Archive for April, 2014

Ten Facts You Should Know About the (French) Horn

By Jacy Burroughs

1.  Why is it called the French horn? There is some confusion over the correct name of this instrument.   Most non-English speaking countries do not use the nationalistic adjective. Even in France it is simply called cor.  In 1971, the International Horn Society recommended that “horn” be the recognized name for the instrument in the English language. Unfortunately, this hasn’t caught on, especially in the United States. From my experience as a horn player, the instrument is referred to as the French horn throughout primary and secondary education. It was not until college that I learned “horn” was the more accepted term among professionals. The “French” adjective is very misleading because the instrument isn’t even French, which leads me to my second fact.

Continue reading ‘Ten Facts You Should Know About the (French) Horn’

Ten Facts About Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

by Jacy Burroughs

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1. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the second surviving son of Johann Sebastian and Maria Barbara Bach (Sebastian’s first wife). This year we celebrate the 300th anniversary of his birth. He was born on March 8, 1714.

2. Emanuel never had any music teacher besides his father. There is no evidence that he studied any instrument other than keyboard.

3. Between 1731 and 1738, Emanuel studied law, first at the University of Leipzig and then at the University of Frankfurt an der Oder. At this time, law was a very typical subject of study for university students. Unlike today, the study of law was considered to be more of a general education than a vocational course of study. Sebastian Bach was determined to give all his sons the university education that he lacked to defend them against society’s prejudices that musicians were simple servants.

While enrolled in school at the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, Emanuel supported himself by teaching keyboard lessons, and composing for or directing public concerts and ceremonies. It was during his years at university that Emanuel’s compositional career accelerated. Continue reading ‘Ten Facts About Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’

Musical Jokes: A Compilation of Sheet Music Plus Favorites

What better way for musicians to celebrate April Fools’ Day than to share some music humor? Here are some of our favorites.

Woodwinds

What’s the definition of a minor second?
Two piccolos playing in unison.

Flute players spend half their time tuning their instrument and the other half playing out of tune.

What’s the difference between an oboe and an onion?
No one cries when you chop up an oboe.

What’s the definition of a nerd?
Someone who owns his own alto clarinet.

What is “perfect pitch?”
When you lob a clarinet into a dumpster without hitting the rim.

What’s the purpose of the bell on a bass clarinet?
Storing the ashes from the rest of the instrument.

What’s the difference between a bassoon and a trampoline?
You take off your shoes when you jump on the trampoline.

What’s the difference between a lawn mower and a soprano saxophone?
The neighbors are upset if you borrow a lawn mower and don’t return it.

How many alto sax players does it take to change a light bulb?
Five: one to handle the bulb and four to contemplate how David Sanborn would’ve done it.

If you were lost in the woods, who would you trust for directions: an in-tune tenor sax player, an out-of-tune tenor sax player or the Tooth Fairy? Continue reading ‘Musical Jokes: A Compilation of Sheet Music Plus Favorites’



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