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

NPR

Musicians 'Let It All Out' At MTV's Video Music Awards

Complex magazine writer Alex Gale talks about the more than 30-year history and previews what to expect for Sunday night's Video Music Awards on MTV.
NPR

Japan's Centuries-Old Tradition Of Making Soba Noodles

In the remote mountains of the Japanese island of Shikoku, an old woman makes soba noodles by hand from locally grown buckwheat. It's ancient technique that is adapting to modern times.
WAMU 88.5

D.C. Department Shakeup Raises Questions About Pay-To-Play Politics

Turnover at a major D.C. government department is raising questions about local businesses, political contributions and influence in city politics.

NPR

A Hero For The Arts And Sciences: Upcoming Marvel Covers Promote STEAM Fields

The five covers feature the company's heroes — including Spiderman, Iron Man, and the Hulk — all engaging in activities educators have been trying to promote.

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