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This tag is associated with 33 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!

So’s your face!

Okay, so initially I planned to have this extensive beta testing period wherein I tried out various post times and types and added lots of pictures and video and garnered reactions, but I have decided after some thought that this is stupid — far better to throw it to the wolves and see what comes out alive. (Or something. This metaphor isn’t quite working but I’m not sure why so I’m just going to move on.) Therefore, I present to you in its infancy:


Excited? I thought so! Posts will go there, so if you’re not on Twitter or don’t follow it regularly or just lose posts in the shuffle, here’s another way to keep track of your favorite blog. It’s also that much easier to share with your friends and family, which I’m sure you do all the time, right? Right! And there will be exclusive content. There already is — check out the photo albums for Never Before Seen Pictures!

So yes. Go be an Ain’t Baroque fan. Or I will cry. You don’t want to make a girl cry, do you?

P. S. So’s your face always makes sense.

You look like a monkey, and you smell like one too

Ladies and gentlemen, today Ain’t Baroque is one full year old! I’m at a conference this week and my Halloween post is time-sensitive, so I’ve postponed some of the celebratory new stuff till next week. In the meantime, though, run to the store and buy some cake and ice cream and then feast your eyes on these one-year stats:

  • This is Ain’t Baroque’s 304th post.
  • As of this writing, there have been 301 comments.
  • There have been 13,027 hits.
  • The busiest day so far is August 27, 2010, which garnered 1,126 views (mostly due to a rash of StumbleUpon hits for the day’s post).
  • Not surprisingly therefore, the top referrer is StumbleUpon, followed by Twitter and Alpha Inventions.
  • The top search term that leads people here is “funny kittens.” Look, I don’t know. LOL Friday is powerful.
  • The top post, not including the home page, is “Schooled!” Wouldn’t be my top pick, but whatever floats your collective boat.

So in other words, Ain’t Baroque is still a baby. But for starters, nifty, huh?

(But where is the cake? I was told there would be cake. The cake is a lie!)

Getting oriented

Firstly! WordPress has offered another new sharing goody. If you don’t want to “Like” a post, maybe you’d rather tweet it? I know you would! Post pages (that is, entries on their own individual pages, not on the main home page) now offer a “Tweet” button that enables you to tweet a link to the post to all your Twitter follows without taking a cursor off the blog. Sweet, no?

Secondly! Loyal reader and awesome name-owner Gretchen Saathoff sent me the following:

First, I would like to invite you to find out more about my new E-book!  It’s called Goal-oriented Practice: How to Avoid Traps and Become a Confident Performer.

My book was written with both teachers and students in mind.  In it, I discuss how to make steady progress without getting stuck.  There is absolutely NO JARGON used.

NEW:  Now, for the first time, there is a volume purchase rate available!  So, if you are a private teacher, a class participant, or a school administrator, this offer is for YOU!  To find out more, just reply to this email.  Please use the subject line:  “Book”.

Enjoy!  Any questions you have prior to purchase are most welcome.

She certainly LOOKS like a piano teacher, don’t you think? The erect posture, the sensible black dress. I definitely think she can orient your goals with efficiency and aplomb. Show your fellow Aintbaroquer (Aintbaroquian? Aintbaroquette?) some love!


Just a few notes to help us maintain order.

  • My email address on here used to be my BSO intern one. If you’ve been using that, stop it – it’s not me anymore. I mean, I guess you can keep using it, but you’re going to make some poor new kid very confused. Maybe torturing newbs is your thing; I don’t know. All I know is, if you want to reach me, you may do so at j.leigh.german@gmail.com. Holla!
  • There is now a “like” feature on WordPress posts. To access it, click on the individual blog post, scroll down to the bottom bit just before the comments, and click the “like” button. It’s got a great big ol’ star on it. You can’t miss it! Then, on the gray bar at the top of your WordPress screen, you can quickly access all of your liked posts via the “You like this” menu. A great way to keep all the most fabulous Ain’t Baroque fabulosity organized in one place.
  • And just so this is a truly music-related post, let me note that if you buy BSO concert tickets between September 1 – 3, you get 10% off. Whee! As far as I can tell, no concerts are exempted, and the Gala Celebration concert is coming up! Astor Piazzolla, guys! You want to be there! I know I do.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Well, here I am, coming to you live from Strathmore for the last time.

Yes! Yes, I have obtained a new job as the web producer in fundraising for the United States Humane Society. I have found an apartment, I have thoroughly inspected Ikea for potential purchases, and I have made plans to get a cat. And this is all highly exciting. The inevitable result, however, is that the BSO and I are, as of me leaving today, no more.

Oh, no need to be so melodramatic about it, I suppose. I’ll probably still do weekly concert updates, even go to some of those concerts, and if Benevolent Dictator Jamie is willing to send me such things I may well still have the heads up on discounts, promotions, and concerts. Still, it’s a little sad, no? End of an era and all?

As noted before, I will of course be continuing to update this blog on the regular as long as we’re all still having fun. Oh, and as far as I know the fabulous B. D. Jamie is still looking for a new digital marketing intern. Apply to be the new me!

Okay, that’s it, then. Cheerio, Strathmore. Next stop, Gaithersburg!

Stand down!

After my post about looking for a BSO digital marketing intern replacement, there has been some concern that I will be abandoning the blog at the same time (I’m pleased you care! :D). At this time, I have no such plans. I still enjoy this medium, and I’d like to continue writing about classical music even if I’m not actively involved in the field.

That having been said, without the direct BSO connection the continuation of the blog will rely ever more upon you. If I find steep drops in readership and commentary, I may leave off. This probably sounds like the basic blogger blues of “wah wah wah, comment or I feel purposeless!!!!” emo style. And I’m not gonna lie: responses please me so.

However, also remember that the beauty of the blogging medium is that it allows for interactivity with the reader. If I wanted something static and/or personal, I would write a book or a diary. I’m not saying EVERYONE COMMENTS ON EVERYTHING!!!! or expecting those weird “first!” posts (seriously, do you get a prize or something? What are those people trying to accomplish?), but if you like something or have an opinion, I want to hear it! That’s a big part of what makes this fun.

Okay, so, yeah. Anyway. Thought you might like to know. Carry on with your lives.

Viola scandal exposed!

My analytics engine informs me that some people are getting to this blog via an “obama-scandal-exposed” link. If someone could tell me how this is at all related to what I do, I would be intrigued and appreciative.

Anyway, your viola joke awaits:

Q. What’s the difference between alto clef and a classic Greek manuscript?

Continue reading

The shark ate my homework

Guys, your Monday video is ill-omened. For starters, it’s already Tuesday.

Listen,  I didn’t mean to leave you to flounder your way through Memorial Day all by your respective lonesomes. I fully intended to throw you a video, but I searched YouTube and then Google video and was unable to find the one I wanted (in case you’re wondering, it’s that 21st Century car insurance commercial where the guy comes in with a cello case loaded with blunt weaponry). So I said the hell with it and went to the aquarium. Sorry.

Then today I came in to work and YouTube finally decided that to punish me for not upgrading my browser it would disable all my sound. Unfortunately, I can’t update my browser because every time I try the system demands I login as an administrator, and my rank hath no such privileges. Therefore I can’t actually screen any videos before I post them. In short, you’ll have to wait on your weekly dose of musical video inanity.

Instead, let’s talk about this week’s BSO concert! It’s a doozy, entitled “Barber, Bartok and Beethoven.” I love Barber AND Bartok AND (duh) Beethoven! Andre Watts will be the pianist for Beethoven’s “Emperor” piano concerto, plus there’ll be a Bartok piece called Music For Strings, Percussion and Celeste. “Celeste” always makes me think of Tchaikovsky Discovers America, ’cause there’s that section where he talks about how he discovered it (in addition to America, apparently).

Probably generating the most excitement, I bet, is Barber’s Adagio for Strings, because seriously, who doesn’t love Adagio for Strings? It’s practically a requirement for existence. Hit it, program notes:

It took Barber several years to produce two works he thought worthy of Toscanini’s attention. His uncle, the composer Sidney Homer, gave him excellent advice: “The thing now is to write something for Toscanini that expresses the depth and sincerity of your nature. … You know as well as I do that the Maestro loves sincere straight-forward stuff, with genuine feeling in it and no artificial pretense and padding.”

Concerts are on Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4 at 8 pm and Sunday, June 6 at 3 pm at the Meyerhoff, as well as on Saturday, June 5 at 8 pm at Strathmore. Be there or be a four-sided polygon.

Please provide counterpoint

I’d like to preface this post with the observation that a lot of you have been responding to posts via Twitter. I love hearing what you have to say, I love mentions, and I especially love retweets (hint, hint :D), but it occurs to me that for the most part I’m the only one that sees them. A lot of you have really awesome points to make, and I encourage you to comment directly on posts so that other readers can see what you have to say and respond if they so choose. After all, who doesn’t like a friendly argument? Not me!

Which leads me to a query! Yay! I’ve been going on in a lot of posts how musicians and conductors seem to feel a need to play everything, to paraphrase the middle name of Kakofonous A. Dischord, AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. I have been vocal in my displeasure at this mindset. However, there are some pieces that benefit from a super speedy tempo, and I’ve been endeavoring to think of some.

  1. “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from Solomon by Handel
  2. “Flight of the Bumble Bee” by Rimsky-Korsakov
  3. “Sabre Dance” from Gayane by Khachaturian

Uhhh… help me out, guys.