Saturday, October 23, 2010

World's best-selling Musical Instrument

If there is a question thrown out "What is the world's best-selling musical instrument?" what would your answer be..the most likely answer expected would a Guitar or Drums or a Piano.But spare a thought here,the musical instrument which is the most sold in the world till date which is inexpensive and small, fits into the pocket.If you still have not got the answer I'm talking about the humble Harmonica.

The harmonica is the world's best-selling musical instrument. Harmonica, also called harp, French harp, blues harp, and mouth organ,is a free reed wind instrument used primarily in blues and American folk music, jazz, country music, and rock and roll originating in the early 1800s in Europe.The harmonica is the smallest and simplest of the free reed instruments, but it has one huge advantage over all its bellows-blown cousins: the tone and pitch of each note can be dramatically altered by the player .They gained popularity in the 1920s in the U.S. and were used in blues recordings. The harmonica maker Hohner had sold over 1 billion harmonicas way back in 1986 and the count is still on.

As a matter of fact The harmonica became the first musical instrument to be played in outer space on December 16, 1965, when astronaut Wally Schirra played "Jingle Bells" on a Hohner Little Lady model -- that he smuggled aboard Gemini 4.

One of famous harmonica player in the recent times has been Buddy Greene,this video(please click the link) showcases the expressiveness of the instrument played by a very very talented Buddy Greene.

If  i would have said that a harmonica couldn't hold it's own with an orchestra, i would have been wrong ,watch this video and you will understand what i meant.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pandit Ravi Shankar at the Woodstock Festival

Any avid music lover would have definitely heard of the Woodstock Festival,which arguably to this day is
the most famous pop culture music event.This musical extravaganza attracted acts from all around the world
and was first performed at Max Yasgur's Farm in Bethel, NY on August 15-18, 1969 for a celebration of peace and music.

What began as a paid event drew so many viewers from across the world that the fences were torn
down and it became a free concert open to the public. 500,000 youthful individuals gathered
peacefully at Woodstock 1969 creating the largest gathering of human beings in one place in history.
Woodstock 1969 defined an entire generation and its effects on music and American culture can still
be felt today.

Woodstock '69 featured one of the most prolific musical lineups in history including such icons as
Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Santana, and The Who. Fans got a taste of a variety of music
styles which came together in perfect harmony. The crowd at Woodstock in 1969, which reached near a
half a million people sent a message to the world that individuals could come together peacefully to
celebrate peace and music.

But what many do not know is that Pandit Ravi Shankar,the Indian music genius performed at this very
festival.Pandit Ravi Shankar became well known outside of India by performing his native music at Woodstock 1969, the Monterey Pop Fest, and other large venues all over the world.

Pandit Ravi Shankar's performance at Woodstock was crucial to the world music scene and came at a highly impactful period and he went on to introduce and teach sitar to George Harrison .Later material by the Beatles would feature the Sitar and it could be said that Pandit Ravi Shankar is responsible for popularizing Indian music within the timeframe.

Here is the video of Pandit Ravi Shankar along with Ustad Allah Rakha on the tabla at Woodstock.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pretty neat philosophy in four words...Don't worry, be happy

Many of you would heard the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy"  by musician Bobby McFerrin.
This track was released in September 1988 went on to reach number one on the Billboard
 Hot 100 chart, a position it held for two weeks. On the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number 2
during its fifth week on the chart. At the 1989 Grammy Awards, "Don't Worry Be Happy" won the awards
 for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Whats amazing about this song is the fact that its an "Cappella Song" by definition - a cappella song comprises of entirely overdubbed voice parts and other vocal sounds using no instruments at all.Eight tracks were used, each dubbed on top of the other with Bobby's voice. There are no instrumentalists, percussion instruments, or other singers other than Bobby.

To tell you more about this amazing singer,Bobby McFerrin is one of the natural wonders of the music world.
A ten-time Grammy Award winner, he is one of the world's best-known vocal innovators and improvisers,

Here is the video of the song featuring Bobby McFerrin, Robin Williams and Bill Irwin.Watch the video and im sure it will put a smile on your face.