The 25 best music websites
As music journalism increasingly finds its niche online, Elisa Bray sifts through the plethora of emerging and established websites to pick the very best
Friday 16 October 2009
Me & my blog: Jessica Duchen
Early in 2004, I began to hear rumblings of an extraordinary development in cyberspace: via a personal web space you could make your writing instantly visible to strangers all around the world. I began surfing to investigate. Five minutes later, by accident, I had my own blog. I simply typed JESSICA DUCHEN'S CLASSICAL MUSIC BLOG.
It didn't take long to discover what worked and what didn't. Extended pieces of grumbling about what Leopold Mozart really said on the subject of what's now called vibrato didn't produce much effect, but pithy articles on current goings-on both musical and personal, and my experiences as a classical music writer with The Independent, went across with more bite.
I hadn't bargained, though, on the addiction of blogging. It's become part of the morning routine, a chance to take stock, tell stories, and spread news in a way that is informal, though hopefully no less strong for that. I've occasionally run "director's cuts" of interviews, offering out-takes from chats with the likes of Magdalena Kozena and Angela Gheorghiu, or the behind-the-scenes saga of my recent trip to Berlin to meet Nigel Kennedy. Very occasionally, it's just a good way to let off steam.
And there's the rapid- response unit: when a big story broke – the Joyce Hatto CD forgery scandal in 2007, for example, or the sudden death of Richard Hickox – I got the details online in moments. JDCMB became something of a focal point for reporting developments in the former, though the degree of obsession among some readers proved positively terrifying! For quieter times, YouTube is invaluable for disseminating musical extracts.
I'd long felt that classical music needed a different type of discourse. Snobbery, exclusivity, ivory-tower obscurantism and so on had to be challenged, not to mention the misogyny, but without "dumbing down"; therefore, I aimed for good, straightforward, readable writing, not too technical but never patronising.
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
- 5 Magna Carta will be 800 years old next year – the perfect reminder of the rights and freedoms we must hold dear
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
The Interview film review: Controversial gross-out satire is broad, bawdy and bad - but undeniably entertaining
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever