Folk tunes and children’s songs

2 Feb

Have a listen. It’s like expensive white chocolate, this music.

And then have another listen.

And another.

The music in the top video contains a variation of a theme that is based on the song in the other videos, which is basically a folk tune from the beginning of the 18th century or thereabouts . The Dutch know it as the children’s song “Altijd is Kortjakje ziek” and the English as “Twinkle twinkle little star” and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep”. There are many other versions, including one in Hungarian, one in French and one in Spanish.

And here is “Twinkle twinkle little star”.

Smetana was a  Czech composer who (as did other composers) used it in one of his compositions. His is called “the Moldau”. The Moldau is a river and you can see it bubble and flow throughout the music if you listen carefully.

(Ah, the blessings of having a great music teacher in high school.)

Added later: Ha! I got it wrong! It’s even more complicated! (I guess my high-school teacher gave us a localized version.) There is an older Italian composition called La Mantovana, and that seems to have developed into two folk tunes, which both became very popular.

It’s like someone heard it once and then went home, remembered some of it and added something new, while someone else stayed closer to the original. And then both tunes started to travel.

(I am sure historians will say I got it all wrong! That’s fine by me, LOL.)

At least twelve other classical compositions (by twelve different composers) were inspired by the above folk tune (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star).

Chords, arpeggios and tapestries

29 Jan

I am currently following the online course Jazz Appreciation at  the University of Texas at Austin, through I am a little behind and am still working on the first session, but have already received the answer to a major question.

How the hell do you play a chord on a saxophone? When I talk with guitar players, they always start about chords, but you can’t play three or more notes at once on a woodwind, so what was I supposed to do with a chord? No guitar players had given me the answer yet and I had been unable to find the answer in music theory books.

Well, you either have as many sax players as notes in the chord, or you play the notes in sequence. Arpeggio. That taught me a second thing. I knew that an arpeggio is a certain quick sequence of notes, but I knew no more than that. I must have picked that up from way back when I had a little keyboard with a button that said “arpeggio”. Or maybe I saw it on some sheet music.

For some people, music is about playing and singing the notes just right, and always the same. For me, music is often a dialogue, a conversation. Either with the people who are listening or with the other players or singers. Or both! Together, you weave a musical tapestry, and no tapestry will – nor should – ever be exactly the same, but hand-made. Authentic.

What’s it like for you?

Designer Files: Claire Fleury

22 Dec

Designer Files: Claire Fleury.

I like!

A bit of beauty in a candlestick

9 Nov

A shot of an elegant candlestick that caught my eye earlier this week.

Copper-green candlestick

It is made of metal and covered in the typical green color of oxidized copper. If you happen to be interested in this candlestick, as a gift of for yourself, feel free to contact me as I can send you more photos.

You can also simply pay £ 7.99 into my PayPal account angelina at That includes the cost of shipping.

When I’m being held over a barrel…

7 Nov

When I am down, I focus on beauty.

I see gorgeous skies, and beautiful palm trees and find the most wonderful treasures in thrift shops that I carry in my heart forever, regardless of whether the items stay with me or not.

Today I bought a lovely Chinese pot and lid, and a few other items, including an EP by Everything but the Girl (how appropriate, given the story behind that name) for 49 pence, and a lovely silk scarf for a pound, but today’s absolute treasure is some Portuguese pottery, in pale blue and black on white.

It depicts dogs, birds, and a pheasant, a deer, castles and rabbits and trees, flowers and grasses. I bought it to put it on eBay, but I like it so much I just may keep it for myself.

Conimbriga pottery. It is a special item, as it still carries the aura of whoever made it or maybe of who used to own it, and whoever it is, he or she is a wonderful person. That makes this something to be cherished.

The only Conimbriga piece currently on eBay that matches in beauty – but is not  the same, by a different artist – is a decanter and plate with an asking price of USD 280. It is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Not all of these items go at such prices, mind you, and I am not so sure that this decanter will sell at that price.

Mine is signed C.B.

Conimbriga is one of the largest Roman settlements in Portugal, a National Monument, close to Coimbra.

Pictures coming up. I hope my cell phone’s camera is up to the task.

Time keeps its own time

28 Sep


26 Sep

Your smile. Shine a little light. Give up on your pride.

You know

22 Sep

Heard this live twice, at the same venue.

Here is another one:

Collin Ankerson on electric bass

22 Sep

Have a listen here, too.

Wakey wakey!

22 Sep
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