Category Archives: Music history

Mystery girl

Whenever you put kids and a piano together, sooner or later somebody will play “Chopsticks.” It’s a tune that can be picked out by ear. No lessons required. “Chopsticks” has an interesting history. A 16-year-old Glasgow girl named Euphemia Allen … Continue reading

Posted in Music history | Tagged | 3 Comments

Dancing Queen

I watched the entire season 2 of The Crown on Netflix in just a few days. It was so good I couldn’t help myself. Claire Foy’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II is a wonder to watch. She speaks volumes without … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Music and emotion, Music history | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Light up the sky like a flame–fame!

Have you ever played that party game where everyone tells the story of their biggest brush with celebrity? My celebrity sighting is pretty lame. I saw Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson’s fawning sidekick, at an ocean-front Los Angeles restaurant in the … Continue reading

Posted in Music history, Reminiscences | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Who will buy?

You’ve probably never heard of composer Richard Trentlage, but every kid—at least in Wisconsin—knows his most famous song: Back in 1962, Trentlage came up with his “Oscar Mayer Wiener Song” when the company (based in Madison, Wisconsin until a few … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Music history, Songwriters | Tagged | 4 Comments

They can’t take that away from me

A few weeks ago, I mentioned here that I’m working on a children’s book about 19th century pianist Clara Schumann. This project has required a lot of research, which I enjoy. Here’s a sample of what I’ve learned. As a … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music history, Volunteering | Tagged | 8 Comments

Smoke! smoke! smoke! that cigarette

I recently inherited 3 big boxes of sheet music from my father-in-law, an amateur trombone player. He enjoyed buying sheet music on eBay, and often sent me copies of songs he thought my senior audiences might like. I’ve sorted through … Continue reading

Posted in Music history, Sheet music, Singers | 4 Comments

Sweet soul music

Earlier this month at my band rehearsal, we sightread through a new piece of sheet music: “It’s All in the Game.” Then we had our usual follow-up discussion after trying new pieces: Did we like it? Enough to work it … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Music history | Tagged | 2 Comments

A dear old land of leprechauns and wondrous wishing wells

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I recently met a new resident of a senior facility who was, until a few months ago, a volunteer pianist like me. We chatted a bit and soon discovered we’ve played at … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Audiences, Music and emotion, Music history, Volunteering | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Evil ways

How controversial could a musical interval possibly be? Very, as it turns out. Not many of us have perfect or absolute pitch, the ability the sing or name a particular pitch without hearing it in relation to another. People with … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Music history, Music theory | Tagged | 4 Comments

Hey! Big spender

I rarely watch television during the day. And I rarely watch a tv program I haven’t prerecorded. Which means I rarely watch a tv commercial, other than in fast-forward mode. But one recent afternoon I did all those things. To … Continue reading

Posted in Music history | Tagged | 7 Comments