music

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'Ancient Music of Babylon' Recorded for 1st Time

Stef Conner writes music, sings to ancient poems

(Newser) - A singer with folk roots and a guy who "plays a mean lyre" have recorded haunting songs that sound something like ancient Babylonian music, Raw Story reports. No one knows what Babylonians listened to—the tunes are long-lost—but singer/composer Stef Conner says she relied on the natural stresses... More »

Rolling Stones' Sax Player Dead at 70

Bobby Keys played with John Lennon, Buddy Holly

(Newser) - Bobby Keys, who played saxophone for the Rolling Stones—as well as the likes of John Lennon and Buddy Holly—has died at 70, the Telegraph reports. The Texan may be best known for his solo on the Stones' hit "Brown Sugar." He began playing with the band... More »

Spotify Swipes Back at Taylor Swift

Founder defends business model, says Swift was on track to earn $6M

(Newser) - Spotify's founder wrote a lengthy defense of his business model today in the wake of Taylor Swift's decision to pull her music from the streaming site, reports MTV.com . Daniel Ek insists that he's on the side of musicians, pointing out that Spotify has paid out $2... More »

Scientific Study Determines Catchiest Hit Song Ever

UK study participants recognized Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' in just 2.29 seconds

(Newser) - What makes that earworm an earworm? Musicologists at the University of Amsterdam recently set out to find out, collecting data from 12,000 participants who listened to a random selection from 1,000 hit singles in the UK dating back to the 1940s. The results were unveiled at the Manchester... More »

Musician: By Law, Bad Review Must Be Pulled

Pianist Dejan Lazic asks Washington Post to remove article

(Newser) - Ah, the life of a high-flying soloist: Tour the world, wine and dine with musical greats ... and get an occasional bad review. Croatian pianist Dejan Lazic doesn't much like the last part, so he's asked the Washington Post to remove an online review under the European Union's... More »

Cream Bass Player Jack Bruce Dead at 71

Wrote big hits for 1960s band featuring Eric Clapton

(Newser) - Jack Bruce, bass player, singer, and songwriter for the 1960s rock trio Cream, has died at 71 of liver disease. The British band, which also featured Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker, sold 35 million albums in just two years, breaking up despite their popularity in 1968. The band was... More »

'Brilliant' Babymetal Upsets 'Troo' Metalheads

Many critics love Japanese metal-pop band

(Newser) - The Japanese band Babymetal mixes headbanging with J-pop melodies and choreography in a way that "upsets the status quo"—and that's a good thing, writes Adrien Begrand at NPR . While metal fans are divided over the trio of Japanese teen girls (Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno, and Moa... More »

Dylan Fans Rejoice: 'Basement Tapes' Being Released

6-disc collection comes out Nov. 4, features 138 tracks

(Newser) - Bob Dylan once said that a rough collection of 138 songs he recorded with the Band at his home in 1967 should probably be destroyed. But the "Basement Tapes" are the stuff of legend and obsession for devoted Dylan fans, and now, every song has been remastered, arranged in... More »

VMAs' Top Moments: Miley's Homeless Man, Beyonce, More

Blue Ivy Carter wins hearts at MTV awards show

(Newser) - Miley Cyrus is once again making headlines after the MTV Video Music Awards , but this time the focus is rather different. The singer won Video of the Year for "Wrecking Ball," and she used the opportunity to draw attention to the plight of homeless people, USA Today reports.... More »

Man Killed Backstage at Wiz Khalifa Show

Victim in Mountain View, Calif., shooting not yet identified

(Newser) - A man was shot and killed backstage following a Wiz Khalifa concert in Mountain View, Calif., last night, police say. Family and friends identify the victim as one Eric Johnson, ABC 7 reports. Police say he was 38 years old and received multiple gunshot wounds, KRON notes. The suspect is... More »

Mystery Solved of Piano in Seattle's Woods

It's perched between pair of large Douglas Firs

(Newser) - The mystery behind an old out-of-tune piano that appeared in early August in Shoreview Park just north of Seattle has been solved, and nobody had to pull any strings. The piano itself, which was not a part of the local "Pianos in the Parks" program, came with a clue:... More »

Mayor Tries to Run Off Roma With Music; Party Ensues

They eventually agree to leave, but not before thanking him for the tunes

(Newser) - A Belgium mayor's brilliant plan to run off a group of Roma camping in his town by playing loud music took an even more brilliant turn this morning, reports Reuters . It seems that the Roma had arrived Sunday in the town of Landen and struck an agreement to park... More »

10 Most Popular Wedding 'First Dance' Songs

Etta James is No. 1 on Spotify ranking

(Newser) - This happens to be one of the top weekends of the year for weddings, notes Business Insider , which picks up on new rankings from Spotify of the most popular first-dance songs. And the winners are:
  1. "At Last," Etta James
  2. "I Won't Give Up," Jason Mraz
... More »

'Excessive Headbanging' Could Kill, Say Researchers

But researchers assure us that 'rock 'n' roll will never die'

(Newser) - Researchers are warning of the dangers of seriously rocking out. Doctors in Germany treated a 50-year-old man last year who suffered from a brain injury tied to headbanging, they say, per Wired . "He had no history of head trauma, but reported headbanging at a Motörhead concert four weeks... More »

'Like a Rolling Stone' Draft by Dylan Sells for $2M

He wrote it on hotel stationery, recorded it in 1965

(Newser) - A draft of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" sold today for $2 million, which Sotheby's auction house called a world record for a pop-music manuscript. A working draft of the song in Dylan's own hand went to an unidentified bidder for $2.045 million. The... More »

'Fun-Loving' Jazz Master Dead at 85

Horace Silver helped pioneer hard bop and wrote infectious tunes

(Newser) - Jazz fans lost one of the greats this week—pianist, composer, and band leader Horace Silver. He died at his home in New Rochelle, NY, on Wednesday at age 85, the New York Times reports. In the 1950s, Silver helped pioneer hard bop, a driving, rhythmic music that critics considered... More »

How Pandora Picks Your 'Favorite' Songs

About 25 analysts rank and quantify the music

(Newser) - Pandora relies on complex computer software to grade it songs ... right? Not so, reports Rob Pegoraro at BoingBoing : About 25 music analysts at the company's Music Genome Project personally rank and quantify each song with up to 450 "genome units." For example, vocals are graded from 1... More »

Spotify's Most-Streamed Song Ever Is...

Avicii's 'Wake Me Up,' with 235M listens

(Newser) - If Spotify listens are a barometer for musical quality, then the best song of all time is, apparently, "Wake Me Up," by electronic dance music producer and DJ Avicii. The song has been streamed some 235 million times, the Huffington Post reports, making it the music service's... More »

Apple Might Make Dr. Dre a Billionaire

Or close to it, if the company buys his Beats Electronics

(Newser) - Apple could be about to make its biggest deal ever, one that would make rapper and producer Dr. Dre a very rich man. Apple is in talks to buy Beats Electronics—known for its wireless headphones, speakers, and, most recently, a music streaming service—for $3.2 billion, the Financial ... More »

How 2 Great American Musicians Simply Vanished

Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley emerge from history's shadows

(Newser) - Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley aren't exactly household names, but they recorded a batch of old country-blues songs that scholars consider masterpieces. What's vexing is that Thomas and Wiley totally fell off the map, gone from history despite decades of research. Enter John Sullivan, who, writing for the... More »

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