to collaborative online technology.
What it’s like to be a composer during a pandemic
Graduate student Ania Vu found creative ways to compose music during a pandemic, despite the challenge of finding inspiration while being stuck at home.
The Philadelphia Orchestra is playing safe
Penn experts are working with The Philadelphia Orchestra to study the aerosol droplets that wind and brass musicians produce when playing. Their findings, aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, could help the Orchestra once again play together.
Penn Museum interns explore jazz through family, protest, and creativity
Penn Museum interns delve into “The Year of Jazz” through a monthly series of events exploring family, protest, and creativity. Music Professor Guthrie Ramsey and his singer/songwriter daughter Bridget Ramsey headline the first event on Feb. 28.
Historic preservation of Black Philadelphia
Preserving Black history in Philadelphia is an evolving dynamic of the city’s legacy.
Niko Simpkins: At the nexus of engineering and music
For Niko Simpkins, a musician who performs, produces, and engineers his own tracks, the most exciting processes combine structure and flexibility, creativity, and rigor. As a third-year student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, he sees his mechanical engineering education as a framework for problem solving that might serve him across a broad set of endeavors, and for now, he’s more interested in learning than narrowing to any one particular career path.
Amateur music-making in the early republic
Glenda Goodman, an assistant professor of music, explores how hand-copying musical compositions and amateur performance shaped identity and ideas in the post-Revolutionary War period.
‘Kanaval’ documentary celebrates musical link between Haiti and New Orleans
WXPN debuts its latest radio documentary, exploring the historical and cultural connections between Haiti and New Orleans.
Penn Band celebrates 50 years of women on the field
After decades of superstition and pushback, the first group of women stepped onto Franklin Field with the Penn Band 50 years ago.
Pew Center for Arts & Heritage awards 2020 grants to Penn projects
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announced 41 grants totaling $10.5 million in support of the Institute for Contemporary Art and Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and a Girard College project involving theater director Brooke O’Harra and music composer Tyshawn Sorey.
In the News
What was the earliest music?
Mary Channen Caldwell of the School of Arts & Sciences said there’s evidence of written music from as early as 1400 BC. “The western musical notation that is often, if misleadingly, considered ‘standard,’” she said, “is only one possible system for recording music, and can only reasonably be used to notate musical works that follow certain conventions of pitch, rhythm, harmony, etc.”
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The composer Tyshawn Sorey enters a new phase
Tyshawn Sorey of the School of Arts & Sciences was profiled for his accomplishments as a musician, composer, and academic.
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They Shazamed songs blasting from cars on Philly’s Girard Avenue and created a ‘Girard Jams’ playlist on Spotify
Guthrie Ramsey of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about two Philadelphians who compiled a playlist of songs played from cars passing by their apartment. “If we all listen to playlists created in that manner for us, you might get a different understanding about the world surrounding you,” he said.
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PhillyBloco to celebrate its first Brazilian summer carnival
Michael Stevens of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about the upcoming PhillyBloco Summer Carnaval, which will feature a collaborative performance by Stevens’ Brazilian music band and students from the samba school he founded.
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