The new classical-music blog at NPR has the best name in the genre since Alex Ross's "The Rest Is Noise." Meet "Deceptive Cadence," which is edited--or "hosted," as NPR puts it--by Thomas Huizenga.
Musically, a deceptive cadence is a sequence of chords that leads you to expect one conclusion then suddenly presents you with a different one. The idea behind the name, writes Huizenga (disclosure: a friend), is to escape some of the "baggage" of the descriptor "classical music," with its connotations of static, centuries-old music by male composers with formidable mustaches. "Instead," Huizenga writes,
we came up with a moniker that suggests a more open-ended view of music that is not only still breathing, thank you, but vigorously evolving. There's a vast world of sounds both past and present out there--a thousand years of "new music," so-to-speak. That could mean anything from the soaring, intertwining lines of a Palestrina Mass, to the crushing hammer blows of a Mahler Symphony, or the clever weave of electronics and chamber music practiced by an outfit like Victoire.
Speaking of "The Rest is Noise," Alex Ross commented last week on the marked similarity between the opening bars of "Cassazione," by Jean Sibelius, and the James Bond theme, composed by Monty Norman. (He includes MP3 examples.) Ross concludes that Norman's version is more musically inspired. And, in fact, it turns out that the instantly recognizable motif in question has been used by many composers, from classical to jazz to pop.
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