Blog Archives

Windows XP and Ubuntu start-up music

I just realized that the start-up music for Ubuntu is a variation on the start-up music for Windows XP. (You can hear the Ubuntu theme in this video at around 0:10. The Windows XP theme is in this video at

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Posted in Music

Eclectic mix podcast

If you’re looking for a way to discover some new music, check out Eclectic Mix. The show lives up to its name, featuring all kinds of music. For example, here’s a show with Latin Giants of Jazz and here’s one

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Calendars, Connections, and Cats

James Burke had a television series Connections in which he would create a connection between two very different things. For example, in one episode he starts with the discovery of the touchstone for testing precious metals and tells a winding

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Posted in Math, Music

Listening to music with your whole body

Amazing presentation from Evelyn Glennie, a deaf percussionist.

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The opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night"

The opening chord of the Beatles song “A Hard Day’s Night” has been something of a mystery. Guitarists have tried to reproduce the chord with limited success. Turns out there’s a good reason why they haven’t figured it out: the

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Posted in Math, Music

Circle of fifths and number theory

Why does music have a circle of fifths but no circle of thirds or circle of sixths?

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Posted in Music, Uncategorized

Circle of fifths and roots of two

A chromatic scale in Western music divides an octave into 12 parts. There are slightly different ways of partitioning the octave into 12 parts, and the various approaches have long and subtle histories. This post will look at the root

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Saving up for an avocado

Ellen Finn describes how she quit her job and exhausted her retirement savings to become a musician when she was around 50 years old. I was totally broke. I was living on beans and I know thousands of bean recipes.

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Pentatonic scale demo with Bobby McFerrin

video

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Amazing jazz musician

Brian Lopes is amazing. I’d never heard of him until he was featured on the Eclectic Mix podcast a few days ago. The podcast describes his music “a high energy expedition crossing from jazz to R&B to funk and back

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Music recommendations

I’ve started a new page to list CDs for music mentioned here.

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Best podcast intro music

Here are three of my favorite podcast intro themes. .NET Rocks by Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell. Carl Franklin composed the intro theme, Toy Boy, and recorded the song with his brother Jay. The tune is catchy, the words are

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Dave Brubeck mass

Judging from the comments on previous posts, it seems a good number of Dave Brubeck fans read this blog. Everyone familiar with Dave Brubeck knows about Take Five from his album Time Out. But I wonder how many know about

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Name that tune

There’s a tune I heard at a concert when I was growing up that has stuck in my head ever since. If you know the name of the tune, please let me know. Full size sheet music audio file Thanks,

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Sharps and flats in HTML

Apparently there’s no HTML entity for the flat symbol, ♭. In my previous post, I just spelled out B-flat because I thought that was safer; it’s possible not everyone would have the fonts installed to display B♭ correctly. So how

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Posted in Typography