A Minute with Miles

All Stations: Mon-Fri, 6:43 am and 8:43 am

How did the piano get its name? Why can’t you “reach” a crescendo? Who invented opera—and why—and how do you pronounce “Handel”? These and countless other classical music questions are answered on South Carolina Public Radio’s A Minute with Miles. Hosted by longtime NPR commentator Miles Hoffman, the segments inform and entertain as they provide illuminating 60-second flights through the world of classical music. 

Baroque Era

Sep 24, 2014

The Baroque era in Western music extends from about 1600 to 1750.  The earliest surviving opera was written in 1600, and the year 1750 serves as a convenient closing point because it marks the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, the greatest of all Baroque composers.

Classical Era

Sep 23, 2014

The Era of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, running roughly from about 1775 to 1820, is known to musical historians as the Classical Era.  This era follows the Baroque period and preceded the Romantic.

Classical Music

Sep 22, 2014

Classical Music is not a precise term and how could it be when it's used as a label for music from countless styles, periods, and nationalities from the Gregorian chant of the 7th century to the diverse and unpredictable products of the 21st?


Sep 19, 2014

Caprice is the French and English version of the Italian word "Capriccio," which is from the Latin "caper" meaning goat.  Goats tend to caper about however it suits their fancy and in music, since the 16th century or so, caprice has been used for pieces in which composers follow their imaginations, their moods and whims, rather than strict rules.

Bel Canto

Sep 18, 2014

You've probably heard the term " Bel Canto" used to describe the operas of certain composers, especially ones who's names end in "ini" or "eti."  But Bel Canto, which in English simply means beautiful singing, is a term that's been around for a very long time.


Sep 17, 2014

A cadence is a sequence of notes or chords that brings a musical piece of passage to a conclusion or to a temporary stop.  Most cadences conform to one of several easily recognized patterns or formulas, and the familiarity of these formulas is what reinforces their closing function.

Classical Music Insecurity

Sep 15, 2014

When you hear a piece of classical music you like, do you distrust your own opinion?  And when you hear a piece you don't like, do you believe the people who tell you it's your own fault?