Local Production

Produced by South Carolina ETV Radio for local or regional distribution.

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

There are many great creative artists, including great composers, who have been mediocre human beings ⁠— not to mention any number who have been downright reprehensible human beings, or human beings whose private views we would find reprehensible if only we knew what they were. 

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The guitar, the lute, and the viola da gamba all have frets. Have you ever wondered why? Well I can tell you this: it’s not so that the players can find the notes.

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Have you ever wondered why, when we’re feeling sad, or lonely, or downright miserable, we usually prefer to listen to music that somehow reflects our mood, rather than music that might jar us out of it?

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

If you like beautiful old keyboard instruments, not to mention beautiful small museums, I strongly recommend that you pay a visit to the Carolina Music Museum, in Greenville, SC. The museum is housed in a former Coca Cola bottling plant, and the collection features more than forty English, European, and American harpsichords and pianos dating from 1570 to 1845. 

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

For those of us who don’t play a brass instrument, watching brass players play always seems a bit like watching a magic show. We hear the French hornists, trumpeters, trombonists, and tuba players playing plenty of different notes, but the number of times they move their fingers — or in the case of trombonists their slides — doesn’t nearly add up to the number of notes. Not to mention the fact that where they put their fingers or slides doesn’t seem to bear any relation to which notes they’re playing, a mystery compounded by the fact that horns, trumpets, and tubas only have three keys to press, three valves. How do they do it?

The Violin Family

May 10, 2019
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The members of the modern violin family are the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. These instruments are descendants of various kinds of medieval fiddles—fiddle, by the way, being an older word than violin—and the medieval fiddles themselves were bowed stringed instruments that were originally imported to Europe from the Middle East.


The Oboe

May 9, 2019
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

The modern oboe most likely originated in France in the 1600's. The word oboe, which is the instrument’s name in both English and Italian, comes from the French name, hautbois, meaning “high wood,” or “loud wood.” Oboes are usually made of African blackwood, which is sometimes called grenadilla.


Vibrato Part 3

May 8, 2019
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

I’ve been talking this week about vibrato, the vibrato that string players use to warm up their sounds, and the vocal vibrato that’s the natural product of healthy singing. All vibrato consists of small oscillations in pitch, but not all vibrato is a blessing.

Vibrato Part 2

May 7, 2019
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Yesterday I talked about vibrato, the technique that string players use—rocking the fingers of their left hands back and forth to create small oscillations in pitch that result in a warmer, more resonant sound.

Vibrato Part 1

May 6, 2019
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

When violinists play, their left hands always seem to shake. But it’s not because they’re nervous. Violinists, violists, cellists, and double bass players all use a technique called vibrato.


A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Yesterday I listed several pieces of music that would definitely not be the pieces I’d want to be limited to if I were stranded on a desert island.  And I’m afraid I can’t resist adding to the list today, especially since I’ve had a few excellent suggestions from friends. Handel’s Water Music, for example.

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

A word of advice today for non-musicians reading program notes in concert programs: If the program notes are heavy on technical analysis and are loaded with terms like modulation, inversion, augmentation, diatonic intervals, chromatic progression, modified sonata form, what have you… ignore them.


A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Yesterday I mentioned a few pieces of music I’d like to have with me if I were marooned on a desert island. Today I thought I’d list a few pieces I would definitely not want along. I’m assuming my island would be surrounded by water, so right away Debussy’s La Mer would be out—great piece, but it would be superfluous, to put it mildly, and probably pretty annoying, under the circumstances.

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

It’s an old question: if you were going to be dropped off on a desert island and you could only take a few recorded pieces of music with you, what would they be? For me, the first piece on the list is easy: Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.


Neuroscience

Apr 29, 2019
A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

I’m grateful for advances in neuroscience, and for many reasons glad that every day we know more about how the brain works. But for all the studies of left brains, right brains, and neuron networks, some things will remain mysteries, and there’s no way around it.


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