Monthly Archives: November 2014

How to be talented

What musical talent isn’t Musical talent used to be a mystery, and to many still is. Some people even want to believe that it is God-given. Not a very empowering  view, unless you think prayer will change your lot. And … Continue reading

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Blow your horn, not your savings

The Honeycomb: useless brainfood? The Honeycomb, known by some as the Harmonic Table, maps notes on a hexagonal grid along three axes: fifths, major thirds and minor thirds. That’s nice, but what do you want to do with it? Well, … Continue reading

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Honeycomium. WTF. A truly analog experience.

What singers don’t know about howling mikes Have you ever noticed in Karaoke bars when a singer takes the microphone and it starts howling, the ones that don’t know try to cover the mike with their hand and the feedback … Continue reading

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Getting towards a tipping point

Paul von Jankó was a man ahead of his time. His ideas fell on stony ground and he ended up spending the last 17 years of his life laboring on a Turkish tobacco farm. Perhaps to get away from his … Continue reading

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How to convert your panpipe to wholetone tuning

So your Gran bought you this beautiful Romanian nai for Christmas and the first thing you want to do is convert it to wholetone tuning so you can play all your favorite Charlie Parker tunes on it – in all … Continue reading

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Scales can lead you astray

OK so you want to play faster than you can think. Scales are the way to go! You can vary them a bit by playing them in thirds (up two down one) and keep going (up three down two…). Then … Continue reading

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Learning one halfstep at a time

If you want to know what quartertones sound like, get your class of kids to sing the Beatles song When I’m 64. The second line is supposed to sound like this: And what you will generally get, when you average … Continue reading

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How tots discover they don’t like “music”

Early learning materials conceived to initiate tots into the making of music suffer from conflicting design aims and manage to put quite a few little fellows off from the outset. It is often wrongly assumed that kids who don’t pursue … Continue reading

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Visualizing the Seven Dwarfs + Cinderella

No I haven’t suddenly taken to designing embroidery patterns for Romanian shirts. I used this old toy I found in the basement to show you how the player of the double-wholetone-row xylophone or wholetone panpipe player visualizes Messiaen’s seven “modes … Continue reading

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