This Week in Classical Music w/Randy Kinkel 11/25/18

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Heirs Seek to renew "Bolero" Copyright; 

Musicians test high on "Fluid Intelligence"


It’s “This Week in Classical Music”, an update on what’s happening in the Classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.

Maurice Ravel’s Bolero is one of the world’s most recognisable and popular pieces of classical music. Composed in 1928, it is said to be played every 15 minutes somewhere in the world and provided the soundtrack for the 1984 gold medal performance of British ice skaters Torvill and Dean in the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

Until 2016, when it fell out of copyright, it generated tens of millions of euros in royalties for a small group of people who were the distant heirs of French composer Maurice Ravel.

Now they are taking legal action to reclaim its copyright for another 20 years, arguing that Ravel did not write it alone.

The challenge is based on the fact that Bolero was originally a score for a ballet. And though Ravel wrote the music, the challengers claim that the credit for its conception in 1928 should also go to the original choreographer, and its director, Alexandre Benois. Under French law, the period of copyright for one artist in a collaborative work applies to all. Since Benois did not die until 1960, his copyright does not expire for another two decades.


Many high paying careers these days require sharp mental skills. People who can process information quickly, ignore distractions, and switch smoothly from one task to another.


New Research identifies one subset of the population that disproportionately has those abilities: experienced musicians, who gave stellar performances in this study on tests measuring fluid intelligence, or the ability to think abstractly and solve problems.

The results "add support to the mounting evidence of the positive relationship between music training and cognitive function," write psychologists Katherine Sledge Moore and Pinar Gupse Oguz of Arcadia University, and Jim Meyer of Elmhurst College.

Most of those enhanced abilities were limited to "music experts"—people who started training early in life, and kept at it for at least a decade. But one very important skillset, "executive functioning," was also better for lightly trained amateur players.

This suggests that even limited training and practice can provide significant cognitive benefits.  if you can master music, the skills you learn will prove very valuable even if you never touch an instrument again for the rest of your life.


For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, K-Bach dot org, be listening each week at this time for another update; and join Linda Cassidy every weekday, Noon to one, for the Most wanted Hour, playing your top 100 classical hits.  This is Member supported 89-five KBACH, kbaq Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College, Celebrating 40 years, and Arizona State University.