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Popular Music

History

10 Ways World War I Changed Music

November 6, 2018

This month marks 100 years since the guns were silenced in Europe on “the 11th hour on the 11th day on the 11th month” in 1918, ending World War I.  Concerts are being held across the globe to commemorate how the war influenced the world of music. Here are ten ways the war had an impact on the arts and culture:

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Culture

Creating Fear: How Horror Music Composers Make You Jump

October 23, 2018
Joseph Bishara recording horror movie music with a studio orchestra

Horror movies don’t just play on the minds of the audiences. They’re also a cerebral project for horror music composers like Joseph Bishara and Christopher Thomas. Bishara has composed music for the Insidious and The Conjuring franchises and Thomas for haunted amusement attractions and film productions. Both have spent hours, days, and months formulating ways to create unnerving sound tracks – a job that gives them a unique perspective on the world of fear.

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Culture

Roll Out the Accordion – Polka Music and Oktoberfest

October 17, 2018

Alex Meixner’s hands fly across his accordion when he plays crowd favorites at Oktoberfest celebrations across the country. The talented musician, who is known for the Hormel pepperoni commercials and his passion for the accordion, can play thousands of songs and has an encyclopedic knowledge about many styles of folk music. He began to learn how to play the accordion at age four; he now owns 14 accordions and travels with his band. Meixner says he loves how the accordion always gets a crowd reaction.

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The Inside Voice

An Interview with a Cappella Guru Deke Sharon

September 18, 2018

It was at a television station in San Francisco, California, where Deke Sharon realized how far his work in a cappella music had reached. He went to the station to complete a satellite interview for an Australian morning show when he struck up a conversation with a gentleman who was there to talk with the national media about military drone strikes. Sharon said the man, who was dressed up in an “FBI suit” and looked very serious, had an outburst of joy when Sharon said he was there to promote the movie Pitch Perfect 2.

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Culture

40 Years of Star Wars Music

December 12, 2017

Few movie franchises have caught the world’s imagination like Star Wars. For forty years, audiences have been enthralled by the trials and tribulations of the Skywalker family and their adventures in a galaxy far, far away. The heroes and villains of the Old Republic and the Galactic Empire are cultural icons.

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Culture

Ennio Morricone’s Long-Awaited Oscar Win

March 16, 2016

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, February 28th in the same splendor as it always is. This year, much was made of the Best Actor category, with Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first Oscar after five previous nominations and nearly thirty years on the big screen. Amid the controversy that surrounded this year’s awards, most agreed that this award was well deserved.

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Jazz

Music in the Air: Outdoor Jazz

July 30, 2015

Our celebration of summer music festivals continues with a genre many don’t associate with beautiful scenery and fresh air: jazz music. Although a dark and intimate club setting is a wonderful place to listen to jazz, it’s also a blast to experience this quintessentially American art form in the great outdoors.

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Archive

Round & Round & Round… How Was Your Record Store Day?

April 12, 2013
Lesley Gore-It's My Party

When I was young, I remember saving my allowance up until I had enough to purchase that new LP I wanted.  For those of you too young to know what “LP” is, it stands for “long play” and differentiated between the 7-inch record which contained one song on each side and the 12-inch record which normally had at least five or six songs on each side.

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Archive

The Hottest Pop Sheet Music of 2012

December 31, 2012

The world of popular music comprises some pretty volatile terrain.  What seems fresh and exciting one moment is old news the next. We hear stories from music directors and private teachers about how students are begging to perform the latest hit from Katy Perry one moment, and then something from One Direction the next.

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Archive

The Hobbit: A Soundtrack Review

December 16, 2012

On December 14th, Middle Earth fans got the chance to take in the next installment of Peter Jackson’s imagining of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Midnight marked the release of the first of his three films telling the story of The Hobbit.

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