silver cordless dynamic microphone
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: Microphones

April 30, 2018

While the first microphones were developed independently by David Edward Hughes, Emile Berliner, and Thomas Edison in the 1870s, they were not employed in ballrooms and theaters to actually amplify a human voice performing live music until the very early 1930s. Up to that time, the largest possible performance venue for a trained singer was an opera house, and for most pop singers, spaces considerably smaller. Microphones and amplification rendered venue size moot; miked and amplified, anyone could be heard anywhere.

Portrait of Beethoven in 1803
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: First Firsts

April 2, 2018

Yes! By April, 1800 the 29 year-old Beethoven was prepared to go the distance, take the plunge, go mano-e-mano with the Viennese musical establishment taken as widely as we please: he was ready to stake his claim as a mature compositional artist and put forward his first symphony! […]

image of DSLR camera for article on the fundamentals of photography

What Are the Fundamentals of Photography?

March 20, 2018

For most of us, our best photographs were a result of luck and a little bit of…more luck. But as the experts can tell you, you can maximize your chances of getting that perfect shot by learning the fundamentals of photography. […]

Painting of Saint Jerome and Pope Gregory I from the 15th century
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: A Most Successful Campaign of Misinformation

March 12, 2018

Thus, the “Pope Gregory listened to the birdie” story, which was created to legitimize Roman chant as being of “divine” origin, was a key component in convincing northern churches to abandon their regional practices in favor of those used by the Roman See. […]

Close up photograph of a Steinway & Sons piano keyboard
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: An American Success Story

March 5, 2018

Born Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, Henry Steinway’s life and accomplishments are a textbook example of the great American success story: of an immigrant and his family who by dint of the hardest work, ambition, sacrifice, artistry, and no small bit of genius created something of true and lasting import. […]

Watercolor portrait of Frédéric Chopin
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: An Auspicious Debut

February 26, 2018

That event took place in September of 1831, when Chopin was 21. He might have been a small, slim, young, physically unprepossessing provincial from Warsaw, but by the time he arrived in Paris to seek his fame and fortune he was a fully formed composer and already one of the best pianists in the world.

Portrait of George Frederick Handel
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: A Model Citizen

February 19, 2018

On this day in 1727, the nearly 42 year-old Georg Friedrich Händel was transformed into George Frederick Handel when he was became a naturalized British subject by order of the crown. […]

Bronze statue of Giuseppe Verdi seated on a chair
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: The Opera That Almost Wasn’t

February 5, 2018

On this day 131 years ago—February 5, 1887—Giuseppe Verdi’s 25th and penultimate opera, Otello, received its premiere at the Teatro alla Scala (“La Scala”) in Milan. The premiere was the single greatest triumph in Verdi’s sensational career. But it was a premiere—and an opera—that almost didn’t happen. […]

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