Music History & Facts

Interesting facts about music, music history, etc.

Released in November 2006, LOVE was produced by George Martin, who worked as the producer of almost all of The Beatles’ records and even played piano on some Beatle tracks, and his son Giles Martin, who said, “What people will be hearing on the album is a new experience, a way of re-living the whole Beatles musical lifespan in a very condensed period.”

At the 50th annual Grammy awards on February 10th, 2008, the album won Grammys in two categories – Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Surround Sound Album. The album was released in three versions — a standard CD version, a two-disc CD and DVD-Audio package and a two-disc vinyl package. The DVD-Audio disc contains a 5.1-channel surround sound mix. You think you are sitting in the middle of a Beatles recording session.  [···]

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Have you checked out About.com online? It has lots of “neighborhoods” featuring information about all sorts of interests, and one of them is music education. Started in 1996, About.com has been run since 2005 by the New York Times company.

The music education site presents information and resources on music theory, history of music, profiles of musicians and composers, online music games, and lesson plans. Every week a newletter is emailed to those who sign up, with links to their articles about specific topics within each of these areas–spotlights on certain performers or composers from various musical genres, lesson plans, a free music resource of the week involving songs, links and downloads; timely series built around, for example, Women’s History Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, and Black History Month. There are ideas about practicing, buying instruments, history timelines, etc.

Apart from the music education site, the larger site, about.com also has “neighborhoods” devoted specifically to folk music, classical, guitar, top 40/pop music, and children’s music. You can also sign up to receive weekly emails with highlights and links for any of these topics.

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Since 1968, I have always played “Blackbird” as a warmup on the guitar. I teach guitar students this song as an introduction to Finger Picking. The students learn to use the thumb on the bass strings and the 1st and 2nd fingers for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings. The song also teaches the student to slide up the neck and back down.
“Blackbird” was written by Paul McCartney, who was inspired to write the song as a reaction to racial tensions escalating in the U.S. during the spring of 1968. In England, girls were referred to as “Birds”. During later McCartney concerts, Paul sings the song with a background video playing of a black woman standing in a field of flowers, with her arms stretched upwards towards the sky.

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