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Folk Fiddles and Rattlesnake Rattles

The place of the violin in the hills of Appalachia and on the plains of Texas, and along many points in between, is one of great cultural richness. Before electronically recorded music, the fiddle was perhaps the only source of music available to the common man. There may not have been a “name” violin maker in Kentucky, no Stradivarius in South Carolina, and no fine cellos or violas made in Tennessee. But whether through roaming Roma (gypsy) troupes and merchants, or later from the Sears catalogue, those fiddles found their way to the churches, dancehalls, schools and barns of the old South. And people danced.

An Overview of American Violinmaking Schools

Luthiers practice a craft that derives from the old schools of Italy, Germany and France, but several schools for stringed instrument making are in the US. Despite the omnipresence of manufactured violins from China, despite the decades of skills development that luthiers must have before becoming a “name” violin maker, and regardless of the intense tedium required of the craft, there still are people who wish to and eventually love making fine violins, violas and cellos. Indeed, accomplished and aspiring violinists, cellists, bassists and violists will…

The Suzuki Method Approach to Learning Violin

An accomplished Japanese violinist studying in Germany was frustrated that children could learn the language faster than adults. But it birthed an idea. Children learn to speak before they are able to read. So should beginner violinists learn how to create music before they are able to read music?

The Lowdown on the Viola Da Gamba

Not one instrument but a family, this cousin of the violin and cello has a rich history in early music – and a future in contemporary music as well. It isn’t a simple matter to find a viola da gamba for sale or a violin maker who crafts them. They are rare and fascinating.

Mittenwald, Germany: The Center of German Violinmaking

It’s a tiny town with a big claim in fine stringed instruments. The Klotz family started it a long time ago and today’s luthiers still learn their craft there. When tourists travel to Germany, must-visit cities are Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt.

How To Become A Successful Guitar Teacher Fast

It’s easier than you think to turn guitar students into excellent players and make a great living at the same time. Here are 3 ways to do it.

Rock Stars Start With Cold Calling

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Ten Great Albums That Turn Twenty Five This Year

Toronto can this season celebrate the twenty fifth anniversary of its last World Series Championship, the second of its back to back titles coming at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. That 1993 event was very important because of what happened the following season, when the officials at Major League Baseball canceled the World Series because of a work stoppage. That 1994 fiasco involving the national pastime is just one of the reasons the preceding year was better, even beyond the realm of sports.

Best Ten Artists Who Became Famous Using Pseudonyms

Elvis Costello will release a new album in October, his first with the Imposters since the Momofuko record from back in 2008. Two singles are already streaming from Look Now, one called “Under Lime” and the other dubbed “Unwanted Number.” Its release will almost coincide with the fortieth anniversary of his very first album, the sensational My Aim Is True.

Best Ten I Want You Back Songs

Once again my mental discography has been ignited by the hosts of Sound Advice, the popular music discussion show on National Public Radio. On a recent their topic was what they called I Want You Back songs, and each host presented his six favorites. Among the half dozen of Jim DeRogatis was “If I Can’t Have You” by Yvonne Elliman, her first single after a successful tenure as the backing vocalist for Eric Clapton.

Ten Songs About Paris That Could Help The French Celebrate The World Cup

The World Cup was the dominant topic of the sports world last week but, as not even a lukewarm fan of soccer, I saw only about ten minutes of the action. The only reason I happened to see that limited segment is because a game ran over the estimated time, which pre-empted the Judge Judy episode I had intended to watch. Nevertheless, a snippet of the post championship game caught my eye and, more importantly my ear.

The Ten Best Bands Named After Fruits

Other than the refreshing summer drink to which it lends its name, the lemon has to be among the most disrespected fruits. Cars that frequently break down or do not run at all are called lemons, instead of tangerines or plums. An unhappy facial expression is often described as lemon-faced, based on the sourness it indicates.

Ten Song Titles That Could Serve As Brief Weather Forecasts

For Midwestern folks like me no part of the local newscast is as anticipated as the weather forecast, but it usually ends up being the most unsatisfying segment as well. Even though they always greet us with smiling faces, seldom do the meteorologists offer us mild temperatures with clear skies. Instead of the smiling weather experts, the forecast would be more palatable if the news stations chose music to represent the weather conditions.

Benefits of Music for Seniors

It is a well known fact that listening to and being involve in music can be very beneficial to seniors. Music involvement and even music instruction offers physical, mental and emotional stimulation at a time when these things tend to be ignored.

An Examination of Carbon Fiber Bows

All stringed instrument players know the importance of a good bow. But how do carbon fiber bows stand up to Pernambuco, Brazilwood, fiberglass and composites?

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