Happy Birthday, Well-Tempered Clavier
Bach’s most influential pedagogical work turns 300 this year. But what’s so “well-tempered” about this clavier, and what’s a “clavier,” anyway?
Mary Sidney and the Voice of God
Philip Sidney’s attempt at translating the Psalms ended with his early death. Then, his sister took up the cause—and proved herself the superior poet.
Why Do We Listen to Sad Music?
Scientists investigate the emotional and physical effects of sad music, in an ongoing quest to explain the "paradox of pleasurable sadness."
What’s the Difference between a Shanty and a Sea Song?
“Soon May the Wellerman Come” is the heart of ShantyTok—but it’s not a sea shanty at all. Two authoritative essays roil the waters.
Why Verdi Wrote an Opera about Sex Work
Giuseppi Verdi's 1853 opera La Traviata was a shocker when it was first performed. Nineteenth-century audiences didn't expect to watch a sex worker die of tuberculosis at the opera.