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Medal of Violar

This tag is associated with 19 posts

If it Ain’t Baroque, buy it

You may have noticed a new feature pop up in the sidebar: the Ain’t Baroque store. It’s nothing fancy, but I like to think there’s some fairly clever stuff floating around in there — you can heavily imply without outright saying that violists are idiots, reassure everyone that though you may leave you’re Offenbach, point out that you, too, have tenor, and more.

Medalists of Violar (or pretenders to the crown) may want to emblazon their name on a mug, or declare your allegiance with a Team Igor t-shirt. Question to Composer Cagematch! fans: would you like more of these? For every composer featured? For all the winners? Or just for the composers with particularly hardcore fandoms?

All products have been put together  with colors and cut that I think look nifty, but Zazzle gives you the option of going in there and switching things up — you can switch a unisex cut to a ladies cut and vice versa, make a long sleeve tee short, switch to a tank top, swap out the colors, etc. And you can do it all secure in the knowledge that you’re helping fund my concert tickets. I’m going to NEED it — next year’s BSO season looks killer (more on that next week). Take a look!

(Suggestions, critique, general feedback, and ideas for new products welcome.)

Updated (twice) to add discount code from Zazzle:

$5 off ALL T-SHIRTS!     Use Code: 5OFFSTPADDYS

Show off your shenanigans! 25% off ALL T-SHIRTS!


The viola joke as self-parody

I promised you a special viola joke, and I’m confident I shall now deliver — this one’s in motion!

Last week I received a tweet from a reader who goes by the Twitter handle “kickassical.” It read simply, “Has @aintbaroque seen this?” and then listed a short link. I clicked on it and was redirected to the YouTube page of this video:

Violists! Is there anything they can do?

(Incidentally, that’s Yuri Bashmet, famed concert violist. I know! There are professional viola soloists! What a world.)

I’d say that’s worth an Ain’t Baroque Well Played! Medal of Violar, wouldn’t you? Mr. Kickassical, please let me know with what name you want it inscribed, and by “inscribed” I mean “listed on the Medal of Violar page.”

“If the French played baseball they would only have left field, and NO ONE would be safe!”

(This post title brought to you by Robin Williams.)

I wanted to put up a film of that nifty wave-your-arms-around-and-make-random-music conducting thing they have at Disney’s Imagination pavilion in Epcot, but I can’t seem to find one, oddly enough. I have a brief one at my house, so I’ll have to dig it up sometime.

In the meantime, take this video of Impressions de France from the same park’s France pavilion in the World Showcase. Camera work is shaky, but the soundtrack is crazy awesome. It’s seriously like the producers had a meeting and the executive producer said, “We should have some French music,” and someone else said, “Which French music?” and the exec said “ALL OF IT!!!” So see what you recognize and send me a list of what you picked out; the person with the most correct answers gets a Medal of Violar!

(If you’re wondering about my judging credentials – back in 2008, some friends of mine were in Epcot watching this film and we got very curious about the soundtrack as we recognized much of it. We went to one of the cast members, who had no idea what these nutty Americans were talking about, but he did go in the back and get us a typed, comprehensive list of the music tracks used in the film. So a) I know precisely what I’m talking about here and b) Disney customer service really IS the best!)


…or so said the header of the email in which Rebekah sent me this video (I think she’s earned her Medal of Violar, don’t you?)

I think this is why I never got into the Spiderman franchise.

Well played, indeed

Naturally, you guys made it hard for me in the very best of ways. I got some great responses to the “define music major” Medal of Violar contest. In the order they were posted, here are some of the best excerpts (according to me):

From Sheri: My observation is that in reality most music majors work as hard, or harder, than any med student – at least those who are practicing hours a day in addition to keeping up other classes.

From Cate: If people think they are easy degrees to get, they are mistaken. You constantly have to produce creative work and find your own style, and better and better creative work at that, and then develop a thick skin since your creative work will regularly be judged and criticized.

From Christine Petrolati: People often refer to book smart people as brilliant. I feel just as strongly that Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Maurizio Pollini are brilliant as well!! You can be a music major and make a difference in this world.

From Jamie: I have a BM and MM in music and all I remember of school is being tired and the four walls of my practice room. In undergrad, I was the one who stayed up late working every night including weekends, while my pre-med friends were out partying… hmmmm.  But having said that, there are two types of music majors: Those who work themselves to the bone and those who slide by with almost no effort at all.

From Dr. Carney: So what is a music major? Awesome. And “awesome” in the very literal sense:  Someone who is expressive of awe as well as awe inspiring. Doesn’t that sound exactly like the description for music itself? I think so too.

You can read the full responses here. I especially recommend Dr. Carney’s offerings; he responded twice and the second one was even better than the first one.

And the winner is…….. JAMIE! Yes, yes, I know, she’s my benevolent dictator, but I cracked up at the part about the partying pre-med students, so it’s not nepotism, it’s a gigglefit. (Let that be a lesson to you: I can be bought with gigglefits.) Her name is now up on the wall of honor.

That having been said, I got a tremendous kick out of reading all the responses and highly encourage more of the same. Just because there’s no official contest doesn’t mean you can’t garner a Medal of Violar. If you’re consistently awesome – and I know you are – it’s inevitable.

It did lead me to one question, which I thought to put to the readers and decided to answer myself. Yes, you can win the Medal of Violar more than once. I don’t want to discourage the recipients from continuing to offer their brilliance. It’s harder to get it the second time, because if it comes down to two the newer applicant gets the nod, but it can be done. So keep commenting! It makes my heart happy. 😀

In the immortal words of Dr. Carney himself: peace out.

The Well Played! Ain’t Baroque Medal of Violar

I told you I’d get to it.

The Well Played! Ain’t Baroque Medal of Violar is a dubious honor. I mean it’s an honor I just made up. I mean it’s an honor! No need to qualify that. You can only get it by performing above and beyond the call of duty in the form of regular commentary and contribution and general awesomeness. Learn more and read the current list of honorees here.

There are occasionally shortcuts, however. For example, you have until 9 am EST tomorrow (Wednesday) to enter the “define music major” contest. The author of the most clever excerpt automatically makes it onto the list. Think of prestige!

Duly intrigued? Click here!

How dare you not answer my question!

Well I dare say. I think you guys had a pretty strong reaction to Monday’s video lampooning music majors. In the past not even two and a half days it’s been up the page has received almost 100 hits.

I say think, though, because I tried to get you all to tell me about your reactions and garnered almost no response. One person retweeted the link with the note “Not sure how I feel about this.”

Understandable: the video does suggest that music majors are not the most dedicated lot. However, rather than stew in your dismay, I encourage you to let it out. That’s what your therapist would recommend, I’m sure.

Don’t fret – I’m giving you another chance, and this time I’m adding more provisos so that you have something more concrete to work with than just “What do you think?” Here goes:

Define “music major.”

Think the video is pretty accurate? Whip up a definition that reflects that. Think it was a gross misrepresentation? Well, right the wrongs! Tell me what the phrase “music major” means to you, whether you do it in the comments, on Twitter, or via email, by next Wednesday at 9 am. I’ll post them, and the most clever one (in my opinion ’cause it’s my blog) will receive the Well Played! Ain’t Baroque Medal of Violar, which by then will have been fully explained.


Well, if it’s required…

This week’s Monday video comes courtesy of the great Dr. Carney, who informs me that this is “required” for my blog, and you know how professors are about requirements. For his ongoing efforts he shall be awarded the Well Played! Ain’t Baroque Medal of Violar (more on this new and exciting “honor” tomorrow Wednesday next week – don’t look at me, you’re the ones getting all excitable and making me rearrange my plans!). Says Dr. Carney: “With juries & auditions right around the corner, this is TOO scary…”

Says me: “Oh dear.”

Viola jokes, now with visuals!

One of my lovely Twitter followers sent this to me. I award him the Ain’t Baroque Medal of Valor the Well Played! Ain’t Baroque Medal of Violar. CP is SMRT.

See it in its natural state here.