Wednesday, February 15, 2017

American in Jeopardy for 10: Stephen Miller .

Who would have expected Joseph Goebbels to come back in his form? 


  1. Evening, pardon this thoroughly off topic question but my nephews are taking piano lesson and need a good metronome to help them work on timing. As someone infinitely better versed in the keyboard arts than I was wondering if you'd be so kind as to suggest a good investment for that purpose? Any feedback is immensely appreciated.

    If not for me, think of the children! My older nephew (he is nine) was watching the news with his father when they covered the POTUS Nordstrom's tweet about Ivanka "Always pushing me to do the right thing" when he interjected, "But he never does the right thing." He's very smart.

    1. I would avoid the ones with a thing that goes back and forth, what most people would picture if they thought of a metronome. Those things always, eventually go off for some reason. I would recommend an electric metronome that had a distinctly sharp click sound instead of a beep. I can't recommend any particular brand except to say that I use my ancient Franz electric metronome that I got when I dropped my old, wind-up one. I think you can buy them used. They plug into the wall, I don't know if they might rather have something that's more portable. I'd ask to hear them at a store. The closer to a sharp click, the better, I'd say. I expect most of them would give an accurate number of beats per minute, certainly better than my first, mechanical one.

    2. I advise people to always, always use a metronome while they're playing scales and other exercises and to use one in the beginning of learning a piece. The temptation is to substitute sloppy timing for accuracy, calling it "expression" when it's just sloppiness. I think avoiding slowing or speeding up that isn't in the composer's indications is almost always a good idea. There are a lot of places in, for example Brahms, op. 118, no 2 that hardly anyone plays well because the tension in the music gets dissipated through sloppy rhythm. It also ruins the effect when Brahms indicates a modification of the tempo later in the music. It's sad when a fine piece of music gets turned into a badly played chestnut.

      I can't stand to hear that piece played without, at least, the first number in that opus which prepares for it so well. That is if they're played well.