Battin’ 1000!

Miss Music Nerd surged past 1000 hits this week! And that’s after less than a month! (I imported some older posts from my other blog, Our Detroit Odyssey, but I started this blog on Dec. 2nd.)

Here’s some music to celebrate, from the 30 Days Project — something that has a good beat, that you can dance to! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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So I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has read, commented, lurked, blogrolled me, emailed links to friends, etc. etc. A special welcome to my international readers, who have visited from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and others!

I had been thinking and planning and dreaming about launching Miss Music Nerd for a couple of years now; I wanted to create a place where I could talk about whatever random musical topics interested me, in a way that was educational and fun at the same time. It’s like a music appreciation class where the syllabus has no limitations.

I have big plans for the future of this thing, including podcasting, interviews, CD and concert reviews, posts of more of my own music, and, eventually, world domination.

But I need your help!

I’m looking for suggestions for new taglines — someone pointed out to me that “Nerd is the new cool” is somewhat outdated, because being nerdy has been cool for awhile now. Other ideas I have are:

  • Music Appreciation that Doesn’t Suck
  • Music for Nerds — Chords that Matter (a blatant ripoff riff on Slashdot’s
    “News for nerds, stuff that matters”)
  • Everything you always wanted to know about music but were afraid to ask

Got a better idea? Post it in comments or send me an email!

While you’re at it, send me a question or topic suggestion!

Don’t forget these other easy ways to keep in touch:

Finally, donations are greatly appreciated. You can even commission an original piece of music! (A great gift idea, if you missed anyone on your list this holiday season! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Thanks, and here’s to plenty nerdy musical fun in the future!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays!
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    Holiday Music, Hot off the Presses!

    Sigh… Procrastination is so inspiring sometimes…

    I was sitting at the piano last night, feeling bored and uninspired, looking for a way to do anything but what I was supposed to be doing. I started noodling around and came up with something that said “holidays” to me. It reminded me of when McDoc and I were building our snowman last weekend. We finished up right around sunset — a really pretty sunset, what with the snowclouds to reflect off of and all.

    Our snowman seemed to like it too! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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    I think the piece goes very nicely with the photo!
    Click to listen:

    Snowbound Sunset

    This may be my first “New Age” kinda piece. (Snarky music grad-student types call it “newage,” rhymes with “sewage” — hey, that’s mean! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I know I’m not supposed to do things like that. But that’s what makes it fun! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Thanks for reading!
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    If you enjoyed this post, would you considerโ€ฆ

  • Emailing it to a friend?
  • Donating to Miss Music Nerd?
  • Thanks — you make the world a better place! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Our Musical Christmas Tree!

    We’ve received some lovely ornaments as gifts this year, and some of them are music-themed, which prompted me to take inventory of our musical decorations.

    The Tree at McVirgo Manor
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    Click Mr. Readmore for the specifics!
    Continue reading

    Music Vocab: Catching Some Bass

    Students who are new to music appreciation have a number of vocabulary challenges to deal with. Music terminology, like language in general, has developed over hundreds of years with input from vast numbers of temperamental artsy types speaking several different languages. Terms have been created ad hoc, and often remain in use for the sake of tradition and continuity; if that means that logic and intuitive clarity fall by the wayside, well, that’s showbiz! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    A common mistake for students writing about music for the first time concerns the spelling and pronunciation of the lowest instrument or voice part in an ensemble, whose name is spelled like a fish but pronounced like a foundation: the bass. Many students write ‘base’ instead, which, like so many things in life, is logical but incorrect. When students ask me why I want to make their lives so difficult, I usually explain that the English word ‘bass’ is derived from the Italian word basso, so it isn’t pronounced in the English manner. But you know what? I have to confess that I’m all wet on that one, because basso is pronounced BAH-so, not BAY-so, so in order for my explanation to make sense, I would have to pronouce the English term to rhyme with ‘boss’. And then, after practicing my bahss viol, I could go visit my Ahnt, and bring her some flowers, which she would put in a Vahze.

    No, no, no!

    Click Mr. Readmore to sort it all out, dahling!
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    What makes music funny?

    WARNING: Tricks are for kids, but these videos are for grown-ups who aren’t easily offended. If you don’t like to work blue, you might want to hold out for my next, clean post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    File this under Things I Wish I’d Thought of First… composer Igor Keller has spun Bill O’Reilly’s infamous Falafel Phone Call into operatic gold!


    More info about the opera here.

    Click Mr. Readmore for a brief comment (as this left me almost speechless! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
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    Barry. Freakin’. Manilow!!!

    I’ve been to see Barry Manilow, Live, in Concert, and I have the glow-stick to prove it!

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    One of the perks of working for a large organization is that once in awhile, you get something for free. McDoc occasionally gets emails from his department administrator offering tickets for various sporting events to the first resident who replies to the message. I wouldn’t say that it completely offsets the suffering and agony joys and frustrations challenges of being a first-year resident (or spouse of same), but hey, free tickets to a Tigers or Red Wings game are better than a swift kick in the head.

    However, when a message flies over the cyber-transom offering tickets to a Significant Music-Historical Event, it’s really something to get excited about — especially for the employee who’s married to your friendly neighborhood Music Nerd!

    Imagine my delight, then, when I learned on Friday that McDoc had indeed been the early bird who got the worm, namely: free tickets to Barry Manilow: Music and Passion on Saturday night!

    Now, I was expecting the event to be purely a research expedition for me; sure, I used to like some of Barry Manilow’s songs back when I was a little kid, but he was kind of uncool then, and he’s even more uncool now. Right?

    Wrong! For Miss Music Nerd, not only is nerd the new cool, but cool is in the eye of the beholder! And anyway, the performance, which was a touring version of his show that’s been playing at the Las Vegas Hilton for nearly three years now, surprised me in more ways than one.

    Could it be magic? Click Mr. Readmore to find out!
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    Snow Music!

    Last night, McDoc asked me for examples of music that make reference to snow — a very timely topic for two Californians experiencing their first Michigan winter!

    The first thing I thought of was “The Snow is Dancing,” (audio sample) from The Children’s Corner, a suite of piano pieces by Claude Debussy. There’s also “Des Pas Sur La Neige” — Footsteps in the Snow — (audio sample) from his first book of piano preludes.

    Next I thought of Jean Sibelius, who must have been quite familiar with snow, being from Finland and all. I didn’t find any titles in his works list that referred to snow directly, but according to Wikipedia,

    Sibelius loved nature, and the Finnish landscape often served as material for his music. He once said of his Sixth Symphony, ‘[It] always reminds me of the scent of the first snow.’

    Here’s an audio sample from the first movement.

    You can always count on somebody, somewhere to have already thought of, and found a way to cash in on, such musical thematic musings such as these… hence the compilation CD Winter Dreams: Classical Music for When Snow Falls. (Yes, I’m just envious that I didn’t do the cashing in myself! ๐Ÿ˜› )

    On the bright side, I learned from looking at the CD’s page that Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 1 had the nickname “Winter Daydreams.” Ancora imparo, as my buddy Mike liked to say. (I probably learned this once before in Music History class or something, but that’s a benefit of aging — you get to learn things again! :P)

    Oh, I was also suprised to find that Snow is the name of an artist — a Canadian dancehall artist who has been called a Canadian Vanilla Ice. ๐Ÿ˜€ I hadn’t heard of him, but evidently he had a hit in the 90’s called “Informer.”

    And then of course, how could this time of year be complete without this old favorite? I know, I know, I’m not nearly old enough to remember it. But I have older siblings who are! ๐Ÿ˜›

    What about you? Add your snow music examples in comments!

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  • Emailing it to a friend?
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  • Thanks — you make the world a better place! ๐Ÿ™‚

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