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A New Musical Use for MacBooks

The affinity of musicians for Macs is well known, but last night at the Kennedy Center?? 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?? 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.)

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