Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ELLA FITZGERALD: American Jazz Singer, Queen of Jazz, The First Lady of Song and a 50 Year Career

Ella Fitzgerald in 1968
Ella Fitzgerald in 1968 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ella Fitzgerald was classified as a Jazz singer but this talented lady singer was so much more than that. She could sing Jazz, Ballads, Swing, and Pop. And she had the special talent of being able to sing Scat. She started singing scat while working with Dizzy Gillespie's band. In reference to this Ella said, "I just tried to do with my voice what I heard the horns in the band doing". The New York Times described her Scat recording of "Flying Home" as one of the most influential vocal jazz records of the decade."

Ella started her professional singing career in 1935 with Big-bands such as Chuck Webb's Orchestra. At the time they were playing at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. She recorded several hit song such as "Love and Kisses", and "If You Can't Sing It You'll Have to Swing It." She recorded over 150 songs while with the orchestra.

In 1942, Ella left the band scene to begin a career as a solo singer. She signed with the Decca label and she had several hit songs while working with Jazz producer Norman Granz. In the mid-1940s following swing music, jazz began to take on a different style called Bebop.

In 1955 Ella left Decca to sing on Norman Granz's new record label, Verve Records. Ella said that Granz produced her album of The Cole Porter Songbook and it was a turning point in her life. It was the first of eight multi-album "Songbook" sets that she would record for Verve until 1964.

Another album production of Granz was "Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Songbook." It was the only Songbook that the composer of the songs actually played with her.

During the years that she was recording the Songbooks, she also toured 40-45 weeks per year in the United States and internationally which helped her to become one of the most important live jazz performers.

In her later life, Ella kept busy touring but her health began to decline. She had heart surgery in 1986. She also had diabetes, her eyesight was failing, and both of her legs were amputated below the knee. She was unable to perform and she never completely recovered. She died in 1996 at her home in Beverly Hills, California.

One can tell much about a person by some of the comments she has made over the years.

She said, "I sing like I feel." That comment shows that a singer has to have emotion about the song she is recording. Without emotion, it is pretty bland.

She also said "A lot of singers think all they have to do is exercise their tonsils to get ahead. They refuse to look for new ideas and new outlets, so they fall by the wayside". With those words, she is so right. Anyone that just does what she is referring to has no concept what it is to develop as a singer and indeed would not have a clue as to why they are not progressing.

And finally, she stated, "The only thing better than singing, is more singing". By that, she is saying she just loves to sing. She is passionate about singing. It's what makes her successful.



Read what others had to say about Ella.

Arthur Fielder "Ella's voice becomes the orchestra's richest and most versatile sound."

Bing Crosby "Man, woman or child, Ella is the greatest of them all."

Richard Rogers "Whatever she does to my songs, she always makes them sound better."

Perry Como "She has been one of my all-time favorite singers for many years and still is - she's terrific."

Johnny Mathis "She was the best. She was the best there ever was. Amongst all of us who sing, she was the best."

Vincente Minnelli "If you want to learn how to sing, listen to Ella Fitzgerald".

Pearl Bailey "Ella is simply the greatest singer of them all."

She won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million records. In 1987 President Ronald Regan awarded her the National Medal of Arts.

We are so blessed to have this talented lady singer be a part of our music profession. The one thing I want to say about this superb singer is "Swing Ella, Swing!"




Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Know the Kinds of AFRICAN INSTRUMENTS

jali buba
Photo  by electricnerve 
Music is closely integrated into everyday activities in Africa. Whether daily or festive, almost all African music plays a strong socializing role. It is a country with a history full of different cultures and traditions. Indeed music has played a vital role in their lives from their history up to the present that made them innovatively and artistically produce their own musical instruments.

Africans uses dance and songs along with their instruments during particular occasions, rituals, and ceremonies. It also serves as their musical communication towards each other. Africans are rich in values and customs. Most of the African instruments that they have are fundamentally used as a symbol of admiration and a medium of worshipping their divine being. These kinds of instruments show imagination, creativeness, and power that Africans put into functional objects.

In general, the sound of African music is characterized as polyphonic. Vocal-instrumental combinations are as common as instrumental music. Nearly all African instruments have a device that provides a percussive rhythmic accompaniment. All these instruments may differ in sizes and forms but all are created to create music.

Africa probably has the largest variety of drums to be found on any continent, but practically every other type of musical instrument is also represented throughout Africa. Of all the drums, the most characteristically African are the talking drum, hourglass drum, and the slit drum. Of the myriad types of rattles, the Western African net rattle, made of a handle gourd encased in a beaded net is unique. Xylophones, widespread in Africa, are two basic types; the frame xylophone and the loose key xylophone.

As widespread as the xylophone is the mbira which is consists of flat iron strips mounted on a board or box with one end of each strip free to be plucked with the fingers. The simplest of any kind of stringed instruments found throughout Africa is the musical bow. Zithers and harps are also common and the lyre, which has a hemispherical and rectangular body with two arms extending to a crossbar. The three-stringed instruments unique to Africa are the harp lute, harp zither, and the bowed lute.


You can get hold of these African instruments and learn it yourself. It cam undeniably produces beats, rhythms, and melody that are pleasurable to the ears. Feel the beat of African music and let its music fill the air to make you express your emotions and personality.

These instruments can be purchased in many musical stores which you can check the instruments yourself and try it. But if it is not available in your place or you are just too busy with your time you can conveniently search it on the internet and you can encounter various kinds of these instruments which you can possibly own.




Monday, November 6, 2017

The Story of FRANZ LISZT's "Liebestraum"

Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Franz Liszt was born in 1811 in the Kingdom of Hungary, which was then a part of the Hapsburg Empire. His nationality is often disputed since many records were destroyed by the Ottoman Turks. Usually, he is claimed as either Hungarian or German, though a small group recognizes him as a Slovak. Adding to the debate, his musical character is often described as French.

His father had dreams of being a musician, and he studied piano, violin, and guitar while attending university. Because of his poverty, he had to give up his music lessons and was employed by Prince Nikolaus II Esterhazy. On several occasions he sat in with an orchestra on the second cello, keeping his musical love alive.

Liszt's father claimed that by the age of nine the boy had played through all of the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and others. He was forced to buy over eight thousand pages of new music by the masters so that young Franz could keep playing. In 1820 he played to an elite group of socialites who offered to buy his education abroad, but it took two more years before the prince would consider a leave of absence for his father.

Franz's early lessons in Vienna were hard for him because his instructor forced him to learn proper fingerings. Liszt attempted to outsmart his teacher by telling his father the teacher was trying to show him illogical fingerings. Lessons continued after Liszt's father realized his son's trickery.

Early performances in Vienna established him as a child prodigy, but tragedy soon struck. His father's sudden death and a failed love affair in France threw him into depression. He didn't play or compose for a few years until revolution took over Paris.

Travels and tours throughout Europe allowed Liszt to meet many noted composers and artists of the day. He had many love affairs and a few children as well. Eventually, he ended up in Weimar, where he wrote the Liebestraum.

The Liebestraum is a delicate piece of music written in his own romantic style. Playing it requires dexterity in both hands and a grasp of sensitivity that takes time to master. No classical pianist's repertoire is complete without the Liebestraum.

Liebestraum is German for "dreams of love." The name Liebestraum is often used to refer to the third of the pieces, though it is actually the name of the entire set. The three parts are based on poems by Ludwig Uhland and Ferdinand Freiligrath. Each poem describes a different type of love: exalted love, erotic love, and mature love.

The third movement of the Liebestraum is the best known. It is also a reliable test of a pianist's ability. At the time, a version of the Liebestraum for piano and high voice and another for piano two-hands was published.



Throughout his varied life, Franz Liszt created mesmerizing works, including the Faust Symphony and the Liebestraum. He is often called the greatest pianist who ever lived, and the Liebestraum is a great argument in his favor.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Look Into GOSPEL MUSIC Origin, Roots and History

GOSPEL meets THEATER
Photo  by Theater Purkersdorf 
When you think of GOSPEL MUSIC chances are churches and large church choirs doing rousing performances were the first things that came to your mind. But would you believe that there was a time when such performances would hardly be associated with the church? Not too many people know that the origin, roots, history didn't just usher the creation of a new music genre, it also gave birth to the present-day African-American culture.

Gospel music origin, roots, history goes back to Africa but most of the sound was developed on American soil, particularly in the southern area, during the 18th century at the height of the slavery era. Tribal African music dealt exclusively with the sacred and was used by tribesmen as a means to be in harmony with nature. When the American slavers brought Africans to American soil, a ban prohibiting their native music and the use of traditional African instruments was imposed on them. 

This was done in order to further subjugate them and prevent them from communicating with one another. The enslaved Africans then turned to creating a new kind of music by using Christian subjects instead and fused their traditional African music styles with the Western style of harmony and musical instruments, thus began the music origin, roots, history of modern-day gospel music.

The roots first started to grow in the South where slavery flourished during the 1600s. To keep the enslaved Africans in check, the Africans were also compelled to attend their masters' worship services, which further reinforced the slavery doctrine. The church and religion became the slaves' sanctuary and acted as their guiding force in times of great adversity, even more so after their eventual emancipation. It wasn't long before their own brand of African-American culture and music started to thrive within the safe confines of the churches. The converted slaves started to adapt the normally sombre and sedated Methodist hymns, infusing it with their own native music. In a fact, a lot of the well-known present-day gospel song patterns, such as the popular call and response style and the use of complex percussion rhythms, are also key features of tribal African music.

Gospel music started to spread towards the North American territories during the late 1800s when slaves were allowed to publicly perform in large musical ensembles. The new breed of music was embraced by the all-white public, their interest obviously piqued by the new sound. Pretty soon the influence of gospel music started to trickle down not only to traditional religious music but also to popular American music.


Some of the most popular personalities in recent music history such as Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Jerry Lee Lewis among others have cited their own gospel music origin, roots, history back at their own churches as having a significant influence on them. Of the aforementioned names, only Mahalia Jackson-the undisputed first Queen of Gospel Music has the distinction of maintaining a steady career in gospel music. The others had also found crossover success in secular music, despite not completely severing their gospel music roots throughout their music career.




Saturday, November 4, 2017

All The Reasons For Playing MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS


In this article, we will look at some reasons for playing musical instruments. Learning to play a musical instrument can offer many benefits, if you really want to learn how to do something in your lifetime, then you should think about learning to play a musical instrument.

Let’s look at some reasons why in this article:

Reasons for playing musical instruments - You can become smarter

Studies have shown that those that play a musical instrument in school, do better with their studies than those who do not. It is said that playing musical instruments has a therapeutic effect on the brain. By playing musical instruments from a young age, they develop ones reading skills, a child’s ability to learn, and they also raise the child’s IQ. Adults can benefit also because it makes one able to focus better resulting in effects such as more mental focus and improved memory.


Reasons for playing musical instruments - Learn Discipline


Many people who play music are very disciplined. You have to be disciplined in order to master the instrument you are playing. You need to set aside time each day to practice, practice, and further practice. While many people goof around watching TV and Gossiping, you have to set that time aside to practice on your chosen instrument.

Reasons for playing musical instruments - Instruments relive stress

When you hear soft soothing music, it can de-stress many people. We all need days when we need to just sit and soothe our minds. Life can be hectic and stressful. Playing an instrument can relax you by calming the mind.

Reasons for playing musical instruments - A sense of achievement

If you’re new to playing a musical instrument, getting your first piece right can be very frustrating. However, once you achieve this, you can have an overwhelming feeling of achievement and satisfaction.



Playing musical instruments is fun

Playing an instrument can be very hard work, but most people who play will tell you that playing an instrument is a whole lot of fun. Once you get better playing your chosen musical instrument, you will be able to demonstrate what you have learned to families and friends.

You may even choose to go further with your skills and aim for playing musical instruments at a professional level. Playing musical instruments opens up many possibilities which can only be a positive thing. We are sure that by learning to play a musical instrument, your life can only be enriched.




Friday, November 3, 2017

Band Instrument Repair - FLUTE - The Foot Joint

Flute keys (Yamaha concert flute)
Flute keys (Yamaha concert flute) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The foot joint of the flute consists of 3 keys on a C flute and 4 keys if there is a low B on the foot. The foot joint keys are the property of the baby finger of the right hand. The keys are made in such a way as to be pushed in different combinations by the baby finger.

One of the weakest points on the flute is where the foot joint joins the body. This is called the lower tenon and can be easily damaged. The foot joint can become loose and cause air leakage and loss of sound or become too tight and be very difficult to remove or put on. This can lead to numerous problems. The fact is that the foot joint is long, almost 6 inches in some cases, and the tenon that supports its weight is only half an inch long. Supporting that much weight and length as well as being constantly put under the pressure of the keys being pushed down can tend to take it's toll if not maintained.

Like the body of the flute, the foot joint keys, springs and pads have to be maintained. Replacing, levelling, and seating all have to be done in order to have the keys seal correctly and thus allow the lower notes to play.

Almost all of the keys of the flute work in conjunction with one or more other keys. This means that when you press down on one key it may also cause one or more other keys to be pressed down at the same time. These keys have to be regulated so that when it is required that two or more keys close at the same time, it has to be the same time or you will have loss of sound and the flute won't play. Regulating the keys so that they work in this fashion is probably the most vital repair of the instrument. It requires a delicate balance of bending and levelling the keys as well as seating the pads better and adjusting spring tensions.



The final result of all of this should be a flute that is solid feeling, with no rattles or excessive key noise. No sticky pads or loose feeling keys. When you press the keys it should be very light pressure with a big sound and minimal effort. The last thing you want when you are playing the flute or any instrument really is to be fighting with the physicalness of it instead of just enjoying the artistic and creative nature of it.

To sum it up, you need to have respect for the instrument you are playing and give it the attention it needs. Care and maintenance mean that it will always perform the way it is intended to play and you will enjoy your creativity uninterrupted by physical glitches.




Thursday, November 2, 2017

The History of the PIANO

dusted
Photo  by ercwttmn 
Many people do not realize that the PIANO is a stringed instrument. Because the strings are hidden away inside of the piano, and out of sight, it is not generally realized that strings are used to create the sounds of the piano. Because of its stringed quality, the forerunners to the piano include such instruments as the dulcimer (which was played by hitting stretched strings of different lengths with a hammer). But all of it began in the annals of prehistory when humans noticed that a stretched animal-gut string created different sounds depending on length and tautness.

Keyed instruments that resembled some sort of a keyboard first appeared in the middle of the 12th Century. It was called the monochord. Eventually, enough keyed strings developed into the clavichord. This instrument was unique, in that having keyed strings better facilitated the ability to strike more than one string at a time. This meant that it was possible to produce two sounds, or notes, at once. It until a couple of centuries later, in the 14th Century, that metal wires was used in place of strings for many instruments, including the keyboard instruments.

The harpsichord came into being before the piano did (sometime in the 14th Century). It was based more on the old instrument called the psaltery. A psaltery was a simple instrument where the strings were placed in a box and then plucked with the finger, or with an instrument called plectra. When the keys of a harpsichord were struck, plectra pulled on the sting, plucking it. However, the harpsichord was incapable of creating changes in volume.

It is unclear exactly when a truly hammered keyboard instrument appeared. There are letters indicating that an instrument that could play both loud and soft was available in 1598, but historians are unsure as to whether this was a hammered piano or a cleverly rigged harpsichord. In any case, most historians agree that what can actually be called the "pianoforte" did not make an appearance until 1709. This instrument was capable of a wide range of artistic expression.

The name piano is a derivative of the term pianoforte. "Piano" is a term that means "soft," and "forte" is one that means "loud" or "strong." The name given the piano originally is quite descriptive. It basically means "soft-loud" and describes the feat of being able to play a keyboard instrument with varying degrees of volume. Originally, there was little interest in the pianoforte. However, as an article written about the new keyboard invention was translated into different languages made its way across the European continent, makers of clavichords and harpsichords began also to make pianos.


As the piano evolved, it began to take different forms, including upright grand (1739), upright (1800), and different styles of grands and uprights, including those that expanded to include more octaves. While the keyboard arrangement has not changed much since the 14th Century, keyboard instruments have expanded to include more than one sounding board and several octaves.



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

GEORGE FREDERICK HANDEL and the Hallelujah Chorus


George Frederick Handel (23 February 1685 - 14 April 1759) was a German-English Baroque composer who was born in Halle, Germany (Halle is the largest city in the German State of Saxony-Anhalt.) Handel moved to Hamburg in 1703 after being unsatisfied as the organist at the local Protestant cathedral. He got a position as violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra of the opera house. In 1706 Handel travelled to Italy at the invitation of Gian Gastone de' Medici, whom Handel had met in 1703/1704 in Hamburg. In 1710, Handel moved to Hanover Germany to become Kapellmeister to George, Elector of Hanover, who would become King George I of Great Britain in 1714. In that year Handel moved back to London and stayed there for 35 years with yearly salary for the rest of his life.

Handels was influenced by his father and the duke: Handel's father wanted him to become a lawyer and have nothing to do with music or playing an instrument however a clavichord was smuggled in with muffled strings so his father would not be able to hear him play. His father took him to Weissenfels where his playing on the chapel organ attracted the attention of the duke. The duke was amazed by Handel's abilities in the chapel that he insisted that Handel is allowed to study music. The duke thought it would be a crime to rob the world of such genius.

Handel wrote many works including:

Operas eg. Araphina which brought him fame in Italy in 1709 and Rinaldo which brought him fame in London in 1711
Dramatic Oratorios eg The Messiah in 1741 which is famous all around the world and Athalia in 1742 which is famous in Dublin
100 Cantatas and 20 Chamber Duets
Church Music eg. Gloria Patri (1707), Funeral Anthem (1707)
Orchestra-eg. Water Music (1717),
Instrumental And Chamber Music ~ Including 9 Trio Sonatas, 5 Concerti for Orchestra.
Vocal Music eg. Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (1713)



Oratorio:
An oratorio is a musical play based on a bible story or scripture. It uses choruses, ensembles and solos to tell a story and usually, an organ or orchestra accompanies the singers. Oratorios are not acted out with costumes or props. The Messiah is an oratorio. You go along and listen to it or sing along to it near Christmas time. This is because The Messiah is about Christs' life and Christmas Day is his birthday.

The Messiah:
In 1741 Handel began putting Charles Jennens' Biblical libretto to music, and 24 days later Messiah was complete (August 22 - September 14). The Messiah was written because Handel was discouraged with his opera writing and after being sent libretto from Charles Jennings Handel felt inspired and immediately began setting the work to music. Legend says that when Handel had finished his work, a servant of his heard him exclaim "Hallelujah Chorus," "I did think I did see all of the heaven before me and the great God Himself!"

The Hallelujah Chorus:
A chorus is a musical ensemble of singers who perform the non-soloist parts of an opera or musical theatre production (or sometimes an oratorio). Handel was known as the master of the oratorio where no composer before or after has surpassed his abilities in writing them. The Hallelujah Chorus was typical of his writing because he wrote 27 oratorios in the later part of his life and wrote many operas which indicate he enjoyed composing music which consists of instruments and singing.

The Hallelujah Chorus is a typical piece of music written in the Baroque period because of the religious text used and the use of English to please the middle class. Religious text is found throughout the Hallelujah Chorus including in bars 36-51 where the text states that "He shall reign forever and ever." referring to Christ. Another thing that makes the Hallelujah Chorus typical of the Baroque period is the way Handel used a mix of homophonic, polyphonic and a small amount of monophonic texture eg. Bars 33-41 of the Hallelujah Chorus is homophonic and bars 41-51 are polyphonic.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Playing the BAGPIPES: What to Know and What It Takes?

Mr Bagpipes
Photo  by Silly Little Man 
BAGPIPES are ancient and enchantingly beautiful sounding instruments in the world. They arouse feelings of honour, loss and profound respect. Maybe you have wondered what it takes to play the bagpipes. With that bag and all those pipes, it may be a little daunting to know how to even begin. However, if you take the steps listed below, that big goal to play the bagpipes suddenly seems manageable.

Playing of the bagpipes is rapidly becoming something of a lost art, but those who choose to take up the instrument will find a world of pleasure. Learning to play the instrument itself is somewhat difficult, and hinges on a trio of important opening steps: the purchase and playing of a practice chanter, the use of an instruction book and lessons from a teacher.


A practice chanter looks something like a recorder that many of us played for a time in elementary school. The practice chanter should be used well in advance of picking up a full instrument in order for the student become acquainted with the method behind playing the bagpipes. Later the practice chanter will become a way to practice songs, learn highly complex fingering sequences and to take to places where pulling out the entire instrument is just not feasible. Look for a practice chanter of a good design, featuring a good reed. Quality is highly important at this stage because a student learning to play needs to learn on a reliable instrument.

At this point, the student needs to incorporate both a practice book published by a reputable source and, if at all possible, lessons with an instructor. This is important because the student needs to know fingerings of notes and technique well in advance of picking up an actual bagpipe. Search hard for a formal instructor, or even just an accomplished player, to help with hands-on, real-life experience.

After the practice chanter is mastered, the student can move on to the actual bagpipe. The first step in picking up the entire instrument is basically to pick it up in parts. At first, students need to use a "goose," which is a bagpipe without its three drones. The drones are simple tubes, each usually featuring a single reed, which lay over the shoulder or across the arm opposite the bag. Players change the pitch of the tune by manipulating the drones. Using the "goose" lets the student begin to play while concentrating on developing adequate breathing techniques and learning bag control.



The process of setting up a pipe, its reeds and the tuning process can be highly complicated and can take years for a beginning player to learn and fully master. This is yet another reason why some instruction from an experienced player or professional tutor is essential. Care of the instrument includes the ability to put it together and take it apart correctly from the beginning, and these are skills more easily learned from an experienced individual than from a book or a tutorial video.

With some work, a player wanting to learn to play the bagpipe can begin to master the craft. All it takes is the proper equipment and adequate instruction, and a would-be player can be belting out tunes in seemingly no time at all. Find a reputable provider of the necessary equipment, along with a teacher to help along the way, and the ability to play the bagpipes is well within grasp.

    Joshua Perry Joshua Perry - ArticleSource: GoArticles



Monday, October 30, 2017

How to Pick Out Snare DRUM STICKS

English: A snare drum. EspaƱol: una caja orque...
A snare drum.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Snare drum sticks are the objects that drummers hold and use to play the drums. Since there are different kinds of drums and styles of music, the sticks that drummers use to create their music can have a direct impact on the way they sound. As a result, it is important that drummers know the anatomy of a drumstick as well as how the characteristics of a drumstick can influence their sound.

Drumsticks can be made of many different types of materials but are usually made of wood. Common wood choices include hickory, oak, and hard maple. Each type of wood obtains unique characteristics that may make it more suitable in some musical situations than in others. Therefore, choosing the right wood for a performance is one key element to every drummer's unique tone.

Hickory tends to be the most popular wood used in drumsticks. It is denser, heavier and more rigid than the most types of wood allowing it to absorb a great amount of shock which helps reduce wrist and hand fatigue. Maple wood which is less dense and much lighter than hickory wood so it helps give the feel of a big stick without the extra weight of the hickory. Lastly, oak wood is very heavy and non-flexible causing the drumsticks made of oak to be some of the heaviest, hardest, and most durable drumsticks.

While the three types of wood mentioned above are the most common materials used to make drumsticks, other woods such as beech, hornbeam, lancewood, and massaranduba are also sources of snare drum sticks. It's important to note that sticks can also be made out of other materials including aluminum, plastic, and graphite, however, these are much rarer.

A snare drumstick has 4 basic parts but there will be 6 parts discussed in this article. First is the tip which is also known as the bead. It is located at the end part in which the head is being struck. It can be oval, round, acorn, or barrel-shaped. The shape of the bead can influence the way the stick rebounds off of the drum head after a stroke and is one of the most important aspects of a drumstick. Next is the neck of the drumstick. It is the small part of a snare drum stick that connects the tip to the shoulder. It is the thinnest part with the exception of some specialty drumsticks. The shoulder is the part where the stick starts to taper or slope into the neck. The closer the shoulder is to the tip, the less bounce and response you will get. The taper is used to identify the shape and the length of the drumstick shoulder. The shaft or the body is the biggest part of the stick which is used to hold and sometimes to produce specialty strokes. Lastly, the butt is the opposite of the tip which is the thicker, counterbalance end of the stick. Though it is not specifically designed as the part to play, some drummers flip the sticks to use butts for effects.



When picking out your first pair of snare drum sticks, be sure to consider the factors mentioned in this article. Determine what type of music you will be playing and decide what type of material will best fit that style of music. Next, determine what type of tip you want as well as what size drumstick best fits your hand. If you can feel confident making these decisions, you will have an easy time finding the perfect pair of sticks for your drumming experience!

    By Richard J. Klein
    Richard J. Klein is a passionate drummer and drum teacher who loves sharing his knowledge with people all around the world.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Five Fingers Same Position Notes Reading Method

Nederlands: vingers/hand Categorie:Wikipedia:A...Hand  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are beginner piano books begin by introducing five notes i.e. CDEFG in right hand (RH) and CBAGF in left (LH) by using the same fingers position such as on RH note C played by thumb, D played by the index finger, etc. On LH note C played by thumb, B played by the index finger, and so on. I called "five fingers same position".

The benefit is before added the new note, beginners have practiced some similar exercises so they, especially kids will not be confused by rhythm, names, and positions of notes.

Because of many exercises that using the same fingers position, mostly kids tend to read the fingers numbers as notes positions. For instance, they mean no. 1 on RH is C - always played by thumb, no. 2 is D - always played by the index finger and so on, likewise on LH.

In early lessons, students seem fluent in notes reading but the problem comes when start playing pieces with no "five fingers the same position".

If students have to use "five fingers same position" books, as teachers, we have to explain from the first lesson that one note can be played by any fingers and fingers numbers are never changed such as on RH no.1 always for thumb, no. 2 always for index finger and so on, likewise on LH.

To make students remember the fingers numbers quickly, we can ask them to play as fast as they can such as "Play C with finger number 1 …. Now play C with finger number 2 and so on". The kids will love this fun game! Then ask them to play the same piece with any fingers by writing a new fingering on their book. For instance, for RH play C with finger number 2, D with finger number 3 and so on.
There is no perfect method in notes reading, as teachers, we can only find the suitable one for each student by merging one method with another. I prefer using "five fingers same position" book at first lesson by using any kinds of fingers positions, not just as written in the book.



It is much benefit and easier to learn right at first than re-learn after made mistakes. However, if students have made misunderstandings on notes reading, no matter with our ‘own’ students that have been taking lessons with us since their first day on a piano lesson or transferred ones, just do not ever blame them, their old teachers (for transferred ones) and ourselves especially beginner teachers. It will not make notes reading for students better.

The solution is re-teaching them as the first lesson. Of course, it needs much time, patiently and often rather difficult to train ‘a new habit’. The students could be frustrate and complain but with a fun game as I mentioned above, kids usually enjoy the lesson again. It happens on teens or adults (so far, I never found yet), we can support them by positive words so that they have ‘new spirit’ to continue their lesson. Moreover, as teachers, we should not ever stop learning.

Author: Sujanti Djuanda


Saturday, October 28, 2017

BAGPIPE - Music-Instruments of the World

Bagpipe - Music-Instruments of the World



Friday, October 27, 2017

A Guide to Buying a TRUMPET

English: Trumpet bell
Trumpet bell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Picking the best trumpet can be a difficult task. Most parents looking for a trumpet have no idea what to buy. I've been a trumpet teacher for twenty years and a band director for the last fifteen. I've played on almost every trumpet available today, and many of them are great instruments while some are far from it.

Trumpets come in different levels. There are the beginning or student trumpets, intermediate trumpets, professional trumpets, and custom trumpets. There are also some instruments that should only be made into lamps or put on walls as decoration because of their inferior quality. The price gives them away. If you buy one of these, you're most likely throwing your money away. Be very careful.

Most students start out at the beginning or student trumpets. Student trumpets are generally built with less hand-fitting and tougher materials. They are usually built to withstand normal student use, and they should last through the first few years of the band. Don't just buy a cheap trumpet. Some of them are so poorly made, they will hold a student back.

Intermediate trumpets come next. These instruments have some of the professional trumpet characteristics, and they do perform a little better than a student trumpet. They are often silver plated. They will always have a first valve slide saddle and third valve slide ring so they can be kicked out. While these trumpets don't cost as much as a professional trumpet, the price can be close. Generally, it's better to go ahead and purchase a professional trumpet when it is time to purchase a "step-up" trumpet.

Professional trumpets are truly fine instruments, and most professional trumpet players perform on them. I received my first professional trumpet when I progressed to high school band, and I believe most students that work hard should move to a professional trumpet at that time. These instruments will have slides that all work well right out of the case. They are hand fitted throughout the instrument, and they play as well as any high school student is able to play. These instruments will last through college, and for players that don't perform for a living, they will probably last the rest of their lives.



Custom trumpets come next. These are the best instruments available today. True custom trumpets are hand-made throughout. While these are truly incredible trumpets, they are not necessary for most high school students. If you want to have the best trumpet available today though, buy one of these.



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Richard WAGNER - Titan of Opera

RichardWagner.jpg
Richard Wagner - Photo Wikipedia (CC)
Because of the lack of discrimination in ascertaining how the composers used t motives, we can understand Massenet's et Cie. ambivalence about Wagner's influence. The Wagner system was not only about motives but also in how they were employed and what kinds of things they were meant to symbolize, that was all part of the "system." Other composers broke with that system by using motives entirely differently, Verdi, for example, used them extremely sparingly and kept them intact, to him they were used as recontextualized reminiscence.

Massenet followed that path as well, his theme usage in Manon and Werther are sparse. They highlight just a few issues and moments within the work. Though their job was to see these discrete techniques and artistic conceptions, critics at the time became partisans and polemicists and Wagner's breakthroughs led to a decade of deep creative frustration and ambivalence.


A look at Manon and Carmen shows how "Mademoiselle Wagner" was as much an inheritor of Bizet and of traditional opera as he was an acolyte of Wagner. Though published at a time when operas had firmly become "Music Drama" Manon is comfortably within the same family as its famous predecessor.

Some of the scenes in both operas are startlingly parallel. They open with huge tableaux showing us all these slices of life scenes, the changing of the guard and the cigarette girls in Carmen and the Inn at Amiens were the townspeople chatter and gossip waiting for Guillot and De Bretigny to arrive. The music here is boisterous festive and self-referential. Both composers here are concerned with evincing extended local colors and flavors, hardly a Wagnerian concern.

In the first act, we already see Bizet employing the limited use of motive that in 1874 already got tarred as Wagnerism. The use of Carmen's fate theme, which is one of the devices that allows Bizet to connect his opera between the individual "numbers" is much in the same vein that Massenet uses his themes. It's true that in Bizet these themes are not employed as subtly as in Manon but a decade separates these works and innovation and aesthetic temperament grow and change.

Both these operas concern themselves with a heroine too morally ambivalent to serve as a Wagnerian philosophical prop. The story of their journeys from the desire to defiance to death is firmly in the traditional school of operatic stories and despite hysterical criticism that the orchestras in each of these operas dominated the singers (!) these works show no great leap from that last international opera composed for Paris, Verdi's Don Carlos in 1867.


That Wagner's influence is tremendous is obvious. I have not even gone through the changes he made in the theater such as the hidden pit and the completely unlit performance hall. It is hard to believe that before him orchestra pits were public affairs and those operatic spectacles were viewed with the house lights on. This does not mention his advocacy for chromatic horns, the invention of the Wagner horns, and the standardization of the orchestra as we know it nor his role in the primacy of the conductor. His idiom is still the idiom of popular classical music to this day, in television, films and video games, the scores are composed with Wagner in mind. To have to deal with that influence, particularly at its first great plateau must have been an enormous preoccupation. The terror that Brahms and Schubert had of Beethoven even pales in comparison. For classical music, particularly opera, this age was the birth of the anxiety of influence, and the French composers of that time must have realized that they would not live long enough to see themselves understood or appreciated for their personal contributions.