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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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Five most popular soccer teams and why people love them

The following is a guest article written by Kandace Heller.

Soccer - The World's Sports

When it comes to picking out the five most popular teams in the world, it would be hard to bet against teams in England and Spain. These are the only two countries you need to look at while you are searching for the teams on this list, and the passion behind these club teams is found to be at the same level as some of the most followed national teams in the world. These teams were chosen based on the ever-increasing popularity. Often, their fans are loyal and make sure to show this loyalty at games with body paint, jerseys or footy scarves.

5. Arsenal

Founded in 1886, Arsenal is one of the top clubs in England, and their current fan base is somewhere around 115 million people. The team's jerseys are made by Nike and the team is sponsored by The Emirates Group. The kit colors are white and red. Although they play their club matches in London, Arsenal is one of the few clubs that is able to garner a lot of attention from different parts of the world. In fact, Arsenal has routinely been referred to as the favorite club of American fans of the sport.

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The following is a guest article by Chris Jones.

NCAA

Count another bastion of major network television among the endangered species. CBS and Turner Sports recently announced that TBS will broadcast the NCAA men’s basketball tournament semifinal games in 2014 and 2015. The Final Four always had been broadcast on major network television prior to the latest agreement.

The Final Four joins “Monday Night Football” and the college football bowl system (minus one game in 2012) that have made the transition to cable (or satellite) television. According to Sports Illustrated, cable subscription fees are the underlying factor that several major sporting events are cutting ties with the Big Four television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox). Those over-the-air networks don’t charge viewers broadcast fees.

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The spectacle of golf

The following is a guest article by Colin Knight

Golf course

Golf is a sport that is as popular as it ever has been. Though it lacks the speed of soccer, or the danger of motor racing, the sport still pulls in massive TV audiences, and huge crowds still flock to live tournaments. So what's the appeal? The one thing that does make golf great sporting theatre is how rapidly things can change, even in the last few rounds of a tournament. In a tennis match, when one player wins the first set comfortably, then they will often go on to win the match. In golf, the leader in the clubhouse at the end of the first day of a tournament will rarely win the event. The uncertain nature of golf is what makes us watch and play the sport. No two days are ever the same and it's a sport that no one can ever really say that they have mastered.

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5 top upcoming golf tournaments for 2013

The following is a guest article by Simon Hayes.

Golf

The Masters reached a dramatic conclusion earlier this year with Adam Scott claiming the fabled green jacket after a play-off. But fear not; there are still plenty of amazing tournaments out there for you to sink your teeth into.

Check out our list of future venues and dates of top golf tournaments to keep your eye out for in 2013.

U.S. Open, Ardmore, 10-16 June

We start with one of the four majors, and with the Masters now out of the way, the U.S Open is undoubtedly the tournament to see over the pond.

Held at the Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia in June, the action will be played out on the Ardmore East Course — regularly voted as the best on the face of the earth.

American Webb Simpson will be looking to defend the title he won last year while Tiger Woods will no doubt be in the hunt for his first major win since 2008.

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