Articles by Don Robertson
Here are most of the articles that I have written over the past fifty years, plus my interviews with Diego Oscar Ramos, the first of which was published in a magazine in Argentina.
The Effects of Music
If Plants Could Sing - Serenading the Marigolds with Dorothy Retallack: The Story of Dorothy Retallack and her experiments with music and plants
What is Positive Music?: I coined the important terms “Positive and Negative Music” back in 1967 during the time when I first realized that the harmonic and sub-harmonic composition of music itself determined the beneficial or detrimental effect that music has upon all life.
The Truth About Positive and Negative Music: This article presents the three videos that demonstrate positive and negative music and art.
Stories about the Effects of the Ragas of India: This is but a brief instruction into the ancient lore of India, where music had magical properties, and great masters learned how to use music for good or ill.
The Story of Al-Farabi in India: A wonderful story about the great Turkestani philosopher and musician Al-Farabi (870-950 AD), who demonstrated the power of music to the court of an Indian king.
Musical Numerology: My 1970 article detailing the mathematical principals behind music. This is where I discover some of the rudiments of what later became vortex math, perhaps a decade before it was “discovered.”
Popular Music: My 2003 article about popular music in America and Europe.
Psychedelic Daze: A 12-part series about the San Francisco countercultural movement of 1965-1969 that created a revolution in music and culture. I was a part of that movement.
The Genesis of New Age Music: Sometime in 2005, I searched the Internet to see if anyone had written about how the new-age music genre came about, and then developed. I discovered that no one seemed to know what the facts were. Since I was a part of the founding of the new-age-music movement, I decided to tell the whole story. This is a factual and interesting 8-part series on the subject.
Black Gospel Music: A Tradition of Excellence: This is my year-2000 article on my DoveSong.com website that explains the basics of black gospel music. At that time, DoveSong.com contained an MP3 Library containing treasures of early gospel music. We were financially unable to maintain this service after 2003, and received hundreds and hundreds of emails from disappointed listeners who depended on the library always remaining online. Since then, I have developed my Musical Kaleidoscope Project to become the platform on which great music from all times and cultures will once again be made available for everyone.
The New Acoustic Popular Music: The 21st century has seen the rise among our younger generation of musical artists presenting anew, innovative style of acoustic music, with folk-music roots. I salute this movement with this 12-part series of articles.
The Historic Cycle of Music and Art: An article presenting my understanding of the cyclical nature of classical culture, especially as it relates to music.
Sacred Choral Music of the Renaissance: A 5-part series on the sacred music of the time of the Renaissance, focusing on the great master composers of the 16th century, who created the most harmonious music that our culture as ever witnessed.
The Classical Music of the Twenty-First Century: My 7-part year-2000 article detailing my journey through 20th century discordant classical music, my discovery of the duochord, and finally, how I began to realize that a new 21st century culture would be based on the principals of harmony, instead of discord. This article on my DoveSong.com website has influenced perhaps millions of people who have visited the site since 2000.
The Mass Through the Centuries: I wrote this article as an accompaniment to the introduction of my Jubilation Mass in 2008.
My Choices for the Top Five Western Classical Music Composers of All Time: My choices just might not all be the same as those chosen in an article in the New York Times at the time that I wrote this.
Guy Ropartz - A Truly Forgotten Great Composer: The great composer/dramatist Richard Wagner was the most influential, and also most controversial, artist to appear after the time of Beethoven. Two streams of influence developed from Wagner’s work at the start of the 20th century: one in the Germanic world of Austria and Germany, spearheaded by the composers Mahler, Richard Strauss and Arnold Schoenberg, resulting in an angst-filled, and negative music; the other in France, a movement focused on the great Belgium/French composer César Franck that resulted in an impressionistic, romantic and spiritual music. The Germanic school became the most influential in the classical-music world, causing a change in the direction of classical music, allowing it to become a vehicle for negative music. The French school that was developing positive music remained almost unnoticed, and two very great composers, Alberic Magnard and Joseph Guy Ropartz, were lost in the shuffle. In this article, I talk about this movement in French classical music.
The Ostracism of the Tonal Composers: During the 20th century, composers who refused to compose negative music were criticized bitterly by other composers and by critics. In this article, the spotlight is on the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns: A Cold Saturday Night in Nashville with Hilary Hahn: My experience at a performance by the Nashville Symphony in 2010, and my recommendations for improving the impoverished condition that appears to prevail among American orchestras.
The Return to Tonality: Originally published as a part of my “Music Through the Centuries” online book. This is the original. In 2014, I began rewriting the article, including videos and images on my “Music Futurist” blog, but I didn't finished it.
Arnold Schönberg: The Father of Negative Music: Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951) was the composer who led the way into the world of discordant classical music at the beginning of the 20th century.