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Pianotes #476 -
November 2022
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I'm writing this on a wet and chilly Halloween on the Oregon Coast. Hopefully the rain will let up for all of the local ghosts and goblins so they can trick or treat! I also hope this November issue of Pianotes finds you well and enjoying the fall!
Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” was actually written for George Sand’s dog. Sand was amused by watching her dog chasing its tail, and asked Chopin to set it to music. He did, and the piece is subtitled “The Waltz of the Little Dog.”

Around 1900, more American homes had a piano than a toilet. Music came mostly from informal gatherings in living rooms and on front porches. Sheet music sold for a penny on street corners.

Families began trading pianos for phonographs in the 1920s, and then came radio and television. Evening entertainment became a passive activity only a century ago.
New Reviews: We have a REALLY mixed bag of new reviews for you this month! Christmas, solo flute, jazz, harp, vocal, classical, and more! There is some really great new music here with lots more to come. There are also some new sheet music and songbook reviews with more of those in the works, too. Check them all out here.
In the eighteenth century, there were no keyboard tuners as such - keyboard owners and players expected to tune their own instruments or have someone on their premises who did it for them. During the nineteenth century, piano tuning gradually turned into a profession.

The existence of the profession of piano tuner was marked in England by the 1840 publication of a textbook, "The Tuner’s Guide."

There are more than 500,000 hymns in existence. The most-prolific hymn-writer was Fanny Crosby (1850-1915) who, although blind from the age of six weeks, wrote about 8000 hymns. Charles Wesley (1707-88) wrote about 6000.
Interviews and Articles: I have several interviews in the works, but didn't get any finished for this issue. I did review a recent concert with Irina Moreland and Halida Dinova and Steve Yip wrote a preview of Bruce Springsteen's upcoming album which is a tribute to soul music! I also have several other articles that I'm working on, so check back during the month to see what's new.
Jerry Lee Lewis (September 29, 1935 – October 28, 2022) was the first to bring rock ’n’ roll piano to millions in the 1950’s.

Although the piano was an Italian invention, it was the German, Austrian, English and French instrument makers who would come up with the design and structural improvements that would greatly improve the piano’s capabilities by the end of the eighteenth century.

Bartolomeo Cristofori made about twenty pianos in his lifetime and is considered to be the piano's inventor.
Thankful/Gratitude Article: Well, only a couple of people responded to my request for two things they are most grateful/thankful for, so I'll put out another appeal and (hopefully) add to this rather short list all month. If you'd like to participate, just send an email to kathypiano@gmail.com with two things you are thankful for. If you need some inspiration, here's last year's list.

Jeff Bjorck: I am grateful for God's grace and mercies, which are new every morning.
I am grateful for those who persist with acts of love, good, and kindness, even as the world seems to grow darker and more chaotic each day.

Joyce Luddington: Number one is my daughter, Laura, and second is living in Florence.

Kathy Parsons: I'm very grateful and thankful that Mom is still doing so well at 92 and for the wonderful artists who continue to create music that brings joy and beauty as well as a form of refuge to so many.

Greg Maroney: I am thankful for having a life full of love, music and for living in a natural setting.
I am thankful for the grace of the spirit that shines on use every single day.

Rada Neal: I'm grateful that I never practiced very much when I was younger so my hands are working fine now....is that a good reason?

Jeff Lovejoy: GRATEFUL FOR: My little sister's good results with cancer treatment and my ability to sing well enough that folks want to listen.

Ralph Zurmuhle: The world is in turmoil; our future, our childrens' future, the planet's future are uncertain. It feels as if we are in free fall. And yet there is One who, in the words of Rilke from his poem "Herbst," holds everything as it falls, with infinite tenderness in his hands. For this and for the health and well-being of my loved ones I am grateful.

Louis Anthony deLise: I am thankful for the care, respect, and dedication of my wife and children. I am very, very grateful for my lifelong career in the music industry.

Tijs Ven: -I'm grateful to be alive on this amazing planet full of wonderful and lovely creatures.
- The second thing I am most grateful for are the creatures that are closest to me, starting with my wife and our furry four-legged babies, to my family, friends and beyond.

Michael Dulin: I am thankful for a roof over my head, a comfortable bed and enough food to eat. Music and silence.

Mark Freshwater: I couldn’t believe it when they told me in September that I had cancer. There is no history of it in my family. After having gotten through multiple health challenges since 2019 it also felt like football “piling on” where I was on the bottom. That aside, I am thankful for vigilant doctors and a medical system offering me remedies. I am scheduled to complete radiation treatments in mid December and looking forward to a healthy 2023.

Craig Urquhart: My Loving husband, and all my loving friends.

Beverly Ritz: I am thankful for my home in the northern California trees I share with with my dogs and cats and where I am continually inspired by the beauty and quiet that surrounds me.

I am grateful to be able to play piano jazz and grateful there are still audiences for my music.
Although the early piano had fifty-four keys compared to the modern piano’s eighty-eight, it had all the other essentials - wire strings, keys, hammers, dampers and escapement.

As the piano evolved, English piano makers concentrated on a more powerful sound while the Germans concentrated on speed and subtlety in the responsiveness of their instruments, so the main differences between the pianos of the two countries was their actions.

The first time a so-called “psychedelic” light show was coordinated with a live performance of music was the world premiere of Alexandr Scriabin’s “Poem of Ecstasy” in New York in 1908. Colored lights were reflected on a screen behind the piano in the huge orchestra.
The 37th Annual Holiday Wishes List: The December issue of Pianotes will include the 37th annual Holiday Wishes List! Yep, the first one was in issue #45 in December 1986! That doesn't seem even remotely possible, but here we are! The list was originally just for my piano students to list their two biggest holiday wishes, but as I got to know more and more composers, pianists, and other musicians, the list expanded greatly! Even though I'm not teaching piano anymore, the list continues to grow. So, if you're reading this issue of Pianotes (and obviously you are!), feel free to shoot me an email (kathypiano@gmail.com) with your two biggest holiday wishes. They are called "holiday wishes" to open it up to those who don't celebrate Christmas as well as those who do, and they are "wishes" because that opens it up to just about anything. The lists are always a combination of heartfelt, thoughtful, and sometimes comical wishes and are always a joy to share. I will put the December issue of Pianotes together the first week of December and will add to the list all month. I'll send out a reminder around Thanksgiving, but you can send your wishes any time.
The earliest-known advertisement for a piano was made in 1775 by John Behrent and placed in the Philadelphia newspapers.

Wigs were popular in Mozart's time because people didn't believe in washing their hair. They put on wigs to cover their own hair and used powders to disguise the smells and dirt.

In opera, the singers were the true stars and were the ones who could demand the most money. Soprano Giulia Massotti incited bidding wars, and in 1666 she could demand more than four times as much money as the composers whose works she performed; before the end of the decade, she was getting paid six times as much.
November Birthdays: Here is a partial list of musical birthdays this month:

1: Joseph Akins (or is it October 31st?), Renee Michele, Brenda Warren, Dyan Garris, Deborah Offenhauser
2: Gina Linee’
3: Darla Bower, Cobb Bussinger
4: Rachel Currea
8: Tiana Andreas
14: Yanni
15: David Nevue
17: Jeff Bjorck and Ovidio De Ferrari
20: Robin Spielberg and Mary Lydia Ryan
21: Paul Avgerinos & Al Jewer
22: Cory Levine
23: Omar Akram
25: David Glass
26: Gary Girouard and Robin Goldsby
27: Vicente Avella and Thad Fiscella
28: Ryan Stewart

A very Happy Birthday to all of you!
Yamaha pianos were awarded honorary grand prizes at world expositions in St. Louis and Seattle in 1904 and 1909, respectively.

When pianist/comedian Victor Borge arrived in the United States in 1940, he was so broke that he applied for a job as a gas station attendant. He was turned down because his English wasn’t good enough.

The flashy Hungarian pianist Balazs Havasi, is known for pushing limits. He has produced crossover albums with pop stars, spoken at TED conferences, and on November 29, 2009 attempted to set the world record for the fastest fingers on a keyboard. The nimble pianist was able to play a single note 498 times in one minute (that’s faster than eight times per second) to capture the record for most key hits in 60 seconds.
November Music Holidays and Observances: The list isn't so long this month, but here are a few reasons to get dressed up and par-tay!

All month: Drum Month, Hip-Hop History Month, International Drum (Percussion) month

6th: National Saxophone Day
8th: World Pianist Day
11th: National Metal Day
13th: National Hug a Musician Day & Symphonic Metal Day
15th: National Drummer Day
16th: Clarinet Day
19th: National Blow Bagpipes Day
23rd: National Jukebox Day
27th: Pins and Needles Day
30th: Perpetual Youth Day
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has signaled the beginning of the Christmas season since 1924.

Robert Schumann was not only a prolific writer and composer, but also a compulsive bookkeeper. He kept a record of 4770 letters he had received, and of 2446 letters that he had written.

The first copyright warning on a published work of music was found attached to a collection of motets by Salamone Rossi issued in Venice in 1623. It involved no legal threats, merely a curse on anyone infringing on the composer’s rights. Anyone who dared to reprint the works without permission would get bitten by a serpent. Readers were told that this threat was authorized by angels.
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving - even if you aren't an American! The photos this month are a few of the flowers in my yard as well as a rather handsome visitor who likes to drive my cats crazy! Have a great November!


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Thackery and Pepper chattering at the crow!

Trivia Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge, the music trivia and "factoids" within Pianotes are true, but I can’t guarantee it.