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
3:28 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Classical Music and Fitness

Do you go jogging on weekends, or whenever the opportunity presents itself?  And do you run wearing headphones?

A 1997 study found that listening to music does, indeed, improve competitive athletic performance.

The study doesn’t say, but I’ll bet Carl Orff, Gustav Holst, and John Williams are among the top classical composers driving our feet forward.

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Notes on Music
3:08 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Classical Music and Food

It’s no secret that classical musicians enjoy good food.

In this regard, a number of cookbooks have been published dealing with musicians’ tastes, including Francine Segan’s Opera Lover’s Cookbook, and The Favorite Dishes of the World’s Most Famous Musicians compiled by the Minneapolis Symphony.

These are certainly favorites for my cuisine shelf!

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Notes on Music
3:01 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Choral Music in America

A drawing of Berlioz conducting a choir by Gustave Doré.

Choral music is obviously a very important component in the lives of musicians.

The International Journal of Choral Singing reports that over twenty-three million American adults sing weekly in over 250 community choirs.

With this great choral activity, I wonder why instrumental music dominates the broadcasts of so many of our classical-music stations.

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Notes on Music
2:33 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Classical Music at the Sochi Olympics

With the Olympics in the spotlight this year, music has played an important part in the competitions, especially the figure skating events.

However, it seems that music written by Mamoru Samuragochi, who claims to be deaf, was actually composed by a ghostwriter.

Even so, his music was still used in performances in Sochi.  I presume he is in great disgrace.

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Notes on Music
3:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Jokes About Musicians

Jokes about musicians abound, especially in the “how many” category.

Examples?

“How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?” Answer: “Oops, I broke it!”

“How many folk singers does it take?” Answer: “One to change it and five to sing about how good the old one was.”

And, “How many conductors to do the same?” Answer: “No one knows; no one ever looks at him.”

Ouch!

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Notes on Music
3:25 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

The Nutcracker

 Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, was received rather poorly when it debuted.

One critic wrote, “For dancers, there is relatively little in it, for art, absolutely nothing, and for the artistic fate of our ballet in general, one more step downward.”

Not so, of course.

More people have seen this wonderful ballet than any other.

Indeed, it has become a Christmastime ritual.

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Notes on Music
3:19 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Least Popular Jeopardy Category: Classical Music

The television show Jeopardy is a staple of many people who love trivia.

What are the top most popular categories?

“Before and After” leads the pack, with “Literature”, “Science”, and “Word Origins” close behind.

But what is the least popular category? Unfortunately it is “Classical Music.”

I wonder what that says about our educational priorities?

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Notes on Music
3:09 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Verdi With A Money Back Guarantee

Verdi’s operas were generally adored by most Italians, but one Prospero Bertani took exception.

After a performance of Aida, Bertani wrote complaining to Verdi that he had wasted thirty-two lira on his rail journey, tickets, and dinner, demanding to be repaid.

Verdi sent him twenty-seven lira instead, saying that, “He could very well have eaten at home!”

Notes on Music
3:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Giuseppi Verdi

Giuseppi Verdi

Giuseppi Verdi was such a well-known composer in his native Italy that everyday matters, like his mailing address, were never an issue.

When Verdi once asked a new acquaintance to mail him something, the man asked for his address.

Verdi replied, “Oh, my address is simply “Maestro Verdi, Italy.”

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Notes on Music
2:48 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Nos Galan

Perhaps you sang Deck the Halls this past Christmas. But did you know that it was taken from a Welch song entitled Nos Galan, a traditional New Year’s Eve carol published in 1794?

However, the words were eventually changed to fit the Christmas season.

And well they should have been, since the original poem goes: “Oh! how soft my fair one’s bosom, fa,la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!

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