Mongolians and Delay Lama Overtone Singing

Last Revised: Monday, December 31, 2012

uuuueeeeeeeeehhhhhh.... auuuuuuueee.. heh cough*

oh Hi there! I was just trying out overtone singing. yeah is fun lol.
I find this vocal sound rather intriguing at the same time unusually entertaining..

Khusugtun BBC prom
Khusugtun Overtone Singer
This singing technique is believed to have originated from Mongolia, dated back in the period of Genghis Khan. Traditional art of Mongolian overtone throat singing is often coupled with the sound of horse head fiddle.

The Mongolians refer this throat singing technique as hoomii or khoomii. By dexterously controlling the lips muscles, larynx, pharynx and the air flow (pressure), one is capable of producing harmonic partials. Simply put it as they can produce two different notes simultaneously. Is something like a bagpipe or hulusi, a sustaining sound of a drone accompanied by the sound of a chanter.

Mr Durian Going 3D

Last Revised: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yeah currently Im busy working on this Durian. I am using Google sketch up..Quite fun actually.

31/12/12 Update : done with the modelling few days ago still editing the animation for Mr Durian..  

Where FREE IMM Shuttle bus service Pick up point Changed!

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Damn! the Shuttle bus service to IMM has changed. The pick up and drop off point is now located at JCube instead of Jurong East MRT station.

The operation time for the shuttle services is 10.30am - 10.30pm daily. 5 minutes interval!

I've Wasted 15 minutes here waiting for the bus.. Why because I saw a few people there waiting.. even though there are notices indicating the bus has been redirected to Jcube .

I shall now walk myself there.

To those going to IMM note that the shuttle service pickup pt has now changed to JCube (In front of Macdonald).

What is Aeolian Wind Harp? God plays harp music for you

U shaped lyre Harp
Lyre Harp 
So what is this Aeolian Wind harp? I only know what is korean's bibimbap 

Aeolian harp is named after Greek God Aeolus, the god keeper of wind. No one is suppose to play this harp, thy Aeolus will play it for you. What I meant is let the wind play the harp for you. This is an old instrument and it became very popular during the romantic period. Even Robert Schumann referenced one of Chopins' Etude as Aeolian Harp (Etude Op. 25, No.1).

Lets hear how the harp sound before we move on to the physics of how it works.

List of Gangnam Style Parodies by Singaporeans

Last Revised: Sunday, December 23, 2012

Psy Gangman Style
Psy's Gangnam Style
On friday 21st Dec Gangnam Style had hit 1 billion views on youtube. He has yet again make another mark on music history. I was walking around the mall yesterday, strangely indeed people never get tired of Gangnam Style.. MTV was being played on the TV displays while the Uncles Aunties & Children have their eyes glued to the monitor screen.. what an interesting sight.

Even Psy himself cant explain the exact reason to why Gangnam Style is so appealing. And is it possible for him to replicate this phenomenon nobody knows?

How to Add Star Rating Review Markup For Blogger

Last Revised: Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review Markup Rating 5 3.7 2.5
Twinkle Twinkle Little Rating Stars
I was surfing just a while ago, not in the sea but on the internet.
And I noticed that some review sites have these little stars showing on the search results.

So I was wondering, is it possible for me as a blogger to have my own rating stars as well since I am also doing abit of food service reviews.

And yes it is possible! So those of you bloggers out there who are doing product or any other kind of reviews You are in Luck!

What is Starrboard and Harpejji?

Spongebob: Hi! That Patrick Star what is starrboard ? does it shaped like you?
That patrick star: uhNo? but it kinda look like you.
Spongebob: oh. ah. i see .. so what do you do with it?
That patrick star: You play with it?
Spongebob: oooohhh..
Both: gahahahaa gahahahaa ....

Composer's Block Composer's nightmare

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A wooden block with "Composer" written
Composer's Block
I am having composer's block now! In fact most creators have the same problems. Doesn't matter if you are a  Writers, artist or designer.. we all have this mental block. Even sometimes when I write my blog article my head becomes like a "block of wood".  (Ps: that picture on the left is not my portrait but the right is o.o)

It is annoying, ideas just wont come after pondering for hours and we often get frustrated with ourselves.

You feel like you've tried everything but nothing seems to work. Or have you? Have you really Tried everything?

12/12/12 Guess what Beethoven was doing 220 years ago

Last Revised: Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Franz Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Hayden
In year 1792 Dec 12 Beethoven had his first composition lesson from Franz Joseph Haydn. A year after Mozart death.

A quote from Beethoven finical backers, Ferdinand von Waldstein, " You are going to Vienna in fulfilment if your long-frustrated wishes.. you will receive the spirit of Mozart from the hands of Hayden".

Haydn is one of the well known classical era composer alongside with Mozart. It is believed that Haydn and Mozart are great friends and they often admire each other's work.

Discovering: Auto-tune Scientists sings

Last Revised: Monday, December 10, 2012

Symphony of Science 

It was years ago when I first stumbled upon Symphony of Science and I have always been a huge fan of it ever since.

Symphony Of Science is a music project created by John D Boswell. I love his unique way of mashing up clips from various Science Documentaries and turning them into uplifting music.

Enough of my talking
Lets listen to your favourite auto-tuned Scientists sings.

If you want to listen to more of his work or wish to download them you can check out the Official Symphony Of Science site.

There is no Disability in music. We are all equal

I've always admire these musicians and I feel they should deserve our utmost respect. Although disabilities may affect their daily life in one way or another, but in the musical world they are certainly the "superhuman". Their passion for music will always glow.

My 3 favourite Superhuman artist...

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) | Tinnitus

It is usually a misconception that he was a deaf baby. Beethoven was not born deaf. He started losing his hearing at age 30 around the period of 1801. And by the age of 41 he started communicating using notebooks.

Below is a popular excerpt of Beethoven's Symphony No 9.. Ode to Joy
Beethoven was a total deaf when he conducts this symphony and was known that one of the soprano soloist had him turn around to accept the applause.

Ray Charles (1930-2004) | Glaucoma

One of the greatest legendary artist in soul music. Charles's sight begin to deteriorate when he was five. And at the young age of seven he completely became blind. But never once did he gave up on music.

Another great song that I like

"I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys,my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water" - Ray Charles.

Derek Paravicini (1979- ??) | Blind and Autistic 

Unlike the two I had mention earlier in this post. Paravicini was born prematurel. In order to improve his chance of survival the high dose of oxygen had cause his retina to be damaged. He is one of the few people I know have absolute pitch.

After watching/listening and learning about these famous musicians don't you feel motivated and hope to learn more about music!!You are never too late nor too old to learn music, needless to say if you are a able-bodied person!

Feel free to share with me your favourite Superhuman musician I know there are quite a few of them..

Chicken or Egg Question?

Last Revised: Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chicken Little Running
Chicken Little came first?

Chicken or egg : that is the question!

This egg and chicken problem has always been a dilemma...
There are several proven theories out there but we can never know which one are the real deal..
Even up till today the debates still continues...

Instead of boring you and going through all the records of debates.. I'll just jump straight into how I view this chicken egg thingy..

By the way my answer is chicken came first. Reason?

I know Kiwi but What is EWI?

Last Revised: Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sliced Kiwi on Tray
Sliced Kiwi On Tray

What is EWI?

What a weird name for a musical instrument. It makes me feel like eating KIWI, the hairy fruit not the bird.

EWI known as Electronic Wind Instrument. Was invented by Nyle Steiner in the 1960s.

The fingering system is similar to that of a saxophone and clarinet. Since EWI is a Midi powered device you can basically play any instruments or synthesized sound with it.  If you don't understand what a Midi device is just think of as an electronic keyboard with a library of pre-set instruments.

Google Makes Jam with chrome?

Last Revised: Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eww.. Metalic chromium Jam!
Nah.. not taking about the fruity jam that you spread on your bread every morning..

Just last month , Google has launched another cool experiment is called JAM with chrome.
Yeah Google like to do experiments.. So do I. keke.. you can visit their Library of experiments here.

So What is this Jam with Chrome experiment about? It is actually a web based interface that allows people from all over the world to JAM together in real time. There is a total of 19 playable instruments for you to select, ranging from drum kits to drum pads to guitar to  keyboards..

Even if you have no talent in playing the instruments Google has installed the easy mode switch for you.  Instead of playing each single note, they have loops in easy mode autoplay.

I've tried playing it.. I find it glitchy though. Anyway there are a few limitations that I would like to point out. The app allows invitation up to 3 people which means you can only have 4 people, including yourself, in the session. No recording button found.. aww that is what I am looking forward to in this JAM..

Meanwhile if you like to know more about the coding of this Google Jam Experiment, here is a good page to visit. CASE-STUDY: JAM WITH CHROME - HOW WE MADE THE UI ROCK

Nuffnang: Gosh I lost my GLITTERATI status!!

Last Revised: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yesterday when I login to to my nuffnang account, I found out that I've lost my Glitterati Status Oh my!...
I am already earning pathetic peanuts from it.. and now my Nuffnang Glitterati got stripped off.

Non-Glitterati Icon
After checking through my site I found out the possible reasons why I am being demoted back to Non-Glitterati.

Stupid me.! I've added my inactive blog to my Nuffnang account. And Even though I have added the Nuffnang ad code to my blog the ad units doesnt show-up. Why? because I am using the dynamic view template..

I dont know what is the real reason behind my demotion..maybe is because the blog is stagnant or the ads cant be detected by Nuffnang's "Crawling insect".
For whatever reason I just want my Glitterati status back.. Immediately I went on to remove the inactive site from my account.

Glitterati Icon
Glitterati Status
And today I am glad that I got my Glitterati status back.

Note to nuffnang users:

For Nuffnang members out there I urge you to always check your blog and see if the ad units is showing. Never add a blog which is inactive to your Glitterati account.

How to tie or bind flute, the technique.

Last Revised: Friday, November 30, 2012

..from Quena Flute making guide

How to Tie / Bind your Flute Professionally

Often this is the last stage of flute making... is optional but it'll definitely make your flute more authentic looking.. A good binding technique can help prevent bamboo flute from splitting. You can also use this technique to repair your cracked bamboo flute.

Follow through my steps and do it slowly. You should be able to get a good and tight bind.

Binding Steps:

Step 1: Make a loop like this

(btw this is the back of flute and its thumb hole)
Flute binding Step 1

Step 2:  Hold the loop with your thumb

Flute binding step 2

Step 3: Start the winding. 

Make sure each winding is tight and not overlapping each other.
The yellow arrow shows the winding direction of my thread
The red arrow shows the direction at which you should wind towards (towards the looped end)
Flute binding step 3

Step 4: Tying the ends  

First, Yellow arrow..push the winding end of the thread through the loop
Second, Red arrow.. pull the thread at the other end as tight as you can, this will close the loop and secure the winding end.

I am using a pliers to tighten the bind.
Flute binding step 4Flute binding pliers pulling the thread

Step 5: Trim away the excess ends with a penknife/Xacto knife..

Flute binding cutting the thread

You are done with the binding process!

For additional strength and finish, you may want to apply lacquer on the binds itself.  
Do not over do it. You only want the thread to soak up the lacquer.

The Complete Guide: Make your PVC Quena Flute

Why I started making flutes and a little history about quena flute...

PVC quena flute
Quena Flute Made in Singapore O.o

Let's make Quena!

showing blues clues handy dandy note book
Planning to get a Handy dandy notebk?  
This will be a long post.. step by step  .. on making a quena flute.
I will provide you with my personal secret handy-dandy tips n tricks, hopefully they will be useful for your flute making. And also I've included the making plans and dimensions for my flute.

Don't worry if you do not own any heavy machines or milling machines.. I just find whatever tools I can get around me to make my PVC flute. In another words all the tools that I will be using should be easily obtainable. Yeah!

Why buy when you can make flute?

Last Revised: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yoz! Do you like to make a musical instrument?
Of course you do! If not, you wouldn't have landed on this page. Right? 

There may be a few reasons to why you want to make your own flute.. for me I find that is not easy to get a flute here in Singapore ( not talking about western flute). Often hear people asking where can I buy a flute in Singapore?  You can find them, but they are like searching for rare items in a game.. Furthermore bamboo flute may splits when not taken care of properly. Not very durable compared to a pvc made one.. ..For more, here is my article on plastic instruments

Since I love making things out from scratch... why not build my own flute :)
White Black Quena Flute
 White Black Quena Flute 

But First let me give you a short introduction on this flute that I made.

Quena is originated from Andean. It has a distinctive sound comparable to a bird-soaring in the sky. The early materials use for making this flute are from animal bones and condor quills..   slowly wood and bamboos are used instead..
My favourite and very first song I heard played using the Quena would be  El Condor Pasa (The Condor Flew Past), go check it out. You might have heard of the tune before. 

 I dont have a bamboo forest here in my country But I will teach you how to make flutes using PVC pipes.
No bamboo forest
But we have 2 great Pandas
Note: The given dimension could be use for making a wooden one.. provided if you have a bamboo forest near you :P

Hmm.. should I gave this Quena flute a name "The Panda Flute?"..
Ah! Jiajia Kaikai have eaten up all the bamboos.. too bad they dont like plastics..

Ok.. Enough of my stupid blabbering..

How we hear Sound? Anatomy Inner workings of our ear.

Last Revised: Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ink on paper  Ear
Ink on paper: The Ear
Let's learn about how we hear..
Understand why? when a mechanical wave is created by a vibrating body (eg. musical instrument), is being heard as sound.

Sorry for my bad drawing lol. Both are done by me but you can see I didn't put in any effort for the diagram below haha!
The ear diagram
The ear diagram

This is just a simple structure of our ear (excluding the stick man of course).
From my drawing you can see the three labelled parts; tympanic membrane (aka eardrum), auditory ossicles and cochela
They each plays a different roles which contributes to our hearing.
  1. Sound wave reach the tympanic membrane and cause it to vibrate
  2. The vibration will be relayed through the ossicles,
    • the ossicles are like little levers, it is said that the force of the vibrations is being amplified about 20-fold
    • they are three the smallest bones found in our body
  3. Finally it reaches the cochlea
    • inside Cochlea is filled with fluid
    • when the fluid moves the hair cells in the cochlea will be stimulated 
    • which induces action potential signals in nerves cells
    • these signals will then be processed by our brain as sound!    
To summarise: Soundwave>Tympanic Membrane>Ossicles>Cochlea>Brain

So when you play an instrument, it will vibrate. This vibration will cause the molecules in the air to also resonate. Note that sound is a mechanical wave it only travels through a medium(this case is air). When the vibrating air molecules hit your ear you'll hear sound. 

Additional Information: Our ears also help us in maintaining balance.

Soup Master 老火汤 Great Deal

Last Revised: Friday, November 23, 2012

Soup Master Soup With Pumpkin Rice
Soup Master Soup With Pumpkin Rice

I believe most people in Singapore knows what is 老火汤 (lao huo tang aka Soup Master). Over the past one year I've seen them popping out of every corner.

Lotus Root Pork Ribs Soup take away
Lotus Root Pork Ribs Soup
You can't go wrong with soup and I like to drink soup.  This is what I bought yesterday while on my way back home. Yeah.. I dont like to eat out when im alone .. but anyway they offer free soup refills if you dine in. They have a variety of soup for you to choose from a simple and light Pear & Apple Pork Ribs Soup to rich flavourful Buddha Jump Over the Wall.

So what is the Special deal here?

collect 10 chop marks
Collect Card
There see this little card  --->
is all in Chinese which I don't understand why.. 
or maybe there is English version one? dont know..

"Whateva" .. so what this card says is, collect 10 chop marks or stamps and you'll get to have one choice of soup for free. Any one will do and of course I will be picking the most expansive one.

The promotion will last until mid Feb of next year. So hurry and good luck in collecting your CHOPS on the discount coupon.

Soup Master 老火汤 
Reviewed by Simon Ooh on Nov 22 2012
Rating: 4

The Six Elements of Music and its theory.

Last Revised: Thursday, November 22, 2012

Understanding the basic component of music:

It is important to study them when you want to convey your thoughts and show your appreciation toward music. Especially when you are writing a music critique these are the six elements that you would want to know. Most Music Critics don't touch on the playing techniques unless he/she is a professional player in that instrument.

Or perhaps if you compose, these basic elements are essential to look at in order to create a specific genre of music.

The Six Primary Elements of Music:

There are various combinations out there but I will be covering on these Six. You are probably familiar with the top 3 (melody, rhythm and harmony) as they are the most common out of all the elements listed. I had come up with this Fish Analogy so that you can appreciate them better.

Melody (fish bone)

Melody is simply the backbone of the music. Made up by series of pitches. It is also commonly referred to as the tune. It is the main gist of the piece. Therefore the idea for coming up a catchy tune often rely on how well the melody is structured.

Harmony (fish meat)

Backing up the melody is the harmony, they are the muscles and meat of the music. Their main purpose is to support the bone structure. Doesn't this sounds like anatomy studies? haha. They are often known as the accompaniment. If you do play piano you will notice that the right hand often does the melody whereas the left plays the harmony.
Harmony are made up of chords, like the muscles fibres they need to work together. A chord is basically two or more pitches that sound right when heard simultaneously.      

Rhythm (heart beats)

When we talk about beats we know that it has to deal with some form of time measurements. The flow of time. In simple context, the beat is the time measurements of the music. Different types of notes have different beats which will determine how long the notes will have to hold.

Below are some of the notes and their respective beats.
whole = 4 beats
half     = 2 beats
quarter= 1 beat
eight   = 1/2 beat
sixtheen=1/4 beat

Not to mix up with tempo. Tempo determines the speed at which the beats progress.

Texture (fish scales)

When we look at the different species of fish we will noticed that the scales are arranged in orderly rows differently, some are densely compacted and some are spread out. Texture describes they way on how the musical lines are woven.

There are mainly 3 kinds of textures:
  1. Monophnic
    As you can see the prefix "Mono" it means single or one. It is the simplest from of texture, consist of only one single line without any accompaniment.
  2. Polyphonic
    Polyphonic on the other hand consist of two or more lines. The lines are independent of each other. They do not "sing" in unison each go their separate ways.
  3. Homophonic
    As for homophonic is different form polyphonic because the lines are interdependent. They move and change relatively to each other. Often the main melody move in unison with the accompany.

Colour (colour!)

So what is this colour? Just like the colours on the fish. It helps to beautify the fish, if not they will look dull and uninteresting. Colour in music represents the tone quality of sound  produce by an instrument. Different instruments produce different colours.

Form (pattens of the fish)

The arrangement of shapes you can see on the fish. Like our Cute Nemo here with the repetitive stripes all over his body.
In music the composer creates the from by sculpturing the order of events happening. In simple term it is how the composer arrange the music.

I make music for eyes, not ears.. Oops

Last Revised: Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some of you might be very familiar with this quote by Adele "I make music for ears, not eyes".
If you don't know her yet you should go check her out.

Mr Krabs Listens to music with his eyes
Mr Krabs Listens to music with his eyes
Well I will be going to talk about music for eyes not ears.. o.o <-- wow your eyes sure is staring big now. Probably wondering what has music got to do with visuals?.and what is this jerk talking about?

I am talking about Ernst Chladni a physicist and a musician. By the way, I guess most physicist like the vibes of music... like our famous Albert Einstein who loves his violin..

Ernst Chladni invented a technique that allows us to visualise the different resonance on a given surface under a specific given frequency.

Chladni Figures
The technique requires one to draw a bow, like those you use for violin, across the edge of metal plate. The sand or salt covering the plate will resonate and concentrate on the nodal lines.. different frequency will result in the different formations of nodal lines.

Nodal lines are area which separates the opposite directional wave, like the red dots below.

These nodal patterns formations are also known as Chladni Figures.
So why is this important? Ain't they only patterns?

They are useful in the context of acoustic engineering especially when designing a acoustic instrument. A well designed plate will result in a better quality sounding music instrument.

Additional information:
Do you know? Chladni's creation of Cristal Baschet was inspired by Franklin's glass harp.

Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)

My mummy wants to play this game!!!

Last Revised: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Double Date
Minna no Rhythm Tengoku / Rhythm Heaven Fever

Yeah I am quite busy these few days...I wont be doing much post for these few weeks.. why?
Cause exams are coming.!. I don't want to fail any of them and retake the exam again, super waste of time -_- & $$

Plastic Musical Instrument! Cheaper Alternative

Last Revised: Monday, October 22, 2012

Living in our current world, you'll find plastic practically everywhere!

Plastics are so easy to work with. They don't rust or rot. Easily the popular material of choice among manufacturers.

However the most prominent downside of using polymer is that they are not biodegradable ..

What if we can make good use of its infamous property?
We can recycle the waste plastic and make it into a music instrument.

Some people will argue that the quality of sound is different and compare it with a real hand made instrument.. However I would think of it as an alternative for people who cant afford these expansive hand crafted instrument.

The first time I learned about 3D printing technology, I thought to myself "will anyone print instruments out from a 3D printer?"

Yes indeed more and more people are printing musical instruments out from it.

Here is another one, plastic printed flute

As you can see all these videos are published one year ago, now if you search around the web you can find plastic trombone, saxophone, flute, clarinet .. .  all selling at a cheaper rate than a skillfully crafted one of course.
As mentioned above, these instruments cannot be compared to a hand crafted one. I will definitely give credit for the workmanship required in building the hand crafted instrument, I too am a flute maker.. But that doesn't mean a hand crafted instrument will always provide a better quality sound. With current technology precise custom designed instruments can be made to optimise resonance. 

I will end this post by providing some benefits of having plastic instruments. 

Advantages of plastic music instruments:

They are cheaper 
Easy to customised 
It is durable (it won't dent or crack when droped) 
They can be washed 
You can play them in the rain? 

Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)  

My Singing Monsters is finally out on android!

Last Revised: Friday, October 19, 2012

I've been waiting for this game for a loooonnng time... two months ago it was out on App Store but not Google Play

Finally! I get to play it on my android tablet!!.. yeahh!

For those who do not know what I am talking about ..

I'll probably be playing it tonight..

Good night music lovers! enjoy the world of music & have fun!

Update:Limited Edition Monster For the celebration of Halloween.. Breed Punkleton Monster before Oct 31st.. Im trying the T-rox & Bowgart combination. Hope I can get it!

Yup, I manage to get the monster on the last day hah..

Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)

Difference between Keyboard, Digital piano & Piano. Tips on which to buy?

Last Revised: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Planning to get a keyboard instrument this Christmas for your child?
Looking for a piano for beginners and still cant decide on which one to buy?
Should you buy a piano, electronic keyboard or digital piano ?
No, I am not doing any product review here but I will be comparing the difference between these 3 babies and sharing with you what are the things to look out for.
Yes, you'll need to know the difference between each of them in order to make the right decision.
So.. let me help you out.

Few steps and questions to consider when getting a new instrument.
I will only be talking about keyboard related instruments here. But these steps can be use for other musical tools as well when you decide to invest in a musical instrument.

Below are the 6 useful tips:
  1. Are you getting the keyboard for yourself or someone else
    Is always good to have the person playing the instrument around when you make the purchase. Since he/she will be playing on it for a long time, is better to get an instrument they are comfortable with.

  2. You need to know what are the differences between acoustic piano, keyboard and digital piano How they function and how they work.This is very important! 
    I'll go through each of them carefully.

    • Acoustic Piano:There are two types of acoustic piano vertical/upright and grand. Vertical piano are normally for home use whereas grand are mainly for concert due to their size. A normal standard piano should have 88 keys 52 white 36 black. Striking a key on the piano causes the the hammering action. When the brass stings are hammered, sound are being produced. The amount of pressure in depressing the key will determine how loud the key will sound. Due to this hammering mechanism piano keys have this "weighted feeling". Moving on to the pedals of a piano. Modern piano have 3 foot pedals. The Right is a sustaining pedal, when pressed all the dampers are removed from the the strings allowing them to vibrate freely when struck. The function of middle pedal varies, common ones would be the activation of "silent piano" which is use for practice purposes, another one is sostenuto, how this pedal works is that it will only sustain those notes when this pedal is engaged without affect the others. Left pedal is a soft pedal, when depressed the sound produced by the piano will be of a softer as the hammer are being shifted nearer to the strings.
    • Keyboard: There are lots of keyboards out there and each of them have different permutations of weird functions & instruments. I won't be taking so much on the functions here as there are too much of it to be covered on. I will highlight some of the more important features.
      First for keyboard they usually have less than 88 keys, take note the lesser keys you have the lesser notes you can work around with. I personally prefer to have 88 keys. Next you must know that keyboard doesn't have weighted keys. For a piano player electronic keyboard is normally not a good choice for them, the keys are too "plasticky" and it is not really helpful for their piano practices. Do note that some keyboard do not have touch response function which means how hard or how soft your depression is the loudness is going to be the same. Also cheap keyboard normally does not have Midi port that allows you to connect your pc.

    • Digital Piano: When compared to an electronic keyboard, digital piano has far lesser functions and instruments. However they usually comes with Midi interface which means you can connect them to your computers or other electronic devices. The main feature of a digital piano is to provide a similar touch to that of a real piano. All the keys are weighted carefully to mimic how a piano should "feel". Best is that the volume output can be adjusted. You dont have to worry about disturbing your neighbours when you do your practices at odd hours. It's definitely smaller and much more portable compared to a piano but if you want portability keyboard is still the best to go for.

  3. What purpose are you buying for
    Now that you know their differences you can start to review your purpose. Lets say you will only be playing piano pieces, you only like the organic sound of a piano and you got a large space. Definitely you should get an acoustic piano. If not, I would strongly suggest you not to get an acoustic piano. Why? I will talk about it more in the maintenance section. If you like to compose or do recording get either a keyboard or a digital piano they are much more suitable for the job.

  4. The maintenance that these instruments require
    Keyboard and digital piano require little to no maintenance, you just need to dust it occasionally. For acoustic is really high maintenance, it requires proper tuning and regulation. And if you do not take care of your piano properly, especially when you are living in a humid country, you'll probably end up with sticky keys like me.

  5. Your budget
    Since building an acoustic piano requires lots of delicate work and manpower it is very expansive. We must also consider the maintenance cost. Whereas for digital piano and keyboard they have a wide price range. Basically the more willing you are to pay, the more functions you'll get and the quality of sampled sounds are better.

  6. Other alternatives
    Instead of buying a new instruments why not consider renting one. Renting is the best options if you really cant afford to buy one. Or you can contact any piano dealer and check with them if they have any second-hand piano for sale. 

Minimalism In music The Beauty of Simplicity

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Minimalism is a musical style in post-modern music. This term can be used in other forms of art as well eg. design.

Sometimes simple things can be really beautiful .. like this enso circle -->

What is minimal music, let me do a simple break down for you.

By making music simple and repeating them at a constant steady pulse, over and over, do a little modification or expansion  here and there. You'll create some kind of hypnotic effect.. which is why minimalism can also sometimes be labelled as trance music. Is like a circle going round and round.

When combining with pop/rock it slowly evolves into a new genre called techno.
Interesting right! Darwin's Theory of Evolution in music o.o
Bet you didnt know about this earlier ..

There are quite a few famous artist who does minimal music, I'll name a few of those songs that I like down here, Michael Nyman I recommend you  "The Heart Ask the Pleasure First"
                   Yann Tierseon - Comptine D'un Autre ete
                   Ludovico Einaudi - Fly (most of his songs are nice but only if you enjoy this kind of music)
                   John Cage - Dream

Want to know more about John Cage and his controversial piece 4'33" of silence?

Jack Neo Returns!!

Last Revised: Monday, October 15, 2012

Ohh Ho. Jack neo is back with his new movie. <<Ah Boys To Men/新兵正传>>

Looking at the trailer reminds me of those day I spent in Tekong -_-.. and my brother is serving his reservist now, hope that he is doing fine...

Well is good to see that he is still in the film industry ..... and since he said to "keep things realistic" in this film, I might be looking forward to it, we shall see..

My Opinion on John cage 433 Is this Music or JunK?

Ever heard of John Cage 4'33

Somehow I strongly feel like viewing this piece as a Buddhist teaching ,Form is Emptiness; Emptiness is Form.Yes this piece is nothing but "total silence" and you can play this piece using any instruments.  Well I wont be putting up any video for this piece. But you can search for it in the youtube there are a bunch of people out there playing this bizarre piece.. sitting quietly for Four minutes and thirty three seconds

Rest In Peace
I learned about this piece a year ago while I was taking up music appreciation course as one of my elective..  I feel so damn lucky to have this as part of my elective.. by the way I Got an A grade for my elective  >.<

For those who didnt know, this is listed as one of the top controversial music pieces.. some may find it meaningful, some may just thought of it as a waste of time and not even considering it as composition..

My Views on Music: Universal language Music For Life

Last Revised: Saturday, October 13, 2012

This is my philosophy of life & how I relate it to music.

Every one of us is unique and different, we have what we like and what we dislike. We all have different preferences..

I cant force you to do things you don't enjoy, likewise you can't force me to do things your way if I don't feel like it.
Mutual respect between humans are very important.. there is certain boundary and space we should never crossover..

Why do I say listening to music is the same as eating food..

The Taste Preferences: 
Food have different flavours, textures, colours, nutrients,cultures... etc.
Same goes for music they have different genre, cultures, styles, expressions...  etc.
Besides all these differences.. the venues we are in also plays a part.
For example, you wont be playing classical music in a nightclub right! everyone would be sleeping on the dance floor if you did that..

Universal Language:
Food as a form of universal language.. it has the ability to convey message , it brings people together.  It lets you understand the culture.
Music is too a form of universal language.. it touches human soul even without the lyrical element.. the style that express composer's feelings.

The Energy for Life:
Drawing of Mr Durian
Mr Durian
We all know why we need to consume food. That's right For energy!
Since music cant really give us the real energy we need for work but it can provide us with mental boost. I remembered a friend once told me, every morning he would listen to one particular song, which I can't recall the song title, all I can remember it is an upbeat song. He told me that it helps him in kick starting his day.

Since music is so much like food .. people will have preference over it.. We are free to choose what pleases us most.  So is always good to respect peoples choice in music. You can give your thoughts but not criticize about their taste or flame their idols.

Instead of disapproving and locking our minds up why not open up and discover them. Stop stereotyping,  hopefully you might find some beauty in them.. often there are so much to learn about we just over look them once we start rejecting.

Always remember what is pleasing to your ears might not be pleasing to others..It goes the same for food, I might like to eat durian, some might not. This is what music is about, an acquired taste for every individual.

Feel free to share with me what kinds of music you like?
Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)

Tsuzumi goes "pong pong" in Patapon

Last Revised: Friday, October 12, 2012

I am in obsession with Japanese culture and their music.

Let's start of this post by telling you how I discover this interesting instrument. It took me a long time to realize what this odd shaped hourglass instrument is called...

How many of you knew about this PSP game, Patapon??? It's a fairly engaging rhythmic game.. whereby you need to march those little black eyeball imps to fight off monsters..with the help of the different drums..

So I was playing this game on my psp.. there is this particular mini game that caught my interest... I 'll show you a clip of the minigame that I was playing.. pata pata pata pon..

What makes Chiptune & 8 Bit music?

Last Revised: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 lovers! Today I will be talking about

Chiptune!.. any idea what is chiptune or 8 bit music?

Potato Chiptune Music
Potato Chiptune Music

Ah.. It has got nothing to do with these potatoes chip ;P
But if you are thinking about the electronic component (micro-chip) you are right!

Chiptune is one of the earliest form of video game music. It's first début was in the late 70's when the arcade video games thrive. I still remember the loud gritty sound coming out of my pc's speaker when I played those games back in the early 90's. Gosh my ear hurts o.o Yup they still exist in the early 90's. Below is one of my favourite childhood games with chiptune music..

Bubble Bobble theme by Tadashi Kimijima & Zuntata

..and guess what! WHAT? for your bonus information SNSD Ramen song has the same melody.

Anyway Chiptune is also known as 8-bit music.. or I should say Chiptune is a music genre which consists of 8-bit, 12-bit  and anything that sounds "chippy".. Which they are often made out of simple sound waves (sine, sawtooth, triangle & square) with limited channels of sound. Now some of you might not understand what do I mean by channels, to put it simply one channel = one instrument.

So if you have lesser channels to work with, the variant of creativity will be lesser. With these restrictions Game audio composer of the past have to develop simple yet catchy tunes.

How the different Soundwaves are formed: sine cosine mentaiko

Basically anything to do with waves works the same.. If you learned physics you might know what is Fourier Series!!!! -_-" difficult subject.. the fundamental concepts are relatively easy to understand. Below is a video showing how you can achieve a square wave by adding the different sine wave harmonics together. Note: there are complex waves that have additions of both sine and cosine..

Now Are you able to understand the concept of how to get a sawtooth, square or triangle waves? Just by adding the different harmonics of sine wave.

With all that being said, there is one part I have yet to touch on.
One particular channel in chiptune music that is very special
Since it does not have a regular wave pattern they are considered as noise! Noise in music You're kidding me? No I am not.. Perhaps this is part of the reason why my ear hurts Haha.(dont know what im taking about? go back to the top and read again)

Listen to chiptune carefully and you'll notice that noises are mainly used for "drums" and effects. This is done so to give more interesting colours to the music.. since what the technology can do in the past is limited, dont you agree with me?

With the invention of sound card in the late 80's the quality of sound gets better, 8 bit music had since gradually dies off.

Good thing is some of us still likes chiptune music. Nostalgia!!!!

Do you enjoy chiptune music? If you do you might want to check out the band Anamaguchi!

Why don't you start appreciating classical music?

Last Revised: Monday, October 8, 2012

My affection for classical music started since young. Largely due to my dad's influence and encouragement. That is also when I got interested in the secret world of sound and music.

Is common to hear people saying "listening to classical music is boring and it makes me sleepy".
It makes me wonder are you really listening?or you just "shut off " your ears because in your mind you already deemed classical music as boring (which they all sounded like this). (write in your comments about it)

How to enjoy classical music?
In my opinion the best way to appreciate a classical piece is to learn about it. You may not love classical music but certainly it can help you in understanding them more.

So what is classical music?  In our current era we consider classical music as slow moving, light, with the accompaniment of strings, piano woodwinds and bass.. (Warning: Stereotype Content Detected)

But how many knows that classical music consists of music from the different eras, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romanticism, 20th Century(Modern). And each eras their play style is different. Take note that Classical era is a sub-genre(period) of classical music.

Lets not go too in-depth with the genre for this post. I may do another post about the different eras next time. ;P

Portrait Beethoven
How can you not know him??
(Ludwing van Beethoven)
For those who don't like slow moving classical music there are classical music that are fast paced.
To start you off I will name a few of my favourite ones here:
Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
William Tell Overture(Finale) by Rossini
Moonlight sonata (3rd Movement) by Ludwing van Beethoven 

I am sure you must have heard one of these before right.

Read up on the different composers and their creation, believe me most pieces have interesting story.

Another method is to try attending a classical concert. Get a feel of it, even better if you can get your friend to tag along with you.
Search for free concert in your area. In Singapore you can visit Esplanade, they often have free performance. NAFA is another place you can check out.

Listening to classical live in a concert hall is very different from listening to a recording.
Remember to get a programme brochure, normally it contains brief descriptions of the performing pieces.

Why do I listen to classical music?
First I need to point out that music can affect people's mood. It has the ability to alter our psychological state of mind (believe it or not its up to you). That being said, whenever I feel stressful I often hook myself up with classical music. Sometimes it just makes me feels like im watching a "real life" Disney animation.

So what are you waiting for.. Start listening to classical and have fun with it...
If you are interested in Japanese anime or you would like to see other famous works being used in animation please click here

Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)

Onomatopoeia! the godmother of SOUND!!!

Last Revised: Thursday, October 4, 2012

What is On·o·mat·o·poe·ia? Damn this word is so hard to spell dont you agree but is a fun word to learn.. Why Godmother of SOund?

To put it simple, Onomatopoeia is basically words that mimics the actual sound.
For example "hiss", "boom", "blop"

Speaking of which it reminds me of this song that my brother loves.. Price Tag by Jessie J lets see if you can spot any Onomatopoeia.

Here is another question.
Which language uses Onomatopoeia words most frequently??
Well it will probably be Japanese..
If you look closely, Onomatopoeia in Japanese are sub divided into 3 categories.

Giseigo: Sounds that animate objects make
Giongo: Sounds made by inanimate objects
Gitaigo: They are words that describe feelings or expressions (Gitaigo are mimetic words and are often treated as Onomatopoeia)

If you can read hiranga & katakana and want to know more you can go over to  (There is a good list of  Japanese Onomatopoeia there)

Well thats all for now!! 

Sound effect Laser gun ~ Pewww~

Ever wonder how the sound effect of laser gun was made in star wars?..
I use to think that it was probably "created" through extensive tweaking by some sound engineers  ..
But it was NOT!

You must be thinking Har!?. You must be kidding me.. how can zapping sound of the laser be made by an ordinary object...

Benjamin Franklin's Glass Harmonica Bowls

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Benjamin Franklin ?? huh what has he got to do with sound n glass armonica

Aint he the electricity guy? Yup you are Right!

He is the guy who flew a kite in the storm. Well I will not go into detail about the little experiment he did, if you are interested you can click on this link Ben Franklin Kite flying Story. (PS:probably this is how he invented the lighting rod)

So what has this thunder guy got to do with music? Did he made the musical tesla? Of course not.
But he is the guy who invented The Glass Harmonica.

What is Cuíca ? yeah baby

Last Revised: Sunday, September 30, 2012

Any idea what is a Cuica

Austin power pointing to the top left
Austin Power asking you a question
Some of you might have heard the sound before but never pay much attention to it. Is used commonly in samba music.
Well Soul Bossa-Nova by Quincy Jones really leaves me a great impression of this instrument.

Here is a clue. Yeah baby! It sounds like a laughing hyena


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