Pandora is certainly a wonderful service. You pop in a song or artist you like and just like that it plays a song by a group that you never heard of but you love. It’s like magic, but behind the scenes there is a ton of stuff going on. More, in fact, then you could ever have imagined. Back in late 1999 a man, Tim Westergren sent out a call […]

Picture this: You walk into a music shop, looking around for your very first guitar. Looking at the acoustic-electrics hanging on the wall, you spot a variety of prices. One costs $150, and another costs $1,500, with dozens of other price points in between. Wanting to appear intelligent and knowledgeable in this area,  you speak with whoever happens to be manning the shop. You nod at all the right times, […]

So sorry about the lack of posts this week. I have a big trip I had to prepare for. Next week you will get a full compliment of posts. I promise. Song: Walk Artist: Foo Fighters Chart: Rock Peak: 4 Currently: 4 Peak on Hot 100: N/A Currently: N/A My Thoughts: I don’t dislike it. But it’s not something I will be listening to all the time. One of those […]

Bagpipes are the kind of instruments you either like or you hate. Their distinctive sound can attract some people, and drive others off. But why do they sound that way. And what is the big bag for? Obviously it gives the instrument its name, but what’s the use? When you think of bagpipes, you probably think of what is called The Great Highland Bagpipe. This bagpipe has gained worldwide recognition […]

I apologize to any readers out of the US. Today is a major holiday for us. If you don’t know, it’s the day we celebrate our independence from England over 200 years ago. We celebrate it with parades, fireworks, and lots of patriotic colors (red, white and blue) Today I thought I would write about a few classic patriotic songs. Naturally, none of them have been charted, but they are […]

Sheet music is complicated. It work well for pianists, not so well for guitarists. Think about it. As a pianist, you look at a note, and can translate it into an action with a single finger. In guitar, it requires you to think about several things. You have to decide (A) Which string to pluck, (B) which fret to press on (if any), (C) how long it should be held […]

When we left piano in part one, it was starting to look quite a bit like a modern piano. It had a damper pedal, an action that allowed rapid repressing of keys, and the beginnings of the modern grand where starting to show there faces. But did the piano stop there? No, it did not. Up until the 1820s, all piano hammers had cotton or leather coverings. In 1826, Henri […]

Song: The Edge of Glory Artist: Lady Gaga Chart: Pop Peak: 6 Currently: 6 Peak on Hot 100: 6 Currently: 6 My Thoughts: I liked this song from the moment I heard it. Although it’s not in the top five for it’s chart, it’s on the top ten on the Hot 100, and I thought it deserved recognition. Gaga claims it’s about her grandfather, who recently died, but, well, you […]

Behold: The piano. The instrument has become a world favorite. Many many young musicians start with it. Composers use it when they compose, and it has become a favorite when accompanying vocals, both choral and otherwise. It is an incredible piece of machinery, but where did it come from, and how has it evolved? Back in the day (by which I mean the lat 1600s), two of the most commonly […]

I will start off by saying that you don’t need to know any of this. Now that I get that out of the way, I will say that this whole subject can be endlessly fascinating. If you like music and you like science, you will not be sorry you read this. The science behind sound is incredibly fascinating, the science behind music even more so. Chances are, if you have […]