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Two Brief Announcements
My other brother’s (musical) Substack newsletter, my Australian extemporanea
It is a coincidence (and nothing more) that, on my arrival in Australia, I discover that my brother Robert Hart has created a new Substack newsletter entitled The Musical Platypus. Robert—or Bob, as apparently he styles himself on the publication—is a musician, a composer, and a music-theorist of considerable erudition. His newsletter will be dedicated to explaining the magic (as it were) of musical structure and technique. He does have a special gift, I grudgingly admit, for explaining the more esoteric aspects of the craft in ways that are clear enough for the musical layperson to follow, and he also has an annoying habit of hitting upon genuinely original insights regarding all sorts of compositions. His choice of totemic animal, moreover, is inspired by his dislike of certain traditional musical taxonomies, of the sort that rigidly discriminate “serious” music from “popular,” or that rank classical music, jazz, blues, rock, and so forth in a descending order of respectability. His conviction is that there is simply good music or bad, and as a rule one ought to prefer the former. There will be a great deal about Bach and Duke Ellington and Scott Joplin and so on and so forth, but there will also be posts on all kinds of “merely” popular music. In fact, the newsletter will regularly feature treatments of Beatles’ songs, laying out their strange and ingenious chord-structures and melodic principles and so forth—which, my prophetic soul tells me, will prove one of the strongest draws for new subscribers. In fact, the first installment has already been posted, out from behind the paywall, and it really is fascinating. I can assure you, whatever your musical tastes, that this will be an altogether enlightening and joyous publication.
My “Dispatches from the Antipodes” will begin appearing in a few days. I am very nearly in physiological synchrony with my current geographical location; another twenty-four hours should have me on my feet and at my keypad again.