WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

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Rob Kapilow: Music Traditions And The Holidays

In his acclaimed "What Makes It Great" series, conductor and composer Rob Kapilow urges us to listen with new ears to music we've heard before. But during the holidays, it can be difficult to appreciate endless loops of "Feliz Navidad" and "Jingle Bells." Rob and Kojo take the plunge into holiday songs and find out how tradition shapes both how composers write music and how we hear it.

What Makes Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" So Great?

What Makes The Kojo Show Theme Song So Great?

Composer, conductor and commentator Robert Kapilow breaks down the musical elements and ideas behind the Kojo Show theme song, spotlighting what makes it a great piece. Kapilow credits composer Igor Stravinsky with saying that all composition comes down to a balance between unity and variety. "Too much repetition leads to boredom, but too much variety leads to chaos. And this theme is a perfect balance of unity and variety," Kapilow added. All great art at some point undermines the very world it has created, and Kapilow says the theme accomplishes this task.

"White Christmas" By Bing Crosby In The 1942 Film "Holiday Inn"

Schubert: "Der Wanderer", D. 493 Fischer-Dieskau, Moore

Hallelujah - Choir of King's College, Cambridge live performance of Handel's Messiah

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

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