music

Listen to the Oldest Song in the World: A Sumerian Hymn Written 3,400 Years Ago

In the early 1950’s, archaeologists unearthed several clay tablets from the 14th century B.C.E.. in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit. These tablets contained cuneiform signs in the Hurrian language which turned out to be the oldest known piece of music ever discovered, a 3,400-year-old cult hymn. In 1988 Richard Fink writes in an article entitled ‘Archeologia Musicalis’ that the tablets found confirm a musical theory structure of a 7-note diatonic scale, as well as other harmonies, existing 3,400 years ago.

Click Here Free Sheet Music Download: Sumerian Tablet Song.pdf

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MUSIC CURES [10 VIDEOS]

Music therapy as an addition to standard care helps people with schizophrenia to improve their global state, mental state (including negative symptoms) and social functioning if a sufficient number of music therapy sessions are provided by qualified music therapists. Further research should especially address the long-term effects of music therapy, dose-response relationships, as well as the relevance of outcomes measures in relation to music therapy. Music therapy is a therapeutic method that uses music experiences to help people with serious mental disorders to develop relationships and to address issues they may not be able to using words alone. Studies to date have examined the effects of music therapy as an add-on treatment to standard care. The results of these studies suggest that music therapy improves global state and may also improve mental state and functioning if a sufficient number of music therapy sessions are provided.– Music therapy for people with schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders (Mössler K, Chen X, Heldal TO, Gold C)[1]

In conjunction with the research question of the effectiveness of music interventions on adolescents, evidence points to the music therapy technique of lyric analysis being an effective intervention for mental health professionals working with adolescents. Research establishes adolescence  40 to be a unique period in a person’s life requiring specific interventions to engage these clients in psychotherapy. In considering the significant impact music has on the life of an adolescent, lyric analysis tactfully recognizes the significance of an adolescent’s preferred music while utilizing the symbolic meaning behind the music to facilitate in-depth therapeutic discussion. -The Effectiveness of Music Interventions in Psychotherapy with Adolescent Clients (Hope Lauren Esala)[2]

The present study has found that music creates significant changes in systolic tension arterial and pulse oximeter values; significantly decreases pain, Faces Anxiety Scale, and state anxiety means scores and increases general comfort level. More research is needed on the effects of music offered by a trained music therapist. –The Effect of Music on Comfort, Anxiety and Pain in the Intensive Care Unit: A Case in Turkey (Hatice Çiftçi, MSc, RN, Gürsel Öztunç, PhD) [3]

 

 

According to a paper in the UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing, listening to music can reduce chronic pain from a range of painful conditions, including osteoarthritis, disc problems, and rheumatoid arthritis, by up to 21%. [ref]

How to Get Great at Sight Reading Music

Sight reading new music can feel like a daunting task. But let’s face it, all music is new to us at one point. This is why getting great at sight reading can make the experience of learning new music by reading a more enjoyable one and less of a “homework” style activity.

So in an effort to make your next sight reading experience more enjoyable, there are several great tips and strategies in this post that will get you started on the right path.

  1. Familiarize yourself with a variety of rhythms. Start simple and increasingly change the difficulty of the rhythms you are reading.
  2. Memorize key signatures at-a-glance. IMPORTANT!
  3. Know your scales forward and backward. Literally forwards and backward.
  4. Practice playing without looking at your hands.
  5. Practice sight singing by singing the notes you are wanting to read.
  6. Take a minute to examine the piece you’re sight reading. Tap out the rhythm, read through the notes and follow the structure. Look for trouble spots that may trip you up when you’re reading.
  7. Mentally commit changes in key or time signature within the piece.
  8. Make markings on the paper (or on your tablet/iPad), if allowed.
  9. Sound the whole piece out in your head, recognizing patterns.
  10. Breathe, relax and keep going, even if you make a mistake.
  11. Use a pencil to make the note names of each note above in order to be able to focus more on the rhythmic changes.

 

When I began teaching music theory and piano lessons it dawned on me how poorly some students understand music and how it really works from the inside out. Many could play their instrument but they blindly stumbled through learning new pieces and had trouble with counting even simple rhythms when faced with musical excerpts that were not in the most basic of meters. -Leon Harrell, author of “How to Read Music”

Focus on rhythm

Rhythm is the most essential part of sight reading. If you play rhythm correctly but not pitch, at least you can stay in the right place. The opposite is not true.

If you don’t have a firm grasp of rhythm, this is where you should start. You can practice rhythm sight reading with any sheet music. Just ignore the pitches and only read the rhythms. Later you can go back through and practice reading the rhythms and pitches together.

Don’t stop when you make a mistake

So obvious, and yet surprisingly counter-instinctual. When we make a mistake, especially during an important performance, the temptation is strong to go back and fix it. But everyone knows this is impossible – time in music only moves forward. It’s done, shrug it off and move on. (If there’s a repeat, you’ll get a second chance! :))

Not only is it futile, but it’s actually counter-productive to stop and try to fix performance mistakes. You draw attention to an error your audience otherwise may not have noticed, and you make a second error by stopping time!

Learn how to plow through your mistakes rather than stopping to lament. Your judges will review you more favorably, you’ll better keep up with the ensemble if you’re not playing solo, and your audience will enjoy the music better uninterrupted.

Let the most difficult passage set your tempo

This tip I picked up years ago from a wise band director. It’s a smart way to set the tempo when you’re sight reading. (You’ve never heard the piece before, so you can’t use your memory of what it sounds like for reference.)

Of course you’re going to observe the composer’s tempo guidelines, but you’ll have room for interpretation as the performer. The most important thing when you’re choosing a tempo for sight reading is that it not prohibit you from getting through the piece successfully. And the most common tempo mistake made by inexperienced sight readers is to choose one that’s too fast.

The way to ensure that you don’t choose a tempo that’s too fast is to base it around the most difficult passage. While you’re looking over the music just before playing, find the part that looks most challenging. Finger through it on your instrument at the tempo you have in mind and be confident you can get through without making a slew of mistakes. If you don’t think you can, slow down the tempo a bit at a time until you have one that works.

Learn to look ahead

People are often surprised to learn that advanced sight readers aren’t looking at the notes they’re playing. Rather they already looked at them, and are always looking at least a few beats ahead of where they’re playing.

Think about it. You’re sight reading, so you’ve never seen this music before, save the brief moment you had to look it over before you started playing. If you’re just taking in the notes one at a time as you’re playing them, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Imagine driving a car and only watching the spot of pavement that’s visible just over the hood.

You need to learn how to be reading one measure while playing the measure that came before it. The coordination is a bit tricky, but it’s well worth the time investment to learn this skill.

Don’t forget, at the end of the day it will be you that will need to put in the work with your sight reading practice. At first, it may seem challenging. But my promise to you is that if you stick with it and take these tips and strategies to heart while practicing that your skill will improve and sight reading will become simple and seamless for you.

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Ref: Music Notes, Sight Reading Master.

How Music Paves the Way To Success

by Monica Zamora-Lawrence

Since I was a small child, I always had a desire for music. At a young age I began studying the piano. I became an advanced pianist for my age and felt a sense of peace when I played. In 2001, my family and I moved to Kansas to be closer to my mother’s side of the family. This is when my life started to change in ways I could never imagine.

I remember walking in to my new middle school, feeling an extreme amount of fear. Different state, different school, different people, and a completely different culture. I had no idea, once again, what I was doing. For a tween, that is a terrifying feeling! Especially if that tween was just as shy as I was.

The day I decided to join band, I found a special place of belonging. I found an amazing group of friends within that class. I found a different kind of confidence within myself as well. (Don’t get me wrong, I was still awkward, but it was a “band geek” awkward.) Transitioning in to a school was hard, but finding an instrument that could help me get through all the “new” a tween could handle, was something my soul was absolutely searching for.

Going in to high school, I still actively participated in band. I thought I had found a safe place for the last 4 years of my childhood, but I was wrong. There were people outside of band, and even in band, that became bullies towards me. I thought the nick-names that they had made up for me, were special for a moment, until I found out otherwise. “Big Red” is the one I remember the most, and it wasn’t until one of the bullies came up to me and explained the reason why they all called me that, that I realized I was actually being made fun of by a group that I thought I could call a second family. I was extremely hurt, embarrassed, and humiliated. I went home that evening and cried my eyes out. After I had let out all my sadness, I turned to my instrument. I went back to school the next day, and owned up to the nick-name “Big Red,” but this time, in a different way. Now I would no longer be known as the bigger girl with red hair…no. This time, I was going to focus on my music and show them the talented, unstoppable, I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me, “Big Red.” Eventually I became lead of my section, but soon found a different kind of calling.

Right next door to the band room, was a choir room. As I was walking past the choir room one day, I heard the most beautiful harmonies. Now, I knew I loved to sing, so I contemplated joining at first. Then I made my decision to be bold and just go after it! Well, I made it! And not only did I get an offer to join the choir, but several members of the high school show choir asked me to join them! And that’s when, I became a member of the most amazing group of people I have ever met. This group truly showed me the meaning of how a school group family really cares about each other. I found my voice, and I found out I could dance as well! Who knew?!

My junior year of high school, I began suffering from major depression and anxiety. I continued with schooling, and kept going without anyone ever knowing how much I was actually suffering. I kept turning to music. Always, turning to music. Every time I felt low, angry, bitter, etc., I turned to music. Any kind of music. There is always something out there that makes a person realize that others have either been there, or maybe have seen a loved one go through whatever is ailing them.

Over the summer, that year, I tried to take my own music away. I had ended on a path that I couldn’t see my way out of. I thought the music had died for me…I couldn’t sing the songs anymore. But when I woke up in the hospital, with all my friends and family around me, I felt foolish. How could I think the music ended? I had so many more symphonies to write in my life. So what did I do?! I got up, and shook it off. I declared that no matter how bad my depression and anxiety got to me, I would ALWAYS turn to music.

Ever since then, I have written many varieties of songs: hate, pain, loss, heartache, hope, friendship, break-ups….but above all, LOVE. This is the reason music is so important to us individually, and especially our youth. Music builds a person up, from beginning to end. Music is always in our souls. Even our hearts beat to their own drum. Music creates a path to a successful life, and a road to walk down to share every emotion with.

Now, I am a Certified Surgical Technologist with an Associates Degree in Applied Science, a part-time teacher in the Surgical Technology Lab, I work with mentally disabled consumers and mentor them through their ever day struggles, and I’m buying my own home! Every day I thank what music, and my teachers, have given me….

My own, personal, musical of a life!

So the next time you’re unsure of where to turn…turn on your favorite song and remember that you have plenty of time to create your own symphony for you life, and the building blocks of all the little ones’ lives. Let’s give them some hope for their precious future, and expand their minds to what wonderful things music can bring to their lives.

 

The Intriguing Story Of Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out 
On the feast of Stephen, 
When the snow lay round about 
Deep and crisp and even;

Brightly shone the moon that night 
Though the frost was cruel, 
When a poor man came in sight, 
Gath’ring winter fuel.

‘Hither, page, and stand by me, 
If thou know’st it, telling 
Yonder peasant, who is he? 
Where and what his dwelling?’

‘Sire, he lives a good league hence, 
Underneath the mountain, 
Right against the forest fence, 
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.’

‘Bring me flesh and bring me wine, 
Bring me pine logs hither, 
Thou and I will see him dine 
When we bear them thither.’

Page and monarch forth they went, 
Forth they went together, 
Through the rude wind’s wild lament 
And the bitter weather.

‘Sire, the night is darker now 
And the wind blows stronger; 
Fails my heart, I know not how, 
I can go no longer.’

‘Mark my footsteps, good my page, 
Tread thou in them boldly: 
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage 
Freeze thy blood less coldly.’

In his master’s steps he trod, 
Where the snow lay dinted; 
Heat was in the very sod 
Which the Saint had printed.

Therefore, Christian men, be sure 
Wealth or rank possessing, 
Ye who now will bless the poor 
Shall yourselves find blessing.

So, have you every wondered what the story was behind this interestingly named “King Wenceslas?”

Well, let’s shed some light on it for you by sharing the story of how it came about.

Wenceslas was a 10th-century Catholic Duke of Bohemia also known as Vaclav the Good, and was martyred after being assassinated by his wicked brother, Boleslaw the Bad. Wenceslas’s remains are interred in St Vitus’s cathedral in Prague, and he was recently made patron saint of the Czech Republic. His Saint’s Day is September 28.

This carol was written in Victorian Britain by John Mason Neale to a traditional folk tune. It was written in the town of East Grinstead, in the county of West Sussex, at Sackville College where he was staying at the time. The story in the carol is about the King (or Duke) of Bohemia (an area in Central Europe which is now part of the Czech Republic) from over 1000 years ago, seeing peasants, on Boxing Day, from his castle and taking food and wood to them. The story in the carol was probably completely made up! In fact the real story of King Wenceslas (907-935) is rather gory!

Wenceslas’ father was the Duke of Bohemia and a Christian but it’s thought that his mother might have been a pagan. His father died when he was 12 and, as he was not old enough to become Duke until he was 18, his mother took control of the land as regent. During this time his grandmother, Ludmilla, took care of Wenceslas and brought him up as a Christian (she smuggled priests into the house to help teach him). It’s thought that His mother had Ludmilla banished to a distant castle where she was murdered by the Queen’s guards!

Wenceslas was still a Christian after this and learned to read and write, something which was unusual for even a King/Duke in those days! He had local Bishops smuggled in at night to teach him the Bible. When he reached 18, Wenceslas took control of his dukedom. He then defended Bohemia from a couple of invasions by Dukes of neighboring regions and legend says that he banished his mother and her pagan followers from his castle.

Wenceslas put in a good education system and a successful law and order system, so the parts of the carol story about him being a kind King are certainly true!

After four years of happiness, when Wenceslas was 22, his brother Boleslav, became very jealous of Wenceslas and plotted (possibly with the pagan followers of their mother) to kill Wenceslas. Boleslav invited Wenceslas to celebrate a saint’s day with him, but on the way to the Church, Wenceslas was attacked and stabbed to death by three of Boleslav’s followers!

The (fictitious) story told in the song was written by a Czech poet Václav Alois Svoboda in 1847. He wrote many ‘manuscripts’ that tried to prove that Czech literature was much older and more developed than it really was. The poem was written in three languages, Czech, German, Latin, and was called ‘Sankt Wenceslaw und Podiwin’ (Saint Wenceslas and the Crocheteer). The Poem found it’s way into the UK in the 19th Century where JM Neale put the translated words to the tune of a 13th century spring carol ‘Tempus Adest Floridum’ (‘It is time for flowering’) that was came from a collection of old religious songs called ‘Piae Cantiones’ that was published in 1582 in Sweden/Finland!

 

Ref: [1] [2]