June 14. 2013

The piano, a lesson in history

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The following is a guest post by Kevin Maddox.

Piano

The history of the West’s relationship with music is a fascinating story and one that continues to be added to. The French horn, the double bass, the accordion, the saxophone and the guitar are all thought to have been invented in Europe. The same can be said for that most dramatic and diverse of instruments — the piano.

Invented by Cristofori Bartolomeo during the early years of the 18th century, the piano or ‘pianoforte’ as it was then known, has become one of the most essential, most enduring instruments of modern times. There’d be no Coldplay without Bartolomeo. No Bruno Mars either, but let’s not blame him — he couldn't have known. So, where did it come from and why was it invented in the first place?

Just how did the pianoforte grow to become as iconic as it is now?

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What People Are Talking About

This week, I almost wrote about Lauren Conrad's new book coming out, but no one is talking about that except... well, me. And Lauren Conrad. So instead, let's discuss an 11-year-old's awesome National Anthem rendition, Kanye West's impeccable interview skills, and the return of HBO's "True Blood" for its season 6 premiere.

NBA Finals National Anthem

11-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz's performed the National Anthem at game 3 of the NBA Finals earlier this week. People immediately took to Twitter, angry that Cruz was the one selected to sing the National Anthem because apparently he didn't look "American" enough, whatever that means. Thankfully, those people were in the minority, and many rallied behind Sebastien not only because it's the right thing to do, but because his performance was awesome. Sebastien was invited back to sing at Game 4 of the finals — with an introduction by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his wife. Kudos to Sebastien for taking it all in stride. Also, how cute is his mariachi outfit?

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