A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, by Stuart Isacoff

By Stuart Isacoff

A desirable party of the piano, together with stories of its masters from Mozart and Beethoven to Oscar Peterson and Jerry Lee Lewis, informed with the services of composer and writer of Temperament, Stuart Isacoff.
This historical past takes us again to the piano's humble genesis as an easy keyboard, and indicates how every person from Ferdinando de’ Medici to Herbie Hancock affected its evolution of sound and impact in well known track. providing the software that has been on the center of musical improvement over the centuries in all its attractiveness and complexity, this explores the piano’s services and the diversity of emotional expression it conveys in several artists’ fingers. A usual background of the Piano is fast paced and fascinating, with appealing illustrations and photographs, a must-read for tune enthusiasts and pianists of each level. 

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Additional resources for A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians--from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between

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Snead State Community College in Boaz today houses a substantial archive and museum devoted to the Sand Mountain gospel tradition: thousands of the "newback" songbooks, photos, letters, posters, instruments, records, and radio transcriptionsone of the very few such collections in the country. It is a testimony to just how pervasive the sacred singing tradition was on the mountain, and how difficult it would have been for the Louvins to ignore it. It was a tradition that had already had an impact far beyond the slopes of the mountain, and one the Louvins would take even farther.

As country music historian Bob Coltman has written: "Old time music, 1920s style, had been shaped in the days of no microphones, when subtlety was lost in the ambient noise of schoolrooms and front porches, street corners and makeshift stages. " Radio was also exploding in popularity across the South during this time. By 1926 radio receivers designed to run on household current became available, and in the 1930s, as more and more rural homes got electricity, the radio became the central piece of front-room furniture.

The 1930s was country's great age of harmony singing, and many of the leading performers either featured or used exclusively close harmony singing styles. Not much is actually known about the origins and development of this style; country music historians have been very good about tracing the histories of songs and the biographies of performers, but less dedicated to tracing just where performing methods came from. In the case of "close harmony" singingin which the tenor harmony is as close to the original melody as it can getthere were probably two sources: gospel music and various "schools for the blind" that flourished in the South in the early twentieth century.

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