The Music Way
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The Music Way
This blog explains everything you need to know about becoming a music critic.
Curated by Wallis Perry
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Music Critics Association of North America

"To strengthen the profession of classical music journalism." That's the purpose of the Music Critics Association of North America.
Wallis Perry's insight:

Some people don’t know where to meet other people that are in the music industry. Fortunately in 1956 an originization was founded for music critics. It is called the Music Critic Association of North America. It is the only originization that is completely devoted towards classical music. This association has many well-known critics from very well known newspapers and magazines. Such as “Paul Hume of the Washington Post, Irving Lowens of the Saturday Review, Miles Kastendieck of the New York Herald Tribune and Harold C. Schoenberg of the New York Times.” This organization sets up annual meetings, where all the members gather together for a convention to discuss issues as well as perks of that year in the industry. MCANA also has institutes set up across North America that educates students through seminars. Some places where you can find these seminars are in The Julliard School and Lincoln Center. I think that this is a great organization it allows people who have a common interest to come together. I also think that it is a great way for people to meet others, connections are very important.

 

"Music Critics Association of North America." Music Critics Association of North America. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

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Lester Bangs

Who is Lester Bangs?

Wallis Perry's insight:

There are many well-respected music critics, but one really well known critic is Lester Bangs. Bangs was an American music journalist. He was born 12/14/1948 in California. He started his career as a free lancer for the Rolling Stones. Bangs was known for insulting and critizing the musicians to their face. Which in fact got him fired from his job at Rolling Stones. However, that did not hold him back. Bangs later went on to working for The Village Voice, Creem, Playboy, Penthouse as well as many others. Lester Bangs invented the term “punk” meaning rock/chic, headbaning, and feel good music. Unfortunately in 1982 Bangs died of an overdose of Darvon and Valium, trying to treat a cold. Although Lester Bangs was not the kindest man, if you were a musician he was someone you wanted to impress. Bangs' opinion was extremely important to any Rock ‘n’ Roll musician of his time. Lester Bangs is still a highly respected writer and is an inspiration to many to this day. I think that Lester Bangs was amazing at what he did. He had an edge to him that no one else had nor could create. It was all him, and I feel like that’s what allowed his work to get as far as it did.

 

"Lester Bangs Biography." Biography Base. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

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What is happening to classical music?

What is happening to classical music? | The Music Way | Scoop.it
Classical music criticism, a high-minded endeavor that has been around at least as long as newspapers and reached an English-language peak with George Bernard Shaw, has taken a series of hits in recent months.
Wallis Perry's insight:

            In an article written for the New York Times, we learn about how important classical music critics are to our society. In many newspapers in all of the major cities critics have been disappearing and being downgraded for the past 10 years. Peter G. Davis is one of the most respected critics in the field has found himself forced to leave the business that he’s loved and worked in for the past 26 years. This has not only affected music critic's jobs as well as the people who run opera houses and musical institutions. Many of those people have protested to the local editors. The management of many newspapers have decided that classical music isn’t as important as today's hits, and that it is loosing it's audience. They find no point in keeping this section of the newspaper. Minneapolis is a big classical music city but had to make huge cut backs in the music department. Michael Anthony, a critic for The-Star-Tribune said that they didn’t fire him, but they fired the job. In my opinion I think that this horrible. I think that all music is really important no matter what genre it is. I don’t believe that it is fair for some genres to be less fortunate than others based on the size of the audience.

 

 

Wakin, Daniel J. "Newspapers Trimming Classical Critics." New York Times [New York] 9 June 2007: n. pag. The New York Times. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

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Can Ke$a bounce back?

Can Ke$a bounce back? | The Music Way | Scoop.it
Wallis Perry's insight:

 

This article in People Magazine volume 78 number 25, we find out if Kesha, the dance-pop singer will make a reappearance. With Kesha’s release of “TiK ToK” in 2009 people fell in love with her unique sing/rap style of music. Unfortunately she started to die out and she sort of fell of the planet for a little bit. But with her new release of her second full-length album, Warrior, many are starting to believe that she might have a chance of a return. The artist displays not only her signature dance all night songs, but Warrior surprisingly features a heart-felt ballad called, “Wonderland”.  Kesha also in the recent years have shown a side many people wouldn’t think she had. She’s a songwriter. Some of her recent work is Brittney Spears’, “Till the World Ends” as well as “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” a Bob Dylan song. In my opinion I think that Kesha does have the ability to sustain success in her life, but she does need to switch things up time to time and not be so predictable. If she keeps us on our toes, I think we will all be able to stay interested.

 

"Ke$a." People 17 Dec. 2012: 48. Print.

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Juliabonadonna's comment, January 13, 2013 10:37 PM
The article I just read was about Ke$ha and how she started to die down ever since her hit single, Tik Tok. Ke$ha has been trying to make a comeback with her new album Warrior. Ke$ha is a singer, and rapper. The article also states that Ke$ha in recent years has shown a side many people wouldn’t think she had. A songwriter. She wrote a song preformed and recorded by Britney Spears, “Till the World Ends.” The article states that Ke$ha has the ability to step it up and move up a notch as a performer. In my opinion I think Ke$ha has the potential to be amazing and really boost herself up. The article also says that Ke$ha is predictable but I actually disagree with that statement. I do not think that Ke$ha is predictable at all. Ke$ha is a fearless great performer who continues to write good songs in which she either performs herself or helps out other musical artists perform. This sums up my opinion of the article and Ke$ha. I think Wallis summed up this article very well and glad I read it.
Cooper Marshall's comment, January 13, 2013 11:49 PM
Ke$ha for a while reigned as a “Pop Queen”, topping the charts of 2009 with her catchy single, Tik Tok. Unfortunately, after numerous pop singles of basically the same structure, Ke$ha’s popularity slowly started to die down. Originally, her sing/rap style of music was what drew many to her, but after a while it became too predictable, and led to her gradual decline as an artist.
Despite her not producing her own music for a while, Ke$ha has still been active in the business. Even though we have not heard her voice, Ke$ha has done a lot of work behind the scenes, writing hits like “Till the World Ends” for Britney Spears, and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” for Bob Dylan. With songs like these under her belt, Ke$ha has a lot better of a chance to be taken seriously by her peers in the music industry.
I completely agree with the fact that Ke$ha could make a comeback, anyone can make a comeback, but Wallis said it best when she said that Ke$ha needed to stop being so predictable. Being that predictable will have people quickly lose interest in you, which what I believe happened in Ke$ha’s case.
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The Training

The Training | The Music Way | Scoop.it
People who searched for Become a Music Critic: Training and Career Roadmap found the following related articles and links useful.
Wallis Perry's insight:

 

You may ask, what should I do to become a music critic? Well here are some guidelines to help map out your career path. First it very important to make sure that you get a degree. Since a music critic should not only know a lot about music, they must be strong writers to excel in this field. Some classes that you should consider taking is, music history, music theory and music performance. These courses can help ensure employers that you have solid knowledge on the subject. You should also consider taking English classes as well as creative writing classes. Once you have gotten your degree it is very important to start applying for work and getting your name out there as soon as possible. After you feel settled it would be a good idea to get a Master’s degree, so that you could get even farther in the business. Students take classes such a music history, music theory and many other classes. This more applies to those interested in classical music. I think that this is a very good way to start your career. It seems very straightforward and it allows you to get experience while obtaining your degree.

 

 

"Education-Portal.com - Becoming a Music Critic: Training." Education-Portal.com -. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

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Michael Pash's comment, January 13, 2013 10:58 PM
Being a music critic takes a lot more work than you may think, and this article explains step by step what it takes and what needs to be done in order to be taken seriously as a music critic. The steps include obtaining a degree, getting work as a music critic, and even considering a master's degree. On top of that, writing skills are key in a music critic's world. Being able to write creatively is one thing, but doing it with skill and knowing that your piece will be read all around the world is another. For that particular reason, writing is a main factor of a good music critic. A knowledge of the different types of music, the history of music, and many music icons is also crucial in this industry. Before being discovered, it is good to apply to as many jobs as possible and take advantage of whatever available publicity possible, and as often as possible. I found this article very fitting to the topic of this project. It was clear, to the point, and well-written. It also stressed an important point. On top of that, I think that Wallis did a great job of supporting it and including it nicely in her project.
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What is a Music Critic?

Are you a good writer who also happens to be a music lover? Then being a music critic might be the perfect career for you.
Wallis Perry's insight:

What is a music critic? What do they do? Why should you become one? About.com answers all of your questions. A music critic is also known as a music writer or music journalist. As any other journalist you have to not only be a great writer but a good communicator. Part of being a music critic is being able to conduct great interviews. A music critic writes articles and reviews based on information that they have gathered and interviews is a great way to get really good information. But these articles and reviews aren’t all fact based, the writers do get to give input and opinion into their paper. Just make sure you are fair and honest in your opinions. There are many reasons on why to become a music writer, and here are a few. First of all you will never get bored. The music industry always keeps you on your toes with new talent and new music. Also you get paid to sit and listen to music and do what you love. I would love to be a music critic, not only do I love writing but music is one of my favorite hobbies. Not only to listen to but perform. I think this would be a great job for me.

 

 

Estrella, Espie. "The Music Critic." About.com Music Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.

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Josh Sacree's comment, January 13, 2013 9:08 PM
The article was about Music critics and what they do and how they do it. It said what music critics do and what make them good. I also found out from the article that the job of a music critic is to write articles based on the information they have gathered. The article also had how to become a music critic and if people wanted to become a music critic you have to have some sense of music and because there are always songs, there will always be critics. I cant really disagree with anything on the article because i dont really know music and i thought the reflection was good because she told you what the jobwas about and how to do it. I would want this career but i know more about music now that i have read this magazine. I dont think anything was missing but i think she could of written more about what she thought of the article and what she disagreed with and agreed with in the article. But overall i thought the reflection was really good and i liked how you made us go to the website so we could look at the website ourselves.
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Who is Ed Sheeran?

Who is Ed Sheeran? | The Music Way | Scoop.it
British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran recently visited The Recording Academy's New York Chapter office to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview and perform a brief acoustic concert.
Wallis Perry's insight:

This article was based on an interview with Ed Sheeran. We learn about how he started and where he is now, along with everything in between. Ed Sheeran grew up in Halifax, England and singing was always his passion. While growing up he has had many influences such as, Eminem, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, and Damien Rice along with many others. Sheeran’s music career started to take off in 2005 when he released his first EP, The Orange Room. Right after the EP was released Sheeran moved to London to start his career. He got signed with Elton John’s management company and went on tour with UK rapper, Example. 6 years later Sheeran was noticed in the US and was signed to Atlantic Records, shortly following that he released his first album debut, + in 2011. Sheeran’s album defiantly caught people’s attention as it made it to number 5 on the Billboard 200. Sheeran is now booming with success and has concert dates scheduled for all around the world. I think that Ed Sheeran is an amazingly talented young man. Not only is his voice nice to listen to, his lyrics have a purpose, they mean something and it allows you to feel a connection with his music. Most artists these days struggle to do that.

 

"Ed Sheeran Performs At The Recording Academy New York Chapter." The Grammys. GRAMMY.com, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 03 Jan. 2013.

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Victoria Montalbano's comment, January 13, 2013 5:51 PM
Ed Sheeran is a British singer and song writer. Ed Sheeran was recently interviewed at the Recording Academy's New York Chapter office and was asked to sing a brief acoustic concert. Sheeran talked about his newest album, what he has planned for the future, and who has inspired him through out his music career. Sheeran says his greatest influences were Eminem, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, and Damien Rice. He also talked about his performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony where he preformed “Lego House”, “The A Team, and “You Don't Need Me I Need You”. Sheeran said how much of an honor it was to preform at the ceremony and how he hopes to get an opportunity like that again. It was also Ed Sheerans first time preforming in front of an audience as big as that. Sheeran came out with the album the Orange Room in 2010 and was signed by Atlantic Records not to short after. The album peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200.
Cooper Marshall's comment, January 13, 2013 11:17 PM
Ed Sheeran is a British singer and songwriter from Halifax, England. His influences include Eminem, joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Damien Rice. His first EP was released in 2005, titled The Orange Room, and from that point he moved to London to truly pursue his career. He landed a deal with Rocket Music, singer Elton John’s management company and from there toured the UK with rapper, Example. Soon after, he was signed to Atlantic Records.
Ed Sheeran performed at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, and it was a complete honor for him. He was able to perform with the drummer from the band Pink Floyd, Nick Mason, and the guitarist from the band Genesis, Mick Rutherford. At the Olympics, Ed Sheeran performed in front of over 3 million people, and he was honored to do so. There he performed the songs “Lego House” “The A Team” and “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”.
Given that this article was completely factual, I cannot disagree with any of the information provided. Though very unlikely, it is possible that some of the information is incorrect, but not being a “die-hard” Ed Sheeran fan, I would not realize by just reading the article.