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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. 

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Latest Episodes
  • Miles Hoffman continues his musings about the history of the overture.
  • Miles Hoffman talks about the most popular types of overtures.
  • Miles Hoffman continues his discussion about the birth and evolution of the overture.
  • Miles Hoffman discusses where the word "Overture" comes from and the earliest iteration of the overture.
  • “Sonata form” and the musical form known as the sonata are not the same thing. A sonata is a piece - usually for piano or for piano and one other instrument—that’s composed of several distinct sections called movements.
  • Dmitri Shostakovich's political views have long been subjects of controversy. Was Shostakovich a loyal Communist, or was he a secret rebel who suffered…
  • A wind instrument is any instrument whose sound is produced by a column of air vibrating inside some sort of tube, or pipe. But I’d like to clear up a common misconception: Wind players aren’t blowing away to try to fill up their instruments with air —the air inside a wind instrument is already there.
  • When the dance known as the waltz first became popular in Europe in the late 1700's and early 1800's, it was considered by many to be the ultimate in lewdness and licentiousness.
  • The double bass is the one member of the modern violin family whose roots are in the viola da gamba, or viol family.
  • Art song is a general term that refers to the kinds of songs written by classically-trained composers for classically-trained singers. Composers themselves don’t talk about writing “art songs,” they simply say “songs.”