Tag Archives: Music

Something Beautiful

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Ugliness can give birth to beautiful things. It’s difficult to overstate the ugliness of the Caribbean sugar cane plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries.  African slaves were forced to work in brutal conditions so middle-class Europeans could spoon sugar into their cups of coffee and tea.  The slaves clung to as much of their indigenous culture as they could.  That included… Read more »

Finding Our Way Home

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In the musical The Sound of Music, the Von Trapp children beg Fraulein Maria to teach them how to sing. She insists that it’s easy.  She introduces the basics of harmony, rhythm, and tonality – the building blocks of Western music for the past thousand years.  Maria teaches the notes that make up the classic octave.  We begin at Do. … Read more »