Discover new music – method #3 — Jeopardy!

Yes, the long running (and probably best) game show!

How, you may ask will one discover new music from Jeopardy!? (The ! is in the name of the show, so that is a regular question, not !? combined, an interrobang. Hey, I just realised, that would make for a good ‘answer’ to a clue!) Well, simply from the clues themselves!

There tends to be a music or music related category fairly often.

Today’s (March 25, 2020) episode had a category for “Instrument Makers.”

In that category, the easiest clue ($400):

In 1850 Heinrich Steinweg came to America from Germany, anglicized his name & began manufacturing these

Piano of course.

And the hardest ($2000):

In the 1930s this man turned his experiences making clocks & motors into inventing an electric organ

The question, Who is Laurens Hammond?.

Those two alone will not directly discover new music, but search them online and find notable performers of said instrument will yield new music to listen to.

For instance, the Hammond Organ: an early player was Jimmy Smith. Listen to a famous piece of his: “Back At The Chicken Shack.”

Whilst you listen, from his TiVo bio:

Jimmy Smith wasn’t the first organ player in jazz, but no one had a greater influence with the instrument than he did; Smith coaxed a rich, grooving tone from the Hammond B-3, and his sound and style made him a top instrumentalist in the 1950s and ’60s, while a number of rock and R&B keyboardists would learn valuable lessons from Smith’s example.

Grooving tone indeed!

His 1972 track, “Root Down (And Get It)” would later be sampled by The Beastie Boys in “Root Down!”

Furthermore, Mr. Hammond also invented the world’s first polyphonic musical synthesizer, the Novachord. Look that instrument up, and an early example of a song performed with it is Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again!”

/\/\/\/\/\/\

In that same episode was the category “Notable Italians.”

The toughest clue (or what is supposed to be) at $2000:

The musicians had scores, but he didn’t. With poor eyesight, this 20th century maestro conducted from memory

Answer Question: who is Arturo Toscanini. Indeed that was a tough one!

From his biography:

In 1885, at age 19, he graduated from the Parma Conservatory as a cellist, and joined an opera company for a tour of South America. When in Rio de Janeiro, the incompetence of the Brazilian conductor engaged for the tour so incensed the Italian singers and players that he was forced to resign, and the 20-year-old cellist was asked to take the baton for Verdi’s Aida. By the end of the tour he had led 26 performances of 11 operas, all from memory.

Impressive!

Fortunately he lived after TV cameras were invented, so, we can see his actual work:

And, if you are wondering what conducting is all about, watch this good Vox video: What a conductor actually does on stage, and read a little about technique at Wikipedia.

So, watch Jeopardy!, discover new music, and plenty more!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share this post if you enjoyed it!


Got a cool method for discovering new music? Comment below, or Tweet me: @tmmblog. If I use your method, I will credit you of course!

And, go back and read Discover new music – method #2 — What’s currently playing on Sirius XM!

And, Discover new music – method #1 – Later… with Jools Holland guests.

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