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
2:44 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

The Lunar Landscape Of Classical Music

Credit flickr.com

Many classical selections have references to the moon, or “luna”. For example, Debussy’s Claire de Lune (By the Light of the Moon.) and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata for piano.

It’s interesting that there is a knife used in cooking called a “mezzaluna” or “half moon” in Italian. It consists of a single or double curved blade with a handle on both ends used to chop nuts or herbs.

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Notes On Music
2:33 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Nicolo Paganini

Nicolo Paganini by Richard James Lane, 1831
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Nicólo Paganini has been called the greatest violinist of the 19th century and was said to have made a pact with the Devil to achieve his great ability. 

However, he was a voracious gambler, and lost a valuable Amati violin as a result of this vice, ultimately replacing it with one made by Guarneri, of no small importance.

He called it his “cannon violin” due to its explosive sound.

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Notes On Music
12:37 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Beatles Studies

Are drawing classes included?
Credit flickr.com

Liverpool Hope University is naturally enough located in Liverpool, England. Founded in 1844, it now hosts a student body from 65 countries worldwide. 

Interestingly, it is the only university anywhere to offer a Master of Arts degree in “The Beatles, Popular Music and Society.”

I guess this isn’t so unusual, since it was in Liverpool that the group got its start.

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Notes On Music
12:26 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce was a 19th-century journalist, short story writer, and satirist, who is known for his lexicon, The Devil’s Dictionary.

Some examples of his satire: “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

“The accordion is an instrument with the sentiments of an assassin!” And finally, he called the lyre “an ancient instrument of torture.”

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Notes On Music
12:08 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

More Of America's Treasured Recordings

Act IV, Scene III from a 2012 production of Philip Glass' opera, Einstein on the Beach
Credit flickr.com

The Library of Congress has just added twenty-five recordings to the National Recording Registry.

These include Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 performed by Van Cliburn, A Program of Song featuring Leontyne Price, and the opera Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass.

Also included were Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence, and Chubby Checkers’ The Twist. How eclectic!

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Notes On Music
11:47 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Thanks, Academia

Johannes Brahms
Credit Wikimedia Commons

In appreciation of being awarded an honorary Doctorate from the University of Breslau in 1880, Brahms wrote the Academic Festival Overture, an appropriate “thank you” for such an honor. 

Taking the melodies of fraternity songs, he wove together a familiar offering for the students, including portions of Gaudeamus igitur, the lyrics of which praise “all beautiful women.”

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Notes On Music
11:16 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Imagery Repetition

Did you ever get a melody “stuck in your head” where it seems to endlessly repeat itself over and over? I think we all have.

Such an effect can be called imagery repetition, involuntary musical imagery, sticky music, or more commonly, “earworms”, essentially referring to a musical “worm” that has crawled its way into our brain.

Descriptive, if a bit creepy!   

Notes On Music
10:51 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Sexy Operas

Poster for an American production of Georges Bizet's Carmen, ca. 1896
Credit Wikimedia Commons

One doesn’t usually refer to classical music as being sexy, though Ravel’s Bolero, or the “Habanera” from Bizet’s opera Carmen, can certainly fit the bill.

But some more specifically-named pieces do as well, such as “Dance of the 7 Veils” from Richard Strauss’ opera, Salome, or perhaps the Poem of Ecstacy by Alexander Scriabin. What pieces would you recommend?

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Notes On Music
1:31 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Jimmy Driftwood

James Morris was at wit’s end about how to get his sixth-grade history class in Snowball, Arkansas, interested in the War of 1812.  

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Notes On Music
1:28 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

The Singing Telegram

In 1933, Western Union operator George Oslin was looking for a way to make the telegram something fun. 

It was during the Depression and people didn’t have money to send regular telegrams, so he hit on the idea of something more affordable. 

Soliciting aptly named 28-year old Lucille Lipps, he had her call singer Rudy Valley and deliver the first singing telegram.         

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