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Showing posts from April, 2013

When Tragedy Is in the News: How to Respond as a Musician

Like you, I was stunned and immensely saddened by the explosions that took place at the end of the Boston Marathon on Monday. So far I’m not aware of anyone I know who was at the scene or otherwise directly affected. But that really doesn’t matter. When tragic events like this occur we are all affected in some manner.

And we each have different ways of reacting to and coping with disturbing displays of senseless violence. I mean, don’t natural disasters wreak enough havoc on our lives? Why would certain individuals be so hard-pressed to ruin the lives of innocent people?

What can we do about it? And as a musical artist with a fan base to speak to, what can you do about?

Here are a few important aspects of this to consider:

1) Write a song about it. You’re an expressive being. That’s why you became an artist. So put that creative sensitivity to good use and channel your confusion and emotions into a song.

The song can be an obvious or not so obvious reference to Boston (or Sandy Hook, …

A Fantastic Resource For Students (and players) of 18th and 19th Century Postcolonial Irish Dance Music

There was a blog about Irish music - "Ceol Alainn - Rare Recordings of Traditional Irish Music" it was called, and it was a unique source of great music for all lovers of Irish tradition. Many of recordings published there would have been lost for us otherwise. But one day, in August of 2012, things have changed:

"There are legal changes occurring in the world that I was naive enough to believe would never take place. I had hoped that the potential for personal publication facilitated by the internet would have revolutionised the ways in which digital information was managed from a legal perspective; that institutions of ownership would evolve to embrace the possibilities opened up by the free movement of information on a global scale. I expected to encounter at least a little resistance to this project, and I have been surprised by the absolute lack of legal interest shown in my flagrant disregard for copyright law. But, things no longer look quite so simple, and I no…

What is "Traditional" Irish Music: 18th Century Postcolonial Secular Dance Music and Song, Of Course!

When people talk about "traditional" irish music, they are referring to the music that was popularized by the Dubliners in the 1970s, and the Chieftans, and later the music of bands like De Dannan, Solas and later Lunasa.

But that is hardly Irish music. In fact, most of it is a mixture of the secular dance music of the UK of the 19th and 20th centuries.

If you want "traditional" Irish music, you have to go back to 1724, to the first publication of said music. Still and all, it is post-colonial music and nothing of the original Irish music (pre-colonialism) remains.

So we don't really know what traditional Irish music is. We don't know what it sounded like.

We do know what the instrumentation was, taken from paintings of the middle ages: In A History of Irish Music (1905), W. H. Grattan Flood wrote that there were at least ten instruments in general use by the Gaelic Irish. These were the cruit(a small harp) and clairseach (a bigger harp with typically 30 s…

Bruce Molsky - Chinquapin Hunting (Live from Pickathon 2012)

A suggested list of violin studies (books)

The following violin repertoire lists have been compiled over many years of teaching and experience by Mimi Zweig and Dorothy Delay. They serve as a foundation for much of our instruction at the String Academy and we provide them as a resource for other teachers and students alike. You find that most of the titles are links that will bring you directly to a website where you may purchase the music in our preferred editions.

Sequence of Violin Repertoire by Mimi ZweigSequence of Etudes by Mimi ZweigDorothy Delay’s Concertos SequenceSequence of Repertoire from Suzuki Books IV-VI

List of musical modes

List of musical modes Number of modes: 1295 Maximum number of notes: 14

The numbers represent the number of scale degrees between consecutive tones of the mode, starting from the tonic. So for 12-tone modes they are semitones, for 24-tone modes quartertones, etc., but for unequal parent scales just the former. This list only specifies which notes are used in a mode, raga, maqam, etc. ignoring all other aspects. This list also ignores varieties that may exist of given modes in different regions of a culture. The eight Byzantine Liturgical tones or modes may vary in their final or closing note, and even in genus, depending on the type of text being set. Listings reflect a given theorist's description of a specified mode, or often, one form of that mode.

A number between [] indicates another starting note than the implicit degree 0.

The Meantone chromatic scales (negative systems), Twelve-tone chromatic scales (positive systems) and their major and minor modes are of the 3-limit Pyt…