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Category: Braille

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New BARD Additions: July 2018

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

Read this blog and discover new materials, recorded and braille, now available from the NLS Music Section. Audio Materials All of the following are productions of Bill Brown. Banjo American Pie.  Teaches this Don McLean song without the use of music notation.  (DBM03915) Piano Bless the Broken Road. Teaches how to play “Bless the Broken …

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American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: E (Part 2 – Eyck, Jacob van)

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

This week we’ll break with our series a bit to discuss the life of a blind musician from outside of the United States. Had someone mentioned a composer named van Eyck to me when I was a child, I might have guessed that he was born before or during World War II. When I heard …

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Bernstein at 100

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

When I was in grade school, our chorus teacher let us hear a record called What Is Jazz (DBM00704), where tone color, blue notes, syncopation, and other aspects of jazz were described by a man named Leonard Bernstein (I assumed that he was a jazz piano player). By sixth grade I was listening to classical music …

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Going with “Ahmal” Once Again

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

“Oh, no—opera!” I thought as the recording of Amahl and the Night Visitors started. I was perhaps a fourth grader at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children in Pittsburgh then, hearing this one-act opera for the first time. Although I could not always understand the words, I had to admit that the mother’s operatic …

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Remembering the Father of the Blues

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

Today’s blog celebrates the career of W.C. Handy. Born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1873, William Christopher Handy became interested in music at an early age. His father, a minister, felt that music was an unwise career choice for him and, indeed, the young Handy experienced years of poverty and homelessness at first. But …

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Celebrating that “Parisienne Gaiety”

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

When I was a teenager, I began learning about classical music by listening to radio programs in the evening. Often the shows would begin with an overture or “light classic”, such as the Light Cavalry Overture (which our school band played), or the William Tell Overture (the “Lone Ranger” to me). There was also a …

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Ernesto!

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

August 6 is the birthday of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, who lived from 1895 to 1963. While some composers’ names might stir a vague recollection of some concert I attended, Lecuona brings to mind an indelible childhood memory. It happened on a Monday afternoon when I was five or six years old. I was lying …

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From Loose Change to Reconciliation in Beethoven Quartets

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

Often the blogs we write have something to do with the calendar: a historic event, date of birth or death, etc. but this blog concerns a favorite topic of mine. Going through all the Robert Greenberg courses that the Music Section offers, I found one called “The String Quartets of Beethoven.” So I got the …

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Vacation Listening, and Much More

Posted by: Gilbert Busch

On May 13, I was baking cookies and listening to the Met Broadcast of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. One of the announcers explained that this production would take place not in the 18th century, but in 1911, the year it was composed (also the year that Mahler died, I thought to myself). And that’s when it …