Saturday, October 20, 2018

HARMONIUM - The Pipe Organ-Like Instrument

A harmonium. Operation of the two large pedals...
A harmonium.
Operation of the two large pedals at the bottom of the case supplies wind to the reeds.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
A Harmonium is a musical instrument, a self-standing musical keyboard, similar to a Reed Organ or Pipe Organ. It consists of free reeds and the notes are produced by air being blown through reeds that produce a sound similar to that of an accordion. The air is supplied by a hand-operated bellows alternately depressed by the player.

Description of the Harmonium
Harmoniums are in the family of free-reed aerophones. Harmoniums look like pipe organs, a rectangular-sized box with a key on the upper length. Each harmonium has a bellows at the back that is pumped with one hand while the other hand plays the keys. Inside they contain multiple compartments. There are different sections of free reeds in each compartment. The dimension of each reed in the bank produces a different pitch. Engaging Stops directs the pumped air to various compartments. Each playing Key and each Drone controls the air through the reeds within a compartment. When the Drones are engaged, they provide a lasting harmony note and are played in unison with the keyboard.

They used to be popular in churches and chapels where a pipe organ could not be used due to being too large or too expensive. Harmoniums are lighter than similarly-sized pianos and are not as easily damaged in transportation, thus they were also preffered throughout the colonies of the European powers in this period- not only because it was easier to ship the instrument out to where it was needed, but it was also easier to transport overland in areas where proper roads and railways were not existent.

The British introduced harmoniums to India during their ruling period. The instrument quickly became popular there: it was portable, reliable and easy to mater. Its popularity has increased to the present day, and the harmonium is an important instrument in many types of Indian music. It is commonly found in Indian homes. Though derived from the designs developed in France, the harmonium was developed further in India in unique ways, such as the addition of drone stops and a scale changing mechanism. A popular usage is by practitioners of different faiths, who use it in the devotional singing of prayers, called bhajan or kirtan.



There is at least one harmonium in any mandir (Hindu temple) around the world. The harmonium is also commonly accompanied by a drum known as the tabla or by the mridanga. Many Hare Krishna devotees have mastered this instrument and offer their services by playing beautiful music during the kirtana services and ceremonies at the temples.

    By Victor Epand
    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Friday, October 19, 2018

The Heritage of COLOMBIAN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Picture of a tiple
Picture of a tiple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everybody deeply appreciates the great treasure that is Colombian musical instruments, such as Colombian tiple, made in coral wood, with clear lines and awesome authentic color, with twelve metal strings arranged in four courses. Any professional or student guitarist will find it easy to use in Colombian folk music, and in many Latin American songs. Musicians can use it in Latin American folk jazz music, but also in original songs as well. Tiple's ethereal and clear sound is also used in classical guitar music creations.

Colombian Cuatro is concert grade guitar; it is made of slices and blocks from curly maple. It has a violin shape and has a great pitch accuracy and finish. The 'seis' is a hybrid of the cuatro and a supplementary sixth course tunes a fourth below the usual fifth bottom course. It is also a very popular Colombian musical instrument. This feature allows an expanded bass range. It can be used also for guitar intervals as well, and it makes a awesome music, It sounds like a guitar, but sweeter, faster and louder.

Original Colombian music instruments

Spanish and African traditions are strongly represented in Colombian music. Traditional quena, a kind of flute, and Spanish guitar are very popular. Colombian bandolina has fifteen strings and its sound is beautiful, sweet and clear. It is usually made by hand, of unexcelled quality. The marimba is another Colombian musical instrument; it looks like a xylophone and its keys are made in wood. The arpa is a local version of the harp, the guassa is a rattle. The songs from the Pacific coast are using drums and are tinged with Spanish influence. Due to the Spanish influence, piano music is also very popular in Colombia. The newest music style in Colombia is "valenato", based on the European accordion.

Many Colombian musical instruments are beautifully crafted, from the ancient times until our century. The charango, a kind of guitar made in wood, the vessel whistle, the erkencho, a kind of clarinet, the chirimia, an oboe, are carefully made and original Colombian folk music sounds great with them. There are six ethnic zones in Colombia; the music is a hybrid between Indian roots and Spanish traditions. In some regions, there is also a strong Negro influence. Guitars, flutes and drums are always necessary; in the Caribbean zone, the most important Colombian musical instrument is gaita, a kind of oboe. In Colombia, music is a tradition. There is a habit to pass folk songs from one generation to the other.



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Great Moments In OPERA, Works of MOZART: “Cinque, Dieci, Venti, Trenta” The Opening Of Mozart’s Opera “Figaro”

English: An original poster for Wolfgang Amade...

An original poster for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera, The Marriage of Figaro
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The opera “Figaro” starts off with an aria which is explosive in its opening notes. It builds up to an enthusiastic first piece which is called “Cinque, Dieci, Venti, Trenta” (five, ten, twenty, thirty); these being the numbers which Figaro is using to measure a space in the room he hopes will be the one he and his wife to be; Susana will be sleeping in.

It is as Figaro is measuring a space for his wedding bed that his fiancée, Susana enters the room asking him to look at a hat which she has made for herself by saying “guarda un po mi caro Figaro, guarda un, guardo adesso il mio capello”, (take a look at my hat). The music at this point builds up as one can sense the almost ecstatic joy which Figaro and Susana feel knowing that they soon will be man and wife. It being as if they are in a climatic spiral, where things could not get any better than they already are; as they are on the threshold of the most wonderful thing the world has to offer.

Figaro, for his part, on the one hand, is glad that Susana has made herself such a lovely hat and that they will be getting married but on the other hand, is slightly annoyed that she will not let him concentrate on measuring the space in which he has planned to place what will be their wedding bed. Figaro, however, is won over by Susana’s near ecstasy, as he starts singing with her that her hat is indeed beautiful and all would appear to be made just for them in the sheer delight which surrounds them. It is in my opinion that this particular area captures almost to perfection the joy which most couples experience before they are about to get married as well as the general mood which encircles them before such an event.



From my point of view, I also find this opening piece to be the one which sets the tempo of the opera, not only musically but of the story and its eventual happy ending which goes through several moments of humor before Figaro and Susana; can be declared man and wife. Apart from liking this aria another reason why I have chosen to write about it is because the opera “Figaro” will be performed this year in Warsaw’s “Teatr Wielki” for the first time and it is with tremendous hope that I might be escorted by my Joannuszka Slisznuszka that I try to point out the magnificence of this particular piece. It is one of many classics in the opera “Figaro” which in fact is one of Mozart’s most successful operas along with “Don Giovanni” and “The Magic Flute”.

    My name is Gianni Truvianni, I am an author who writes with the simple aim of sharing his ideas, thoughts and so much more of what I am with those who are interested in perhaps reading something new. I also am the author of the book entitled “New York’s Opera Society”.

    Article Directory: Article Dashboard


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

7 Great Reasons to DANCE

Ball gown and tailcoat are always worn when da...
Ball gown and tailcoat are always worn when dancing competitively.
This couple is dancing an international standard tango.
 (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
When it comes to dancing there are plenty of wonderful reasons that people elect to dance. The fact remains that far too few of us manage to incorporate dance into our lives nearly as much as we should. There are many wonderful reasons to dance and they do not all require copious amounts of alcohol and someone with a video camera poised for America's Funniest Home Videos greatness.

Below I will suggest 7 great reasons to incorporate dance into your life as often as possible. I hope that you will take some of these to heart and find a few reasons of your own to dance more often.

Love

There are few greater reasons to dance than to show your love for your partner. You do not have to limit your dancing to your wedding night or an evening out with friends. All you need to dance with the one you love is some good music and a little bit of floor space. Dance while you prepare dinner, wash dishes, or just because it's raining outside. But dance with the one you love and do it often to keep those flames burning.

Joy

We always hear people talking about dancing for joy but how often do we really see that happen? What a shame it is that we actually take so few opportunities to dance in our society. Dancing is an outward expression of joy that is almost always infectious. Share your joy with the world and you just might find they will dance along with you. Even if they do not, you should at least be secure in the fact that at this moment in time you are much happier than they are.

Fun

When is the last time you've danced? Was it fun? I have found very few people (well other than young boys) who did not have any fun while dancing. The truth of the matter is that dancing is fun. Whether you are line dancing or trying the Tango it is great fun to dance.

Flirting

What a wonderful way to flirt dancing can be! If you haven't tried it with the one you love, there is no time like the present to do so. Find some great fun and flirty music and dance for the one you love. If you're really lucky, you might even convince them to join in.

To Make Your Children Laugh

Really, there is no better reason on the earth than this to dance. My kids love to see me dance the moves that were popular back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and share their more modern moves with me. It's a great way to enjoy your children before they decide your evil or during those rare moments when you may be on the verge of neutral in their opinions. 

Fitness

While dancing does a lot to lighten the mood and raise your spirits it can also help your heart in other ways as well. Dancing is a great way to get up and moving that doesn't feel as though it is really exercised. This means that you can help your heart by dancing a little while every day. The longer you dance, the better you will feel and the healthier your heart will become.



Meet New People

If you decide to take lessons for dancing, you will find that you have the ability to meet a bunch of great new people. Dancing is a great way that many people are discovering to have fun and stay fit. This means that more and more people are joining local dance classes for these very reasons. You might develop some lifelong friendships through your dance lessons that you would have missed out on otherwise. 

Of course, there are many more reasons that different people take up dance. In fact, you may find an all-together different reason to take up dance for yourself. Whatever your reason you decide to dance, do it often and have fun in the process.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

JAZZ Music vs. CLASSICAL Music

English: montage of great classical music comp...
Montage of great classical music composers - from left to right: first row - Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven; second row - Gioachino Rossini, Felix Mendelssohn, Frédéric Chopin, Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi; third row - Johann Strauss II, Johannes Brahms, Georges Bizet, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonín Dvořák; fourth row - Edvard Grieg, Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninoff, George Gershwin, Aram Khachaturian
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
I want to first start off with the method by which music performers approach both genres. In classical music, there is a level of precision that the artist wants to achieve, a near duplication as to what the composer intended. When I studied classical music, my piano professors wanted me to understand the sounds and style as to which the composers wanted their music played. There seems to be a consistent thought process of hearing the architecture of the music according to the time period the piece was written.

In Jazz, of course, improvisation is a skill that almost every jazz musician lives by and there is so much experimenting with chord substitutions, scales and tonality that a listener can get a different feeling of the same piece when performed by someone different. So, much is left to the performer about how to perform a piece. Of course, you have to think about your tempo, articulations but there is more flexibility in performance, especially in slower jazz pieces such as ballads. A jazz piano teacher that I once studied under, left the improvisation up to me and my only guide was basically jazz albums and transcriptions if I wanted to spice up my playing with new ideas. However, there are times in which you have to play with a certain touch such as bebop music.

Much of the material in classical music seems to have starting points as seen in runs and the practice of scales. When you practice your scales, you always start at a point, go up and come back down since this is the way that sixteenth and thirty-second notes are played. This creates the mindset that you are aiming at accuracy and uniformity in your playing. In the music, you always know where your runs are starting and when you practice your technique, that is what you know and feel as well.

When you are improvising in jazz, soloing demands that you know your instrument so well that you should be able to start on any note, anywhere on your instrument and still be able to keep with the beat and form a musical idea. In certain jazz books, the method by which you practice your scales is different than in classical music. You are instructed to practice your scales starting on any note within that scale so that when you are soloing you are not restricted by certain stopping points.


In Jazz, there is an emphasis on the individual soloist in which the audience can feel where he/she is going with their music, often unscripted, from the soul and heart. The listener has to identify with the unpredictable and the exotic dance of harmony and melody. Make no mistake that in many jazz pieces, there is not always a wild, unpredictable element. Many jazz pieces can sound like other genres of music. Sometimes, a jazz musician has to make a decision as to how he/she will have to color a chord or measure with a certain flavor of sound. Now in classical music, the audience wants to feel Mozart or Beethoven through the performer in terms of being true and authentic. Any unpredictable elements will be expected as part of the composition.

These elements of classical and jazz music are only my observations and we must keep in mind that you cannot put classical or jazz music into a box. Both will always be different and similar in ways but both will share a willingness to bring out the greatness of the music, fast or slow, happy or sad.