July 24, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s piece is called the British Grenadiers and I’ve included it because most students today haven’t heard of the piece OR know what a grenadier is.  Find this in Keyboard Kickoff, Prelude and many other piano method books.

“The British Grenadiers” is a traditional marching song of British, Australian and Canadian military units whose badge of identification features a grenade.   The original melody dates from the 17th century.

 

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these
But of all the world’s great heroes
There’s none that can compare
With a tow, row row row, row row row
To the British Grenadiers

When e’er we are commanded to storm the palisades
Our leaders march with fuses, and we with hand grenades;
We throw them from the glacis about the enemies’ ears
With a tow, row row row, row row row
For the British Grenadiers

Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health to those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the louped clothes
May they and their commanders live happy all their years
Sing tow, row row row, row row row
For the British Grenadiers

 

In the examples below you can hear the steady marching drumbeat.

 

 

The band of the Highlands and Lowlands plays “The British Grenadiers” at Edinburgh Castle

 

Fife and drum

 

Piano

Guitar

A piano tutorial

A different take

 

 

July 15, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

“The Entertainer” is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was sold first as sheet music, and in the 1910s as piano rolls that would play on player pianos.

It was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting by composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch.
The Sting was set in the 1930s, a full generation after the end of ragtime’s mainstream popularity, thus giving the inaccurate impression that ragtime music was popular at that time.

Find the sheet music in a variety of levels including Songs I Love to Play, Volume 1 and Alfred Premier Piano Course Book 4.  It’s also available in Piano Maestro and to borrow from the O’Connor Music Studio

 

 

As played in The Sting

 

Adam Swanson

 

Piano Duet

On an older piano

 

At Disney

 

Player piano

Harder than it needs to be

From a 4-year-old

Violin and piano

 

String Quartet

On guitar

 

Saxophone quartet

Miss Piggy sang The Entertainer

And, everyone’s favorite – the ice cream truck!

On July 11 ~ in Music History

today

 

Be sure your student reads and listens to Today’s Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

• 1768 ~ Jose Melchior de Nebra Blascu, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1781 ~ Adolph Carl Kunzen, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1824 ~ Adolphe-Abraham Samuel, Composer

• 1826 ~ Carl Bernhard Wessely, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1836 ~ Carlos Gomez, Composer

• 1837 ~ Paul Lacombe, Composer

• 1857 ~ Iacob Moresianu, Composer

• 1861 ~ Anton Stepanovich Arensky, Russian composer of Romantic classical music, a pianist and a professor of music.

• 1862 ~ Liza Nina Mary Frederica Lehmann, Composer

• 1892 ~ Giorgio Federico Ghedini, Composer

• 1897 ~ Blind Lemon Jefferson, Singer

• 1914 ~ Ahti Sonninen, Composer

• 1916 ~ Howard Brubeck, Composer

• 1918 ~ Enrico Caruso bypassed opera for a short time to join the war (WWI) effort. Caruso recorded Over There, the patriotic song written by George M. Cohan.

• 1920 ~ Yul Brynner (Taidje Khan), Academy & Tony Award-winning actor in The King and I

• 1925 ~ Mattiwilda Dobbs, American soprano

• 1925 ~ Nicolai Gedda, Swedish tenor

• 1926 ~ Rodolfo Arizaga, Composer

• 1927 ~ Herbert Blomstedt, American-born Swedish conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1954 until 1961

• 1928 ~ Robert Washburn, Composer

• 1929 ~ Hermann Prey, German baritone

• 1931 ~ Thurston Harris, American vocalist

• 1931 ~ Tab Hunter (Arthur Gelien), Singer

• 1932 ~ Alex Hassilev, American vocalist with the Limeliters

• 1937 ~ George Gershwin, Composer of An American Paris, died at the age of 38
More information about Gershwin

• 1938 ~ Terry Garthwaite, American guitarist and singer

• 1944 ~ Bobby Rice, Singer

• 1945 ~ Debbie Harry, Singer

• 1947 ~ Jeff Hanna, Singer, guitarist with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

• 1950 ~ Patty Pointer, Singer with Pointer Sisters

• 1950 ~ Timotei Popovici, Composer, died at the age of 79

• 1951 ~ Bonnie Pointer, Singer with Pointer Sisters

• 1957 ~ Peter Murphy, Singer with Bauhaus

• 1959 ~ Richie Sambora, Guitarist

• 1964 ~ 18-year-old Millie Small was riding high on the pop music charts with My Boy Lollipop. Rod Stewart played the harmonica. Millie Small was known as the ’Blue Beat Girl’ in Jamaica, her homeland.

• 1967 ~ Kenny Rogers formed The First Edition just one day after he and members Thelma Camacho, Mike Settle and Terry Williams left The New Christy Minstrels. The First Edition hosted a syndicated TV variety show in 1972.

• 1969 ~ David Bowie released Space Oddity in the UK for the first time. It was timed to coincide with the Apollo moon landing but had to be re-released before it became a hit, later in the year in the UK (but not until 1973 in the US).

• 1969 ~ Rolling Stones released Honky Tonk Woman

• 1973 ~ Alexander Vasilyevich Mosolov, Russian Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1980 ~ Boleslaw Woytowicz, Composer, died at the age of 80

• 1984 ~ Karel Mengelberg, Composer, died at the age of 81

• 1993 ~ Mario Bauza, Cuban/American jazz musician ~ died at the age of 82

• 1994 ~ Charles “Lefty” Edwards, Saxophonist, died at the age of 67

• 1994 ~ Lex P Humphries, Drummer, died at the age of 57

• 1996 ~ Louis Gottlieb, Musician, died at the age of 72

• 1999 ~ Big band jazz singer Helen Forrest died

• 2001 ~ Herman Brood, an artist and musician in the Dutch rock scene for 30 years, died at the age of 55. Brood became a sensation with his 1978 hit single Saturday Night, which he wrote as leader of the band Wild Romance. Over 25 years, he recorded nearly 20 albums. He also appeared in Dutch movies.

• 2002 ~ Blues singer Rosco Gordon died of a heart attack. He was 74. Rosco was known for 1950s hits including Booted, No More Doggin’, Do the Chicken and Just a Little Bit, which sold more than 4 million copies in covers by Etta James, Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Jerry Butler. His offbeat, rhythmic style influenced the early sounds of ska and reggae after he toured the Caribbean in the late ’50s. Gordon quit the music business in the 1960s and invested his winnings from a poker game in a dry cleaning business. He started his own record label in 1969 and returned to concert performances in 1981.

June 19, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s piece is one of those that piano students often try to learn on their own – or a friend will teach them the first 9 notes.  It’s usually played too fast and, often in the wrong octave, or the first couple notes are repeated too many times.

This is one of two pieces that are so often played incorrectly that they have the distinction of being banned from competition in Northern Virginia Piano Teacher competitions.

Stay tuned for the other one!

Fur Elise was not published during Beethoven’s lifetime, having been discovered by Ludwig Nohl 40 years after the composer’s death. The identity of “Elise” is unknown.

The very basic melody:

 

 

The actual beginning is a little more involved.

 

And, there’s more!

 

If you’d like to learn to play this piece correctly, find the sheet music at IMSLP, Beethoven: Exploring His Life and Music, and countless compilations of classical music available at the O’Connor Music Studio.

Follow along:

By Valentina Lisitsa:

 

Ragtime!

 

 

 

The Big Piano at FAO Schwartz in NYC:

 

Glass harp:

 

The Mystery Behind Für Elise:

 

Youtube has many, many more versions.  Beethoven would probably go nuts!

On May 11 in Music History

today

• 1885 ~ Joseph “King” Oliver, American jazz cornetist and bandleader

• 1887 ~ Paul Wittgenstein, an Austrian concert pianist notable for commissioning new piano concerti for the left hand alone, following the amputation of his right arm during the First World War. He devised novel techniques, including pedal and hand-movement combinations, that allowed him to play chords previously regarded as impossible for a five-fingered pianist.

• 1888 ~ Irving Berlin, Russian-born American songwriter and lyricist
More information about Berlin
Grammy winner

 

• 1894 ~ Martha Graham, Modern dancer: Denishawn dance school and performing troupe, Graham company, established school of modern dance at Bennington College; choreographer

• 1895 ~ William Grant Still, American composer
More information about Still

• 1916 ~ Max Reger, German composer, pianist and professor (Leipzig Univ), died at the age of 43

• 1927 ~ The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded; although the first Oscars were not presented for several years after its founding.

• 1931 ~ Dick Garcia, Guitarist

• 1941 ~ Eric Burdon, Singer with The Animals

• 1943 ~ Les (John) Chadwick, Bass with Gerry & The Pacemakers

• 1965 ~ Liza Minnelli opened in Flora the Red Menace. The musical ran for only 87 performances at the Alvin Theatre.

• 1970 ~ The Chairmen of the Board received a gold record for the hit, Give Me Just a Little More Time. The Detroit group recorded three other songs in 1970, with moderate success.

• 1979 ~ Lester Flatt passed away.  He was a bluegrass guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his collaboration with banjo picker Earl Scruggs in The Foggy Mountain Boys.

• 2000 ~ Zydeco trumpeter Warren Ceasar, who recorded three solo albums and performed with the legendary Clifton Chenier, died of a brain aneurysm. He was 48. Ceasar, who was born and raised in Basile, was the nephew of the late internationally known fiddler, Canray Fontenot. In addition to his role as frontman for Warren Ceasar and the Zydeco Snap Band, Ceasar also played with Clifton Chenier, who is known as “The Grandfather of Zydeco.” Ceasar also performed with soul greats Isaac Hayes and Al Green.

• 2011 ~ [Eugene Edward] Snooky Young, American jazz trumpeter who mastered the plunger mute, died at the age of 92

• 2018 ~ Scott Hutchinson, Scottish musician (Frightened Rabbit), died at the age of 36

On April 19 in Music History

today

OCMS 1836 ~ Augustus D. Julliard, American music patron; responsible for founding The Julliard School of Music
More information about Julliard

. 1876 ~ Samuel Sebastian Wesley, composer, died at the age of 65

. 1892 ~ Germaine Tailleferre, French composer

. 1905 ~ Tommy Benford, Drummer with Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers

. 1920 ~ Frank Fontaine, Comedian, actor, singer

. 1924 ~ A new show joined the airwaves. The Chicago Barn Dance aired on WLS radio in the Windy City. Later, the famous program would be renamed The National Barn Dance. This program was the first country music jamboree on radio. (The Grand Ole Opry on WSM Radio in Nashville, TN began in 1925.) National Barn Dance continued for many years on the radio station that was owned by the retailer, Sears Roebuck & Co. WLS, in fact, stood for ‘World’s Largest Store’. Though the Barn Dance gave way to rock music and now, talk radio, The Grand Ole Opry continues each weekend in Nashville.

. 1927 ~ Don Barbour, Singer with the group, The Four Freshmen

. 1928 ~ Alexis Korner, Musician: guitar, singer

. 1935 ~ Dudley Moore, English pianist and actor

. 1942 ~ Alan Price, Musician: keyboards, singer: groups: Alan Price Combo, The Animals. Some favorites were House of the Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out of This Place

. 1942 ~ Larry (Hilario) Ramos, Jr., Musician, guitar, singer with the group: The Association

. 1943 ~ Eve Graham, Singer with The New Seekers

. 1943 ~ Czeslaw Bartkowski, jazz musician, drums

. 1945 ~ The musical Carousel, based on Molnar’s Liliom, opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. John Raitt and Jan Clayton starred in the show which ran for 890 performances. Music was by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.

. 1947 ~ Murray Perahia, American pianist and conductor

. 1947 ~ Mark Volman, Saxophonist, singer

. 1959 ~ Singer Harry Belafonte appeared in the first of two benefit concerts for charity at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

. 1967 ~ Nancy Sinatra and her dad, Frank, received a gold record award for their collaboration on the hit single, Something Stupid.

1987 ~ The Simpsons TV show was born
John Brunning celebrates tonight with Danny Elfman’s theme to the series

. 2000 ~ Richard L. Campbell, a classical music announcer on WCPE-FM died during his on-the-air shift, apparently of a massive heart attack. He was 67. On the air, Campbell catered to his audience by using his warm baritone voice to soothing effect. Before coming to WCPE about 10 years ago, he was a computer programmer and helped design the station’s traffic system.

. 2012 ~ Greg Ham, Australian rock saxophonist and flutist (Men At Work), died at the age of 58

On February 8 in Music History

today

. 1709 ~ Giuseppe Torelli, Italian composer, died at the age of 50

. 1741 ~ Andre-Ernest-Modeste Gretry, composer

. 1932 ~ John Williams, American Academy Award-winning composer and conductor
More information about Williams

. 1934 ~ Elly Ameling, Dutch Soprano

. 1936 ~ Larry Verne, Singer

. 1937 ~ Joe Raposa, composer/songwriter (Sesame Street)

. 1938 ~ Ray Sharpe, Singer

. 1941 ~ Tom Rush, American folk singer, songwriter and guitarist

. 1943 – Creed Bratton, Guitarist, banjo, sitar with The Grass Roots

. 1963 ~ Joshua Kadison, American pianist and songwriter

. 2001 ~ Leslie Edwards, a dancer and director at the Royal Ballet, died of cancer at the age of 84. Edwards made his debut in 1933 with the Vic-Wells Ballet. Except for a stint with the Ballet Rambert from 1935 to 1937, Edwards spent his entire career with Sadler’s Wells Ballet, which became the Royal Ballet Company in 1956. He appeared in more than 70 roles at the Royal Ballet and was a key figure in its choreographic group, as well as working as ballet master to the Royal Opera for 20 years. Edwards was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1975, and a studio at the rebuilt Sadler’s Wells Theatre was named for him.

. 2017 ~ Nicolai Gedda, Swedish opera tenor (Opera Two to Six), died at the age of 91