The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Music'

That Regrettable Weekend

June 12th, 2017 · No Comments

That Regrettable Weekend contains 20 of my songs, plus the eponymous instrumental. You can find it on Bandcamp. I play soprano, banjo, and baritone ukuleles; keyboards; Tremoloa; Ukelin; bulbul; xylophone; melodica; bells; psaltery; ocarina; grunt call; trombone; and assorted percussion. And sing, of course. Carol Benner plays viola on three songs. The tracks are: Little […]

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Tags: Music

Illustrated Songbooks (1)

May 14th, 2017 · No Comments

The illustrated songbook is an appealing hybrid, now seldom seen, as fewer homes have a piano to stack them on, and fewer people read music. Many of these songbooks were meant for children, although there are plenty of examples for adults. Here’s one for the nursery: The Most Popular Mother Goose Songs, published by Hinds, […]

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Tags: Music

Musical Calling Cards

May 19th, 2015 · 1 Comment

At one time, many people were musically literate, and music was printed on calling cards. These two examples are 1 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches, printed in black, and colored by hand. People had better eyesight then too, I suppose. The music on the second one is rather badly printed; maybe it was intended simply […]

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Tags: Ephemera · Music

Anomalous Music

March 16th, 2015 · 1 Comment

I will be presenting three programs of “Anomalous Music” at the Morbid Anatomy Museum. They will be in the form of informal talks, with musical examples on keyboard. Wednesday, March 25: Music from the Ultraterrestrials; music attributed to fairies, banshees, trowies, gnomes, ghosts, aliens, and other supposedly nonhuman creatures. Selections include fairy tunes from Norway […]

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Tags: Music

A Musical Cipher

October 28th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Thanks to this musical cipher, you can encode your secret messages as a rather rangy tune.  Word breaks are indicated by accidentals.  I found this in a box of prints; it came from an old encyclopedia, but I don’t know which. Of course, you could also just use the wonderful musical language Solrésol.  It’s nice […]

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Tags: Music

A Tribute to Les Blank

July 28th, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Ullage Group is pleased to present a memorial screening of Les Blank’s short films. Sadly, Les died of bladder cancer this past April, leaving behind an astonishing film legacy that has been largely unseen due to the unconventional length and subject matter of his films. Harrod Blank will also be present to discuss his father’s work […]

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Tags: Music · Ukulele

Bobby Edwards, the Troubadour of Greenwich Village (17)

January 1st, 2013 · 7 Comments

I’ve been posting information here, from time to time, on Bobby Edwards: a singer-songwriter who became somewhat of a local legend in Greenwich Village in the ‘teens and ‘twenties.  He also made his own cigar-box ukes, which he sold at souvenir shops in the Village.  I had resigned myself to the idea that none had […]

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Tags: Bobby Edwards · Music · Ukulele

Unusual Musical Instruments

June 10th, 2012 · 2 Comments

  An assortment of unusual instruments was featured in the July, 1952, issue of Music News.  Unfortunately, I have played only three of these. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Ephemera · Music

Fretted Instrument Ensembles of the 1940s

May 23rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

The following pictures are taken from the Fretted Instrument News, 1945-1949.  It was the “Official Organ of the American Guild of Banjoists, Mandolinists, and Guitarists,” “An Independent Bi-Monthly Devoted to the Advancement and Culture of the Romantic Instruments.”  It was particularly devoted to promoting “Fret Clubs,” amateur or school groups that played light classical selections […]

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Tags: Clubs and Associations · Education · Ephemera · Music

Tony Sarg — and Bobby Edwards

February 29th, 2012 · 5 Comments

I’m a great fan of Tony Sarg.  He’s perhaps best known today for his work on the first Macy’s Thanksgiving balloons; but he also made animated silhouette films, designed children’s books (often with elaborate inserts and paper engineering), mounted a memorable sea serpent hoax, and pioneered puppet theater in the US.  There’s not much about […]

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Tags: Bobby Edwards · Music