Tag Archives: resources

classic keys

Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds that Launched Rock Music


classic keys

This beautifully photographed and illustrated book focuses on the signature rock keyboard sounds of the 1950s to the early 1980s. Classic Keys explores the sound, lore, and technology of these iconic instruments. Twelve instruments are presented as the chapter foundations, together with information about and comparisons with more than 36 others. Included are short profiles of modern musicians, composers, and others who collect, use, and prize these instruments.

Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds that Launched Rock Music, by Alan S. Lenhoff and David Robertson, University of North Texas Press, www.untpress.unt.edu.

unemployment insurance

Unemployment Insurance Guidance for Musicians

If you have lost work due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance provides partial wage replacement payments to eligible workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced. The unique nature of our industry means that some of you aren’t protected by current unemployment policies, but you may qualify and the AFM encourages you to apply for benefits.

Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits. Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility guidelines.

To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to generally file a claim in the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.

When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. Make sure you have gathered all that information to help complete your application.

Find details of your state’s program on the CareerOneStop website at https://bit.ly/2Wqh8Uo.

karen tuttle legacy

The Karen Tuttle Legacy

karen tuttle legacy

Emphasizing the release of tension, both physical and mental, Karen Tuttle’s Coordination Technique not only keeps violists injury-free but it also gives way to a richer, freer sound and more emotional and expressive performances. The Karen Tuttle Legacy is a resource and guide for viola students, teachers, and performers to revolutionize their playing based on what works best for each individual’s unique physiology. Six of Tuttle’s direct and highly celebrated “viola descendants” weigh in, guiding both the teacher and performer to a joyous and free approach.

The Karen Tuttle Legacy: A Resource and Guide for Viola Students, Yeachers, and Performers, edited by Alex Teploff, Carl Fischer, www.carlfischer.com.

15 sinfonias

J.S. Bach’s 15 Sinfonias for Three Flutes

15 sinfonias

Flutist Bill Giannone of Local 802 (New York City) took J.S. Bach’s 15 Sinfonias, also known as “Three-Part Inventions,” for piano and transcribed them for three flutes. Bach wrote the sinfonias as short exercises for private practice by keyboard students—which have three-part counterpoint. Compositions in the same style as a sinfonia but using two-part counterpoint are known as inventions. Giannone has taken these instructional piano pieces and scored them for the flute’s range, along with dynamic and phrase markings.

J.S. Bach’s 15 Sinfonias for Three Flutes, arranged by Bill Giannone, Rosebud Music Publishing Co., www.flutesheetmusic.com.

weird al: seriously

Weird Al: Seriously

weird al: seriously

From his love of accordions and Hawaiian print shirts to his popular puns and trademark dance moves, “Weird Al” Yankovic of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) has made a 40-year career out of making people laugh. In this book, for the first time, the parodies, original compositions, and polka medleys of the Weird Al universe receive attention through interviews with Yankovic himself. Lily Hirsch reveals that Yankovic’s jests have always had a deeper meaning, addressing such topics as bullying, celebrity, and racial and gender stereotypes.

Weird Al: Seriously, by Lily E. Hirsch, Rowman & Littlefield, https://rowman.com.

wedding music

Wedding Music for Violin and Viola, Wedding Music for String Quartet

wedding music

Both books, by Scott Staidle of Local 11-637 (Louisville, KY), include 14 favorites for weddings, recitals, parties, and receptions. The quartets and the violin/viola duets are well suited for intermediate to advanced musicians and include bowings, fingerings, articulations, and dynamics.

Wedding Music for Violin and Viola, and Wedding Music for String Quartet, by Scott Staidle, Mel Bay Publications, www.melbay.com.


Our Brains Appear Uniquely Tuned for Musical Pitch

In the eternal search for understanding what makes us human, scientists found that our brains are more sensitive to pitch, the harmonic sounds we hear when listening to music, than our evolutionary relative the macaque monkey. The study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, highlights the promise of Sound Health, a joint project between the NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, that aims to understand the role of music in health.

“We found that a certain region of our brains has a stronger preference for sounds with pitch than macaque monkey brains,” says Bevil Conway, Ph.D., investigator in the NIH’s Intramural Research Program and a senior author of the study published in Nature Neuroscience. “The results raise the possibility that these sounds, which are embedded in speech and music, may have shaped the basic organization of the human brain.”

The study started with a friendly bet between Conway and Sam Norman-Haignere, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute for Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and the first author of the paper.

At the time, both were working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Conway’s team had been searching for differences between how human and monkey brains control vision only to discover that there are very few. Their brain mapping studies suggested that humans and monkeys see the world in very similar ways. But then, Conway heard about some studies on hearing being done by Norman-Haignere, who, at the time, was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Josh H. McDermott, Ph.D., associate professor at MIT.

“I told Bevil that we had a method for reliably identifying a region in the human brain that selectively responds to sounds with pitch,” says Norman-Haignere. That is when they got the idea to compare humans with monkeys. Based on his studies, Conway bet that they would see no differences.

Tuned for Musical Pitch: NIH-funded scientists found that our brains may be uniquely sensitive to pitch, the harmonic sounds we hear when listening to speech or music. Image: Courtesy NIH

To test this, the researchers played a series of harmonic sounds, or tones, to healthy volunteers and monkeys. Meanwhile, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to monitor brain activity in response to the sounds. The researchers also monitored brain activity in response to sounds of toneless noises that were designed to match the frequency levels of each tone played.

At first glance, the scans looked similar and confirmed previous studies. Maps of the auditory cortex of human and monkey brains had similar hot spots of activity regardless of whether the sounds contained tones.

However, when the researchers looked more closely at the data, they found evidence suggesting the human brain was highly sensitive to tones. The human auditory cortex was much more responsive than the monkey cortex when they looked at the relative activity between tones and equivalent noisy sounds.

“We found that human and monkey brains had very similar responses to sounds in any given frequency range. It’s when we added tonal structure to the sounds that some of these same regions of the human brain became more responsive,” says Conway. “These results suggest the macaque monkey may experience music and other sounds differently. In contrast, the macaque’s experience of the visual world is probably very similar to our own. It makes one wonder what kind of sounds our evolutionary ancestors experienced.”

Further experiments supported these results. Slightly raising the volume of
the tonal sounds had little effect on the tone sensitivity observed in the brains of two monkeys.

Finally, the researchers saw similar results when they used sounds that contained more

natural harmonies for monkeys by playing recordings of macaque calls. Brain scans showed that the human auditory cortex was much more responsive than the monkey cortex when they compared relative activity between the calls and toneless, noisy versions of the calls.

“This finding suggests that speech and music may have fundamentally changed the way our brain processes pitch,” says Conway. “It may also help explain why it has been so hard for scientists to train monkeys to perform auditory tasks that humans find relatively effortless.”

Earlier this year, other scientists from around the US applied for the first round of NIH Sound Health research grants. Some of these grants may eventually support scientists who plan to explore how music turns on the circuitry of the auditory cortex that make our brains sensitive to musical pitch.

CRASH! Course for Success

CRASH! Course for Success: 5 Ways to Supercharge Your Personal and Professional Life

CRASH! Course for Success

In this book, Rich Redmond of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) explains his five principles of success—Commitment-Relationships-Attitude-Skill-Hunger (CRASH)—and illustrates how to utilize them at work, at home, and at play. He also shares how using these five key concepts influenced his life, describing key milestones when they helped him along his journey of becoming a top-call professional drummer, performing around the world to millions of fans with world-class artists. Part self-improvement guide and part memoir, this book will entertain, engage, and challenge readers to improve their lives.

CRASH! Course for Success: 5 Ways to Supercharge Your Personal and Professional Life, by Rich Redmond, Crash Entertainment, crashcourseforsuccess.com.

classical guitar album

Classical Guitar Album: New and well-known pieces (Volumes 1, 2, and 3)

classical guitar album

Paul Coles’ three-volume Classical Guitar Album offers nearly 100 varied pieces of increasing difficulty. His works are designed for the developing musician but include commissioned works performed and premiered by some of the world’s leading guitarists. He draws on Baroque, contemporary, and classical Spanish influences.

Volume 1 contains 43 preparatory pieces and includes well-known melodies for the beginning guitarist in accessible keys (1-2). Volume 2 has 28 original pieces, which take the player to the next level (2-3). Volume 3 includes 28 pieces written for the middle-grade guitarist, advancing in keys 3-4.

Classical Guitar Album: New and well-known pieces, by Paul Coles, Universal Edition, www.universaledition.com


Luciano Berio: Duetti (arrangement for two violas)


This set of arrangements of Luciano Berio’s Duetti, originally for two violins, represents an expansion of the limited repertoire for two violas. These duets, originally conceived as a collection of occasional pieces, became a full compositional project with pedagogical overtones. The wide variation in technical demands for Duetti—from beginner to high-level skills—illuminates Berio’s unique approach.

Luciano Berio: Duetti (arrangement for two violas), arranged by Annegret Mayer-Lindenberg, Universal Edition, www.universaledition.com