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[#] Sun Dec 08 2013 23:22:03 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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I enjoyed the concert stuff quite a bit in high school, but I was never going to be one of the A-list players in college and it was a pretty big time sink to take for no credit. I really wish I'd gotten into jazz band in high school a lot sooner, as I really enjoyed it during the half-quarter (eighth?) I got to do it. I suspect I was probably the only person on the field who enjoyed marching band. We had a pretty strong music program and marching was considered sort of "beneath" us, but the football program (read: alumni) wanted a marching band, so they got a marching band. We opted for fairly simple field work in favor of sounding excellent. For a marching band, anyway.

[#] Sun Dec 08 2013 23:24:36 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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I took my wife to a Gershwin-themed concert from the Seattle Symphony a few months ago. I've had George Gershwin's Lullaby (1919? around then) stuck in my head ever since. The conductor had arranged it, originally a string quartet piece, for the orchestra, although there's one interlude where they cut to just the quartet. I wish it were available. I did find a decent '70s recording of the quartet version on which I recommend; there is only a little popping and hissing.

[#] Mon Dec 09 2013 10:29:52 EST from vince-q @ Uncensored

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When I was in high school (class of 1966, just after they invented electric light) my school did not have a string program. So it was band or nothing. And the rule was that if you didn't participate in Marching Band you could not be in Concert Band (long before litigation for disability-related discrimination - in fact I am not sure they invented overly-litiguous lawyers yet).

When I was in the 8th Grade, the Piano Teaching Nun told me to play clarinet in high school.
So when we (me and the parents) went to the Band Orientation meeting during the summer before my freshman year, and the band instructor looked at me and said "you are a trombone player" I said "Sister said I am to play clarinet."

You didn't argue with The Nun back then - in fact, if you truly value your life, you still don't argue with The Nun, but that is another story.

So I "held my ground" almost fifty years before George Zimmerman and ended up playing clarinet and bass clarinet through high school. Actually ended up liking it once I discovered the bass clarinet - a nice 'clunky' foundational instrument in B-flat.

But the tragic slant to all this is that my Band Director was Dr. Donald S. Reinhardt, who (unbeknownst to me at the time) was only the world's LEADING pre-eminent brass instrument specialist. Played principal trombone in the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski (including several Philly productions of Wagner's 'Ring' etc etc etc).

I learned conducting under Reinhardt a few years later.
Reinhardt learned conducting from Maestro Stokowski.
Stokowski learned conducting from Gustav Mahler.
Mahler learned conducting from Richard Wagner.

Which ("sorta") makes me a Conducting Great-Grandson of The Master (Wagner).
Direct lineage.
Actually, quite humbling and (at times) scary.
And yes - I feel most grateful and privileged.

[#] Mon Dec 09 2013 17:04:05 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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By contrast, I think my orchestra conductor had a drinking problem, and the band instructor had one of the least forceful personalities I've ever seen.

On the other hand, I mistook Moog for the janitor at college.

[#] Mon Dec 09 2013 20:51:29 EST from zooer @ Uncensored

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for Dylan fans: (It is interactive so you can change channels.)

[#] Wed Dec 11 2013 14:44:41 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Hmm, I should copy that over to my blog.

[#] Wed Dec 11 2013 14:43:41 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Which instruments do you play, Ig?

Recorder (C and F), flute, guitar, keyboards, and a bit of teh drums. And I have a three octave vocal range.

And now for another emotionally scarring backstory from my childhood (yes, you may feel free to frame me as Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz).

As is the case with every child receiving a public school education in the People's Socialist Communist Republic of New York, I played the recorder in third grade. It's just a standard part of the music curriculum for that year, and I loved it.

Fourth grade came along and I was told that the instrumental music program was available to us and I could select an instrument and play in the band too. Naturally I said that I wanted to continue playing the recorder. And of course I was told that the recorder was not a band instrument and I would have to select something else.

And here's where it all went wrong. Mr. Salingo, the instrumental music teacher at the school, confidently told me that if I liked playing the recorder, I would like playing the clarinet.


I hated playing it, I hated practicing, to the point where I would deliberately break the reeds to prematurely end practice sessions ... at one point I started making tape recordings of myself practicing so I could play them back the next day behind a closed door, which worked great until my stupid bitch sister ratted me out.

So, one must ask, why did Mr. Salingo offer me a painful clarinet experience when he knew that a concert flute plays in the same key as a recorder, in the same register as a recorder, with almost exactly the same fingerings as a recorder? The only answer I can imagine is that he had it in his mind that the flute is a "girl's instrument." So I played the clarinet for a year and gave up on it, and missed out on what would have been some very cool band experiences in high school.

My stupid bitch sister, when she reached fourth grade, played the flute for a year, and gave up on it because band was just not her thing. But for some reason, the instrument found its way into our attic instead of back to the school or rental place or wherever it came from.

In college I picked up the recorder again and played with some very cool people in an ensemble. It was a lot of fun. We played in on-campus events and around the community as well. The instructor for the group was Professor Charles Scanzello, one of an extremely small number of people I can truly call mentors. He was scatter brained and disorganized, but he poured his love for music and community into everything he did. He was the one who encouraged me to pick up the F fingerings, which enabled me to play sopranino and alto recorders.

All this time, most of my friends were band people, mainly because my best friend was/is a guy who stuck with the band program and he was also the one through whom I met most of my other friends. I had longed to play in the band all that time. So one day I remembered hearing at one point that the fingerings for a C recorder and a concert flute were almost identical, and I remembered that my stupid bitch sister's old flute was still in the attic.
That summer I went home and taught myself how to play the flute.

The next fall I returned to campus and joined the marching band. And yes, I was the only male flutist in the band. Imagine that: just me, and a bunch of cute co-eds. And they were all my type. In fact, I ended up marrying one of them. So it's an emotionally scarring backstory, but one that eventually has a happy ending.
I do hope that Mr. Salingo is retired by now and not foisting his agenda on another generation of children.

[#] Thu Dec 12 2013 08:38:56 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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With a clarinet, you have to actually cover the holes (instead of relying upon the keys to do it for you). I think it's the same with a flute, but I'm not sure. You hold it in a similar way to a recorder. But the reed... that's a huge difference. Having to get that reed to vibrate, and maintain an embouchure to keep it working might have been a pain.

Playing bassoon (a double-reed instrument... very different embouchure), I found I didn't like the wooden reeds as much as the plastic ones, which might be considered evil to purists. But I felt I had more control with the plastic reeds, and I never noticed any problems with my timbre for it.

Wait, with the clarinet, you don't have the half-holing business that you have with recorders, do you? That is, the hole 'in the back' of the recorder would sometimes require you partially cover it to hit a certain range of notes.

[#] Thu Dec 12 2013 10:06:50 EST from Shazam @ Uncensored

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I love Doofenshmirtz.

My dad plays flute and told me also that he was embarassed to play a "girls" instrument, till he realized that meant he was then sitting next to girls all the time.

I think music added so much to your life, and your sister just missed out, and it's just too bad for her.

I'm going to try to learn some keyboard with Adina, because she has one and would love to share it with me.

I've never even tried playing anything with a reed, but I've tried to blow the shofar and I'm told it hurts in the same way, so I can't imagine enjoying the sounds of music when you have to hurt to make the sounds.

[#] Thu Dec 12 2013 15:59:27 EST from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

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Somewhere on YouTooooob I found a vid of an all recorder ensemble along with about 8 or so singers doing ***all*** of the 4th movement of the Beethoven Ninth.

It was pretty. It was a bit unusual.
The musicianship was impeccable.
And I found myself really liking it!!

The moral? **Never** make snide comments or jokes about recorders. Real Music can be made with those things. And a good deal of that Real Music is Just Plain Marvelously Beautiful!!!

[#] Thu Dec 12 2013 18:20:06 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Right. People who think that recorders are "toy" instruments have probably only heard a room full of third graders playing cheap plastic soprano recorders.
To truly appreciate the sound you need to hear wooden instruments, played by someone who knows how to blow delicately (leave the fellatio jokes at the door please, thank you). Multiple types of recorders in an ensemble -- very classy sounding.

@fleeb re. clarinets and open vs. closed holes -- I've never seen a closed hole clarinet, but concert flutes are definitely made with both open and closed hole styles. Open hole is harder to play because it obviously requires a more accurate contact with the keys. On the other hand, I am wishing I had an open hole flute right now because just this week I took my flute out of the attic to prepare some music for Christmas Eve, only to discover that the pads have dried out and are not making full contact with the holes.

It is true that on a recorder you have to half-cover the thumb hole to play in its higher register. If you're just getting started you can often get away with just leaving it open and blowing a little harder, but it's a bad habit to get into and somewhat hard to break.

[#] Thu Dec 12 2013 22:24:52 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Yeah, I preferred to use the half-hole, as it made a better sound than trying to overblow the recorder.

I was part of a recorder ensemble, if briefly, when I was stationed in Ft. Stewart, Ga. You can definitely make some wonderful music with those things if everyone takes it seriously.

I'd still like to have a bass recorder. I bet those things sound great.

[#] Thu Dec 12 2013 22:25:36 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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John Dowland on recorders:

[#] Thu Dec 12 2013 22:54:55 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Ah yes, the old "do the performance in a room with very sepulchural acoustics" trick. Works great for recorders. Back in college we used to play in stairwells late at night for just the right mix of fantastic sound and annoying the hell out of anyone who might be trying to sleep nearby. We had to be careful though, because it was an old building capable of burning down in about five minutes but it took 11 minutes to evacuate. So we just stuck with the recorders, no pyrotechnics.

[#] Fri Dec 13 2013 09:45:44 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Heh... imagine the 1812 Overture with recorders and fireworks.

[#] Fri Dec 13 2013 10:48:46 EST from vince-q @ Uncensored

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Fri Dec 13 2013 09:45:44 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

Heh... imagine the 1812 Overture with recorders and fireworks.

Or... Mahler's 8th... or... Wagner's 'Ring'.

[#] Fri Dec 13 2013 19:10:28 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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I singled out the 1812 Overture for the artillery. Seeing the contrast between artillery fire and recorders appeals to my sense of irony.

[#] Mon Mar 31 2014 15:59:47 EDT from Lynda Falstaff @ Uncensored

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Does anyone remember "Tenants of the Latticework" by Mainframe?


I think if I have any chance of tracking it down, UCG has to be the place to try. If anyone  has a copy ,please  let me know.

[#] Tue Apr 01 2014 09:24:34 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Google is your friend!

Free downloads.

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