I started this blog more than two years ago. Since then, I have learned a lot about blogging and what kinds of articles work best. Several of my early posts are way too short to deserve any attention, but I think you’ll still enjoy several of them. Here is a batch:
In preparation of my latest book on the history of the trombone, I had to look at a lot of the Times of London. Before the book appeared, I posted some interesting selections verbatim. I did not use all of the quoted material in my book, so people who have it will find fresh information here: Trombone in the (old) news–part one and Trombone in the (old) news–part two
Before he went deaf, Beethoven was the leading piano virtuoso in Vienna. Viennese nobles used to love to sponsor improvisation contests between two players, and Beethoven had beaten everyone else in town. Daniel Steibelt, a traveling virtuoso, decided that he could make Vienna forget about Beethoven completely. He not only challenged Beethoven to a contest, but deliberately offended him in the process. Beethoven saw that Steibelt left town quickly and in total humiliation: Beethoven rises to a challenge.
Steibelt may not have succeeded in making Vienna forget about Beethoven, but Rossini did without even trying. Even so, there were still people who recognized Beethoven’s superiority. Here are two Englishmen, a noted music publisher and a noted, but tone deaf, poet: An ear for music.
Did you know that “Taps” originally had nothing to do with military funerals? General Winfield Scott’s military manual included a similar bugle call to signal time for lights out. When it was replaced by another call early in the Civil War, General Daniel Butterworth disliked the new signal. He ordered a revision of the lights-out call in Scott’s manual for use in his own brigade. One of his captains decided that honoring a fallen officer with rifle fire was too dangerous so near the battlefield. The rest, as they say, is history. Taps