Skip to main content
Subscribe to Music Tales
Bamboléo: song meaning and origin of the lyrics
Barrett's Privateers: origins and meaning of famous drinking song
The Doors songs that use just three primary chords
Aeolian mode in Led Zeppelin songs
To study academic theory, superb pianist Wynton Kelly took up bass
Wynton Kelly was born in Brooklyn, NYC in 1931 to Jamaican parents. His blues-based piano playing made him one of the...
German roots of the Moon of Alabama
The Alabama Song first appeared in a collection of five poems published by German playwright Bertolt Brecht in 1927,...
Five tones of Spielberg's alien language
Close Encounters of the Third Kind—Steven Spielberg’s first and perhaps best attempt at sci-fi—was released in 1977 only...
The drama of The Chain kept alive on the big screen
The Chain, included on Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1977 Rumours album, has retained that particular brand of culturally...
Moonlight Serenade got its name to contrast the sun
Glenn Miller, American big band leader, composer, and trombonist, is considered the primary musical symbol of the World...
Instrumental simplicity of the quiet piano drama Breathe In
In the intimate story of a foreign exchange student who causes a deep and devastating rift in a close-knit upstate New...
'Mysterious Mountain' creator was not thrilled with its popularity
American composer Alan Hovhaness is perhaps most known for his work Mysterious Mountain, or Symphony No.2, which proved...
North Indian classics introduced into Californian underground thanks to Terry Riley
Minimalist pioneer Terry Riley remains among the most revolutionary composers of the post-war era. Famed for his...
I Put a Spell on You: the wild roots of the song's blackout drunk recording
I Put a Spell on You is a 1956 song written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins that became an instant classic and remained his...
Belated appreciation for the history-making Florence Price
The modern rediscovery of the little-known African-American composer Florence Price only began in 2009, when a large...
Chu Berry: finest tenor sax voice of the '30s silenced by fatal car crash
Leon 'Chu' Berry (1908-1941), perhaps one of the most brilliant American tenor sax players, found interest in music at a...
MODERN JAZZ QUARTET
Bebop meets baroque in memorable Collaboration
Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) is an American musical ensemble noted for their innovations in jazz forms and consistently...
The most performed contemporary composer grew up with Bob Marley music
Jennifer Higdon is a contemporary composer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Awards. According to a recent...
There were no bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover
(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover is an iconic song composed in 1941 by the American songwriting...
Easy Living owes Billie Holiday for giving it voice
A tender ballad Easy Living has forthright lyrics that declare just how wonderful life can be when living for someone...
Sicario's desert pulsates in Jóhannsson's score
Sicario tells the story of an idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) who is enlisted by a government official to...
Vintage synthesizers alleviate the Blade Runner sequel
Blade Runner 2049 is the long-anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 iconic film which defined a whole generation of...
Brian Eno's Airport Music for orchestra
It is useless to speculate now which direction the genre of ambient might have taken if not for Brian Eno, the revered...
Cal Tjader: the inception of Latin jazz in the Bay Area
Vibraphonist Cal Tjader was a fruitful composer who combined Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms with jazz harmonies,...
The Birth of 'Venus': from Stephen Foster, to The Big 3, and Shocking Blue
Stephen Foster (1826—1864) was an American composer whose vast contribution to a popular song, specifically the ballad...
Peggy Lee's sensual version of Fever replaced the original
Fever, one of the biggest songs to define a generation, is a passionate love proclamation that spoke to listeners of all...
Star Wars meets Baroque classics
The long-spanning Star Wars saga is embedded into our consciousness not only with its visual motifs but also its iconic...
The Stride Piano founder left nightclubs in favor of symphonic music
James P. Johnson has secured an honorable place in jazz music history as one of the most gifted piano players and...
Nelson's time in the Marines inspired his future composer career
Oliver Edward Nelson (1932–1975) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He is best remembered for...
Seven Nation Army riff conquers sport and classical music
It seems that since the initial release of the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army in 2003, the crowds at sporting events...
[H]ouse playlist is a remedy for everyone
American medical drama House, M.D. is not just an excellent guide to understanding actual diseases, but it also contains...
Pi for Piano in A minor
Everyone knows that Pi is a mathematical symbol representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, but...
The swan song of Abbey Lincoln, the voice of human rights
Abbey Lincoln, born Anna Marie Wooldridge, was a popular American jazz singer who wrote songs about black culture and...
The Blues Brothers' greatest gamble becoming one of their most enduring hits
The Blues Brothers were once the stars of their era, listed among the most popular groups of the late '70s. Vocalist...
The rock'n'roll wave overshadowed Lazybones writer
Hoagy Carmichael was an American composer, singer, pianist, and actor who wrote quite a few songs that ended up becoming...
Get the Latest
In Your Inbox
The History of Popular Music
Discover stories from each decade. Listen to gems from the 1960s, 1970s, and
Explore Phrygian, Lydian, Dorian, and other modes through the harmonic analysis of popular songs.
Read all about the formative music of the past centuries. Enjoy the regal yet easy sounds of the Baroque and Renaissance.
Indian Classical Music
Dive into the South Asian philosophy through Indian classical music. Learn about musical traditions of the Hindustani and Carnatic culture.
The Epoch of Romanticism
Get a taste of the most beloved and fruitful music period. See the personalities behind the major shift of the eras — from Classical to Romantic.
Download for free HQ soundscapes recorded in a mixed forest, including bird songs, cricket choruses, and night or afternoon thunderstorms.
Bamboléo: song meaning and origin of the lyrics
Beatles songs featuring Lydian mode
Quimbara: meaning and origin of the best-known salsa
Beatles songs with Dorian mode
Vivir Mi Vida: meaning and origin of Marc Anthony's jubilant salsa
Flat Foot Floogie: vulgar meaning of the swing hit song
Für Elise: 2 versions of Beethoven's best-known piano piece