Fine Arts

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New Arts for Old: Medieval Music 1100-1480

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Explore the early domination of Gregorian chant, the flowering of love poetry in France, and much more. The liberal use of musical examples helps to convey the extrovert boldness and excitement of Medieval music. Hosted by Dr. Christopher Page, the founder and director of Gothic Voices, the first professional vocal ensemble to specialize in Medieval secular music.

Music Credits

Musick's Feaste: Music of the Renaissance 1480-1600

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Follow the musical renaissance in Europe and England, tracing the spread of the Flemish School through France to Italy. Hosted by Anthony Rooley, Director of the Consort of Musicke and founder of the Early Music Centre in London.

PART ONE:

"A Pearl Distorted": The Baroque Period 1600-1750

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The complex period known as Baroque embraced many different types of music and covered a large geographic area. An examination of opera, considered the great dramatic spectacle of Baroque entertainment, is also included. Hosted by Michael Oliver of the BBC Radio program Music Weekly; and Christopher Hogwood, Musicologist, broadcaster, and Director of the Academy of Ancient Music.

PART ONE:

Instruments Around the World

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This is truly world music—an international collection of musical instruments, including the koto (a Japanese zither), the duda (a Hungarian bagpipe), mbira (a linguaphone from Zimbabwe), and hardanger fiddle (a folk violin from Norway). Author and composer Andy Jackson talks to Jim Smith, editor of the Sussex Tapes Music series and Director of Music at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester, U.K.

Gospel Train | The Civil War Era

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In this video, students learn about "Gospel Train". “Gospel Train” is a code-word song used in the Underground Railroad by slaves, often sung just before an escape in an attempt to let all who wished to go know that the time was near. In this segment, folk singers Rhonda and Sparky Rucker perform the piece on harmonica and guitar.

 

Jack Frosty

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Learn the history behind the classic children's songs "Frosty the Snowman" and "Peter Cottontail" through the eyes of lyricist Jack Rollins.

Taiko Dojo: Music

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In this Spark video produced by KQED, hear the taiko drumming of Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka and the San Francisco Taiko Dojo. This art form is being performed in San Jose's Japantown as the Taiko Dojo troop seek to keep this musical form and piece of Japanese heritage alive.

Elisa Korenne: Hormel Girls

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In 1947, Jay Hormel founded the Hormel Girls to create jobs for women veterans of World War II and to promote Hormel products like Spam and Dinty Moore. The glamourous group of musicians and singers grew to include 60 members and was a top rated show on three national radio networks. The Hormel Girls are a true treasure of Minnesota history and an early symbol of the independent woman.

Scandinavian Traditions | Music and Tradition

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Traditional music and dance is one way that North Dakotans celebrate their Scandinavian heritage and find part of their own identity in their ethnic background. “No tree grows strong by cutting off its roots.” Understanding where we come from helps us know who we are. North Dakota’s largest demographic is people of Scandinavian descent. Many people in North Dakota are aware of their roots, know who they are, and take an active role in keeping those traditions alive.

Boyz II Men | Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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Experience a musical tribute to Billy Joel in this clip featuring the ensemble Boyz II Men at the annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In commemoration of George and Ira Gershwin's contributions to American song and culture, the Library of Congress names an annual award to an American musican. The George and Ira Gershwin Collection is housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress and provides a wealth of orchestrations, lyric sheets, librettos, and audio recordings.

Natalie Maines | Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize

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Experience a musical tribute to Billy Joel in this clip featuring vocalist Natalie Maines at the annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. In commemoration of George and Ira Gershwin's contributions to American song and culture, the Library of Congress names an annual award to an American musican. The George and Ira Gershwin Collection is housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress and provides a wealth of orchestrations, lyric sheets, librettos, and audio recordings.

Get Your Drums Right | Beat Making Lab

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A crash course in mixing tracks, recording sounds, and expressing your creativity through electronic music with the PBS Beat Making Lab DJs. Using local sounds from Senegalese musicians and sampling real Sabar drummer recordings, watch as these professional DJs transform a bland track into a colorful and exciting new beat. It's Mixing 101!

Elisa Korenne: Mail Order Bride

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Singer songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, MN writes original songs about historical people and events of the northern plains. One such figure is Rachel Calof. She traveled from Russia to North Dakota in 1894 as an immigrant homesteader and a mail order bride. Her story is a riveting and candid look at the hardships of life on the prairie.

Elisa Korenne: Sister Lumberjack

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Singer songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, Minnesota writes original songs about historical people and events of the northern plains. In 1893, northern Minnesota was experiencing a logging boom but it was a dangerous industry. Back then, health insurance was in the form of health tickets to St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, MN. Sister Amata Mackett of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery sold these tickets to lumberjacks and quickly became know as Sister Lumberjack.

Elisa Korenne: Root Beer Lady

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Singer-songwriter Elisa Korenne of New York Mills, Minnesota, writes songs about unusual characters and obscure events in Minnesota history.

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