Notes on Music

Notes on Music is heard throughout the week on KLRE, Classical 90.5, and is written and voiced by Ray Moore.

Ray Moore is Professor Emeritus of Music and former Director of Choral Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

Dr. Moore received his Bachelor's degree in music from Texas Tech University, and both his Master's and Doctorate from Columbia University.

Moore has published a book, High Notes and Low, based on his Notes on Music spots. You can learn more about his book in this video:

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Notes On Music
12:41 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

An Eccentric Composer

Beware.
Credit flickr.com / Tulane Publications

British composer, Cyril Scott, who lived from 1879 to 1970, wrote in almost all musical genres, from operas to symphonies to exotically flavored piano pieces. 

But  he was also attracted to occult sciences, believing in the supernatural, and that jazz was the work of Satan.  A proponent of alternative medicine, he was quoted as saying, “Avoid doctors at all costs!” 

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Notes On Music
12:22 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Harmonicas

Children like harmonicas too.
Credit flickr.com / Evan Long

The harmonica was invented in Vienna in 1824, largely due to one Joseph Richter, and is used in practically all forms of music. 

It’s interesting that pulmonary specialists recommend playing the harmonica because the strong inhaling and exhaling helps lung use, and seems to be a great help to COPD patients.  By the way, Abraham Lincoln enjoyed playing the instrument as well.

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Notes On Music
12:10 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Tough Crowd

Eduard Hanslick
Credit wikimedia commons

Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin in D Major is one of his best-loved compositions.  However, its debut in 1881 in Vienna brought mixed reviews.  

One of the worst was from critic, Eduard Hanslick, who said that it “brought us face to face with the revolting thought that music can exist which stinks to the ear!”  Ah, well, each to his own, I guess.

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Notes On Music
11:49 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Origin Of A Theme Song

Charles Gounod by Felix Nadar
wikimedia commons

Charles Gounod was a French composer who lived from 1818 to 1893, and is known primarily for his two operas, Romeo and Juliet and Faust.  

However, many know of him only from one of his short pieces for piano, “Funeral March of a Marionette”, which was used as the theme music for the television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

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Notes On Music
5:58 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

The Musically Opinionated

G.K. Chesterton
Wikipedia Commons

Those who critique music are most often quite direct in their views. 

Writer Gilbert Chesterton says, “Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.”

H.L. Mencken commented, “The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral.”

And tenor Luciano Pavarotti protests about music historians, “Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail!”

Notes On Music
5:49 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

The Sporting Legacy of a Famous Musician

Like to bicycle a bit on the weekends? Take an oboist, a photographer, a designer, and a steel and carbon manufacturer in Berlin, put them together, stir a bit, and the result is the built-to-order Pasculli bicycle frame, whose cost can range up to $3,000 each.

The musical connection? It is named for Antonio Pasculli, one of the most famous oboists in history.

Notes On Music
5:42 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

A Much Misattributed Tune

The Adagio for Strings credited to 18th-century composer, Tomaso Albinoni, is a well-known and much beloved selection.  Not only enjoyed for itself alone, it has been used as background music in at least 24 films and five television productions. 

An interesting fact, however, is that Albonini didn’t write it!  It was composed by his 20th-century biographer, Remo Giazotto.

Notes On Music
5:22 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Singing Hocket

“Hocket” is an interesting technique popular in vocal music of the 13th and 14th centuries, most often for two voices, in which the voices take turns singing a melody while the other rests. 

For example, if you and a friend were to sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat, alternately singing a short phrase and then resting while the other continues the sequence, you would be engaging in hocket.

 

Notes on Music
1:38 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

The Miracle Symphony

Portrait of Franz Joseph Haydn by Thomas Hardy
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 is nicknamed “The Miracle Symphony.”  It seems that a large chandelier in the concert hall crashed to the floor, missing the audience due to the fact that they had moved forward to the stage for applause. 

However, this event actually occurred during a performance of his Symphony No. 102.  Wonder how that erroneous story got started...

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Notes on Music
6:02 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Bagatelle

In Italian the word “bagatta” literally means “a little possession”, a trifle, or something of little value. 

Thus in music a bagatelle, although charming and captivating, refers to a short, light composition of little consequence, especially for piano.  It’s interesting that a “bagatelle” also refers to a game played on an oblong table with a cue and balls, much like billiards or pool.

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