Discover Music

A Very Quick Guide To . . .Thomas Weelkes

Thomas Weelkes, a composer from the first Elizabethan age
Thomas Weelkes, a composer from the first Elizabethan age

What’s it all about?


2023 is going to be a big year for English early music thanks to the 400th anniversary of the death of William Byrd, one of the country’s greatest ever composers, with a raft of celebratory concerts, recordings and scholarly publications planned to mark the event. But spare a thought for fellow Elizabethan composer Thomas Weelkes, who had the misfortune to die in the same year as Byrd and whose own 400th anniversary is going slightly under the radar as a result.

Continue reading...

Ten Pieces Every Bassoonist Should Know

Bassoons in action through the ages
Bassoons in action through the ages

The bassoon may be the Cinderella of the woodwind family when it comes to solo works but there’s still a good deal of repertoire out there to explore, including plenty of baroque pieces (Vivaldi, anyone?) and a trio of fine classical concertos by Mozart, Hummel and Weber – while 20th-century works range from Latin-flavoured works by Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla through to Sofia Gubaidulina’s memorably bleak Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings.
Continue reading...

The Most Beautiful Flower-Inspired Classical Music

Music Inspired by Flowers
Music Inspired by Flowers

Did you know that January 10th is National Houseplant Appreciation Day? It was established in the 1980s by the Society of American Florists to promote the benefits of bringing plants inside our homes. Plants and especially flowers have, of course, long been a source of inspiration for composers. Here are 10 pieces inspired by flowers, complete with links to sheet music. So this 10th January, instead of talking to your houseplant, you could instead serenade it with an appreciative tune or two.
Continue reading...

Winter Music: Ten Classical Pieces for the Coldest Season

What's the most wintery piece of music?
What's the most wintery piece of music?

The days are short, the weather's awful. Time to put another log on the fire and warm the soul with our seasonal round-up of winter classics.

1. Rimsky-Korsakov: Orchestral Suite from The Snow Maiden


Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Snow Maiden (1881) is one of the composer's best-loved pieces, full of colourful musical set pieces inspired by an endearingly zany Russian folk tale (this must be the only opera in which the heroine ultimately melts). The four-movement orchestral suite drawn from the opera evokes winter at its jolliest, featuring twittering birds, a stomping march, and the energetic "Dance of the Tumblers", depicting the acrobatic feats of a troupe of street performers.
Continue reading...

Good news for gender-equality in music - and for 20th century music too

Composer Anna Clyne was 8th on the list
Composer Anna Clyne was 8th on the list

Encouraging news about gender equality in classical music comes this week from Bachtrack's newly released report Classical Music in 2022.

Analysing data from 27,124 musical performances worldwide, the report highlights a number of interesting trends.
Continue reading...

Official: Deer Love Bach!

Who knew that deer love Bach?
Cellist Diana Gomez discovered the truth when she took her cello to a park in Aarhus, Denmark, and started playing the famous opening to Bach's Cello Suite No.1 in G major

Watch the interaction below.
Continue reading...

The history of the Argentine national anthem

The Argentine football team, celebrating in the 2022 World Cup
The Argentine football team, celebrating in the 2022 World Cup

The Argentine national anthem, Himno Nacional Argentino was composed by Vicente López y Planes and written by the Argentine national hero, José de San Martín. The song was officially adopted as the national anthem on May 11, 1813.

Interestingly, Vicente López y Planes wasn't just a composer, he was also a politician and was interim President of Argentina from July 7 to August 18, 1827!

But the hymn has more to its background as well.
Continue reading...

The poignant Ukrainian story behind Carol of the Bells

Mykola Leontovych
Mykola Leontovych

Carol of the Bells is a staple of the holiday season, particularly in the US. But where did this atmospheric song come from - it feels like a relatively recent addition to the Christmas repertoire, doesn't it?

The song actually has Ukrainian origins and the story behind it poignantly highlights the fact that Russian aggression against Ukraine isn't a recent phenomenon.
Continue reading...

The Ultimate Christmas Piano Playlist: Top 10 Revealed!

Time for some Christmas Piano music!
Time for some Christmas Piano music!

It's that time of year again, when holiday music fills the air and brings cheer to all who hear it. And what better way to get into the spirit than with some festive piano music? If you're a pianist, you may be looking for some festive pieces to add to your repertoire. Here are the top 10 most popular Christmas pieces for piano as viewed by visitors to 8notes.com, counting down from ten to one.

Continue reading...

Renaissance Music

The Renaissance period in music describes the two hundred year period from 1400-1600. It was a period of great change and innovation in music, with the emergence of new musical styles, forms, and genres, as well as the development of new musical instruments and new forms of music notation.

During the Renaissance, composers began to write music that was more expressive and emotive than the music of the Middle Ages. They also began to experiment with new forms, such as the madrigal, which was a form of secular vocal music that was often written for small groups of voices.
Continue reading...

View More  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |