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Mid-week haiku

Second in a mini-series of ten most beautiful.

Here was the first.

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, B. 178 (“From the New World”)

An argument can be made that his Seventh and Eighth Symphonies are greater than his final essay in that form, but there is no denying that the second movement of the “New World Symphony” contains one of Dvořák’s most gorgeous tunes. This is claiming quite a bit, for the Czech composer was one of the greatest geniuses of melody in the history of music. A Nationalist like his compatriot, Smetana, Dvořák spent three years in America, conducting in New York and residing for a summer with the Czech community of Spillville, Iowa. Dvořák sought to incorporate traditional American tunes and idioms, including those of Native and African Americans, in the music he composed for his host country. In so doing, he created a music for America greater than that of any native-born composer.…

Chords and scales combined

C-C-Pent1The text said:

Often, beginner guitar players think of playing chords and scales as two different worlds.

If you’re the chord type then maybe you have a hard time memorizing scales, or don’t see the value in them, maybe you don’t know how cool it can be to apply them.

If you’re the scale type maybe you like the melodic aspect of scales or repeating the same chord progression over and over with no variation isn’t your idea of a good time.

Hmmmm, it’s a world I’d love to have been part of – knowing these things, making music. Seems quite difficult.…

Haiku on Sunday

First of a mini-series of ten most beautiful.

Schubert Symphony No 9 C major ‘The Great’ Minkowski:

Thought some may argue for his famous “Unfinished” symphony (No. 8) instead, Schubert’s Ninth is a mighty ninth indeed, full of majesty and power. If it lacks that one searing melody that burns through to the soul, it compensates by a sheer hour of unabated excitement, from the fetching horn call of its opening, through the galloping syncopations of the first movement, to the mysterious tread of the second movement and the chrysalis-like undulations of the third, and at last to the unrivaled high spirits of its finale. In listening to this work, one feels himself a giant striding the tallest mountain peaks, breaking through the enigmatic fog, and stretching towards the very outskirts of eternity:

Berlioz – Harold in Italy:

Often mistaken for a concerto, this work was described by its composer as a “symphony in four parts with viola obbligato.” The renowned violinist Niccolò Paganini, for whom the piece was written, rejected Berlioz’ composition at first because the solo part was not prominent enough.…

We love the Scots, adore them

Now, I think you wee lads and lasses have it all wrong with these caustic remarks about Wee Alex’s socialist paradise. There are at least 10% who are not that way inclined.

And let’s not get into why business will be heading south so that Thieving Alex can’t get his paws on the cash for grandiose schemes once the oil and gas profits also go south.

Instead, let’s be appreciative of our brothers and sisters up there, make them feel wanted down south. So, I’m doing my wee bit to help the process along in this musical offering:

Thought you might enjoy some pipes:

And finally, some … er … pipes:

Hmmmm, not too sure that’s going to help the unionist cause.

By the way, did I mention the pipes?

What’s not to love?

Scottish Nationalists in civil war as furious Alex Salmond slaps down grandee who promised ‘day of reckoning’ for pro-Union big business


Tickling the ivories

Very rare track from Elvin Bishop and the sound quality has suffered – it’s worse at the beginning and picks up a bit later. Worth it for the girls in the audience alone.

Towards the mid-70s there was an explosion of electric country, for want of a better term – Elvin Bishop, Allman Brothers, Charlie Daniels, Marshall Tucker Band and the albums were right up there in the charts.

Like most of the genre, it was driven by piano in this number and this comes into its own just after the five minute mark in his signature song:

The Marshall Tucker Band did some interesting things, adding woodwind to country but still relying on fiddle and piano – piano is more understated here but still prominent middle and end:

As I think I’ve mentioned – of all genres, that was my favourite song of all time. So laid back – some called it loose but that’s what was required.…