Vice President Charles Dawes

Music Hits and Politics: It Was ‘All in the Game’ for One VP

There’s certainly no lack of discussion about music’s role in politics. From Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3,” whose title “Bonaparte” was rescinded following Napoleon’s emperor declaration, to Pete Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome” and the counterculture movements of the 1960s and 70s, music, as with other forms of art, has not shied from politically charged commentary. However, for next week’s Election Day, we at Musicnotes have been fascinated by the story of a politico’s non-partisan musical ties. Mr. Charles Dawes served as the 30th Vice President of the United States, he won the Nobel Peace Prize, and the self-taught pianist wrote a signature tune that just happened to become a cross-generational music
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The Art of Choral Programming

The Art of Choral Music Programming

 Musicnotes is thrilled to announce the addition of renowned choral conductor, composer, arranger, artistic director and vocalist Jonathan Miller to the team.  Jonathan joins us while continuing his work with Chicago a cappella, an esteemed ensemble of professional singers he founded in 1993. In addition to overseeing the Musicnotes choral sheet music offerings, Jonathan graciously agreed to share his insights and expertise on choral arranging, vocal well-being, repertoire suggestions, choral music programming and more with all of us on the Musicnotes Blog. In fact, the latter topic he’s touching on today. The Art of Choral Music Programming: How to Captivate an Audience I am excited to be joining the Musicnotes
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Spooky Piano Themes

Melodic Spooks and Spells: Solo Piano Halloween Sheet Music

The cobwebs are all up, the jack-lanterns are lit and the spooky snacks are all set out for your guests… but still, the atmosphere for your Halloween party isn’t quite right. Yes, you’re missing the mood music – and, of course, there’s no better music than live music. The problem is, with the guests on their way, you don’t have time to figure out what to play … While Musicnotes has a great selection of Halloween Sheet Music for all instruments, in a social setting your best instrument will be the piano – so we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite spooky piano solos, perfect for your
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Oktoberfest sheet music

Learn About and Learn How to Play Fun Oktoberfest Music!

Each year in Munich, Germany, more than 6 million people gather to eat, drink and socialize celebrating all things Bavarian, as millions more gather for their own ‘Oktoberfest’ celebrations around the world. While the beer, brezen and würstl are consumed, revelers enjoy an array of traditional German tunes, often singing and dancing along. Here at Musicnotes headquarters, we like to celebrate Oktoberfest Gemütlichkeit by playing a wide array of German sheet music! Since the festival runs from mid-September through the first weekend of October, we wanted to be sure to get our oompah fix in with the Top 10 Oktoberfest Songs to play at your very own celebration. Traditional German
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Improvisation tips

Begin Putting the ‘Pro’ in Musical Improvisation

Perhaps the ultimate display of personal musicianship and expression, improvisation is a fantastic component to any developing musician’s study. Learning to play spontaneously isn’t easy, and it’s certainly a skill built on trial and error. However, there are a few things beginners can do to aid in their mastery of musical improvisation. First, you might be thinking, “I’m not a jazz guy, what do I need to practice improvisation for?”From Bach to Beethoven, improvisation has a storied history in classical music, allowing composers to show off their skills and attract attention and admirers. A recent study has even suggested that musicians who train in improvisation are able to unlock their
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Quotes for pianists

Quotables for Pianists: 12 of Our Favorite Piano Quotes

Did you know that September has been named Piano Month by The National Piano Foundation? Just in time to celebrate, we’ve gathered some of our favorite piano quotes paying tribute to one of our very favorite instruments. We hope you enjoy this collection of piano quotations, and please add your own treasured odes to the piano in the comments section at the end! 1. “It’s like a whole orchestra, the piano for me.” -Dave Brubeck (Download Dave Brubeck sheet music) 2. “Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” -Tom Lehrer (Download Tom Lehrer sheet music) 3. “When I had nothing
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Encouraging Good Practice Habits

Make Practice Time Rewarding and Fun with These 5 Simple Practice Tips!

With the new school year now fully underway, many households are getting into their groove and finding the right routine. In any musical household, one very important (yet sometimes overlooked) factor of a successful school year schedule is practice time. Following school, homework, extra-curricular activities and sleep, musical practice may occasionally get pushed to the wayside or left until the last minute, which, as we know, doesn’t really help budding musicians expand their skills and reach their goals. We’ve narrowed down five simple tips for encouraging good practice habits that children can carry on throughout their musical careers. When practice is rewarding and ‘fun,’ youngsters will look forward to that
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Sleeping at Last

Q&A with Composer, Innovator and Modern Musical Renaissance Man, Sleeping At Last

There’s a mantra commonly repeated in writing to “show, don’t tell.” Sleeping At Last creates music that doesn’t just tell us stories, he shows us the warmth and emotion behind them. His anthology-inclined discography is a study in musical storytelling concepts, from the 36-song year-long ‘Yearbook,’ to this year’s ‘Atlas: Year One,’ a compilation of pieces from his ‘Atlas’ series of EPs. Perhaps it is his propensity for narrative through music that’s made Sleeping At Last a favorite among TV and film producers. “Turning Page,” the absorbing declaration of love that appeared in ‘Twilight IV: Breaking Dawn – Part 1,’ is a perennial favorite of Musicnotes musicians, as is “Sun,”
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Country sheet music vs. Rock sheet music

Is Your State A Little Bit Country or A Little Bit Rock ‘N’ Roll?

In a clash of the digital sheet music genres, it looks like country and rock ‘n’ roll are somewhat evenly matched, according to the shopping patterns of U.S. musicians.   Inspired by songwriter Marty Cooper’s classic tune “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll“® (as performed on ‘Donny & Marie’), our stat-savvy data team explored a year’s worth of U.S. sales data to determine where, geographically, country or rock sheet music proved to be most popular. Country sheet music was defined by any song with a ‘country’ tag on the website, while rock consisted of sub-genres ‘arena rock,’ ‘classic rock,’ ‘hard rock‘ and ‘rock & roll.’ Overall,
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Challenging Guitar

Test Your Technique with Challenging Guitar Tab Selections!

Are you a guitarist looking to expand your playlist and/or skills? In need of a piece to impress at a school or band audition? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We love guitarists, and guitarists love Musicnotes for our selection, reliability and convenience. Our awesome customers frequently come to us for song suggestions. So, we decided to provide a fun mix of guitar tab challenges that make great pick-up-and-practice skill-builders. These aren’t songs you’ll most likely master quickly, but rather works you’ll develop over time. How difficult a piece is to play can depend on a variety of variables. Speed, length, mood and dexterous fingering may all be factors
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