Category Archives: Music history

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

From the archives

For most people, the upcoming Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. For me, fall begins today, the day I turn my calendar to September. September makes me think of white blouses. When I was growing up, I could … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Music and emotion, Music history, Volunteering | 2 Comments

A-B-C-D, can I bring my friend to tea?

Most of us learned our ABCs by singing a tune that dates to the 1800s, the same tune used for “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” It’s based on a melody by Mozart, who borrowed it from … Continue reading

Posted in Music history | Tagged | 7 Comments

A kiddle-y divey too, wouldn’t you?

I like learning new words. Here’s one: mondegreen. A mondegreen is a misheard phrase or song lyric. Like thinking “varicose veins” are “very close veins.” Or that “Olive, the other reindeer” used to laugh and call poor Rudolph names. The … Continue reading

Posted in Music history | Tagged | 9 Comments

It’s the truth, it’s actual

Actress Alice Faye sang “You’ll Never Know” to her love—over the telephone—in the 1943 musical Hello, Frisco, Hello: You’ll never know just how much I miss you, You’ll never know just how much I care… This sweet ballad, so fitting … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music history, Volunteering | Tagged | 3 Comments