Exploring Music

Music has meaning for many people. Whatever else may come with the human capacity for hearing, there lingers in sound a certain baffling capacity for significance. If one pays attention, one will be amazed by the power of a few vibrations in the air, by the sweet sharp hit of the right sound in the right place, and what it can do to the waiting ear. A deliberate sound can invigorate and enlighten. The following links on music illustrate the power music can share.

The Curious Ear
http://www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org/ The Jazz Museum in Harlem imparts to the curious listener an encyclopedic (one might say dictionary-like) treatment of the nature of jazz music. The website is clean, modern, and elegant, and offers an enticing overview with a clear mission and focus to those curious enough to explore its exhibitions, feast one's ears on its archival music collection, and search its collections of books and CDs on jazz music.

Hall of Frame
http://www.americanclassicalmusic.org/intro.html The American Classical Music Hall of Fame has been in operation since 1996. It honors composers, performers, and purveyors of classical music through the centuries. A brief glance at the "Inductees" section of their website yields such luminous names as John Cage and Gustav Mahler, Yo-Yo Ma and the Metropolitan Opera, along with more surprising but welcome additions from the world of jazz and ragtime (Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington, and Dave Brubeck make appearances). There are also rows upon rows of lesser-known composers ready for eager listeners to explore. Each entry comes with a concise but detailed biography.
Those eager to sample the Hall of Fame's section can make use of the "Music" section, which displays audible samples of what the site calls "classical music excellence.”

A Special Instrument http://ukulele.org/
Do you have a favorite instrument? You can bet that the folks at the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum do. This pared-down website seems to be one’s guide to all things ukulele. It features numerous articles and Q&A pages on the instrument, and it has a list of little-known Hall of Fame inductees. The site's activity seems to have wound down in 2012, but the present archive is still invaluable for its informative insights into the history of the ukulele. It also contains downloads for the listening pleasure of music lovers.

by Omar Gheith