music

Probably the best known composer of the world – Ludwig van Beethoven

Probably the best known composer of the world – Ludwig van Beethoven

On December 17, 1770, German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven was born. He is considered a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. Born as the eldest of three children in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical…
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Adolphe Sax and the Saxophone

Adolphe Sax and the Saxophone

Adolphe Sax (1814–1894)   On November 6, 1814, Belgian musical instrument designer and musician Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax was born. Besides playing flute and clarinet, he is well known for having invented the saxophone. Sax became something of a footnote in history after his creation was almost forgotten after his death, until it was revived by jazz musicians who barely remembered his name.[2] Back in the time when I was a student, I remember one fellow student who ‘polluted’…
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Harvey Fletcher – the Father of Stereophonic Sound

Harvey Fletcher – the Father of Stereophonic Sound

Setup for the oil drop experiment. On September 11, 1884, US-american physicist Harvey Fletcher was born. Considered as the “father of stereophonic sound” he is credited with the invention of hearing aids and is well known for his contributions in acoustics, electrical engineering, speech, medicine, music, atomic physics, sound pictures, and education. Harvey Fletcher was raised in Utah in a religious community. He received his early education at he Brigham Young University…
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Niccoló Paganini – the Devil’s Violinist

Niccoló Paganini – the Devil’s Violinist

On May 27, 1840, Italian violinist and composer Niccolo Paganini passed away. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. Niccolò Paganini was born in Genoa, then capital of the Republic of Genoa, the third of the six children of Antonio and Teresa (née Bocciardo) Paganini. Already Paganini’s father made his living from music. He used to play the mandolin…
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Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and the Marseillaise

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and the Marseillaise

On April 25, 1792, French army officier Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle during the French Revolution composes the ‘Chant de guerre pour l’armée du Rhin‘ for the declaration of war against Austria. Under the name ‘La Marseillaise‘ his song later becomes the national anthem of France. I’m pretty sure that almost everybody knows the French national anthem, the so-called Marseillaise, simply because of its numerous references throughout music history as well as from movies.…
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Laurens Hammond and the Hammond Organ

Laurens Hammond and the Hammond Organ

On April 24, 1934, American engineer and inventor Laurens Hammond filed US Patent 1,956,350 for an “electrical musical instrument“, his famous eponymous electric organ with the unique ‘Hammond sound’. Laurens was born in Illinois, USA, but moved to France after his father took his life. In  Europe, Hammond began to design some of his earliest inventions. By the age of 14, the boy had already designed systems for automatic car transitions. Unfortunately, when…
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Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

Albert Schweitzer and his Hospital in Africa

On March 21, 1913, theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa Albert Schweitzer together with his wife Helene start their voyage to Africa, to establish a hospital in Equatorial Africa. “The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.” Radio appeal for peace, Oslo, Norway (30 March 1958) Albert Schweitzer was born on January 14, 1875, as the second child of a…
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Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

On February 2, 1594, Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina passed away. He is the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition and has had a lasting influence on the development of church music. His work has often been seen as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony. The origins of polyphony are assumed in the European vocal music of the late Medieval Era. The Notre Dame School…
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The Inglourious Death of Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

The Inglourious Death of Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) On January 8, 1687, French ballet dancer and composer Jean-Baptiste Lully struck his foot with his long conducting staff during a performance of his Te Deum. Because he refused to treat the wound, it got infected and he died from gangrene soon after. Besides this inglourious way of death, Lully is considered the chief master of the French baroque style, who stripped of all Italian influences from French music of…
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Antonio Stradivari and his famous Strings

Antonio Stradivari and his famous Strings

Illustration of Antonio Stradivari On December 18, 1737, famous Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari passed away. Besides violins Stradivari also crafted cellos, guitars, violas, and harps. He is generally considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field. There is only little known of Stradivari’s early life, but his oldest surviving violin was presumably from 1666. It is assumed that he began apprenticeship with Nicolo Amati at the age of about 12 years. Amati…
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