The Renaissance music of the 16th century is easily associated with sexual dramas. Susan McClary, the most eminent scholar of feminist musicology, wrote a whole book, “Modal Subjectivities,” to describe the various sexual scenes she found in late Renaissance music during the final decades of the 16th century. To understand such drama, it is necessary to trace the footprints of such music, which was born out of a confusing and chaotic time.

Anyone who has purchased a personal computer in the last decade knows that computers tend to grow more powerful at an amazing rate. Buy a MacBook, wait 12 months and the next model runs at what seems to be twice the speed as your old one. People complain that we all just bought a new machine, wonder if anyone needs this level of speed and ask when the hell that Steve Jobs guy is going to stop telling me I need new gizmos and gadgets and whatchmacallits.

Have you ever seen an opera before? For me — and, I’m sure, a good portion of our student body — the answer would be no. The time and money required to go see an opera are quite considerable, not to mention that opera is not an art form that many young people have been routinely exposed to. This season of The Met: Live in HD, however, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live transmissions of world-renowned operas to movie theaters around the world, will change my answer from no to yes.

Sept. 29: “Analysis of Partially-Observed Social Network Data,” UMass, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Krista Gile, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UMass Amherst will give a talk detailing three case studies involving social networing. The cases will be used to highlight the variety of questions and approaches used in social network research. Lunch will be provided for this free event.

Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. — Theodor Adorno

Steve Reich, the American composer celebrated for minimalist compositions like “Piano Phase” (1967), “Clapping Music” (1972) and “Different Trains” (1988), just released a piece entitled WTC 9/11 for string quartet and prerecorded tape. Commissioned by his long-term collaborator the Kronos Quartet, it premiered at Duke Univ. this March as a musical tribute to the 10-Year memorial of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“The Almighty Alum” is a series of interviews with alumni who have meandered far beyond their college majors.

“Is there a market for something like that?” asked an audience member of Carnegie Hall soloist Jeremy Denk, after having heard him play several piano études of the Hungarian-American composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) at a Seattle Chamber Music Festival concert this summer.

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