400 years ago, the recorder was so popular that people were writing concertos for it. Now, we associate it with primary school music lessons. We’re here to explain why…
Long before it was used as a teaching instrument, Renaissance and Baroque composers like Monteverdi, Purcell and Bach loved to compose for this small, whistle-like instrument. Here’s Vivaldi’s lovely Recorder Concerto in C:
Back then, all recorders would have been made from wood and ivory – a far cry from today’s primary school plastic numbers.
So why did we start using them to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’?
Fast forward to the 1900s, when Carl Orff – that’s the German composer who wrote Carmina Burana (the cantata which includes the epic ‘O Fortuna’) – thought it would be a great idea to use the soprano recorder as a teaching tool.
Aside from writing excellent music that would later be poached by The X Factor, Orff became instrumental in shaping music education theory in the 20th century.
His Orff Schulwerk encouraged learning music through rhythm and creative thinking, methods he thought to be much more effective (and enjoyable) than learning by repetition.
The work also called for a wider range of simple, easy-to-play instruments, specifically those with a similar vocal range to a child. Orff figured that if a child could sing the notes they were playing, they’d be more likely to understand it.
To him, the soprano recorder’s lack of strings, reeds, bow – or need to develop a good embouchure in order to make a half-decent sound on it – made it the perfect instrument to inspire children to play music. You could say the same for other teaching instruments, like the glockenspiel or the tambourine.
So do people still play the recorder seriously?
Sure they do! Recorders can be as small and simple as the soprano recorder, and as big and practically impossible to play as the contrabass recorder (there’s also the sub-contrabass recorder, which is even scarier). It looks like this:
Imagine trying to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ on THAT.
Here’s the Palisander Quartet, making the recorder look advanced and awesome:
Please watch this amazing video of pianist Robert Levin playing Mozart’s piano sonatas on Mozart’s ACTUAL PIANO.
Last year, pianist and musicologist Robert Levin was announced as the first Hogwood Fellow of the Academy of Ancient Music. So, we filmed him playing on Mozart’s very own instrument.
The fortepiano, from around 1782, was used by Mozart for both composition and performance from 1785 until his death in 1791.
The piano was originally made by Anton Walter, one of the most famous Viennese piano makers of Mozart’s time. It is two octaves shorter than a modern piano, and is much lighter and smaller than modern pianos, weighing only 85kg. It’s also much smaller than a modern piano, at just 2.23m long.
It can currently be found in Salzburg, where Robert Levin is using it to record Mozart’s piano sonatas.
“The voyage and discovery of playing on period instruments is to move in a world – physical, emotional and aesthetic – that is inhabited by the geniuses that wrote this music. It brings us very, very close to them,” said Levin.
“So sitting down at Mozart’s piano, sitting down at an organ which Bach played himself, you understand things about the weight of the keys going down and the repetition and the balance in sound.
“And all of these things bring you very, very close to the music and make you say ‘A-ha, that’s why it’s written that way’, which is not the kind of thing you’re going to get if you’re playing on the standard instruments that are being manufactured today.”
PUREtouch Electronic Pad System
The PUREtouch Electronic Pad System is a new creation, developed by Pearl and Korg to provide drummers with a pad surface that sits perfectly between being too bouncy and soaking up the force of the stick. The PUREtouch electronic pads are constructed from six layers of material that work together to create the most natural feeling electronic pad available today. Every area of the snare head acts and responds the same way that an acoustic snare does, from the center to the edge. The head tension can be made tighter or looser to vary the feel and the tone, allowing you to adapt the kit to your play style, and not the other way around as you had to with the majority of other electronic drum kits. The snare pad features two separate rim triggers that are perfectly positioned to offer cross stick and rim shot effects, all fitted to a 14” pad to provide the most authentic playing experience possible.
Wave Trigger Technology
Pearl have worked alongside Korg, taking features from their legendary Wave Drum, to provide electric pads that respond and feel like an acoustic drum kit. This has long been the aim of all electric drums and has also been the request of drummers since electric kits were first introduced. The features of Korg’s Wave Drum allowed your touch, your feel and the vibrations you create when played to influence the tone and character of the sounds produced. Pearl have implemented this technology across all of the pads on the e/MERGE Electronic Kit. This technology has been named Wave Trigger Technology and allows every nuance of your playing style, and even your stick choice, to influence how the sounds are produced.
e/MERGE MDL-1 Module
All of the incredibly advanced features on the e/Merge Traditional Electronic Drum Kit require an equally advanced drum module. Pearl have created the e/Merge MDL-1 Module to power the kit, providing all the power and performance required housed in a simplistic, easy to use interface. The module features a pair of multi-core processors and is filled with a large array of 700 different high definition voices, 35 high definition preset drum kits and 36 different effects. Pearl have recorded an entirely new library for the e/MERGE in the most respected and renowned recording studios, Music City USA in Nashville, Tennessee, ensuring that they match the incredibly advanced technology featured in the e/Merge kit. Pearl have also combined a selection of sounds from Korg’s renowned high definition library, ranging from electronic, orchestral, world and other sounds.
PUREtouch Electronic Cymbal Pack
Each e/Merge Electronic Drum Kit includes a PUREtouch Electronic Cymbal pack. Consisting of an 18” three zone ride, a 15” two zone crash and 14” two zone hi-hats. The PUREtouch ride and crash cymbals feature a natural, authentic playing action with a slightly softer feel due to the rubber casing to control the volume. The cymbals all feature frequency based zone blending consistent with where you strike the cymbal. The PUREtouch cymbals also feature a natural cymbal choke function where choking the cymbals eliminates the sound and instantaneously triggers the natural ring inherent to choking natural cymbals, providing the most authentic electronic cymbals yet.
- Incredibly advanced features provide authentic and responsive playing experience
- Uses features from Korg’s Wave Drum for a powerfully natural feel
- PUREtouch cymbals ride and crash cymbals feature zone blending and choking
- Features 700 different HD sounds, 35 preset kits & 36 effects recorded in Music City, Nashville
- Play your own WAV samples via USB-A
- Electronic bass pad swivel legs provide complete customisation
- Icon e-Rack provides complete flexibility, security and the option to expand your kit
- Drum Module: e/Merge MDL-1
- Snare Pad: PUREtouch EM-14S 14” Snare Drum Pad
- Tom Pad 1: PUREtouch EM-10T 10” Tom Pad
- Tom Pad 2: PUREtouch EM-12T 12” Tom Pad
- Tom Pad 3: PUREtouch EM-14T 14” Tom Pad
- Bass Drum Pad: PUREtouch EM-KCPC Kick Pad
- Hi-Hat: PUREtouch EM-14HH 14” Hi-Hat Cymbal Pad Set
- Crash: EM-15C 15” Crash Cymbal Pad
- Ride: EM-18R 18” Ride Cymbal Pad
- Rack: Icon e-Rack
- Sounds: 700
- Drum Kits: 35
- Effects: 36
- Song Recording Type: 44.1kHz, 16bit WAV
- Master Out L/Mono & R
- Direct Out x 8
- Headphones Out
- AUX In TRS Mini
- Main Trigger Inputs (DB-25 Connector)
- Accessory Inputs x 3
- USB to PC Port
- MIDI Out
- Power Supply: 120V – 240V, 50-60Hz
It’s not a secret that musician brains are a little different from “normal” brains. As with any skill or profession, most of it can be learned, but certain things that you need to be a good musician come from nature, not nurture.
Do you show the symptoms of musicianship? Here are 10 established correlations.
1. You’re naturally curious
That door in your apartment that’s nailed shut? You’ve got to know what’s behind it. That trail through the woods that you see when you’re riding the bus? Sooner or later, you’ll get off a stop early to explore it. What happens when you put a bunch of big ball bearings on piano strings? You’re just the person to find out. Curiosity, exploration, and experimentation are bread and butter for musicians.
2. You’re not slowed down by rejection
Like salespeople, musicians have to hear “no” on a regular basis. No matter how great your act is, it won’t be right for every gig or every venue. No matter how talented you are, you’ll lose opportunities to someone who got there just a little sooner, someone who knows someone, or someone who sounds a little bit more like that club owner’s favorite artist. Although these rejections always sting, they also don’t deter you. You believe in your own voice and will keep working until it’s heard.
3. You have systems and rules for yourself and your surroundings
If musicians have a hard time accepting external structures, we tend to be eager to impose rules and restrictions of our own making. Musicians know intuitively what the right thing is. We’re likely to have strong opinions about domestic issues like dishwashing, laundry, and home organization.
A musician might have a no-eating rule in his or her car, or insist that all T-shirts have to be hung up rather than folded. This sense of correct practice is what builds the conventions and habits that form an artist’s personal style.
4. You’re reasonable in your dealings with others
Musicianship takes a lot of teamwork. You collaborate with bandmates, session players, studio staff, live sound techs, and (of course) your audience. You might be the brightest light in the room, but it’s highly unlikely that you’re the biggest diva.
If someone has unreasonable expectations or inflexible demands, it’s not you. Whether this skill is learned through your art, or whether your natural talents led you to become a performer, you’re always more likely to be peacemaker and negotiator than an instigator.
5. You don’t stay down for long
Ever work in the studio all day and hate the result? Ever lose a bandmate right before a series of shows? If you tackle anything passionately, you’ll have lots of little triumphs and little disappointments along the way. But if you’re moping on Monday, you’ll be back in the studio or on the stage on Tuesday. You don’t let a bad mood engulf you and color what you’re trying to do.
6. You have a lot of empathy
What makes a good songwriter? It’s not just wordsmithing – it’s empathy. How many great songs have been written about hardworking people crushed under some harsh system? Songwriters feel for others, so much so that they write songs from others’ points of view. This is why you’ll see so many musicians who have day jobs in caring professions, particularly helping the disabled in schools or job-coaching environments.
7. You get along well with animals
That empathy also translates into a love for animals. Tons of musicians have pets and many are animal lovers. Quite a few are animal rights activists. I challenge anyone to think about Sarah McLachlan without visualizing that ad with the sad puppies and hearing “In the Arms of an Angel.”You probably cried, too, even if you’re in a nasty punk band and have a safety pin through your nose.
8. You like science fiction books and movies
The real world? Boring. Artistic types like to create new worlds and explore worlds created by others. We like sci-fi and fantasy for this reason, and enjoy shows in which new viewers would be completely lost because they don’t understand the complex backstory.
Of course, since we’re veterans of creating things ourselves, we also tend to deconstruct scripts, calling out predictable lines that actors are about to utter. We like making fun of bad special effects, clunky direction, and bad acting.
9. You like fixing and building things
Music is a hands-on field, made to order for people who hate lectures and chalkboard notes and want to just jump in and do it. That’s why so many musicians modify their instruments, customize their band vans, and build all sorts of hacks in the studio or rehearsal space. A lot of us are drawn to carpentry, computers, electronics, and mechanics. We’re not afraid to rip things apart and see what makes them tick.
10. You laugh a lot
News cycle got you down? We’re all stuck on planet Earth, dealing with violent extremism, climate threats, and atrocious fast food. And we all have two weapons to battle the blues: art and humor.
Musicians are some of the funniest people you’ll meet, especially in groups. Ride to a show with any band that’s been together for a while, and you’ll be spitting out your drink. It’s a kind of amazing, vulgar, politically incorrect banter that screenwriters rarely get right. If we could just record chunks of that, we’d have enough material for a stand-up routine… or the lyrics to our next album.
Jesse Sterling Harrison is an author, recording artist, and part-time farmer. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, three daughters, and a herd of ducks.
If you’ve seen Easy A, you probably remember the scene where Emma Stone receives a card that plays Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine” and how Stone’s character hates the song – at first. Flash forward to a few days later, and she can’t stop singing it.
There are songs that we can’t stand, yet can’t get out of our heads. There are also songs that we love and feel addicted to. For whatever reason, songs get lodged in our brains – and often stay there for a maddeningly long time.
Labled “earworms” by the scientific community, it’s been suggested that these ditties hang around longer in musicians’ minds than non-musicians’. What makes a song have such a huge impact on our brains? Below, we’ll run through the four main components of creating a catchy song that you can’t get out of your head, even if you want to.
But first, let’s revisit that clip of Emma Stone and “Pocketful of Sunshine” as a prime example of earworm invasion:
1. Song structure
There are a variety of song structures often used in today’s popular music. Formats such as ABABCB (A = verse, B = chorus, C = bridge or solo) and AABA (A = verse and B = bridge) are very common and easy for listeners to remember.
While songs don’t necessarily have to follow any specific layout, catchy songs generally tend to follow one of the more common structures listed above or a variation of some sort. Finding the right balance between meeting listeners’ expectations and throwing in something surprising is a surefire way to create an earworm.
In today’s music market, many fantastic songwriters write elaborate lyrics. That said, the majority of catchy songs feature smaller amounts of words or words that are easy to remember, and often repeat portions (see ABABCB above), which, in turn, create a difficult song to get out of your head.
When the focus is on the song’s hook and chorus, keeping the fancy lyrics for the verses will lure listeners in and leave them humming the most memorable parts throughout the day.
3. Chord progressions and melodies
There are certain progressions that create addictive songs. Similar to song structure, catchy chord progressions must balance expectations and artistic expression. By tying the simplicity of commonality to the unexpected, listeners are drawn into the comfort of what they know and the excitement of what lies ahead.
Building off the chord progressions, the melody is usually what we retain in our heads. A catchy melody is generally upbeat, though there are some hauntingly beautiful melancholy melodies out there as well. Even the most irritating songs have a well-written line that our minds can’t escape. A melody that is both interesting and recognizable is a key component of a catchy song.
4. Production quality
This last category is dependent on what exactly you do in the music industry. Are you writing for other artists? If so, the production quality may be out of your hands. If you’re in charge of the production of your song, however, this absolutely contributes to its popularity. Though there’s an audience for less polished recordings, not many people want to listen to a poorly recorded album version of a song that sounds like a demo. In order to have a catchy song that appeals to the masses, the production quality must be high. This isn’t to say that someone who can’t afford to record in a professional studio hasn’t written a catchy song, but a high-quality recording of the song will open up a larger market and make it more likely to receive favorable reviews and airplay.
Whether it’s a song you love or can’t stand, you have to admit there’s great science behind songwriting. Creating something that piques a large audience’s interest, even those who consider it a guilty pleasure, is a tough task to take on. For a fun exercise, try figuring out what makes that song you can’t get out of your head so addictive. If you’re a songwriter, you could even adapt that writing format and see what you come up with.
What do you think makes a catchy song? Let us know in the comments below!
Kathleen Parrish is a singer and songwriter from Seattle, WA. While she specializes in lyrics, she enjoys writing short stories, poetry, and journalism. For more information, please visit www.kathleenparrish.com.
We are the UK’s leading supplier of professional musicians to the cruise industry.
We are always searching for professional musicians of the highest standard who are looking for the opportunity to perform on some of the finest cruise ships in the World. If you are suitable you will have the chance to travel extensively, earn a good salary, meet some amazing people & embark on a new adventure!
Why Choose Musicianpro?
Musicianpro’s founder and director is a former professional musician / musical director with extensive cruise experience. We therefore understand the many years of practice and studying which you have completed, to become the skilled professional musician that you are today.
You can be confident that while you are working with Musicianpro, your talent & musicianship is always appreciated and we will strive to find the best cruise ship & environment for you to showcase your talent. Once you have been offered a contract we will guide you through the entire onboarding process – from the audition to the cruise ship…then your exciting journey begins!
We recognize the importance of all our clients and the role you play in the successful growth and longevity of Musicianpro. There has never been a better time to join the cruise industry as a professional musician ! Now make your dreams a reality and simply click APPLY!
Freedom for Musicians are now offering advertising space to corporate clients with a musical identity to come onboard with us at this early stage of our life. FFM are highly ethical and support the Araba Scott Children’s Foundation.
Part of our work is to help developing music communities from around the world and are currently supporting young musicians in Uganda. We plan to offer grants, scholarships and bursaries as well as recording opportunities (via the record label) to enable musicians to access the industry who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity.
Our Sponsorship Packages:
Your clickable image or video ad in the content sidebar.
A review of your company as an article.
(£20 per month)
A review of your company as an article.
Your brand discreetly promoted within our articles. (approximately 5 per day)
The option to update and tweak your message whenever you need to.
(£30 per month)
This is an extremely competitive offer at this early stage in our growth and well worth taking advantage of!
Simply send your marketing package to us, we will prepare your advertising product for you to approve or tweak and only when you are happy, you pay us.
Our current clients:
Septem Juncta In Uno – Seven Joined As One
The band was formed in 1981 and is made up of former musicians from the seven regiments of Her Majesty’s Household Division Bands namely:- The Life Guards, Blues and Royals (now the Household Cavalry Band), Grenadiers, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards Bands. The present Household Division Musicians Association Band follows a long tradition of music making by musicians from these famous regiments.
Most of the members are still playing in leading London Orchestras, London Theatres, or teaching in music colleges and schools throughout the country.
The Band performs at numerous public and private engagements, most notably The Chelsea Flower Show, Eastbourne Bandstand, and at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Band rehearses at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, with which it is proud to be associated.
The band rehearses once a month on a Sunday morning from 10.30am – 12.30pm at The Band Room at The Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Director of Music: David Vaninetti-Smart FLCM
David began his musical career at the age of 13 as a trombonist for Barnstaple Town Military Band and Bideford Town Brass Band. In 1987, he joined the Army and was posted to the Band of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. During his two years at the Royal Military School of Music, David took a change of course, studying flute and classical piano under Graham Mayger and Veronica Clayton respectively. It was while he was at Kneller Hall that David discovered his passion for writing band arrangements.
After postings to Northern Ireland and Cyprus in the early nineties, David successfully passed an audition for the Life Guards Band of the Household Cavalry. During a series of summer concerts for the Household Cavalry band, David was persuaded by the Director of Music to take yet another musical change: he became the principal oboist of the Band, a position that he held until he left the army in 1998. During his military service he has performed all around the world, playing for all the members of the Royal Family, The Lord Mayor of London, as well as countless Ambassadors and diplomats.
My Surreal Music welcomes you in a fusion of classic and electronic sounds. Are you ready to get entranced in a fantasy atmosphere, experiencing darkness, love and desire? Sometimes in life we experience a partial eclipse or a total eclipse of the heart. I hope the eclipse can be also a rebirth for people who are searching and desire to find themselves.
X/Y Recording Made Simple
The Zoom H1 Digital Field Recorder’s built-in X/Y microphone provides two matched unidirectional microphones set at a 90 degree angle relative to one another, optimum for most stereo recording applications. For X/Y or other types of recording, you can connect a pair of external microphones or line level signal to the H1’s Mic/Line Input mini phone jack.
The Ins and Outs
The H1 Mic/Line Input is a stereo ⅛” mini phone jack that can accept two mic- and/or line-level signals. Condenser microphones requiring Plug-In Power (2.5 volts) can be connected to this jack. The H1 Line/Headphones Output is a stereo ⅛” phone jack with a dedicated volume control. Headphones can be connected here for private monitoring. There’s also a built-in speaker on the back panel for fast monophonic monitoring of the recorded signal without the need to make any connections. The H1’s USB port provides a digital output of the stereo mix and allows data to be sent to and from your computer. From there, it can be imported into editing software such as the supplied WaveLab LE. It also allows the H1 to be used as a 2-in/2-out audio interface and USB microphone, as well as a microSD card reader.
Auto Level and Low Cut Filter
Overload and distortion are prevented with the H1’s Auto Level function that sets input gain automatically (input level can be set manually, too). The H1 also provides a built-in low cut filter for the elimination of pops, wind noise, blowing, and other kinds of low frequency rumble.
WAV and MP3 Support
The Zoom H1 records audio in both WAV and MP3 formats. The WAV files recorded by the H1 can be either 16- or 24-bit, with sampling rates of 44.1, 48, or 96 kHz, and are automatically time-stamped, making them Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) compliant – ideal for journalists and other professional media.
Battery Life and Recording
The H1 Digital Field Recorder requires just a single AA battery – offering up to 10 hours of operation, even during continuous recording. You can also power the H1 from any standard wall socket using the optional AD-17 AC adapter. The H1 records directly to microSD and microSDHC cards, up to 32 gigabytes.
High Quality Video Audio
The compact, lightweight H1 is perfect for use on a video or DSLR camera. The remarkable depth and clarity of sound achieved by the stereo X/Y mic design brings additional realism and depth to HD video. By combining the H1 with a DSLR video camera, you can create a professional video system with high-quality sound.
Included Accessory Pack
Additionally, the Zoom H1 comes with a useful bunch of accessories that allows you to get the most out of the Zoom H1 recorder. Included is a windscreen that minimises wind noise in demanding weather conditions, helping to retain the audio quality from the H1. The adjustable desktop tripod stabilises your recorder when on the move, or at home, and minimises handle noise to ensure clean recordings. The soft case ensures protection for your H1 during transport and storage. The accessory pack also includes an AC adapter, USB cable, and mic stand clip adapter, allowing you to charge the recorder, and seamlessly transfer files onto a computer or storage device.
What’s Included In Accessory Pack
- Mic stand clip adapter
- Adjustable desktop tripod
- Soft case
- AC adapter
- USB cable
“The Zoom H1 Handy Recorder is unquestionably a bargain” – PC Advisor
“For such a small unit it really can do some impressive recording and will definitely get the job done. Whether you are recording an interview or live music the H1 would be a great tool.” – Videomaker Magazine
- Built-in 90° X/Y stereo mic
- Stereo ⅛” Mic/Line Input mini phone jack with Plug-in power (2.5V)
- Stereo ⅛” Phones/Line Output jack with dedicated volume control
- Built-in reference speaker for fast monitoring
- Backlit LCD display
- Records directly to microSD and microSDHC cards up to 32 GB
- Supports up to 24-bit/96 kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
- Auto Level for automatic control of input level
- Low-cut filter for elimination of wind noise and rumble
- Up to 99 marks per recording
- USB port for data transfer to computer and use as an audio interface and USB microphone
- SD card reader function
- Mounts directly to tripod, or to mic stand or DSLR with optional adapter
- Runs on only 1 standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable battery
- Up to 10 hours of operation with a single AA alkaline battery
- Simultaneous recording tracks: 2
- Simultaneous playback tracks: 2
- Functions: Lo-cut Filter, Auto REC Level, Marker
- Recording/playback format:
- WAV: 44.1 / 48 / 96kHz, 16- / 24-bit
- MP3: 44.1kHz 48/56/64/80/96/112/128/160/192/224/256/320kbps
- A/D conversion: 24-bit, 128x oversampling
- D/A conversion: 24-bit, 128x oversampling
- Signal processing: 32-bit
- Recording media: microSD card (16MB – 2GB), microSDHC card (4GB – 32GB)
- Display: 127 segment custom LCD (with backlight)
- Built-in stereo mic: Unidirectional condenser
- Gain: 0 to +39dB
- Minimum gain with digital attenuation: -28dB
- Maximum sound pressure level: 120dB SPL
- Mic/line input: 1/8″ stereo phone jack (Plug-in power supported)
- Input Impedance: 2kΩ (Input level: 0 to -39dBm)
- Phones/line output: 1/8″ stereo phone jack
- Output load impedance: 10kΩ or more
- Rated output level: -10dBm
- Phones output level: 20mW + 20mW into 32Ω load
- Output load impedance: 10kΩ or more
- Rated output level: -10dBm
- USB interface:
- Type: Mini-B type (USB 2.0 High Speed compatible), Mass Storage Class operation
- Format: 44.1 kHz/16-bit or 48 kHz/16-bit
- Power requirements: Alkaline or Ni-MH AA battery x 1, or AC adapter (AD-17, USB to AC type)
- Battery life (alkaline batteries): 10 hours (MP3), 9.5 hours (WAV)
- Dimensions: 44(W) x 136(D) x 31(H)mm
- Weight: 60g (without batteries)