All posts by ericdano

THE TRAGIC DECLINE OF MUSIC LITERACY (AND QUALITY)

From intellectualtakeout.org, this article was very very good.

“Throughout grade school and high school, I was fortunate to participate in quality music programs. Our high school had a top Illinois state jazz band; I also participated in symphonic band, which gave me a greater appreciation for classical music. It wasn’t enough to just read music. You would need to sight read, meaning you are given a difficult composition to play cold, without any prior practice. Sight reading would quickly reveal how fine-tuned playing “chops” really were. In college I continued in a jazz band and also took a music theory class. The experience gave me the ability to visualize music (If you play by ear only, you will never have that same depth of understanding music construct.)”

An Open Controller For Woodwind Instruments

From Hackaday.com:

Engineers, hackers, and makers can most certainly build a musical gadget of some kind. They’ll build synths, they’ll build aerophones, and they’ll take the idea of mercury delay line memory, two hydrophones, and a really long tube filled with water to build the most absurd delay in existence. One thing they can’t seem to do is build a woodwind MIDI controller. That’s where [J.M.] comes in. He’s created the Open Woodwind Project as an open and extensible interface that can play sax and clarinet while connected to a computer.

One of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Believe it grew out of this project. Can’t wait to see what is created with this.

Introduction To The Chinese Bamboo Flute Orchestra

From Newmusicusa.org

One of the most representative ensembles of Chinese traditional music engaged in cultural exchange today is the Chinese Bamboo Flute Orchestra (中国竹笛乐团). The group was founded by one of the leading performers on the bamboo flutes dizi (笛子) and xiao (箫), Zhang Weiliang (张维良). In its five years of existence, the orchestra’s work has been substantial. It has commissioned and promoted the music of living composers. It has used modern technology to innovate the design and subsequent construction of new dizi. It has also increased competency of Chinese musicians in playing in non-traditional ensemble settings. And, finally, in addition to protecting and innovating Chinese traditional music, the orchestra has raised the profile of Chinese music internationally.

I have two Dizi flutes. They are very fun to play, and in the proper hands, a Dizi is an amazing instrument.