Saturday, March 31, 2012

I've been a bad blogger

I know... I know.. I haven't written in a bit.. but sometimes life happens and I just didn't have the time and/or energy to post. I've been trying to keep my ears open to any events coming up in the area but not much has surfaced. I thought I heard something on the radio about Mystic Arts Council but when I went online, I found their website to be not very helpful.

Well I suppose for now I could go back to the ever-so exciting fundamentals I have neglected to discuss in quite some time.

Y'know, that really is very boring and from what some readers have told me also very much over their heads, so I'll stick with history and if you have any fundamental or theory related questions please comment or email me and I will do my best to provide you with an answer.

We use the word style in reference to everything from clothing to cooking, cars to paintings. In music, style refers to a characteristic way of treating the various musical elements: melody, rhythm, tone color, dynamics, harmony, texture, and form. The particular way these elements are combined can result in a distinctive or unique sound, and we can speak of the musical style of one composer, a group of composers, a country, or a period in history. Compositions created in the same part of the world or at about the same time are often similar in style, but individuals using the same musical vocabulary can create a personal manner or expression.
     Musical styles change from one historical era to the next, but these changes are continuous, so that any boundary between one stylistic period and another is only approximate. Although there are some sudden turning points, even the most revolutionary new styles are usually foreshadowed in earlier compositions; and few changes or style sweep away the past entirely.

  Western art music can be divided into the following stylistic periods:
       Middle Age (450-1450)
       Gothic (1150-1450)
       Renaissance (1450-1600)
       Baroque (1600-1750)
      Classical  (1750-1820)
      Romantic (1820-1900)
      Twentieth century to 1945
      1945 to the present

     Music is not created in a vacuum. To fully understand the style of a composition, one has to be aware of its function in society. Is a piece meant to provide entertainment in an aristocrat's castle, a concert hall, or a middle-class home? Is it designed to accompany singing, dancing, religious rites, or drama? Musical style is shaped by political, economic, social, and intellectual developments as well. And often, similar features of style can be found in different arts of the same period.
      Music is probably as old as the human race; and we know - from art and other evidence - that it existed in ancient Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Rome, but hardly any notated music has survived from these civilizations. The first stylistic period to be considered is the Middle Ages, from which notated music has come down to use - allowing compositions created more than 1,000 years ago to come alive today.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Upcoming Benefits

Two musical benefits, both to support the New London Homeless Hospitality Center.  (

Sunday, March 25 at 2 PM – The MetaFour String Quartet will present a chamber program at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 19 Jay Street New London as a benefit for the New London Homeless Hospitality Center.  Suggested donation is $20. 
The MetaFour String Quartet will perform Mozart’s “Dissonant Quartet,” and the Debussy Quartet Opus 10. 
Members are Julia Pettersson and Lisa Gray, violins, Irene Rissi, viola and Barbara Metz, cello.  Julia and Barbara  will be joined by pianist John Metz for the Beethoven Trio Op. 1 No. 1 in E-flat.

And --  on Sunday April 22 at 2 PM also at All Souls, a solo piano recital by Sarah Masterson, the winner of the 2001 Young Artist competition.  
Her interesting and varied program will include the “American” sonata by Elie Siegmeister, Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2, lovely post-impressionist preludes by Olivier Messiaen, and a real barn-burner by Franz Liszt. 
Suggested donation $20.  

For more information on either program, please contact:

John Metz

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Little, But Not Entirely...

If you read my father's column/blog today, you'll know that I am a bit of a nut job. Literally, but hey I can't have real pets so I consider the habitual squirrely visitors to my house pseudo pets.

You might be wondering what that has to do with the arts, and really it has absolutely nothing to do with it, but I felt the need to defend myself because I was as surprised by the subject of his column today as probably most of the Bulletin's regular readers.

Any who, I just finished watching The King's Speech for the what might be the 20th time in the last two months? I can't help it, every time I find it playing on some channel, I watch it I just love it so much. But is it just a music nerd thing, or do normal people fall in love with movies because of the soundtrack and background music? This movie has the best music. Period. In fact, I love the music so much that for the New London Community Orchestra next concert, I suggested a song that plays during the final scene.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Mvt. II

Tell me that is not a beautiful piece. Now our concert is not until June, but we are having an open rehearsal on May 15th at the  Groton Senior Center which is at 102 Newtown Road (map).

What's that? Beethoven's not really thrilling you? Well how about Tchaikovsky? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that's right, were also playing Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C Major.

If you're still not feelin' it, well then you're very difficult to please but I have one more trick up my sleeve. Can anyone tell me what this thing is?

If you said piano, you would be close but not quite. It's actually a Harpsichord and we have a guest musician joining us to play a Harpsichord Concerto.  The below clip is not the song we're playing but I wanted a short video that demonstrated what a harpsichord sounded like, which is kind of a piano meets a duck.

Although it's a few months away, I hope you will come to our rehearsal or concert or both and support local arts.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chamber Music At Christ Church Presents:

Music in the Key of G 
Sunday, March 25th at 3pm
Christ Episcopal Church
78 Washington Street, Norwich CT
Join organist and composer Jesse N. Glaude for a program of new works for piano, voice and cello.  Aided by soprano Phred Mileski and cellist Carlynn Savot, Mr. Glaude will guide the audience through the genesis of his latest compositions, ranging from art song to piano solos to sacred music.  
Meet the musicians for a champagne reception following the program.
This concert is free and open to the public. Free-will donations may be made to help support the Joanne C. Lillpopp Scholarship fund, which grants full-year, need-based music lesson scholarships to students at Christ Church School of the Arts.  

Please call             860-425-0663      , or visit the Christ Church School of the Arts website; for more information.
Christ Church School of the Arts, Inc.
78 Washington Street
Norwich, CT 06360
Join them on  FACEBOOK !

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Soup For A Song

Christine Berry of Canterbury, owner of Vocal Expressions Studio, will be hosting a fundraiser event to benefit St. Vincent de Paul Place soup kitchen of Norwich.

The event will be held Sunday March 4th from 1pm to 5pm at the Lucky Tokyo Restaurant in Plainfield. The event will include a gift basket raffle and performances of 50 songs from Berry's students while collection plates circulate.

"This is a great opportunity to show the students they can use their talent to do good. It helps a local restaurant and bring in money for the soup kitchen, too. And the singers get to perform in front of a crowd in a nonrecital environment." -Christine Berry, Norwich Bulletin's Newsmaker of the Day.