Tag: music

“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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dance scene

37 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 picked out a sampling of some of the dances mentioned in the OED, some new, some old, some still popular today, […]

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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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baseball jazz

Jazz: an unlikely, but true, American journey

Two very American institutions are celebrated this month. Besides being Jazz Appreciation Month, April also marks the start of the MLB baseball season, which begins this year on 6 April. While 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 […]

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From Guido of Arezzo to The Sound of Music: the history of do re mi

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the film adaptation of The Sound of Music. This year’s commemorations of the event include a music festival in Salzburg, a story in Vanity Fair, screenings of the restored film in the US, and a medley of songs from the film performed by Lady Gaga at […]

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Photo via Flickr/Jason Persse

Dr. Dre and the language of gangsta rap

The hip hop world knows Dr. Dre as one of its most skilled producers and as a significant mentor to other prominent rappers – including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent – but not as one of the genre’s most significant wordsmiths. However, Dre’s influence on the vocabulary of English is enormous even despite his […]

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