More Thunder!
October 25, 2011

Forget the cowbell.  In 19th-century France, new organs featured special effects to help improvisers imitate the sounds of storms.  These included special “Pedale de tonnerre”, or Thunder Pedal, that simultaneously sounded some of the lowest pedal tones.  On organs not so fortunately equipped, the organist would have to depress several pedals manually or use the arm:


Lefebure-Wely was the undisputed master of organ storms.  His Scene pastorale appears in Dover’s intriguing collection Organ Music for the Christmas Season.  Pick up your copy today!

On the Beauty of Printed Music
October 14, 2011

Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu recently posted about the importance of printed music on his excellent blog.  Lintu reflects on different criteria that make up a musical edition, including purely musical matters as well as the physical and practical construction of the book.

Narrating the journey of discovery, known well to all music students, that leads musicians away from the most base editions to quality products by world-renowned publishers, Lintu explains how the Urtext designation signifies an important step in musicological study but also erases the history of musical insights that can be gleaned from the editors pen.

Although the online purchasing of printed music is becoming more common, Lintu explains how important it is for musicians to put their hands on printed music and thumb through the pages before purchasing.  A musical edition is made up not only of musical content, after all; it is also a physical product.  The quality of paper, the clarity of engraving, attention to details like page turns, and especially the strength of binding all important criteria of a musical score:

“I myself find that, more and more often, my choice of edition is dictated by practical considerations. I seem to be guided more by extra-musical criteria: the quality of the paper, the binding, and especially the font. The fact that I can, in a fit of frustration, hurl the score at the wall without the binding falling apart is sometimes more important than whether the staccatos are marked with dots or wedges.”

Lintu’s post warms our hearts here at The Leading Note.  We have long shared his enthusiasm for the variety of details that make up a quality edition.  Our staff put a lot of effort into choosing the best editions to stock on our shelves and we are aware that the tastes of musicians are as varied as editions themselves.  A quality edition will bring a lifetime of use and joy.

Come round to our store sometime and thumb through a few pages.  You’ll know what we mean!

Memorial Concert for Cynthia Floyd

The music community in Ottawa will honour Canadian pianist Cynthia Floyd at Dominion-Chalmers United Church on November 30th, 2:00 p.m.  Cynthia Floyd was Professor of Music at the University of Ottawa where she founded the piano faculty and taught fortepiano until her retirement in 2003.  Born in Toronto, Prof. Floyd studied in Vienna and was a lifelong friend of Glenn Gould.  She was well-known as a performer of music from the Classical Era and a frequent performer at festivals of Early Music.

Performers at the concert will include David Staines, Evelyn Greenberg, Shoshana Telner, Richard Hester, Frederic Lacroix, Lori Burns, Marcel Hamelin, Rowland and Margaret Floyd, Jane Perry, and Angela Hewitt.

More information is available here.

De la musique francophone à Leading Note!
October 11, 2011

Oyez! Oyez! Nous avons récemment reçu une grande variété de livres de musique francophone. En effet, grâce à notre collaboration avec la maison d’édition québécoise Chant de mon pays, nous pouvons maintenant vous offrir des nouveaux livres de méthode de guitare, de piano et de flûte à bec en français! De plus, nous avons des livres de Beau dommage, André Gagnon, Coeur de Pirate, Pierre Lapointe, Claude Léveillée, André Proulx, Isabelle Boulay et Alain Lefèvre, ainsi que des recueils de pièces par des artistes variés. Et n’oublions surtout pas les nombreux nouveaux livres de Noël (qui s’approche à grands pas d’ailleurs) et les recueils de chansons folkloriques.

Alors venez en grand nombre pour profiter de notre nouveau répertoire francophone!

30th Anniversary of our last Blog post
October 6, 2011

September is a busy month at The Leading Note. Consequently, it is a slow time for blogging. The whirlwind of Back-to-School and Choir-Season-Planning means we’re so busy handling orders with grace and aplomb that we have no time left to sit down to write.  This is, of course, a very positive thing for our business!  Thus is seems appropriate at this time to extend our fondest thanks to all the piano teachers, choral directors, parents, students and other customers who have so graciously patronized our store this month and been so patient with us as we struggle to cope with line-ups, stock shortages, and general hullabaloo. We’re so grateful for your continued support!

Alongside all the hurly-burly a few things of note have happened at The Leading Note in September:

  • We have a Big Monster Sale on piano and violin books: 50% off selected methods, collections, and repertoire.
  • We now have a large collection of books from Quebec publisher Chants de mon pays (more details here).
  • Our Christmas books are now out on display (I know it’s early but kids need time to learn!).