Every record tells a story
The Accusation: Heavy Rock lyrics are ridiculous and adolescent
In my previous post I set out the case for the prosecution:
This post sets out the defence:
Do you think heavy rock’s lyrics are bad just because these guys were wearing denim and leather? You can’t judge a book by its cover. Those working class, sweary, sweaty leather clad hoodlums might have something to say, and plenty did. Here are a few examples:
Never mind “Stairway”, try this from Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You”: “If the sun refused to shine I would still be loving you / When mountains crumble to the sea there will still be you and me”
Hair metal? Try this from Guns n Roses‘ “Sweet Child of Mine“: “She’s got eyes of the bluest skies / As if they thought of rain / I hate to look into those eyes /…
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Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
J. Brahms Clarinet Quintet raises a kind of longing and memories. Especially the first few bars of the 1st movement. For years I was sure it was used in an old TV series I could not recall. Reading the comments of other listeners in YouTube, I realized that for other people, those memories may belong to events that never happened. This is the magic of the piece.
If you’ve never heard this Quintet before take 40 relaxing minutes to listen to it, contemplate and remember. The second movement is beautiful.
Towards the end of the Quintet you’ll hear the motive from those beginning bars, just in case you’ve already forgotten…
Charles Mingus July 4, 1976 (Wikipedia)
Great piece by the great bassist – Charlie Mingus. What a groove, watch your legs as they start jumping everywhere… It was good bumping into it last evening driving home. Maybe that’s why the return to the bass motive after a long improvisation session is the part I liked the best. A good refresher for a long day…
“Haitian Fight Song” was released on “The Clown” (Atlantic Records, 1957). I prefer the faster version below but that’s just me.
Filed under Good Music, Jazz
Andrew Schwartz, a musician who switched to working on his MBA, posted his insights on where you get prepared best for life. The post appeared on “CNN’s school of though”
According to Wikipedia – “”coloratura“, …normally means soprano coloratura. A coloratura soprano role, most famously typified by the Queen of the Night in Mozart‘s The Magic Flute, has a high range and requires the singer to execute with great facility elaborate ornamentation and embellishment, including running passages, staccati, and trills.”
Click on the video below. It’s a great example of coloratura singing. Cecilia Bartoli sings “Agitata da due venti” (Vivaldi, Griselda). This is a very, very demanding piece but Bartoli is doing it without any problem. Extreme jumps from very high to very low. Amazing midriff work and it all looks like with seamless effort.
Are you still reading this? Click on the video below…
Always wondered where to find calssical music in SoundCloud…
Antti Sunell Music Blog
Hellou! There are not only soundtrack-like electronica music in SoundCloud – also high quality performances and recordings of “western art-music” can be heard. Here is some findings…
Boston-based New England Conservatory (NEC) provides regulary high quality recordings from solo performances to orchestral performances to avantgardean improvisations. Here New England Conservatory piano faculty Randall Hodgkinson performs Fauré’s Preludes.
Jouni Stenroos – guitarist from Espoo, Finland – has transcribed and arranged J.S. Bach’s music for 10-string guitar.
Herman Vandecauter from Brussels, Belgium is specialised in different kinds of plucked instruments: romantic guitar, mandolin, theorb-lute… Here is Händel arranged for ukulele!
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Keyboard of a Steinway & Sons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Being a son of a Piano teacher got me acquainted with all the piano teaching tunes. The down side is that I got to know them to well. Not to mention all of the possible mistakes.
That’s why I was happy to find this WordPress blog – classpiano.com – Free Piano Music by Regan Starr. Regan who is now the Manager of Digital Media for the piano company Steinway & Sons started this project while he was a student. His site contains hundreds of refreshing new music sheets to learn to play the Piano by.
Regan releases beautiful melodies which he categorize by difficulty Beginner,Intermediate and advanced, by Keys (Majors and Minors) and by Time signature. Regan also enables his readers to thumb up or down his pieces, so you can immediately access to most popular ones.
The music sheets come with some words of advice by Regan and a video where you can listen to the music and see the fingering. You still need to do actual practicing to get to results… However this is a great head start for anyone who wants to practice by themselves.
I would love to hear Regan Starr’s music played by a larger musical ensemble or in a context of a bigger piece. In the meantime he does not promise that he will keep all of his soundtracks on the site or his own computer…
There is something about the wooden texture, shining metal and the styling of traditional musical instruments that is very appealing. Although most of their designs are centuries old, there is a lot of grace and beauty in the way classical instruments are constructed.
Virtuoso is a board game that successfully captures that unique classic design. The playing board is wooden and shaped as a classical orchestra’s stage. All of the game design down to the dice is inspired by classical music and instruments.
It’s designer, Caleb Heisey describes it on his website: “Virtuoso is a music theory board game. Players compete against each other by successfully answering trivia questions about music history, composition, listening comprehension, and theory. Not for the faint of heart, Virtuoso is a competitive, yet educational game geared for high school and college musicians to expand their knowledge and show off their mad skills.” When not used for playing, it will serve nicely as a collector’s item thanks to its beautiful design.
Heisey is a Philadelphia based print designer and illustrator. He studies for his MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree in Graphic Design at the Tyler School of Art.
Although Virtuoso gets a lot of interest, the game is not for sale yet and does not even has a price tag. Heisey is looking for a publisher to produce the game and to distribute it. If you are interested he will be glad to hear from you via his website. After talking to him drop me a line, I’ll be glad to own one!
The music of Benjamin Britten has a spell on me and it never stop to surprise me. You always find enchanting combinations of musical instruments and human voices. Wonderful melodies as well as not so easy to listen to pieces.
That’s why I was happy to find this article from the Guardian – “Benjamin Britten at 100 – time for a new appraisal? A more relaxed attitude may be emerging towards the colossal musical legacy of Britain’s modern titan of the opera”
Britten’s 100th anniversary is an excellent time to look back at his legacy. Read the comments left on the article they give some perspective as well.
One of my favorite Britten pieces is Exultate – Ceremony of Carols. Listen to the unique combination of the choir and harp as well as the live tempos:
I like groups who have the ability to take themselves lightly but still produce wonderful music. Focus is certainly one of them. Their most successful hit was “Hocus Pocus“. With all the crazy elements they put into the piece, their music and their playing is superb. They were formed by Thijs van Leer the organist and flute player. Watch them on a live TV show from the 70’s playing, van Leer is on the “special effects“:
It made me laugh to tears at the time. The full version is a bit slower and stretches over more time:
Another Focus famous piece is Sylvia. Both Hocus Pocus and Sylvia were incorporated into commercials and movies: