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Summary: Singer-songwriter Andrew Bird is a virtual one-man band - along with his vocal talents, he plays the violin, guitar, xylophone, and glockenspiel. The celebrated musician winds his instrumental techniques together with sophisticated electronic looping. Add in his uncanny ability to whistle anything, and he becomes not just a band but an orchestra. This TED presentation by Bird offers an ideal...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: Call it the ultimate leadership challenge - to create perfect harmony without saying a word. Could your typical CEO pull that off? Probably not, but it's second nature to an orchestra conductor. After a decade-long career at the podium in his native Israel, Itay Talgam has reinvented himself as a conductor of people in business. In this TEDTalk, Talgam demonstrates the unique styles of six...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: How do musicians find the inspiration to create? Do most songwriters come up with lyrics first, or music? What does it mean to be a composer in today's high-tech world? This program addresses questions young people may have about embarking on a career in music or musical composition. Focusing on current styles like rock, techno, and hip-hop, the video includes interviews with a classically...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2008

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Summary: The stock market surged through the 1920s and jazz was everywhere in America. Now, for the first time, soloists and singers took center stage, transforming the music with distinctive voices and unique stories. This program introduces Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues, whose songs eased the pain of life for millions of black Americans; Bix Beiderbecke, the first great white jazz star, inspired...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: The social tensions underlying America's postwar prosperity were reflected in the broken rhythms and dissonant melodies of bebop-and in the troubled life of Charlie Parker. Nicknamed "Bird," Parker demonstrated ideas and techniques as overwhelming for musicians of his generation as Louis Armstrong's had been a quarter-century before. But Parker wasn't the only bebop innovator. Dizzy Gillespie...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: Dixieland, swing, bebop, modal, free, avant-garde, these were some of the terms critics used during the 1960s to categorize the diverse manifestations of jazz music. As for the artists themselves, many were desperate for work and headed for Europe, including bebop saxophone master Dexter Gordon. At home, jazz sought relevance. During the Civil Rights struggle it became a voice of protest, while...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: The story of jazz begins in New Orleans, 19th-century America's most cosmopolitan city. Here, in the 1890s, African-American artists created a new music out of ragtime syncopations, Caribbean rhythms, marching band instrumentation, and the soulful feeling of the blues. This program introduces the pioneers of this revolutionary art form: half-mad cornet player Buddy Bolden, pianist Jelly Roll...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2000

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Summary: With farms and factories falling victim to the Great Depression, jazz was one of the few American industries poised for explosive growth. This program explores the art form during the first half of the decade, a period in which New York City usurped Chicago as America's jazz capital, Louis Armstrong revolutionized Broadway song craft, and Chick Webb forged his big-band sound at the Savoy...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: Amid the rise of suburbia, television, rock 'n' roll, and the baby boom generation, jazz lost a beloved and burned-out star: Billie Holiday. But the music still had its two guiding lights. In 1956, the first year Elvis topped the charts, Duke Ellington recaptured the nation's ear with a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. The next year, Louis Armstrong made headlines when he condemned...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: As the 1930s drew to a close, swing-mania was still going strong, but some fans were saying success had made the music too predictable. Their ears were tuned to a new sound, suffused with the blues-the Kansas City sound of Count Basie's band, which ignited new musical adventures. By 1938, Basie and his men were helping Benny Goodman bring jazz to Carnegie Hall. Soon Basie's lead saxophonist,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: The flowering of the Jazz Age is a tale of two great cities, Chicago and New York, and two extraordinary artists whose achievements spanned nearly three-quarters of a century. Louis Armstrong was a fatherless waif who grew up on the rough streets of New Orleans, developing his extraordinary gifts before moving to Chicago, where his transcendent sound inspired a new generation of musicians. Duke...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2000

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Summary: When America entered World War II, jazz became part of the arsenal, with bandleaders like Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw taking their swing to troops overseas. For many black Americans, however, that sound had a hollow ring. Segregated at home and in uniform, they found themselves fighting for liberties their own country denied them-as when authorities padlocked the integrated Savoy Ballroom....

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: As the Depression dragged on, jazz came as close as it ever would to being America's popular music. Now it was often called swing, and, as this program illustrates, it became the defining music of a generation. Suddenly, jazz bandleaders were the new matinee idols, with Benny Goodman hailed as the "King of Swing," while teenagers jitterbugged just as hard to the music of his rivals: Tommy...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: “How does a medieval court jester wind up involuntarily having his daughter assassinated? Stay with us for an intriguing and passion-filled tale of vengeance, love, and betrayal,” says program host Natalie Choquette. “Sound like The Young and the Restless? No, it’s Giuseppe Verdi’s operatic masterpiece, Rigoletto!”

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

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Summary: “At the turn the 20th century, the most popular French opera was not Carmen but an opera whose principal character was the Devil. This 1859 opera was based on one of the most celebrated works of German literature and did nothing less than revolutionize French opera. Welcome to Opera Easy’s featured work: Charles Gounod’s opera Faust,” says host Natalie Choquette.

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

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Summary: “Tragedy makes for great opera. Opera is full of stories of unrequited love such as Romeo and Juliet, of jealousy and murder such as Otello, and of ultimate happiness ruined by premature death such as in La Traviata. But of all the tragic tales that inspired composers, one of the most effective and lasting is one inspired by Greek mythology - no, not Oliver Stone’s tragic film adaptation of the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: In this program, host Natalie Choquette introduces viewers to Die Entführung aus dem Serail. This Mozart rescue opera is set in Pasha Selim’s palace in 18th-century Turkey where Constanze, her maid Blondchen, and the servant Pedrillo are held prisoner. Before Constanze’s beloved, Belmonte, can set them free, he has to deal with the Pasha’s servant, the eunuch Osmin. A series of comic and...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: “What is the most romantic story in history: Romeo and Juliet, or Mayerling, or perhaps La Dame aux Camélias? Well for many, Alexandre Dumas’ story La Dame aux Camélias is by far the most moving and tragic love story ever told,” says host Natalie Choquette in this program. “The composer Giuseppe Verdi thought so too; his operatic adaptation of the book is perhaps the most popular opera in the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

View online at AVOD

Summary: The world of opera has spawned true works of comic genius. There’s Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, and Mozart’s rather serious comedy of manners Nozze di Figaro. But today’s featured work can be rightfully hailed as a true comic masterpiece. No, I don’t mean the operatic treatment of Corner Gas; I mean Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte or, to give it an equivalent English...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: The celebrated Grimm Brothers fairy tale is the inspiration for Engelbert Humperdinck’s most famous opera - and this segment of Opera Easy. With music of incredible charm and fantasy, the opera tells the story of two children who become lost in the forest and are captured by an evil witch. Thanks to the ingenuity and trickery of the children and the help of fairies and forest spirits, the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: “Opera is usually full of drama, tragedy, and death. In fact the writer George Bernard Shaw once said that he knew when it was the end of an opera because no one was left alive on stage. But there are also many comic operas, operas that are full of comic characters and situations. According to the great composer Giuseppe Verdi, the greatest comic opera ever written is the subject of today’s...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

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Summary: In this program, host Natalie Choquette explains that Tosca is one of the few operas about an opera singer. It’s also one of the most violent, erotic, melodramatic works in the operatic repertoire (which no doubt explains its popularity!), and today this timeless masterpiece is even more convincing than many a reality TV show. No opera needs a diva in the title role more than Tosca, and many...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

View online at AVOD

Summary: “Welcome to Opera Easy,” says host Natalie Choquette. “If I were to ask you to name an opera set in Japan based on a play by an American playwright and with music composed by an Italian…would you recognize Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly? I hope so because Madama Butterfly is today’s Opera Easy featured work!”

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2004

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Summary: If I were to ask you what is the most romantic story in history, what would your answer be?” asks program host Natalie Choquette. “Would it be Dante’s Paolo and Francesca, antiquity’s Anthony and Cleopatra, or Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston? Probably not. No, I bet that your spontaneous answer would be that history’s most famous pair of lovers are Romeo and Juliette. And wouldn’t you know it,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

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