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Music Lessons

Five tips for playing jazz and learning to improvise

Do you want to start playing jazz and to learn how to improvise? You don’t need exceptional talent or complicated harmony studies to do this. You just need to practice the right way, patiently and neatly. In this lesson I offer some tips to make this work less tiring and more effective. So here are…Continue readingFive tips for playing jazz and learning to improvise

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Monday Notes

Bons Amigos, the unpredictable music of Toninho Horta

[Monday Notes No. 177] Bons Amigos is a song by Brazilian guitarist and songwriter Toninho Horta. The song has all the poetry and melancholy of bossanova, but the harmonies are decidedly daring, compared to the classics of this musical genre. Let’s listen to Bons Amigos, in the refined version by pianist and singer Leila Pinheiro.Continue readingBons Amigos, the unpredictable music of Toninho Horta

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Monday Notes

Milly, “Come pioveva”. For censorship, just change a word

[Monday Notes No. 176] Come pioveva is a song composed in 1918 by Neapolitan composer Armando Gill. The song has all the elegance of Neapolitan music of those years, and is masterfully interpreted by Carla Mignone, aka Milly. There are two versions of the song, as censorship intervened, distorting the meaning of the song by…Continue readingMilly, “Come pioveva”. For censorship, just change a word

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Monday Notes

All the Things You Are, the refined music of Jerome Kern

[Monday Notes No. 175] It is a curious fact that one of the most played jazz pieces ever, All the Things You Are, had such a disastrous start. The song was composed by Jerome Kern and has become one of the most played and most studied jazz standards. After hearing the song in Sarah Vaughan’s…Continue readingAll the Things You Are, the refined music of Jerome Kern

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Piano

Schumann op. 68 Album for the Young, complete review and study guide

Robert Schumann’s Opus 68, also known as the ‘Album for the Young’ is a collection of easy pieces for piano study. The German musician composed these pieces in 1848 for his daughters. For those who have been studying piano for at least a couple of years, playing some of these pieces can be very inspiring.…Continue readingSchumann op. 68 Album for the Young, complete review and study guide

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Monday Notes

Milly Carla Mignone, a special Thursday with Bruno Lauzi

[Monday Notes No. 174] Milly Carla Mignone was an Italian singer and actress. Born in 1905, much of her career as an actress dates back to the first half of the 20th century, while her studio recordings date back to 1964, when she was therefore over forty years old. Although she was very strong in…Continue readingMilly Carla Mignone, a special Thursday with Bruno Lauzi

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Monday Notes

Just Friends, a tritone interval for a love that has ended

[Monday Notes No. 173] Just Friends is a classic jazz standard from 1931, composed by John Klenner (music) and Sam M. Lewis (words). It is a song about a love that ended and became just a friendship. The piece is original in its lyrics but also in its melody, which repeatedly performs a descending tritone…Continue readingJust Friends, a tritone interval for a love that has ended

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Monday Notes

La canzone di Marinella, a simple melody for Fabrizio De André

[Monday Notes No. 172] La canzone di Marinellais one of Fabrizio De André’s most famous pieces, and is also one of his earliest songs as it was composed in 1962. The lyrics of the song have been much studied, the Ligurian singer-songwriter in fact has his most original point in his lyrics. However, this piece…Continue readingLa canzone di Marinella, a simple melody for Fabrizio De André

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Piano

Digital or acoustic? How to choose your first piano

Have you decided to start playing the piano and are trying to figure out which piano to buy? Are you undecided between an acoustic piano and a keyboard or between different digital piano models? Here are some tips to help you decide which instrument is right for you.Continue readingDigital or acoustic? How to choose your first piano

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Monday Notes

Blue In Green, the Impressionists’ painting… in jazz

[Monday Notes No. 171] Blue In Green is a track from Miles Davis’ famous album Kind Of Blue, released in 1959 and considered the most successful jazz album ever. Miles Davis wanted to explore modal jazz with this work, and helped to spread it among musicians and audiences alike. I tried to analyse the melody,…Continue readingBlue In Green, the Impressionists’ painting… in jazz

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