Category Archives: Featured

The Greatest Musical Composition Ever – 1

Obviously there’s a contradiction in my title. There can’t be more than one greatest musical composition ever written. My purpose is to list music so good that while you’re listening to it, it seems to be without peer – at least until you happen on the next greatest work. My plan for this series is…


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Why Nothing is Hardest

Nothing is harder than doing nothing, especially when it’s the best alternative among a pack of difficult choices. Medicine’s prime commandment – Primum non nocere – often requires that the physician refrain from treatment when the remedy is worse than the malady. While the maxim is endlessly preached, it is rarely observed. The urge to…


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CRISPR and Human Characteristics

On September 9th PBS series NOVA presented a two hour program devoted to the genetic technique CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats). It’s a technique that allows for gene editing. You can read about by clicking the link above. The PBS program does a pretty good job of explaining how the technique works and…


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On Equality

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal… This self evident truth is obviously not self evident. Thomas Jefferson undoubtedly knew such to be the case. He meant that we all should be equal before the law and that the laws should be designed without bias or special benefit not thought…


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Rossini String Sonatas

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) grew up in a musical and operatic family; his mother was a singer and his father a horn player. He is the only composer to write multiple masterpieces before reaching 25: Tancredi, L’italiana in Algeri, Il turco in Italia, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Otello, ossia Il moro di Venezia, and La Cenerentola….


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The Invention of Jazz

The conventional view is that jazz is an American art form that originated in African-American communities of New Orleans. It was a derivative of blues and ragtime. Over time it split into many branches. When one thinks of the original New Orleans version, names like King Oliver (1881-1938), Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1940), and Louis Armstrong…


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Livin’ the Dream – Governments, Polls, and Other Blunders

The current state of societal and economic collapse is completely the governments fault. Yet what’s seen as the solution? More Government action. Since the viral epidemic was recognized, we warned here that locking down the economy would make things a lot worse, which sure enough it did. We’ve had worse viral outbreaks, some within living…


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Opera Interludes

My subject is the instrumental music that occurs during a scene or between two. Excluded are overtures, preludes, and ballet music. Sometimes the distinction between an interlude or intermezzo and a prelude can be precious, but if the music below is called an interlude, an intermezzo, or in one case a meditation I accepted it…


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Church Scenes

I recently wrote about the last few minutes of the first act of Tosca, which is set in a church – Sant’Andrea della Valle. There are other operas which have scenes in a church or houses of worship, five are presented below. Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German composer who tried to follow the style of…


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Haydn Piano Trios

No great composer wrote as much music as did Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). The quality of his music as as great as its amount. So vast is his output that it’s hard to count them. He is famed as the father of both the string quartet and the symphony. He wrote 68 of the former and…


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