I am considering getting this split bench for the O’Connor Music Studio since we play lots of duets here.
The current bench that came with the piano is one of those that opens up and has some storage but is not adjustable at all. This creates a problem for some of the older students and we have to move the music rack quite far forward so they can see properly. An adjustable bench would help them, too.
There may be a quiz on this option at your next lesson – give it some thought!
. 1935 ~ Herb Alpert, American trumpeter, bandleader (Tijuana Brass), composer, record company executive: the “A” of A&M Records
. 1937 ~ Phil Harris recorded one of his best-known songs in Los Angeles, CA. That’s What I Like About the South was recorded on a 78 RPM disk. Harris would move to TV stardom and continue as a popular vocalist during the 1950s with such hit songs asThe Thing.
. 1943 ~ The show, Away We Go, was renamed. The show opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City and, thanks to the talents of stars like Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts and Howard DeSilva, it became an instant hit. The show ran for 2,248 performances, until 1948. The musical, which has grossed millions of dollars on stage and as a blockbuster movie was initially produced for the sum of $75,000. It is still legendary among musical productions – especially after it was retitled Oklahoma!
. 1944 ~ Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge), Bass, singer with The Fortunes
. 1944 ~ Mick Ralphs, Guitarist
. 1945 ~ Al Nichol, Guitarist, keyboards with The Turtles
. 1953 ~ Sean Hopper, Keyboards with Clover and Huey Lewis and The News
. 1959 ~ Angus Young, Guitarist with AC/DC
. 1967 ~ Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar for the first time in a public performance at Finsbury Park in London.
. 1985 ~ Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, long a favorite of country music stars, closed its doors in Nashville, TN.
A musical mystery is unfolding in California’s Santa Monica Mountains as a piano appeared without explanation at a lookout point 2 miles from the nearest road.
Hikers and news helicopters captured images and video Thursday showing the piano, estimated to weigh at least 300 to 400 pounds, that was apparently placed late Wednesday or early Thursday at the Topanga Lookout, which is accessible by a 2-mile hike from the nearest road.
The piano was placed on the site of an old fire tower, which famously also once hosted a couch of similarly mysterious origins.
. 1674 ~ Pietro Antonio Locatelli died. He was an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.
. 1872 ~ Sergei Vasilenko, Russian composer
. 1900 ~ Ted (Edward) Heath, Musician, trombonist, bandleader: played big band concerts every Sunday at the Palladium in the 1940s and 1950s
. 1913 ~ Frankie Laine (Frank Paul LoVecchio), Singer
. 1923 ~ The Audubon Ballroom in New York City was the scene of the first dance marathon. Alma Cummings danced the fox trot, one-step and waltz with half a dozen partners.
. 1932 ~ Leonard Bernstein participated in his first piano recital at New England Conservatory, performing Brahm’s Rhapsody in G Minor. He was 13.
. 1935 ~ Gordon Mumma, American composer of experimental music
. 1941 ~ Graeme Edge, Drumer with The Moody Blues
. 1942 ~ Bobby Wright, Country artist, actor, son of Johnny Wright of Johnnie and Jack country duo
. 1945 ~ Eric Clapton, British rock rock guitarist with the Yardbirds; song writer, Grammy Award-winning singer: Bad Love in 1990
. 1959 ~ Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist
. 1963 ~ The Chiffons began a four-week stay at the top of the pop music charts as their hit single, He’s So Fine, became number one. The song stayed at the top of the top tune tabulation until Little Peggy March came along with I Will Follow Him on April 27th.
. 1964 ~ Tracy Chapman, Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriter
. 1968 ~ Celine Dion, Singer
. 1970 ~ Lauren Bacall starred in Applause which opened on Broadway. The show became one of the hardest tickets to get on the Great White Way. Critics called Bacall “a sensation.” The play, at the Palace Theatre, was an adaptation of the film, All About Eve. It continued for 896 performances. A London version of the show, also starring Bacall, opened in 1972.
. 1971 ~ The Bee Gees received a gold record for the single, Lonely Days. When playing it, they heard the song at a faster speed and said, “Hey, this sounds like disco!” and the rest was Saturday Night Fever music history…
. 1974 ~ John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, Sunshineon My Shoulders. It was the singer’s first number one song. Three other singles by Denver reached the top of the music world: Annie’s Song, ThankGod I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry. Take Me Home Country Roads made it to the number two position, while Rocky Mountain High just cracked the Top 10 at number 9. Denver wrote Leaving on a Jet Plane for Peter, Paul and Mary and won an Emmy for the TV special, An Evening With John Denver.
So often transfer students will come to me and play a piece they’ve been working on. When they make a mistake, they’ll stop and start the piece all over again instead of correcting the mistake on the spot and moving on.
If they do this at home in practice, they’ll have played the beginning part many times more than the ending – or they may have never gotten to the ending at all!
The infographic above shows a way to get around this problem. It’s also great for memorizing pieces during recital preparation.
Similar to this are some pieces in the early pages of beginning method books. Lines 1, 2 and 4 will be identical with only line 3 being changed.
If a student plays this over and over all the way through, he’s learned line 1 three times better than line 3. I always suggest practicing line 3 by itself several times to help counter this problem.
. 1947 ~ Bobby Kimball (Toteaux), Singer with Toto
. 1949 ~ Michael Brecker, Jazz musician, reeds with The Brecker Brothers
. 1951 ~ The King and I, the wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on Margaret Langdon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam, opened this night in 1951 on Broadway. The King and I starred Yul Brynner in the role of the King of Siam. The king who, along with his subjects, valued tradition above all else. From this day forward, the role of the King of Siam belonged to Yul Brynner and no other. Brynner appeared in this part in more than 4,000 performances on both stage and screen (the Broadway show was adapted for Hollywood in 1956). Anna, the English governess hired to teach the King’s dozens of children, was portrayed by Gertrude Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Brynner acted, danced and sang their way into our hearts with such memorable tunes as Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance, Hello, Young Lovers, I Whistle a HappyTune, We Kiss in a Shadow, I Have Dreamed, Something Wonderful, A Puzzlement and March of the Siamese Children. The King and I ran for a total of 1,246 outstanding performances at New York’s St. James Theatre.
. 1952 ~ Roy Henderson’s last singing performance was on this date in the role of Christus in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” at Southwark Cathedral, the Anglican cathedral on the south bank of the Thames in London.
. 1973 ~ Hommy, the Puerto Rican version of the rock opera Tommy, opened in New York City. The production was staged at Carnegie Hall.
. 1973 ~ After recording On the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone’, Dr. Hook finally got a group shot on the cover of Jann Wenner’s popular rock magazine. Inside, a Rolling Stone writer confirmed that members of the group (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) bought five copies of the magazine for their moms – just like in the song’s lyrics!
. 1980 ~ Annunzio Paolo Mantovani, Anglo-Italian conductor and arranger, died. Created the “Mantovani sound” that made him a highly successful recording artist and concert attraction.
. 1982 ~ Carl Orff, German composer of “Carmina Burana,” died.
. 1999 ~ Legendary U.S. jazz and blues singer Joe Williams died aged 80.
. 2001 ~ John Lewis, a pianist who masterminded one of the most famous ensembles in jazz, the Modern Jazz Quartet, died at the age of 80. The M.J.Q., as the quartet was known, remained mostly unchanged from the mid-1950’s to the 90’s. It began recording in 1952 with Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke. When Clarke moved to Paris in 1955, Connie Kay replaced him and the quartet continued until Kay’s death in 1994. Lewis contributed the bulk of the group’s compositions and arrangements, including Django and Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West, and he insisted members wear tuxedos to dignify jazz as an art. He was born in LaGrange, Ill., in 1920, and grew up in Albuquerque, N.M. His entree to the jazz world came during World War II, when he met Kenny Clarke, an established drummer in the nascent bebop movement. At Clarke’s urging, Lewis moved to New York after his discharge and eventually replaced Thelonious Monk as Dizzy Gillespie’s pianist. He also performed or recorded with Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1952 he formed the M.J.Q. with Clarke, Jackson and Heath. The quartet was a steady seller of records and concert tickets well into the 1970’s. Lewis also taught music at Harvard and the City College of New York, and in the late 1950’s helped found the Lenox School of Jazz in Massachusetts.
WRONG – this post, and others in this category, isn’t about ornaments at Christmas but about those funny looking marks over your music and how to play them.
The trill (or shake, as it was known from the 16th until the 19th century) is a musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart, which can be identified with the context of the trill.
A trill provides rhythmic interest, melodic interest, and harmonic interest. Sometimes it is expected that the trill will end with a turn or some other variation. Such variations are often marked in the music.
A trill in your music can look like this
Or like this tr~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Trills can be played differently, depending on the period in which the composer was living so it is important to know the time period of your piece.
Baroque trills (aka shakes in this time period) have several ways to be played as shown in this chart:
A table depicting how to perform different types of trills (or shakes) when playing music from the Baroque period (1600-1750).
The Baroque trill continuing through Mozart’s time usually begins on the note above the main note.
In music after the time of Mozart, the trill usually begins on the principal note.
Often, your music will have suggestions about how they should be played written above the music. If not, ASK!
A really good book which explains about the trill and other ornaments is this one, available as a reference book in the O’Connor Music Studio:
Some trill exercises:
Questions? Write them down and don’t forget to ask at your next lesson!
. 1881 ~ Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, died from alcoholism. Best known for his “Pictures from an Exhibition” and the opera “Boris Godunov.”
. 1890 ~ Paul Whiteman, Bandleader, Washboard Blues, Ol’ Man River, Felixthe Cat, Heartache and Ain’t Misbehavin’
. 1903 ~ Rudolph Serkin, Austrian concert pianist: “An artist of unusual and impressive talents in possession of a crystalline technique, plenty of power, delicacy, and tone pure and full.”
“A masterly musician … a scholar of profound art without pedantry, with the loftiest conceptions of beauty, whose every thought and emotion is for the glory of his art.”
. 1939 ~ Hal Kemp and his orchestra recorded Three Little Fishies for Victor Records.
. 1942 ~ Samuel Ramey, American bass
. 1943 ~ Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer and virtuoso pianist, died in California; best known for his piano concertos and his Rhapsody on a themeof Paganini”.
. 1944 ~ WQXR radio in New York City, owned by The New York Times newspaper, banned singing commercials from its airwaves as of this day. Understandable, since the station has always been the classical music voice of Manhattan and there aren’t many classical singing commercials.
. 1945 ~ Chuck Portz, Bass with the The Turtles
. 1947 ~ Barry Miles, Musician: keyboardist
. 1949 ~ Milan Williams, Keyboards, drums, trombone, guitar with Commodores
. 1964 ~ Radio Caroline debuted as the first pirate radio station to broadcast off the coast of England. On this day in 1964, the combination of rock music and lively disk jockey patter played to a huge audience in Great Britain; but well out of reach of British authorities. However, that didn’t stop them from trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to shut down the radio station ship. Radio Caroline had become competition to the staid and usually dull British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Today, all that is different, as there is licensed radio competition throughout Great Britain. The BBC and the giant, government-owned network has caught up with the times by offering five different services to appeal to wide audiences. They are simply known as ‘Radio 1′ through ‘Radio 5′ … No ‘Zees’, ‘Qs’ or ‘Bees’, just numbers that include a rock channel, a talk channel, a nostalgia/easy listening channel, a classical/fine arts channel and a news channel.
. 1969 ~ Joe Cocker played his first American concert. He entertained fans at Billy Graham’s Fillmore East in New York City.
. 1974 ~ The group, Blue Swede, received a gold record for the single, Hooked on a Feeling.
. 1980 ~ Dick (Richard Benjamin) Haymes passed away. He was an Argentine actor and singer. He was one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes, an actor, television host, and songwriter
. 1981 ~ The group, Blondie, featuring Debbie Harry, received a gold record for the tune, Rapture. At the time, the pop~rock hit was perched at the top of the pop music charts. Blondie had eight charted hits. Four of them were million sellers, beginning with their first release, Heart of Glass in 1979. Four of the eight hits were number one on the charts, as well.
. 1985 ~ Roger Waters of Pink Floyd made radio history. His Radio City Music Hall concert in New York was broadcast live using a new high-tech sound system called ‘holophonics’. It is said to have recreated the stage experience in amazing detail.
. 1986 ~ More than 6,000 radio stations of all format varieties (even Muzak) played We are the World simultaneously at 10:15 a.m. EST. The promotion became part of the biggest participatory event in history by linking a human chain of millions of people from sea to sea. Ken Kragen was the promotion genius behind the plan that raised millions of dollars and created awareness for the African famine relief project.
USA for Africa musicians
Soloists (in order of appearance)
Ray Charles (Also playing Piano and Keyboards)
La Toya Jackson
David Paich – synthesizers, musician
Michael Boddicker – synthesizers, programming
Paulinho da Costa – percussion
Louis Johnson – bass
Michael Omartian – keyboards
Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
John Robinson – drums
. 2001 ~ Moe Koffman, one of Canada’s best known jazz musicians, died of cancer at the age of 72. Koffman, whose best known for his flute piece, Swinging Shepherd Blues, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. He was for decades a regular fixture at the modest Toronto jazz club, George’s Spaghetti House. Koffman, who also played saxophone and clarinet, composed and arranged many of his own pieces. A formidable break in his career came in 1948 after he won a record deal with New York’s Mainstream Records from a magazine contest. He recorded two records with the music house before moving back to Toronto. He received the Order of Canada in 1993 for his outstanding work and service to the arts.
. 1771 ~ A review of a concert in Venice given today by 15 year old Mozart read: “He worked out (a fugue theme) for more than an hour with such science, dexterity, harmony and proper attention to rhythm that even the greatest connoisseurs were astounded.”
. 1851 ~ (Paul-Marie-Theodore) Vincent d’Indy, French composer and conductor
More information about d’Indy
. 1927 ~ Mstislav Rostropovich, Soviet cellist and conductor
More information about Rostropovich
. 1931 ~ Burt Collins, Jazz musician, trumpet, flugel horn, played with Jess Roden Band, Lalo Schifrin, T. Rex
. 1945 ~ Ella Fitzgerald and the Delta Rhythm Boys recorded the classic, It’s Onlya Paper Moon for Decca Records.
. 1947 ~ Tom Sullivan, Singer, composer
. 1950 ~ Tony Banks, Keyboards with Genesis
. 1950 ~ Jazz pianist Erroll Garner became one of the first jazz instrumentalists to give a solo concert. He played the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH. In 1954, Garner would gain international applause for writing and recording a standard that has been presented many times since: Misty. Johnny Mathis and Sarah Vaughan are but two of many recording artists to offer vocal renditions of this renowned Garner composition. Play Misty for me.
. 1951 ~ Frank Sinatra recorded I’m a Fool to Want You for Columbia.
. 1958 ~ CBS Laboratories announced a new stereophonic record that was playable on ordinary LP phonographs, meaning, monaural. In stereo, on the proper equipment, a new rich and fuller sound was heard. It eventually became a standard for record and equipment buyers.
. 1959 ~ Andrew Farriss, Keyboards with INXS
. 1967 ~ Pop hit Happy Together by The Turtles became the No. 1 song in America.
. 1970 ~ Mariah Carey. Grammy Award-winning singer. She has sold more than 120 million albums and singles since her debut in 1990, only artist with a #1 single in every year of the 1990s. She has spent more weeks at #1 than any other artist
. 1971 ~ Janis Joplin started her second (and final) week at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson.
. 1975 ~ Sir Arthur Bliss, English composer and Master of the Queen’s Music, died. Master of the Queen’s Music (or Master of the King’s Music) is a post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. The holder of the post originally served the monarch of England.
The post is roughly comparable to that of Poet Laureate. It is given to people eminent in the field of classical music; they have almost always been composers (George Frederick Anderson was one exception; he was a violinist who is not known to have ever composed any music). Duties are not clearly stated, though it is generally expected the holder of the post will write music to commemorate important royal events, such as coronations, birthdays, anniversaries, marriages and deaths, and to accompany other ceremonial occasions. The individual may also act as the Sovereign’s adviser in musical matters.
. 2015 ~ Tomas Tranströmer, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, died at the age of 83.
His poems, translated into 60 languages, have been set to music by some of Sweden’s foremost composers.
A passionate pianist, Tomas Tranströmer had to relearn how to play after a stroke in 1990 left him paralysed down his right side. He said that playing the piano every day was the key to saving his life.