After months of deadly trench warfare, on Dec. 24, 1914, German and British soldiers in Belgium suddenly ceased hostilities and, through the singing of carols, celebrated Christmas together. This film documents their spontaneous musical truce with eyewitness reports, proving that "people who make music together cannot be enemies, at least not while the music lasts" … Read more
Born Sept. 5, 1912 in Los Angeles, California Died Aug. 11, 1992 in Manhattan, New York “There are two things that don’t have to mean anything; one is music, and the other is laughter.” – John Cage, paraphrasing Immanuel Kant. (Cage agreed with Kant that music and laughter don’t have to mean anything in order … Read more
Don’t underestimate the power of either sports or music when it comes to exciting a crowd. Even as a tormented composer writing under the harsh restrictions and demands of Communism, in his 1929 ballet The Golden Age big-time soccer fan and sometime soccer referee Shostakovich recreated a soccer match. In this ballet, a communist soccer team … Read more
Since 1998, the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra has performed on musical instruments they make from fresh vegetables. (I couldn’t make this up.) They shop for veggies at the local produce market, spend a few hours making their vegetable instruments, then after their concert, they throw them into the pot and serve up vegetable soup. Contrary to … Read more
If you thought boomwhackers were just for kids, think again. Better still, listen to the percussion group Plastik Musik in their astounding Boomwhacker performance: The first time I met Craig Ramsell, creator of the Boomwhackers, was in Phoenix, Arizona, about 15 years ago at a music education conference. At the time, I knew his newly … Read more
How musical is a bonsai? Let me count the ways. . . In the words of the composer/performer Diego Stocco: “I always liked bonsai trees, and I was curious to try the approach I used for "Music from a Tree" on a smaller scale, so I bought a bonsai and recorded this little experimental piece. … Read more
This bandleader and musical parodist used “found sounds” from hiccups to gunshots in his musical spoofs, paving the way for STOMP, Blast, P.D.Q. Bach, Frank Zappa, Monty Python, & others. He (and Donald Duck) even spoofed Hitler, who probably wasn’t amused.
A keyboard stairway in the Stockholm subway offers commuters a tuneful and healthier alternative to the escalator.
Mosquito duet leads to love. . .and the perfect fifth. Get the buzz about the musical talents of the pesky mosquito during courtship.
Do monkeys respond emotionally to music? Well, maybe not to human music, but they respond with excitement or relaxation to species specific music composed just for them.
A cat who plays piano, a dancing cockatoo, a blues-singing dog… who says music is loved just by humans?