Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.

– Alexander Graham Bell

Orison Swett Marden, (1901) “Bell Telephone Talk”, How They Succeeded. Boston: Lothrop Publishing Company, p. 38. Digitally archived at, accessed 11 September 2021.




Featured Content

Debussy’s reception in England
In 1908-9, Claude Debussy made two appearances conducting his own works in England.  The Musical Times reported on the occasions. The report on the first concert: Nothing could have been heartier than the applause which greeted M. Claude Debussy as he stepped on to the platform at Queen’s Hall on February 1.  The warmth of […]
Abstraction XVII
Title: Abstraction XVII Composer: Greg Smith Performer: Greg Smith (April 2020) Instrumentation: Piano Product medium: MP3 recording Related products:– Abstraction XVII (PDF score)
The personality of George Gershwin
Isaac Goldberg, a friend of George Gershwin, described the composer’s personality: HE was as simple, as unaffected, as modest, and as charming a youth as one could desire to meet. There was nothing about him that was forbidding. He wore his unprecedented celebrity as lightly as if it were a cane – that cane which […]
Who is the King of Glory – Psalm 23 (24)
Title: Who is the king of glory? Text: Psalm 24 (23): 7-10. R. v.8 Composer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: SATB and piano Product medium: PDF score and part Sample:
Two paths for the future of classical music
Greg Sanders ponders the position of classical music and describes the need for it to catch up with culture, without simply “dumbing it down”: “Of course, I think that if we really understand current culture, we’ll want to go the other way, and make classical music smarter.” Greg Sanders, Arts Journal Blog, February 2, 2009. […]
A replacement conductor
The following appeared in the Musical Times, August 1890: We read that “a Saxon engineer has invented an automatic machine, the object of which is to save conductors the physical part of their duties. By pressing a button the apparatus, which is provided with an arm holding a conducting-stick, can be made to beat with the […]
A conductor’s hair style
In Halina Rodzinski’s book Our Two Lives she describes how on the very first day Artur Rodzinski came to assist Stokowski in 1929, his boss immediately restyled his hair without a part and combed straight back from the brow.  “That’s how a conductor should look,” said Stokowski, pointing Rodzinski at a mirror in his dressing […]
The fire of knowledge
“When teaching, light a fire, don’t fill a bucket.” – Dan Snow, television presenter. Cited at QuotationsBook  
Art is meant to be uplifting
“Art,” announces Pat Buchanan to Charlie Rose, “is meant to be uplifting.” What a relief!  After all these years I’d never realized that Art had a moral purpose.  No more need now to be upset by Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, Picasso and Goya, Stravinsky and Berg, Sophocles and Williams.  Pat has clarified the rules, set the […]
Popular classical music is great too
“A lot of what you call the great repertoire is popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great work. I mean, come on. Rachmaninoff 3 is great. There shouldn’t be ‘If this work is so popular, then don’t do it.’ In the art world it is only what you feel right to perform.” Lang […]