A Minute with Miles

News & Music Stations: Mon-Fri, 6:43 am and 8:43 am

How did the piano get its name? Why can’t you “reach” a crescendo? Who invented opera—and why—and how do you pronounce “Handel”? These and countless other classical music questions are answered on South Carolina Public Radio’s A Minute with Miles. Hosted by longtime NPR commentator Miles Hoffman, the segments inform and entertain as they provide illuminating 60-second flights through the world of classical music. (Photo: Mary Noble Ours)

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Key - Part 3

Mar 13, 2015

In this final selection from the three part series, Miles Hoffman discusses why composers choose a certain key over any other.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Key - Part 2

Mar 12, 2015

In the second episode of this three part series, Miles Hoffman talks about the tonal harmony that make up what we understand as a musical key.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Key - Part 1

Mar 11, 2015

The convention of key, of pieces of music being "in a key," has been one of the fundamental organizing principles of western music since the 1600's.  In this first of a three part series, Miles Hoffman gives the origin of the musical key.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Clavichord

Mar 10, 2015

The Clavichord dates from the 1400's and was in common use, primarily for home enjoyment, from the 1500's through the 1700's.  Miles Hoffman describes the history and mechanical action of the clavichord.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Harpsichord

Mar 9, 2015

Miles Hoffman discusses the history of the harpsichord, which was one of the principal keyboard instruments in the Baroque period.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Continuo

Mar 6, 2015

Continuo, also known as Basso Continuo, is associated with music of the Baroque period.  Miles Hoffman discusses why the term Continuo refers not to an instrument, but to a part within a composition.

A Minute with Miles is a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Tempo Markings 4

Mar 5, 2015

In the final episode of this series, Miles Hoffman talks about the language which describes tempo markings and why Italian terminology is the generally accepted form of marking tempo.

A Minute with Miles is a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Tempo Markings 3

Mar 4, 2015

In episode three of this four part series, Miles Hoffman describes how tempo markings are left to the interpretation of the conductor or musician and then begins his discussion of metronome markings.

A Minute with Miles is a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation. 

Tempo Markings 2

Mar 3, 2015

Allegro, Andante, and Adagio are all tempo markings; in today's episode, Miles Hoffman discusses more markings used by composers to describe how musicians should play a piece of music.

A Minute with Miles is a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Tempo Markings 1

Mar 2, 2015

In part one of this four day series, Mile Hoffman introduces the topic of Tempo Markings and begins to define what they are and describe how composers use them.

A Minute with Miles is a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Legato

Feb 27, 2015

Beethoven, they say, was famous in his piano playing for the beauty of his legato.  In this episode, Miles Hoffman discusses what legato means and where the term originated.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Libretto

Feb 26, 2015

The Libretto is the text of an opera or oratorio.  Miles Hoffman details the origin of the term and how we understand it today.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Program Music

Feb 25, 2015

Program music, as Miles Hoffman explains in this episode, is instrumental music that attempts to tell a story or render a scene or picture in a realistic way.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

In part 1 of his reed instruments series, Miles Hoffman mentioned that reed players spend many hours making and working on their reeds.  In part two of this discussion, Miles describes the final stages of making the reed and playing a reed instrument.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

The reed instruments in the orchestra are found among the woodwinds.  In part 1 of this 2 part series, Miles Hoffman defines which instruments in the woodwinds are reed instruments.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Orchestration

Feb 20, 2015

At every moment, an orchestra has a particular sound that is determined by the instruments and combination of instruments that are playing and by the nature of the musical material.  Orchestration, as Miles Hoffman explains, is the art of designing that sound.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Perfect Pitch

Feb 19, 2015

Perfect pitch, often know as absolute pitch, is the ability to hear a note or sound and identify its precise pitch, that is the name of the note, without using any external reference, such as an instrument or tuning device.  Miles Hoffman describes a person who has perfect pitch.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation

Pitch

Feb 18, 2015

Pitch is the measure of the highness or lowness of a sound or musical tone.  Miles Hoffman discusses our understanding of the term pitch.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

The Organ- 2

Feb 17, 2015

In part 2 of the Organ series, Miles Hoffman continues his discussion of the piped instrument.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

The Organ- 1

Feb 16, 2015

In this part one of a two part series, Miles Hoffman talks about the history of the organ.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Romeo & Juliet

Feb 13, 2015

Host Miles Hoffman discusses the different variations on the story of Romeo and Juliet on this Valentine's Day themed Minute with Miles.

A Minute with Miles- a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Foundation.

The Trumpet

Feb 12, 2015

The Trumpet is the highest pitched and most brilliant member of the brass family.  Miles Hoffman discusses the history of the trumpet.

A Minute with Miles- a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Foundation.

Concertmaster

Feb 11, 2015

The Concertmaster is the violinist who occupies the first chair of the first violin section of an orchestra.  Miles Hoffman explains.

A Minute with Miles- a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Foundation.

Second Violin

Feb 10, 2015

The Second Violin part in classical music is an individual line that forms part of the fabric of a piece.  Miles Hoffman talks about the history of the Second Violin.

A Minute with Miles- a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Foundation.

Lute

Feb 9, 2015

Host Miles Hoffman discusses the history of the Lute, a plucked string instrument which is held and played very much like a guitar.

A Minute with Miles- a production of ETV Radio, made possible by the JM Smith Foundation.

Guitar

Feb 6, 2015

Host Miles Hoffman discusses the origins of the Classical Guitar.

A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

Celesta

Feb 5, 2015

The sound of the celesta, in the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is familiar to almost everyone.  The evolutionary origins of many instruments are lost in the mists of history, but not so with the celesta.

Divertimento

Feb 4, 2015

Divertimento, in Italian, means “entertainment,” or “diversion.”  Although composers in the latter part of the eighteenth century used the term as a title for instrumental pieces whose primary purpose was to be light, pleasant, and entertaining, great composers like Haydn and Mozart sometimes just couldn’t help themselves, and wrote divertimentos of great beauty and depth.

Dances

Feb 3, 2015

For centuries, composers have borrowed dance forms.  Dances provide rhythmic vitality, and they offer ready-made, concrete associations, associations with specific moods, feelings, functions or types of physical movement, or with peoples, nations, or cultures.

An die Musik

Feb 2, 2015

Today, let’s just take a moment to listen to Franz Schubert’s beautiful thank-you note to music: An die Musik, sung by Fritz Wunderlich.
A Minute with Miles - a production of ETV Radio made possible by the JM Smith Corporation.

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