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Thursday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 3 Jan 2013 8:00 AM

Today in the roundup: Should soloists use music? Also – how to boost creativity and a New Year’s resolution that will get you reading.


NOTES ON THE NOTES: When you watch a soloist perform, does it matter to you if he or she has memorized the music? Most of ’em still do, but there’s a growing movement of performers who don’t really see the problem with cribbing off the score. And it seems the critics don’t really care, either. “Over the years I have observed that the rigid protocol in classical music whereby solo performers, especially pianists, are expected to play from memory seems finally, thank goodness, to be loosening its hold,” Anthony Tommasini writes on “What matters, or should matter, is the quality of the music making, not the means by which an artist renders a fine performance.” Good news for those Cliburn finalists heading to town in May.

LESS i TIME: If you’re a creative type, listen up: Those iPad, laptop and desktop screens you always have your eyes glued to could be killing your creative impulses. That’s what a new study has found. Want to reopen your mind? Spend some time outside, the researchers say.

READ UP: Have a New Year’s resolution all picked out? No? Then you still have time to take on Jeff Ryan’s challenge: read a book a day for a year. Sound impossible? The Slate writer pulled off the feat in 2012 and writes about it on the site.