Saturday, July 22, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About the Violin From A-Z - LUTHIER

Hello today I am carrying on with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. We are now on L for luthier. A luthier is someone who builds violins and other stringed instruments such as guitars, mandolins, lutes and cellos. The art of the luthier is divided into two categories those who make instruments that are plucked and those who make instruments that are bowed this second category also contains a further specialization known as an archetier, a person who makes bows.

Varnishing a violin by Hildegard Dodel, luthie...
Varnishing a violin by Hildegard Dodel, luthier in Cremona
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

The violin as we know it today was created by Andrea Amati of Cremona Italy. Amati was originally was lute maker and gave birth to an entire family of renowned luthiers, his son also becoming a master with several noted apprentices.

The most famous of all luthiers is undoubtedly the legendary Antonio Stradivari also of Cremona Italy. Stradivari started out as a student of Amati but soon eclipsed him. To this day Stradivari is still known for his violins which are now worth millions.

Violin making is an art and science. The luthier must have many skills he must be a wood sculptor delicately carving the shapes of the instrument. He must be an engineer designing and constructing the lines and surfaces of the piece. He must be an acoustician, improving the sound and design of each instrument that he makes. Using his experience and technique to refine the subtle nuances of every instrument built.

Lastly the luthier must be a musician if he cannot actually play the instruments that he produces then his skill is less than worthless. The luthier must understand the musician's needs and wants and must be able to supply them.

    Eric B. Hill is an professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Friday, July 21, 2017

Learning to DANCE at Home

There are many ways in which a person can learn to dance if he or she is of the mind to do so. The problem is that many people shy away from learning to dance, despite a sincere desire to do just that out of fear of being seen in the learning process. This is such a sad reason to avoid bringing the joy of dance into your life and one that can be so easily avoided if you are willing to make the efforts that would be required.

dancing lesson
Dancing Lesson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
First of all, you can learn to dance within the comfort of your very own home. You do not need a dance hall or studio with mirrors to learn to dance even though they are helpful to the process. In all truthfulness it is quite possible to learn to dance at home without even procuring a teacher.

There are many DVDs and instructional tapes and videos on the market that can teach the basics of many different styles of dance. If you aren't sure what type of dance you are most interested in, it isn't a terrible idea to begin by ordering some DVDs in order to find out what specific type of dance interests you most. The really neat thing about doing this is that you can being the learning process in your very own home with the curtains drawn and no one will ever need to be any wiser. 

Of course if you are going to learn at home you might want to clue your spouse or partner in and see if he or she would like to join you on the path to discovering the joys of dance as a form of entertainment as well as a means of bringing an extra level of physical activity into your life. The really good news is that this sort of physical activity won't feel like exercise and if you play your cards right with your partner it just might lead to other forms of physical activity. Keep in mind that many people find dance to be a very romantic precursor to other romantic pursuits. 

Backing away from the romance department you can even find a great and occasionally merciless audience in your children. They also make great practice partners and guinea pigs and if you control the allowance, then you might even manage to squeeze out a compliment or two to help your potentially wounded ego through the event. Kids are great fun though when it comes to dancing and (younger kids anyway) are almost always willing to kick back and have a laugh at mom or dads expense. If you want to make a really fun afternoon of things, challenge your kids to a 'dance off' you just might be surprise at who is the last one standing.

Learning to dance at home can be a rewarding experience if you apply the things you learn. Not only do you get the benefit of a new hobby but also you manage to do so without the uncertainty and insecurity that is often a common part of lessons. Having an audience can be a frightening thing, however, once you've passed the child test you should be ready for the most ruthless audience any dance studio can give. You should also keep in mind that other students in the class (should you ever decide you are ready to take an actual class) are probably just as nervous about their level of skill as you may be.



The 3 Best DRUMMERS Ever

Drummers are a strange breed. They are the loudest instrument on a track and are notoriously difficult to get right. The drummer needs to keep the rhythm going and the other band members will be using the drummer to keep pace. All this pressure isn't for everyone and playing the drums is a bit like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time, it is almost impossible for an untrained guy to be a good drummer. But who are the best three drummers? It is a tough decision but below are the best drummers of all time.

Mike Portnoy.jpg
Mike Portnoy“ von chascar

Mike Portnoy - Tattoos all over his arms, a beard and long hair. Mike certainly looks the part and his drummer isn't half bad either. The founder of Dream Theatre, Mike is a drummer like no other. He was born in New York and is mainly a self taught drummer. He is the youngest drummer in the drummer's hall of fame and has been the best progressive rock drummer in modern drummer magazines reader's polls an unbelievable 12 years in a row, simply phenomenal.

Benny-greb-souledge.png"Benny-greb-souledge" by VinylVictim

Benny Greb - Benny's gigs are selling outs every time. Benny doesn't look like a typical drummer. This tall, spectacle wearing, bearded bloke is another excellent drummer. Born in Germany in 1960 Benny has had a lifelong interest in all types of music but it is drumming where he excels. He was playing in his first punk band when he was just twelve and quickly became one of the best drummers in the world. Benny works extremely hard and can be found jamming with a wide variety of styles. As well as gigging Benny is an avid teacher offering his famous drum clinics to other would be drumming genius.

Jason Bittner -Jason was taught how to play the drums. Born in New York in 1970, at the age of ten Jason took drumming lessons. He was a natural and in 1988 he studied at Berklee music school. Jason has won numerous modern drummers magazine awards including up and coming drummer and best recorded performance. Jason's speed on the drums is unbelievable; sometimes it almost looks impossible the speed with which he plays complex drum patterns.



The drums are an essential instrument in any band but there is no doubt that drumming is a skill that is difficult to master. These three individuals have obviously put the hard work and practice in that is necessary to attain the levels they have reached.



Thursday, July 20, 2017

TUBA - Music-Instruments of the World

The Tuba



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ANTONIO VIVALDI Composition History

Deutsch: Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Vivaldi was a pioneer of the concerto. He is one of the most popular and greatest composers. Early in the 1700's Vivaldi began to write his concertos that were widely spread in manuscript. Vivaldi is known for changing the nature of the concerto. Earlier concertos were relatively different; Vivaldi was able to mark change concertos from what they once were, to what they are now.

He explored new ways of composing solo instrumental passages to be placed in between sections of orchestral music. This created contrasts in the sound and gave the soloist a chance to impress the audience. His most famous concertos aren't especially distinctive. His concertos interested many not just because of the song itself but because of the way the songs were played, how the instruments worked together and how they all became such an amazing and unique work of art. Many of Vivaldi's concertos feature one or more violins.

Many of Vivaldi's works have also included the flute, oboe bassoon and cello. Some include the guitar and mandolin, horns and trumpets and several works included unusual combinations of solo or single instruments. Today, Vivaldi is particularly founded on his 500 concertos.

Vivaldi was the first composer to regularly use the ritornello form in fast movements. He is also known to standardize the movement scheme; fast, slow, fast of the classical concerto. Vivaldi probably had no idea that he was making musical history. He wrote music very quickly and efficiently. He has many concertos that are known today however, there are many more to be discovered.



Types of TUBAS

As you may or may not know, several types of tubas exist. Each of these has its own tonal properties. Having so many versions of the same instrument can be confusing to anyone. I am writing this guide as a general reference when purchasing or identifying one.

[Man playing the tuba.]
Man playing Tuba - Photo by New York Public Library
Contrabass Tubas
Contrabasses are the most common type of tuba today and are the lowest-pitched. There are two types of Contrabasses, pitched in either Bb or C.

BB-flat Tuba
The BB-flat Tuba is the most common tuba in the U.S. today and are the largest standard tuba. These are used by many school bands because most other brass instruments used by high schools are also keyed in Bb. They are also used by some professional players. BB-flat tubas are often designed to handle the rough treatment of young tubists and sacrifice responsiveness and tone as a result.
BB-flat tubas are the contrabass of choice in German, Austrian, and Russian orchestras. They are the standard for use in concert and symphonic bands.

CC Tuba
CC tubas are build a whole step up from BB-flat models. They lack the lowest notes of a BB-flat tuba, although many add extra valves to make up for this. In the US, most professional tuba players play C-pitched tubas. These tubas are easier to play in the sharp keys, allowing them to work better playing in an orchestra (String parts are often written in the sharp keys to make them easier for them). They are build more for responsiveness and not durability.

These tubas are typically the next step up for advancing tuba players, at least in the US. However; they are not a necessity. A good BB-flat player can play anything written with a CC tuba in mind.

Bass Tubas
Bass tubas are smaller than the Contrabasses and naturally play higher.

E-flat Tuba
Eb Tubas generally play an octave above the contrabasses in a brass band. They are somewhat rare in the US, although in the UK they are the standard orchestral bass. These widely used in bands in the late 1800's and early 1900's. According to one source "nobody remembers why"...

F Tuba
F Tubas are used mainly by professional players for solo works and to play higher parts in some older pieces. They are the standard orchestral tuba in much of Europe, with BB-flat or CC tubas used when additional low end is needed.

Tuba Variations


The Sousaphone
Attributed to and named after John Phillip Sousa, Sousaphones designed for marching. They wrap around the body, resting on the left shoulder and the bell faces forward to project sound into the crowd. They are most commonly pitched in Bb and have just three valves, although some are in Eb. The originals were in C. Just watch out for the wind!



Bell front (recording) tubas
These tubas are upright, but have bells facing forward to project the sound.

Contrabasses (Marching Tubas)
Often seen in DCI competition (Drum Corps. International), these resemble upright tubas but rest on the left or right shoulder, bell pointed to the crowd. These are more awkward than sousaphones and are not common in high school bands. Some upright tubas can be converted to marching tubas with special lead pipes that are interchangeable. This saves bands with low budgets the expense of buying a tuba for each season.

As you can see, many types and variations of tuba exist, each with their own purpose in a band. Hopefully this guide will shed some light on these instruments.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Types of BAGPIPES

While bagpipes may seem like crudely traditional instruments, there are actually several types of bagpipes--each with a distinctive character and sound. The seven types of bagpipes are: Great Highland bagpipes, Irish Uilleann bagpipes, Northumbrian bagpipes, Scottish smallpipes, Biniou, 
Center-France bagpipes, and Gaita. Great Highland bagpipes

Bagad de Lann-Bihoué
Bagad de Lann-BihouĂ© (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Great Highland bagpipe is probably the most popular bagpipes type. It originated from Scotland and Ireland and is commonly used by soloists and pipe bands in civilian and military performances. It is played in the mixolydian scale, from the natural low G key to the key of A, consisting of two tenor drones and one bass drone.

Irish Uilleann bagpipes The Irish Uillean bagpipe is the most advanced type of bagpipe. It is played in the diatonic scale, in the key of natural C and the key of major D. It is usually played in staccato--a type of playing that is short and rapid.

Northumbrian smallpipes The Northumbrian smallpipe is a bellows-blown type of bagpipe. It typically consists of four drones that can be tuned to various pitches and combinations. It has chanters with seven 17 keys and possesses some of the unique qualities of the Irish Uilleann bagpipes. However, it requires very tight fingering to play in staccato.

Scottish smallpipes
The Scottish small pipe is popular among highland pipers. It is also a bellow-blown type of bagpipe but has the same fingering system as the Great Highland bagpipe. It can also be mouth-blown but will not produce the same sound and tone quality because it has a delicate reed construction.

Biniou
Originating from Brittany France, the Binou is designed to be mouth-blown. It is played one note above the octave scale and a flat lead tone below it. It produces a sound that is one octave higher than the Great Highland bagpipe, producing a very high pitched sound. Together with the bombarde, it is commonly used to accompany folk dancing in Breton.

Center-France bagpipes
Also known as the chevrette, the Cenetr-France bagpipe is made of goatskin and is also a mouth-blown instrument. It is commonly used in the Bourbonnais, Morvan, and Nivernais regions of France.

Gaita The Gaita is played by pipe bands and folk groups, usually in some regions of Portugal, and particularly in Asturias. It has a conical chanter and can be played in the key of D, C sharp, C, B flat, B, A, and G.


The Era of WORLD MUSIC

Due to the influence of western pop music, traditional songs and music are losing their place in society. The terms traditional, folk, or cultural music are now replaced by what is known as world music; which is a broad term used to describe music relating to cultures, history, ethnic groups, and indigenous people.

Village musicians in Hyderabad singing and pla...
Village musicians in Hyderabad singing and playing a drum and string instrument.
The latter is decorated with swastika and aum signs.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

World music is all encompassing, ranges from indigenous forms of music in various parts of the world to culture fusion music such as new age music. Western pop and western classical music are not considered world music.

Some characteristics of world music include:

o The music is representative of a culture or lifestyle, or is for festive celebrations.
o It is communal and is accompanied by dances, rituals, or games.
o The repetition of rhythms, chords, and melodies is common.
o Specific musical instruments are used to play the music.
o The performances place more emphasis on group performances than individual singing.

With globalization and the world getting smaller, people move from place to place and bring their music along with them. As world music gains popularity, world music concerts or festivals become a trend in different parts of the world. People from different cultural backgrounds come to know about it and participate in related festivals; most don't really concern themselves with the origin of the music and just love the music for what it is.

World music is never on the top of pop songs charts and was never meant to be. However, it will always provide one of the best means for people to express their feelings, thoughts, cultures, dreams, and so on, through music.