May 8 in Music History

OCMS  1829 ~ Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American pianist and composer
Listen to Gottschalk’s music
More information on Gottschalk

• 1948 ~ Oscar Hammerstein I, Playwright, producer

• 1910 ~ Mary Lou Williams, American jazz pianist, composer and arranger

• 1911 ~ Robert Johnson, Blues Hall of Fame, singer, songwriter, guitarist, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986

• 1941 ~ Anita O’Day recorded Let Me Off Uptown on Okeh Records with Gene Krupa and his band.

• 1943 ~ Toni Tennille, Singer

• 1944 ~ Gary Glitter (Paul Gadd), Singer

• 1945 ~ Keith Jarrett, American jazz pianist and composer

George Gershwin’s Steinway

gershwinpiano

The Gershwin family donated the Steinway to the University as part of the George and Ira Gershwin initiative that is focused on research and study of the brothers’ music.

According to Marc Gershwin, George and Ira’s nephew, “I wanted the instrument to be accessible to the students and faculty who would be preserving the legacy of George and Ira Gershwin’s music… I’m delighted that the piano will once again be in regular use [by students and faculty], and am thrilled that it has been restored to performance condition.” [Two other Gershwin Steinways are in museums.]

From what I know of George he would have wanted it this way. Unlike some composers George was a gifted pianist. He had a rich social life and enjoyed playing his music for anyone who would listen.

There’s a lesson in that thought. If you have something valuable, sometimes it becomes more valuable – or at least more appreciated – when people can see it and use it. If you look at the piano as an instrument of technology that is it, then it makes sense that organizations give people access to technology – as well as resources – to do their work.

Adapted from  What George Gershwin’s Piano Teaches Us About Technology.

What Gives a Piano its Voice?

Picture a seven-foot grand piano in a studio. The lid’s missing, so you can see all the strings. Researchers suspend a rod embedded with 32 microphones over the piano’s body.

“We played this middle C at a very soft level, a medium level, and a very loud level,” says Agnieszka Roginska, a professor in NYU’s music technology program. She says using a pianist to play middle C over and over wouldn’t be scientific. So they’re using a disklavier, a fancy player piano triggered by electronics. “So we could hit the same note, with the same velocity, thousands of times,” she says.

They’d record the piano in one spot. Then move the microphones eight inches. Record the note. Move the mics again. Record the note. Over and over and over, until they reach the back of the piano. At the end, they get “what is basically a very dense acoustical scan of the radiation pattern of the grand piano,” Roginska says.

Read the entire article here: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-08-10/science-tries-understand-what-gives-piano-its-voice

May 8 ~ This Day in Music History

OCMS  1829 ~ Louis Moreau Gottschalk, American pianist and composer
Listen to Gottschalk’s music
More information on Gottschalk

• 1948 ~ Oscar Hammerstein I, Playwright, producer

• 1910 ~ Mary Lou Williams, American jazz pianist, composer and arranger

• 1911 ~ Robert Johnson, Blues Hall of Fame, singer, songwriter, guitarist, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986

• 1941 ~ Anita O’Day recorded Let Me Off Uptown on Okeh Records with Gene Krupa and his band.

• 1943 ~ Toni Tennille, Singer

• 1944 ~ Gary Glitter (Paul Gadd), Singer

• 1945 ~ Keith Jarrett, American jazz pianist and composer

November 13, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

.1817 ~ Louis Lefébure-Wély, French organist and composer

.1854 ~ George Whitefield Chadwick, American composer and conductor

.1921 ~ Loonas Kokkonen, Finnish composer

.1943 ~ Leonard Bernstein replaced an indisposed Bruno Walter as conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Thus began a legendary career and worldwide appreciation for Bernstein’s many compositions with the orchestra.

.1951 ~ Nicolai Karlovich Medtner died.  He was a Russian composer and pianist.

.1965 ~ Julie Harris starred in “Skyscraper”, which opened on Broadway in New York City. The musical ran for seven months.

.1968 ~ This was a good day for The Beatles. Their movie, “Yellow Submarine”, premiered in the U.S. and the single, Hey Jude, topped the pop music charts (it was in its 7th of 9 weeks at #1).

.1975 ~ Whoa Whoa Whoa, Feeeelings. One of the great lounge-lizard songs of all time, Feelings by Morris Albert, went gold.

 

.1999 ~ Donald Mills passed away.  He had been one of the Mills Brothers.

.2000 ~ Cecil Blackwood, a gospel singer who was a member of the Blackwood Brothers and crooned with Elvis Presley, of cancer at the age of 66. The Blackwood Brothers, who have won nine Grammys and 20 Dove awards, were a favorite of Elvis Presley, who briefly sang with Cecil Blackwood in a group named the Songfellows. The Blackwood Brothers were formed in 1934, the same year Blackwood was born in Ackerman, Miss. He became the group’s baritone in 1954. The Blackwood Brothers have recorded 300 albums, backed country stars Porter Wagoner and Barbara Mandrell, and are members of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

.2000 ~ Jimmy Payne Sr., a tap dancer whose rhythm and technique as well as a mastery of precise steps attracted Bob Fosse, June Allyson, Gregory Hines, Lena Horne and others to his Chicago studio, died Nov. 13 at the age of 95. The son of a Cuban mother and Barbadian father, Payne grew up in the Panama Canal Zone before moving to New York in 1917. After traveling from New York to Chicago in 1947, Payne helped introduce African and Afro-Cuban rhythms to the dance scene. He taught in a number of Chicago dance studios from the 1950s into the 1970s. He continued to teach some of the city’s top dancers until his regimen was slowed by a number of strokes in his early 90s.

.2000 ~ New York entertainment lawyer and tax expert Joseph Taubman, who wrote how- to books for people working in the business side of show business, died at the age of 81. Taubman’s clients included Lionel Richie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie. He also served as counsel to the National Film Board of Canada. Taubman wrote “Financing a Theatrical Production,” and his treatises on various aspects of the entertainment business published in the 1970s remain in print.

.2000 ~ The site, thebeatles.com, went live and is the band’s only official presence on the Internet among a flood of unofficial fan sites.

.2002 ~ Mieke van Hoek, a dance choreographer and teacher, died. She was 56. The Dutch-born van Hoek taught modern-dance choreography and dance improvisation at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie. After emigrating to the United States in 1977, van Hoek worked as a teaching assistant at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C., and studied at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute in New York. She founded a center for meditation, healing and the arts in Canones in 2000.

Understanding What Gives a Piano its Voice

Picture a seven-foot grand piano in a studio. The lid’s missing, so you can see all the strings. Researchers suspend a rod embedded with 32 microphones over the piano’s body.

“We played this middle C at a very soft level, a medium level, and a very loud level,” says Agnieszka Roginska, a professor in NYU’s music technology program. She says using a pianist to play middle C over and over wouldn’t be scientific. So they’re using a disklavier, a fancy player piano triggered by electronics. “So we could hit the same note, with the same velocity, thousands of times,” she says.

They’d record the piano in one spot. Then move the microphones eight inches. Record the note. Move the mics again. Record the note. Over and over and over, until they reach the back of the piano. At the end, they get “what is basically a very dense acoustical scan of the radiation pattern of the grand piano,” Roginska says.

Read the entire article here: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-08-10/science-tries-understand-what-gives-piano-its-voice

JoyTunes Piano Maestro Update Today

Piano-Maestro-End-Game

 

The day has arrived, the new Piano Maestro update is now out (it will take a few hours to appear in the App Store)! Based on your feedback you’ll find a lot of goodies inside, as well as the new plans.

Highlights include 5 new method books (like lesson book 3 from Alfred’s Premier Piano Course and 3 new books from Jennifer Eklund’s Spotlight series), over 50 avatars, practice options for learn levels, fun animation to mark method books, ability to add notes to Home Challenges, enhanced teacher reports, tons of exciting new songs and various enhancements, like new MIDI sounds, no more conflicts with other MIDI apps and notation fixes.

We updated the FAQ so check that out too. https://welcome.joytunes.com/faq-teachers/

Just a reminder to make sure you update to the latest version (Mine is here now).

Thanks for your continued support and all the valuable input and feedback you have given us over the last few weeks. Let us know what you think!

See yesterday’s post for a video on how to download the new app, if you need help.