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(Piano, 1909–56) In the arms race of virtuosity that drove jazz in the 1930s, no player was more dazzling than Art Tatum. The piano had a history of virtuosos, but none approached the levels of sheer athletic aptitude that Tatum tossed off with such nonchalance. It came so naturally that he often seemed bored by his own wizardry ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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The government-enforced isolation of Native Americans in the United States has fostered cultural independence, in contrast to the marked musical acculturation between the Hispanic-speaking and Amerindian societies in South America. But in modern times, North American groups have tended to set aside tribal differences and seek a pan-tribal cultural unity. The ‘Ghost Dance’, a religious cult led by Jack ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The two great architectural styles of the medieval age were the Romanesque and the Gothic. The Romanesque, with its round-arch forms borrowed from classical buildings, is a massive style, characterized by solid pillars supporting the great stone roof vaults that were a new feature of construction. It is often crowded with imaginative sculpture. During the twelfth century, ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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In the second half of the twelfth century, the new cathedral of Notre Dame was the focus of an extraordinary effort by Leonin and others to create a whole new musical liturgy. Thanks to their efforts and to the presence of the increasingly independent University of Paris, whose curriculum was aimed towards ecclesiastical careers, the city became a ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Among the earliest humanist projects was the recovery and study of classical architecture. Many buildings from the Roman period still stood (some stand today); others were in ruins from which the originals could just be discerned. Study of these remains with reference to recently recovered classical architectural treatises led to a new school of architecture. The leader of this school was ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Ber-nar’ d∂ Van’-ta-dôrn) c. 1135–95 French Troubadour Bernart is regarded as perhaps the finest and most musically important of the troubadours. More of his melodies have survived than any other troubadour’s; one, ‘Quan vei la lauzeta mover’ (‘When I See the Lark Open His Wings’), was extremely popular and inspired poems to be sung to its melody in four different ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Once hailed by the Pope as ‘Defender of the Faith’ against Martin Luther, Henry VIII made an about-face when he declared himself primate of the Church of England in order to grant himself a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. The political, religious and social results of Henry’s action are well-known; the impact on music was ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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During the Renaissance, European noblewomen were taught to sing and play particular instruments deemed suitable for them, such as the harp, lute and keyboard. Improvising songs with accompaniment was an important aspect of such music-making but, as in other improvising traditions, few women of this class ever wrote down the music they created, so it ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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One of the best-known Renaissance music manuscripts, the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, was compiled by the musician Francis Tregian (1574–1619) during his imprisonment in London for recusancy from 1609 until his death. The manuscript contains an unusually wide-ranging collection of nearly 300 keyboard pieces by English composers (many of them also known for their Catholic sympathies), including Tallis, Byrd ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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As a member of the first family of country music, Maybelle Carter (1909–78) distinguished herself far beyond her role as accompanist to her brother-in-law A.P. Carter and his wife Sara (Maybelle’s cousin) in the Carter Family, the first recording stars of country music. Maybelle was born Maybelle Addington in Nickelsville, Virginia. In 1926 she married Ezra J. ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Sometimes called ‘the African John Lee Hooker’, Ali ‘Farka’ Touré (1939–2006) was a Malian singer and guitarist, and one of Africa’s most renowned musicians. Many consider his music to be a bridge between traditional Malian music and its presumed descendant, the blues. The interplay of rhythm and sound in Touré’s music was similar to John Lee Hooker’s hypnotic blues style. ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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British singer-songwriter and guitarist John Martyn (b. 1948) was born Iain David McGeachy in England. In his 40-year career he has released 20 studio albums. Martyn’s parents divorced when he was five, and he spent his childhood in England and Scotland. Martyn’s musical career began when he was 17. He blended blues and folk into a unique style, working ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Juan Cristóbal Martín (b. 1948) was born in Málaga, Spain, and started learning the guitar at the age of six. In his early twenties he moved to Madrid to study under Nino Ricardo and Paco de Lucía. Martín was influenced by classic flamenco and the Spanish classical guitar tradition. His major influences included de Lucía, Tomatito and Andrés ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
365 Words Read More

Martin Pugh grew up in England during the 1960s and 1970s. As a young musician influenced by rock’n’roll, Pugh developed his progressive, blues-and-folk-influenced style with his first band, known as The Package Deal, who performed in Devon and Cornwall in the early 1960s. Martin soon moved to London and joined Carl Douglas (‘Kung Fu Fighting’) and The ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Many guitarists of the ‘shred’ variety unfortunately stick to scalar lines and diatonic arpeggios in straight major or minor keys. Marty Friedman (b. 1962) is not one of them. Indeed, Friedman’s tendency towards Eastern, Middle Eastern and other ethnic sounds has distinguished him as one of the most musically gifted super-pickers the guitar world has ever seen. Martin Adam ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
399 Words Read More
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