All posts by Gary

About Gary

Piano Teacher with over 40 years experience, teaching in the Fort Lauderdale area. Teaches exclusively at All County Music in Tamarac FL.

Leitmotivs in Star Wars

MONDAY, August 9, 2021 – 8:44 AM

A guiding motif:

A Leitmotiv (German for “guiding motif”) is a theme that announces characters. Wagner was famous for using this idea, although he did not use the word “Leitmotiv”, but perhaps the most famous use of the Leitmotiv is by John Williams in Star Wars.

Here are just a few of the iconic themes that were all used and well-known by the time the first three films were completed. Using the idea of “famous old popular music”, which in this case is more like “slightly older popular music”, we now come to something a bit different, since John Williams is still composing more music for Star Wars movies, some of which have not yet been released. How he writes these themes that we all know and can’t forget remains a mystery that I absolutely do not understand.

Darth Vader’s Theme

By the way, Darth Vader’s Theme uses only minor chords, moving from key to key.

Luke Skywalker’s Theme

Princess Leia’s Theme

Jedi Theme or Force Theme

This is also used for both Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi, so for this reason it is linked to “The Force”.

Yoda’s Theme

Yoda’s Theme is linked to Yoda from the first time he is introduced and appears again and again in the eight of the nine films in all three trilogies.


1717: Bach: Violin Concerto in A minor

FRIDAY, August 6, 2021 – 1:09 AM

Bach: Violin Concerto in A minor (BWV 1041) – Sato, Netherlands Bach Society

The Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041,may have been composed at Köthen in 1717–23, but the only autograph source to survive are parts Bach copied out in Leipzig around 1730 from a now lost score or draft. So any date given is at best a guess.

This performance just appeared about a day ago although apparently it was made in May of 2019, almost two years ago. This group, with Sato, seems to have both an old sound and a very new one. Obviously the music is from almost 300 years ago, but the way these people play is anything but ancient sounding. It is so vital and alive. During the pandemic any recorded music is a gift in a time when so many performers are still wearing masks.

1st movement: Allegro, in A minor

The opening movement is in ritornello form. This means that there is a main section that comes back in fragments in both the solo violin and orchestral parts.

2nd movement: Andante, in C major

In the Andante second movement, Bach uses an insistent pattern in the ostinato bass part that is repeated constantly in the movement.

3rd movement:. Allegro assai, in A minor

In the final movement Bach relies on bariolage figures for striking acoustic effects. The meter and rhythm are those of a gigue.

But what in heaven’s names is a “bariolage figure”?

Bariolage (Fr., “odd mixture of colours”) is a technique performed by stringed instruments whereby there is a rapid alternation in the playing of open and stopped strings. Usually the figure involves a static note (the open string) and a changing note on a separate, almost always adjacent string

As always there is a question of when Bach first wrote things, and for what instrument or instruments. He frequently transcribed his own music many ways, and we don’t know which of many versions came first. His Clavier Concerto in G minor, BWV 1058 is an arrangement of this concerto with harpsichord and in a different key.

1738: Bach: Concerto in D Minor

FRIDAY, August 6, 2021 – 1:20 AM

Concerto in D Minor, age 53

You will see this called a concerto for piano and for harpsichord, but it is highly unlikely that Bach intended it for piano. That does not keep it from sounding great on piano. But more important, we now think that he wrote it for violin and changed his mind because it was too hard. It’s no longer too hard today, so here you have not two but three choices.

Shunske Sato, violin, Netherlands Bach Society

This is not in D minor, and it’s not even in C# minor, which is what we usually hear today for this music when it’s pitched lower for older instruments. It’s in C minor, but now quite, and I can’t explain that. If you want to know why perfect pitch is destructive, this is a perfect example.

First of, check this out HERE, because this a man who is extremely gifted and also incredibly articulate. Because he is so musical I would listen to anything he says about anything he’s playing, and he is one of a group of musicians who is so young and so original that I think he is helping change everything. He was already famous and doing great things while still in his 20s. My first thought was: Why is a violinist trying to make us re-imagine something for harpsichord for violin? But after hearing this, I’m convinced. Yes, this could very well have been written for violin, then later give to other instruments because there was no one around at that time who could do it justice. Where this especially shines is in the 2nd, slow movement, where for me harpsichord doe not work at all, and even piano is less effective. Note that pitch is low, but not a complete 1/2 step, and this is part of the mystery of how people today are now tuning. No one agrees on standard music for music of this period, and with good reason. It did not exist.

Glenn Gould

This is in D minor, which we expect today. He plays slower, with incredible articulation. There is nothing to see, and the sound is not at spacious as later recordings, But I always come back to this as the model of what I think this piece should sound like on piano, or at least very close to the best it can sound.

Polina Osetinskaya, Anton Gakkel

This for me rivals Gould, and the recording is excellent. It’s also in D minor.

I like everything about this performance. Note the pianist is using music. There is never a reason to play without music except to impress non-musicians – except to play things without music that you can’t play with it, and for this piece that’s not a factor. So if you are less impressed because she is using music, rethink how you are listening to music and make sure you are not listening with your eyes. She’s a pure musician. No throwing the hands around, no constipated facial expressions, just pure quality playing. It’s a joy to both see and hear.

Jean Rondeau

I’m not a big fan of harpsichord, but I do very much like this performer. He looks sort of like hippie, someone transported out of the 60s. If you like harpsichord, check this out. It has a very different feel. And it’s in C# minor. You will see him playing in D minor because the harpsichord is tuned down 1/2 step.

Not what we expect today…

Concertos by the time of Beethoven and later composers were usually written for big groups and many instruments to back them up. There is no question about what instrument – or instruments – concertos were written for. But here there are only strings, and no one knows for sure what solo Bach would have preferred if he could have heard what modern performers are able to do today.

Spotlight by Date

FRIDAY, November 27, 2020 – 10:59 AM

(Go to SPOTLIGHT posts by composers…)

(Go to SPOTLIGHT posts by year of composition…)

(Go to SPOTLIGHT posts by Star Wars Themes…)

List of all SPOTLIGHT posts by date…

Composer Post Date
Beethoven 1798: Beethoven: Sonata No. 13 [PATHETIQUE]: 2nd movement 2021/02/19
Mangore 1921: Mangore: La Catedral (Allegro Solemne) 2021/02/12
Mozart 1777: Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 9 in D major 2021/01/29
  What are you listening to? 2021/01/27
  Are you cool or square? 2021/01/24
Collier 2021: Jacob Collier then and now 2021/01/24
  What’s New? 2021/01/16
Mendelssohn 1830: Mendelssohn: Rondo Capriccioso 2021/01/15
Chopin 1831: Chopin: Scherzo No. 1 2021/01/13
Chopin 1844: Chopin Sonata No. 3 2021/01/10
Dvorak 1874: Dvorak: Symphony No. 5 in F major 2021/01/05
Brahms 1877: Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major 2021/01/03
Williams 1990: John Williams: Home Alone 2020/12/23
Collier In the Bleak Mid-Winter 2020/12/23
Streisand Streisand: My Favorite Things 2020/12/23
Anderson 1948: Anderson: Sleigh Ride, age 40 2020/12/23
Mahler 1876: Mahler: Quartet for Strings and Piano in A minor 2020-12-23
Dvorak 1880: Dvorak: Symphony No. 6 in D major 2020-12-20
Dvorak 1885: Dvorak: Symphony No. 7 in D minor 2020-12-19
Dvorak 1865: Dvorak: Symphony No. 1 in C minor 2020-12-18
Mendelssohn 1822: Mendelssohn: String Piano Concerto in A minor 2020-12-18
Bach 1708: Bach: Gott ist mein König (God is my King), BWV 71 2020-12-12
Mozart 1769-1772: Early Mozart Symphonies 2020-12-12
Queen 1975: Bohemian Rhapsody 2020-12-12
Rossini 1816: Rossini: Overture to The Barber of Seville 2020-12-12
Saint Saens 1886: Carnival of the Animals 2020-12-12
Vaughn Williams 1943: Vaughn Williams: Symphony No. 5 in D major 2020-12-12
Tchaikovsky 1885: Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony in B minor 2020-12-11
Dukas 1912: Dukas: La Peri 2020-12-10
Mendelssohn 1823: Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 10 in B minor 2020-12-10
Mahler 1900: Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G major 2020-12-07
Mahler 1905: Mahler: Symphony No. 7 [SONG OF THE NIGHT] in E minor 2020-12-07
Vaughn Williams 1922: Vaughn Williams: Symphony No. 3 in G major 2020-12-07
Mahler 1894: Mahler: Symphony No. 2 [RESURRECTION] in D minor 2020-12-06
Mahler 1902: Mahler: Symphony No. 5 2020-12-05
Rossini 1829: Rossini: William Tell Overture 2020-12-05
Mendelssohn 1830–31: Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor 2020-12-04
Bach 1717: Bach: Dorian Toccata and Fugue in D minor 2020-12-01
Bach 1713: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F Major 2020-11-29
Bach 1714: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major 2020-11-29
Bach 1714: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major 2020-11-29
Bach 1715: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major 2020-11-29
Bach 1719: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major 2020-11-29
Bach 1721: Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in Bb major 2020-11-29
Smetana 1874-79: Smetana: My Homeland 2020-11-27
Bach 1721: Brandenburg Concerto 2 in F 2020-11-26
Bach 1738: Bach: Concerto in D Minor 2020-11-26
Vivaldi 1723: Vivaldi: The Four Seasons 2020-11-26
Bach 1724: Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major 2020-11-25
Bach 1726: Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor 2020-11-25
Bach 1728: Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major 2020-11-25
Bach 1730: Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D major 2020-11-25
Berlioz 1830: Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique 2020-11-23
Mendelssohn 1826: Mendelssohn: A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream Overture 2020-11-23
Mendelssohn 1842: Mendelssohn: A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Scherzo 2020-11-23
Elgar 1899: Elgar: Enigma Variations in G minor 2020-11-21
Valls Joan Pagès Valls 2020-11-20
Beethoven 1798: Beethoven: Sonata No. 5 in C minor 2020-11-19
Mahler 1896: Mahler: Symphony No. 3 in D minor 2020-11-19
Mendelssohn 1824: Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1 in C minor 2020-11-19
Haydn 1768: Haydn Symphony No 49 (LA PASSIONE) in F minor 2020-11-18
Haydn 1768: Haydn: Symphony No. 49 (LA PASSIONE) in F minor 2020-11-18
Haydn 1791: Haydn: Symphony No. 96 (MIRACLE) in D major L 2020-11-18
Haydn 1794: Haydn: Symphony No. 102 (NO NAME) in Bb major L 2020-11-18
Haydn 1782: Haydn: Symphony No. 76 (DEADLY BORING) in Eb major FL 2020-11-17
Haydn 1782: Haydn: Symphony No. 77 (NO NAME) in Bb major FL 2020-11-17
Haydn 1782: Haydn: Symphony No. 78 (MINOR) in C minor FL 2020-11-17
Haydn 1795: Haydn: Symphony No. 103 (DRUMROLL) in Eb major L 2020-11-17
Haydn A quirky Haydn symphony list 2020-11-16
Haydn 1784: Haydn: Symphony No. 79 (NO NAME) in F major T 2020-11-15
Haydn 1784: Haydn: Symphony No. 80 (MINOR) in D minor T 2020-11-15
Haydn 1784: Haydn: Symphony No. 81 (NO NAME) in G major T 2020-11-15
Mendelssohn 1830: Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 (REFORMATION) in D minor 2020-11-15
Mendelssohn 1833: Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 (ITALIAN) in A major 2020-11-15
Mendelssohn 1841: Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 (LOBESGESANG) in B-flat major 2020-11-15
Haydn 1786: Haydn: Symphony No. 85 in Bb major P 2020-11-13
Haydn 1786: Haydn: Symphony No. 86 (BIG ORCHESTRA) in D major P 2020-11-13
Haydn 1786: Haydn: Symphony No. 88 in G major Ox 2020-11-13
Haydn 1787: Haydn: Symphony No. 89 in F major Ox 2020-11-13
Mozart 1786: Mozart: Symphony No. 38 (PRAGUE) in D major 2020-11-13
Haydn 1757: Haydn: Symphony No. 2 in C major 2020-11-12
Haydn 1759: Haydn: Symphony No. 1 in D major 2020-11-12
Haydn 1760: Haydn: Symphony No. 3 in G major 2020-11-12
Haydn 1786: Haydn: Symphony No. 84 (IN NOMINE DOMINI) in Eb major P 2020-11-12
Haydn 1786: Haydn: Symphony No. 87 (NO NAME) in A major P 2020-11-12
Haydn 1768: Haydn: Symphony No. 26 (LAMENTATION) in D minor 2020-11-11
Haydn 1788: Haydn: Symphony No. 90 (FAKE ENDING) in C major Ox 2020-11-11
Haydn 1795: Haydn: Symphony No. 104 (LONDON) in D major L 2020-11-11
Haydn 1761: Haydn: Symphony No. 6 (MORNING) in D major 2020-11-10
Haydn 1761: Haydn: Symphony No. 7 (NOON ) in C major 2020-11-10
Haydn 1761: Haydn: Symphony No. 8 (EVENING) in C major 2020-11-10
Haydn 1772: Haydn: Symphony No. 44 (TRAUER) in E minor 2020-11-10
Haydn 1788: Haydn: Symphony No. 91 in Eb major Ox 2020-11-10
Haydn 1767: Haydn: Symphony No. 59 (FIRE) in A major 2020-11-09
Haydn 1786: Haydn: Symphony No. 82 (THE BEAR) in C major P 2020-11-09
Haydn 1786: Haydn: Symphony No. 83 in G minor (THE HEN) P 2020-11-09
Haydn 1789: Haydn: Symphony No. 92 (OXFORD) in G major Ox 2020-11-09
Mahler 1904: Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor 2020-11-09
Beethoven 1787-95: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 (#1) in Bb major 2020-11-08
Beethoven 1795: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 (#2) in C major 2020-11-08
Mozart 1788: Mozart: Symphony No. 39 (NO NAME) in Eb major 2020-11-08
Schubert 1816: Schubert: Symphony No. 4 (TRAGIC) in C minor 2020-11-08
Schubert 1818: Schubert: Symphony No. 6 (LITTLE) in C major 2020-11-08
Beethoven 1810: Beethoven: Egmont Overture 2020-11-07
Mozart 1779: Mozart: Symphony No. 33 (CHAMBER) in Bb Major 2020-11-07
Schubert 1826: Schubert: Symphony No. 8 (THE GREAT) in C major 2020-11-07
Haydn 1793: Haydn: Symphony No. 99 (TOSCANINI’S FAVORITE) in Eb major L 2020-11-06
Brahms 1884: Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor 2020-11-05
Gershwin 1937: Gershwin: Let’s Call the Whole Thing off 2020-11-05
Rachmaninov 1908: Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 in E minor 2020-11-05
Brahms 1883: Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major 2020-11-04
Collier 2020: Fix You (Live for There With Care) 2020-11-04
Haydn 1792: Haydn: Symphony No. 98 (GOD SAVE THE KING) in Bb major L 2020-11-04
Ravel 1912: Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe 2020-11-03
Beethoven 1805-14: Beethoven: the “Fidelio” problem 2020-11-01
Dvorak 1893: Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (NEW WORLD) in E minor 2020-10-31
Haydn 1791: Haydn: Symphony No. 93 (“FART”) in D major L 2020-10-31
Haydn Haydn: London Symphonies 2020-10-31
Schubert 1815: Schubert: Symphony No. 3 in D major 2020-10-30
Beethoven 1800: Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major 2020-10-29
Beethoven 1802: Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major 2020-10-29
Hisaishi Howl’s Moving Castle 2020-10-29
Schubert 1815: Schubert: Symphony No. 2 in Bb major 2020-10-29
Beethoven 1808:Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major 2020-10-28
Beethoven 1812: Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major 2020-10-28
Ravel 1919: Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin 2020-10-28
Schubert 1822: Schubert: Symphony No. 7 (UNFINISHED) in B minor 2020-10-28
Mozart 1788: Mozart: Symphony No. 40 (GREAT G MINOR) 2020-10-27
Mozart 1788: Mozart: Symphony No. 41 (JUPITER) in C major 2020-10-27
Schubert 1813: Schubert: Symphony No. 1 in D major 2020-10-27
Schubert 1816: Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in Bb major 2020-10-27
Beethoven 1806: Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in Bb major 2020-10-26
Beethoven 1812: Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F major 2020-10-26
Beethoven 1808: Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor 2020-10-25
Haydn 1791: Haydn: Symphony No. 95 (MINOR) in C minor L 2020-10-23
Haydn 1792: Haydn: Symphony No. 97 (CHIRP CHIRP) in C major L 2020-10-22
Bruckner 1887: Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 (APOCALYPTIC) in C minor 2020-10-21
Haydn 1791: Haydn: Symphony No. 94 (SURPRISE) in G major L 2020-10-21
Haydn 1794: Haydn: Symphony No. 100 (MILITARY) in G major L 2020-10-21
Grieg 1868: Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor 2020-10-19
Franck 1885: Franck: Symphonic Variations in F# minor 2020-10-18
Schumann 1845: Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor 2020-10-18
Brahms 1854: Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B major 2020-10-17
Hindemith 1934: Hindemith: Mathis der Mahler 2020-10-17
Mahler 1888: Mahler: Symphony No 1 (TITAN) in D major 2020-10-17
Shostakovich 1941: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 (LENIGRAD) in C major 2020-10-17
Brahms 1877: Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major 2020-10-13
Beethoven 1806: Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major 2020-10-12
Brahms 1878: Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major 2020-10-12
Clementi 1824: Clementi: Symphony No. 3 (GREAT NATIONAL) in G major 2020-10-10
Haydn 1794: Haydn: Symphony No. 101 (THE CLOCK) in D major L 2020-10-10
Tyler Haynes Joshua Grullón & Tyler Haynes 2020-10-10
Beethoven 1807: Beethoven: Coriolan Overture 2020-10-07
Grofe 1931: Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite 2020-10-07
Bruckner 1874: Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in Eb major 2020-10-04
Ravel 1911: Ravel: Mother Goose Suite 2020-10-02
Ravel 1928: Ravel: Bolero in C major 2020-10-02
Mendelssohn 1842: Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 (#5) (SCOTTISH) in A minor 2020-10-01
Beethoven 1822-1824: Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor 2020-09-30
Dukas 1896: Dukas: Symphony in C major 2020-09-28
Bartok 1943: Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra 2020-09-26
Britten 1945: Britten: Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra in D minor 2020-09-26
Gershwin 1925: Gershwin: Concerto in F 2020-09-26
Tchaikovsky 1877: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor 2020-09-25
Dukas 1897: Dukas: Sorcerer’s Apprentice in F minor 2020-09-23
Rachmaninov 1909: Rachmaninov: Concerto No. 3 in D minor 2020-09-23
Mozart 1767: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major 2020-09-22
Rachmaninov 1896: Rachmaninov: Moment Musical Op 16 No 2 in Eb minor 2020-09-22
Rachmaninov 1934: Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini 2020-09-22
Liszt 1861: Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major 2020-09-21
Prokofiev 1936: Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf 2020-09-21
Mozart Mozart up to age 12 2020-09-20
Prokofiev 1912: Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1 in Db major 2020-09-20
Shostakovich 1937: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor 2020-09-20
Beethoven 1804-6: Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 (APPASSIONATA) in F Minor 2020-09-19
Beethoven 1810: Beethoven: Für Elise in A minor 2020-09-19
Brahms 1876: Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor 2020-09-19
Haydn 1796: Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in Eb major 2020-09-19
Rachmaninov 1892: Rachmaninov: C# Minor Prelude 2020-09-19
Rachmaninov 1901: Rachmaninov: Prelude in Eb Minor, Op. 26 2020-09-19
Rimsky-Korsakov 1888: Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade in E minor 2020-09-19
Brahms 1891: Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor 2020-09-17
Rimsky-Korsakov 1877: Rimsky-Korsakov: Trombone Concerto 2020-09-17
Elgar 2020: Nimrod: 100 Amazing Tuba and Euphonium All-Stars: 2020-09-15
Mozart 1791: Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major 2020-09-15
Mozart 1786: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25 (LA MARSEILLAISE) in C major 2020-09-13
Debussy 1905: Debussy: La Mer – The Sea 2020-09-11
Mozart 1783: Mozart: Symphony No. 36 (LINZ) in C major 2020-09-11
Mozart Mozart: Adult Symphonies 2020-09-11
Bach 1747: Bach: Ricercar a 6 (Oboe da caccia) 2020-09-10
Beethoven 1801: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor 2020-09-10
Beethoven 1806: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major 2020-09-10
Beethoven 1809: Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 (EMPEROR) in Eb 2020-09-10
Franck 1888: Franck: Symphony in D minor 2020-09-10
Mozart 1782: Mozart: Symphony No. 35 (HAFFNER) in D major 2020-09-10
Mozart 1779: Mozart: Symphony No. 32 (ITALIAN OVERTURE) in G major 2020-09-09
Mozart 1778: Mozart: The Symphony No. 31 (PARIS) in D major 2020-09-08
Mozart 1780: Mozart: Symphony No. 34 (SALTERELLO) in C major 2020-09-08
Beethoven 1795: Beethoven – Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” 2020-09-07
Beethoven 1795: Beethoven: Trio for Two Oboes and English Horn, Op. 87 2020-09-07
Mozart 1787: Mozart: Don Giovanni Overture, K. 527 2020-09-07
Strauss (R.) 1888: Richard Strauss: Don Juan Overture in E major 2020-09-07
Strauss (R.) 1945: Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto in D major 2020-09-07
Debussy 1894: Debussy: Afternoon of a Faun 2020-09-06
Flanders & Swann 1956: Flanders & Swann 2020-09-06
Mozart 1786: Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major, K. 495 2020-09-06
Schumann 1841 – 1: Schumann:The Symphony No. 1 in Bb major 2020-09-05
Schumann 1841 – 2: Schumann: (#2) Symphony No. 4 in D minor 2020-09-05
Schumann 1846: Schumann: (#3) Symphony No. 2 in C major 2020-09-05
Schumann 1849: Schumann: Horn Quartet in F major 2020-09-05
Schumann 1850: Schumann: (#4) Symphony No. 3 in Eb minor 2020-09-05
Mozart Mozart Symphonies, age 17 and 18 2020-09-03
Dvorak 1878 and 1886: Dvorak: Slavonic Dances 2020-09-02
Beethoven 1798: Beethoven: Sonata No. 8 in C minor, (Pathetique) 2020-08-29
Dvorak 1874: Dvorak: Symphony No. 4 in D minor 2020-08-28
Dvorak 1874: Dvorak: Symphony No. 5 in F major 2020-08-28
Chopin The Minute Waltz 2020-08-27
Grieg 1866: Grieg: The Watchman’s Song 2020-08-27
Dvorak 1865: Dvorak: Symphony No. 2 in Bb Major 2020-08-25
Dvorak 1873: Dvorak: Symphony No. 3 in Eb major 2020-08-25
Schubert 1828: Schubert: Fantasy in F minor for Piano Four Hands 2020-08-25
Dvorak 1890: Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G major 2020-08-24
Bach, CPE 1766: CPE Bach: Solfeggio 2020-08-23
Saint Saens 1874: Saint Saens: Danse Macabre 2020-08-23
Wagner What’s Opera, Doc? 2020-08-23
Mozart 1786: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major 2020-08-21
Schubert 1828: Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, D.960 2020-08-21
Schubert 1828: Schubert: Trio No. 2, Op. 100 2020-08-21
Collier Time Alone with You 2020-08-20
Schubert 1816: Schubert: The Wanderer 2020-08-19
Mozart 1775: Mozart: Misericordias Domini, K.222 2020-08-18
Beethoven 1804: Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in Eb major 2020-08-16
Wagner The Rhinegold Themes 2020-08-16
Wagner The Ring without words 2020-08-11
Wagner 1845: Wagner: Tannhäuser 2020-08-09
Wagner 1847: Wagner: Lohengrin 2020-08-09
Wagner 1854: Wagner: RING: The Rhinegold Themes 2020-08-09
Wagner 1859: Tristan und Isolde 2020-08-09
Wagner 1862: Wagner: Der Meistersinger 2020-08-09
Wagner 1870: Wagner: RING The Walkyrie 2020-08-09
Wagner 1871: RING Wagner: Siegfried 2020-08-09
Wagner 1874: Wagner: RING Twilight of the Gods 2020-08-09
Wagner 1856: Wagner: Ride of the Walkyries 2020-08-06
Wagner 1870: Wagner Siegfried Idyll 2020-08-02
Wagner 1874: Wagner Siegfried’s Rhine Journey 2020-08-02
Wagner 1840: Wagner Rienzi Overture 2020-08-01
Wagner 1842: Wagner The Flying Dutchman 2020-08-01
Wagner Klemperer: Complete Wagner Album 2020-07-29
Wagner 1878: Wagner Parsifal “Overture” 2020-07-28
Wagner 1835 Wagner Ban on Love 2020-07-25
Wagner 1836 Wagner Polonia overture 2020-07-25
Wagner 1832 Wagner Two Tragic Entreacts 2020-07-24
Wagner 1871: Wagner Kaisermarsch 2020-07-24
Wagner 1876 Wagner Centennial March 2020-07-24
Wagner 1830 Wagner Symphony in E major 2020-07-23
Wagner 1831 Wagner Concert Overture No. 1 in D minor 2020-07-23
Wagner 1832 Wagner Concert Overture No. 2 in C major 2020-07-23
Wagner 1832 Wagner König Enzio 2020-07-23
Wagner 1833 Wagner Die Feen Overture 2020-07-23
Wagner 1834 Wagner Christopher Columbus Overture 2020-07-23
Wagner 1836 Wagner Rule Britannia Overture in D major 2020-07-23
Wagner 1839 Wagner Faust Overture 2020-07-23
Mozart 1788: Mozart: EZ Sonata 2020-07-22
Wagner 1832 Wagner Symphony in C 2020-07-12
Tchaikovsky 1868: Tchaikovsky: Romance In F Minor 2020-06-25
Mozart 1787: Mozart: Viola Quintet No. 4 in G minor 2020-06-23
Tchaikovsky 1874: Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 2 in F major 2020-06-23
Tchaikovsky 1875: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3 in D major 2020-06-06
Tchaikovsky 1888: Tchaikovsky: Hamlet in F minor 2020-06-06
Tchaikovsky 1890: Tchaikovsky: The Voyevoda in A minor 2020-06-06
Tchaikovsky 1884: Tchaikovsky: Elegy in G 2020-06-05
Tchaikovsky 1885: Tchaikovsky: Jurisprudence March in D 2020-06-05
Tchaikovsky 1888 Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty 2020-06-05
Tchaikovsky 1880: Tchaikovsky: Italian Capriccio 2020-06-04
Tchaikovsky 1880: Tchaikovsky: Serenade for String Orchestra C 2020-06-04
Tchaikovsky 1883: Tchaikovsky: Coronation March in D 2020-06-04
Tchaikovsky 1884: Tchaikovksy: 1812 Overture in Eb major 2020-06-04
Tchaikovsky 1876: Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini in E minor 2020-06-03
Tchaikovsky 1876: Tchaikovsky: March Slave in Bb minor 2020-06-03
Tchaikovsky 1869-1880: Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet in B minor 2020-06-02
Tchaikovsky 1873: Tchaikovsky: The Tempest in F minor 2020-06-02
Tchaikovsky 1876-77: Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Ballet 2020-06-02
Bach 1708: Toccata and Fugue in D minor 2020-05-21
Tchaikovsky 1872: Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Nikolai Rubinstein’s Name-Day in A 2020-05-03
Tchaikovsky 1865: Tchaikovsky: Overture in C Minor 2020-04-30
Tchaikovsky 1865: Tchaikovsky: Overture in F Major 2020-04-30
Tchaikovsky 1866: Tchaikovsky: Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem in D 2020-04-30
Tchaikovsky 1868: Tchaikovsky: Fatum in C minor 2020-04-30
Tchaikovsky 1864: Tchaikovsky: The Storm in E minor 2020-04-29
Tchaikovsky 1872: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 2020-04-24
Tchaikovsky 1866: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G minor 2020-04-20
Debussy 1899: Debussy: Nocturnes 2020-04-04
Debussy 1905: Debussy: Iberia 2020-04-04
Debussy 1905: Debussy: Rondes de printemps 2020-04-04
Debussy 1909: Debussy Gigues 2020-04-04
Bach How to listen: Bach Little Prelude in C Minor 2020-04-01
Stravinsky 1910: Stravinsky: Firebird Suite 2020-03-30
Tchaikovsky 1893: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor 2020-03-28
Tchaikovsky 1888: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor 2020-03-27
Various Star Trek, or Star Wars? 2020-03-26
Anderson 1953: Anderson: The Typewriter 2020-03-25
Russel Anna Russel 2020-03-25
Villegas 1896: Pablo Sáinz Villegas: Recuerdos de la Alhambra 2020-03-25
Rodrigo 1939: Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez in D major 2020-03-11
Williams Star Wars endings for all 9 movies 2020-03-11
Mozart Mozart in a minor mood 2020-02-26
Mozart 1773: Symphony No. 25 (LITTLE G MINOR) 2020-02-25
Mozart 1784: Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor 2020-02-24
Mozart 1788: Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor 2020-02-24
Beethoven 1785: Beethoven composing at age 14 2020-02-23
Beethoven The five Beethoven piano concertos 2020-02-23
Holst 1920: Holst: Military Suites 2020-02-23
Mozart 1777: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 in Eb major 2020-02-23
Mozart 1784: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 18 in Bb major 2020-02-23
Mozart 1785: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor 2020-02-23
Mozart 1785: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major 2020-02-23
Mozart 1785: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 22 in Eb major 2020-02-23
Mozart 1786: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor 2020-02-23
Mozart 1788: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major 2020-02-23
Mozart 1788: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in Bb major 2020-02-23
Menotti 1945: Menotti: Piano Concerto in F major 2020-02-22
Montsalvatge 1953: Montsalvatge: Concierto Breve 2020-02-22
Mozart The Mozart Piano Concertos 2020-02-22
MacDowell 1885: MacDowell: Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor 2020-02-13
Saint Saens 1868: Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor 2020-02-13
Various How the piano concerto developed 2020-02-12
Bartok 1945: Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major 2020-02-11
Brahms 1881: Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb major 2020-02-11
Chopin 1829: Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 (#1) 2020-02-11
Ravel 1931: Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major 2020-02-11
Tchaikovsky 1875: Tchaikovsky: Bb Minor Piano Concerto 2020-02-11
Vaughn Williams 1931: Vaughan Williams: Piano Concerto in C 2020-02-11
Weber 1810: Weber: Piano Concerto No. 1 2020-02-11
Rachmaninov 1891: Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1 in F# minor 2020-02-08
Basie Count Basie 2020-02-07
Lloyd Hearing with the eyes 2020-02-01
Slydini The Great Slydini 2020-02-01
Grieg 1868: Grieg: Piano Concerto 2020-01-27
Schumann 1845: Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor 2020-01-27
Borodin 1887: Borodin: Prince Igor Overture 2020-01-17
Ellington Duke Ellington 2020-01-17
Mendelssohn 1828: Mendelssohn: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage 2020-01-17
Mozart 1787: Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik 2020-01-12
Strauss 1896: Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra 2020-01-12
Dvorak 1876: Dvorak: Piano Concerto in G minor 2020-01-01
Peterson Oscar Peterson 2019-12-31
Dvorak Dvorak and Grieg 2019-12-30
Vivaldi Bach and Vivaldi 2019-12-29
Scriabin Scriabin 2019-12-24
Vivaldi 1715: Vivaldi: Gloria 2019-12-24
Various More Old Popular Music 2019-12-22
Tchaikovsky 1892: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Ballet 2019-12-20
Nat King Cole 1945: The Christmas Song 2019-12-15
Handel 1741: Handel: The Messiah 2019-12-12
Van Heusen 1947: But Beautiful, a Great Standard 2019-12-12
Brahms Takashi Asahina 2019-12-08
Various Classical Music Is Older Popular Music 2019-12-08
Brahms Ben Hopkins 2019-12-04
Various Famous arrangers and transcribers 2019-12-04
Chopin 1838: Chopin: Raindrop Prelude: Op. 28 No. 15 2019-12-02
Schubert 1827: Schubert: Gb Major Impromptu 2019-11-28
Collier Two mid-season pieces 2019-11-26
Mendelssohn 1830: Mendelssohn: Fingal’s Cave 2019-11-24
Kanno 2014: Kanno: Zankyou no Terror 2019-11-01
Collier Jacob Collier 2019-10-28
Johann Strauss 1866: Johann Strass: The Beautiful Danube 2019-10-24
Various For Those Who Hate Opera 2019-10-24
Verdi 1871: Verdi: Triumphal March 2019-10-24
Orf 1935: Orff: Carmina Burana 2019-10-22
Various Name that tune! 2019-10-22
Hut Hut 2019-10-14
Davis 1959: Miles Davis: So What 2019-10-08
Cookie Graham Cookie 2019-10-04
Hut Guitar Lydian Improv 2019-10-03
Pachelbel 1690: Pachebel: Cannon 2019-10-03
Pachelbel Pachelbels Cannon Encore 2019-10-03
Mckennitt Loreena Mckennitt 2019-09-30
Mozart 1782: Mozart: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 2019-09-30
Simon @ Garfunkel 1965: Paul Simon: Scarbouro Fair 2019-09-30
Clapton Eric Clapton 2019-09-27
Hut Dorian Improv 2019-09-27
Liszt Liszt: 1849: Consolation No. 3 2019-09-27
Ella Ella and scat singing 2019-09-23
De Vorzon/ Botkin Jr. 1970: Cotton’s Dream 2019-09-22
Bach 1723: Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring 2019-09-17
Debussy 1910: Debussy: The Girl with the Flaxen Hair 2019-09-16
Kabalesky 1938: Kabalevsky: Comedian’s Galop 2019-09-05
Anderson 1949: Anderson: A Trumpeter’s Lullaby 2019-09-02
Strauss (R.) 2001 A Space Odyssey 2019-08-10
Beatles 1966: Beatles: Eleanor Rigby 2019-08-09
Bach The Romantic movement started here… 2019-07-28
Joplin 1916: Maple Leaf Rag 2019-07-19
Debussy 1909: Debussy: Interrupted Serenade 2019-07-02
Bizet 1920: Carmen Variations 2019-06-14
Debussy 1905: Debussy: Reflections in the water 2019-05-26
Grusin 1993: Death of Love and Trust 2019-05-15
Debussy 1990: Debussy: Claire de Lune in Db major 2019-05-07
Chopin 1844: Chopin 3rd Sonata, final movement 2019-04-14
Chopin 1834: Chopin: Fantaisie Impromptu 2019-04-09
Chopin 1842: Chopin Polonaise in Ab major 2019-04-09
Liszt 1850: Liszt: Liebestraum 2019-04-07
Chopin 1831: Chopin: Revolutionary Etude 2019-04-01
Dvorak Twisted Dvorak 2019-03-14
Saint Saens 1903: Saint Saens: Valse Triste: Twisted Disney 2019-03-07
Beatles What are these kids playing? 2019-03-03
Dudamel The most amazing youth program in the world 2019-03-03
Scarlatti 1752: Scarlatti: Sonata in C Major, K, 159 2019-02-25
Williams Leitmotivs in Star Wars 2019-01-13
Wagner Götterdämmerung PROLOGUE 2018-08-02
Wagner Wagner Götterdämmerung Act I Libretto 2018-08-02
Wagner Wagner Götterdämmerung Act II Libretto 2018-08-02
Wagner Wagner Götterdämmerung Act III Libretto 2018-08-02

What’s New?

FRIDAY, August 6, 2021 – 1:02 AM

I started this idea more than a year ago. My idea was to present whatever I was listening to at the moment. But late in 2020 I got so busy recording that I stopped listening for awhile. I was too exhausted. Just recently I started to get my curiosity back.

I almost gave up on this project, and I’ve been running into memory problems. But for the time being I’ll continue it for a bit more, then I’ll judge whether or not the project is worth the time based on feedback.

Guide to universal interval names

THURSDAY, August 5, 2021 – 10:06 AM

  • Unison – “zero distance”
  • 1/2 Tone – nothing is skipped
  • Tone – skip one key
  • Fat (tone) – one and 1/2 tones: It’s wider than a tone, thus “fat”. Skip two keys
  • Bitone – two tones: Skip three keys
  • 4th – Two and 1/2 tones. Skip four keys
  • Tritone – Three tones. Two fats
  • 5th – One half tone bigger than a tritone, hand-sized.
  • 4-tone – fits Xaug
  • Triple fat flip – fits Xdim
  • Two short or 5 tones- shrink an octave by two keys: fits X7
  • One short: shrink an octave by two keys: fits Xmaj7
  • Octave – two notes with the same name that is not a unison


Teaching Online

Each day I am adding more resources here, so please keep checking back to see what is new. Online teaching is international. If you have a computer and want my help, we can do this from anywhere in the world. My teaching is not local, and that’s a very good thing.

With online teaching you are no longer limited to teachers in your area, and for many people that is key when they are trying to find the best fit for a teacher.


This for students of all ages and their parents. In the beginning most people have no idea what happens in lessons, or what music reading is, or anything else related to what we as music teachers do. For the average non-musicians, trained musicians somehow seem like wizards right out of Harry Potter, while the rest of the world is divided into muggles and squibs. Here are some things you should read about: