Posted in Music stories, Musical Creativity

Lin-Manuel Miranda

If you go back to last July (or even farther), it’s been an amazing year and run for Lin-Manuel Miranda. Last July, the video of Hamilton was released on Disney Plus and when you have a daughter who is a self-professed musical theater nerd, it’s going to be pretty much CONSTANTLY on.

This July, In the Heights, another creation by Lin-Manuel was released. Again, this was a production that he created years ago, it won a number of awards on Broadway (deservedly so!) and the movie adaptation of the show was fantastic! Once again, the movie and the soundtrack was on constant rotation at our house.

And then, last Friday, August 6th, the movie Vivo was released on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it, go do it! I wasn’t familiar with much of anything relating to the movie, other than Lin-Manuel did the music, and I was blown away. It was an excellently written movie, with an engaging story, and of course, as it seems any time Lin-Manuel is involved, excellent music. The song “Beat of My Own Drum” has been a staple at my house this week, as my younger daughter has taken to that song as HER anthem.

It is clearly evident that Lin-Manuel Miranda is extremely talented. Take a listen to the music he’s created for In the Heights, Hamilton, Moana, Mary Poppins Returns and Vivo, and you’ll hear it. Of course, with that talent takes work. Also, it’s extremely easy to see that he is regularly hard at work as what he has been creating and continues to create takes up time, energy and effort. But, when you fall in love with music, and making music, as Lin-Manuel has, the work isn’t hard. It’s fun.

Since it’s been stuck in my head all week, I figured I’d share!
Posted in Different styles, Music literacy, Music stories

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons, by Vivaldi, are exquisitely written and the Spring theme is one of the more famous melodies out there. But why did Vivaldi write it?

The Four Seasons is a concerto, one of over 500 written by Vivaldi, who was born in 1678 and died in 1741. The thing about this concerto, though, was that it was radically different than all of the other concertos written at this time. What was different about it? It was themed. Up until this point, concertos were just….concertos. Typically labelled by what key they were in, each movement was typically titled by the tempo, or speed of the piece.

But Vivaldi radically changed the musical landscape around him in writing The Four Seasons. You see, he encouraged the players as well as the audience to use their imaginations. If you’re listening to music, do you typically associate it with a season? Probably not. But, if you listen to the Spring movement, and you’re thinking about all of the things that happen in springtime, it doesn’t take much work to imagine the music being the background for it.

We can definitely thank Vivaldi for many masterworks of music that are in the world today. Personally, one of my all time favorite choral works is his “Gloria”.

Check out Gloria, The Four Seasons and many other compositions by Vivaldi. You may find a new favorite classical composer!