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Current Reading – July 2020
Books from July 2020

Current Reading – July 2020

At the moment I'm reading: Books from July 2020 Professor D.K. Jordan's web pages on Chinese culture. Specifically I was looking at his section on Mourning Grades. The reason why, is because in the TV series Qiao's Grand Courtyard, the main character is shown performing a mourning ritual for his wife's dead father. Apparently you should do this, but the exact degree and type of such mourning is not spelled out. I will have more to say about Qiao's Grand Courtyard in a future post. Confucian Ritual Music of Korea by Song Hye-jin. If you spend time in the Joseon History Museum in Seoul, you will find the room devoted to the traditional instruments, played for centuries at the yearly events. This book gives a detailed description of what the…

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In Which the Author Reviews Classic Operas
Met Opera, NYC

In Which the Author Reviews Classic Operas

While I am not ignorant of opera in European culture, up until this year I have far more experience with American musicals. Opera struck me as old fashioned (true) and silly (sometimes true) and not important (totally wrong). Now, I believe that Opera was the most important form of art in Europe for more than 150 years, perhaps more than 200 years - from 1700 to 1900. The pinnacle of opera is found in the mid-1800s when Verdi and Wagner were composing. Wagner was considered the greatest artist of his age, from 1870 to 1940. Verdi was the most popular artist before and during Wagner’s time, and even today Verdi’s top ten are what you will see at any given opera house. With the enforced shut down of the state…

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