Music

What makes the Stradivarius violin so special?

A well-preserved Stradivarius violin was recently sold in an online auction for a record £9.8m. However most will fetch anything over £1.000,000. What is it about the violins made by Italian craftsman Stradivari that makes the instruments so valuable?
Over the years, various theories have been touted in a bid Read more

Notable Composers in Western Music

Medieval/Renaissance
Desprez, Josquin (c. 1445–1521) Flemish Renaissance. Desprez wrote numerous Masses, motets, songs, and other sacred vocal works. His use of polyphony profoundly influenced other composers in the 16th century.
Dufay, Guillaume (c. 1400–1474) Flemish-French Renaissance. Dufay was a primary founder of early Flemish polyphony and also an important music teacher. He wrote Read more

Instruments and Ensembles

Western music draws on numerous instruments from several instrument families that create sound indifferent ways. Instruments are often organized into set ensembles or groups that perform together. The diagram below shows some common instruments, as well as their typical placement in the orchestra.

The Orchestra
Instruments

Stringed instruments produce sound when the musician causes strings to vibrate Read more

Musical Forms and Genres

Many set forms have emerged as Western music has developed. New forms have come into being as composers have experimented with preexisting forms.

Ballet: A staged theatrical dance work, typically one that tells a story and is accompanied by music. A ballet may be full-length or a short repertory piece.
Cantata: A large-scale vocal work Read more

Eras and Movements in Western Music

Music historians traditionally divide the development of Western music into several major periods and movements.
Medieval (c. 500–1400)
The Medieval era was the first time that composers in significant numbers began to write down music to preserve it and communicate it to others. The earliest examples of this written music come Read more

What makes the Stradivarius violin so special?

A well-preserved Stradivarius violin was sold in an online auction for a record £9.8m.
What is it about the violins made by Italian craftsman Stradivari that makes the instruments so valuable?
Over the years, various theories have been touted in a bid to find out why a Stradivarius produces such brilliant Read more

Vinyl Records

Increased demand for rare vinyl has sent prices spiralling so It’s time to dig out those dusty old LPs.
Original pressings of classic recordings are now being seen by experts as safe long-term investment opportunities.
Record Collector magazine has compiled a list of the best 51 records for investors and at Read more

Vinyl Record Grading Guide

Record Collector Magazine’s Grading Guide:
MINT: The record itself is in brand new condition with no surface marks or deterioration in sound quality. The cover and any extra items such as the lyric sheet, booklet or poster are in perfect condition. Records advertised as Sealed or Unplayed should be Mint.
EXCELLENT: Read more