1. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (the traditional Western spelling) was born in 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. He began taking piano lessons in 1845; however, formal music education was not available in Russian schools at this time so his parents never considered that he might pursue a career in music. Instead, they prepared him for a life of civil service; he began his formal education at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in 1850, which he attended for nine years.
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Tags: peter ilyich tchaikovsky, Russian composers, Russian music, tchaikovsky, tchaikovsky sheet music, The Five, The Mighty Handful, The Nutcracker
Tags: Beethoven, Brahms, Brahms sheet music, Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Liszt, New German School, Robert Schumann, Wagner, War of the Romantics
by Jacy Burroughs
1. Johannes Brahms was born on May 7, 1833. His father was a town musician who played a variety of instruments, mostly horn and double bass.
2. Brahms began playing piano at the age of 7. By the time he was a teenager, he was helping the family financially by performing in inns, brothels, taverns and along the city docks. Brahms is also believed to have begun composing early in his life, but destroyed his early compositions. He did not become famous as a composer until April and May of 1853, when he was on a concert tour as accompanist to the Hungarian violinist Eduard Reményi.
3. In 1853, Brahms met Robert Schumann. Schumann was so impressed with Brahms’ compositions that he wrote an article in his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, praising the young composer’s genius and heralding him as the one who could overthrow the New German School of Liszt and Wagner.
Tags: Dave Brubeck, Dave Brubeck Quartet, jazz, Jazz Appreciation Month
by Jacy Burroughs
In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, I decided to write a post about one of the jazz greats. I am not a jazz musician and unfortunately, my classical music education barely scraped the surface of jazz. However, the question of “Who to write about?” was an easy choice, because I share an alma mater with the legendary Dave Brubeck. We both went to University of the Pacific, formerly College of the Pacific. I even had the chance to meet him my freshman year, well, more like run into him…literally. I was coming out of a class and there he was, right in front of me. Dave Brubeck. I must have looked shocked and embarrassed and he just smiled and asked, “How are you?” I will never forget that smile. He must have been 86 then. Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts about Dave Brubeck’
Tags: Amadeus (film), Classical music, Freemason, Leopold Mozart, Mozart, Nannerl Mozart, Salieri, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
by Jacy Burroughs
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791)
1. Mozart was baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. (Imagine trying to learn to write that name!) His first two names, Johannes Chrysostomus, represent his saint’s name, following the tradition of the Catholic Church. This saint’s name was in all likelihood chosen because Mozart’s birthday, January 27th, was the feast day of Saint John Chrysostom. Wolfgangus, or Wolfgang in German, means Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’
Tags: cantata, Choir, choir music, choral music, choral sheet music, church music, Easter music, Joel Raney, Joseph M. Martin, Lloyd Larson, Pepper Choplin, sacred choral music, Thomas Fettke, worship music
1. The Easter Story by Thomas Fettke & Thomas Grassi
Performance Time: 35 minutes
The Easter Story combines a profound narrative by Ken Bible with musical selections from Tom Fettke and Thomas Grassi. Fettke and Grassi have drawn upon several folk music sources, including hymns from The Sacred Harp and The Columbian Harmony, and spirituals, carols and songs from English, Irish and Hebrew traditions. The narrative is steeped in scripture, helping to relive the events in Jerusalem leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
This cantata recommends using two narrators, but can be performed with one. It is beautiful whether accompanied by piano or orchestra. Continue reading ‘Top 5 New Cantatas for Lent and Easter’
Tags: Christmas gifts, Daniel Ho Ukulele, Disney, Finale SongWriter, gifts, gifts for musicians, holiday gifts, Jamey Aebersold, metronome, Teach Yourself to Play Ukulele, tuner, ukulele
This great gift idea is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to play an instrument but doesn’t know how to get started. It comes with everything needed to start jamming away immediately, including the most important part – the instrument! Ukuleles are fun and easy to play, and this pack comes with a high-quality Firebrand wood ukulele complete with carrying case and extra set of strings. Also included is Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Ukulele Course (book, CD & DVD), the bestselling instructional series for beginners of all ages. The course covers everything from basic fundamentals (such as how to hold the instrument) to songs in various musical styles – you can be your own teacher and learn at your own pace.
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Continue reading ‘Top Ten Holiday Gift Ideas for Musicians’
Tags: music education, organ facts, organ music, pipe organ
By Jacy Burroughs
1. The concept of the organ dates back to an instrument called the hydraulis, invented in Ancient Greece in the 3rd Century BCE. A hydraulis was a mechanical instrument in which the wind pressure is regulated by water pressure. By the 7th Century AD, bellows replaced water pressure to supply the organ with wind.
Tags: instrument practice, music education, practice, top 10 article
By Jacy Burroughs
1. Practice in the morning. If you are on break from school, designate a time in the morning for practicing. That way, you can make sure you at least get some practicing in at the beginning of your day. We all know that if we wait to practice later in the day, we may end up making plans, going out, being too tired and making other excuses not to practice.
2. Set a goal. Whether you are a beginner, a high school student preparing for seating auditions or a college student getting ready for a fall recital, the list of goals you can set for yourself is endless! Maybe you want to get better at sight-reading, learn a new song, work through a particular etude book, memorize a piece – make a goal to achieve by the end of the summer. Set interim goals for yourself along the way so you can check in and make sure you’re on track. Continue reading ’10 tips for staying in shape (on your instrument) over the summer’
Tags: Adolphe Sax, facts about saxophone, music education, Sax, saxophone, saxophone facts, saxophone sheet music, top ten article
By Carolyn Walter
A relatively new-kid-on-the block as instruments go, the saxophone was invented less than 200 years ago! Here is a short sampling of facts about this versatile instrument:
1. While typically constructed of brass, the saxophone is actually a member of the woodwind family. The sax earns this classification because of the way sound is produced: a player’s embouchure creates an airtight seal over the mouthpiece, vibrating a single reed in the manner of a clarinet. Brass instruments, by contrast, are played by buzzing one’s lips on the rim of the mouthpiece.
2. Despite the previous statement that saxes are usually made of brass, there are exceptions. Continue reading ’10 Fun Facts About the Saxophone’
Tags: cello, cello concerto, cello facts, cello sheet music, cello sonata, music education, top ten article
By Jacy Burroughs
1. Cello comes from the Italian term violoncello, which actually means “little violone.” (No, I didn’t spell violin wrong.) The violone is the lowest-pitched instrument in the viol family, a group of stringed instruments that were used primarily before the eighteenth century. During the twentieth century, it became customary to abbreviate violoncello as “cello.”
2. The cello is actually part of the violin family, which came into prominent use in the eighteenth century. There are several differences between instruments in the viol family and violin family. Continue reading ‘Ten Interesting Cello Facts’