A New Musical Use for MacBooks

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on December 9, 2008

The affinity of musicians for Macs is well known, but last night at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, I ran into an entirely use for the iconic MacBook Pro. The second half of a Young Concert Artists program of works by its alumni comporsers-in-residence was to open with the Borromeo Quartet playing the premiere of Daniel Kellogg’s Four Valentines.

In front of the four players’ seats were four modified music stands, each holding a MacBook. The musicians read their parts from the screens and “turned” the pages using a pedal plugged into a USB port. Page-turning for string players is an awkward exercise at best and they will often go to great lengths. literally cutting and pasting pages to minimize it. The music on Macs appeared to make the task a lot easier.

(If I may slip into a bit of music criticism, the YCA Young Composers Concert is a fabulous antidote to the notion that serious music consists either of museum pieces from the 19th century or earlier, or unlistenable works by contemporary composers. The program will be repeated Wednesday, Dec. 10, at Merkin Concert Hall on West 67th St. in Manhattan.)

Reader Comments

Dorothy Kitchen

December 11, 2008 11:27 AM

I have heard the Borromeo do this many times and I am
really impressed with the ease and freedom it gives. It
makes the world of culture meet the world of computer.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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