Tag Archives: music

Musical History Tour

How 50 instruments shaped the development of modern music

 The History of Music in 50 Instruments

The History of Music in 50 Instruments

By Philip Wilkinson

Hardcover, 224 pages, $29.95 (Firefly Books)


Strike up the band! This informative, generously illustrated guided tour of musical history looks at 50 orchestra instruments and how they each contributed to the march of musical time—the spread of the lute from the Middle East throughout Europe during the Renaissance; the importance of the organ in cathedrals and churches; the versatility of the “exotic,” jingly-jangly tambourine; the role in the drum and the piccolo in the military; saxophones as the backbone of jazz. It’s a treasury of facts about composers, musicians and compositions and—of course—the instruments that made it all possible.


—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Musical Mecca

Documentary spotlights magic of Muscle Shoals sound

Muscle Shoals

Muscle Shoals

Blu-ray $29.98 / DVD $26.98 (Magnolia Home Entertainment)

Is it something in the water? On the Tennessee River in Alabama is one of the South’s musical treasures, a near-mystical place where some of the most vital music of all time has its roots. This rousing documentary examines the “Muscle Shoals” sound and its creator, producer Rick Hall, who brought black and white musicians together at his recording studios (often with Hall’s famed staff musicians, the Swampers) to make records with Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, Carrie Underwood and many others singing stars.

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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Stamp of Approval

Coming soon to a mailbox near you: Ray Charles!

Ray_Charles_Forever_Cover2Ray Charles Forever

CD/DVD ($18.98, Concord Records)

Why does this new Ray Charles CD/DVD combo look like a postage stamp? Because it’s part of the celebration around the recent release of the U.S. Postal Service Icons Forever Stamp honoring the enduring rhythm and blues singer. With 12 re-mastered studio tracks (including “Song For You,” “Ring Of Fire,” “Till There Was You,” “Imagine” and “America The Beautiful”), a DVD of live performances and interview segments, it’s a multimedia reminder of a performer whose decade-spanning career has generated more than 100 albums, made him one of the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, spawned an Academy Award-winning movie—and now put him in the mailbox! (It’s on sale at major Post Office locations, an online at usps.com.)

 —Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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