Music

At around midday Monday at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J., about 40 students are crammed into a small classroom, anxiously waiting for Kendrick Lamar to walk into the room.

"The harpsichord is an easy target, isn't it?" Those are the fighting words of Mahan Esfahani, a good-humored harpsichordist who is a proud defender of his instrument.

Nashville Reaches Out

Jun 12, 2015

The same day that Apple did a splashy, star-studded introduction to its new Apple Music subscription streaming service, New York's attorney general posted a letter from attorneys for Universal Music Group indicating that prosecutors are looking at the streaming music business and that Apple is one of the companies being investigated.

If you see any blockbuster films this summer, chances are you'll hear Michael Giacchino's music.

Artistic revolutions are rarely born easy. They complained about cubism, they grumbled about the "talkies" — and boy, did they bellyache over Wagner's trailblazing operas, especially Tristan und Isolde, which debuted 150 years ago Wednesday.

Say the name "Les Paul" to anybody born after 1960, and they'll probably think you're talking about an electric guitar. But the musician and inventor, who was born 100 years ago Tuesday, was also an accomplished jazz guitarist. Paul was never happier than when playing for a live audience.

Last week, we published a quiz testing listeners on their ability to discern between lossless audio and compressed mp3s. We picked six songs from different eras and genres: an early digital recording of a Mozart piano concerto, an a cappella version of a pop song, the billionth song ever sold on iTunes, the most-streamed song of 2014 and two songs from musicians who happen to own digital music services.

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