Tuesday, April 10, 2018


English: Dizzy Gillespie in a Concert, 1988, E...
Dizzy Gillespie in a Concert, 1988,  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is not one person around who knows jazz music that did not hear the name Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy Gillespie was a composer, singer, jazz trumpet player and bandleader. He along with Charlie Parker was the creator of modern jazz music and bebop. Dizzy also started Afro-Cuban jazz. He had the gift of making new harmonies that were layered and complex. At the time, it was not done in jazz before. He was most remembered for the trumpet he played that was bent. It was accidentally ruined when he was on a job in 1953. Surprisingly, Dizzy liked it  because of the way it changed the tone of the instrument.

Dizzy was born John Birks on October 21, 1917 in South Carolina. He was the youngest in the family of nine children. His father was a horrible man who beat his children all the time, and died when dizzy was 10 years old. He taught himself how to play trumpet when he was twelve years old. He won a scholarship to Laurinburg Institute but, dropped out of school and went to Philadelphia to pursue music full-time. He played with Frankie Fairfax and recorded for the very first time in 1937. He then was a part of Cab Calloway's band, but was criticized for his solos, calling them "Chinese music". He was thrown out because Cab said that he sent a spitball at him, and Dizzy, angrily stabbed him in the leg with a knife.

Dizzy was a part of Duke Ellington's, Woody Herman and many other bands. It was with Billy Eckstine's band where his unique playing fit better than anywhere else. He met again with Charlie Parker. Together they played famous clubs such as Monroe's Uptown House, and Minton's Playhouse. This is where jazz music progressed again and bebop was created. In the beginning a lot of people didn't like bebop. They were used to the old jazz music, and thought the new sound of bebop was a threat and were afraid of it. Dizzy's style had an effect on trumpeters and the younger musicians that he was able to mentor. Examples of bebop music are "Groovin' High", "Salt Peanuts" and "A Night In Tunisia". Musicians that he taught bebop to were Miles Davis and Max Roach.

Eventually, the band departed, as the audience grew wary of the new jazz music. Dizzy wanted to go big, and tried to create his own big band in 1945 but was not successful with it. He started other small groups and finally put a big band together that was a success. He soloed many times with Jazz at the Philharmonic.

Dizzy proved himself overseas in France when he began his third big band, and did several concerts and albums.
During the 1940's Dizzy was composing Afro-Cuban music. Afro-Cuban music is a combination of Latin and African music, pop and salsa. The work that is the most well known are "Tin Tin Deo" and "Manteca". Dizzy was responsible for finding musician Arturo Sandoval while he was on a tour in Cuba researching music.

Dizzy continued to reach people with his music even on television and film. He was on Sesame Street and The Cosby Show. He died in 1993 from Pancreatic Cancer, he was 75 years old. He had two funerals, one was for friends and family and the other funeral was for the public in Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Dizzy Gillespie was a special innovator in jazz and is continually remembered at the New York Bahai Center.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Dental Evaluation Necessary for a Child Playing a WIND or STRING INSTRUMENT

A day at the dentist
Photo  by Zdenko Zivkovic 
One particular orthodontist from New York is advising parents to first check with a dentist whether their child should or shouldn't start playing a wind instrument. This dentist explains that a number of dental problems are a result of the instruments that one plays. Not much thought is really given to the kind of musical instruments kids play, the orthodontist explained in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Eventually, the children will discover that the instrument does not really fit them dentally or temperamentally. Many would wind up as handicapped musicians playing only on a mediocre level. Certain dental problems are caused by wind instruments, and so every good dentist must keep would be musicians, teachers, and parents about these things.

A child and his parents must seek out the dentist's advice before making the decision that is sure to cost time, money, and effort. A lot of dentists agree that many cases involving body tissue illnesses are because of the playing of single reed instruments by wind musicians. This is because you place much of the instrument's weight on your lower lip which gets its support from your teeth. Continuous pressure on the teeth prevents a constant flow of blood from entering into the affected bone area.

He said the strong muscles of the jaws also unintentionally increase the outward pressure against some upper teeth which can harm the current proper teeth alignment. The playing of brass instruments also causes the lips to press against the lower and upper teeth. He said extended periods of playing these instruments have caused some mobility or unnecessary movement of the teeth. Those with irregular or sharp front teeth may experience pain on their lips when they play the oboe while those with short upper lips would have a difficult time playing the flute.

There is also a possibility of acquiring dental problems through the playing of string instruments. He said previous studies have shown that continuous violin playing causes much pressure on the jaw, especially the part which holds the violin against the shoulder, and this may lead to a faulty bite in some people. Dental problems may be avoided if the would-be musician would have an oral examination, especially of his tongue and lips. Your handicap as a would-be musician would be solved through the proper recommendation of your dentist given early to ensure dental suitability and oral health.

The best way to avoid any major problems later on in life is to get checkups early on. This is truer when it comes to playing music with wind instruments. Whatever the activity, as long as your mouth and teeth are involved, go see your dentist.

Sunday, April 8, 2018


Drawing of Mozart in silverpoint, made by Dora...
Drawing of Mozart in silverpoint, made by Dora Stock during Mozart's visit to Dresden, April 1789 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mozarts Early Life
Mozart was famous as a child performer. His father was a renown musician and used to take Mozart around Europe performing. Aside from being a cute child performer, Mozart was also a great composer. He is famous for writing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" at the age of five.
Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria but spent a lot of time traveling around Europe as part of his dad's way to display his son's prodigal talents.

Mozart's adulthood
Mozart died at the age of 35. He lived during what is termed as the "Classical Period" in music. Mozart lived at the height of this period during the late 1700's. He did die due to multiple illnesses which at the time were hard to pinpoint as the precise cause of death. He didn't die because of contemporary composer Salieri poising him. In fact, their rivalry was greatly exaggerated to sell movies.

Mozart could not secure long-term work throughout much of his adult life. When he moved to Vienna he especially had a hard time finding work. He was also paid poorly for his masterpieces.The location of his grave is unknown to this day because he died poor and had a poor mans burial.

He did live at the time of Beethoven and was older than Beethoven. However, historical records never confirmed if they met or not. Regardless, Beethoven looked upon Mozart's music in high regard and was greatly influenced by his works.

Mozart did get married and although he had 6 children, only 2 survived. One child became a composer, and the other child worked for the government.

The society and times of Mozart
During Mozart's life "public music" was just becoming allowed. It may be hard to believe, but in the era's gone by, music was reserved for the Church and nobility. However, musicians like Mozart still aspired to hold a "court position" preferably working for a royal family. This would enable them to hold a steady income.

Mozart worked at Salzburg court in his late teens the to early twenties but resigned in search of greater fame and travel. After a while of rejecting court position offers in his youth, he didn't get offered anything steady in his later years.

Mozart's social life
Mozart was a generous and social person. Despite his various illnesses and small appearance, he held great attention in social settings. There are rumors that his wife didn't take good care of Mozart during his illnesses and didn't help him manage his money which was something he needed help with. Mozart also owed many friends money at the time of his death.

Listening to Mozart's music
There have been recent studies suggesting that listening to Mozart's music increases a child's intelligence. In fact, any complex classical music has the ability to increase the intelligence of a child and I believe that all children have multiple intelligences anyway. Some kids just love the sport and won't really want to sit around listening to Mozart for long periods of time. Other kids, love music and love to listen to music. Some kids are inclined to do both. Scientific research cannot represent the whole population.

In terms of adult listeners, it is my goal that readers of this article appreciate the vast array of works that Mozart wrote in his short life and feel how these works encompass a variety of emotions and aspects of the Classical music style which Mozart contributed to. I hope you will be inspired to listen to Mozart's music via iTunes, CD's or YouTube and just let it flow over you. Then, to understand his music you must research about when that piece of music was written and what Mozart was going through in his life at the time he wrote that piece. At the time he wrote the piece of music Was he working for a court under luxury, or freelancing? Had he just experienced the death of another child or his parents? Was he in love or lonely? This is the KEY to feeling the expression and meaning beyond the sounds and understanding why certain Mozart pieces touch your soul the way they do.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About VIOLIN From A-Z - STRING QUARTET

English: The Beethoven String Quartet from USA...
The Beethoven String Quartet from the USA; Gustav Dannreuther (violin), Adolf Hartdegen (cello), Otto K. Schill (viola), Ernest Thiele (violin). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello, today I am continuing with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. Today we are on Q for string quartet. A string quartet is a group of musicians playing string instruments most often two violins a viola and a cello. This grouping is one of the most common groupings in classical music. It can also refer to a piece of music written for the above instruments.

It is seen as one of the most important forms in classical with most major composers writing music for this genre. Traditionally it will have four movements with a large structure similar to that of a symphony. The outer movements are fast while the inner movements consist of a slow movement and a dance movement like a minuet or scherzo. The twentieth century has seen this structure abandoned by most composers. Other chamber groups can be seen as a variation on the string quartet.

Historians have come to the conclusion that the string quartet arose by accident. Composer Joseph Haydn was working in Germany for a rich baron who wanted to hear music immediately and as it happened the only available players were two violinists, a violist, and a cellist.

The baron suggested that Haydn try his hand at composing something that these four musicians could perform and so the string quartet was born. This form of music proved to be so popular that Haydn continued writing pieces in this form and the style soon spread.

Quartet composition flourished in the classical era. Both Mozart and Beethoven wrote a series of famous quartets and to this day remains a popular form and are seen as a true test of the composer's art.

Friday, April 6, 2018


Tango-ballroom-competition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Staccato steps and sharp head turns to set the Tango apart from the Fox Trot and the Waltz.  This dance is extremely sensual and provocative.  In general, the hold used by the dancers keeps the couple much closer together than in other dances.

At one time it was said that the Tango was a dance performed between a prostitute and her pimp in the brothels outside Buenos Aires Argentina.   Another explanation for the stance and movements of the dance is that the Argentinean cowboys (Gauchos) would show up at night clubs without the benefit of a shower so when a lady agreed to a dance she would dance in the crook of his right arm keeping her head back.  The knees bent stance of the dance was basically the way the Gauchos naturally walked as a result of wearing chaps that get soaked from the sweat of their horses then harden as they dry.

The Milonga is the forerunner of the Tango.  It also used the same sharp head and shoulder moves and the characteristic sudden stops of the Tango.  The Milonga, early in the 20th century was entertainment meant for the high society of Brazil and it was during that time that the name was changed to the Tango
There is the American Ballroom Tango, the International Ballroom Tango and the Argentinean Tango. 

Unlike the American and International style of Tango, the Argentinean Tango is danced in a close embrace utilizing intricate footwork and leg movements.  Because the Argentinean Tango doesn't require a great deal of movement it is well suited for nightclubs and other places with small dance floors.  Unlike the Waltz, the sway and the rise and fall motions are to be avoided at all costs.  The desired movements are very sharp and well defined.

The music for this ballroom dance is usually provided by an orchestra that has a piano, guitar, violin, flute and a bandoneon (an offshoot of a koncertina, which looks a little like a small accordion).  The bandoneon is essential to Tango music.

The Tango has always been a very popular dance with Hollywood moviemakers.  For example, Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Tia Carrere danced a sexy, sultry Tango in  True Lies , while Al Pacino showed Gabrielle Anwar the secrets of the Tango in  Scent of a Woman and in a much earlier movie Rudolph Valentino Tangoed in  The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

What the judges will be looking for are lots of clipped movements, sharp head turns and stops, staccato actions, knees slightly bent at all times.  They also expect the dancers to project the great emotion the dance needs to convey.

Although the Tango's moves are staccato you don't want your dance to look mechanical, but rather give the impression of feline grace.  The woman should project a haughty attitude while at the same time seeming to meld into the man's body.  Your Tango should be firm and convincing, with catlike flexibility, the moves crisp with clear switches to complete stillness.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Unusual Sounds Of The Vertical FLUTE

Flute Player
Photo   by DrBjorn 
The vertical flute is meant to be played in an upright position. There are three designs of a vertical flute, including the rim-blown flute, a transversely blown flute, and a tubular duct flute. While these three different types are referred to as a vertical flute, the rim-blown flute is more readily recognized as a vertical flute.

There does not appear to be any general date in the creation of this particular type of flute, and there does not appear to be any specific reason why these kinds of flutes were created. Most people are familiar with flutes that must be played when held in a horizontal position; the fact that this flute is meant to be played in an upright position makes it a unique flute.

While many will be unfamiliar with any of the terms mentioned above, such as the vertical flute, rim-blown flute, transversely blown flute or tubular duct flute, many are quite familiar with these kinds of flutes. Different kinds of flutes such as the recorder, or the tin whistle are examples of tubular duct flutes. They are, for the most part, played in an upright position, even if not completely vertical.

Some of the older versions of the vertical flutes have a tube that decreases in size from top to bottom, much like many of them still do today, and has six holes on the top. Unlike the recorder, though, there is no hole on the back of the flute for the thumb to cover. Like just about any type of flute, flutes that fall under the category of being a vertical flute have been around for a very long time. There is no specific period mentioned that would mark when the first vertical flute was created, but it is obvious that it has been around for hundreds of years by looking through the history books.

Today, they are relatively easy to acquire. Just about any kind of vertical flute can be purchased at a relatively inexpensive price, depending on the specific type of flute as some are more expensive than others. The sheet music is also fairly basic and easy to find. Used music stores also tend to have various types of vertical flutes that have been traded in by others who no longer had a use for them. These, of course, usually cost less than if someone were to purchase them new.

Some of these vertical flutes are taught to students at a young age who are attending grade school. The main reasons for this could easily be the cost, but also because the music is so basic and easy for young children to pick up. Some continue to play it on their own time after learning some of the basics in school because they enjoy playing it. It is not a complicated instrument and can be a perfect instrument to play for fun on one's own free time. These kinds of flutes can also be great for individuals who are new to playing a wind instrument because it gets them used to the basics of how to play such an instrument.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. - Article Directory: EzineArticles

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Types of DRUMS

The talking drum is an instrument unique to th...
The talking drum is an instrument unique to the West African region. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Drums are percussive instruments built by stretching a membrane across an opening in a vessel. The most common property of various types of drums is their pitch. Drums are one of the oldest and the most omnipresent instruments. Even with the various types of drums present, the most common aspect is the origin of a sound. The sound in a drum originates from the vibration caused when you strike the membrane, called the head, with another object. Drumheads can be made from the skin of a goat, cow, antelope, or sheep, or even a synthetic material. The types of drums that exist vary as markedly as the people who use them for communication, ritual, or entertainment all over the world.

The common way of classifying drums into different types of drums is by their shape. Most drums fall into the following categories:
  • cylindrical, barrel, conga, waisted, goblet, or bowl.
A frame drum, with its squat hoop, and a long drum, which is thin and tall, are both the cylindrical variety. A barrel such as a Tabla, goblet such as a Djembe, and bowl such as a Nakari, are named for their shapes so they are easily recognized. The conga tapers at its bottom, and the waisted drum tapers in the middle, as with a Changko's cinched waist.

A further classification of the types of a drum is made on the basis of which side the drum might have a head. A drum may have a head at either end of the body or only on one. Drums like congas and bowls have one head, but frame drums have two. Some drums can be carried while walking or dancing while some drums are stationary, such as the Djembe from Mali.

Besides the categorization of various drums into types of drums, one should be aware that not all drums are specifically tuned. The drums develop their tone due to body shape or head size. Pulling a cord or shifting a peg to stretch the head can adjust the pitch of a drum.

The bendir, a frame drum from North Africa
The bendir, a frame drum from North Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The western world of rock music listeners is more familiar with non-pitched drums, such as a bass or snare drum in a drum set. These can be used in combination with any harmony or key.

We can also differentiate drums in a drum kit as types of drum. A drum kit consists of a collection of various types of drums and cymbals. It can also be accompanied by various percussion instruments such as cowbell, wood block, chimes or tambourines arranged in a suitable manner for the convenience of the drummer.

Differing music styles implement the components of a drum kit in different manners. Ride cymbals and hi-hats are usually preferred more in a jazz set-up, whereas a bass drum and snare drum is preferred more for rock music.

With the onset of technology another type of drum that gained popularity is the electronic drum kit. It was in 1980 that electronic drums were introduced. Today they can be easily used as an easy replacement for other various types of drums in acoustic settings.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Before Fingering, Learn the Notes on the PIANO First

position of C on a keyboard
The position of C on a keyboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once you have recognized your future in front of the piano, it can be a start. Eventually, it becomes more easy and fun. You can play almost all of the songs written in songbooks fluently. You can even write your own composition.

Now that you have established that energy in you, there’s still something that lacks. Why, do you think it’s enough to have the spirit without even knowing the chords? If you have mastered and identified the basic and major chords, things would be more favorable.

Alright, here are some bits on learning the notes on the piano. After these simple steps, you’ll have a brief background on fingering.

Lesson # 1

There are 88 keys comprising of 12 notes (white and black keys included). These basic notes are the seven basic letters namely A-note, B-note, C-note, D-note, E-note, F-note and the G-note. The first key colored in white is the C-note. You have to remember that the C-note is always the key that is connected in front of two black keys. While the F-note is the key that stands in front of three black keys compacted together. From the first C-note to the next C-note is called Octave.

Lesson # 2

Black notes represent sharps and flats. But they are used in a different way that would depend on which side you’re going to start. A (#) that symbolizes a sharp is the black key right after the white key. While a (b) is known as the flat. You can recognize this by spotting the first black note indicated on the keyboard. With these definitions, you can conclude that a Db is also a C#. Easy, right? No need to fuss about it. Familiarize these notes and master it.

Lesson # 3

The lesson doesn’t stop there. You have to realize that the C key right in the middle of the keyboard is also known as the middle C. You can easily spot this because it’s usually right below the piano’s name. The middle C can function as a wall that separates the right to the left. This means that those situated at the right part of the middle C is for the right hand and fingers to play. That goes with the left hand and keys.

Down with the fingering techniques. Once you have memorized and familiarized yourself with the notes, it’s time to let your fingers do want they meant to do. Teach those fingers to act the way a pianist should.

Fingering is simple for as long as you make all those fingers work. After learning the notes, stare at your keyboard and put the necessary fingers on the important keys. To do this task, find the middle C. This would be your basis to find all other keys like D, E, F, and so on. Remember, major keys are the white keys.

You’ll notice that the piano’s keyboard is number from 1-5. This will enable you to trace where to put your fingers. 1 is equivalent to the thumb. 2 is your index finger. 3 is for the middle finger. 4 is the ring finger. Lastly, 5 is the pinkie. As starters, you must put your thumb corresponding to the C-note. Locating the other keys would be easier if you first find the middle C.

Run your fingers through these notes. Make sure that every key corresponds to a different finger. Try it in a slow then a moderate aiming for a faster pace.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Beijing Opera - History and Characters

Bejing Opera - Photo: Flickr
The Beijing Opera, with its distinctive Chinese opera masks, is one of China's most recognizable cultural icons. Combining Music, Dance, Theatre, and Martial Arts, it has existed for over 200 years portraying Historical Events and Literature with beauty, style, and dynamic performance. It is most prominent in Beijing, but almost every Province in China has some form of Opera theatre. With its elaborate costuming, complex musical orchestrations and seemingly limitless Make-up and Mask designs, the Beijing Opera is seeing revitalization in popularity with both young and mature audiences.

What is now called the Beijing Opera originally came from a combination of several sources. In about 1790, four great theatre troupes from Anhui came to perform for the Royal Family. They brought arias and melodies called Xi Pi. Around 1828, performers from Hubei came to the same area and staged combined shows adding their local pieces of music called Er Huang. These performances were for the Royals but soon were to become more mainstream during Emperor Qianlong's reign as well as support from the notorious Empress Dowager Ci Xi. During this time, thousands of pieces of repertoire were developed covering the historical events, classic novels and stories of China as well as revisions of Western stories.

There are four basic categories of characters in the Beijing Opera style.

· SHENG- The main Male actors in a performance. Either civil or military, there are several different aspects of training for the various lead male parts.

i. LAO SHENG- Senior Male roles, middle-aged man with a beard of black, grey or white. A soft or pleasant voice with dignity.

ii. XIAO SHENG- Junior male role or young man. No beard and a high sometimes shrill voice that may, on occasion, crack denoting immaturity and adolescence.

iii. WU SHENG- Acrobatic male roles or roles that require much activity. Military plays or civil plays that demand high standards of acrobatics. Performs the stylized martial arts fight scenes with sword or spear. Not usually trained as an opera singer.

iv. WAWA SHENG- Kids and children roles. DAN- Female roles of several categories.

i. QING YI ( Ch'ing I)- Lady of good character. Quiet gentle disposition. Graceful flowing movements in "water sleeves" costume. Elegant but not vivid. The singing voice is high pitched.

ii. HUA DAN ( Hua Tan)- Flirtatious young girl role. Usually not as high a social standing as Qing 
Yi. Coy and quick movements. A very difficult part to play. Attractive eye movements and continually changing facial expression. Vivid costume featuring handkerchief to flutter in her hand. Strong voice but more speaking than singing.

iii. GUI MEN DAN (Kuei Men Tan) - Young unmarried girl. This role may turn into Qing Yi or Hua Dan. Mischievous but not as much as Hua Dan. Immature reactions and movements.

iv. DAO MA DAN (Tao Ma Tan) - Female Warrior role. Trained for acting and singing but performs highly skillful martial movements often with a feathered headdress. Still a very feminine role. The now-famous role of Disney's "MULAN" was based on Hua Mulan who disguised herself as a man to prevent her father from being conscripted into the military. She served for 12 years during the SouthNorth Dynasty and was decorated as a national hero.

v. WU DAN (Wu Tan) - Female Acrobatic roles. Steps into any role that requires high acrobatic ability. Purely an acrobat but role can demand a talented actress to make for a successful performance.

vi. CAI DAN (Cai Tan) - Female Comedians. Serves to add relief to stressful scenes in serious plays. See also CHOU roles.

· JING- Painted face male roles. These parts are known more for courage and resourcefulness than for scholarly intelligence. Often a high-ranking general or warrior/official. Jing actors are usually extroverts. A robust, sometimes gruff, bass voice. Full of swagger and self-assurance. There are many common color schemes associated with Jing roles but some of the more common are easily recognizable.

v Red- Good character and virtuous person.

v White- Treacherous and guile

v Green-Lack of self-control, rash, stubbornness

v Black- Brusque character

v Blue- Wild perhaps a Robber

v Gold/Silver- Used only for Gods and Spirits

The facial painting patterns also give information about a character. There are hundreds of patterns and designs for many situations and roles.

There are 3 main types of Jing roles:

i. DONG-CHUI- (T'ung Ch'uei) Also know as Hei Tou (Black Face) this role is a good singer and usually a loyal General

ii. JIA ZI- (Chia Tze) - A very good actor for more complicated characters.

iii. WU JING- Fighting and acrobatics. Seldom plays a prominent role.

· CHOU- Comedy Roles. Dim but likable and amusing characters. Sometimes slightly wicked perhaps a rascal or a scholar/Prince who would not command much respect. There are two basic types of Chou roles:

i. WEN CHOU- Civilian roles.( Jailer, servant, merchant, scholar)

ii. WU CHOU- Minor Military roles but skilled in acrobatics

Of special mention should be the popular role of SUN WU KONG -The Monkey King.
This is a famous story of a Monks journey from China to India to collect scriptures to bring back to China... He is usually accompanied by a Pig for comedic effect, a not-so-learned monk to mediate the many quarrels and the Monkey King. This is played by a Wu Sheng actor. Known for the bent knees and an arms forward stance that imitate monkey movements. He has mastered Longevity, the 72 transformations of his physical body and can do somersaults in the clouds. Sun Wu Kong is followed by a troupe of monkeys who behave in the same manner but have individual personalities (greedy, naughty, sleepy, etc.). The Monkey King continues to be one of the most popular storylines in all of Chinese Opera Theatre.

The Opera Theatre form suffered during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) when all traditional pieces were banned. New versions became stories concerning "Class Struggle". The "Eight Model Plays" were a very popular theme, as were stories concerning Communist Activities, Anti-Japan sentiment, and the Civil War against Nationalists. The traditional stories were allowed to be shown in 1978 but by then they seemed out of date and the productions lacked historical and theatrical knowledge. Audiences lost to more contemporary forms of entertainment were hard to replace with the exception of those who were children when the Beijing Opera was at its peak. Many who lived through the Cultural Revolution preferred the newer versions and still favor those melodies.

Campaigns exist to bring back this lost art form as well as other Theatrical Arts. The Plum Blossom Award, sponsored by the Chinese Opera Journal, gives awards, judged by the Journal, to new artists. The actors and actresses must be under 45 years of age and come from all over China. These and other competitions are seen on the CCTV, China's main television network, and radio stations, particularly during the New Years special concerts. There has even been designated a Beijing Opera Month.

In recent years, performances worldwide of Beijing Opera theatre have brought this marvelous art form to broader audiences. It has served as ambassador to the West providing many new opportunities for people to enjoy a performance style that rivals any of the Grand Operas and Symphonies of Europe and North America.

Timothy Jordan was born in Detroit, Michigan where he began a career in music at a very early age. Having studied with the regions top teachers and performers he set off on his own "MUSO SHUGYO" or musical wanderings and ended up in Boston, Mass. While there he has performed in some of the top music groups, touring, and recording for the living, television, theatre, and movies. His percussion skills took him to Japan where he had an intensive study with the drummers of KODO. Mr. Jordan also has studied several martial arts styles including Iaido, the Japanese Sword. He continues today to further his cultural studies and is currently the owner of an Asian art and cultural goods Internet retail business, LIVE COMPLETE and ZENSHO PRODUCTS.com

Article Source: EzineArticles

Saturday, March 31, 2018


Discover the phenomenal complexity of music and reflect on the way it can positively influence your life with this sound collection of riveting quotes...
  1. "Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below." -- Joseph Addison
  2. "Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." --Maya Angelou
  3. "Music is either good or bad, and it's got to be learned. You got to have balance." -- Louis Armstrong
  4. "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -- Berthold Auerbach
  5. "The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul." --Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. "Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life." -- Ludwig van Beethoven
  7. "Music - The one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend." -- Ludwig van Beethoven
  8. "Music can change the world. " -- Ludwig Van Beethoven
  9. "Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -- Leonard Bernstein
  10. "Music has to breathe and sweat. You have to play it live. " -- James Brown
  11. "Music is well said to be the speech of angels." -- Thomas Carlyle
  12. "All music comes from God." -- Johnny Cash
  13. "If you learn music, you'll learn most all there is to know. " -- Edgar Cayce
  14. "Music is nothing separate from me. It is me... You'd have to remove the music surgically. " -- Ray Charles
  15. "Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is. " -- Miles Davis
  16. "There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music." -- George Eliot
  17. "You are the music while the music lasts." --T. S. Eliot
  18. "We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration and religion in our lives, and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it. " -- Jerry Garcia
  19. "Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife." -- Kahlil Gibran
  20. "When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had and never will have." -- Edgar Watson Howe
  21. "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." -- Victor Hugo
  22. "The history of a people is found in its songs." -- George Jellinek
  23. "Music is the vernacular of the human soul." -- Geoffrey Latham
  24. "It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf." -- Walter J. Lippmann
  25. "Just as certain selections of music will nourish your physical body and your emotional layer, so other musical works will bring greater health to your mind." -- Hal A. Lingerman
  26. "Music is the harmonious voice of creation; an echo of the invisible world." -- Giuseppe Mazzini
  27. "Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don't take it too seriously." -- Henry Miller
  28. "I started making music because I could." -- Alanis Morissette
  29. "Music helps you find the truths you must bring into the rest of your life. " -- Alanis Morissette
  30. "Music is spiritual. The music business is not. " -- Van Morrison
  31. "Like everything else in nature, music is a becoming, and it becomes its full self, when its sounds and laws are used by intelligent man for the production of harmony, and so made the vehicle of emotion and thought." -- Theodore Mungers
  32. "Without music life would be a mistake." -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
  33. "In music the passions enjoy themselves." -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
  34. "Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art." -- Charlie Parker
  35. "Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside. " -- Elvis Presley
  36. "It's the music that kept us all intact, kept us from going crazy. " -- Lou Reed
  37. "The music business was not safe, but it was FUN. It was like falling in love with a woman you know is bad for you, but you love every minute with her, anyway." -- Lionel Richie
  38. "Music should never be harmless." -- Robbie Robertson
  39. "Give me a laundry list and I'll set it to music." -- Gioacchino Antonio Rossini
  40. "All music is important if it comes from the heart. " -- Carlos Santana
  41. "Music is the key to the female heart." -- Johann G. Seume
  42. "The best music... is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. " -- Bruce Springsteen
  43. "All I try to do is write music that feels meaningful to me, that has commitment and passion behind it." -- Bruce Springsteen
  44. "In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain." --George Szell
  45. "When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest." -- Henry David Thoreau
  46. "For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul's own speech." --Unknown
  47. "Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us." --Unknown
  48. "I believe in the power of music. To me, it isn't just a fad. This is a positive thing." -- Eddie Vedder
  49. "Music at its essence is what gives us memories. " -- Stevie Wonder
  50. "There's a basic rule which runs through all kinds of music, kind of an unwritten rule. I don't know what it is. But I've got it." -- Ron Wood

    Resource Box - © Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine - A free newsletter for quote lovers featuring more than 10,000 quotations in dozens of categories like - love, friendship, children, inspiration, success, wisdom, family, life, and many more. Read it online at - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8364.asp

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

THROAT SINGING in Inuit Culture

Throat singers
Throat singers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Originally, Inuit throat singing was a form of entertainment among Inuit women while the men were away on hunting trips.  It was an activity that was primarily done by Inuit women although there have been some men doing it as well.  In the Inuit language Inuktitut, throat singing is called katajjaq, pirkusirtuk or nipaquhiit depending on the Canadian Arctic region.  It was regarded more as a type of vocal or breathing game in the Inuit culture rather than a form of music.  

Inuit throat singing is generally done by two individuals but can involve four or more people together as well. In Inuit throat singing, two Inuit women would face each other either standing or be crouching down while holding each other's arms.  One would lead with short deep rhythmic sounds while the other would respond.  The leader would repeat sounds with short gaps in between.  The follower would fill in these gaps with her own rhythmic sounds.  

Sometimes both Inuit women would be doing a dance like movement like rocking from left to right while throat singing.  Sounds produced can be voiced or unvoiced and produced by inhalation or exhalation.  Both Inuktitut words and meaningless syllables are used in Inuit throat singing songs.  However, when words are used in throat singing, no particular meaning is placed on them for a song.  When meaningless syllables are used, they are often portrayals of sounds the Inuit hear in their natural environments such as animal sounds or even water running down a creek.  Popular Inuit throat singing songs are usually identified by the first word or sound that is produced in each song.

Inuit throat singing is a skill that has to be taught and developed.  Inuit throat singers try to show their vocal abilities in a fun competitive manner and the first one to either run out of breath, stop or laugh is declared the loser of the game.  Each game usually lasts from one to three minutes.  In a group of Inuit women, the overall winner is the one who beats the largest number of her competitors in this fun-filled activity.

Unfortunately, there is no written record of when the Inuit first developed their form of throat singing which differs from the type found in Mongolia and other parts of the world that has some form of throat singing.  The Inuit did not keep any written records and history was simply passed down from generation to generation orally.  It was reported that at one point in time, Inuit women would actually have their lips almost touching while using each other's mouth cavity as a sound resonator.  This technique is not used anymore.    

Inuit throat singing was actually forbidden by Christian priests for almost 100 years but since this religious ban was lifted, there has been a resurfacing of this traditional activity in the Inuit communities during the last 20 to 30 years.  Interestingly enough, there has been a lot of interest among the younger Inuit generations in this revival in addition to the Inuit elders who are trying to bring throat singing back as part of present Inuit culture.   Many of the young Inuit women who have taken up throat singing claim that it is a way for them to express their Inuit identities in the modern world where many Inuit traditions have already been lost.  The revival of Inuit throat singing has been so popular that in September of 2001, the first throat singing conference was held in Puvernituk, Nunavik where different types of Inuit throat singing from different Arctic regions of Canada were demonstrated and shared.  There has even been a small number of Inuit throat singing CDs produced.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Now That's What I Call Motown
Now That's What I Call Motown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Growing up in the City of Detroit during the early sixties was a memorable era for music. It was a period of time whereby the unique sounding records of Motown were being played and heard throughout the streets, nightclubs, house parties and radio stations everywhere. It was common to have the soulful R and B records playing on the jukeboxes while folks were dancing in the streets or singing in the barber shops and beauty parlors to the love songs that eventually captivated the hearts of millions of people throughout the world. Music CDs and rap music were not heard of during that period, it was all about the vinyl records and rhythm and blues soul.

The songs that were written by Motown songwriters during the 60’s & 70’s had so much meaning. They were songs that spoke about true love, current events and the heartache and pains of life experiences. Oh yes, Motown had it going on! Their music became universal music. Many of the soulful tunes crossed over into other markets such as pop, jazz, blues, etc… But just like George Benson said in one of his recordings “Everything Must Change”, and sure enough, he was right about the music.

After giving so many years service and great music to the City of Detroit, Motown moved out and Rap/Hip-Hop moved in. Instead of hearing someone singing My Baby Loves Me or My Girl, you began to hear new sounding lyrics of street experience expressed in rhythms with the mouth, chest, hands, and feet as such had never been heard before.

This new sound called Rap evolved in the early 80’s and took off as a skyrocket in the late 90’s and New Millennium as Hip Hop/Rap. Even today Rap/Hip-Hop music is still a multi-billion dollar genre. Millions of CDs, videos and DVD's are sold each year in the Hip Hop genre of music. And there is no sign that Hip Hop will be slowing down or taking a back seat to anyone anytime soon.

So what happened to the Motown sound…. did it die out? No! The Motown sound will never die out. It will always play a significant part in the hearts of millions who embraced it’s sound back in the early 60’s and continued to pass that sound on to their children throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Sometimes you just have to move over and let the new kids on the block have a turn in expressing their musical talents, songs and ideas. That’s what Motown did…moved over-not out. And now the Hip Hop artists are not the new kids on the block anymore, for they have taken their position to express themselves musically, just like the rhythm and blues artists took their position to express themselves in the Motown era.

That’s how we’ve gone from Motown to Hip Hop!

    Written by: Michael Bell  ©2006 Michael Bell

Monday, March 26, 2018


diatonic harmonicas :a) upper: blues harp (C) ...
Diatonic harmonicas:
a) lower: blues harp (C) "Victory" :
b) upper: Tremolo Harmonica "Unsere Lieblinge" (Hohner)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A harmonica is a type of musical instrument that seems to have found its way into various types of music. It is most commonly used in jazz and the blues. You will often hear it make an appearance in rock and roll songs as well as many of the older country tunes. Learning to play the harmonica does take time but it can be done. It involves knowing how to play the instrument by learning the notes, practicing, and making sure you are holding it correctly. 

If you are looking for a top quality harmonica there are plenty out there to choose from. The leader in the market is Hohner who has made them for over 150 years. Some other famous makers of harmonicas include Lee Oscar, Suzuki, and Bushman. You may want to try out several brands as well as several models to find the one that you are really happy with. Harmonicas can be expensive but if you want a quality sound you need to make a good investment in one that will last.

Most harmonicas are very durable and they will last you for a very long time. However, you need to do your part to take care of them. When not in use the harmonica needs to be in a carrying pouch. This will prevent it from getting damaged and the sound changing. You also need to clean it out on a regular basis.

Some professionals clean their harmonica by dipping it into a cup of water mixed with denture tablets that dissolve. They believe it takes away the stale taste that can build up in the harmonica after you play it a great deal. This process is very simple and it doesn’t seem to have resulted in any harmonicas being ruined or altered the sound of them.

Over a period of time, all harmonicas will need to be tuned again. You may end up doing permanent damage to it if you don’t keep it clean. In most cases when your harmonica is out of tune you will need to replace it. Repairs can be time-consuming and expensive yet they don’t really seem to work for long before it is out of tune again.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

4 Great Ways to Learn to Dance

Photo: Wikimedia
Dancing is something that many people enjoy not only as a recreational pursuit but also as an integral part of their fitness routine. Dance is a great way to keep your body in shape without feeling as though you are somehow being punished for enjoying that extra scoop of ice cream on your cone. At the same time, dance is also something that many people simply find enjoyable. As with most things in life though, there are often right and wrong ways in which you can make most dance moves and some of them might not be as good for you as they think. For this reason, you really do need to seek qualified instructions. Below you will find four different methods in which you can get the instruction you need to dance your heart out.

Private Dance Instruction

If you are in a financial situation that allows for this then this is the ideal option. With private lessons, you will have one on one instruction and the direct attention of the instructor. Private lessons provide the absolute most bang for your buck and will provide the most immediate pay off for your efforts as you will move at your own pace and will not have to wait on other students to catch up or feel left behind by students who have a higher beginning level of skill. 

Private lessons also provide the opportunity to address specific needs and problem areas when it comes to your dancing. This means you will learn the right way from the beginning, provided you went with a reputable instructor who is very knowledgeable. The benefits of private instruction are really amazing when compared to some of the other available methods of learning to dance.

Formal Group Dance Lessons 

You can sign up for group dance lessons at almost any age. There are very few requirements and classes are offered for many different experience levels as well. If you are an utter novice there will be classes that will teach you the basics and get you started on your way. There are also classes that are designed to teach advanced students more difficult footwork and techniques. Some people thrive in these sorts of classes because there is some degree of competitiveness involved. Friendly competition is often a great motivator for success. Others, however, feel somewhat left behind or unchallenged in these sorts of classes and would do better with a different form of instruction.

Informal Group Dance Instruction

This is the type of instruction you will often find prior to dances in local dance halls and nightclubs. The atmosphere is very informal and the goal is to give a basic primer. This sort of instruction will prepare you to execute a few very basic moves and very little else. This is very popular in areas where line dancing is common to teach patrons how the moves involved in specific dances. This type of instruction is not recommended for those who want a serious amount of instruction when it comes to dancing but for those who have a fleeting interest and only want to learn a couple of dances for fun on a night out, this is ideal. 

Video Dance Instruction

Believe it or not, many would be dancers are petrified at the very thought of someone watching as they attempt to learn the moves required for the dances they wish to execute. We live in a world of perfectionists however and if you happen to be a perfectionist, then video dance lessons may be the perfect bet for your needs and wishes. You will find a wide selection of these video lessons online if you are willing to look. You will even find many that are designed to teach dance for the sole purpose of fitness while others teach dance for the sole purpose of fun. 

The direction you take when it comes to learning to dance is entirely up to you. The many different types of classes offer appeal to the many different types of people in the world today. If one type of class worked for everyone wishing to take classes then there would be no need for the different types of dance classes. The truth is that not everyone learns best in the same situation. Select the learning method that you feel will be best for you and start learning to dance today.