Archive for the ‘Music Mondays’ Category

Beauty out of oppression. Subjugation, racism, and violent prejudice weave their shadowy threads through the early history of the United States. And yet through such tragedy and oppression, the irrepressible voice of a people broke through with beauty, emotion, and genius. 
 One legacy of that struggle is a musical revolution that not only shaped

The Duke says it best. Duke Ellington, April 29, 1969 – upon receiving the presidential medal of freedom: “Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And the word “freedom” is one, coincidentally, that we are using at the moment in our sacred concert. And,

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The Orchestra The lights in the house dim, and the chatter of the audience fades away. 

The lights come up, revealing a host of a hundred musicians, poised and ready. Their presence is unified; they seem almost to breathe as one. The conductor, their head, stands in front of them.

 A hand is raised –

Electronic instruments. Electronics are so fused in today’s music world, we hardly notice their presence anymore.  The process of amplifying and recording music on it’s own has cemented electronics as a cornerstone of music-making in the 20th century. But how do electronics fit into an exploration of different types of instruments?

Simple answer: not very easily!

December is upon us! Walking down the street, buildings are covered in twinkly lights, the wandering crowds are filled with cheer, and the air is ringing with that sound we all know – the holiday bells. Bells are a classically religious instrument in Christianity, Shinto, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Bells have always had strong association with

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The wide world of strings! From screaming electric guitars to the most delicate of violins, string instruments are among the most-loved sounds in the musical buffet. So, how exactly do stringed instruments work?
 Actually, a lot like drums! Like drums, string instruments have two essential parts: the material held in tension (which will create the

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Today we continue our journey through the world of instruments with some hand-smacking fun – drums! A drum is an instrument whose sound is caused by a membrane suspended in tension.  A drum consists of at least two simple sections: the membrane (or head) itself, and the supporting structure that stretches the membrane tightly. Unlike

Couldn’t resist. So if that’s not the sort of pipe (or not-pipe, as the case may be), what is the sort of pipe we’re talking about? Or, not-pipe we’re talking about. Or… pipe we’re not-talking about?

 Ok, enough semiotics for today. As per our last article about types of instruments, we’ll call any instrument a

We’re currently touring South America… about as far south as one can go. The area is a beautiful countryside, sprinkled with an eclectic variety of locals and tourists. I have never been more present to what North Americans and South Americans share as I am these days. Our history is deeply interlocked – as is

From a young age, we learn to channel our energies along different paths. Throughout one average day even a child will have shifted into multiple states. Note how different the roles taken up by a child are when say, sweet-talking a parent into a treat, and later stubbornly avoiding confrontation for neglecting a chore. As