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Medium 9780253352415

Twenty-Nine: Carl Maria von Weber

William Brown Indiana University Press ePub

For many years most of my students played Weber’s “Perpetual Motion.” It applies the technical principles learned in the exercises and brings endurance, like the perpetual motion that Paganini has for the violinist. I learned it in my youth, and I was encouraged by the generation before mine. A man like [Benno] Moiseiwitsch would play it with great charm and elegance. Hofmann would play it, and the endurance would be astonishing. I say we play it for endurance, but it is also a very beautiful piece. I remember that when I found one could use the wrist in order to relax, one could more easily get through it. I felt it was a wonderful étude for strengthening the hand, infusing the wrist principle as helper in overcoming tiredness in many places and having that endurance which we need for bigger, longer pieces.

Mm. 1–4. The entire piece is practiced first with the four-note wrist groups, with the right hand eventually playing long lines of unaccented notes. The left hand stays very close to the keys.

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Medium 9780253007476

5 When Gennett Records Gets the Blues

Rick Kennedy Indiana University Press ePub

 

July 18, 1927, was a typical smoldering summer day in Birmingham, Alabama. Two unknown black bluesmen, William Harris and Joe Robinson, lugged their guitars to the third floor of the Starr Piano store on Third Avenue. Above the noise of the piano showroom, a crew from Gennett Records had installed portable electronic equipment that soon created a parade of both white and black musicians from the area vying to make records.

Gordon Soule, the twenty-five-old recording engineer, placed Harris and Robinson near the lone microphone. As they doubled on guitars, Harris sang two original songs with titles rich in blues attitude and ethnicity: “No Black Woman Can Sleep In My Cow Lot” and “I’m Leavin’ Town (But I Sho’ Don’t Wanna Go).”

The first song never saw the light of day, but Gennett issued “I’m Leavin’ Town” on its Electrobeam label (with a harmonica player on the flip side). In a high-pitched wail, Harris delivers a spirited performance. He and Robinson also converse unintelligibly back and forth while strumming their guitars on catchy chord patterns that later entered the rock guitar vocabulary.

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Medium 9781574412109

Chapter 2. Song of the Prairie: December 1957-April 1960

Ron Forbes-Roberts University of North Texas Press PDF

Song of the Prairie

their son, Lone Pine, Jr., The Fourteen-Year-Old Guitar Wizard.”

The family had barely moved into their three-bedroom bungalow at

679 Sinclair in Winnipeg’s North End before Lenny and his parents were playing dates that CKY radio had arranged to promote their upcoming daily show. After one of these dates, the Breaus visited a downtown Winnipeg nightspot called the Rainbow Dance Gardens where seventeen-year-old Ray St. Germain, a popular Winnipeg singer/entertainer, was performing with his band. St. Germain had started out in country music, but by the time the Breaus arrived in

Winnipeg, he was also playing rock and roll, and had a particular affinity for Elvis Presley’s music. He recalls that he was playing an

Everly Brothers song when the Breaus, resplendent in their sequined

Western wear, walked into the club. “They’d just come from a gig, and they were dressed like stars,” says St. Germain. “I’ll never forget

Lenny. He had a white suit on, white shoes, white bucks. He was carrying his guitar, a Gretsch, in a white leather case. He had wavy black hair and was small in stature, a cross between Sal Mineo and

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Medium 9780253010407

14 Bright Moments

Kathy Sloane Indiana University Press ePub

You never went to work when you
were at Keystone. You went to play.

Carl Burnett

George Cables

There were nights – I mean, memorable nights – with Bobby [Hutcherson] and Eddie Henderson’s in the audience being Eddie, making comments on this and that. Everybody would come through there, whether they were playing or not, because it was such a great vibe. You knew you’re going to hear some music when you went to Keystone Korner. You going to hear some music! Wasn’t about half-steppin’.

And Jessica Williams, I remember her first moment there. She walked in [and asked someone] – I think she might even have asked me – “Where’s Todd?” or “Where’s the owner?” She went in the backroom, which is the office, and emerged maybe ten minutes later, stepped on the stage, which was raised, and started playing solo piano. And she just started playing solo piano on the breaks [between other musicians’ sets].

I remember Professor Irwin Corey even opening up for Bobby Hutcherson. He was on the stage: blah blah blah – ya know, talking. But he wouldn’t stop! He kept on going. Bobby went up onstage, just stood there – and [Corey’s] not stopping. So [Bobby] had to go over to him and physically, gently, move him off the stage, ’cause we needed to play the gig.

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Nine: Principles of Expressive Performance

William Brown Indiana University Press ePub

Recurring throughout Pressler’s teaching are certain principles of expression that give insight into the multitude of “colors” that permeate his performances and those of his students. These principles of expression deal with all aspects of practice and performance, including integrity to the score, emotional involvement, quality of sound, phrasing, formal structure, pedaling, rhythm, fingering, and color.

Pressler believes that the first and most important consideration when learning a musical score is to follow the composer’s indications. Audiences and music critics often hail Pressler’s performances for their insightful expression, but he says, “All expression is based on the score. What does the composer expect? Let us satisfy him.”

Pressler believes that only through thoroughly studying the score can one know accurately how to interpret a piece of music. “Very often the mistake is made that people think that, by playing the piece, they have the emotions. But what they do is, they just read the notes and repeat them. They have neither digested them nor internalized them. Of course, we are spoiled by some of the great pianists, Horowitz, Martha Argerich, the ones that take immense freedoms. And when they do it, one excuses it, one accepts it by virtue of their enormous ability. But we, as young pianists—like me!—we look at a score as our teacher.” Pressler himself practices almost exclusively with music rather than by memory because, he says, “The score is the Bible. Ninety-nine percent of your effort should be directed toward the score.” As he asked one student in illustrating this point, “Can we be more religious and do what the composer asks for?”

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Medium 9780253357199

Conclusion: The Drum Speaks Again

Vaughan, Umi Indiana University Press ePub

CONCLUSION

The Drum Speaks Again

Ga dum, ga dum, dum…
And we rode the rhythms as one, from Nigeria to Mississippi, and back…

Etheridge Knight (from the poem “Oba Ilu, The Talking Drum”)

We began this book with the understanding that the batá drum is a vessel, a vehicle, and a teaching tool. The drum holds on to various kinds of information, including sonic patterns, stories, family and ritual lineages, herbal medicine, and magic. It keeps the beat to and through which humans live. At times we “imitate and repeat the timeless acts of the oricha, approaching and aligning [our]selves with the real world of aché.”1 At other times, drum beats salute various members of the community and acknowledge their various identities and relationships to one another as servants of this or that oricha. Sometimes the drums invite and incite trance possession, becoming “cables upon which man cross[es] that chasm” between the profane and the spirit worlds. To play is to “force open the door to the source.”2

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Medium 9781574413298

No Deeper Blue

Robert Earl Hardy University of North Texas Press PDF

13

No Deeper Blue

T

did not cease for Townes after the birth of his second son; indeed, it grew stronger, just as it had around the time of the birth of his first son. Once again, Townes’ self-destructive behavior was alarming his friends and family, as he was made explicitly aware of through the intervention they attempted before his mother died. The hospital had proven too strict a regimen and he again convinced himself that the road would make him “free and clean,” as it had before.

“Townes would go into rehab for other people, not for himself,” according to Mickey White. “Anybody who’s recovering can tell you, you can do that until the cows come home, but until you do it for yourself, you’re not going to be saved.”

Townes did not want to go back out on the road by himself, so early in 1984, he decided to form a band. He got back together with Mickey White and called in two friends, the Waddell brothers, Leland and David, to play drums and bass guitar, respectively. To change things up, Townes and Mickey decided to add Boston native Donny Silverman on flute and saxophone.

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1 A Music Dynasty in Victorian Indiana

Rick Kennedy Indiana University Press ePub

The rise of the formidable Starr Piano and its fabled Gennett Records label from the small Quaker town of Richmond, Indiana, smack in America’s heartland, sounds improbable today, if not fantastic. Yet it wasn’t unusual. Richmond was among several small towns in Indiana and Ohio that gave rise to nationally prominent manufacturing companies during the decades after the Civil War. From the late nineteenth century up to the stock market crash of 1929, a plethora of industrial innovations sprang from the region – the mass production of pianos and lawn mowers in Richmond, farm implements in Springfield, Ohio, the Wright brothers’ revolutionary airplanes and mechanical cash registers in Dayton, and the ornately crafted Cord and Duesenberg luxury automobiles in the small Indiana cities of Auburn and Connersville.

In each of these industrial towns, similar social dynamics were at work. European entrepreneurs and skilled tradesman flocked to the Midwest, a region bolstered by untapped natural resources and growing populations. The cultural traditions of Old World craftsmanship were being meshed with America’s emerging, mass-production technologies. Finished products, distinguished by handcrafted workmanship, rolled off the assembly lines of the Midwest in large quantities. Because of the nation’s newly established railroad network, products from the small industrial towns of the Midwest could reach virtually every market in America and overseas. Often capitalizing on cheap labor costs, the families who owned these manufacturing firms made huge fortunes as evidenced by their grand mansions in these towns, where they exerted considerable influence as civil leaders and cultural patrons.

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Medium 9780253318220

X Line and Space: Op. 2 No. 2, Op. 101

Kenneth O. Drake Indiana University Press ePub

Touch may be the most basic of our senses. Form—repetition, departure, and return—is the means by which the mind recognizes continuity. Continuity, for the pianist’s fingers, is the physical feel of musical lines and shapes, perceived as keyboard space and the direction of movement. When we play Op. 2 No. 2 or Op. 101 our hands and our muscles discover the surface, the size, and the contours of the same piece of musical clay that Beethoven shaped with his hands. Thus, the composer speaks to the interpreter not through sound alone but also through the feel of the writing—the arm movement and the physical effort it requires. The grams of weight the finger should feel or the arc the elbow should describe cannot be notated, although the musician/pianist will understand as though reading an unwritten staff between the clefs.

The pianist who finds too few notes in Op. 2 No. 1 may occasionally feel that there are too many in Op. 2 No. 2. Both the A-major Sonata and the C-major, Op. 2 No. 3, surpass the F-minor Sonata in technical demands. In its vertical sonority and its clearly defined sections, the treatment of the keyboard in the C-major Sonata sounds orchestral. The A major, by comparison, is linear, suggestive rather than literal, smooth in its flow from section to section, and sophisticated in its invention.

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Medium 9781574412734

Chapter 4 • High School Days

Helene LaFaro-Fernandez University of North Texas Press PDF

• 

Chapter 4  •

High School Days

Early in Scotty’s freshman year of high school he started listening to some of the newer jazz music on the radio and spending more time with Dad’s recordings: Art Tatum, George Shearing, Marian McPartland, and Dizzy Gillespie. This music excited him, ignited something inside him and from that time on, he seemed to know this was the music he was going to play. Shortly thereafter, he decided on and began playing the tenor sax.

Scotty participated in almost every musical activity and class the school offered, and there were plenty: theory, advanced theory, orchestra, marching band, concert band, jazz band, boys’ chorus, varsity chorus, and All-State band and orchestra competitions.

“Scotty and I were close friends through high school,” recalls

Bob Umiker, a high school classmate who became the principal clarinetist with the North Arkansas Symphony as well as a professor of music at the University of Arkansas. “As freshmen we had exactly the same class schedule. Scott was still playing bass clarinet in band, but in jazz band he was playing tenor sax, and I played alto. In music theory class one day, I looked over at Scott and shot him with my finger. He accommodated by falling out of his chair, at which time we were kicked out of class for the rest of the year.

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Medium 9781607320968

Four: The Dance of the Conquest and Contested National Identity

Matthew Krystal University Press of Colorado ePub

The Dance of the Conquest and Contested National Identity

After scaling the stairs of a pyramid temple, the famed warrior Tekun Umam kneels before the K’iche’ king. Not long ago news reached K’uumarkaaj, the K’iche’ capital, that the great Aztec empire had fallen to the Spanish. Deeply troubled by this turn of events, the K’iche’ king has ordered the meeting to delegate military command to Tekun Umam. Able fellow warrior and second-in-command Witzitzil Tzunun is beside Tekun Umam when he receives the symbol of his command, a staff carrying the cerulean and white flag of the contemporary state of Guatemala. It is a critical moment both in the life of Tekun Umam and in this version of the most salient Guatemalan national origin story.

After bidding appropriately respectful farewell to their political leader, the K’iche’ warriors descend the stairs of the temple, leave K’uumarkaaj, and set about preparing for battle. They assemble an army and consult Ajitz, the Maya priest-warrior-scout. Meanwhile, Pedro de Alvarado and his army are on the march, intending to conquer and convert the K’iche’. In a few hours the Maya and Spanish will meet in battle, their respective leaders confronting one another in a struggle to the death. Tekun Umam will fight valiantly but will be defeated and killed by Alvarado. Witzitzil Tzunun, recognizing the significance of the loss of Tekun Umam and a good many other Maya soldiers, will call for the cessation of battle. The K’iche’ king,1 resigned to his fate since he learned of the fall of Tenochtitlán at the beginning of the play, now accepts conversion on behalf of his people at its end.

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Medium 9780253007254

5 “We Were the Ones Who Composed the Songs”: The Promises and Pitfalls of Being a Bandsman, 1945–1970

Nathan Plageman Indiana University Press ePub

In 1950, a young Charles Kofi Mann left his hometown of Cape Coast for Takoradi, a rapidly growing city that served as the locus of the colony’s rail and harbor works. Like a number of young men before and after, he made the move in hopes of finding employment, earning money, and charting a future.1 Unfortunately, Mann’s arrival in Takoradi was marked not by opportunity, but by obstacles and hardship. Without friends or family to lean on, he spent his days searching for work and a place to live. After scouring the city center without much success, Mann descended on the harbor, where he secured a steady stream of odd jobs, found friends, and became immersed in his new urban environs. For the next year he loaded and unloaded cargo, cleaned ship decks, and assisted with various maintenance tasks on and off the docks. One day a British captain impressed with Mann’s work ethic and array of skills offered him a position aboard a ship bound for Nigeria. Convinced that he had finally found his lucky break, Mann eagerly accepted the offer and began a four-year stint at sea.

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Medium 9781770905993

1: In the Beginning...

Sharry Wilson ECW Press ePub

ó 1 ó

IN THE BEGINNING …

IT WAS A HARSH AND unwelcoming winter night — hardly unusual for early February in Toronto. A blizzard had rendered travel precarious. Only the hardiest souls ventured out.

On the morning of February 5, 1945, city residents woke to over 12 centimetres of fresh snow, bringing the total snow­fall since November to more than 1.5 metres — more than would normally fall over an entire winter. And although the snow was not in itself overwhelming, it was accompanied by frigid, blinding winds.

Scott Young, then a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, was in Toronto on medical leave for fatigue, spending time with his wife, Rassy, and their nearly three-year-old son Bob. Scott was to undergo tests at a hospital in Ottawa, and Rassy and Bob planned to join him at the Lord Elgin Hotel during his recovery. But the snowstorm forced them to revise their travel plans.

They were invited to take refuge overnight in the home of good friends Ian and Lola Munro1 at 361 Soudan Avenue, near the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Mount Pleasant Road in what was then a northern suburb of the city. The Youngs had been visiting the Munros as the day passed and weather conditions worsened.

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Medium 9780253011794

Appendix C: Museums with Instrument Collections

Elisa Koehler Indiana University Press ePub

Appendix C: Museums with Instrument Collections

Just as it is important to hear recordings and performances of period instruments, it is beneficial to see them up close in person. There are several museums in North America and Europe that include fine collections of historic brass instruments as well as archival material. Some of the museums host internet sites with online photo galleries and detailed information about selected instruments. For example, a consortium of European museums created a valuable online database with images called Musical Instrument Museums Online (http://www.mimo-international.com). Selected museums are listed here in alphabetical order with brief information. Always contact the institution to confirm open hours, special attractions, and entrance fees before planning a visit. As an added bonus, some of the museums occasionally present live performances featuring period instruments. Many cultural institutions and universities also house collections of historic musical instruments; the ones listed here possess the most extensive and unique collections of historic brass instruments.

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Medium 9780253006677

1 Prelude

Jean Ngoya Kidula Indiana University Press ePub

Music and religion are both incarnational processes and archival resources. As processes, they narrate themselves in lived experiences as dynamic forms; as resources, they inscribe, crystallize, and document social identity. Starting in the nineteenth century, music practices in Africa have been transformed by contact with modern Christianity. These practices are as diverse as the religious, ethnic, and national groups found in Africa. The individuality of the musics might be concealed under a historical association arising from an overarching ‘Christian’ umbrella. However, the varieties of Christianity and African ethnic groups underscore distinctive musical identities. These musics have struggled for recognition in music studies given that European church music is, and was, recognized as a category of European art and folk music, whereas African church musics neither fit indigenous molds nor gained acceptance in the canon of European church, popular, or art musics. Nonetheless, the musics are vibrant religious, artistic, and popular expressions on the continent and in other spaces.

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