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…
A fascinating talk at TED presented by Tod Machover and Dan Ellsey. Tod is a composer and a researcher at the MIT Media lab. His mission is to perform innovative experiments on how modern technology can help us better express ourselves with music. The famous Guitar Hero came out of this lab.
Expression with music, Tod claims, is much more profound than words and can make us do amazing things beyond “just” creating music. With music the researchers were able to help physically and mentally ill people to better receive treatment. More than that, they believe that they should help everyone create music with custom shaped instruments. This is true for Yo Yo Ma and Prince as well as people strand to their wheel chairs like Dan Ellsy. Dan is giving an amazing and heroic performance with a beautiful piece of music that he wrote.
This is a truly inspirational talk about people who are transforming the world with music, and I’m not exaggerating.
The original Genesis line-up in 1967, with Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel and Chris Stewart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rhythm is one of the things that get me in music. The more a-symmetric the rhythm the more it draws me into it and the more I feel the need to decipher it.
“Apocalypse in 9/8 (Co-Starring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet)” is an extraordinary piece of music which is actually the 6th part in Genesis’Supper’s Ready (Originally from Foxtrot). The Apocalypse is played in 9/8 meaning 9 beats in a bar. It is very complex and hard to follow for the untrained ear. As you can imagine it had a magnetic effect me. The rhythm plus the organ sound and the out of sync melodies heard in the background draw me completely into the music. It’s almost like a religious experience.
I never really searched on what was is behind the Apocalypse. Only now when writing this post, I looked at Wikipedia under “Supper’s Ready”. It all became clear: “In an interview, Peter Gabriel summed up “Supper’s Ready” as “a personal journey which ends up walking through scenes from Revelation in the Bible….I’ll leave it at that”.
Drums are used in tribal ceremonies as a mean to get the audience excited, a similar effect exist in modern days popular music. If rock music was a religion then the “Apocalypse in 9/8” would definitely qualify for its Mass.
Heard Camel‘s Rhayader on my cable’s music channels. It was great hearing them again. I’m always impressed by how much Progressive Rock groups were able to get inspired by Classical Music without loosing their own touch and sound. Camel’s Rhayader is a good example to that.
The following YouTube video shows Camel live doing Rhayader and then Rhayader Goes To Town live in 1977.
Portion of the Psalms Scroll (Tehilim) from Qumran (credit: Wikipedia)
The music I hear in the morning has the most effect on me. Usually I find Baroque music the most enjoyable to listen to as the day starts. I guess this is because its festive and very structured. It’s very repetitive and has all kinds of exciting forms of combining musical themes together. Altogether Baroque music have meditative and focusing effects on me, exactly what I need in the morning…
A few years back, I flew from Tel Aviv to London. I was about to meet my new bosses in a new firm I just joined. Away from my family I needed a musical companionship that morning more than the usual. I tuned the radio in the hotel room to one of the classical music stations. The music I heard was meditative and composed with all kind of interesting structures. In addition I suddenly heard familiar words sung. About 3,500KM (2,200 miles) from home I heard a musical piece in Hebrew. It sounded too modern to be Baroque but it had many common feature. What I heard was Steve Reich‘s “Tehilim” (Psalms) and it certainly made me closer to home and at the same time ready for the new starts waiting for me on that morning.
Steve Reich (born 1936) composed “Tehilim” in 1981 and its his first piece to reflect his Jewish heritage. You can listen to it on YouTube below don’t let the background lights distract you from the music:
I recently read your comments about what the music business has become. I’d like to thank you for articulating, with brutal honesty, feelings felt by many musicians about the current state of our industry.
However, I’d also like to challenge you–and the countless artists who feel the way you do. Yeah, the music business sucks. What can we do about it?
The first step is to ask why it is that music has become devalued. The superficial answer may be that in 1960, recorded media, such as 45s and LP records, cost more to manufacture and distribute. Digital downloads have less overhead expenses attached to them; thus a lower price point is possible. In general, the trend of technology is that it gets cheaper as it evolves.
But what about the bigger picture? Is it true that “creative brains are being sorely mistreated?”
Radio Broadcast Studio (Photo credit: Leonardo Rizzi)
Some of the TV but mostly Radio stations, seem to have their own feel and atmosphere around them. That feeling is what makes me connect to them over and over again. Where does that feeling come from? What makes them attractive?
I don’t have an exact answer but I think it’s a mixture of the following. There is a thin line between everything they broadcast. The way they edit their music selection has a “golden thread” between all the pieces. Whether it’s the genre (but not only) or a common theme they all address during a certain show. I like to be intrigued by an occasional new piece I never heard before. Something that will make me “Like”, send myself an email or make me look for a paper and pen with shaking hands, just so that I’ll remember to download or view it later on.
Radio stations have the ability to use social networks to increase the listening experience and make it more open. I like those stations that have a good Facebook page with more background information on it. Whether it is broadcast lists, information about the artists or pieces and a vibrant on-line discussion going on.
And there is another human factor. The radio broadcaster. A good broadcaster is both a friend and a guide to new musical fields.
I guess that the bottom line is that as a listener I like to feel at home with my musical stations but also to embark on occasional adventures and to feel that someone out there cares about my musical taste.
Radio New Zealand Concert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)