Exploring Music's Complexities

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The Difference Between First Violins and Second Violins

November 7, 2017

First Violinists and Second Violinists Why are violins divided into two sections in the orchestra? Does “playing second” mean the violinist is not good enough to play first violin? Let’s explore their differences. In symphony orchestras there are two sections of violins. The first violin section is always on the conductor’s left. Seating of second… Read More ›

What are the Differences Between an Opera and a Musical?

Opera In Western culture, there is nothing quite like an opera. By definition, an “opera is an extended dramatic composition in which all parts are sung to instrumental accompaniment that usuall y includes arias, choruses, and recitations and occasionally ballet (1)” Opera may be comic or grand.  For opera lovers, its extravagance is magical (2)…. Read More ›

Stravinsky’s Road to Minimalism

The Road to Minimalism in Music

Big Band Sounds

What is a Big Band Sound? Merriam Webster defines a Big Band as a band that is larger than a combo and that usually features a mixture of ensemble playing and solo improvisation typical of jazz or swing (1). Jazz bands come in all sizes and usually don’t need a conductor.  Small jazz bands or… Read More ›

The Genius or Madness of Alexander Scriabin

Alexander Scriabin Ever hear of Alexander Scriabin? Don’t have a clue? Despite the fact many critics consider Alexander Scriabin, a Russian composer and pianist, to be one of the most innovative and most controversial of early modern composers, it’s not surprising. “It is doubtful whether more than a tiny percentage of his audience, then or… Read More ›

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