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Sticky Notes is a classical music podcast for everyone, whether you are just getting interested in classical music for the first time, or if you've been listening to it and loving it all your life. Interviews with great artists, in depth looks at pieces in the repertoire, and both basic and deep dives into every era of music. Classical music is absolutely for everyone, so let's start listening! Note - Seasons 1-5 will be returning over the next year. They have been taken down in order to be ...
 
The Music Educator Podcast is about analyzing, nurturing and discussing what takes place in the music classroom as it relates to 21st-century education. This podcast compliments the educational vision of The Band Buzz Blog which can be found at bandbuzz.org. This educational media is intended for music educators, students, and professional learners.
 
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No one makes a grand statement quite like Gustav Mahler, and his first symphony, nearly an hour long, was one of the boldest statements ever made by a young composer. Today I’ll take a look at the history behind the early inspirations behind the piece, Mahler’s turbulent life, and the first two movements of the symphony. As the great Bernard Haitin…
 
There are composers whose influence outstrips their popularity. The Baroque composer Heinrich Schutz falls into this group, due to his total focus on writing sacred vocal music. But for those who know his music, he is essential. He was the most important German composer before Bach and was vital to the development of music. Today I’m going to take …
 
Bartok’s Music for Strings Percussion and Celeste is a perfect encapsulation of Bartok’s musical output. Each movement provides us with a magnifying glass into some of the qualities that made Bartok one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. But for how spectacular a piece it is, it isn’t played as often as it should be, partly because of i…
 
Arrangements of Bach's music have been happening essentially since his music was “rediscovered” by Mendelssohn in the 19th century. But Mozart and Beethoven arranged Bach's music too, and Bach himself would recycle works for different groupings of instruments. Today, I'm going to take a look at some of those arrangements, and what kind of insights …
 
Mendelssohn was only 20 years old when he wrote to his friend Karl Klingemann: "...I am going to Scotland, with a rake for folk songs, an ear for the lovely, fragrant countryside, and a heart for the bare legs of the natives.” Over two months in 1829, Mendelssohn traveled through much of the Scottish Highlands, and it was on this trip that he found…
 
Rachmaninoff’s music is often described as many different kinds of chocolate cake, but this piece, if it's chocolatey at all, would be that 85% dark chocolate - more bitter than sweet. It might be Rachmaninoff’s greatest orchestral work, and one that is inextricably linked to his tumultuous life. Throughout the Dances we hear references to war, to …
 
In 1956, Dmitri Shostakovich wrote: “I am now writing my 11th symphony, dedicated to the First Russian Revolution...I would like in this work to reflect the soul of the people who first paved the way to socialism.” Soviet loyalists were thrilled with the piece, but his friends were disappointed at this seemingly blatant act of propaganda. But quick…
 
Wagner is probably the most admired AND the most reviled composer in Western Classical Music history. I've always been uncomfortable with Wagner's music, so I decided to sit down with the wonderful conductor(and my brother-in-law), Rafael Payare to try and understand how to embrace Wagner. We talk about emotional manipulation, the length of his ope…
 
Elgar told us all about how the inspiration for his first great success: “I began to play, and suddenly my wife interrupted by saying: “Edward, that’s a good tune!... ‘What is that?’ I answered, ‘Nothing – but something might be made of it." This little improvisation turned into one of Elgar’s greatest pieces, a piece that made him a legend. This w…
 
Almost everyone classical music fan has a memory of the first time they saw Fantasia. The brilliant combination of music and visuals made lifelong classical music fans out of millions of people. There's no audio only version of Fantasia, so this week I chose 7 brand new pieces that are a perfect entry point into classical music. These pieces repres…
 
It's 1905 and you've just come to the premiere of Debussy's La Mer. The orchestra begins playing, and a magical and completely unique journey begins. Gone are the peaceful and placid portrayals of water in music of the past. Instead, you hear strange harmonies and a diffuse language that seems to revel in ambiguity. In fact, it sounds more like an …
 
Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony is a piece that can practically define the classical era symphony. Mozart pulls out every trick in the compositional book and practically sums up everything written before him. It is a symphony full of musical cliches, self-references, and in some cases, flat out thefts from other composers. But as always with Mozart, the …
 
The Timpani is an exciting percussion instrument because it can influence the rhythmic ideas of a musical piece as well as contribute to the harmonic and melodic development of it. The drum can play a series of different pitches and today we are going to explore how it is used in the performance setting as we learn about the basics of the Timpani. …
 
Schumann’s life was marked with severe mental health issues. In 1844, Schumann suffered one of his worst breakdowns yet. He was dizzy, weak, had vision problems, couldn’t sleep, and couldn't listen to music. By 1845 Schumann slowly began to recover and the first wholly new work he produced was a symphony in C Major. As Schumann said, “I began to fe…
 
Brahms spent much of his life battling with his ambition to write great symphonies and his terror at the spectre of Beethoven looming over him. His first symphony was a success, and with immense relief, Brahms quickly turned out a second symphony in just 4 months, a bit less than the 14 tortured years it took him to craft the first. At first glance…
 
The 1950s featured a musical battle, pitting composers like Boulez, Carter, and Babbit against Bernstein, Copland, and Messaien. But how did the Post World War II movement towards total serialism and the avant-garde came about? And how did even the most forward thinking of artists become caught between the two camps of the tonalists and the seriali…
 
In today's episode we will explore all the fascinating resources available to music educators from libraries, archives and museums. Today's special guest is Nicky Stevens. Nicky Stevens (Interview) Nicky Stevens is an archivist at the Georgia Historical Society (GHS). Prior to joining GHS, she worked as an archivist in Atlanta where she was respons…
 
This week we're talking all about atonal music! I'm going to tell you all about the history of this controversial development in classical music, its development, and perhaps most importantly, I’ll try to find a way to help you enjoy this music in all of its complexity, intensity, and yes, beauty. Part 1 is focused on 12 tone music and the beginnin…
 
From the end of WWI until 1933, classical music in Germany, Austria, and Eastern Europe was flourishing, with composers such as Zemlinsky, Weill, Krenek, Korngold, Schreker, Schulhoff, Haas, Krasa, and Ullmann writing spectacularly innovative and thrilling music. The Nazis exiled or murdered many of these musicians while in power, but their music l…
 
In 1901, in the throes of the Finnish Independence movement, Jean Sibelius composed his legendary 2nd Symphony. Sibelius’ close colleague, the conductor Robert Kajanus, said that the symphony "strikes one as the most broken-hearted protest against all the injustice that threatens at the present time to deprive the sun of its light and our flowers o…
 
The late summer brings a magical time of year when you hear the immortal phrase, "Welcome to Band Camp!" For many music educators and teens this is a special time of year when there is promise of competition, skill development and accomplishment. For some programs, band camp is a time to prepare for parades and competitions. For others this is a ti…
 
Within three months of his arrival in New York, Antonin Dvorak was enamored with the sound of American music. Quickly he put forth what was at the time a controversial idea: "In the Negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music..." This inspiration is threaded through almost every note of the New Worl…
 
A new school year brings a sense of excitement, promise and anticipation. As a result, this special time also brings added anxiety for students, parents, and teachers. Fortunately, schools use the “new student orientation” as a tool to help clear up confusion and avoid any unnecessary panic. In today’s post we are recommending some helpful “Tips fo…
 
Havergal Brian’s ambitious Gothic Symphony has been called many things - massive, ambitious, barbaric, incompetent, insane, moving, brilliant, awful, torture, and much more. It is almost never performed due to the forces it requires and its two hour duration. Today on the show I’ll tell you about the background to this monumental work, and then I’l…
 
All educators are tasked with communicating with parents at one point or another. Being in sync with your workflow and knowing the appropriate reasons for contacting parents helps the effectiveness of helping foster a child’s development. Often, we only contact parents if there is some sort of behavior problem and only if it is necessary. However, …
 
With the rise of Wagner, the symphony seemed to be left for dead. But one composer in particular, Anton Bruckner, decided to take the plunge back into the symphonic genre, though he did it with a markedly Wagnerian touch. His most popular symphony? The 7th. We’ll talk about the connection between Wagner and Bruckner throughout the show, but we’ll a…
 
Have you ever struggled with practicing your instrument? Do you need tips for practicing your instrument? Worry not because today we will discuss some strategies that you maybe overlooking. It is important to understand that one person’s ideal practice session may look quite different from another. Depending on your goals, energy, structure, time a…
 
The Snare Drum is one of the primary and cornerstone percussion instruments in a band. Today we are going to reintroduce and highlight the parts and key aspects of Snare Drum fundamentals. Note, by not having a physical drum in front of you, you will need to take a moment to envision and reflect as though you have one at your fingertips. However, w…
 
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