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The Double Bass | A Minute with Miles
The Double Bass | A Minute with Miles

Audio

The double bass is the one member of the modern violin family whose roots are in the viola da gamba, or viol family. The next time you see a double bass, notice that its back is flat, like a viol’s...
The Glockenspiel  | A Minute with Miles
The Glockenspiel | A Minute with Miles

Audio

When a percussionist says, “I’m playing bells in this piece,” he means he’s playing the glockenspiel. Glocke is the German word for bell, and Glockenspiel literally means “bell-play.” The modern...
The Trumpet  | A Minute with Miles
The Trumpet | A Minute with Miles

Audio

The Trumpet is the highest pitched and most brilliant member of the brass family. Miles Hoffman discusses the history of the trumpet.
The Harp  | A Minute with Miles
The Harp | A Minute with Miles

Audio

Here's a little secret: harpist don't use their pinkies even though they have 47 strings to play. In today's episode, Miles Hoffman describes how the Harp is played.
Vibrato, Part 3   | A Minute with Miles
Vibrato, Part 3 | A Minute with Miles

Audio

I’ve been talking this week about vibrato, the vibrato that string players use to warm up their sounds, and the vocal vibrato that’s the natural product of healthy singing. All vibrato consists of...
Vibrato, Part 1  | A Minute with Miles
Vibrato, Part 1 | A Minute with Miles

Audio

When violinists play, their left hands always seem to shake. But it’s not because they’re nervous. Violinists, violists, cellists, and double bass players all use a technique called vibrato.
Violin Family I | A Minute with Miles
Violin Family I | A Minute with Miles

Audio

Have you ever wondered how the violin came to play such an important role in the history of classical music? Well, it starts with singing. The invention of opera, in late 16th century Florence, marks...
Vibrato, Part 2  | A Minute with Miles
Vibrato, Part 2 | A Minute with Miles

Audio

Yesterday I talked about vibrato, the technique that string players use—rocking the fingers of their left hands back and forth to create small oscillations in pitch that result in a warmer, more...
The Clarinet | A Minute with Miles
The Clarinet | A Minute with Miles

Audio

The clarinet was the last of the principal woodwind instruments to join the orchestra. The modern clarinet evolved from earlier forms in the early 1700's—later than the modern oboe, bassoon, and flute...
Serenade | A Minute with Miles
Serenade | A Minute with Miles

Audio

Serenade is one of those musical terms that has meant many different things at many different times. The term itself comes from the Italian sereno, which is from the Latin serenus, which means “serene...
The Development of the Piano | A Minute with Miles
The Development of the Piano | A Minute with Miles

Audio

The harpsichord, the keyboard workhorse of the Baroque period, is an instrument with a problem: varying the touch on the keys has absolutely no effect on volume or tone quality. Depress a key gently...
Abraham Lincoln | A Minute with Miles
Abraham Lincoln | A Minute with Miles

Audio

President's Day is observed in the United States on the third Monday of February. February 12 is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and I wonder if you knew that our sixteenth president was a great music...
Francis Poulenc | A Minute with Miles
Francis Poulenc | A Minute with Miles

Audio

Francis Poulenc didn’t have to depend on composition for his living—he was the heir to the fortune of the Rhône-Poulenc pharmaceutical company—but he nonetheless turned out an enormous body of work in...
Chamber Music Rehearsals | A Minute with Miles
Chamber Music Rehearsals | A Minute with Miles

Audio

Chamber music rehearsals are very different from orchestra rehearsals. In an orchestra rehearsal, it’s the conductor’s job to make the overall musical decisions and to ensure that the members of the...
Seymour Barab | A Minute with Miles
Seymour Barab | A Minute with Miles

Audio

The American composer Seymour Barab started out as a pianist and organist, but as a teenager he took up the cello, and as a cellist he became a highly successful orchestra musician, founder of...