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, Performance | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Pre-music* and 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

Posted in Theory | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The ultimate repeated-note technic

From the opening ceremony of the Olympics – Mr. Bean, a.k.a. Rowan Atkinson, demonstrating his technical prowess at the keyboard in Titles from the soundtrack for Chariots of Fire. It is “tastefully offensive,” to quote one website where this has … Continue reading

Posted in Music Humour | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments


Serendipity: the faulty of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for (Merriam-Webster) On Thursday we saw a flash of dark red – a stunning lily – hidden in the sea of delphiniums. Weeding the garden this afternoon, a mere … 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

Posted in Inspirational | Tagged , , | 4 Comments


It’s my own stupid fault. I saw the black hose snaking along the path where I was running. I did see it. Sometimes I’m accused of not watching where I’m stepping. Apparently, once when we were going for a walk … Continue reading

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The Green Mile vs. Gilligan’s Island

In an episode from the first season of the TV comedy Frasier, Niles tells Frasier of a party game that was a real hoot. If you were stranded on a desert island with one aria, one meal, and one bottle … Continue reading

Posted in Mozart | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Business of Teaching, Method Books, Theory | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Hidden” Talents

I was – um – featured on a blog post at Lead.Learn.Live yesterday. The topic was punctuation. Because I know there are a few of you who are just as maniacal about this as me, I am sharing it for … Continue reading

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Where’s the line?

Email correspondence with a former student this week sparked the following thoughts. We’ve been discussing, among other things, the balance of work and family – an issue for most people in most professions. I like to think I have this … Continue reading

Posted in Business of Teaching | 2 Comments

Wedding Music

Just surfaced on Tumblr. Somewhere I saw a comment – someone didn’t understand how this was a problem. The response: “Clearly you’re not a cellist. Pachelbel’s Canon, anyone?” The first time I heard that ubiquitous Canon was on the soundtrack … Continue reading

Posted in Music Humour, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

That old player piano

A few years ago one of my brothers was moving a piano on the back of a truck to another location in the same town. Now, admittedly he hasn’t embraced music the same way I have, but no one actually … Continue reading

Posted in Music Humour | Tagged , , | 3 Comments