Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Great Composers: ANTONIO Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)

Friday, December 1, 2017

FENDER Stratocaster - Music-Instruments of the World

Fender Stratocaster - Music-Instruments of the World

Thursday, November 30, 2017

HALLELUJA! The Power of the Word

George Frideric Handel, by Francis Kyte (floru...
George Frideric Handel, by Francis Kyte (floruit 1710-1744)
(Photo credit: 
A minister I knew once questioned the depth or "the soul" of a song I wrote because it was " a song of largely just Hallelujahs". Today I'd like to take a moment on this issue and look at the word "Hallelujah" in some depth.

Its etymology is from the Hebrew and means "Praise Jah" or "Praise God". Interestingly enough, it is a word that circumnavigates the globe and spans most languages. When translated, the word "Hallelujah" (or sometimes "Alleluia") remains the same: In Spanish it's "Aleluya", in Finnish and German it's "Haleluja", in French it's "Alleluia", in Estonian it's "Haleluuja", in Icelandic it's Halleluja, in Slovak it's "Aleluia" and on and on like that. So it's a word whose four syllables mean the same thing to most of mankind. Say the word almost anywhere in Africa and they know how you feel. Very few words translate that way. Consider even the word "God". Even this word changes dramatically in its pronunciation and spelling in translation. "Hallelujah" is truly universal.

I know of no other word in language or song that carries such joy, such celebration, such depth of spirit and soul. With its four open vowels, it is a gorgeous utterance to sing and when sung alone or surrounded by itself and repeated over and over it is the epitome word of celebration in human language. I find that when I'm writing a sacred song and I am most filled with the spirit of God, these are the words that spill out of me over and over as the melodies pour through me from God. Over and over again, "Hallelujah". It happens so often that I have to rewrite the lyrics into other words, otherwise most of my songs would sing nothing but "Hallelujahs".

A man named George Fredric Handel used it to musically summarize his penultimate tribute to the birth of Christ in the finale of his "Messiah". Who has not sat in wonder at the singing of this great gift to mankind as the same word cascaded from the choir?

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

In no way comparing myself to Frederic Handel, I too used these words to great effect in a song that opened the performance of The Jenny Burton Experience which ran to sold out audiences for over seven years here in New York City.

Let's start with a Hallelujah
Let's begin with a Hallelujah


There is music in our lives
There is music in the air all around us
There's a spirit in our lives
And the music and the spirit are one


A simple statement, but with the weight and power of this amazing word you can be sure the audiences knew exactly where we were going with the inspirational intention of the performance. It set the spirit of the evening in stone and launched us cleanly and clearly into the realm of spiritual thought.

What is a word but a symbol for an idea. These sounds that come out of our mouths represent concepts large or small. Say the word "streetcar" and we know exactly what you mean. Say the word "God" and you will have as many definitions of that word as you have listeners. But say the word "Hallelujah" and the world is suddenly all on the same page and in some way feeling and knowing the light that you are experiencing. It is a word that bears repetition, no, in fact, clamors for repetition, for to say it once is not enough. It must be repeated and repeated in the wonder of God's grace and power, love, soul, and spirit. It is the penultimate word in the human language in praise of God.

When life is at its best, in the moment when no other words suffice, for most of us here on this planet, out pops the word "Hallelujah". This elegant and universal utterance captures the essence of celebration and is immediately understood deeply in the soul of all.

    By Peter Link
    For more inspiring music you can download and information about Peter Link, please visit
    Peter Link, composer, lyricist, record producer, orchestrator, is also the creative director of Watchfire Music. With a long and successful career in Pop music, the Broadway theater, ballet, television and films behind him, he is now dedicating the great majority of his time and creativity to the development of the inspirational music genre of music production. You can find out more about Peter here at

    Though his career is varied, he considers himself first and foremost a composer/lyricist and says, "I could spend the rest of my life locked in my recording studio and never come out again ... and be happy."

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

FLUGELHORN - Music-Instruments of the World

Flugelhorn - Music-Instruments of the World

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Magical Feeling to CHRISTMAS MUSIC

During the Christmas Season, music is a key ingredient to creating holiday magic... for me and many others, I'm sure. Just the other day, I was out walking my little dog, Jolie, and enjoying the holiday decorations in my neighborhood. The air was crisp and there appeared to be a few snowflakes in the air when suddenly, a nearby church began playing on their chimes, some familiar carols. I was thrilled!

I've always been a huge fan of Christmas music, and as a child, growing up in a minister's family, Christmas music was played and enjoyed throughout December! Singing the Advent hymns and carols up until Christmas Eve was always such a thrill for me and even now, the memories, images and smells rush back to me when I hear these melodies playing. When the bells started pealing as I walked down the sidewalk, it just was a magical feeling that transported me, musically, to another time and place. At that moment, thoughts of problems disappeared, thoughts of conflict and tragedy temporarily vanished, and I was totally in the moment with peace on earth goodwill to people everywhere.

Holiday music, no matter what holiday you celebrate, comes in the sacred and the secular varieties. There are literally thousands of songs, cantatas, musicals, oratorios, and symphonies that we typically hear during this season and, for me, they create a magical environment that is filled with memories of Christmases past and warm family holidays with laughter, smells of cookies, turkey, and pies baking, and visions of shiny bicycles and wind-up toys. Is there a person in the Western World that does not know "White Christmas," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," or "Silver Bells?" In our media-filled society, and with all the technological wonders like iPods and MP3 players, music is sung around the world and heard around the world. If anything, they probably hear them just a little sooner than they'd really like to. (I believe that playing Christmas music any sooner than November 1, is probably suspect, and what I suspect is commercialism gone awry!)

The power of a simple phrase of music to conjure up these kinds of images and feelings is nothing short of miraculous! Humans have known this for thousands of years, and that is why the key events and holidays in our lives have so much special and unique music associated with them! Take some time out of your schedule today and listen to some music that brings back happy memories for you. You'll soothe your anxieties, lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, and improve your self-esteem.

    By Dr. Alice Cash
    Dr. Alice H. Cash is a clinical musicologist who has devoted much of her career to researching the healing powers of music and teaching professionals and patients about using music for health and wellness. Her website has been viewed and enjoyed by people around the world. She also has ten blogs, each one focusing on a different aspect of music healing.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Monday, November 27, 2017

AEROSMITH - The Story of the Bands Epic Three Decade Rise to Rock God Status

Steven Tyler and Joe Perry performing live in ...
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry performing live in concert
(Photo credit: 
Music critics in the 70s widely described Aerosmith as a vulgar, cheap imitation of the Rolling Stones. Steven Tyler was often nastily referred to as a "Mick Jagger Look-alike". Even with all that criticism and negativity being hurled their way, Aerosmith kept pushing ahead. Despite the critic's ill-informed opinions, Aerosmith turned out to be one of the most popular acts of the decade.

Aerosmith's band roots were planted back in 1970 when Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton met Steven Tyler. Perry and Hamilton were already playing in a band called The Jam Band. Drummer Joey Cramer and guitarist Ray Tabano were the next members added to the band. By 1971 though, changes were already happening in the band and Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford.

By '72 Aerosmith had developed a loyal following of fans in the Boston area. They were gaining attention from recording studios as well and landed a deal with Columbia Records. It took three years for the band to finally break into the mainstream, but the album 'Toys In The Attic' was the break they needed. Aerosmith assured their place in rock and roll history with their next album titled, 'Rocks'.

Fame and fortune, as it often does in rock and roll, brought addiction to the band in the mid 70's. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were dubbed rocks "Toxic Twins" due to their excessive drug and alcohol use. Their drug troubles and the internal conflicts between members nearly destroyed what the band had built in the late 70's. The music they produced during these troubled times wasn't nearly as good either.

From 1977 to 1979, Aerosmith put out the 'Draw The Line' and 'Live! Bootleg' albums. Neither garnered much commercial success for the band though. Whether it was the drugs or the tension between Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, things were not good in the Aerosmith camp. After recording the studio album entitled, 'Night In The Ruts', Perry left the band to start the Joe Perry Project. Perry was replaced and the band set out on a tour to promote the new album.

The early 80's brought challenge after challenge to the Aerosmith band members. The music wasn't the same and the band's commercial success was in a serious rut. Despite several album and tour attempts, Aerosmith was in danger of losing its mega-rock band status. Steven Tyler is reported to have been so high that he passed out on-stage at least twice during this time. The negative publicity and downward spiral seemed to be putting a halt any future Aerosmith had.

By 1984, Joe Perry and Brad Whitmore had rejoined Aerosmith and the band was signed under a new record label. Their reunion tour dubbed "The Back In The Saddle Tour" brought in crowds of fans. Still, Tyler and the others hadn't changed their partying habits much and old problems began to resurface.

Finally, in '86, Steven Tyler was nearly forced into drug rehab. Tim Collins, Aerosmith's manager was certain that if Tyler didn't clean up his act, the band would be in serious trouble. Over the next couple of years, Joe Perry and the rest of the band followed Tyler's lead and entered rehab. Collins supposedly made the band a promise that if they completed rehab, he could make Aerosmith the biggest rock band in the world by 1990.

With rehab behind them, Aerosmith set to work on an album that would once again get them the attention they deserved. Their comeback album, 'Done With Mirrors' did moderately well, but it wasn't a blockbuster. It wasn't until Tyler and Perry teamed up with Run DMC for a remake of "Walk This Way" that Aerosmith got the attention of the younger generation. While that single was peaking on the charts, Aerosmith released their 'Permanent Vacation' album.

'Permanent Vacation' was the monster album Aerosmith had been trying to create. It spawned three top 20 singles and videos. 'Dude Looks Like A Lady' topped the charts at number 14, 'Angel' soared to number 3 and 'Rag Doll' made it up to the number 17 spot. By all accounts, Aerosmith was back in their groove.

Aerosmith proved that they were back in a big way when they followed up 'Permanent Vacation' with 'Pump'. Settling in at the number 5 spot on the charts, 'Pump' went quadruple-platinum. "Janies Got A Gun", one of the singles from the album, earned Aerosmith a Best Rock Performance Grammy in 1990.

With their mega-rockstar status fully restored, Aerosmith spent the rest of the nineties doing what they do best. They produced several hit albums including 'Get a Grip' which hit Number One. In 1994 Aerosmith's greatest-hits package, Big Ones made it up to number six. Three years later, 'Nine Lives' entered the charts at number one.

In 2001, Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of fame. There's no doubt that these hard-core rockstars have earned it in every way possible. The coveted award was received just as Aerosmith's album 'Just Push Play' and the number 7 single, 'Pink' were released.

These days, Aerosmith has been doing what they always do, but with a twist. They're featured in one of the hottest new video games out there. And yes, they've still got their issues with addictions. Recently, Steven Tyler checked himself into rehab once again. Some habits die hard, but a great rock band like Aerosmith will live on forever.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Life of Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) by Barbara Krafft (1764–1825), 1819
Photo  by Royal Opera House Covent Garden 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria in January 1756. His father was a minor composer and musician to the court orchestra of the Archbishop of Salzburg. Mozart had an astonishing talent for music and at the age of five composed some of his own pieces. His father, Leopold, give up his own career to foster his son's prodigious talent.

In his formative years, the family traveled extensively in Europe where Leopold showed off the talent of his children -- his daughter Nanneri and his son, the child prodigy Wolfgang.

From 1773 to 1777, Wolfgang was employed as a court musician to the Archbishop of Salzburg during which time he refined his skills. But he was frustrated because of the low salary paid to him.
In 1781, he started working for the Archbishop of Vienna. He was somewhat badly treated which left him disgruntled and seeking other avenues. In August 1782, he married Constanza Weber with whom he had six children. In Vienna, he composed some of his finest works including 15 piano concertos before 1786. In 1786, he commenced work on the first of his three comic operas. Mozart and his family lived in Vienna for the rest of his life.

From 1788 onwards his fortunes declined. He went through dire financial circumstances, a matter of grave concern. He fell ill whilst in Prague, suffering from pain, swelling, and vomiting which eventually confined him to bed. At the time he was working on his Requiem. Finishing it had become an obsession. He died in December 1971, his affliction still undiagnosed and was buried in a common grave in the presence of only four mourners.

Mozart was one of the greatest musicians the world has ever known.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

HOME STUDIO RECORDING Tips - Recording Smooth ACOUSTIC GUITAR Inexpensivley

Fanny + Alexander's Home Studio : www.fannyale...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recording acoustic guitar is a bigger problem than electric. If you have read my tutorials on electric guitar recording you can really just use a sm57 microphone, spend some time positioning the mic, get the tone you want from your amp, then press record. However, recording acoustic guitar definitely creates some additional problems.

The first problem is the microphone. Usually, a dynamic microphone is not really well suited to this. However, I have gotten some pretty good sounds using an old Electro-Voice PL80, especially when coupled with a cloud lifted. But cloudlifter costs about as much as a cheap large diaphragm microphone so I would go for the mic instead. Besides you can use it for the vocals later. Since we are doing this for cheap try to not spend more than $150.00.

Most people use the cardioid setting for guitar or vocals, but since this is very low budget, and yet we want the biggest fullest sound - you have to try the Omni setting, but do it with some sense. Try different rooms in your house to record the part. You might have to play samples of the part many times facing different ways in a room, but it will be worth it if you can find a good area where the sound is reflected around in just the right way. In desperation, you can even try the bathroom, which will give you lots of reverb. Don't be afraid to take your time and experiment, remember every time you go over the part it is going to get better and better. Also, remember the part must be tracked to a metronome or some kind of percussion track generally I use a live drum set.

Now just as with electric guitar you must double track the acoustic guitar, however, this needs to be approached in a more careful fashion. First, if you are doing a strumming part, try to get a lightly different sound by using a different room, changing the setting on the mic, or move the mic closer a bit or further away. Be careful though of the proximity issue though, this can help or hurt and sometimes mere inches can be the difference between a good sound and a great sound. Make sure you play the part exactly like the first part!

Second keep the track with the most mid tones to come right down the middle, while the track with the most highs should be split with maybe no more than a 12 ms delay, eight would probably be better. You can also run similar sounds panned one side to the left and one side to the right to fill out a part in the mix. If the main part is a finger-picked part then the "double" should be a different part, less busy, and played in a higher register. Even single notes inside the chord work well and will fill out the sound considerably without taking away from the finger-picked structure that you have taken great pains to create. Remember the key is to get the fullest sound possible while using the fewest instruments as possible so that your tracks can "breath" and have "space" for the vocals.

Friday, November 24, 2017

GRAND PIANO - Music-Instruments of the World

Grand Piano - Music-Instruments of the World

Thursday, November 23, 2017

CORNETand TRUMPET Care For the Busy Musician

Cornet Patent Drawing from 1899
Photo  by Patents Wall Art 
As a performer, it is essential that you keep your instrument in pristine condition. Most players don't seem to be bothered about cleaning their instrument often enough. If you rely on your instrument to earn a living you may form a different opinion. It's a bit cut-throat out there and the difference between having a pure tone quality and a muffled uninteresting sound could mean the difference between getting the gig or not. Not to mention the hygiene problems that could develop.

Cornets were developed from basically a post horn, which over time was curled and developed into the form you see today. Valves were added which allowed more playable notes and dexterity of performance. It's the careful manufacturing and handwork that make it into a cornet that plays well. Take care of your instrument and it won't let you down.

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a show and your valves or slides start to stick. It can ruin a perfectly good performance.

Cleaning the cornet should only take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time and the results are more than beneficial to your playing. You would be surprised at the "gunge" that appears out of the tubes after a good clean.

So let's begin. Run a warm bath - Yes a bath, and put a small amount of dishwashing soap into it. Check with your product information or your manufacturer's website to make sure before you use it. Pull all the valves and slides out of the cornet and place everything submerged under the water - Leave to soak for about 30 mins. That was easy! Note - you may have to disconnect the "triggers" on the first and third valve slides if they are fitted.

You'll need a flexible cleaning pull-through brush, a valve casing brush, and a mouthpiece brush. You'll also need silver polish and two lint-free polishing cloths, valve oil, and slide grease. (I use a petroleum jelly)

Now it's time to put the pull-through brush to work. Gently feed it into the tubes of the cornet and pull through the brush, watch out for the "Gunge". Do this a couple of times and then rise the cornet tubes out under running water until it runs clear. Do this now to all the removable slides as well.

Now using the valve brush we need to clean the valve casing. Just push the brush in and out a couple of times and all should be well. Now turning to the valves themselves. First of all you need to clean the internal surfaces of holes. You can also use the pull through for this but be careful not to scratch them. Using a Silver polish and the lint free cloth, now clean the valves outer surface, dry off and polish with a separate clean rag.

Now the Slides. Again using the silver polish clean the slides. If your cornet is of the lacquered type (brass looking) DO DOT use silver polish on the external surfaces. This attacks the coating. Finally, clean the inside surface of the valve caps both top and bottom again with a soft rag.

After all, the internals of the cornet is clean, its time now to clean the external surfaces, again remember if it is of the lacquered type just soap and water will clean it. Otherwise, on silver-plated surfaces use your metal.

Now it's time to re-assemble the cornet, oil the valves and 1st and 3rd valve slides, and grease the slides. If you have triggers on your instrument on the first and third slides it is better to use valve oil on them as they will move faster.

    Trevor Halliwell has been a band player and director for 45 years with college diplomas in trumpet performance and music education. For more information about playing the cornet or trumpet, please visit - Author Name: Trevor Halliwell - Contact Email Address: Trevor Halliwell ( is a Cornet/Trumpet performer and teacher in the North West of England. He is a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music London. 
    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Short History of the HARP

Photo  by quinet 
Ask a random person off the street to describe a harp, and they are likely to describe a huge, bulky instrument. However, all harps are not equal. They range in size in type. But where, exactly, did this seemingly simple instrument come from?

The harp is an ancient instrument, having been around since as early as 2500 B.C., that continues to be a major force in the modern-day music world. This instrument has evolved in many ways in the last four millennia. The different harps have come from and evolved from Egypt, Ireland, and many other places and cultures. Harps such as the diatonic, triple-strung, single-action pedal, chromatic cross-string, and the double action pedal have been used.

The kinnor, which is an ancient instrument played by King David as told in the Old Testament, is often confused with the harp. The kinnor is actually a type of lyre. However, the first true harp can be traced back to ancient Egypt.

In Ancient Egypt, the earliest evidence of a harp dates back to as early as 2500 B.C. These harps were actually bow-shaped or at a very small angle, which forced them to have a small number of strings. Due to the lack of a column for support, these harps were unable to support very much tension. The first column appeared in Medieval Western Europe in what came to be known as the frame harp in the 8th to 10th centuries. These harps were known as the frame harps. This was also the very first harp to use a soundbox to amplify the sound from the instrument.

European harps differed from Irish harps and they were known as Renaissance harps. They had more strings attached to wooden pegs, and the pillar was thinner and less curved. These were known as diatonic harps.

The triple-strung harps appeared in the late 16th century after an invention of a double-strung harp. A triple-strung harp has three rows of strings and it was easy to play and amplify. The single-action pedal harp was designed in 1720. This harp was a combination of a diatonic harp and a single-string harp but included new features known as pedals. This harp only included five pedals, which the harps today use seven.

Other harps that were designed off of the earlier inventions were amazing improvements from the diatonic and the double-action pedal. These harps were constructed in the early 1800s.

The harp is a beautiful instrument people love to play and listen to the sounds the strings resonate. The history of the harp dates back all of the ways to 2500 B.C. and is still played today as a fine and quality instrument.

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


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


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.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

RECORDER - Music-Instruments of the World

Recorder - Music-Instruments of the World

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Paul van Dyk biography

Photo: Wikimedia
Paul Van Dyk was born in Eisenhuettenstadt in East Germany in 1971. He grew up in communist East Berlin, but had a keen interest in music from an early age and used to listen to house music on radio stations broadcasting from the other side of the Berlin Wall.

When the Wall finally came down in 1989, an underground club culture quickly evolved in Berlin and Paul started DJing around the city in clubs like Tresor.

He began producing his own records in 1992 - his first release was a collaboration with Cosmic Baby under the Visions Of Shiva monica (available on Transformed From Beyond).

Paul first achieved mass acclaim with his remix of Humate's "Love Stimulation" which was a big club smash in 1993. Paul went on to remix many renowned artists such New Order, Sven Vath and Tori Amos (on BT's "Blue Skies").

The release of Pauls second album "Seven Ways" really brought his music to the masses. It was very well received by music critics across Europe and sold by the bucketful, assisted its big singles "Beautiful Place", "Forbidden Fruit" and "Words".

At the same time as producing some of the most melodic and exciting trance around, he was also gaining a reputation for being THE DJ to see live.

1998 saw him release one of the all-time great trance classics in For An Angel which went on to chart highly.

In the same year, he remixed Blank & Jones' "Cream" and Binary Finary's "1998", both huge tracks in clubs all over Europe.

in 1999 Paul won a plethora of awards including Best International DJ by both Ministry Of Sound magazine and the 1999 Music Awards in London. He was also named Mixmag's Man Of The Year.

Paul released his third album "Out There and Back" in 2000 which was also gratefully received by an adoring public.

He released his fourth album, Reflections, in 2003 and the first single from the album "Nothing But You" was a massive hit across Europe with its evocative Norwegian vocals.

Paul continues to DJ and record and is still one of the biggest names in dance music.

Aliases: Visions Of Shiva

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