I’ve made no effort to hide the fact that I’m a well-educated individual. I even say I earned my degree instead of “got” or “acquired” it. I know that sounds pompous. I just want to emphasize the fact that heroic effort and cunning was involved. It’s this attitude, I think, coupled with the fact that I studied something artsy-fartsy like #music that often gets me labeled as an elitist. That and the top hat and monocle I’m always wearing. [Read more…]
Of all the music that I teach to young kids, I usually rely on a surprisingly small handful of pieces to pass on to them. Standards like The Pink Panther, Linus and Lucy, and Let it Be are in my go-to folder. Lately, though, the tides have shifted to a far nerdier realm of music that I am more than happy to explore with my students; the music of classic video games. Last year, I transcribed a simplified version of the Super Mario Theme to add to my folder and I’ve found it’s now the one I’m most frequently copying.
I toyed with the idea of transcribing the full score of the first Mario game but abandoned that goal after I read this article. Someone has already beaten me to it, and quite frankly, I’m relieved. Transcription is a lot of tedious work. Joseph Karam, a pianist who is apparently either unemployed or independently wealthy, spent several months completing this task. Note by note, he etched out eighteen different musical themes complete with optimized fingering. You can even listen to each piece as a MIDI file on his website, and it’s undoubtedly legit. [Read more…]
I still have a soft spot for the things I loved as a child, and the thing I loved most as a child was video games. Like many of my generation, I have been gaming for essentially my whole life. I didn’t outgrow it as my parents hoped, and have only recently realized what a profound part of my upbringing gaming has played. [Read more…]
Fun title, huh? I can explain. It’s kind of a long story, but I’ve told it many times and I’m getting pretty good at it so I’m gonna try to write it out. I’ve been getting a little too high up on my soapbox lately, so I thought I’d try and settle down with something a little more fun. [Read more…]
In most colleges, students are required to take humanities courses to fulfill the institution’s promise to impart unto its student body “well-roundedness,” a word I’m pretty sure was invented by college recruiters. This usually means the student must take music appreciation, a course that according to my friends’ descriptions sounds unspeakably dull. [Read more…]