Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Serenade

11 hours ago
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Serenade is one of those musical terms that has meant many different things at many different times. The term itself comes from the Italian sereno, which is from the Latin serenus, which means “serene.”


The Clarinet

Oct 10, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The clarinet was the last of the principal woodwind instruments to join the orchestra. The modern clarinet evolved from earlier forms in the early 1700's—later than the modern oboe, bassoon, and flute—and it wasn’t until late in the century that orchestral composers included the clarinet in their scores with any regularity.

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

 Atonality and dissonance are often linked in listeners’ minds, but they’re not the same thing. Dissonance, from the Latin words for “sounding” and “apart,” is the simultaneous sounding of two or more notes to produce a clashing, or unpleasant effect. Its opposite is consonance, a pleasing sound, a “sounding together.”

McCoy Tyner
Courtesy of the artist

McCoy Tyner is an inventive composer and pianist, perhaps best known for creating the lavish harmonies and percussive piano lines heard on some of John Coltrane's most famous recordings. He also has had a successful career as a leader with his own McCoy Tyner Trio. On this 1983 edition of Piano Jazz, Tyner puts his prodigious technique to work on "Lazy Bird," and McPartland gets on board for a driving duet of "Take the A Train."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 14, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 15, 7 pm

Holly Hofmann
Courtesy of the artist

Classically trained flutist Holly Hoffman was influenced by her father, a fine jazz guitarist. At age five, she chose the flute because she could carry it to play music with him. Hoffman has taken the flute from the orchestra to the jazz stand, making her mark with a bluesy style all her own. In this session from 2002, bassist Darek Oles joins McPartland and Hoffman to perform a set including "You and the Night and the Music" and "Bohemia After Dark."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 07, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 08, 7 pm

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

It’s an old question: if you were going to be dropped off on a desert island and you could only take a few recorded pieces of music with you, what would they be? For me, the first piece on the list is easy: Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.


Tony Caramia
SUNY

Tony Caramia is a world-class pianist and educator, currently teaching at the Eastman School of Music, where he is Director of Piano Pedagogy Studies and Coordinator of the Class Piano Program. Caramia is skilled in both classical and jazz, but has an affinity for ragtime, with a particular interest in British composer and pianist Billy Mayerl. McPartland got her start in the music business when she joined Mayerl’s piano quartet in England in the late 1930s. On this 2003 Piano Jazz, Caramia plays a famous Mayerl melody, “Marigold.”

Neuroscience

Sep 28, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

I’m grateful for advances in neuroscience, and for many reasons glad that every day we know more about how the brain works. But for all the studies of left brains, right brains, and neuron networks, some things will remain mysteries, and there’s no way around it.


Wesley Bocxe got his break in photojournalism covering a devastating 1985 earthquake in Mexico, which killed an estimated 10,000 people.

Exactly 32 years later, on Sept. 19, another massive earthquake struck Mexico. And this time, it toppled his home, leaving Bocxe seriously injured and killing his wife, Elizabeth Esguerra Rosas.

Olivier Boitet/The Associated Press 

When Vincent Lancisi and his wife were traveling in the south of France earlier this year, they began chatting with their driver. And he told them a story about his former employer.

“He said, ‘I was a driver for a famous man,’” Lancisi said. “‘You probably don’t know his name but there’s a movie about him made with Jeremy Irons called 'M. Butterfly.'"

“My wife looked at me, her jaw dropped.”

Spiccato

Sep 27, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The literal meaning of the Italian word spiccato is similar to that of staccato—“detached,” or “distinct.” In string playing, to play notes spiccato means to play them with a bouncing bow. With its stiff but flexible stick and tightened horsehair, the bow is like a long spring, so it wants to bounce. But spiccato involves a controlled bouncing. The bow comes off the string after each note, but the player has to find the balance between making the bow bounce and letting it bounce.


Progress in Music

Sep 26, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

For musicians and music teachers, the concept of Progress can be misleading. We can strive in our own ways to emulate the masters who’ve preceded us, but it’s a mistake to think there’s such a thing as being better than those masters.


A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

In fields such as science and technology, or in medicine, we’re used to achievements that represent Progress, progress that is obvious and indisputable. We do things better than we did before. But in the field of music, Progress has at times been a misleading concept.


Strings

Sep 22, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The strings of stringed instruments—violins, violas, cellos, basses, guitars, and harps—may be made of steel, nylon or other synthetics, or of gut. Often the steel, nylon, or gut serves as the core of the string, and around the core is a tight winding of very fine wire—wire of steel, aluminum, or silver.


Aria Part 4

Sep 21, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The da capo aria, which I talked about yesterday, was a form that by 1750 had begun to lose its once enormous popularity. It was a form that was essentially killed by excess. The reign of the da capo aria coincided with the reign of the castrati as the stars of Italian opera.


Aria Part 3

Sep 20, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

For about a hundred years, roughly from 1650 to 1750, the principal type of aria in opera, and also in the oratorios and cantatas of such composers as Bach and Handel, was the da capo aria.


Aria Part 2

Sep 19, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The aria - a musical form that’s a kind of song, but more elaborate and vocally demanding than the pieces we usually call songs. The development of opera in Italy in the 1600's is what brought the aria to glory.


Aria Part 1

Sep 18, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Arias are the pieces for solo voice with instrumental accompaniment that are found in operas, oratorios, and cantatas. They’re songs, in a sense, but they tend to be more musically elaborate and vocally demanding than the kinds of pieces we usually call songs.


Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas/Facebook

  A composer, improviser, and trumpeter, Dave Douglas develops music that transcends the boundaries of traditional jazz. In 2000, when he was McParland's guest, he was named JazzTimes magazine's "Artist of the Year." On this Piano Jazz, Douglas talks about his album Soul on Soul, his stunning tribute to Mary Lou Williams. He and McPartland share their love for Williams' music with their rendition of "Cloudy." Bassist James Genus joins them to perform another Williams tune, "Scratchin' in the Gravel."

Acoustics Part 5

Sep 15, 2017
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Acoustics is the science of sound, but the word also refers to the qualities of a room—the qualities that determine and describe how things sound in that room. 

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