one common language... the ukulele.
Latest Ukulele Albums & Ebooks Post
It is about time, with Halloween nearing, for me to wake from the dead…
Rest assured, dead I have not been, I have merely chosen for a while to remain unseen!
Ryan Taylor, a composer, conductor, baritone vocalist and ukulele player from the US recently sent me an ebook for review, entitled The Haunted Ukulele, which consists of “a monster collection of 59 spooky songs”.
Buy on Amazon.com (paperback format)
Buy on Sellfy (PDF version)
So Trick or Treat ?
General presentation :
The book definitely falls into the treat category. Besides being a vocalist, Ryan Taylor leads the UFO HUM (Ukes for Others : Happy Ukulele Movement). Over the years he has collected over hundred songs on the theme of Halloween from which he has selected the 59 he found most compelling. Drawings by Ryan pleasantly illustrate the book and emphasize the humorous side he is taking on the macabre theme.
The Haunted Ukulele has been written by a musician and it shows : you will find scores that are professionally laid out for each song. The songs selection covers several musical styles, from traditional, ragtime, to classical. All arrangements are very neat with a good mix between strumming and fingerpicking. A diagram of the chords used is displayed for each song which come in quite useful as there are many songs with numerous chords. Where the songs are strummed, rhythm patterns are indicated. When the songs use fingerpicking, Ryan gives guidelines using different types of notation according to the complexity of the song.
Latest Language Fun Post
A friend of mine pointed me to this great video in which David Crystal, a renowned British linguist and his son, Ben Crystal, actor and writer, explain how Shakespeare‘s plays performed in the accent that was in use at Shakespeare‘s time reveal many puns and jokes that are lost in modern pronunciation. Read more on Original Pronunciation (OP), on David Crystal’s dedicated website.
In this video, you will be able to listen to several excerpts from a few Shakespeare‘s plays in both modern and original pronunciations. Ben Crystal also explains how performing Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation affects his acting. You need not worry, although there are many differences between modern and original pronunciations, you will still be able to understand the plays performed in original pronunciation !
I strongly recommend David Crystal‘s The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, one of my favourite books.
Latest Ukulele World Tour Post
In need for some music to unwind after a stressful week ? How about ukulele videos set in the middle of nature to start the weekend ?
UK band Cardboard Carousel, Calliopi McDowell and Richard Dawson perform their song Does Anybody Know ?