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visits member for 3 years, 7 months
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Oct
6
comment How did “Mary had a little lamb” become popular blues?
I don't know if this is what started it, but it's the song the teacher assigns in Chubby Checker's 1959 novelty record "The Class".
Sep
15
comment Piano performance: slippery keys due to sweat of previous players
Yes, come to think of it, you may have to deal with your own sweat from the piece you played just before intermission! Now if you need to wipe off the keys between movements, I think you'd better do it yourself. It would look just as strange to call in the stagehand in the middle of your set as to wipe the keys yourself before you started playing your first piece.
Sep
12
comment In “All we like sheep have gone astray,” are we laughing with Handel or at him?
But never a joke entry about the Bible, God, Jesus or any other sacred matter. The conservative establishment took religion extremely seriously. A joke in a secular Handel opera would not be out of place. A pun in a sacred work, like F# instead of F on the word "cross" (kreutz: sharp, cross) is fine; Bach did it all the time. But that's an erudite pun, not a silly pun.
Sep
12
comment In “All we like sheep have gone astray,” are we laughing with Handel or at him?
The problem is not that "we" is accented, which is almost certainly intentional; it's that "like" is nearly as strong. Try singing "For God loves me" to the same notes: it fits perfectly.
Sep
2
comment What do you learn in music colleges, for drums?
Adding a note: My roommate was another percussionist, very talented as an orchestral percussionist and composer, but his main love and strongest talent was jazz drumming. Classical music history and stuff were not what he needed. The school did not offer classes in jazz history, jazz theory and jazz notation, and although he knew most of that coming in, these are things he should have been able to concentrate on. He switched out of music after a couple of years; I hope he eventually got back to it. Don't wait too long to determine that your school is not the right fit.
Jul
12
comment How important is to reach the bottom limit of the key when pressed?
It's more about whatever works for you, given what your piano can do. If you can play pianissimo by pressing the key just until the escapement flings the hammer, you will be using less motion in your fingers and you can play faster. I don't have that much finger control.
Jul
6
comment Should pedals be used when playing classical piano music?
@BobRodes: The piano of Beethoven's time had a pretty good sustain, not all that much shorter than a modern piano. You can play 3 of them at the Frederick Collection in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. It appears that Beethoven liked the effect of all the notes sustaining. He compared it to the sound of a voice in a very reverberant vault.
Jun
26
comment Piano scale and arpeggio fingering technique: Thumb Under vs Thumb Over methods
How do you play legato with TO?
Jun
23
comment Why must the final bar complete the anacrusis?
Counterexample: Beethoven Symphony number 5, third movement. The movement ends with a transition to the finale, and the last measure of this transition has the full three beats. The finale begins on beat 1 and the last measure is a full measure. There is just no place where the beat could be left out.
May
6
comment How does a piano go out of tune?
Iron bars were added in the early 19th century, and the full cast-iron frame was invented in the 1830's. Except for historical reproductions, all pianos made after about 1860 have cast iron frames. Even so, string tension is so high that it distorts the frame a tiny bit. If you lower the pitch of most of the strings, the remaining strings will go sharp and may even break.
May
6
comment How does a piano go out of tune?
A piano that has been played hard for years but never maintained will have very hard hammers, and thumbtacks create a very similar sound, as BobRodes says.
Mar
1
comment How much can transposing a song by a half step or a whole step help a vocalist?
I accompanied a singer singing "O Holy Night" at a Christmas service. At rehearsal it was clear that the high note was just out of his range. I took it down only one-half step and it made all the difference in the world!
Feb
25
comment Beatles - Because: Chord progression
Unexpected like finding a Jalapeño pepper in your hot fudge sundae, but not unexpected to someone who eats chicken with Mexican chocolate mole sauce on top.
Sep
2
comment Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?
Wendy Carlos had a computer-based synthesis system that allowed rapid updating of the tuning tables. She wrote and recorded many pieces in just intonation. With this system she could start in C major just intonation and suddenly modulate to F major just intonation by adjusting the pitches. She could go around the circle of fifths in just intonation! The results can be heard on her 1986 release "Beauty in the Beast". (Yes, it's really a spiral of fifths; the C you end up on is not quite the C you started on.)
May
3
comment strange fingering in moonlight sonata
Cue the discussion of the composer's pedal instructions....
Apr
21
comment What is this beat and why is it so popular
It makes me think of "Twelfth Street Rag" by Euday Bowman.
Apr
15
comment Can all notes be produced using only the trumpet's valves?
You can remove the mouthpiece and play into it and get all the notes and everything in between, even if it's not a very nice sound, and you are buzzing with the lips. I played the tuba, not the trumpet, and it was a long time ago, but one of the first things I noticed was that I could think of it either as the instrument producing the note and the lips providing a "setting" as to which note, and jumping from one note to the next when tightening them, or the lips producing the note and the instrument amplifying it and cleaning up the tone.
Jan
6
comment Am I able to repair the pegs on my violin?
Get some Peg Dope.
Nov
15
comment Musical Aids to Memorize Intervals
If you don't know "Also Sprach Zarathustra" do you know the theme from the movie "2001, A Space Oddysey"?
Nov
13
comment Tips on counting and playing odd time signatures
Be careful not to count "One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Sev, En."