The Funeral March

A funeral march is a musical work with a slow, stately pulse – typically in a minor key and in 4/4 time – imitating a funeral procession. While the specific origins of the funeral march are unknown, books of military music suggest that the earliest funeral marches were slow, simple beats kept on a large…

The Song of the Sun: “Solstice” by Amelia Chain

  How many pieces of music do you know that incorporate the actual sound of the sun into the work? Amelia Chain’s composition “Solstice” uses real recordings of our sun in the work (both as the inspiration and as a musical element). Chain was inspired to create the piece after talking to her daughter about…

The Christmas Song: A History

Picture this: it’s blistering hot, the middle of summer (1945). What do you do to stay cool? You think cool thoughts, of course. That’s what songwriters Bob Wells and Mel Tormé did, and that’s how The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) was born. Tormé said of the event: “I saw a spiral pad on…

Music Inspired by Winter: Tchaikovsky

It’s almost December! I hope you are all enjoying this season of love, family, and twinkling lights. 🙂 I personally love the cold weather – especially the snow and the music! And because Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is a winter classic, that got me thinking. Has he written any other music inspired by winter? The answer is yes! So in…

Music Favorites Part 3

Music is hard. Doing this for a career is hard. It’s not your usual 9-5 job that you can forget about at the end of the day. It’s something that permeates your life, the good and the bad, whether you want it to or not. It resonates with and pounds against your soul and it…

Music and Emotion

Have you ever noticed that certain music can make you feel a very specific way? Music is very powerful stuff. It can uplift and depress, agitate and calm. It can offer relief and comfort. Let’s examine this idea a little further. How Music Conveys Emotion Even though there are countless works of music in the world…

Music Favorites Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of Music Favorites. Check out part 1 here! It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite piece of music. It’s like asking a mom to pick her favorite child or a movie fanatic to pick his favorite film. But I have compiled a list of my favorite works to share,…

Music Favorites Part 1

These last few months have been a little crazy and stressful. Okay, a lot crazy and stressful. I decided to take a little break today and listen to some music that I like, so I thought I’d share some of those pieces with you. Prelude in B minor by Rachmaninoff First up: Prelude in B minor…

Music History: Baroque Music

Background When we say Baroque music, we typically think of composers like Bach and Handel. These composers – and this musical era in general –  were vital in shaping music as we know it today. Beginning around 1600, the Baroque era was instrumental (pun definitely intended) in the normalization of tonality (harmony as we know…