- “The Three Bs” is an English-language phrase derived from an expression coined by Peter Cornelius in 1854, which added Hector Berlioz as the third B to occupy the heights already occupied by Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. Later in the century, the famous conductor Hans von Bülow would substitute Johannes Brahms for Berlioz. The phrase is generally used in discussions of classical music to refer to the supposed primacy of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms in the field.
- Ode to Joy is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet, playwright and historian Friedrich Schiller, celebrating the ideal of unity and brotherhood of all mankind. It is best known for its musical setting by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony (completed in 1824), a choral symphony for orchestra, four solo voices and choir.
- O Fortuna is a medieval Latin Goliardic poem written early in the thirteenth century, part of the collection known as the Carmina Burana. It is a complaint about fate, and Fortuna, a goddess in Roman mythology and the personification of luck. In 1935/36, O Fortuna was set to music by the German composer Carl Orff for his cantata Carmina Burana where it is used as the opening and closing number. A performance takes a little over two and a half minutes.
- Are You Going With Me? is a song by American musician Pat Metheny, composed by Metheny and Lyle Mays. First recorded on the Pat Metheny Group’s third album, the Grammy Award winning Offramp (1982), and played live by the Pat Metheny Group ever since.
- Danse Macabre, Op. 40 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns is a tone poem for orchestra, written in 1874. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based in an old French superstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin. According to legend, Death appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death calls forth the dead from their graves to dance their dance of death for him while he plays his fiddle represented by a solo violin with its E-string tuned to an E-flat in an example of scordatura tuning. His skeletons dance for him until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.
- “Now I’ve got arms” is a lyric from the song “Time’s a-Wastin’” co-written by Carl Smith and June Carter Cash.
- Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn, Jr. was an American pianist who achieved worldwide recognition in 1958 at the age of twenty-three, when he won the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. His mother, an accomplished pianist who had studied under a student of Franz Liszt, discovered him playing at age three and mimicking one of her students. She began his own lessons. He developed a rich, round tone and a singing voice-like phrasing, having been taught from the start to sing each piece. Van Cliburn toured domestically and overseas. He played for royalty, heads of state, and every U.S. president from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. His 1958 RCA recording with Kiril Kondrashin of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was the first album by a classical artist to sell more than one million copies.
- “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” is the first single from British musician Elton John’s 1974 album Caribou.
- “Sixteen Tons” is a song about the life of a coal miner, first recorded in 1946 by American country singer Merle Travis and released on his box set album Folk Songs of the Hills the following year.
- “Psycho Killer” is a song written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and first played by their band The Artistic in 1974, and as new wave band Talking Heads in 1975, with a later version recorded for their 1977 album Talking Heads: 77. The band’s “signature debut hit” features lyrics which seem to represent the thoughts of a serial killer. Originally written and performed as a ballad, “Psycho Killer” became what Allmusic calls a “deceptively funky new wave/no wave song (...) [with] an insistent rhythm, and one of the most memorable, driving bass lines in rock & roll.”
- Film composer Hans Zimmer is one of the most prominent users of the key of D minor in modern times. Many of his well-known scores were written in the key, notable examples including Gladiator, The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Da Vinci Code. His frequent use of the key has been noticed by reviewers such as Christian Clemmensen of Filmtracks, calling the trend “ridiculous stubbornness.”
- The Westminster Quarters is the most common name for a melody used by a set of clock bells to chime on each quarter hour. The number of chime sets matches the number of quarter hours that have passed. It is also known as the Westminster Chimes, or the Cambridge Chimes from its place of origin, the church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge.
- “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” is a comedy song written by Eric Idle that was originally featured in the 1979 film Monty Python’s Life of Brian and has gone on to become a common singalong at public events such as football matches and funerals.
- Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. Abbey Road Studios is most notable as being the venue in the 1960s for innovative recording techniques adopted by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Hollies, Badfinger, and others.
- Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album released by the English rock band the Beatles. Abbey Road was recorded in April, July and August 1969, and released in the United Kingdom on 26 September 1969, and 1 October 1969 in the United States, reaching number one in both countries. A double A-side single from the album, “Something” / “Come Together,” was released in October, which topped the Billboard chart in the US.
- “I Shot the Sheriff” is a song written by Bob Marley, told from the point of view of a narrator who admits to having killed the local sheriff, and claims to be falsely accused of having killed the deputy sheriff. The narrator also claims to have acted in self-defense when the sheriff tried to shoot him. The song was first released in 1973 on The Wailers’ album Burnin’. Marley explained his intention as follows: “I want to say ‘I shot the police’ but the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice.”
- “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” is a bluegrass music instrumental written by Earl Scruggs and first recorded in 1949 by the bluegrass artists Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. It is a standard in the bluegrass repertoire.
- “In the Year 2525 (Exordium et Terminus)” is a 1969 hit song by the American pop-rock duo of Zager and Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, commencing July 12, 1969. It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September of that year. The song was written and composed by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small regional record label (Truth Records) in 1968.
- Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is a primarily instrumental group from the United States, that draws equally on bluegrass, fusion and post-bop, sometimes dubbed “blu-bop.” The band formed in 1988, to perform on the PBS series Lonesome Pine Specials. The Flecktones consist of Bela Fleck on acoustic and electric banjo, Victor Wooten on bass, his brother, Future Man on Drumitar, Howard Levy on harmonica and keyboard and Jeff Coffin on saxophone The Flecktones have toured extensively since then, often playing over two hundred concerts per year. Each of the current members of the quartet has released at least one solo album. The band’s name is a play on the name of the 1960’s rock band Dick Dale and the Del-Tones.
- Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (October 1, 1903 – November 5, 1989) was a Russian-born American classical pianist and composer. His technique, use of tone color and the excitement of his playing were considered legendary. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of all time.
- “Stairway to Heaven” is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band’s untitled fourth studio album (often referred to as Led Zeppelin IV). It is often referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
- ≥ Musica universalis (lit. Universal music, or music of the spheres) or Harmony of the Spheres is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—as a form of musica (the Medieval Latin term for music). This “music” is not usually thought to be literally audible, but a harmonic and/or mathematical and/or religious concept. The idea continued to appeal to thinkers about music until the end of the Renaissance, influencing scholars of many kinds, including humanists.
- “Angel” is a song by Vancouver musician Sarah McLachlan that originally appeared on her 1997 album Surfacing. “Angel” was one of the first songs written for Surfacing. It was inspired by articles that she read in Rolling Stone about musicians turning to heroin to cope with the pressures of the music industry and subsequently overdosing. She said that the song is about “trying not to take responsibility for other people’s problems and trying to love yourself at the same time.”
- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, about a lunar colony’s revolt against rule from Earth. The novel expresses and discusses libertarian ideals. Widely admired for its credible presentation of a comprehensively imagined future human society on both the Earth and the Moon, it is generally considered one of Heinlein’s major novels as well as one of the most important science fiction novels ever written.
- “Moon River” is a song composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics written by Johnny Mercer. It received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for its first performance by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It also won Mancini the 1962 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Mercer the Grammy Award for Song of the Year. The song has been covered by many other artists.
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