Description : This volume gathers together thirty-three essays and reviews by one of America's liveliest critics. William H. Pritchard's books on English and American writers and his critical biographies of Robert Frost and Randall Jarrell are well known. But for the past thirty years he has also been steadily engaged in writing shorter pieces about poets, novelists, and critics, many of which have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Hudson Review, the New Republic, the American Scholar, and the Boston Sunday Globe. The subjects range from Frost to Sylvia Plath, from Anthony Trollope to Gore Vidal, from H. L. Mencken to Helen Vendler. Ever willing to speak his mind about other writers' work, Pritchard has also produced less than admiring, even satirical treatments of, among others, the poetry of Stephen Spender and the excesses of Yale's "hermeneutical mafia." Also included in the book are amusing reflections of his adventures as a soap opera fan and on the art of writing hostile reviews. Pritchard never forgets that it is a critic's job to engage and sustain the reader's attention and that they only way to do this is to write well. Readers of Playing It by Ear -- the title illustrates the truth that criticism must listen to the voices of its subjects -- will sometimes disagree with Pritchard's judgments, but will rarely be bored by the way he expresses them.
Description : The author of All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men: Love, Alienation, and "Reconciliation” in a Big, BIG Mormon Family (Xlibris, 2000) and the controversial Equal Rites: The Book of Mormon, Masonry, Gender, and American Culture (Columbia University Press, 2004) is at it again. American historian by day and Canadian jazz musician and playwright by night, Clyde R. Forsberg Jr. has also written five original “jazz-musicals.” A word of explanation is required. These five plays, four of which have been tested on stage and not found wanting, do not obey many of the rules of so-called dramaturgy. The playwright has no real right or claim to the office or title of playwright. Having the good fortune to be able to call upon the help of a wide array of extremely talented musicians and actors, he brought forth a relatively new type of theatrical expression and experience—a jazz and theatre synthesis that had an important historical, social justice, intellectual/musical, autobiographical, and monologue angles. Originally, the idea was for a history professor who played jazz to use the stage to convey a message of some historical importance, augmented by music, as an experiment to see whether the theatre was not a better medium than the classroom. There is no doubting the important fact that the public cast their vote . . . and quite decidedly in the affirmative, despite it all. And so, some record and testament to all the hard work that went into each and every one of these plays seems justified. A memoir of another sort, Playing It By Ear: The Jazz-Theatre of Clyde R. Forsberg Jr. explores such public events and social issues as the Canadian ice storm of 1998 and the urban-rural divide in Canadian society that it revealed, Louis Armstrong’s arrangement and interpretation of “Black and Blue” and the relationship between racism and domestic abuse hidden between the lines, the end of the nuclear family and death-rattle of patriarchal authority evident at family holiday gatherings, the degree to which the penis as well as the vagina are taboo, and finally, what Forsberg’s seven-year trek along the Silk Road (2003–2010) in search of self understanding and personal renewal would cost him—but also reward him for venturing outside of the box.
Description : Enhance your ability to recognize single tones, chords, intervals, melodies and scales with Play It By Ear, the award-winning, acclaimed interactive program! This program provides highly flexible, self-paced exercises in a realistic learning environment, featuring an on-screen keyboard or guitar fretboard. You can track progress with the Personal scorekeeper, select a progress graph or print out a report. For musicians of all levels who desire to develop a fine-tuned musical ear.