February 22, 2016
Often thought of as the last bastions of hush, libraries are louder than one might have heard. So tune in and listen closely to Philadelphia's 300-plus-year musical legacy. Forsaking it in their religious services and sneering at it in their private lives, the Quaker founders of Philadelphia were a decidedly unmusical bunch. Fortunately for future ears, other religious and ethnic groups were counted among the city's early settlers, many with active musical traditions - and instruments - in tow. The mystic Johannes Kelpius and his small band of pietist pilgrims developed a sophisticated musical practice while living alone in the woods along the Wissahickon Creek near Germantown.
December 14, 2015 |
Last week Arthur Kuck celebrated a birthday. His daughter brought ribs and cake, and trimmed his fluffy white hair. His friends sang "Happy Birthday" and gave him a round of applause. His wife squeezed his hand and said proudly, "Ninety-one. " Now, Kuck couldn't tell you about any of that. Advancing dementia has curtailed both his short-term memory and his ability to communicate. "Sentences are becoming harder, if not impossible," said his daughter, Jane Frick. "He knows, but he can't verbalize.
December 4, 2014 |
IN 1970, Mildred Krentel bought a toy bell set in hopes of bringing music into the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. The Melmark co-founder, who died in 2013 at 91, arranged the bells in a line like piano keys and began with simple, one-note melodies. She found that her musicians reacted well to her hand cues instead of sheet music. When it came time to name the handbell choir, the choice was simple. "It brought so much joy to their lives that they called themselves the Joybells," said Sue Graves, co-director of the group.
September 1, 2014 |
John C. Sampson, 70, of Pennsauken, a Vietnam veteran and charter bus driver, died of a heart attack at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden on Wednesday, Aug. 27. Mr. Sampson, who had been battling health issues, served in Vietnam for four years as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force. It was 1972 when Mr. Sampson, a tenor in his church choir, went to a church music convention near Wilkes-Barre and met Mary, a 26-year-old music teacher and professional cellist. Each caught the other's eye while sifting through sheet music.
August 15, 2014 |
When we first heard about Bob Taub, he was a concert pianist and inventor with some lofty goals. He saw his new technology - an analytical engine that can read sheet music and translate it into sound, or turn a performance into a musical score - as a way to transform how people learn and perform all kinds of music. For the moment, though, Taub may have to settle for something a bit more down to earth: creating a new app that Teen Vogue suggested may supplant Snapchat as teenagers' "new favorite thing.
February 10, 2013 |
The passion for collecting can be a happy diversion. It also can quickly turn into a space invader. And when you happen to own what is believed to be the largest private sheet-music collection in the world, as Sandy Marrone does, space becomes an overwhelming challenge. It all began 38 years ago, when Marrone was seeking a diversion beyond her work as a photojournalist for Penn Mutual in Philadelphia and as a new mother. She had energy to spare. Soon, passion turned into magnificent obsession, as the sheet-music collection morphed into a thriving business, with collectors flocking to her. Five years ago, when Sandy and her husband, Dennis, looked around at their two-story house in the Cinnamon Hill section of Cinnaminson, one word flashed: "Basement!"
January 10, 2013 |
Tuesday night upstairs at World Cafe Live, a one-night Woodstock-in-a-phone-booth broke out, with the title "Philly Plays Song Reader : a New Album by Beck Hansen. " It was an introduction to both a major new album and to the local music scene, as 20 Philly-region acts played through the 20-plus songs of Beck's Song Reader . This disheveled hoot of a hootenanny left the packed, sweltering audience with two impressions: (1) Song Reader is full of various, witty, retro-futzing, often poetic songs, in an exciting and challenging new/old package; and (2)
December 26, 2012 |
We did what the guy wanted. Beck, I mean. Beck Hansen. Singer, producer, experimentalist, pop devil. Beck has a new album, titled Song Reader. It's unlike any other. There is no CD. No download. No audio. As of this writing, you cannot hear Beck doing an authoritative, this-is-the-song performance. What is there? All the songs are offered - in sheet music. Want to hear them? (They're pretty fun.) Go get your guitar, piano, or ukulele, and play them. It's not so much an audio release as a publishing event.
December 19, 2012 |
Name that Christmas tune and Ronald M. Clancy knows the story of its origin. He'll mention the composer and often the lyricist, arranger, or artists who have performed it. Pressed for more details, he'll reveal the label, estate, or recording company that holds the rights to the song. And he might even describe a great painting that he thinks captures its spirit. The Christmas-music historian, who lives in Lower Township, N.J., when he's not delving into library stacks around the country, is the founder of Christmas Classics Ltd. in Cape May, a company that sells thoughtfully compiled packages of holiday CDs, bound sheet music, and finely illustrated companion books.
November 6, 2012 |
Joseph Anthony Celano, 96, a music-shop owner who, as mayor of Hatboro from 1981 to 2005, married more than 2,000 couples, died Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Luther Woods Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Hatboro. When Mr. Celano was elected mayor for the first time, he didn't belong to a political party, although he would become a Republican. After operating Hatboro Music Shop for 36 years, however, he knew everybody, he later told The Inquirer. Before the election, cars and vans drove around for weeks with unsolicited, homemade "Go With the Flow, Vote for Joe" signs.