20 episodes

Illuminating 60-second flights through the world of classical music with host and longtime NPR commentator Miles Hoffman. Produced by South Carolina Public Radio.

A Minute with Miles Alfred Turner

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    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Illuminating 60-second flights through the world of classical music with host and longtime NPR commentator Miles Hoffman. Produced by South Carolina Public Radio.

    Scherzo, Part 1

    Scherzo, Part 1

    During the time of Haydn and Mozart, the third movement of a four-movement piece such as a symphony or string quartet was invariably a stylized dance movement called a minuet. By the end of the 1700s, though, Beethoven, in one of his many innovations, had largely replaced the minuet with a movement he called a “scherzo.” The word scherzo , which means “joke,” in Italian, had appeared in music as early as the 1600s, but it was Beethoven who gave the scherzo its modern character, and established a

    • 1 min
    Synchopation, Part 2

    Synchopation, Part 2

    Yesterday I talked about syncopation, how it disturbs the regular flow of rhythm, how it shifts the emphasis in music from strong beats to weak beats, or to in-between beats. I’d like to stress, though, that syncopation is a general term: there’s no limit to the number or variety of possible syncopated rhythms or syncopated patterns, and no limit to the ways they may be used. Syncopation is in fact one of the most powerful and versatile rhythmic tools available to composers, and from the Middle

    • 1 min
    Synchopation, Part 1

    Synchopation, Part 1

    There’s an old joke about the husband who’s been out late drinking, and when his wife asks him where he’s been, he latches onto a word he saw on the cover of a book in the window of a music store, and he says that unfortunately he had come down with a case of… syncopation. His wife is suspicious, and after consulting the dictionary, she says, “Hmph. Just as I thought. Syncopation: an irregular staggering from bar to bar.” Well, it turns out her dictionary wasn’t far off, although a more sober

    • 1 min
    Vibrato Part 3

    Vibrato Part 3

    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. When a singer’s vibrato is too fast or too narrow to sound pleasing, it’s called a tremolo , Italian for trembling. And when the singer’s vibrato is too slow, or too wide, it’s usually called a “wobble.” Ideally—in both singing and string

    • 1 min
    Vibrato Part 2

    Vibrato Part 2

    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. Well, singers use vibrato, too—although use isn’t exactly the right word. Vibrato happens , is more like it. String players vibrate by choice, and intentionally vary the width and speed of their vibratos. But for singers, vibrato is simply a by-product of proper breathing and tone

    • 1 min
    Vibrato Part 1

    Vibrato Part 1

    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 . The technique is to rock the fingers of the left hand back and forth on the strings as the notes are played, causing a slight oscillation in pitch for each note. And why do string players use vibrato? Because notes with vibrato— vibrated notes—sound richer and warmer than non-vibrated notes. But it’s not

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

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4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Doof man ,

Lovely and illuminating

Who cannot spare one minute to learn something new? The host is a high-energy violist who is so eager to share what he knows that one cannot help but be curious to learn more about the segment's topic.

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