The Joy of the Guitar Riff

Duration: 1 hour / The guitar riff is the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll, a double helix of repetitive simplicity and fiendish complexity on which its history has been built. From Chuck Berry through to the White Stripes, this documentary traces the ebb and flow of the guitar riff over the last 60 years of […]

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Vic Flick – new insights

HP Newquist writes: From James Bond to the Pink Panther. From London to Los Angeles. From Jimmy Page to Eric Clapton. This is the journey of Vic Flick, the man who created the guitar sound that launched a thousand spy movies. Flick was among the handful of top session guitarists in England during the early […]

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What are the best song intros of all time?

Hannah Jane Parkinson writes: It’s one of the most important elements of a piece of music; it can raise a good track to a great one, and a great one to a sublime one. If you hear the intro to a much-loved track in a club it’ll raise heartbeats and hands; if you’re drinking coffee […]

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A Hard Day’s Night: How The Beatles had Cliff Richard on the run

Andrew Roberts writes: In January 1963, British cinemagoers were enticed by posters claiming that, “It’s what happens when FOUR BOYS in a borrowed bus… (with built-in bunks and bath)… meet FOUR GIRLS with a single mission…MEN!!”. For a mere 1/9d,  the audience could see Summer Holiday – and vicariously experience the pleasures of sun and […]

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Why do pitches separated by an octave sound “the same”?

It starts: Why do we perceive an identity between all auditory frequencies related by powers of two? How did we arrive at the notion of pitch class, as opposed to absolute pitch? Is there some evolutionary reason for octave equivalency? Humans aren’t the only primates to possess it; rhesus monkeys do too. http://www.quora.com/Music-Theory/Why-do-pitches-separated-by-an-octave-sound-the-same

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Album review: Woody Guthrie, American Radical Patriot (Rounder)

Andy Gill writes: Collected here across six CDs, Woody Guthrie’s recordings for the Library of Congress are one of the great treasures of American Demotic Art. Their mere existence seems, in an America latterly phobic about socialism, a miracle: the United States government preserving the songs and recollections of an avowed leftie – and, even […]

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Musical interaction brings harmony to dementia patients

Helen Pidd writes:  Musical interaction brings harmony to dementia patients. Vera and Jack Burrows met as teenagers. “Childhood sweethearts,” said Vera, brightly. “Then he dumped me when I was 17 and married someone else and we didn’t see each other for 54 years. We were at a dance and he said: ‘Is that you, Vera? […]

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