The Musician Who Was So Good, He Had to be Evil

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) was more than a violin virtuoso; he was one of the best violinists of all time. By the time he was in his 20's, he was known throughout Europe. His command of the violin was so complete, in fact, that rumors quickly spread that such ability was not humanly possible and that... Continue Reading →


A Classical Composition about Classic Caffeine Compulsion

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is primarily known as a classical composer of Christian music. It was rare that he strayed from religious themes in his music, but when he did it was for a purpose. One such occasion was when he wrote "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht" ("Be still, Stop Chattering"), a composition devoted to coffee... Continue Reading →

Tuning the Helicopters

Musical instruments can be costly, and any band student who has had to lug a tuba or bell set on a school bus knows they can be unwieldy, too. The Sousaphone or cello is nothing, however, compared to the principal instruments in  Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Helikopter-Streichquartett" -- four operational and flying helicopters. "Helikopter-Streichquartett" (German for "Helicopter String... Continue Reading →

Have Yourself a Jewish Little Christmas

  Many of the most popular Christmas songs were Jewish songwriters: "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells "Let it Snow" by Sammy Cahn "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" by Irving Berlin “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” music by... Continue Reading →

Another First for the American Space Program

On December 16, 1965, astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra were on Gemini 6 when they transmitted the following message: "Gemini VII, this is Gemini VI. We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, up in a polar orbit. He's in a very low trajectory traveling from north to south... Continue Reading →

The Little Man from Nuremberg

Matthew Buchinger (1674-1740) was known as "The Little Man of Nuremberg." Buchinger was born without hands, legs, or thighs and was less than 29 inches tall. Despite his disabilities, Buchinger led a very accomplished life. He could play a half-dozen musical instruments including the bagpipes, dulcimer, hautboy, trumpet, and flute, some of which he invented... Continue Reading →

Additional Space Needed on iPod

The longest musical performance in history is currently taking place in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt, Germany. The performance of John Cage’s “Organ²/ASLSP (As Slow As Possible)” started on Sept. 5, 2001, and is set to finish in 2640. The last time the note changed was October 2013; the next change isn’t due... Continue Reading →

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