Google Music Search needs food

The new Google Music Search feature is cool and all, but as of this writing it only turned up four recordings for Ludwig van Beethoven, and Gustav Mahler returned nil. Ditto for San Francisco Symphony.

The direct links to iTMS are cool too, but something seems wrong with my Firefox because those links seem to only launch iTunes from Safari right now.

It’s nice to see the direct link to iTMS though. It’s certainly a result that up until now has been mostly absent from their results, and now if they can figure out how to get the entire iTMS catalog properly indexed and how to cross-reference composer, work, conductor, soloist, and ensemble for classical entries, it will be useful to me.

Classical Double Bassist Forum

If you are a classical double bassist, then you might be interested in checking out the new Google Groups forum, designed exclusively for discussion of issues pertaining to the classical bassist.

I had seen plenty of online bass forums, but most of them were a mixed bag of styles and instruments – jazz, classical, rockabilly, bluegrass styles, and then there’s electric fretted and fretless basses as opposed to the upright string bass – one almost forgets what to call it with so many bits and pieces floating around. So I felt it’d be a good idea to start one that had a purely classical focus.

Speaking of not knowing what to call it, there’s a ridiculous number of names given to this instrument – more than just about any other instrument I know of ��� which makes it somewhat of a pain when searching online for sheet music:

  • double bass
  • string bass
  • upright bass
  • contrabass
  • bass viol
  • standup bass

or just

  • bass

I heard my aunt Lisa call it “bull fiddle” once and nearly died laughing. Perfect name, but it wasn’t the last time I heard it called that… suddenly I heard bull fiddle popping up all over the place in conversation and it still cracks me up. One of those things…

Now of course in classical music, every musician has to learn a few key words, i.e. allegro = schnell = fast. Ergo, the bass is:

  • Kontrabaß in German
  • Contrebasse in French
  • Contrabajo in Spanish
  • Contrabasso in Italian

I’ll post more translations as I figure them out, if for nothing else than to find a great excuse to stretch out the true promise of UTF-8 in a single weblog posting. But in the meantime, don’t forget to visit the classical bass forum.

Wikipedia woes

I am a big fan of the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It has been a great source of information right at my fingertips for hundreds of topics. But the foundation of it being an open platform where anyone contribute has distinct drawbacks that have been coming to light recently. The most notable recent instance of this has been the controversy surrounding John Seigenthaler’s Op/Ed piece that appeared in USA Today on November 29th. In that he describes how he was defamed by an unknown author where it was claimed that he was suspected of involvement in the assassinations of JFK and RFK.

Just last night I was surfing around and wound up on the Wikipedia home page where I noticed the photo of the day of the Taj Mahal. On clicking through to the article, I was greeted with a photo that was definitley not an image of a gorgeous architectural monument in India, but rather a stark black and white photograph of the male anatomy. Thanks.

And lately in general, I’ve been somewhat put off by the fact that there seems to be too many articles on contemporary internet pop items, while real historical issues can occasionally fall by the wayside.

I suppose though that this all is partr of the territory. The reality is that Wikipedia could not be as complete or as successful as it is today without the ability to have anyone to be able to contribute. But at the same time, we must remember that problems like this will exist from time to time, and the resource needs to be recognized as such. Don’t have blind faith that there is absolute truth in everything you read.