09. May 2006 · Comments Off on Time On My Hands · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’m about to watch the Giants game. (Yeah, I know they aren’t doing well. Sigh. Don’t rub it in!) Watching the game means lots ‘o time to roam the web. I ran across a couple of paragraphs. The first part of paragraph one might interest Brian Sacawa of Sounds Like Now and the second paragraph might interest … well … maybe Bonds fans? 🙂

Here ya go:


The saxophone has an unmistakable sound, not easily confused with other instruments. What makes the sound of the saxophone so distinct? Recording the notes of various saxophones and comparing them with those of other instruments such as the oboe, Jean-Pierre Dalmont of the Universite du Maine in France will reveal the acoustical and geometrical features that endow the instrument with distinctive acoustics. To study the bowing technique of violinists, Diana Young of MIT will present a custom-built system that uses accelerometers, gyroscopes, and force sensors to measure bowing properties such as force, speed, and distance from the violin bridge. Young will discuss bowing distinctions between novices and experts, as well as differences in style and technique among experts. In his paper “Musical Coffee Mugs, Singing Machines, and Laptop orchestras,” Perry Cook of Princeton University will present live demonstrations as well as audio and visual examples of new instruments that his group has created over the last ten years.

Few things can disrupt the mood of a sporting event more than an offensive or otherwise inappropriate chant. Now, human-factors engineers have introduced a novel approach for disrupting undesired chants at sporting events. Noting that people find it difficult to speak coherently when they hear a loud, delayed echo of their own voices, Sander J. van Wijngaarden and Johan S. van Balken of TNO Human Factors in the Netherlands reasoned that such “delayed auditory feedback” would have similar effects in a group of people. By broadcasting an artificially delayed version of an offending chant, the researchers showed that they can severely disrupt the timing of others trying to join in the chant. For success, the feedback signal had to be at least as loud as the original chant, and the delay should be greater than 0.2 seconds. However, one challenge to implementing this technique in real-world conditions, the researchers report, is that the required loud echo of the original chant currently has the potential to lead to unstable feedback loops that could create unpleasant effects of their own.

Now is that news you can use or what? (Found both here.)

Actually, when these folks post a “Scientists have made the first perfect fibrecane oboe reed” we’ll have real news!

09. May 2006 · Comments Off on Noggle This …? · Categories: imported, Ramble

I located a new site a day or two ago, and now Drew has blogged about it as well. Blognoggle says it contains the top 100 Classical Music Blogs. I am not included. Sniffle, sniffle.

Ah well. I realize I’m not as popular as many classical music blogs; oboe isn’t exactly a huge draw. But I do get visitors, and I hope readers remember that I love hearing from you. Really.

While at Blognoggle, though, I happened upon a new blog (to me) called Red Black Window, by a composer and prof at UCLA. Nice!

Today: As I was driving to work, I noticed that the “Herb Room” in Santa Cruz had this message on their board: “Everyone deserves music.” Hmmm. I don’t know what I deserve. I don’t know that I “deserve” much of anything, really. But I think everyone can use music. Everyone can be blessed by music. And everyone should bathe in music once in a while. But that’s just me.

Tomorrow: Berlioz and Symphonie fantastique. Debussy’s Petite Suite. And Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos, but I don’t play that … I do love the work, though. At the Symphony Silicon Valley it calls the Piazzolla a violin concerto. Hmmm. I haven’t thought of it that way, but it does feature violin. Along with cello, if I recall correctly. For the two works on which I do play I’ll be on second oboe as well as English horn. I’m still working on EH reeds. A few years ago I sold one of my English horn shaper tips. I thought it was the one I didn’t like. Sigh. I believe it was the one I DID like. The one I am using is a bit too wide and I believe that’s what is causing my notes right above the staff to be saggy. Anyone want to tell me about your favorite shaper tip? I’m all ears.

Several yesterdays ago: And, finally (although you know I’ll probably be back!):

The Eifel Tower broadcasting station was opening with the first strains of a concert of classical music when a Yankee voice remarked: “Classical music is no good. Let me give you some real music.” Then the ether was shattered with Casey Jones. The police are after the joker and have already determined “approximately” where he lives. The gendarmes describe him as having “a disjointed sense of humor.”

Time, March 31, 1923