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28 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

Symphonies were historically commissioned pieces of work. The commission was to pay for the writing and then the performing. Commissioning for symphonies has mostly disappeared so orchestras are not ...
Phillip Siebold's user avatar
22 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

All musical forms, from Gregorian chant to hip hop, are most closely associated with a particular time and place, they go in and out of popularity. Older forms become a niche product, created and ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

Was Freddie Mercury's voice range over 4 octaves?

Apparently it's not: the late singer's inimitable voice was the subject of a study by a team of Austrian, Czech and Swedish authors who set out to analyze Mercury's voice from archived ...
BCdotWEB's user avatar
  • 2,884
19 votes

How do I play a 16⅔ RPM record?

While 16⅔ RPM might be rare, some DJ turntables have a pitch adjustment going as low as -50% (also known as ultrapitch). Note that "33" is really 33⅓, so 16⅔ is exactly half of it. A ...
user1079505's user avatar
17 votes

How do I play a 16⅔ RPM record?

You need something more ancient or actually, more specialist. To give longer playback times, spoken word was often cut at 16 2/3, or even 8 1/3. Radio stations used to use them for pre-recorded shows. ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 7,765
16 votes
Accepted

Where does this famous rhythm pattern come from (oftenly used to knock on a door)?

This pattern comes from a fanfare often used at the end of a musical performance called "Shave and a Haircut- Two Bits" I found this reference to it on Wikipedia: In music, the call "...
Scott ResistTHIS Hamilton's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Where is this "overused" piece of ending originated from?

Ah, the “shave and a haircut, two bits” ending! From what I found it was first used over 120 years ago (with no lyrics) in an 1899 song by Charles Hale, called “At a Darktown Cakewalk.” Your pitches ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
15 votes

Why doesn't anyone write great symphonies any more?

There are still symphonic compositions being made but most are created as scores for movies. John Williams is one of the most prolific soundtrack composers, writing scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones,...
Michael Brown's user avatar
15 votes

Are there any examples in classical music history of "mashups" of two unrelated works?

The technical term is "quodlibet" (meaning "whatever you please"). A famous example is Bach's "Goldberg Variations" in which two folksongs are combined in various ways. ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 261
13 votes

Longest-running artist in music history?

For a solo singer, you're going to have to live a long time to beat Tony Bennet First hit, 1951 with Because of You - still touring in 2017 I spotted a poster for this outside the Albert Hall last ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 7,765
13 votes

Longest-running artist in music history?

The Isley Brothers are the only group to have hit the US Top 100 every single decade between the 50's and the 2000's. That's six decades and counting(!) Lead singer Ron Isley (age 76) has already ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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11 votes

Has a B-side unexpectedly become more popular than A-side?

After a little research (A sides in parentheses): “Rock Around the Clock” (“Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town)”)– Bill Haley and His Comets in 1954. “Tequila” (“Train to Nowhere") – The ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 15.6k
11 votes

Longest-running artist in music history?

Consider Charles Aznavour. Born on 22 May 1924, with a career starting arguably in 1946 (although he was performing as a child). From Wikipedia: Charles's parents introduced him to performing at an ...
BCdotWEB's user avatar
  • 2,884
11 votes

Longest-running artist in music history?

Dame Vera Lynn has clearly beaten everyone else by several decades. Behold the facts - First solo record release 1936 Debut US chart single 1948 (only US because there wasn't a UK chart for a few ...
DaveP's user avatar
  • 491
10 votes

What did Chopin think of the saxophone?

Chopin was uninterested in any instrument other than the piano. As is known, other than pure piano pieces, he only wrote the cello pieces and songs in his very early youth and the two concertos. And ...
José David's user avatar
  • 1,722
10 votes
Accepted

How can the blues be linked to hip hop / rap music?

There's a hip hop relationship with the blues, but perhaps a distant one and not too evident. There aren't many traces, if any, of the more traditional blues in hip hop. No 12 bar form and no blues ...
José David's user avatar
  • 1,722
10 votes

Spinal Tap: Units confusion in building Stonehenge stage prop

Black Sabbath had a model of Stonehenge built as stage prop for the Born Again tour. Its size was misread by the makers who read the size as 15 meters instead of 15 feet. It came out so large that it ...
Jan Johannsen's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Greatest longevity in Rock bands, keeping all initial members

Since you qualify initial members as recording the first album, thus dismissing an earlier single, I believe the winner would be ZZ Top. 1970-present gives them 47 years with the same lineup that ...
SpinDownUGo's user avatar
8 votes

How did Gilbert and Sullivan protect their operas from pirates?

In the begining of 19th century US law (copyright act of 1790) protected only American authors.(1) There were no international copyright agreements between the US and other countries, making it nearly ...
José David's user avatar
  • 1,722
7 votes
Accepted

Why is the Stratocaster guitar so prevalent?

The Stratocaster actually wasn't that popular in the '60s. If you watch the Woodstock movie, for example, you will see more Gibson guitars of all marques, and Fender basses in the main. In the '60s ...
ABragg's user avatar
  • 269
7 votes
Accepted

Why the change to "Let us live to make men free?"

It's a philosophical change. The phrase "die to make men free" has an unmistakeably martial connotation, which matches with the song's origins as a literal "battle hymn" of the Civil War. The modern ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 15.6k
7 votes

What does "classical" mean? Is Dvořák classical?

The term Classical in terms of music has two main distinct meanings that have been mentioned in the comments. In the broadest sense Classical refers to music that is related mostly to the history of ...
jomki's user avatar
  • 429
7 votes
Accepted

How did Tops Records squeeze two songs in each 78 rpm side?

As these records were made before the age of computers & also really before even relatively simple modern vinyl cutting techniques were invented, they only really had two things they could play ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 7,765
7 votes
Accepted

Who is the Elise that Beethoven composed about?

Wikipedia offers some possibilities: Max Unger suggested that Ludwig Nohl may have transcribed the title incorrectly and the original work may have been named "Für Therese", a reference to ...
BCdotWEB's user avatar
  • 2,884
7 votes
Accepted

What's the oldest known song that is still played today?

It depends what you mean by "still played today". The earliest known collection of notated music are the Hurrian Songs which contains the Hurrian Hymn No. 6 that was written circa 1400 BC. There is a ...
Craig Curtis's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Can a band (i.e. Linkin Park) survive the loss of a core member?

This is going to be a bit of a "list question" which isn't great for the SE format, but just for starters [& with no refs, just straight off the top of my head]... Deaths... The Beatles survived ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 7,765
7 votes
Accepted

Are there any kinds of Jazz that use Sitars?

The history of the sitar in jazz, that is the fusion of the sounds of Indian classical music with Western jazz, dates back from the late-1950s or early-1960s when musicians trained in Indian classical ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 15.6k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the source of this clause, often used to mark the completion of something?

There's a Wikipedia page on this riff which is called "Shave and a Haircut". One of the earliest uses was in a 1899 song by Charles Hale: "At a Darktown Cakewalk", although it was used in other songs ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 6,094

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