My New Book To-Do List

– Go through science articles. Organize which scientists to contact.

– Find out: Do most people like to sing?

– Go to New York Historical Society for choral society archives.

– Make a list of questions for fellow choir members.

– Research musical hallucinations. Are they scary?

– Was there are thing in the 60’s about reviving early music? Find out.

– Find best articles/papers about conducting.

– Organize questions for John (the choir director). Did I get the Bernstein connection from John?

– Email Michael Jawer about hearing and feeling music in a distributed way throughout the body.

You get the idea. I found this picture in the New York Public Library’s image database. Thank you NYPL!


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

10 thoughts on “My New Book To-Do List

  1. Don’t know if this has entetred your mind at all, but it drives me crazy how people nowadays really seem to think that it’s UNNATURAL to be able to carry a tune. It’s NOT unnatural. Listen to how people sing Happy Birthday nowadays, and then find old movies of it. Until TV, people all used to be able to sing half assed OK, and now, they just don’t even try.

  2. I think Bob Dylan and John Hiatt are two great examples of people who can sing in key but don’t necessarily have the best singing voice. All that is required is to sing in the key that the song is in, or one that doesn’t stretch your range. Whether or not the voice is appealing is a matter of taste.

    You’re right about digital age distractions, Dan. I have studied Appalachian music for quite some time, and music was at times the only form of entertainment a family might have during the evening, and the music certainly wasn’t coming from an iPod or radio. Family bands were very common. Brother duets were the mainstays of rural music for years, mostly because they already had seasoned acts long before leaving their farms and becoming professional musicians.

    The problem with music today is the invention of an invisible barrier between the artists and the audience, as if to say, “leave this to the professionals. You couldn’t possibly have the skill to participate”. Of course the motivator is money. The act isn’t something that allows the room for you to step in and involve yourself–it’s an exhibition.

    Sorry for the ramble–have just been thinking about that.

  3. No, a lot of people talk about the same thing. People were more musical in their homes, and not just Appalachia. I grew up singing around the piano with neighbors.

    Now we listen.

  4. Ohmygod, is that you???????? That is amazing!!! Further proof of the riches of hard work. I’m so jealous!!! Taking another look at the banjo in the corner …

  5. You should get that banjo back out. They’re great to play–especially since they have that open tuning. That is me. Someone left a CD in my car one weekend that was a field recorder of two local guys just wearing out some mandolins. I put it in on a Friday and bought a mandolin Saturday morning. I HAD to have one. Maybe there’s something to be said for genetic memory.

  6. Thanks! I’m afraid it is still a work in progress, but I will get there eventually, Clawhammer banjo is pleasing to the ear–bet you would be sitting in some jams in no time.

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