Tag: music

Ice Cube

9 singers and groups you may not expect to find in the OED

Over two million quotations are included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and, with approximately 33,300 quotations, Shakespeare is the author you’re most likely to encounter when looking up a word. While the Bard’s inclusion doesn’t seem very surprising, the dictionary also cites a number of people whose inclusion is a bit more unexpected. For example, […]

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“Architecture in general is frozen music.” - Friedrich von Schelling (1775–1854)

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Quiz: can you match the lyrics to the musical?

Whether or not you’re able to be a regular attendee at Broadway shows or buy the soundtracks, there are plenty of phrases you’ll be able to identify from the lyrics of hit musicals. Take our quiz to see if you can match the lyrics to the musical.

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Taylor Swift

She can read you like a magazine: the lyrics of Taylor Swift

You’d think writing about Taylor Swift’s use of words would be easy. Everyone knows her style, right? It’s so distinct that she has tried to trademark it. But let me tell you, there’s something ethereal about Taylor’s lyricism – it’s surprisingly hard to settle on any individual words that are markedly hers. ‘It’s because she’s […]

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Check out our list of dances

A list of dances from the OED

Because the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) captures the breadth and variety of the English language, something that one can trace through its entries are cultural fads and crazes. With that in mind, we have pulled together a list of dances mentioned in the OED, some new, some old, some still popular today, and others lost to […]

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jazz nicknames

How did jazz musicians end up with all those nicknames?

‘Old Blue Eyes’. ‘The Queen of Soul’. ‘Muddy Waters’. ‘The King’. Nicknames are an integral part of the history of popular music in the United States. They not only lend musicians a distinctive identity, but they also serve to create a sense of familiarity between musician and listener. Nicknames connect audiences to performers who, on […]

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The origin of jazz is a curious one - it comes from baseball originally.

The baseball origin of ‘jazz’

At first glance the only thing that jazz and baseball seem to have in common is that both have been the subjects of Ken Burns documentaries, the histories of the two institutions are very much intertwined, and the word jazz got its start in baseball, only later slipping into music. There are a lot of […]

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The 'Do re mi' tune reaches back nearly 1,000 years

The history of do re mi

Nestled amid the familiar Rodgers and Hammerstein melodies of The Sound of Music is a tune with a history that reaches back nearly a thousand years, as long as those famous hills have been singing their songs: ‘Do-re-mi’, the most ‘meta’ of all the numbers in a musical about music. This post will focus on the […]

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