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A Very Quick Guide to...Passion Music

Image of a performance of one of Bach's Passions
Image of a performance of one of Bach's Passions

What’s it all about?


Holy Week is a significant period in the Christian liturgical calendar, leading up to Easter. For Christians round the world this is traditionally a time of contemplation, marking the events which collectively are known as the Passion of Christ. These begin with Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and culminate in his crucifixion on good Friday and resurrection on Easter Day. Passion music, traditionally performed on Good Friday, is a dramatic re-enactment of these events.
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Forgotten Musical Instruments

Forgotten Instruments from Mexico
Forgotten Instruments from Mexico

Musical history is littered with instruments that had brief periods of popularity before superseded by newer instruments. Whilst many of these have now been revived in period instrument recordings of older repertoire others remain largely forgotten. This seems a shame since, as this list shows, they make sounds that are uniquely beguiling.
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Search vocal sheet music by language

Select sheet music by language
Select sheet music by language

At 8notes.com we're always looking for ways to make it easier for you to discover the music you want. If you're looking for vocal music, there's a good chance that at least some of the time, the language the music is sung in will be an important part of the decision. That's why we've introduced a new drop down on the listings pages for voice and choir.
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The surprising story of Ravel's Bolero

Ravel's Bolero
Ravel's Bolero

Maurice Ravel’s Boléro is probably the composer’s most famous work and, for that matter, one of the most familiar in the orchestral repertoire. Beloved in its original form, it has also made its way into popular culture in pop covers, adverts, on the big and small screen and even as the music for a winning routine by a pair of British Olympic ice skaters...
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Five surprising facts about ‘The Star Spangled Banner’

The Star Spangled Banner and Fort McHenry  1812
The Star Spangled Banner and Fort McHenry 1812

The Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States of America. The country’s powerful politics and pop culture have made it familiar round the world, so we may feel that we know it well. A look into its history reveals, however, a few surprising facts about this rousing song.
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Memphis and St.Louis Blues - Two Handy hits that changed music forever

W.C. Handy, composer of Memphis and St.Louis Blues
W.C. Handy, composer of Memphis and St.Louis Blues

The composer W.C. Handy (1873–1958) is sometimes described as ‘The Father of Blues’, one of the most important musical styles of the the twentieth century. Of the many pieces that earned him this title, two stand out, his Memphis Blues and St. Louis Blues.
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The Story of Satie's Gymnopedies

Erik Satie
Erik Satie

Erik Satie (186–1925) wrote his celebrated Trois Gymnopédies in the 1880s whilst living and working in Montmartre, Paris. Unassuming though they may seem, these works were quietly radical, establishing him as one of the most important composers of his generation.
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8 Animal-themed pieces of Classical Music

The Carnival of the Animals
The Carnival of the Animals

Composers have written many works inspired by the natural world. Animals, with their varying sizes, shapes and personalities have often provided the most fertile inspiration of all. Here are eight of our favourite classical works inspired by creatures on land, sea and air.

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Did Henry VIII really write Greensleeves?

Henry VIII in composing mode
Henry VIII in composing mode

Greensleeves- one of the most familiar of all English folk songs, has long attracted stories about its origins. The most enduring of these is that it was written by King Henry VIII, the monarch notorious for his love of hunting, his six wives and his break with the Roman church.
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House of the Rising Sun, before and after The Animals

The Animals - The house of the rising sun
The Animals - The house of the rising sun

House of the Rising Sun is one of the most famous examples of a folk song becoming a popular hit, the version by rock band The Animals now being considered a classic of the genre.

There is much more to this song, however, than their brilliant cover—the song has a long and fascinating history, and there are many other great versions of it to enjoy...

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