Interesting, Humorous and Weird Facts About Music
Tin Pan Alley is an actual place in New York City
and it’s the nickname for the side streets off Times Square, where
for generations music publishers have auditioned new songs. The
name came from the late 1800s, when the awful sound of cheap tinny
pianos coming through the open office windows of hundreds of publishers
was likened to the beating of tin pans.
Originally, the first line to Irving Berlin's "White
Christmas" was "I'm sitting by a pool in Beverly Hills
dreaming of a White Christmas. "A friend suggested to him
that he drop the reference to Beverly Hills, and the song went
on to become the most commercially successful song ever.
American composer John Cage (1912–1992) composed
a work in 1952 entitled 4' 33", which consists of four minutes
and thirty-three seconds of silence.
Louis Armstrong holds the record of oldest chart
topper. Having reached number one in the UK in 1968 with the song
‘What A Wonderful World’. He was 67 at the time.
Scientists in Germany have discovered that pianists
have more efficient brains. A group led by Dr. Timo Krings required
pianists and non-musicians of the same age and sex to perform
complex sequences of finger movements. Their brains were scanned
using a technique called "functional magnetic resonance imaging"
(fMRI) which detects the activity levels of brain cells, by measuring
changes in blood flow. The non-musicians were able to make the
movements as correctly as the pianists. However, the amount of
brain activity in areas controlling movement was different. The
pianists made the correct movements while having less brain activation.
Thus, compared to non-musicians, the brains of pianists are more
efficient at making skilled movements. These findings show that
musical training can enhance brain function.
The song with the longest title is 'I'm a Cranky Old Yank in a
Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama
Doin' Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o, Hirohito Blues'
written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1943. He later claimed the song
title ended with "Yank" and the rest was a joke.
The longest piano piece of any kind is 'Vexations'
by Erik Satie. It consists of a 180-note composition which, on
the composer's orders, must be repeated 840 times so that the
whole performance is 18 hours 40 minutes. Its first reported public
performance in September 1963, in the Pocket Theater, New York
City, required a relay team of 10 pianists. The New York Times
critic fell asleep at 4 a.m. and the audience dwindled to 6 masochists.
At the conclusion, one sado-masochist shouted 'Encore!'
The longest rendering of a national anthem was 'God
Save the King,' performed by a German military band on the platform
of Rathenau railway station in Brandenburg, on February 9, 1909.
King Edward VII was struggling inside the train to get into his
German Field-Marshall uniform, so the band had to play the anthem
17 consecutive times.
At only four lines long, the Japanese national anthem
is the shortest national anthem. The longest is the Greek national
anthem at 158 verses long.
Melba toast is named after Australian opera singer
Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931)
So-called 'gut strings' for acoustic Spanish guitars
were originally made from the small intestines of slaughtered
sheep. The production material only changed - to nylon - during
World War II, when all available gut was used in the production
of surgical thread for wounded soldiers. Eww!
Leo Fender, inventor of the Stratocaster and Telecaster,
couldn't play the guitar.
The Star-Spangled Banner became the US national
anthem in 1931. Prior to that, it was My Country ‘Tis of Thee,”
which had the same melody as Britian’s national anthem God Save
the Queen, which is based on music written by John Bull in 1619.
Bull’s melody has been used more than any song in national anthems.The
Star-Spangled Banner became the US national anthem in 1931. Prior
to that, it was My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” which had the same melody
as Britian’s national anthem God Save the Queen, which is based
on music written by John Bull in 1619. Bull’s melody has been
used more than any song in national anthems.
Tap dancing originates from Irish clog dancing and
what is called the Irish reel and jig.
At the first Grammy Awards, held on 4 May 1959,
Domenico Modugno beat out Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee for the
Record of the Year, with “Volare.”
A grand piano can be played faster than an upright
A piano covers the full spectrum of all orchestra
instruments, from below the lowest note of the double bassoon
to above the top note of the piccolo.
The harmonica is the world’s best-selling music
Themes from movies Unforgiven, A Perfect World,
The Bridges of Madison County, and Absolute Power were all written
by Clint Eastwood.
Frank Sinatra was named Entertainer of the Century
in 2000. His tombstone reads "The best is yet to come".
The longest hymn is Hora Novissima Tempora Pessima
Sunt; Vigilemus by Bernard of Cluny, which is 2,966 lines long.
Hungarian musician Franz Liszt received so many
requests for locks of his hair that he bought a dog and snipped
off patches of fur to send to admirers.
While bagpipes are today identified with Scotland,
they date from ancient times and may have been introduced into
the British Isles by the Romans.
Music can help reduce chronic pain by more than
20% and can alleviate depression by up to 25%.
Termites eat wood twice as fast when listening to
heavy metal music.
Jimi Hendrix’s tombstone has a Fender Stratocaster
carved on it.
The smallest guitar in the world is 10 micrometres
long with strings 50 nanometres (100 atoms) wide.
The total string tension in a concert grand is close
to Thirty Tons!
That a boxed model D Steinway Grand Piano weighs
Yamaha, established in 1887 was the first piano
manfacturer in Japan.
The worlds largest piano is a Challen Concert Grand.
This piano is 11 feet long, has a total string tension of over
30 tons and weighs more than a ton !!
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