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Showing posts from April, 2005

Tags - the next new thing?

While googling around for this blog yesterday I found some advice on tags - 'category' to the html literati. It looks wide open for abuse - just like keywords - but why not give it a try if it helps new readers to find us. I thought we'd try 'Instrumental+music', percussion+music' and 'classical+music' and see how we go from there - we'll keep you posted as they say. As a treat for the big bank holiday weekend here in the UK we are offering a streaming sample of a complete HiFi recording of one of Mendelsson's Songs without Words - Opus 102 today (just over a minute in a 1.7M MP3 file) - steel drums, harp and vibes as you have never heard them before!

Why Blog?

When I come to this point each day this question often occurs. We send out messages every day with no feedback, comments or reaction which tends to confirm the lack of interest - our content is either just too boring or we can't be found. We do have readers and these blog pages are amongst the most frequently visited pages on the site but we don't get comments. It seems that most of our visitors quietly download one of our lofi clips and move on. On the other hand these pages do register on the major search engines and are probably contributing to the good positions we have on some of our target keywords. But you wouldn't find us by searching on Instrumental Music blog for example. No the thing which keeps us going in this media is the opportunity to participate in the development of podcasting or moving on to sample streaming which so fits our business model that we have to be there and for today we have a 30 second clip of a Chopin Mazurka Op6_2 played on steel drums

The company we keep

When you establish a website it is always interesting to see who the search engines associate you with. There are the obvious associations that occur on the search results for a keyword or phrase and there are the less obvious results that come up when you look at the pages 'similar to' according to Google. Our two press releases have apparently made us similar to some PR sites but more rationally we are also associated with other sites using Bitpass to sell their music and other media files. On Yahoo you can look at the sites they have identified which have links to your site and we appear to have been picked up by Sublime MP3 on the basis of a single use of that word to describe the Dvorak cello concerto. So maybe this blog will be picked up there now! Today's podcast features two of our composers in Brahms Variations on a theme by Paganini in a lofi clip which will enable you to recognise the tune and get some appreciation of the arrangement. If you like what you hear

Neglected composer No 3 - Fritz Kreisler

This is the third and last of this little series about neglected composers in our collection. The inclusion of Fritz Kreisler in the collection was something of a surprise - he is famous for Viennese Shmaltz which seemed unlikely to find a place here. So it was intriguing to hear how it responded to an alternative orchestration - in this case harp and steel drums. Hear for your self how this works with today's streaming sample - a lofi 30 second clip from Fritz Kreisler's Liebesfreud (Love's Joy) - just click the link.

Neglected composer No2 - Hummel

Hummel was a new discovery for us but we were so impressed by the way Air Varie and Finale Rhapsodique responded to the Celtic harp and steel drums arrangement we devised that it had to be included in the collection. Hummel was a contemporary of Mozart and his influence can be heard in this piece which is today's podcast. Just click the Aire Varie link to stream this lofi 30 second sample and if you like it go to the page in our site where Hummel is listed to purchase and download the full hifi version for just 0.99$(US).

Neglected Composers No 1 - Haydn

I thought we would start looking at the other end of the popularity distribution today with the less visited composers included in the collection. Back on January 21st we announced the Haydn_etc page - not the most original file name perhaps but what about the content. We made the point then that the fact that we only had one piece available for some composers shouldn't rule them out of the collection. The Haydn Violin Concerto was one of our earlier arrangements of an orchestral piece and the simplicity of the marimba lead with steel drums and vibes in support really brings out the melodic and contrapuntal qualities of this music. Of course Haydn was a great innovator and had a major influence on Beethoven and Mozart. It is also worth comparing this violin concerto with our version of one of Vivaldi's violin concertos. Today's streaming sample is the lofi clip of Haydn's Violin Concerto in G Major - if you like it why not come and buy the hifi track for 0.99$(US)

Popular MP3 clips

As we have mentioned before Offenbach's Can Can is the most popular clip on our site - I suppose a free lofi 30 second clip of that music may have more applications than most of the rest of our material. However it is part of a wider pattern where the composers of the first four most popular clips are 19th century French composers or French by adoption in Offenbach's case. They are Saint Saens with his Danse Macabre, Widor's 'wedding music' Toccata from his 5th Symphony and Gounod 's Ave Maria. Naturally we provide the clips to enable potential customers to check our description of the music and get some feel for the arrangement and an appreciation of the quality of the recordings on offer. To be practical we offer lofi versions because they are much quicker to download and it has been interesting to note the relatively low take up of the short pieces which we offer free of charge and in full at the same hifi quality as our other commercial offerings. Today&#

Shubert - most searched for

Somewhat to our surprise we find Schubert at the top of the most searched for composer's names so far this month - just squeezing ahead of Paganini. As we have published our classical collection progressively different pages on the site have become established progressively on the search engines and this leads to changes in the pattern of search activity over time. It is probably fair to say that fresh interpretations of composers like Schubert are less common in contrast with, say JS Bach where there is an extensive tradition of new orchestrations and arrangements. We were also fortunate in finding a number of worthwhile opportunities for our approach in this composer's work including the March Militaire - a lofi clip provides today's streaming sample. Just click the link to play this 30 second clip and then once you have heard how good it is go to the Schubert page to buy a full length hifi copy.

Streaming Back from the Seychelles

The jetlag and shock of returning to work all merge into a disturbing sense of alienation on a first day back - not to mention sorting out significant emails from amongst a sea ghastly spam. However we are back now and normal service is being resumed. By the way - the Seychelles are fabulous - the people are friendly, the Creole food is delicious, the scenery spectacular and the pace of life adapted to the soaring temperatures and humidity. The opportunities to observe the wildlife in the air , on land and under the sea represent a unique combination in my experience. The local music has a big French influence and there are lots of parallels with Cajun to my ears even if the accordion is not much in evidence. As a reminder of those happy holidays today's streaming sample is our percussion arrangement of the Johann Strauss Kinderspiel Polka with those sunny steel drums shining through.