The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as '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

Bobby Edwards, the Troubadour of Greenwich Village (15)

September 7th, 2011 · 1 Comment

I’ve found another picture of Bobby Edwards online; we can add it to the archive. There he is in the back, to the left, cigar box uke in hand. This was at the Garrick Club, sometime in the ‘teens. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Bobby Edwards · Music · Ukulele

Solrésol: The Phonetic Alphabet

August 25th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Solrésol has had somewhat of a revival in recent years, due at least partially to a popular article by Paul Collins. The system is an early attempt at an auxiliary artificial language, developed by François Sudre in the 19th century, and based on the seven notes of the diatonic scale.  He spoke it with solfeggio […]

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Tags: Language · Music

Giuseppe Novello

June 13th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Giuseppe Novello (1897-1988) is one of the hidden treasures of comic art; his albums of lovingly drawn observational humor have had a long shelf life in Italy. This beautiful drawing is entitled “Blessed Intimacy: If we listened to the opera in the theater as we listen on the radio at home.”  Please click to see […]

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Tags: Cartoons · Music

Rousseau on Copying Music

May 11th, 2011 · No Comments

Admirers of Jean-Jacques Rousseau may be unaware of his musical interests.  He wrote a great deal of music, compiled a musical dictionary, and paid bills by copying music.  The dictionary is a neglected treasure, as passionate and eccentric as anything else he wrote; the entry for “copyist” fills 13 pages (at least in the 1839 […]

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Tags: Literature · Music