Filed under classical music

The Wisdom of Benedetti

The brilliant violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti has been wading into the quagmire known as education in Britain with a claim that children should be forced to listen to classical music. She is passionate about her music and spends a lot of time on musical education, and now claims that instead of playing video games kids … Continue reading

A Forgotten Genius

This is a portrait by Gainsborough of John Joseph Merlin, born in Belgium, a brilliant inventor & mechanician who built one of the most beautiful pieces of automata, the silver swan now in the Bowes museum. He worked with Charles Burney on improving keyboard  & other musical instruments, is often claimed he invented rollers skates, … Continue reading


This film by Maxine Trump is about the efforts NY Greenpeace to save southern Alaskan rainforest from  being cleat felled to extinction, and approaches some of the major guitar makers for help. The bulk of the ancient logs go to make furniture in Asia, buy guitar boards need very old spruce, so they went fact … Continue reading

Georgian Music

When Henry VIII severed links with Rome, England then had a problem as to what sorts of arts would be acceptable, as they continued to be Christian, but Rome was seen as decadent and dangerous, so Protestant countries had to invent their own forms of worship and entertainments. This is from a BBC feature, Rule … Continue reading

Bath Assembly Rooms

Bath Assembly Rooms

In Eighteenth century England , any town of any note had assembly rooms, for dinners and balls, but also music recitals, public meetings and lectures. Bath had two in competition with each other by mid century, but the fashions changed, people had parties with friends and they fell into decline. The surviving, upper rooms are … Continue reading

Bath Bathing

Bath Bathing

Here’s a few pics of the major tourist attraction that is at the centre of Bath. There was a group of Italian school kids there looking very bored. As if they don’t have better stuff on their doorsteps. It’s a rather confusing place, starting as a holy bath where nobody was allowed to swim, to … Continue reading

Penguin Music

I’m not sure when I first heard the Penguin Café Orchestra, but it was a long time ago. Founded back in the 70s by British composer/guitarist Simon Jeffes. He was sick with a very bad bout of food poisoning, and dreamed of a place down the road, the Penguin Café, where people were living separate … Continue reading

Country Idylls in English Music

Last night’s broadcast of Stuart Maconie’s ‘The Peoples’ songs’ was not one of the best, as it was not very focused and I am starting to think the series is running out of ideas, though there were some good bits to it. It started out mentioning the 1970s when rock stars were buying huge lear … Continue reading