Tag: music

Perfect pitch

The Harding University A Cappella Chorus, when I sang with it, seldom relied on pitch pipe or tuning fork to pitch songs.  Instead, we relied on Eve, who hummed pitches as needed–ask her for an A or a C-sharp, and she could produce it, accurately, out of thin air. Eve was one of the estimated …

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The science of swing

With Ken Burns’s epic documentary Jazz airing on PBS, millions of people who never really gave much thought to this musical form before are suddenly learning all about its fascinating history—and more than once, they’ve heard that for music to be jazz, it’s got to swing. Or, as Duke Ellington put it, “It don’t mean …

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Beethoven’s hair

Ludwig van Beethoven was known for being both a brilliant composer and a difficult human being. For most of the almost two centuries since his death, his tendency toward irritability and depression has been put down to the fact he was a genius, since there’s a common perception that genius and eccentricities go hand in …

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Composer David McIntyre

Regina composer David McIntyre, whose first symphony was premiered by the Regina Symphony Orchestra February 12, set his sights high from the moment he began writing tunes. David, who is originally from Calgary, started piano lessons with his uncle when he was four. “I heard my uncle talk about the big names, like Mozart and …

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Stage fright

  I love to perform.  Getting up in front of an audience and singing, acting, reading or just speaking is about the most fun thing I can think of. But many people find that hard to imagine.  Research shows that what North Americans fear more than anything else–more than snakes, heights, disease, going broke, even …

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Amplification

Summer is the time for outdoor concerts, but even when 20,000 people gather in a muddy field, they take it for granted that they’ll be able to clearly hear the music…and complain if they don’t. We’re so used to electronically amplified sound the only time we give it any thought is when it doesn’t work …

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Singing

  I’ve sung all my life, and I’m rather good at it–good enough that people sometimes actually pay me to sing. Yet I’ve had friends whom people might very well pay NOT to sing. Why is it that some of us can sing, and some can’t? Physiologically, there’s no reason at all. Singing is really …

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Christmas songs

So Christmas is over for another year, and as we head into 1995, only one question remains to haunt us: Just what are frankincense and myrrh, anyway? Here come “We Three Kings,” bearing gifts from afar. The first king brings gold; a fine present, indeed. But then the second king starts singing, “Frankincense to offer …

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Guitars

One of the problems with being a musician whose instrument of choice is the piano is that it’s very difficult to take your instrument with you to parties. I mean, it’s almost impossible to find a piano carrying-case, and have you ever tried to load one into the hatchback of a Plymouth Laser? (I suppose …

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Recording sound

In 1877, Thomas Edison was experimenting with a way to repeat Morse-coded telegraph messages using a waxed paper tape on which the message was written by a stylus. He noticed that if he pulled an already inscribed tape past the stylus it produced a note, and reasoned that he should be able to use the …

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Music

Want to start an interesting discussion? Go up to someone and say, “I think Barry Manilow represents the pinnacle of music in the rock era.” Assuming you can avoid being locked and/or beaten up, you will have demonstrated the fact that music is a topic of great interest to just about everyone. Topics of great …

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