Category Archives: Articles

‘How Often Should I Have My Piano Tuned?’

Getting a piano generally in tune seems like a complicated task. In fact, it is literally impossible to tune a piano perfectly. For an explanation of this surprising problem, see this video from Minute Physics.

Although it’s not my expertise, a student recently asked me how often they should have their piano tuned. I did a little casual research (thank you, Google). It seems like the consensus among piano technicians is between one and four times a year. Here are summaries of some of the top results: Continue reading

Book Review: ‘Kissability’

KissabilityKissability by Katherine Duke by Katherine Duke is a short, easy read. The longest chapter is only nine pages. However, it offers a lot of material, and a huge number of different perspectives.

The people who responded to Duke’s questions are very honest about their experiences. Their anecdotes are sometimes really funny. I especially like the advice from John’s dad in Chapter 10, who sat him down as a boy and began by saying, “Son, girls are like eggs…”

Other times, they’re gut-wrenchingly sad. When William is asked, in Chapter 7, what he thinks the best or most beautiful parts of his body are, he just replies, “N/A”.

Much of the book seems uncategorizable, like the fictional dialogues comprised of different people’s answers to the questions, or the pages that consist only of poetry or single-sentence quotes. Continue reading

Hypermeter in Zelda: A Link to the Past

Legend of Zelda: A Link To The PastWhile attending UMass Amherst, I wrote a paper on musical hypermeter in Koji Kondo’s music for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It isn’t perfect and I would love to rewrite it someday, but it does contain some fairly accurate transcriptions of the soundtrack in lead sheet notation.

You can download a PDF of it here.

The Gig Triangle

Scales

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons.

A few years ago, bassist Tom Kenrick articulated a policy on his blog called the “gig triangle”. The idea is that there are three factors he considers when deciding whether or not to take a gig. These factors–the three points on the triangle–are the quality of the music he will be making, the quality of the people he will be interacting with, and the amount of money offered to him for the gig. If a gig satisfies two out of those three variables, then Kenrick considers it worth taking, writing, “two out of three ain’t bad.”

Continue reading