Crushed By A Piano

Do NOT try this at home!

Audiences bade adieu to long-running CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men after 12 seemingly eternal seasons. Creator Chuck Lorre (also the mind behind other network staple The Big Bang Theory) got the last laugh by killing off his sworn enemy, Charlie Sheen, once and for all … by a falling piano, no less!

The whole article is here: Watch “Charlie Sheen” Get Crushed By A Piano In The ‘Two And A Half Men’ Series.

February 25 ~ Today in Music History

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. 1727 ~ Armand-Louis Couperin,  French composer, organist, and harpsichordist of the late Baroque and early Classical periods.


. 1890 ~ Dame Myra Hess, British pianist

. 1929 ~ Tommy Newsom, Musician: tenor sax, arranger, composer, back-up conductor for NBC’s Tonight Show Band

. 1943 ~  George Harrison, British rock singer, guitarist and songwriter and former member of  The Beatles group

. 1952 ~ The complete choreographic score of Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” became the first musical choreography score given a copyright. The work was the effort of Hanya Holm.

. 1953 ~ The musical, “Wonderful Town”, opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. The show was based on the book, “My Sister Eileen”, and the ran for 559 performances.

. 1957 ~ Buddy Holly and The Crickets traveled to Clovis, NM, to record That’ll Be the Day (one of the classics of rock ‘n’ roll) and I’m Looking for Someone to Love. Both songs were released on Brunswick Records in May of that year.

. 1963 ~ Please Please Me was the second record released in the U.S. by The Beatles. Some labels carried a famous misprint, making it an instant, and valuable, collector’s item. The label listed the group as The Beattles.

. 1966 ~ Nancy Sinatra was high-stepping with a gold record award for the hit, These Boots are Made for Walkin’.

. 1986 ~ We are the World captured four Grammy Awards. The song, featuring  more than 40 superstar artists gathered at one time, was awarded the Top Song, Record of the Year, Best Pop Performance and Best Short Video Awards.

. 2001 ~ Ann Colbert, a manager of classical musicians, died at the age of 95. Colbert founded Colbert Artists Management Inc. Her clientele included the Juilliard String Quartet; conductors Sir Georg Solti, Christoph von Dohnanyi and Richard Bonynge; singers Dame Joan Sutherland, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Christa Ludwig and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; and musicians Alfred Brendel and the late Jean-Pierre Rampal. Colbert moved to the United States from Berlin in 1936 and started the management company with her husband, Henry Colbert, in 1948. She retired in 1991, leaving the company to her longtime associate, Agnes Eisenberger. The company has retained Colbert’s name.

. 2003 ~ Walter Scharf, 92, a composer who earned 10 Academy Award nominations and worked on more than 200 movies and television programs, including “Funny Girl,” “Mission: Impossible” and “White Christmas,” died in Los Angeles. He received Oscar nominations for the scores for such films as “Mercy Island” (1941), “Hans Christian Andersen” (1952), “Funny Girl” (1968), “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971) and “Ben” (1972). He won an Emmy for his work on a National Geographic television special and a Golden Globe for “Ben,” whose theme song helped launch singer Michael Jackson’s solo career.

Scales and Arpeggios

scales

PDF Article on Scales and Arpeggios

In music, a scale is any set of musical notes ordered by fundamental frequency or pitch.

An arpeggio (it. /arˈpeddʒo/) is a musical technique where notes in a chord are played or sung in sequence, one after the other, rather than being played together like a chord. This word comes from the Italian word “arpeggiare”, which means “to play on a harp”. An alternative translation of this term is “broken chord”.

Make any scale or chord here

February 24 ~ Today in Music History

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. 1766 ~ Samuel Wesley, English organist and composer in the late Georgian period. Wesley was a contemporary of Mozart (1756–1791) and was called by some “the English Mozart.”

. 1771 ~ Johann Baptist Cramer,  English musician of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer, a famous London violinist and musical conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries.

. 1832 ~ Frederic Chopin’s first Paris concert. The musicologist Arthur Hedley has observed that “As a pianist Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances—few more than thirty in the course of his lifetime.

. 1842 ~ Arrigo Boito, Italian composer, librettist and poet

. 1858 ~ Arnold Dolmetsch, British music antiquarian and musician

. 1932 ~ Michel Legrand, Academy Award-Winning composer for Best Original Score: Yentl in 1983, Brian’s Song, Ice Station Zebra

. 1934 ~ Renata Scotto, Italian soprano. She made her operatic debut at age 18 and is best known for performances as Violetta in La Traviata, Cio-Cio- San in Madama Butterfly, Mimi (and the occasional Musetta) in La Bohème, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Francesca in Francesca da Rimini. She is also an opera director.

. 1940 ~ Frances Langford recorded one of the classic songs of all time — and one that would become a Walt Disney trademark. When You Wish Upon a Star was recorded on Decca Records during a session in Los Angeles. Many artists have recorded the song, including pop diva Linda Ronstadt (with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra in the early 1980s). One can hear the song not only on record, but as the theme in the opening credits of any Disney movie, video and TV program and those “I’m going to Disneyland/World!” commercials, too.

. 1942 ~ Paul Jones, Harmonica, singer with Manfred Mann

. 1947 ~ Rupert Holmes, Songwriter: over 300 songs & jingles, singer, producer

. 1947 ~ Lonnie Turner, Bass, singer with The Steve Miller Band

. 1964 ~ The musical, “What Makes Sammy Run”, opened in New York at the 54th Street Theatre. Making his Broadway debut in the show was Steve Lawrence. The production ran for 540 performances.

. 1985 ~ Yul Brynner reprised his role in “The King and I” setting a box office record for weekly receipts. The show took in $520,920.

. 1990 ~ Johnnie Ray died.  He was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist.

. 1991 ~ Webb Pierce passed away.  He was one of the most popular American honky tonk, rockabilly vocalists, guitarists of the 1950s

Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas is now On-Demand

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A note from the Curtis Teaching Staff:

The wait is over… Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas is once again open! You can instantly Start Learning in this On-Demand course if you missed our last offering in the Spring of 2014 (or if you’re ready for another round).

We’ll explore Beethoven’s sonatas from the point of view of performer Jonathan Biss. You’ll learn from approximately 5 hours of videos and quizzes in this self-paced course.

Jonathan is busy recording new lectures on new sonatas that will be added to the course this Spring. Even if you took the course last time, you may want to re-watch the first series to refresh your knowledge. Then you’ll be ready to dive in as he covers NEW sonatas in detail.

Thanks for your interest in Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas.

February 23 ~ Today in Music History

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. 1648 ~ John Blow, Composer

. 1685 ~ George Frederic Handel, German-born English composer Listen to Handel’s music Read quotes by and about Handel
More information about Handel

. 1931 ~ Dame Nellie Melba died.  She was an Australian operatic soprano who became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century.
More information about Melba

. 1937 ~ Bing Crosby sang with Lani McIntyre and his band, as Sweet Leilani was recorded on Decca Records. The Academy Award-winning song was featured in the movie Waikiki Wedding.

. 1944 ~ Mike Maxfield, Guitarist with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

. 1944 ~ Johnny Winter (John Dawson III), Musician

. 1946 ~ Rusty Young, Steel Guitar with Poco

. 1950 ~ Steve Priest, Bass with The Sweet

. 1952 ~ Brad Whitford, Guitarist with Aerosmith

. 1955 ~ Howard Jones, Singer

. 1958 ~ David Sylvian (Batt), Guitarist, singer with Japan

. 1963 ~ The Chiffons recording of He’s So Fine was released. It later rose to the #1 position on March 30th for a four-week stay. The song later became the center of one of the most publicized lawsuits in music history. The estate of songwriter Ronnie Marks won the suit against former Beatle George Harrison, saying that the song My Sweet Lord, was a note-for-note copy of He’s So Fine. The Chiffons also scored big with One Fine Day, Sweet Talkin’ Guy and others.

. 1983 ~ The rock group, Toto, won Grammy Awards for the hit single, Rosanna, and the album, Toto IV, at the 25th annual ceremonies in Los Angeles. The group received four other awards to tie the 1965 record of six Grammies (Roger Miller).

. 2001 ~ Guy Wood, a songwriter whose works include Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy, died Friday. He was 89. Wood wrote music for Radio City Music Hall and the children’s television show Captain Kangaroo. His songs include Music of Love (aka The Bell Waltz), After All, Rock-a-Bye Baby, Till Then and My One and Only Love. Wood was born in Manchester, England, where he played saxophone in dance bands before moving to the United States in the early 1930s. He spent five years with the foreign-production divisions of Paramount and Columbia Pictures studios before leading his own band at the Arcadia Ballroom in New York from  1939 to 1942.

. 2003 ~ Rock musician Howie Epstein, bassist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers for 20 years until ousted from the band last May, died. Epstein, who was 47, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the veteran rock band in 2001. He had battled legal and drug problems in recent years. Epstein, a Milwaukee native who previously played with John Hiatt and Del Shannon, joined the Heartbreakers in 1982. In addition to playing bass, he sang harmony.

. 2003 ~ James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma performed on the 45th Annual GRAMMY(R) Awards telecast, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Four-time GRAMMY winner and consummate singer/songwriter James Taylor earned a nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Taylor will be accompanied by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who has won 14 GRAMMY Awards throughout his career. Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers. An organization of 18,000 musicians, producers and other recording professionals, the Recording Academy is internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards, and is responsible for numerous groundbreaking outreach, professional development, cultural enrichment, education and human services programs.

. 2014 ~ Maria von Trapp, the last of the singing children immortalized in the musical The Sound of Music, died at the age of 99.

 

Piano versus violin: the eternal battle to be the dominant player

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The thought-provoking talk on February 10th was given by Keith Pascoe, second violinist of the Vanbrugh Quartet, in connection with tomorrow night’s violin and piano recital by Ray Chen and Julien Quentin. Pascoe came up with a great title, David and Goliath, The Ballet of Unequals: A Stradivari and Model D Steinway Recital. Using videos from YouTube as illustrations (which unfortunately allowed in snippets of a couple of unwanted advertisements), Pascoe began at the beginning, with the emergence of the piano and violin as instruments in their own right, and traced some of the changes they have both undergone in the centuries since.

The piano has become bigger, stronger and louder. Not only were extra notes added to the keyboard, but the early wooden frames were replaced with cast iron. The violin may not have grown externally, but the shape of the body was remoulded, the neck and fingerboard realigned, and internal buttressing extended, all with the intention of producing greater sound.

What composers did with the combination of violin and piano – and before that, violin and harpsichord – changed too. In the typical baroque violin sonata, the violin was to the fore. In the classical era, the roles were reversed, although this reversal has long been dishonoured by performers. And in the 19th century, the balance as we know it today began to take hold. That balance usually presents the two performers in a master-servant relationship, the violinist usually the boss whose bidding is carried out by the pianist.

Read the entire article at Piano versus violin: the eternal battle to be the dominant player.