Curating The Week: A Trial Over Opening Chords, Music Listening, And The Spatial Layout Of Orchestras


An article on the case of whether not the chords of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” are stolen.

“While it is true that a descending chromatic four-chord progression is a common convention that abounds in the music industry, the similarities here transcend this core structure. What remains is a subjective assessment of the ‘concept and feel’ of two works … a task no more suitable for a judge than for a jury.”

• Two articles about music listening in our age of plenty, here

“I don’t need to know anybody at all to find music that appeals to my sensibility, the result of increasing algorithms and tracking, increasingly cooler music on TV shows and in movies that’s easy to find, whether by Shazam or just by living on the Internet.”

and here.

“I do feel pessimistic about the whole project. I do feel that if the great push of the smartest minds in this business is moving towards efficiency in curating for you, in delivering you what it knows you will like from the great abundance, well, something’s being lost, isn’t it? Isn’t the thing that’s being lost you and your efforts to figure out what you like and you respond to?”

An article about how the spatial layout of orchestras is arranged according to the biology of the brain.

“The seating arrangement of modern orchestras mirrors the listening bias of human ears. The ears project to the opposite brain hemisphere’s auditory cortex, which is where the listening bias originates. In this way, the seeming cultural oddity of who sits where in an orchestra could actually be the result of a biological oddity of brain organisation. It is not just a historical accident akin to driving on the right or left. In the concert hall, the cultural and the biological are closely intertwined.”

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