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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Music, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,739
1. Review of Trombone Shorty

andrew_trombone shortyTrombone Shorty
by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; illus. by Bryan Collier
Primary   Abrams   40 pp.
4/15   978-1-4197-1465-8   $17.95

In New Orleans parlance, “Where y’at?” means “hello.” As an opening greeting (repeated three times, creating a jazzy beat), it also signals the beginning of this conversational and personable 
autobiography. Andrews, a.k.a. Trombone Shorty, concentrates on his younger years: growing up in Tremé, a neighborhood of New Orleans known for its close-knit community and commitment to music; making his own instruments before acquiring and learning to play the trombone; practicing constantly; appearing onstage with Bo Diddley; and finally forming his own successful band. Collier’s expressive watercolor collages layer and texture each page, creating a mix of images that echo the combination of styles Andrews uses to create his own “musical gumbo.” Strong vertical lines burst from his trombone like powerful sounds, while circular shapes float through the pages like background harmonies spilling out of homes and businesses. Hot colors reflect the New Orleans climate, while serene blues are as cool as the music Trombone Shorty produces. An author’s note adds detail to the text; two accompanying photographs of Andrews as a child reinforce the story’s authenticity. Collier discusses his artistic symbolism in an illustrator’s note. Read this one aloud to capture the sounds and sights of Trombone Shorty’s New Orleans.

From the May/June 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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The post Review of Trombone Shorty appeared first on The Horn Book.

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2. Review of How Jelly Roll Morton 
Invented Jazz

winter_how jelly roll morton invented jazzHow Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz
by Jonah Winter; 
illus. by Keith Mallett
Primary   Porter/Roaring Brook   32 pp.
6/15   978-1-59643-963-4   $17.99

Much like jazz itself, Winter has created a book filled with ebbs and flows, rhythm and rhyme, darkness and light, shadow and sunshine. Opening with a dreamy spread set in a dimly lit New Orleans with the city on the right-hand page and a small house on the left, the hushed second-person narration begins, “Here’s what could’ve happened if you were born a way down south in New Orleans, in the Land of Dreams a long, long time ago.” Facts about Morton’s life are sprinkled into the gentle prose: a stint in jail — as a baby! — when his godmother was arrested (he would not stop crying until the incarcerated men “commenced to singing”); a disapproving great-grandmother; and later the audacious claim, by Jelly Roll himself, that he invented jazz. Textured acrylic-on-canvas illustrations are punctuated by musical notes that create rivers and roads of music, allowing readers to imagine the beats, blues, and marvelous improvisation that were such a big part of the birth of jazz. Performers in silhouette — cornet-playing Buddy Bolden and Jelly Roll at different ages — add to the dreamy feel. An informative author’s note provides some (age-appropriate) background information and is written in the same loose conversational style as the book. This is a beautiful tribute to one of the parents of jazz (sorry, but Morton can’t claim sole ownership!) — and a fitting introduction for a new generation of jazz lovers.

From the May/June 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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Invented Jazz appeared first on The Horn Book.

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3. Learning country music in the digital age

Recently reading through the Notes and Discographies section of Greil Marcus’s book Mystery Train (first published in 1975), I was struck by Marcus’s meticulousness when it came to recommending records.

The post Learning country music in the digital age appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. The Wren and the Sparrow by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg

It's hard to imagine that such a lyrical story could be written about a time as terrible as the Holocaust, but that is exactly what J. Patrick Lewis has done in this new picture book allegory.

The story takes place in a small town in Poland that has shriveled up under the occupation of the Tyrant and his Guards.   Living in shadow, an old man nightly plays his hurdy-gurdy, singing so beautifully, he is called the Wren by his neighbors.  He has on music student - a young girl called the Sparrow with fiery red hair.

One day, the Guards order all the residents of the town to turn in their musical instruments.  The Wren brings his beloved hurdy-gurdy but begs to allowed to play one more song before handing it in.  As he plays, the whole town begins to sing.  At the end of his song, the old man gives his instrument to the Guards and disappeared himself, never to be seen again.

The instruments are all thrown into a pile to be destroyed later.  But later that night, the Sparrow sneaks into the storage area and finds the hurdy-gurdy.  Inside it is a hidden note from the Wren to the Sparrow.  She takes the instrument and note and hides the them in the hope that they will survive the war and be found in the future and that the finder will know exactly what happened in this small town in Poland and the world will never forget.

I think this is a wonderful example of an allegorical story, Allegory, you will remember, is typically used as a literary device that uses symbolic figures, events etc for revealing a more complex issue or meaning in a work with a moral or political message.  Here, Lewis uses symbolic types rather than realistic characters, - the Wren, the Sparrow, the Guards, the Tyrant - in an abstract setting - a small town in Poland - to achieve maximum impact of this Holocaust story about the Nazi occupation and the the fate of Europe's Jews.   The result is a powerful multi-layered picture book for older readers that should not be missed.


Patrick's words and text reminded me of the way Expressionist writers sought to convey feelings and emotions in an anxious world.  Here his words are simple and elegant in contrast to his topic, but at the same time so very ominous.  Unlike Eve Bunting's excellent Terrible Things: an Allegory of the Holocaust, another picture book for older readers, which ends on a note of hopelessness, The Wren and the Sparrow sees hope for the future.

Perhaps following Patrick's lead, Yevgenia Nayberg's expressionistly styled illustrations are painted in a dark palette of yellows, greens and browns that ends in a lighter illustration done in bright blue-green at the end, symbolizing a message that even in the darkest of days, hope can survive.  Illustrations and text compliment and enhance each other throughout this allegory.

And be sure to read the Afterword at the end of the story that explains how Lewis was inspired by the street musicians and performers in the Lodz Ghetto.  In fact, performers and music were a sustaining force in ghetto life under the Nazis and Lewis has written a beautiful homage to them in The Wren and the Sparrow.

This book is recommended for readers age 8+
This book was borrowed from the NYPL

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5. A Jazz Appreciation Month Playlist

Established in 2001, Jazz Appreciation Month celebrates the rich history, present accolades, and future growth of jazz music. Spanning the blues, ragtime, dixieland, bebop, swing, soul, and instrumentals, there's no surprise that jazz music has endured the test of time from its early origins amongst African-American slaves in the late 19th century to its growth today.

The post A Jazz Appreciation Month Playlist appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Poetry Friday: Song in My Heart

April is National Poetry Month! All month long we’ll be celebrating by posting some of our favorite poems for Poetry Friday. For our third Poetry Friday post, we chose Song in my Heart by Tony Medina, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Jackson from I and I Bob Marley.

i and i

Song in My Heart

I am the boy

From Nine Miles

The one sing

Like three little birds

In a reggae style

The one blessed

By Jah

To travel miles

Across the world

With my island girl

Guitar in hand

And my dreads

A twirl

With music

In my belly

And songs

In my heart

Healing the world

With my reggae art

Keeping you always

Like a song

In my heart

 Let us know what poems you’re reading in the comments section!

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7. Nostalgia and the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards

The country music tradition in the United States might be characterized as a nostalgic one. To varying degrees since the emergence of recorded country music in the early 1920s, country songs and songwriters have expressed longing for the seemingly simpler times of their childhoods—or even their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods. In many ways, one might read country music’s occasional obsession with all things past and gone as an extension of the nineteenth-century plantation song, popularized by Pittsburgh native Stephen Collins Foster, whose “Old Folks at Home” (1851) and “My Old Kentucky Home” (1853) depicted freed slaves longing for the simpler times of their plantation youths.

The post Nostalgia and the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Echo, a novel by Pam Muñoz Ryan

When young Otto goes missing in a German forest during a game of Hide and Seek, he meets three princesses, sisters named Eins, Zwei and Drei (One, Two and Three).  The sisters were brought to a witch by a midwife after their father, the king, rejected them for not being the son he wanted.  Now, they have been cursed by the witch to live in a small clearing, unable to leave until they save a soul from death's door.  The sister's hope comes from the prophecy each were given by the midwife when she left them with the witch: "Your fate is not yet sealed/ Even in the darkest night/ a star will shine/ a bell will chime/ a path will be revealed."

As an adult, Otto becomes a master harmonica maker, but when one of them is destroyed in an important order for 13 harmonica's, he decides to include the one that each of the sisters had played.  One the bottom of the harmonica, he paints the letter M.

The story skips now to Germany in 1933, just as Hitler comes to power.  For 12 year old Friedrich Schmidt, life is hard.  Not only was he born with half is face covered in a wine colored birthmark, and Friedrich can hear music in his head and has an uncontrollable need to conduct it, making his a target of the other kids and earning him the name Monster Boy.  A loner, Friedrich finds the M marked harmonica in an abandoned factory.  The music from it is like no other he has ever heard before.  After his father is arrested and sent to Dachau, Friedrich becomes a target of the Nazis despite the fact that his sister is an important member of the Hitler Youth's League of German Girls.  Though he is about to audition for the music conservatory and realize his dream of conducting, Friedrich realizes he must try to free his father and escape Germany.

The story skips two years to an orphanage in 1935 Pennsylvania.  Mike Flannery and his younger brother Frankie are adopted by Mrs. Sturbridge's lawyer Mr. Howard on the spot when it turns out that they can play piano beautifully.  The adoption is done to meet the requirements of the will left by Mrs. Sturbridge's father.  But when Mike learns that Mrs. Sturbridge is planning on have the adoption reversed, he makes a deal with her.  If her keeps Frankie, he will audition for a travelling harmonica troupe of young kids.  After all, he has a harmonica marked with an M that makes an especially beautiful sound.

The story jumps to California in 1942.  Japanese Americans have just been rounded up and sent to internment camps.  For Ivy Lopez and her parents, that means a job and the possibility of owning land, having a permanent home and never needing to move from job to job.  Her father new job is caring for the house and land of an interned family, the Yamamotos, whose oldest son is serving in the army.  Ivy, who has come into possession of a harmonica marked with and M that makes an especially beautiful sound from her old school, is excited to join the orchestra in her new school, until she discovers that the Mexican American students don't attend the main school, going to a ramshackle annex instead.

Three different stories bound together in space and time by one harmonica marked with an M but how do their destiny's connect?  Ryan ends each story with a cliffhanger, but it all comes together in the end.  In the meantime, she shows the reader how music can be a sustaining force even in the most difficult times.  Each of the characters must deal with situations that are rife with hate, suspicion and intolerance to suffering for those who are different and helpless in some way.

Ryan uses the technique of a Rahmenerzählung, framing the three stories with the story of Otto and the fairytale story of the three sisters, giving it a nice magical element.  Ryan holds the reader in suspense about every one's destiny and how they connect until the very end, but it is a delicious kind of suspense.

Echo is an enchanting novel that carries a message of hope, even throughout the scary parts, but readers should still read it with a willing suspension of disbelief to really get  appreciate the entire story.

This book is recommended for readers age 10+
This book was borrowed from the NYPL (but I liked it so much, I've decided I need to buy a copy for my personal library).

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9. New Symposium of Animated Abstract Art Comes to Spain

For those who like their animation in its purest form: a feast of form, color, motion and sound in Spain.

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10. Poetry Friday: Try by Jillian Edwards

If you were a melody
I'd sing you all the time
And if your hands were poetry
I'd memorize every line
And if every look you gave me were
A different hue or shade of color
I'd learn how to paint you
You know I'd try

And if you were words in a story
You'd be in a book that's overdue
That's somewhere hidden in my closet
Looked a million times for you
And if you were just one day
You'd be the very first of May
And I'd be sunlight in your skies
Or at least I'd try

- selected lyrics from Try by Jillian Edwards



If you can't see the media player embedded above, click here to listen to the song.

Last week, I posted lyrics from Jillian's song Room.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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11. Nicolas Nabokov: a life in pictures

Composer, cosmopolite, cultural force, Nicolas Nabokov (1903-1978), first cousin of Vladimir Nabokov (the author of Lolita), came to prominence in Paris in the late 1920s with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He then emigrated to America, returning to Europe in postwar Germany and subsequently as head of the Congress Cultural Freedom, for which he organized groundbreaking festivals. A tireless promoter of international cultural exchange, he was also remarkable for the range of his friendships, from Balanchine to Stravinsky and from Auden to Oppenheimer.

The post Nicolas Nabokov: a life in pictures appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Religion in and beyond A Love Supreme

John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, which the famed saxophonist performed live only once, has the distinction of being one of jazz’s most widely celebrated yet imperfectly understood recordings. At its half-century, the devotional piece is seen as the culmination of Coltrane’s “dark night of the soul,” the sound of his heroic overcoming, and his personal entreaty to the divine.

The post Religion in and beyond A Love Supreme appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Poetry Friday: Room by Jillian Edwards

With all of my heart, I'm racing
Watch the page as it turns out
You would read all of me had you the chance
You'd never put me down
Please don't put me down

I get a little bit restless
You just gotta give me time
I get a little bit insecure, a little bit bent
I get a little bit everything every now and then

But there's room for you here
Oh, if you take it all
Got so much room for you here
Yes, I pray you lay your head down here

So take it all
Take it like you would your childhood
The street you lived
You ride your bike
The whole world there inside your eyes
I'll find the water's deep
The river's wide
I've got nothin' but time

This is steady and sure and clear as the wind
That I see the other side of me in you
That I've got nothing but room for you here

- selected lyrics from Room by Jillian Edwards

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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14. When is it Fiddle time?

How do you create a repertoire for all levels of learning in music education? Kathy and David Blackwell’s repertoire for beginner to intermediate string players covers a huge range of styles whilst introducing new technical points in a step by step way. Their Fiddle Time, Viola Time, and Cello Time series offer attractive tunes that are fun to learn and provide quality teaching material. Find out how and why they wrote their very first tunes for young string players:

The post When is it Fiddle time? appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Music video: It's All About The Books (parodies of Meghan Trainor's "All About The Bass")

Just came across these fun book-focused parodies of Meghan Trainor's "All About The Bass", like Mount Desert Island High School:

Also love this "All About That Book" video from Griffin Elementary's Literacy Night:

and "All About The Books" from Andover Elementary:

and from Calusa Elementary:

and from Christina Iadicicco on YouTube:

And they're all right, of course! It's ALL ABOUT THE BOOKS.

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16. Beethoven’s diagnosis

Since Beethoven’s death on this day 188 years ago, debate has raged as to the cause of his deafness, generating scores of diagnoses ranging from measles to Paget’s disease. If deafness had been his only problem, diagnosing the disorder might have been easier, although his ear problem was of a strange character no longer seen. It began ever so surreptitiously and took over two decades to complete its destruction of Beethoven’s hearing.

The post Beethoven’s diagnosis appeared first on OUPblog.

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17. Gaye vs. Thicke: How blurred are the lines of copyright infringement?

“Blurred Lines” and Thicke’s overwhelming success have been eclipsed by the popularity of the recent federal court case, in which a jury decided that its creators infringed upon the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 Billboard Hot 100 chart topper, “Got to Give It Up.”

The post Gaye vs. Thicke: How blurred are the lines of copyright infringement? appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. One Direction Goes In Two Directions

Zayn MalikZayn Is Leaving One Direction!

It’s true. THIS IS NOT A JOKE! After five years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece group in the forthcoming concerts of their world tour, and will record their fifth album, due to be released later this year, without Zayn.

On the official One Direction Family website, Zayn says:

“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”

One Direction say:Jennette McCurdy Zayn Malik

“We’re really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we’ve gone through so much together, so we will always be friends. The four of us will now continue. We’re looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour.”

You know you’re a Directioner when . . . you wish this was just a bad dream. I remember when I was first introduced to Zayn (not in real life, but you know what I mean!) when I read this crazy, hilarious interview. And remember this One Direction trivia quiz? And who could forget when Sam abducted him on iCarly? Oh, the memories!

What are your best Zayn memories? Leave your tributes in the Comments. We will miss you, Zayn! *sniff*

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

Zayn Malik photo courtesy of Sony Pictures, iCarly photo courtesy of Nickelodeon

 

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19. Book Titles: Creating a Good Book Name | Rachel Hartman, Author of Seraphina

Shadow Scale jumped out at me. It was more complex than it first appeared, I realized in that moment, because “scale” could mean several different things.

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20. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman | Book Review

In the kingdom of Goredd, humans and dragons have lived and worked side by side for more than forty years, a treaty of peace signed, and the past war forgotten. But when a member of the royal family is brutally murdered and the finger of blame points to dragons, it appears that not all is forgotten, or forgiven.

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21. Beethoven and the Revolution of 1830

That Beethoven welcomed the French Revolution and admired Napoleon, its most flamboyant product, is common knowledge. So is the story of his outrage at the news that his hero, in flagrant disregard of liberté, égalité, fraternité, had had himself crowned emperor: striking the dedication to Napoleon of his "Eroica" symphony, he addressed it instead "to the memory of a great man."

The post Beethoven and the Revolution of 1830 appeared first on OUPblog.

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22. Ten fun facts about the Irish Fiddle

Even though the harp is Ireland’s national symbol, the fiddle is the most commonly played instrument in traditional Irish music. Its ornamental melodies are more relaxed than the classical violin and improvisation is encouraged. The fiddle has survived generational changes from its start as a low-class instrument popular among the poor.

The post Ten fun facts about the Irish Fiddle appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. The AACM at 50

OLDAACM

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Inc.(AACM), founded on Chicago’s South Side by musicians Muhal Richard Abrams (pianist/composer), pianist Jodie Christian (pianist), drummer Steve McCall (drummer), and Phil Cohran (composer).

A recent piece in the New York Times by Nate Chinen baseline summarizes their achievements:

Over the half-century of its existence, the association has been one of this country’s great engines of experimental art, producing work with an irreducible breadth of scope and style. By now the organization’s significance derives not only from the example of its first wave—including Mr. Abrams, still formidable at 84—but also from an influence on countless uncompromising artists, many of whom are not even members of its chapters in Chicago and New York.

The AACM is legendary, well beyond—but also emphatically intertwined with—their Chicago origins. With an aim to “provide an atmosphere conducive to the development of its member artists and to continue the AACM legacy of providing leadership and vision for the development of creative music,” the AACM turned jazz on its head, rolled it sideways, stood it upright again, and then leaned on it with a combination of effortless grace and righteous pressure during the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.

Among the events organized around the anniversary are Free at First (currently on view at Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History, and running through September 6, 2015) and the forthcoming exhibition The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, at the MCA Chicago (opening in mid-July), which builds around the aesthetics championed by the association and their legacy.

This YouTube playlist should woo you pretty hard: http://bit.ly/1EHQMid

9780226476964

Our own connection to the AACM, worth every plug one can work in, is George E. Lewis’s definitive history A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (one of my favorite non-fiction books we’ve published). Lewis, who joined the AACM in 1971 when he was still a teenager, chronicles the group’s communal history via the twin channels of jazz and experimental cultural production, from the AACM’s founding in 1965 to the present. Personal, political, filled with archival details—as well as theory, criticism, and reportage—the book is a must-read jazz ethnography for anyone interested in the trajectory of AACM’s importance and influence, which as the NYT’s piece notes, began from a place of “originality and self-determination,” and landed somewhere that, if nothing else, in the words of Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center’s artistic director for jazz, “shifted the cultural landscape.”

To read more about A Power Stronger than Itself, click here.

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24. The street where she lived: My Fair Lady at 59

Fifty-nine years ago this month, My Fair Lady made its debut on Broadway to a rapturous critical response. It became the longest-running musical to date, and was a landmark in the genre.

The post The street where she lived: My Fair Lady at 59 appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. Female composer Clara Ross’ overlooked success

What were the first musical instruments to be regularly played in public concerts by entire orchestras of British women? The answer may surprise you. From the mid-1880s until the First World War, hundreds of “Ladies’ Guitar and Mandolin Bands” flourished throughout Britain, including several consisting entirely of female members of the aristocracy.

The post Female composer Clara Ross’ overlooked success appeared first on OUPblog.

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