* You are viewing the archive for January, 2012

Three Recent, and Very Different, Books on Music

Healing at the Speed of Sound

Healing at the Speed of Sound

By Don Campbell and Alex Doman

Hudson Street Press, New York City, 2011.

288 pages, $25.95

This is the latest in a recent spate of books treating of the psychological, indeed the neurological and embryological, origins of our appreciation for and our human ability to create music.

Such books have been very popular ever since Don Campbell came out with The Mozart Effect in 1997. That book argued for the beneficial … Continue Reading

A Brief Performance History of Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Simone Dinnerstein - JS Bach Goldberg Variations

The standard account of Johann Sebastian Bach’s composition of his famous ‘Goldberg Variations’ comes from a biography of Bach, by Johann Nikolaus Forkel, which first appeared in 1802. Forkel says that Bach wrote these works as an insomnia cure for a patron, Count Keyserlingk. Specifically, he wrote them for the performances of a former student of his, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, in the Count’s employment.

They seem to have worked! Goldberg would play them in the … Continue Reading