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    Happy Birthday Chopin

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    This March 1st we celebrate French composer Fredrick Chopin’s 206th birthday.

    His music is a gift to us now and for all generations to come.

    Chopin composed roughly 244 pieces. He had a hauntingly beautiful stlye of writing.

    Happy Birthday Chopin. Thank you for making our lives richer.

    Musicnotes.com is celebrating Chopin’s 206th birthday with a 20% sale. Click here for great discounts on music from one of our most beloved composers.

    http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/sale/chopin-birthday-sale/502100095?d=Email_ChopinBirthdayLC20160225&utm_source=Promotions&utm_campaign=18ce118379-EmailChopinIntro20160225&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b1f28cdcad-18ce118379-81202957&goal=0_b1f28cdcad-18ce118379-81202957&mc_cid=18ce118379&mc_eid=3261dbc977

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Love Music Like A Greek

     As music students and teachers, we love music. We really love music. We’ll sing in the shower and randomly tap our feet to the latest song we’re trying to master. Can there be anyone more musical than us?

    Well, yes.

    A TED-Ed video taught us a lot about music in Ancient Greece. According to educator Tim Hansen, the love of music may have been stronger thousands of years ago in a place known as the cradle of Western Civilization.

    The Ancient Greeks strongly valued creative expression and believed the source of creative inspiration derived from goddesses known as Muses.

    According to the video: “An educated, civilized person, was expected to be proficient of all aspects of creative thought inspired by the Muses, and the common medium through which these disciplines were taught, studied and disseminated was music.”

    As a result, music was an important component in the study of history, astronomy and poetry, even sports. Although it’s common today to hear music at a baseball game and music at spoken word events, more often that not, music is compartmentalized. We listen to the music for the love of music but don’t consider it essential to other fields of study. The video is a good reminder to break out of our silos and model our behavior like the Ancient Greeks.

    What type of music did Ancient Greek listen to as they were reciting poetry and studying history? Well, they played lyres, reed-pipes and percussion instruments and researchers believed their music sounded something like this.

    So, the next time you want to showcase your love of music think Greek!

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    The History of Take Me Out to the Ballgame

    It is October and we are lucky to have two Los Angeles-area teams in the playoffs this season — the Dodgers and Angels. If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket to a game you’ll likely participate in some treasured traditions such as eating hot dogs, cheering for the home team and singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”

    Just what is the story behind the song and why is it played in every Major League Baseball game in this country?

    According to Time, the song was written and composed approximately 105 years ago by two men who had never seen a baseball game. Writer Jack Norworth wrote about a girl named Katie Casey who wanted her boyfriend to take her to a baseball game instead of a show. It originally consisted of 32 lines but the most famous lyrics are those she told her boyfriend:

    Take me out to the ballgame,

    Take me out with the crowd.

    Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,

    I don’t care if I ever get back, ’cause it’s root, root, root for the home team,

    if they don’t win it’s a shame.

    For it’s one , two, three strikes you’re out, at the old ballgame.

    Composer Albert von Tilzer set the poem to music and the duo set off promoting the song to vaudeville performers and it eventually became popular among entertainers instead of athletes. a

    All of that changed, however, in the 1980s with Chicago sports broadcaster Harry Caray.  He started a tradition of having guests sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and when he begn to work for the Cubs his tradition was broadcasted to a national audience thanks to superstation WGN.

    “Other teams quickly followed the lead of the Cubs and White Sox, substituting or supplementing the ‘Mexican Hat Dance’ or ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy’ with ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ in the seventh,” reports ESPN. “And now, all 30 major league clubs play the song in the seventh inning, as do all minor league teams and many college and high school teams.”

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    Celebrating Fall With Vivaldi

    Happy first day of autumn!

    For us, autumn makes us think of the smells of baked pumpkin and warm apple cider and the sights of dark nights and wind blowing through trees.

    But what does fall sound like?

    There are no shortage of online playlists focused on this season. You can listen to some here, here and here.

    We think, however, that autumn belongs to Antonio Vivaldi, the Italian baroque composer who penned the wildly successful “The Four Seasons.” The violin concertos are so deeply embedded in modern culture that all of us are familiar with the song even if we don’t regularly listen to classical music.

    To celebrate the first day of fall, we are shedding some light into the Autumn portion of “The Four Seasons.” Next time you’re listening to this music consider these interesting facts:

    1. Vivaldi published  “The Four Seasons” in 1725.

    2. “The Four Seasons” title was not the original name. Instead is was simply referred to as “Op. 8” and belonged to a larger set of 12 concertos known in English as “The Contest Between Harmony and Invention.”

    3. It was immediately disliked by the public who thought it was too modern and gimmicky.

    4. A sonnet — most likely penned by Vivaldi — accompanies each concerto, to help listeners understand the meaning of the music. The autumn sonnet begins with peasants celebrating a bountiful harvest. The celebration then turns into drunkenness and a long slumber. The final stanza centers on wild animals unsuccessfully evading hunters. You can read the full text of the sonnet here.

    5. Each season follows the same pattern: fast-slow-fast. Or, in more musical terms allegro-adagio molto-allegro.

     

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