Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Great Composers: Gioachino Rossini /1792-1868)

Gioachino Rossini (1792 -1868)



Monday, November 20, 2017

JIMI HENDRIX - A Vibrant Artist

Jimi Hendrix NEW
Jimi Hendrix NEW (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On November 27, 1942, the US saw the birth of an amazingly talented musician and artist in the persona of Jimi Hendrix. Born as Johnny Allen Hendrix, he had his name changed to James Marshall and eventually took the nickname "Jimmy" from his father, James Al Hendrix. His father recalls the small Jimmy using their broomstick as a guitar. This prompted him to give little Jimmy a ukulele. The boy's passion for playing guitar never dwindled since then.

Although he has no formal education in this field as he was not even able to write or read musical pieces, in just four years after starting his career, he was already recognized that time by his unique and moving style. With such expertise, he was able to render vibrant and creative rock music through the distortion of sounds and feedback with a combination of fuzz and other styles in a fascinating way.

During the Woodstock Music and Art Fair Festival in 1969, people who witnessed him play a renegade rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" in his own musical jive, may still smile until this moment whenever they look at the USA flag as they sing The American National Anthem.

Other than his unnerving music, he was also famous for his sense of fashion. He would always be spotted wearing medallions, scarves, and rings, and, of course, his signature hairstyle.

Even in his untimely death in 1970 -- with some details still remain a mystery -- his artistry did not die. This electric guitarist and popular 1960s icon even transcended this era as until now, his effects on the new generation is still revived every time they listen to his youthful and raving music, which has captured the kind of energy trapped in the young and will continue to hold sway for more generations to come.



Saturday, November 18, 2017

ARMENIAN MUSIC and Its Impact on the Armenian Culture

Armenian folk musicians
Armenian folk musicians - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The rich culture of Armenia is a veritable collage of different elements that are embedded finely and woven intricately. One of the most important elements, tying the people of Armenia in one common thread, is its music. Armenian music has its own unique flavor, yet it is perfectly blended with the neighboring countries like Russia, Georgia, and Iran. Many people find a few of similarities of Armenian music with the Middle East and Mediterranean region as well.

Today, the Armenian music has a distinct style of its own. It encompasses the old and traditional tunes in unison with the modern and contemporary music. Therefore, the rich heritage of the music has been passed over to the younger generation, who is beautifully experimenting with the modern music alongside the classical music.

The most talked about traditional folk music is Rabiz. It usually means a genre of Armenian folk music. However, Rabiz music slowly was deteriorated due to lack of good lyrics and it is almost deformed to the extent it found semblance with Turkey and Arab music.

The Armenian tunes have a strong classical base. There are many noted musicians who have made it very popular. The renowned and noted classical musician Jivan Gasparyan has promoted duduk music to almost all the countries including USA, UK, and European countries. It Jivan Gasparyan's music tells the history of the Armenian folks, their struggles and sufferings without uttering a single word. So, this is a great way to reliving the history and telling the younger generation about the sufferings and sorrows of the Armenian folks.

There are many Armenian videos available that depict the infamous Armenian genocide. The Turkish government massacred many Armenians living in the Ottoman region. As many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed and the rest of them had to leave their country. Many of them took refuge in the USA. The main reason cited for this genocide by many people is that Turk rulers considered Armenians, who professed Christianity through their Christian music and Church music, as a potential threat to Turkey. Even, the Armenian Diaspora news Armenian videos are available.



The other most important thing that has given Armenians recognition is the Armenian funny videos. There are various television shows in the USA that include Armenian funny videos. Some popular comedy shows are also available as funny videos. Kargin is the most popular series available on the Internet today.





Friday, November 17, 2017

PIPE and DRUMS

Northern Constabulary Pipe Band at Remembrance Parade 2011 Dingwall Ross-shire Scotland
Photo  by conner395 
Bag pipes date back from the period of the Celts who marched into conflict to the sound of horns being blown. At the battle of Flodden it is said, is one of the earliest mentions of the bagpipes, that the town piper played his pipes. From the 1700's onwards bagpipes were mentioned more frequently.

In the early 17th century pipers were not given an official role in the regiment - even when the role of piper and drummer and bugle player were recognized - indeed sometimes the piper was sometimes listed as a 'drummer' on any military records. The first official recognition of the piper was in 1679, and they played an integral part of the regiment greatly boosting the morale of the troops.

Following the battle of Culloden, the victorious Hanoverians banned bagpipes, this was at the same time that the wearing of tartan was always banned.

Playing military pipes was seen as on a par with any the role of any other member of the regiment - highlighted by the sentencing to death of a piper in the regiment captured during the 1745 uprising.
'A Highland regiment never marched without a piper... therefore his bagpipe, in the eye of the law, was an instrument of war'

So what music did military pipers play - there were three types of 'pibrochs' (tunes) - as well as tunes for marching to and well as laments for playing at funerals. Many of the pibrochs were inspired by famous battles, in particular, the Jacobite Rebellion. As such some tunes are linked to certain regiments.

In 1840, the popularity of military pipe bands was given a boost - Queen Victoria's enthusiasm for all things Highland was behind the War Office's decision to provide each of the Highland Regiments five pipers and a Pipe Major. Pipe bands grew in reputation both at home and abroad a positive image of Scotland. While pipers were forbidden from playing in trenches many pipers disobeyed this order and many were killed alongside their comrades, with some pipers receiving the Victorian Cross for their bravery. Military pipers were also present in more recent conflict including the Gulf War. Today pipers in the army are also required to take on a secondary role in the army, such as a medic.

Today military pipe bands, also referred to as 'pipe and drums' have expanded and are common outside of the military and thousands of civilian pipe bands have sprung up all over the world
Pipe band proficiency is typically measured in grades from 1-4. With grade 1 the highest level and grade 4 the most basic or training level. Traditional Pipe bands are made up of a section of pipers, a section of snare drummers, several tenor drummers and a single bass drummer.

Countries that have strong cultural links to Scotland such as America, Canada, and Australia also have a 1000s of pipe bands which celebrate their shared Celtic heritage.


At the annual World Pipe Band Championships pipe bands from around the world come together to perform. The Edinburgh Tattoo is also a key fixture for pipe bands - military bands from around the world play together to create a magnificent sound and spectacle.

An important part of playing in a pipe band is the specific dress that is worm, this allows members to feel part of Scottish Heritage and the impressive look of the uniform adds to the spectacle.




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Brief History of the CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (CSO)

Orchestra Hall, Michican Ave., Chicago,Illinoi...
Orchestra Hall, Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 
Formed in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is generally considered to be one of the country's finest classical music ensembles. Along with the orchestras of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland, these groups are collectively known as the Big Five, both for the quality of the music they play as well as their influence on the world of classical music.

The orchestra moved to its permanent home, Orchestra Hall, in 1904. Now a part of the overall Symphony Center complex located along South Michigan Avenue, the exterior of this edifice was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham in the Georgian style. Above the ballroom windows that grace an upper floor are inscribed the names of five important composers: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Wagner. Starting in 1995, the building underwent a significant renovation that took three years to complete. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

As with most orchestras, their success is oftentimes best described by noting the accomplishments of the people who led them. Under the musical direction of Frederick Stock, the CSO made its first recording in 1916. He was also responsible for instituting a series of young people's concerts during the 1919-20 season that remains part of the orchestra's commitment to the community to the present day. In the period between the two world wars, Artur Rodzinski conducted the orchestra's first full-scale production of Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner, which starred Kirsten Flagstad. In the 1950s, Fritz Reiner conducted a number of historic recordings on the RCA label, including one of Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra that is considered by many aficionados the best example of its era. The orchestra has also attracted a number of high-profile guest conductors down through the years, notably many who were also composers. These have included Richard Strauss, Maurice Ravel, Edward Elgar, Leonard Bernstein, and Aaron Copland.

The person who clearly had the greatest impact on turning the Chicago Symphony into a world-class orchestra was Georg Solti. The Hungarian-born conductor served as music director from 1969 until 1991 and led the ensemble in a total of 999 performances. Many of his recordings are listed as among the best examples of each respective work. Under his baton, the CSO undertook its first European tour [1971] and recorded the soundtrack for the feature film Casino.

The current music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is Riccardo Muti, known primarily for his work in opera and as principal conductor for the La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy. However, he also enjoys a solid reputation as a leader of various symphony orchestras, in particular having served as music director for the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1980 to 1992.

Every summer the Chicago Symphony relocates to the northern suburbs and its summer home at Ravinia, a forest-like setting in nearby Highland Park, Illinois. The annual Ravinia Festival began in 1936, and it offers a wide range of classical music-everything from "pops" to opera, and occasionally a world premiere in a pastoral setting beneath the stars. Several famous conductors have made their CSO debuts at Ravinia, including James Levine and Seiji Ozawa.



The CSO was the first American symphony to align itself with a training orchestra. The Civic Orchestra of Chicago was formed in 1919, and it continues today as one of the most prestigious venues for musicians interested in becoming professional orchestra players. This ensemble generally performs five or six concerts per year and also sponsors a chamber series that showcases its most prominent young players.

Newest information on WIKIPEDIA