Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Learning | Fun with Musical Directions

"Smorzando," I read, on an old photo of some sheet music. I was exploring The Commons, a part of the website that is dedicated to sharing the world's public photo archives. Smorzando is the musical direction for dying away; it comes directly from the Italian word for extinguish. 

I know many of you out there have studied music at some point in your lives. You have probably noticed that the musical directions all seem to come from Italian words like piano and allegro. Why is that?

I know a family that is blessed with an abundance of musical talent: the Batchelders. They're the ones to ask.  So I started with my best friend, who is the violinist/mother of this amazing family. She said that musical directions can come from any language. But since modern musical notation was invented in Tuscany during the Renaissance, Italian words became the conventional language for musical terms.

Image from page 44 of "Die weisse Dame = La dame blanche : komische Oper" (1900) Boieldieu, A. (Adrien), 1775-1834 Scribe, Eugène, 1791-1861 Kogel, Gustav F.   Leipzig : C.F. Peters

No known copyright restrictions.

What was my other question to her?  Can you think of any musical directions that sound funny?  As it turns out, she could, and so could Don, her husband/trumpet player/professor. He was kind enough to snap a photo of sheet music displaying the word squillante for me, and allow me to share it here in this post. Squillante means ringing, tickling, or piercing.

Click on the image, to view the words more clearly.

"Squillante" photo courtesy of Don Batchelder.

"This photo is taken 'in the box,' a plywood construction that holds a 10-piece offstage brass 'Banda,' or stage band. 
We provide musical reinforcement for the onstage chorus and soloists during the Triumphal Scene in Act II of Aida. 
There are also 6 costumed trumpets onstage, who play the famous Triumphal March."
--Don Batchelder

Here's a list of books on music terminology in the Stockton/San Joaquin County Public Library System.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ms. Suzy Reads | I'm My Own Dog

Looking for a great picture book that will make you laugh out loud? Look no further! I've found it!

David Ezra Stein has done it again. I loved his Interrupting Chicken, the tale of a young chicken who begs for bedtime stories, but has quite a bit of difficulty not interrupting Papa Chicken with his own versions of some classic fairy tales. It's a beautiful and funny tribute to the joy of bedtime stories between parent and child. 

And now -- I'm My Own Dog. It's the story of a very independent dog who handles everything just fine on his own. He fetches his own slippers. He tells himself to roll over. He looks in the mirror and licks his own face. But then there was that itch in the middle of his back that he just couldn't reach. So he let a human scratch it for him. And the human followed him home. Lo and behold, the dog decided to keep the human. 

With bold, colorful illustrations, Stein explores the age-old question of who really owns whom -- dog or human? This story shows the love and loyalty between dog and human -- with a healthy dose of humor. You'll laugh out loud, I promise!

This reminds me of my dear Fitzgerald, a little Yorkshire Terrier with whom I shared 16 years of fun, laughter, and lots of trips! While I always told myself I was the one in charge, I know now that simply wasn't true. But it was okay. The love and loyalty were such great gifts; I didn't mind being owned by Fitz...not one tiny bit!

Enjoy this book! Though the libraries are closed today in honor of Veteran's Day, visit one soon and check out this and other great picture books!

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Just Life| Veteran's Day

Tuesday, November 11th is Veteran's Day. It is a day to honor all the military service men and women of this wonderful country.

My husband Adam is a veteran. He served in the United States Air Force for eight years. He even served in Saudi Arabia during the end of the Gulf War. 

My husband is second from the left on the top row

So, this Veteran's Day, while most of us are sitting in our homes relaxing, let's not forget all of the sacrifices that our military and their families undertake.

To all of the veterans, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Happy Veteran's Day.

Here are some library materials on this topic. Click on these titles to place them on hold.

The military 100 : a ranking of the most influential military leaders of all time

Rise : a soldier, a dream, and a promise kept

Enduring battle : American soldiers in three wars, 1776-1945

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha