Category Archives: Intuitive Instruments

How to make modular bass panpipes for classroom, stage and studio

Most bass riffs you get called upon to play contain between three and five notes, so why not assemble just the tubes you need for each tune – in the order they come, to keep it simple and lightweight? I … Continue reading

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Why Montessori bells get it wrong

There is no single Montessori system for introducing 3-year olds to music. Children are placed in a rich environment full of learning toys, of which the musical instruments, generally bells, are only one among several competing attractions. Montessori bell sets … Continue reading

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Rubinstein loved it. Liszt loved it. Now you can buy it!

Black Future For Piano Teachers? What will we do with all our used piano teachers when logical keyboards finally take over? Well, they could be recycled. After all, some of them have a lot to offer on a purely musical … Continue reading

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Why can’t music learning be as simple as LEGO?

The other day my 6-year-old son decided he wanted to get rid of all his toys, except his LEGO. Not quite. When the moment came to pack them up, he decided he couldn’t part with his Bakugan brawlers either. You … 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 Jank√≥ 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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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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Why kids give up

“I did a bit of piano when I was little” How many times have you heard that? Do you even need to ask what went wrong? The piano keyboard, whose design dates back to before the discovery of equal temperament, … Continue reading

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