Daily Listening Assignments ~ June 22, 2022

 

Today we listen to the third movement Mozart’s Piano Sonata No.11 III (Turkish March) with just a bit of the first movement near the end.

The Turkish influence on western music came through the Turkish military band music (Mehter), which was at the time was the only military band in Europe. It was once popular among western composers like Mozart to write Turkish-style (alla Turca) works, Turkish music being known at that time as Turkish band music. That’s why the Turkish-influenced music works by Mozart, Beethoven or Strauss are in march rhythm as they are called march.

A rondo is a piece of music where the musical material stated at the beginning of the piece keeps returning. This opening music can be called either the theme or the refrain; they are the same thing.  The form can be A, B, A or A, B, C, A – anything as long as the “A” theme returns

The Turkish March movement:

 

 

 

On guitar:

 

Harmonica, anyone?

Vocal:

Find the Turkish march movement of this sonata in these Piano Pronto books: Encore,  Mozart: Exploring His Life and Music,

The first movement can be found in Keyboard Kickoff, Movement 2

Daily Listening Assignments ~ June 21, 2022

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major), K. 525, is a 1787 composition for a chamber ensemble by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German title means “a little serenade”, though it is often rendered more literally but less accurately as “a little night music.” The work is written for an ensemble of two violins, viola, and cello with optional double bass but is often performed by string orchestras and there are many arrangements for other instruments as we will see below.

Part of a full orchestral score:

 

Follow the score…

Easy piano sheet music might look like this:

 

The first movement of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, with a graphical score.

 

One of my favorites, Barbershop-Style.  Eine Kleine Not Musik by the Gas House Gang tells the story of The Magic Flute (from June 19) to the music of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

 

A piano transcription

For four recorders, all played by the same person

From the Muppets: The Great Gonzo performing Eine Kleine Nachtmusik on bagpipe while sitting on a ten-foot pole!

 

When my son and I played Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart arranged for 2 pianos November 30, 2014 we were the last people to play in the old Steinway Hall.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good video camera 🙁

2014-08-10 12.49.02 2014-08-09 12.20.39 2014-08-09 12.16.45 2014-08-09 12.15.17

 

Find this arranged for piano in Piano Pronto: Movement 2, Movement 3, Encore, Coda and Mozart: Exploring His Life and Music.

Daily Listening Assignments ~ June 18, 2022

 

‘The Magic Flute’ (German name: Die Zauberflöteis Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final opera, and it contains one of the most well-known arias in music. But what is ‘The Magic Flute’ all about?

 

An animated version:

Played as a piano/organ duo:

 

Arranged by Ferruccio Busoni for 2 pianos:

 

Why Mozart’s Magic Flute is a masterpiece – an introduction (The Royal Opera)

 

The accordion version:

Find this in Piano Pronto: Movement 3, Encore, Mozart: Exploring His Life and Music

Daily Listening Assignments ~ June 5, 2022

 

Happy Birthday is a song that I like to have each of my students learn at various levels appropriate to their level. When a friend or family member has a birthday, it’s great to be able to sit down and play.

 

It’s only been fairly recently that piano students could have this music in their books.

“Happy Birthday to You”, more commonly known as simply “Happy Birthday”, is a song that is traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person’s birth. According to the 1998 Guinness World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language, followed by “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”.

The melody, or part you sing, of “Happy Birthday to You” comes from the song “Good Morning to All”, which has traditionally been attributed to American sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill in 1893, although the claim that the sisters composed the tune is disputed.

Patty Hill was a kindergarten principal and her sister Mildred was a pianist and composer.  The sisters used “Good Morning to All” as a song that young children would find easy to sing.  The combination of melody and lyrics in “Happy Birthday to You” first appeared in print in 1912, and probably existed even earlier.

“Happy Birthday” in the style of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Dvorak, and Stravinsky.  Find the melody!

 

Lots of legal stuff below which you can skip…

None of the early appearances of the “Happy Birthday to You” lyrics included credits or copyright notices. The Summy Company registered a copyright in 1935, crediting authors Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R. R. Forman. In 1988, Warner/Chappell Music purchased the company owning the copyright for US$25 million, with the value of “Happy Birthday” estimated at US$5 million. Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner claimed that the United States copyright will not expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are illegal unless royalties are paid to Warner. In one specific instance in February 2010, these royalties were said to amount to US$700. By one estimate, the song is the highest-earning single song in history, with estimated earnings since its creation of US$50 million.In the European Union, the copyright for the song expired on January 1, 2017.

The American copyright status of “Happy Birthday to You” began to draw more attention with the passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act in 1998. When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Act in Eldred v. Ashcroft in 2003, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer specifically mentioned “Happy Birthday to You” in his dissenting opinion. American law professor Robert Brauneis, who extensively researched the song, concluded in 2010 that “It is almost certainly no longer under copyright.”

In 2013, based in large part on Brauneis’s research, Good Morning to You Productions, a company producing a documentary about “Good Morning to All”, sued Warner/Chappell for falsely claiming copyright to the song.  In September 2015, a federal judge declared that the Warner/Chappell copyright claim was invalid, ruling that the copyright registration applied only to a specific piano arrangement of the song, and not to its lyrics and melody.

In 2016, Warner/Chappell settled for US $14 million, and the court declared that “Happy Birthday to You” was in the public domain.

Legal stuff is finished and people can now sing and play “Happy Birthday to You” whenever and wherever they want.

One of my all-time versions of Happy Birthday, in duet form – and I have the music if you want to tackle it.

 

 

Daily Listening Assignments ~ June 4, 2022

 

I’m sure many have you have learned Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by now.  Did you know its’ the same melody as the ABC Song?  You know…

Don’t believe it? Sing them both in your head or out loud.

The French melody first appeared in 1761, and has been used for many children’s songs, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” and the “Alphabet Song”.

This is one of the first pieces a student learns in piano methods, since it has them reach just a bit outside their accustomed hand position on the word “little”.

 

Twinkle

 

I try to remember to let students know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed a set of twelve variations on the theme “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman” for the piano and it started as the same basic Twinkle tune.

The sheet music is available at the O’Connor Music Studio if you want to borrow it or download it here about 1/3 of the way down the page under “Scores”.

I always enjoy these graphical scores.  Watch the colors as the melody gets more and more complex:

Who knew?  There’s an accordion version.

Have a great day!

May 28: Today’s Music History

• 1608 ~ Claudio Monteverdi’s “Arianna,” premiered in Mantua

• 1650 ~ Gilles Hayne, Composer, died at the age of 59

• 1765 ~ Jean Baptiste Cartier, Composer

• 1777 ~ Joseph-Henri-Ignace Mees, Composer

• 1778 ~ Friedrich Westenholz, Composer

• 1780 ~ Joseph Frohlich, Composer

• 1787 ~ (Johann Georg) Leopold Mozart, Austrian Composer, Wolfgang’s father, died at the age of 67, in Salzburg.

• 1791 ~ Joseph Schmitt, Composer, died at the age of 57

• 1798 ~ Josef Dessauer, Composer

• 1805 ~ (Ridolfo) Luigi Boccherini, Italian composer and cellist, died at the age of 62

• 1830 ~ Karoly Filtsch, Composer

• 1833 ~ Johann Christian Friedrich Haeffner, Composer, died at the age of 74

• 1836 ~ Anton Reicha, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1838 ~ Thomas Busby, Composer, died

• 1841 ~ Giovanni Sgambati, Composer

• 1844 ~ Leon Felix August Joseph Vasseur, Composer

• 1883 ~ George Dyson, Composer

• 1883 ~ August Freyer, Composer, died at the age of 79

• 1883 ~ Luigi Perrachio, Composer

• 1889 ~ Jose Padilla, Composer

• 1890 ~ Viktor Ernst Nessler, Composer, died at the age of 49

• 1892 ~ Comedienne Marie Dressler made her New York City singing debut in the comic opera, “The Robber of the Rhine”.

• 1896 ~ Marius Monnikendam, Dutch choir composer

• 1898 ~ Andy Kirk, Jazz musician

• 1906 ~ Phil Regan, Singer, My Wild Irish Rose

• 1906 ~ Shields/Cobbs musical “His honor, the Mayor,” premiered in New York City

• 1910 ~ T-Bone Walker, Legendary blues guitarist

• 1914 ~ Adolf Gustaw Sonnenfeld, Composer, died at the age of 76

• 1915 ~ Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Violinist

• 1923 ~ György Ligeti, Hungarian-born Austrian composer
More information about Ligeti

• 1922 ~ Carl Tieke, Composer, died at the age of 58

• 1922 ~ Otto Krueger conducted the Detroit News Orchestra, the first known radio orchestra, which was heard on WWJ Radio in Detroit, MI. The “Detroit News” owned the radio station at the time.

• 1925 ~ Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, German baritone. Known for his performance of opera, notably Mozart, Strauss and Wagner, he is also famed for his interpretation of German lieder.

• 1927 ~ Bernhard Lewkovitch, Composer

• 1930 ~ Julian Penkivil Slade, Composer

• 1931 ~ Peter Talbot Westergaard, Composer

• 1932 ~ Henning Christiansen, Composer

• 1934 ~ Julian Slade, Composer

• 1934 ~ Rob du Bois, Composer

• 1936 ~ Maki Ishii, Composer

• 1940 ~ Hans Dulfer, Tenor saxophonist and director of Paradiso

• 1940 ~ Theodor Streicher, Composer, died at the age of 65

• 1940 ~ Irving Berlin’s musical “Louisiana Purchase,” premiered in New York City

• 1941 ~ Frank Sinatra joined Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra in recording “This Love of Mine” for Victor Records.

• 1943 ~ Dennis Riley, Composer

• 1944 ~ Gladys Knight, American rhythm-and-blues singer. She has won 7 Grammys, had 6 number one R&B albums, and had 11 number one R&B singles. Her music career was at its most successful point during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. She began her career as part of the group Gladys Knight and the Pips and later gained recognition as a solo artist. Her most well-known songs include “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and “That’s What Friends Are For.” Knight has also made several appearances in film and television, often playing herself. Gladys Knight and the Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

• 1945 ~ John Fogerty, Songwriter, singer with Creedence Clearwater

• 1945 ~ Gary Stewart, Country singer

• 1954 ~ Achille Longo, Composer, died at the age of 54

• 1957 ~ The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) was established. This is the organization that brings us the Grammy Awards for all forms of musical entertainment each year.

• 1958 ~ Mikulas Schneider-Trvavsky, Composer, died at the age of 77

• 1959 ~ Johnson and Bart’s musical “Lock up your daughters,” premiered in London

• 1963 ~ Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1964 ~ John Finley Williamson, conductor of the Westminster Choir, died at the age of 76

• 1964 ~ Dmitri Shostakovich completed his Ninth String quartet

• 1966 ~ Percy Sledge hit number one with his first, and what turned out to be his biggest, hit. When a Man Loves a Woman would stay at the top of the pop music charts for two weeks. It was the singer’s only hit to make the top ten and was a million seller.

• 1966 ~ Dmitri Shostakovitch’s Eleventh String quartet, premiered in Leningrad

• 1967 ~ Dmitri Shostakovich completed his Second Violin Concerto

• 1973 ~ Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, German composer and conductor, died at the age of 73

• 1975 ~ The Doobie Brothers went gold with the album, “Stampede”. The group, formed in San Jose, CA, recorded 16 charted hits. Two made it to number one, becoming million-selling, gold record winners: Black Water in March, 1975 and What a Fool Believes in April, 1979.

• 1977 ~ Jiri Reinberger, Composer, died at the age of 63

• 1981 ~ Mary Lou Williams, Musician, died at the age of 71

• 2014 ~ James K. Randall, American composer, died at the age of 84

May 18: Today’s Music History

today

• 1799 ~ Pierre Beaumarchais, French playwright, died. Famed for his two comedies “The Marriage of Figaro” (Mozart used this for an opera) and “The Barber of Seville” Rossini used this for an opera).

• 1830 ~ Karl Goldmark, composer

• 1876 ~ The first issue of the first music magazine in America, Musical America, was published

• 1892 ~ Ezio Pinza, Italian bass and actor

• 1902 ~ Meredith Willson, American composer, flutist, arranger and orchestrator
More information about Willson

• 1909 ~ Isaac Albéniz, Spanish pianist and composer (Suite española, Tango in D), died from nephritis at the age of 48

• 1911 ~ Gustav Mahler, Czech-born Austrian composer, died. His last word was “Mozart”.  He completed nine symphonies and several song-cycles notably “Das Lied von der Erde.”
More information about Gustav Mahler

• 1911 ~ Big Joe (Joseph Vernon) Turner, Rhythm & blues singer

• 1913 ~ Perry (Pierino Roland) Como, Grammy Award-winning American singer of popular music, 15 gold records
More information about Como

• 1919 ~ Dame Margot Fonteyne, British prima ballerina. She started her career with the London Sadler’s Wells company in 1934 and in 1962 began a legendary partnership with Rudolph Nureyev.

• 1922 ~ Kai Winding, Jazz musician: trombone

• 1948 ~ Joe Bonsall, Singer with The Oak Ridge Boys

• 1968 ~ Tiny Tim’s warbly Tiptoe Through the Tulips was released. An eventual top twenty hit, Tiptoe was a remake of a number one hit for Nick Lucas in 1929.

• 1970 ~ Opening this night in New York City was The Me Nobody Knows at the Orpheum Theatre. The musical had a run of 586 performances.

• 2002 ~ Wolfgang Schneiderhan, a violinist who began performing as a child, became a concertmaster at 17 and played with orchestras across Europe, died. He was 86. A child prodigy, Schneiderhan quickly rose to international fame, performing with leading ensembles, including the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the Philharmonic. A regular at Europe’s most important music festivals, Schneiderhan played with Wilhelm Backhaus and other well-known pianists and gave violin concerts under such legendary conductors as Bruno Walter and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Later, Schneiderhan was a teacher at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at the Vienna Academy of Music. At age 11, Schneiderhan played in Copenhagen, Denmark – his first major concert abroad. Already a distinguished interpreter of the music of Mozart and Beethoven, Schneiderhan became concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at age 17, a job he also held with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1937.

• 2003 ~ Broadway’s ‘Les Miserables’ Ended After 16 Years. The pop opera based on Victor Hugo’s 1832 novel closed after 16 years, making it the second longest-running show ever on the Great White Way. The show played 6,680 performances since opening at the Broadway Theater in 1987. Only “Cats” has played more performances on Broadway with 7,485. The last performance at the Imperial Theater included a finale featuring 300 alumni of the Broadway run. Although it is now gone from the New York stage, the show is performed around the world by touring companies and is a fixture in London’s West End.

• 2012 ~ Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, German baritone, died at the age of 86

• 2014 ~ Jerry Vale, American singer, died at the age of 83

May 16: Today’s Music History

today

• 1892 ~ Richard Tauber (Ernst Seiffert), Austrian-born British tenor. He sang a wide range of music and was as equally at home in opera, notably Mozart, as in Austrian operetta.

• 1913 ~ Woody (Woodrow Charles) Herman, American jazz clarinetist, bandleader and composer

• 1919 ~ (Walter) (Wladziu Valentino) Liberace, American concert pianist and showman. His trademark was a candelabra on his piano.
More information about Liberace

• 1922 ~ Eddie Bert, Jazz musician, trombone

• 1929 ~ The first Academy Awards were presented on this night, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William C. de Mille. This first awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. It attracted an audience of 200 people.

• 1929 ~ Paul Whiteman and his orchestra backed Bing Crosby for the tune, Sposin’, which ‘Der Bingle’ recorded for Columbia Records. Betty Carter (Lillie Mae Jones) (1930) Jazz singer: toured with Lionel Hampton & Miles Davis

• 1930 ~ Friedrich Gulda, Austrian pianist/composer

• 1946 ~ The Irving Berlin musical, Annie Get Your Gun, at New York’s Imperial Theatre. One of the most successful shows presented on a Broadway stage, the show ran for 1,147 performances.

• 1947 ~ Barbara Lee, Singer with The Chiffons

• 1947 ~ Darrel Sweet, Drummer, singer

• 1953 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets made it to the Billboard music charts for the first time with Crazy Man Crazy. The tune went to number six and became the first rock ’n’ roll record to make the pop music chart.

• 1965 ~ The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, a Broadway musical starring Anthony Newley, made its premiere at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Cyril Ritchard appeared in the production which entertained audiences for 231 performances.

• 1966 ~ Janet Jackson, Singer

• 1990 ~ Jim Henson, the famous creator who of the Muppets, a cast of puppets including Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie and Bert, died at the age of 54.

• 1990 ~ The entertainer who could do it all, Sammy Davis, Jr., died this day, in Beverly Hills, California, USA. From vaudeville at age three (with his father and uncle) to the star of Broadway’s “Mr. Wonderful”, from Las Vegas nightclubs to hit records, the actor, singer, dancer, impersonator, and musician performed his way into the hearts of young and old everywhere. The world mourned the passing of Sammy Davis, Jr. at age 64 of throat cancer.

• 1993 ~ Marv Johnson passed away.  He was an American R&B and soul singer.

• 1995 ~ Lola Flores, fiery Spanish dancer and singer, died. She made many films but was best known for her flamenco movements and passionate songs.

• 2010 ~ Hank Jones, American jazz pianist and composer, died at the age of 91

April 23: Today’s Music History

today

. 1756 ~ Alexander Reinagle, English-American composer, born

. 1882 ~ Albert Coates, British conductor and composer

OCMS 1891 ~ Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer and pianist
More information about Prokofiev
Grammy winner

. 1924 ~ Arthur Frackenpohl, American composer

. 1928 ~ Shirley Temple, American actress best known for her parts as a child actress / singer / Tap Dancer. Possibly her best known part was as Shirley Blake in the movie Bright Eyes when she first performed the song that would become one of her trademarks, “On the Good Ship Lollipop”. She won an Academy Award for best Juvenile Performer in 1935. She went on to star in Stand Up and Cheer!, The Littlest Rebel, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and Just Around the Corner. She was cast alongside some of the great actors of the time including John Wayne, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda and Ronald Reagan to name just a few. After ending her acting career she became a successful diplomat including a delegate to the United Nations (1969), United States Ambassador to Ghana (1974), United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the velvet revolution (1989–92). She was also one of the celebrities featured in the cover of the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper.

. 1936 ~ Roy Orbison, American rock-and-roll singer, songwriter and guitarist

. 1939 ~ Ray Peterson, Singer

. 1947 ~ Keith Moon, Drummer for the rock band The Who

. 1952 ~ Narada Michael Walden, Musician: drums with the group Mahavishnu Orchestra, record producer, singer, songwriter

. 1952 ~ Elisabeth Schumann, German soprano, died. Best known for her roles in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Cosi Fan Tutte,” she was also a popular recitalist

. 1985 ~ This was a big day for the flamboyant Liberace. Lee, as he was called by those close to him, first appeared on the TV soap opera, Another World. The sequined and well-furred pianist appeared as a fan of Felicia Gallant, a romance novelist. Later in the day, Liberace was a guest video jockey on MTV!

and

. 1985 ~ The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize in over a decade was Sunday in the Park with George.

. 1986 ~ Harold Arlen [Hyman Arluck], American composer of Over the Rainbow died at the age of 81

. 2001 ~ Genji Ito, the resident composer for the experimental theater club La MaMa E.T.C. and a music collaborator with many other groups, died of cancer at the age of 54. Ito composed scores for more than 25 theatrical productions at La MaMa. He received an Obie Award in 1986 for sustained excellence. Working closely with Ellen Stewart, La MaMa’s founder, Ito produced scores notable for their stylistic variation and diversity. For 1986’s “Orfei,” a retelling of the Orpheus myth, Ito composed a score that mixed traditional folk instruments with modern electronic ones. For 1993’s “Ghosts: Live from Galilee,” the story of a group of black men accused of raping a white woman in 1931, Ito composed a score that combined blues with country and vaudeville. Ito also wrote 15 compositions for the Ubu Repertory.

April 9: Today’s Music History

today

. 1886 ~ Enrique Granados, Spanish pianist and composer, performed his debut piano concert in Barcelona.

. 1888 ~ Sol Hurok, Impresario

OCMS 1890 ~ Efram Zimbalist, Russian-born American violinist and composer
More information about Zimbalist

. 1898 ~ Paul Robeson, American bass. Known for his sympathy for Russia he had his passport revoked for many years. The song Ole Man River, whose words he changed to fit his views, became his signature song.

. 1906 ~ Antal Dorati, Hungarian-born American conductor and composer. He was the first conductor to record all of Haydn’s symphonies.

. 1916 ~ Julian Dash, Jazz musician, tenor sax

. 1928 ~ Tom Lehrer, Songwriter

. 1932 ~ Carl Perkins, early American rock ‘n’ roll figure who originally recorded Blue Suede Shoes. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987

. 1940 ~ Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra, along with singer Helen O’Connell, recorded Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga for Decca Records.

. 1950 ~ Bob Hope hosted a Star-Spangled Review on NBC-TV. Hope became the highest- paid performer for a single show on TV. The Star-Spangled Review was a musical special.

. 1970 ~ Paul McCartney sought a High Court writ to wind up the Beatles business partnership, effectively ending the group’s career.

. 1977 ~ The Swedish pop group Abba made its debut at number one on the American pop charts, as Dancing Queen became the most popular record in the U.S.

. 1988 ~ Brook Benton passed away.  He was an American singer and songwriter who was popular with rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and pop music audiences.

. 2001 ~ Graziella Sciutti, an Italian soprano and opera director best known for her interpretations of Mozart, died at the age of 68. Born in Turin, northern Italy, in 1932, Sciutti made her first operatic appearance at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France in 1951. She went on to perform under Herbert von Karajan at Milan’s La Scala. She was lead soprano at a smaller theater at La Scala called La Piccola Scala for eight years from its inception in 1955. She became a member of the Vienna State Opera in 1960 and the following year made her debut in San Francisco in one of her most celebrated roles, as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. She began her directing career at Covent Garden in London and at the Glyndebourne Festival in England, where she directed and performed in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine in 1977. She then went on to direct in Canada and for the opera companies in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Dallas and Miami, as well as in Britain, Germany and Italy. She joined London’s Royal College of Music in the mid 1980s and continued to teach there until shortly before her death.