Home » blog » Chamber Music, Defined

Chamber Music, Defined

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in upstate New York will host the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival beginning Sunday. For that reason, President and Executive Director Marcia White wrote a little tutorial describing this branch of classic music. Here is a key paragraph of the essay, which was carried by the The Albany Times Union website:

Frequently called “the music of friends,” Johann Wolfgang Goethe described chamber music as “four rational people conversing.” Chamber music requires a specialized set of techniques from its performers, and not all of them musical. Differing from symphonic and solo work, chamber music is both extremely social and extremely intimate. Musicians must negotiate one another’s personalities and find balance and flexibility in performance.

Here is SPAC’s website. Above is a video in a similar education vein from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Sign Up for TDMB Daily Email Blasts

TDMB offers daily one-video email blasts. A different genre each day of the week. They are quick hits: Just great music and a bit of context.

Sign up below or, for more info, click here.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.