Monthly Archives: July 2012

Sacbuts and serpents and zinks – oh my!

If you have to teach early music history, Musica Antiqua of Iowa State University has a great website with photos, descriptions and sound bytes of the medieval instruments. This has been online since 1996 – an eternity in the internet age. Some … Continue reading

Posted in Music History | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The devil’s interval

The tritone – that interval of 3 whole tones (augmented fourth/diminished fifth) – harsh, dissonant, one of the cornerstones of our music since about 1600 because of its tension and then demand for a sweet release. Those two notes (F-B) … Continue reading

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The mountains are home

“The mountains…are a passive mystery, the oldest of all. Theirs is the one simple mystery of creation from nothing… Mountinas are giant, restful, absorbent. You can heave your spirit into a mountain and the mountain will keep it, folded, and … Continue reading

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Too. Much. Paper.

Walls are re-painted. Most stuff on the walls has been stashed away. Music has been sorted, culled, and given away. Time to tackle the paper. And ditch the guilt. The plethora of music theory resources – so much of it … Continue reading

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The big gun

Week 3 of the summer teaching schedule. Week 3 of the intense “let’s improve your reading” campaign with one of my early advanced students – blogged about here. Two weeks ago, in addition to what I blogged about I sent … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy, Practice Tips, Sight Reading, Technic, Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Dark Romantic

Jay Gatsby – In the Hall of the Mountain King – Cliff Barnes from Dallas (old TV drama) – Hotel California – all associated with the key of B minor, according to a quite fun series put together by CBC … Continue reading

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Burgmuller – Opus 105

Love it when I catch myself making the same mistakes that I bag at my students about! It keeps me grounded, and human, and laughing. Sight-reading my way through the “B”s I played through my collection of Burgmüller today – … Continue reading

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Antidote for everything western

It’s early July in Calgary, Alberta, which means just one thing. The Calgary Stampede. The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth. To which we are all supposed to respond, “Yeehaw.” It’s all about celebrating a cowboy culture – the boots, the … Continue reading

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An Equal Music

Every rehearsal of the Maggiore (String) Quartet begins with a very plain, very slow three-octave scale on all four instruments in unison: sometimes major, as in our name, sometimes minor, depending on the key of the first piece we are … Continue reading

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Back on the bench again

My summer (July) teaching schedule is very light – a half-day a week. Two good piano students in the morning and two good theory students in the afternoon. The summer goal for one of the piano students: to improve her … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy, Sight Reading | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Canada Day

 Oh Canada! Our home and native land!  True patriot love in all our sons command.  Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,                        Il sait porter la croix.       … Continue reading

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