Tag Archives: music

John Lennon

OK, I’m drawing down to the last couple of posts for this morning. Here is a high-interest (depending on whom you’re teaching, I guess) reading on John Lennon along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Algonquin Wits: Beatrice Kaufman

Beatrice Kaufman, who held little appreciation for music of any sort, once accompanied Oscar Levant to Carnegie Hall to hear Stokowski conduct Bach’s B Minor Mass. While en route to the theater Beatrice realized they were going to be late and urged her escort, ‘In heaven’s name let’s hurry or we’ll miss the intermission.’”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

The 8 Gregorian Church Modes

“Dorian * Hypodorian * Phrygian * Hypophrygian * Lydian * Hypolydian * Mixolydian * Hypomixolydian

The exact origins of this eightfold organization of modes that completely dominated the church music of medieval Christendom remains contentious. Most authorities accept that the Carolingian court borrowed them from ninth-century Byzantine liturgies, which themselves arose out of the ancient priestly chants of the Near East.

Just as in ancient Greece, generation after generation of writers sought to define the effects of their emotions. Dorian was considered to be serious and to tame the passions; Hypodorian tended towards the mournful and tearful; Phrygian incited passion and led towards mystical revelry; Hypophrygian was the mode of tender harmony that tempered anger; Lydian was the music of cheerful happiness; Hypolydian was the tone of devout and emotional piety; Mixolydian united pleasure and sadness; and Hypomixolydian aspired to a sense of perfection and secure, contented knowledge.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

Women’s History Month at TeachRock

OK esteemed users of this blog, before I sign off this morning, I want to call your attention to the fact that it is also Women’s History Month at TeachRock. TeachRock is a branch of the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation and is a repository of rich material on rock music that can be used to meet a variety of social studies and English language arts standards. It’s also material, obviously, that can tempt even the most recalcitrant and alienated students. One of TeachRock’s major supporters is the great Steven Van Zandt, guitarist extraordinaire and star of screen and stage.

Check it out! as we liked to say in the 1970s.

Duke Ellington on Fate

“Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn’t want me to famous too young.”

Duke Ellington

Quoted in N.Y. Times Magazine, 12 September 1965

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, February 21, 2020

For the end of Week III of Black History Month 2020, here is a short reading on the late, great Muddy Waters along with the vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet that attends it.

[Addendum: first, here is a very cool image of Muddy Waters by the great illustrator Drew Friedman; if it weren’t sold out, I would definitely buy it–I’ve already collected a few of Mr. Friedman’s prints. Second, here is Muddy Waters’ appearance at the farewell concert of The Band in 1976, “The Last Waltz.”]

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Condone (vt)

On a sunny Monday afternoon, Presidents’ Day 2020, I’m listening to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (one of the earliest iterations, featuring the late, great Clifford Brown) play Dizzy Gilliespie’s masterpiece “A Night in Tunisia.” I’m on break, and man, do I need it.

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb condone, which is only used transitively–a direct object must follow it. I cannot think of single reason why students, upon their high school graduation, shouldn’t know this oft-used English word.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.