Found on Boing Boing: a database of “public” pianos. “…currently tallying 8,287 public pianos in 117 countries around the world. The random page generates cool galleries of people playing public pianos.”
Music Radar: Roland unveils 50th anniversary website and teases a new ‘50th model’ to be launched on 18 April
Music Radar: Roland unveils 50th anniversary website and teases a new ‘50th model’ to be launched on 18 April. “Roland has kicked off its 50th anniversary year by launching the Roland at 50 website, which showcases milestone moments in music history and celebrates the artists and Roland products that have helped to shape it. The centrepiece of this is a bespoke timeline; this showcases more than 180 Roland products from the ‘70s to the present day. There are also several in-depth articles covering the history of Roland samplers, the sounds behind A-ha’s Take On Me, the enduring appeal of the TR-606 drum machine and the legacy of Rush drummer Neil Peart.”
American Songwriter: New Website Celebrates the Legacy of Les Paul. “There is no name better known to guitarists, songwriters, guitar collectors, and music fans than the name Les Paul. A website recently launched that is dedicated to the inventor, musician, and music technology pioneer who has become known as the ‘father of modern music’. It celebrates his remarkable life through hundreds of rare videos, photo galleries, behind-the-scenes experiences, and more.”
The Verge: Google Search adds guitar tuner to its smorgasbord of built-in features. “Google Search now has a handy built-in tuner, letting you use the microphone on your phone or computer to tune a guitar, Android Police reports.”
The Conversation: Virtual exhibition breathes life into Lesotho’s musical tradition and clay art. “The start of the news broadcast on Radio Lesotho is signalled by an unforgettable vibrating sound, rather harsh, as if made by a large bird. This is the lesiba, a musical bow. The lesiba was played by boys and men as they herded cattle, before radios and cellphones began to take the place of the national musical instrument. Nowadays, there is little apparent concern for maintaining interest in the lesiba at school or any other national level in Lesotho. The unique sound of the instrument – once evocative of a rural way of life – seems to exist in a disconnected, disembodied fashion on the radio.”
Slashgear: Researchers say putting masks on instruments reduces COVID risk. “Putting a mask on certain instruments can effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 similar to wearing a face mask, according to a new study from the University of Colorado at Boulder. The researchers focused on three different possible ways to mitigate COVID-19 spread when playing brass, woodwind, and reed instruments, including putting masks on them.”
Science News: What science tells us about reducing coronavirus spread from wind instruments. “Though restrictions are now easing, we still face questions about how our instruments play into infection risk. Wind instruments — brasses as well as woodwinds like my clarinet — produce sound through human breath. And human breath spreads COVID-19. So how can we perform while keeping ourselves and our audiences safe, during the pandemic and beyond? To find answers, wind musicians, including myself, turned to science.”
KIMT: Mayo Clinic Launching “Carillon Cam” Livestream. “The decision to have the tunes streamed comes as more people are still working from home. People who are no longer in The Med City have also reached out and told Mayo Clinic they miss the sounds from it. Carillonneur Austin Ferguson is super excited to have his music reach more ears.” A carillon is a musical instrument consisting of bronze bells which are “played” with a keyboard. You can learn more about them here.
Input: Scan Band turns your lunch into a playable AR musical instrument. “Artiphon, the company behind novel musical instruments the Orba (which we reviewed last year) and Instrument 1, has made an augmented reality (AR) app called Scan Band that lets users turn objects around them into virtual instruments…. Once a user’s opened Scan Band in Snapchat they can point their cameras at quotidien objects (like food, pets, plants) and they’ll be transformed into AR stickers. They can then bang out sounds on the stickers.”
Glasgow Times: New online database resource tracks fiddle music origins. “A NEW online resource dedicated to finding some of the oldest Scottish fiddle music has launched. The searchable online database, which was created as part of PhD research at the University of Glasgow, will allow users to find original sources of tunes, as well as track information regarding the creators and collectors of the songs.”
The Violin Channel: American Viola Society Creates a Database for Underrepresented Composers. “The goal is to amplify the voices and music that have been overruled by white, Western Euro-centric, male narratives and compositions. Standard repertoire can be re-evaluated and examined through a more culturally inclusive and broad lens. The database information page offers plenty of information to consider when going into programming and performing a piece, or pieces, by a BIPOC composer.” Unfortunately this article doesn’t really get into what the database offers. Allow me to point you toward a September 2020 article in the Daily Wildcat with a more extensive background.
The Guardian: ‘A new obsession’: the people who learned to play instruments during lockdown. “Many people dream of playing the piano or learning the guitar, but what about the Celtic harp? Or the dulcimer? Perhaps the kalimba is more your style. The Guardian has spoken to dozens of people who have used their time in lockdown to fulfil an ambition to make music, with a diverse array of musical instruments being reported.”