Sunday, January 7, 2018


English: Bluesman Mark Wenner of The Nighthawk...
Bluesman Mark Wenner of The Nighthawks plays amplified harmonica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I love playing music for people to hear. Ever since I was little I had a knack for performance. My parents have endless hours of home videos of me and my sisters performing in all kinds of made-up bands. Rarely did a month go by when we were not practicing for some kind of performance and making posters so that our parents would know to come to the show? 

My mom always popped popcorn and brought snacks and they enjoyed our live shows just as they would a movie at the local theatre. As a child, I had no idea how much the support of my parents was instilling in me such a deep belief in my own abilities. I loved playing my harmonica most of all.

Looking back, I'm quite sure that I never had a harmonica lesson in all of my years of music playing. My father bought me a harmonica for my seventh birthday after I had been begging for one for nearly a year. When I wasn't busy with my guitar or piano lessons, you could find me on our front porch struggling to learn the harmonica on my own. It must have come somewhat naturally to me because I was playing it in a folk band by the time I entered high school.

My sisters and I became known in our town as budding musicians. This was a title we loved and desperately wanted to live up to. We would rush home from school each day and spend hours playing songs in our makeshift garage studio that my parents had so graciously turned over to us. I played my harmonica and sometimes played the guitar. My older sister was the lead singer of our little band and she played the violin sometimes too. The two youngest sisters worked hard to become proficient at the piano and the guitar. We had quite the little set up going on. I loved nothing more than the songs that I didn't have to do anything other than stand and play my harmonica.

I have loved the harmonica I think because it is so simple and small. I've always been a simple person and I have strived to live simply in every way. So I guess my love for the tiny harmonica came to me honestly. I never owned more than one harmonica at once, though, because that would be excessive. So every year or so I'd sell my harmonica and buy an updated one that fit my mouth just right.

Playing the harmonica has been one of the smallest things yet one of the biggest blessings of my life

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Guide to the Types and Styles of the UKULELE

English: A Red Mahalo soprano ukelele
A Red Mahalo soprano ukelele (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The ukulele is a very small guitar that originated from an island in Portugal called Madeira. This instrument was called "braguinha" in Portuguese. In 1879, travelers took a ship from the island of Madeira to Hawaii. Craftsmen who witnessed this instrument being played was fascinated and began producing it for Hawaiians. The instrument was nicknamed "ukulele," which actually means, "jumping flea." It is also called "uke" for short.

Ukes are different from guitars in several ways. They are usually very lightweight and easy to carry. Original style ukes are easier to learn to play because they have fewer strings. They are also easier on the fingers. Ukes are, however, limited in the range of notes that can be played. They are great for musicians who want simplicity!

Today this instrument is still very popular in Hawaii and is being shipped to music lovers around the world. Let's take a look at the types and styles of ukuleles.

Four Types of Ukuleles

There are four standard types of ukuleles, which are concert, soprano, tenor, and baritone. The most commonly used type is the soprano ukulele. Each type, except the baritone, is tuned using the well-known tune/phrase "my dog has fleas!" This involves hitting the keys G, C, E and then A. The tenor type is one octave down from the soprano. The baritone's tuning is accomplished using this order of keys: E, B, G, D.

There are also hybrid ukuleles being produced today, such as the banjulele (banjo body), taropatch (eight-stringed instrument) and ukelin. These specialty instruments are usually developed by individuals or specialty musical instrument companies. Some are even highly collectible today.

The soprano uke is the smallest at about 21 inches long. The concert uke is about 23 inches long. The baritone uke is 30 inches long, and the tenor uke is 26 inches long. The baritone and tenor ukes are more similar to regular-sized guitars, only with just four strings.

Styles of Ukuleles

Ukuleles may also come in a variety of styles, colors, and shapes to reflect the personality of the musician. Some examples of style variety are the Bushman ukuleles, which come in styles such as Jenny Soprano, Jenny Pineapple, Jenny Concert, Jenny Tenor, and Jenny Baritone.

A ukulele maker might use a variety of high-quality woods to produce the instruments such as Mahogany to give the instrument a brilliant finish. The shapes of the instrument may vary as well. Some resemble the regular guitar shape while others might be completely oval-shaped, similar to a pineapple shape, or have a piece "cut away" at the neck.

With prices ranging from $169 and up, anyone can own a ukulele. They can be ordered online for music fans that live in areas where the ukulele is not readily available locally. There is also a wide variety of ukulele strings and accessories such as felt picks, tuners, amplifiers, shoulder straps, strap buttons, tuning machines, ukulele humidifiers, and more. Whether one wants a cheap ukulele to keep around the house for fun or an expensive one for professional concerts, it's easy to find just the right style online.

Friday, January 5, 2018

DRUM Tips - Why didn't you get the Gig?

bubenník (ilustrácia)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you been auditioning for different bands and not getting the gig?  Musicians are very critical of the other musicians they play with, although they will probably not be brutally honest about what they see and hear.  We don’t want to hurt your feelings so we say something nice and then never call you again.  I have auditioned many, many musicians who never got a call back.  Here are some the most important aspects of an audition - mistakes musicians have made when auditioning for one of my bands: 

1)  Skill - can you keep up?

I have auditioned many guys thought they could play but couldn’t keep proper time or didn’t know what chord changes were going on, got lost in every song – just couldn’t keep up musically.

2)  Listening – are you paying attention?

I have played with a few really skilled musicians who paid absolutely no attention to what was going on around them. It was like they had spent years practicing by themselves in their bedroom. They could play amazing things but what they played made no sense in the context of the band.  The notes you play should complement what everybody else is doing and the song should work as a whole.

3)  Personality – are you a nice person?

This is a big deal – I have played some shows with great players who live their life a sentence or two from a punch in the face.  Remember when you were a kid and folks told you “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I have met many great musicians who desperately need to revisit that concept.  They were so full of negativity that it was really hard to be in the same room with them for very long.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Dominant thirteenth chord in C major (minor)
Dominant thirteenth chord in C major (minor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Understanding Chord Symbols 

With the growing interest in Jazz and other forms of music, I find more and more people asking about chord symbols and chord construction. While there are many books out there on the market, there is very little explanation of how chords symbols are interpreted. I’d like to share some of my insight with all you music enthusiasts. In many song sheets, chords are given for guitar or keyboard players. Functional names are not used for this purpose. Instead, the root and quality of the chord are given in what may be termed lead-sheet notation (for example, Amaj and F#dim7).

Chord symbols are made up of 3 component parts:

1. The ROOT
The alphabetical name of a chord.
i.e. A, Bb, G F# etc.
2. The Chord Type
Indicating either Major, minor, dominant, augmented or diminished.
3. The extension:
Tones added to the basic three note chord (triad) that changes its sound but not its type. Extensions are represented by scale step numbers i.e. 9, 11, 13 

Here are the basic chord types:

MAJOR indicated by GMaj., GMa, GM or just G (Note: the capital “M” is used to designate Major chords.) Major chords are sometimes written without chord type designation. Symbols are also used to designate Major chords i.e.,.

Minor Indicated by Gmin., Gmi, Gm or G- (NOTE: The lower case “m” is used to designate minor chords).

Dominant 7 Indicated with only the root and extension numbers. Since some major chords and all dominant 7 chords can be written without chord type designations, the following will help you to distinguish between a major chord and a dominant chord: If the FIRST extension number following the root or letter name of the chord is 7 or greater, and it does not specifically state major or minor then it is a dominant chord.
EXAMPLE: C7b5, C13, C9, and C7sus4 are all dominant chords, but Cm11 is a minor chord and CMaj.9 is a major chord.
If the FIRST extension number following the root or letter name of the chord is 6 or under, it is a major chord.
EXAMPLE: C6/9, C2, Csus4 are all major chords

Augmented These are 3 note chords indicated by G aug, G+, or G#5
EXCEPTION: G+7 is always a dominant chord as is G7#5

Diminished  Indicated by G dim, Gdim7, or Gº, or Gº7

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Composers Corner: A Brief Biography of FRANZ SCHUBERT

English: Oil painting of Franz Schubert, after...
Oil painting of Franz Schubert, after an 1825 watercolor
(Photo credit: 
Franz Schubert [1797-1828] lived a short but amazingly prolific life, leaving behind a legacy of seven symphonies (plus one that remained famously unfinished upon his death), some 30 chamber music pieces, and more than 600 songs. He was born in a suburb of Vienna to middle-class parents -- his father was a teacher and his mother had been a housekeeper prior to marriage -- and was one of five children to survive infancy (nine others died). 

As with many composers of his era, Schubert showed an early affinity for music and was taking formal lessons as early as age six. A year later his vocal promise attracted the notice of composer Antonio Salieri, who was the most prominent musical figure in all of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until supplanted by a young W.A. Mozart. Although Schubert trained as a teacher to follow in his father's footsteps, his remarkable facility to write vocal music set him on the path to living out his life as an impoverished composer rather than a more financially secure educator.

Schubert made friends with a cadre of young intellectuals who frequented Vienna's coffeehouses, the site in those days of deep thought but also revolutionary concepts. Among his steady companions were several poets, whose written material provided significant fodder for the vast numbers of lieder (art songs) he wrote. Johann Vogl, a prominent Viennese singer, took the younger Schubert under his wing and subsequently enjoyed the fruits of much of the composer's resulting songwriting. Vogl's influence is the primary reason that a number of Schubert's song cycles were written for the baritone voice.

In addition to lieder, Schubert tried his hand at composing operas. However, the public's fascination with the Italianate style as embodied by Rossini -- in direct contrast to Schubert's methodology, which was decidedly Germanic in tone and characterization -- offered the composer no success whatsoever. Of the eight operas Schubert wrote, only his three-act heroic opera Fierrabras is performed with any sort of frequency today. Interestingly, it did not receive its official premiere until 1897, nearly 70 years after the composer's death. A 1988 production staged in Vienna -- conducted by Claudio Abbado -- is reportedly the first time the opera was performed in its entirety, surpassing the more commonly produced 1897 version noted for its multiple deleted scenes. However, the piece exhibits the same flaws common to his other seven operatic efforts -- a weak libretto whose only saving grace is the music. Schubert composed half a dozen other works for the stage, although they are more accurately defined as singspiels in the Mozartean tradition.

Schubert died after several years of deteriorating health. The officially cited diagnosis was typhoid fever, but today historians agree his demise was due instead to mercury poisoning, which was a common "cure" in those days to combat the effects of syphilis. He apparently contracted the disease in 1822, although its remission for several years allowed him to continue composing. During that period he wrote some of his best-known and most compelling music, including the Winterreise song cycle and the "Great" C major Symphony.

Throughout the early 1830s, Ferdinand Schubert, Franz's elder brother by three years (and a composer as well), worked diligently to have his younger sibling's works published, but it took the budding influence of Robert Schumann -- a noted music critic who only later became known for his compositions -- to bring Schubert's collection of works to a broader audience. A complete edition of Schubert's compositions was published in the 1884-to-1897 time frame. Because so few pieces were published during Schubert's lifetime, most are missing the "opus" numbers generally associated with classical music and oftentimes used to determine the order in which works were composed.

The first video clip that accompanies this article features baritone Dietrich Fischer-Diskau (with pianist Murray Perahia) singing "Dream of Spring" from Schubert's song cycle, "Die Winterreise." The second clip is the closing movement ("Agnus Dei") from Schubert's Mass in G, from a 2009 performance by CityCleveland & Quire Cleveland, a northern Ohio music ensemble.

    Paul Siegel has been writing about opera and classical music for more than 20 years. In addition to being a regular contributor to various Internet sites, he also writes concert reviews and feature stories on these topics for a monthly music magazine published in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. These articles are found at

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

RODGERS and HAMMERSTEIN II, the Greatest Musicals Partnership of all Time

Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerst...
Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Helen Tamiris (back), watching hopefuls who are being auditioned on stage of the St. James Theatre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the weekend, I drifted to my nearest local EZY video shop. While waiting to be served, I drifted to the comedy, musicals, and the crime sections. It was the musicals that greatly attracted my interest. I've always loved musicals, something amiss nowadays, replaced by films with much violence, sexual overtones, political, science fiction and other action-packed Hollywood offerings. Slowly, my thoughts lingered to refreshing movies with music - The Sound of Music, Carousel, South Pacific, Camelot, My Fair Lady, and Mary Poppins among others. Yes, I particularly mean movie musicals!

Soon enough my memories wafted to the greatest musical collaboration of all time, that of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the most successful legendary songwriting team in musical theatre history. Rodgers wrote the music, and Hammerstein wrote the lyrics. Most of the stage musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein were made into movies, also with phenomenal success, in particular, The Sound of Music.  

At 16, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) initially wrote a number of successful songs with Lorenz Hart, a partnership that lasted for over twenty years. Hart died in 1943. The same year Rodgers and Hammerstein (1895-1960) teamed up and started their first musical collaboration with Oklahoma! based on a play called 'Green Grow the Lilacs' by Lynn Riggs. Oklahoma! is very different from most musicals written up to that time where they were mainly songs and comedy, with little plot. Usually, the songs had little to do with the story. Oklahoma! has a plot. The songs either help move the plot along or help the audience understand the characters. The story is partly fun and has a serious side too. This is because Rodgers's background was mostly in the old-style, "fun" musicals, while Hammerstein's background was in opera and operetta--more "serious" types of music. When Rodgers worked with Hart, he wrote the music first, and then Hart wrote the lyrics. But in this new team, Hammerstein wrote the lyrics first and Rodgers created the music to fit.

Audiences loved Oklahoma!. It played on Broadway for 2,248 performances, breaking all Broadway box office records for shows until that time. It also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1944, which changed the face of stage musicals - an emotional story told through music, dance and lyrics as never before. After Oklahoma! Rodgers and Hammerstein went on to create Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. The impact on these shows for Broadway and amateur stage, both in terms of popular appeal and their influence on other writers, was overwhelming.

Carousel, the duo's next big hit in 1945, had an even more dramatic plot than Oklahoma!. Instead of the usual overture before the show begins, the show opens with the whole cast performing a ballet as the orchestra plays.
South Pacific, written in 1949, and based on 'Tales from the South Pacific' by novelist James A. Michener, is set during World War II. It has the most serious plot of any Rodgers and Hammerstein show because it confronts both war and racism. South Pacific also won the Pulitzer Prize.

The King and I is about conflicts between cultures. It is based on a true story about Anna Leonowens, a British governess who went to Siam (now Thailand) to teach the king's children. Anna finds life in Siam very different from what she is accustomed to, but she and the king come to like each other despite their differences.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's final collaboration was The Sound of Music, in 1959. It is also based on a true story, about a young novice nun who becomes the governess for seven children of a widower, Captain Von Trapp. This musical also has a serious side--it is set in the days of Nazi Germany, and the Von Trapp family's freedom is at stake. The beautiful song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music was the last song Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together. Hammerstein died of cancer on August 23, 1960. After Hammerstein's death, Rodgers wrote other shows with other lyricists, including Stephen Sondheim, but none reached the heights of his work with Hammerstein.

For always, I will relish the most beautiful and poignant legacy of their partnership. How can I forget such immortal, refreshing, and most wonderful hit songs on stage and film history as these:

Oklahoma! - "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "People Will Say We're in Love," "Many a New Day," "I Can't Say No," and the final rousing chorus of "Oklahoma!" itself.
Carousel - "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "If I loved You."
South Pacific - "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," "This Nearly Was Mine," "Younger Than Springtime" and "Some Enchanted Evening."
The King and I - "Getting to Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Something Wonderful" and "Hello, Young Lovers."
The Sound of Music - "Edelweiss," "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "The Lonely Goatherd", as well as the title song.

Who knows, we might yet have another Rodgers and Hammerstein in the making, an anodyne to all these turbulence and disarray in our world today. As I write this, nearby, my sound system is playing Carousel, softly beckoning me to join in. That I never cease listening to their music and at times singing their songs is a privilege. I'm at it now, " ... how I loved you... if I loved you."

Monday, January 1, 2018


Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (song)
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My Opinion

It is my pleasure to voice my comments about the mighty Black Sabbath. I count black Sabbath among the most influential musical acts in the rock genre and particularly hard rock.At the time when Sabbath was developing their activities leading up to 1970 album Black Sabbath, there was nothing in that time frame that could be characterized as really heavy music.

Led Zeppelin at that period was heavier than most. Sabbath was tackling some of the same occult subjects that were loosely covered in some of Zeppelin’s earlier stuff. Sabbath was also adding a musical heaviness to match the dark subject matter they were writing about. When it comes to the members of the band, I don’t think anyone would say Ozzy was the best singer when Sabbath was first on the scene, but Tony Iommi’s down-tuned Gibson SG riffs were innovative in their heaviness. When you compare Ironman, one of Sabbath’s premiere tunes, with any other song from that year there is no denying it was the heavier than anything. It was the beginning of heavy metal.

If you like Sabbath

If you like Sabbath and are trying to find similar bands, you can see Sabbath’s inspiration in any heavy band in the last 30 years. More recently High on Fire and their album Blessed Black Wings. If you are really into Sabbath and haven’t heard anything by Motorhead you need do not go another day without listening to them. There’s no denying if you are really into Black Sabbath then you will like Motorhead.

Cream of the Crop

Some of my personal favorite Black Sabbath songs are War Pigs and a lesser known song of Sabbath which I think everyone should check out is Supernaut off Black Sabbath Vol. 4. Other classics are Iron Man and Paranoid.

The members of Black Sabbath include Tony Iommi (guitar), John "Ozzy" Osbourne (vocals), Terry "Geezer" Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums). They were originally known as Earth but changed their name to Black Sabbath in 1969. Their albums include Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Black Sabbath Vol. 4 Victor, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage Castle, Technical Ecstasy, and Never Say Die!.

And more Information on Wikipedia ...

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerst...
Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Helen Tamiris (back), watching hopefuls who are being auditioned on stage of the St. James Theatre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many places where you can go to have a great time but none of these will provide you hours of magic like Broadway. Now even though we have all at one time or another seen musical shows and plays on Broadway there must have been a time when Broadway was just a dream. To really know the Broadway history you may have to look in various places.

You can, however, be assured that you will find rich facts which will make visiting this period in time quite fascinating. You will find out the time when Broadway has first created and the various plays which have been shown. You can find out the ways in which Broadway has managed to withstand the advances in technology.

While you are looking through Broadway history you might also want to see the various plays which have helped to keep the history of this place alive. Now even though this part of the Broadway history can be quite fascinating you should look at the different aspects of producing a show. This will illustrate just how well a place like Broadway has the capability of keeping audiences coming.

One of the facts that you will find in the Broadway history files is the fact that Broadway has been around to help people understand and get involved in various national crisis issues. While the media dominates the mainstream of today’s entertainment there is still a place for Broadway entertainment. The many wonderful plays and musical shows that you will see are a testament to the popularity of Broadway.

One tiny note which should be mentioned is that despite its popularity Broadway has never been able to regain the popularity that it enjoyed in the 1920s. Even so, you can still see many great plays which have been produced by a number of talented people. These people are ones like Oscar Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Cole Porter to name a few.

In the Broadway history, you will find that besides these individuals there are many great composers, playwrights, songwriters and others who have all helped produce fantastic plays which still have the ability to captivate audiences no matter what their ages. What this small tour of Broadway history shows you is that despite the many advances in technology there is still a place for live entertainment. The best of these can be found on Broadway.

And so long as there are people who are interested in seeing quality entertainment Broadway will continue to turn out superb musical shows and great plays. The Broadway history will continue as long as people still enjoy this form of live entertainment.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About the VIOLIN From A-Z - ITZHAK PERLMAN

Itzhak Perlman, a polio survivor, plays the vi...
Itzhak Perlman, a polio survivor, plays the violin while seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello. Today I am continuing my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. Today we are with me for Itzhak Perlman. Perlman is a Jewish violinist famous for his virtuosity and long and successful career.

He has been a member of many large orchestras such as the Saint Louis symphony orchestra and the New York philharmonic orchestra, he has also performed on many well know film scores such as the one for Schindlers List and Memoirs of a Geisha.

He also teaches at the Brooklyn College of music and has started conducting in recent years. Perlman has also appeared on TV many times in shows such as The Tonight Show and Sesame Street; he has also played a number of functions at the white house.

Itzhak Perlman was born in Tel Aviv Israel. He decided to pick up the violin after hearing classical performances on the radio. He studied first at the Academy of music in Tel Aviv and then at the Juilliard School of music in New York. He made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1963.

Perlman contracted polio at the age of four and made a good recovery learning to walk with the age of crutches, today he uses crutches or a mobility scooter and always plays while seated. In 1987 he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for their concerts in Warsaw and Budapest he has also collaborated with many other artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and John Williams.

Perlman plays on the antique Soil Stradivarius which is considered to be one of the finest violins ever made during Stradivari's golden period. He performed together with Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, and Gabriela Montero at the 2009 inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama.

Today (2016) Itzhak Perlman lives in New York City with his wife Toby also a violinist and their five children. (Wikipedia)

    By Eric B Hill
    Eric B. Hill is a professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Personality of BEETHOVEN

English: Picture representing Ludwig van Beeth...
Ludwig van Beethoven in 1823 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For the world today, the two most famous classical composers are surely Mozart and Beethoven. In this article, we're going to take a close look at the personality of one of those composers - Beethoven. His life story, trials, and tribulations make for very interesting reading and backed by the soundtrack of his music shows him to be a true and rare genius.

It is widely known that Beethoven had a strong personality and by the first-hand accounts of many of his peers, was rather difficult to get along with or indeed understand. No doubt the great man's deafness and his obsession with hiding the fact contributed to his seemingly strange and obstinate behavior.

Through his music, it is clear for all the world to see that he was a man of high and noble thoughts and ideals although his personal treatment of many of his peers especially critics and moralists was scathing, to say the least. Noted for being a stubborn man his time spent living at the house of Prince Lichnowski's house enabled a select group of people to know him more intimately than most had before.

He would frequently go against protocol and arrive late for dinner, not caring for time or the etiquette of punctuality. Many accounts also take note of his clothes and how he often would appear unkempt and unshaven. For Beethoven, being born a noble was of no real value whatsoever and should entitle you to little automatic respect, those were things a person had to earn through their conduct in life.

The fact that his hearing had started to disappear while still young and with a bright future as a performing pianist ahead of him cannot be underestimated. In his efforts to hide his infirmity it no doubt gave rise to peoples opinion of him as being strange, awkward and a recluse. This fact above all else is responsible for so much of Beethoven's behavior in his later years especially from 1801 onwards when he finally accepted that his condition was incurable.

    Payo Perry is a well recognized online author.
    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Nice #1973 #Gibson #hummingbird #guitar
Photo  by welcometoalville 
The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is one of their most loved guitars.  Players of Gibson guitars often wonder how the great Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is made.  Made in Nashville, Tennessee, the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is made much like their other models.  To begin with, the wood is chosen for the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model.  

The top of the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is glued up into 2" thick block, and most of the backs are solid.  Machines put the front and backs together for the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model.  Most are surprised by the machine assembly of the guitars, however, the Gibson Guitar Hummingbird and all other models have been built by machines for over 100 years.

The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model's neck is made of up to three different pieces.  The pieces of the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird are laminated and cut.  The wing blocks are added to the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird and the fingerboards are assembled.  Most of the fingerboards on the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird are made of rosewood or ebony.  The Gibson Guitar Hummingbird, like all other Gibson guitars, is hand-fretted.  When everything is put together, the Gibson Guitar Hummingbird is ready to go.

Many musicians have loved the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird over the years.  The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird is one that offers the signature Gibson sound and quality.  Durability is one thing that draws artists to the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird.  The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is a lovely instrument that is also a piece of art.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Birth and Development of the FRENCH HORN

French horn back
French horn back (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you ask someone to think of a musical instrument, most likely French horns are not the first instrument that comes to mind. Yet, it is quite an interesting, beautiful, and exceptional looking music instrument. It brings with it a mysterious quality that projects a mellow and subdued sound to any orchestra, marching band, concert band, or even a brass ensemble.

It is quite intriguing actually, to look at the historical underpinnings of French horns. Looking back at their birth and development brings to light how they acquired their sound and unique features. It also explains why even today they are not the most popular musical instrument in any type of music group.

The most primitive form of french horns were megaphones. They were made from a hollow branch or cane and the player sang, spoke, or made vocal noises into them to produce a harsh sound to frighten away evil spirits. Megaphones evolved into the early trumpets which could produce only one or two notes and made a terrifying sound. These trumpets were used at circumcisions, funerals, and sunset rites.

It was not until the Renaissance period, about 1550, that a music instrument was developed which bears the most resemblance to the present day French horns. This was the close-coiled helical horn, established in Central Europe. About one hundred years later, the parent of French horns was constructed in the form of a thin conical tube with two or more circular coils.

There is no evidence that French horns were used for purely musical purposes with other music instruments prior to the eighteenth century, only for hunting in France, Germany, and Italy. Their introduction in Germany by Graf Franz Anton von Sporck in 1681 and their inclusion in a German orchestra score in 1705 helped them to gain a position in the music world. In England, however, they were used mainly in the form of an entertaining duet in the gardens or along the river versus attaining the prestigious right to be in an orchestra. France continued to restrict their use to the chase for hunting until 1735.

To play French horns during the early 1700's, musicians would point the widely flared bell upwards like a bugle horn. The length of the tubing varied according to the pitch needed, so separate horns were needed for every key change. This problem was solved by the crook system, developed in 1715, which consisted of various lengths of tube rings fitting into the end of the mouthpiece socket. It allowed the player to use any key.

An important technique came to fruition when Anton Joseph Hampel of Germany was testing out various mutes in 1750. He discovered that he could progressively lower the pitch by pushing a cotton pad or his hand into the bell further and further, called "stopping". This hand-horn technique required that the horn is held horizontally and is still used today. Hampel then redesigned it with the crooks in the center of the hoop versus near the mouthpiece. However, just like the unpleasant sound of the original horns, there was still a disparity between tone and power of the open and stopped notes.

The best innovation for french horns came when two German musicians invented the valve in 1815. Voila! Crooks no longer needed to be changed as the descending spring valves lowered the pitch. The last notable invention for french horns was in 1899 when double F/Bb French horns were first sold.

Over one hundred years later, no significant alterations or additions have been necessary. Materials may have changed somewhat, but spring valves are still used as well as the hand-horn technique to attain a perfect mellow timbre and keep the natural roughness of tone in check. French horns have continued to maintain their musical status all over the world.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


English: The indie music project known as BOBBY.
The indie music project is known as BOBBY. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Indie music is a type of alternative rock which exists in the independent music world. The word is periodically used to refer to all underground music and is the opposite of indie pop music. Indie rock music places an emphasis on electric instruments such guitars and drums. Musicians in the genre are also known for using abstract sounds. The term indie rock is used because musicians work under smaller record labels instead of the major record companies.

Though indie rock isn't technically a genre, it is considered to represent the underground culture in many aspects. Indie artists are known for demanding a large amount of creative control over their music, and this is something which often alienates them from larger companies. Indie artists will strictly rely on word of mouth, tours, and independent radio stations in order to promote their music. Many of the popular artists will end up becoming popular with mainstream audiences and may be signed by large record labels.

In the US indie music is considered to be a spin-off from alternative rock. The movement is believed to have been started during the 1970s or 1980s. The indie rock music of the 1980s had sounds which were described as being heavy and distorted. By the 1990s, indie music groups such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam became mainstream, and the genre became more widespread. Once the genre became popular, major record companies begin investing large amounts of money in it.

Once this happened, the term "alternative rock" became more of a misnomer. Traditionally, many musicians who have signed with major record companies were considered to be "sell-outs" by their hardcore fans. My Original Music is an indie music site located in Here you can find music by independent artists from all over the world. Today, indie rock is a term which has come to describe a wide variety of music. The term indie rock has been applied to psychedelic folk, synth-pop, and post-punk.

Sometimes the term indie rock becomes blurred, and some believe that the word will soon disappear much like alternative rock did. Mainstream artists such as Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys have been known to reach high levels on the indie music charts, especially in the United Kingdom.  Some mainstream artists have even been signed to independent record labels. Much popular indie music artist becomes mainstream, and once this happens, they are no longer independent.

Despite the fact that many indie artists become mainstream, this is not always the case. In fact, most independent artists are not mainstream and do not wish to be. Money may be a motivating factor, but many artists play their music for the passion and not the money. Many major record labels exert a large amount of control over their artists, and the music which is sold is more often the product of the record companies than the artists themselves. Because of this, many artists have fought with the major record labels over creative control of their music.