Archive for the ‘Music’ Category
Jack in Amsterdam sent a link to an interesting article that includes a slide show of photographs. Here’s one:
The article is definitely worth reading, and it includes this music video. Jack notes:
“Die Antwoord” = The Answer
“Platteland” = Countryside
And I know a fine way to treat a Steinway. Let me immediately recommend the wonderful book Men, Women, and Pianos, a social history of the piano by Arthur Loesser. (At the link, inexpensive secondhand editions.) Open Culture offers a couple of short videos on the making of a Steinway—a piano is a mechanical marvel—and you can see a full-length version in the highly enjoyable documentary, Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 (available on Netflix Streaming, as you see at the link).
Everything in this post is recommended.
A fascinating note in The Scientist by Chris Palmer.
When members of a choir get together, they do more than harmonize their voices. Singing demands certain breathing patterns, and as breathing becomes coordinated, heart rates follow, according to research published Tuesday (July 9) in Frontiers in Psychology.
It’s been known since the mid-1800s that respiration rate and variability in heart rate are linked. In general, pulse increases during inhalation and decreases during exhalation. “When you exhale you activate the vagus nerve, we think, that goes from the brain stem to the heart,” lead author Bjorn Vickhoff, a musicologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told BBC News. “And when that is activated, the heart beats slower.”
The entrainment of heart rate to breathing—called the respiratory sinus arrhythmia—underlies the proposed health benefits of activities such as yoga and prayer recitation. Rosary reading has been found to induce a rhythmic pattern of breathing once every 10 seconds, a rate suggested by previous research to create the strongest respiratory sinus arrhythmia.
Vickhoff’s team monitored the heart rates of 15 teenage choir members singing together and demonstrated that a similar entrainment could be achieved through singing. They further showed that the singers’ heart rates became synchronized.
Songs with more structure, such as slow chants requiring steady breathing every 10 seconds in between phrases, were found to induce a stronger synchrony in the singers’ heartbeats than free singing or humming.
I haven’t done enough with music, but it may be that I don’t hear aspects that are clear to others. However, I did enjoy this Open Culture column on 12-tone music, particularly the NY Times video. I plan to list more systematically to classical music now.
Sometime in the late 80’s I attended a Forth Interest Group presentation by a guy who had written a very small and compact Forth program (typical of Forth programs) to write musical notation. He used the printer port as input, and you could simply type in the music to have it displayed (and printed) perfectly formatted in musical notation. I’m struggling to remember… The note values (eighth note, quarter note, half note, etc.) were “sticky” because if you type one quarter note the next note is also highly likely to be a quarter note. If the note value changed, you keyed the change, and the program would assume that value until another change.
Getting the elliptical shape of the notes just right was a challenge, but the great thing about programming is that, once you do get it right, that solves it forever. The phrasing notations, the spacing and line-up with the lyrics—he had solved all that, using a microcomputer (a late 80’s microcomputer) and Forth. Several publishers were intensely interested, as you might imagine. As I recall, he started the program so he could format church music for his church. It was an astonishingly good and capable program.
But here’s how they did it before (and apparently after his program—wonder whatever became of that).
Interesting post with video at Open Culture.