Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Soviets

Growing up we had a monolithic evil force in the world – I’m part of the tail end of the generation that considered the USSR and its brand of communism to be existential threats to not only the USA, but to basic human decency.  And that’s the way it was cast – an epic battle […]

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting

For years now I’ve sparred on Saturdays – we have long had a senior sparring class on the schedule in a late afternoon timeframe, finishing up around 4 pm.  I don’t get out there every week – Saturdays are big days at our school and sometimes my workload prevents it, but I try.   Sparring is […]

Many Roads Lead to Music

“I want to be better at improvisation, you know, just go to a jam session, have someone play a melody, and then improvise my solo part around them.” Last night a friend who plays the guitar and I were talking about our playing, what we like, and how we are accomplishing it.  She plays the […]

Reading Ahead

I downloaded a pdf document that lists the Suzuki repertoire by book.  I know from experience, of course, that it’s accurate for books One and Two, more or less, so I assume it will hold up as I progress.  There’s quite a bit of fun stuff coming up. Book Three, my next up, includes four […]

Sunday Sonatas

Brahms wrote three sonatas for violin and piano – G Major (Opus 78, 1878), A Major (opus 100, 1886), and D Minor (Opus 108, 1887).  Like his canonical Violin Concerto (Opus 77, 1878), all were composed for his very close friend Joseph Joachim, the legendary and prodigious violinist of the 19th century.  The Guardian online […]

A Trio of Lovely

The Beethoven Minuet has four sections, each of which repeat, then half of it repeats again.  Many minuets, Teacher says, have a trio section – this Beethoven does, the third and fourth of the four sections, but my first three Bach minuets, for example, did not.  The trio section definitely involves a shift in the […]

Theremins Are a Little Weird

Guinness World Records is serious business – the officials even have blazers.  Back in July of 2013 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, 272 musicians set out to create the world’s largest theremin ensemble.  For those who don’t know, the theremin is an electronic instrument that is played by manually manipulating (in the air around the […]