Posts Tagged ‘FrankC’


Winners: FrankC & Cousin Vinny

The Canella boys took on all comers tonight and they proved to be a tough pair of hombres. When Rosebud was initially declared a co-winner, they devised a scheme to have one of her answers disqualified. This ensured that they would finish alone atop the winner’s podium. Rosebud accepted it all graciously, but you know what they say Ms. Rosebud – “Nice guys finish last.”

There were a few raised eyebrows when we were asked what facial features flank your glabella, and who knew that Miller Lite beer is made by Phillip Morris.

Good Question!:
In which decade of the 20th century was the Buffalo nickel first minted?

Choices:   a. 1910      b. 1920      c. 1930      d. 1940





Answer: 1910

The popular Indian Head, or Buffalo, five-cent coin (nickel) was introduced in 1913. Designed by James Earle Fraser, a student of legendary sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Indian Head/Buffalo nickel design showcases the native beauty of the American West.

As part of a drive to beautify the coinage, five denominations of US coins had received new designs between 1907 and 1909. In 1911, Taft administration officials decided to replace Charles E. Barber‘s Liberty Head design for the nickel, and commissioned Fraser to do the work. They were impressed by Fraser’s designs showing a Native American and an American bison.


The designs were approved in 1912, but were delayed several months because of objections from the Hobbs Manufacturing Company, which made mechanisms to detect slug in nickel-operated machines. The company was not satisfied by changes made in the coin by Fraser, and in February 1913, the Treasury secretary decided to issue the coins despite the objections. Despite attempts by the Mint to adjust the design, the coins proved to strike indistinctly, and to be subject to wear—the dates were easily worn away in circulation.

The Native American depiction on the coins obverse is believed to be based on three different American Indians. Two of the American Indians who modeled for Fraser as he sculpted the coin were named by the designer before his death. They were Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne. Although many have claimed to have had a sitting with Fraser for this design, he could not recall the name of the third person, and satisfactory documentation has not yet been found to identify that individual. It is widely believed that the bison on the coin’s reverse was modeled after Black Diamond, a popular attraction at the New York Zoological Gardens.

Matte proof coins were struck and made available to collectors from 1913 to 1916. The designer’s initial, the letter ‘F,’ appears on the obverse below the date. The coins are also quite accessible to the average collector as many fine examples covering a variety of dates are available. In total, more than 1.2 billion were struck between 1913 and 1938. In 1938, after the minimum 25-year period during which the design could not be replaced without congressional authorization had expired, it was replaced by the Jefferson nickel designed by Felix Schlag.


Buffalo nickels are also regarded as good luck pieces by some and seem to engender a sense of nostalgia for others. The United States Mint revived the popular design in 2001 with the release of the American Buffalo Commemorative Coin.


Read Full Post »


Winners: Driver and FrankC

Driver Shea started strong and was perfect through the first ten questions, mostly about astrophysics. With such a commanding lead, no one was going to catch him. Then the “bad” Driver showed up, the one who can go from absolutely brilliant to so dumb in the blink of an eye. He proceeded to miss 6 of the next 7 questions and barely hung on to share the win with FrankC.

Under Mistress Daphne’s direction many questions focused on the “Blood Moon”. Photos we later received from our moon watcher on the cloudless west coast (Rob Parker in SanDiego), showed there wasn’t much red on that moon – it was mostly hype. We did learn that the “Dark Side of the Moon” popularized by Pink Floyd was real – it’s the hemisphere of the Moon that is permanently turned away and not visible from the surface of the Earth.

Good Question!:
The average adult has about how many pints of blood in his body?

Choices:   a. 7      b. 10      c. 14      d. 23










Answer: b. 10

Boy, was this question controversial. One of our players, Nurse Judy, swore that it was about 8 pints, not 10.

Scientists estimate the volume of blood in a human body to be approximately 7 percent of body weight, and its density is only slightly more than that of pure water. An average adult body with a weight of 150 to 180 pounds will contain approximately 9.5 to 12 pints of blood – enough to fill a one-gallon milk jug and half of another.

Taylor-Swift-Of course, women with a smaller body weight will have less blood.

Let’s take Taylor Swift for instance . At about 120 pounds she will only have about 8 pints of blood, so maybe Nurse Judy was thinking of Taylor.

Blood is made up of plasma (which accounts for about 3 liters), red blood cells, white bloods cells, and platelets. Vitamins, electrolytes and other nutrients are dissolved in the blood and carried to the body’s cells and organs.

Would you believe that the human body has so many blood vessels inside of it that they could encircle the earth once…twice…and then a little bit more? It’s true!

Blood takes two main paths in its trip through the body. Blood is pumped out to the body in vessels called arteries. Arteries carry oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. Once the blood has delivered oxygen and nutrients and picked up waste products, such as carbon dioxide, it is transported back to the heart through vessels called veins. The heart contracts, sending blood into the lungs to be reoxygenated and to rid itself of carbon dioxide. From the lungs, the blood re-enters the heart and the cycle begins again.


Until the 17th century, the dominant theory of the function of the heart, arteries, and veins was derived from Claudius Galen, a Roman physician who treated gladiators. harveyHe claimed that the blood sloshed back and forth along the same blood vessels, like the rise and fall of the tides, flowing through the body as needed to feed the soul. He also claimed that blood passed from the right to the left sides of the heart through tiny, invisible pores.

The 17th-century physician William Harvey, among others, challenged Galen’s concept. He gathered evidence to support the idea that blood circulates by the action of the heart through two circulatory pathways, the systemic loop and the pulmonary loop, passing from the heart to the arteries, through the veins, and back to the heart again. Valves in the veins keep the blood from flowing backward. It was Harvey who first pointed out the significance of the delicate moon-shaped valves in the veins.

There is no substitute for blood. It cannot be made or manufactured. Donors are the only source of blood for patients who need it.

Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, which will only increase with an aging population.. The only way to have enough blood to save lives is through your blood donations. So if you can, Give Blood!


Read Full Post »


Winners: FrankC and Lenny

This was a night when the questions were so difficult that even the winners answered only half the questions correctly. How difficult?  Well you needed to know Persian, be a gemstone expert, and be able to quote obscure poetry verses, to start with.

Good Question: What would you use zener cards for?

Choices:   a. test for intelligence   b. test color blindness   c. test ph

d. test for esp





Answer: test for ESP

Are you Psychic?

Test your solo clairvoyance or two-person telepathy

try this site:



Zener cards are cards used to conduct experiments for extrasensory perception (ESP), most often clairvoyance. Perceptual psychologist Karl Zener(1903-1964) designed the cards in the early 1930s for experiments conducted with his colleague, parapsychologist J. B. Rhine (1895–1980).

The Zener cards were a deck made up of five simple symbols. The five different Zener cards are: a hollow circle (one curve), a Greek cross (two lines), three vertical wavy lines (or “waves”), a hollow square (four lines), and a hollow five-pointed star.[2] There are 25 cards in a pack, five of each design.[3]

In a test for ESP, the person conducting the test (the experimenter) picks up a card in a shuffled pack, observes the symbol on the card, and records the answer of the person being tested for extrasensory perception, who would guess which of the five designs is on the card in question. The experimenter continues until all the cards in the pack have been tested.

So the question remains – Are you Psychic?




Read Full Post »


Winners: Droppin’, FrankC, the Driver, and Rhys

A good size crowd of trivia fans were greeted with an Octo -themed game this week.  Octoberfest, Octomom, Pieces of Eight, and Red October all made appearances.  Kudos to Darin for a cohesive quiz.  When all was said and done, the result was a rare four-way tie for first place.  The winners were Droppin’, FrankC, the Driver, and Rhys. The best quip of the night came from Artie during the dollar game.  The question: “Who was the figure portrayed in the famous Rodin sculpture commonly known as “The Thinker”?  The answer turned out to be the poet Dante.  Artie:  “Ah, a poet. Guess he was thinking, “What rhymes with orange’?”

Good question!:
What do the Germans call the people who overindulge at Octoberfest and are seen passed out on the grounds?


Answer: Bierleichen  (beer corpses)

Apparently it is a common sight in Munich this time of year for early risers to discover what resembles a battlefield filled with corpses – the drunks sleeping it off.  The amount of beer consumed over the course of the roughly two week festival is truly staggering, in every sense. More than seven million liters are consumed during the festival.  All of the beer is brewed in Munich, and is at least 6% alcohol.


Unsurprisingly, the  party can get out of hand on occasion, and in recent years there have been measures taken to preserve some decorum.  Music is limited to folk and classical during the daylight hours, and kept below 85 decibels.  Smoking has been banned in the tents, but unfortunately this rule had the unintended consequence of unmasking the stench of old spilled beer that soaks the ground.  But there is still no limit on how much beer an  individual can consume.  No legal limit, that is.  The bierleichen are mute testimony of another limit.

Celebrities Enjoy this Year’s Oktoberfest

14993.443.294                                          14988.443.323

Models Micaela Schäfer and Janina Youssefian fool around for the cameras.


Boris Becker (remember him?) and wife Lilly













Bloggers Note: this week’s special guest blogger – Droppin’ Dave. Thanks

Read Full Post »


Winners: FrankC and Bobby Barcelona

A busy, loud night with 17 players and more than a few kibitzers. We celebrated St. Pat’s a few days early with questions that only a couple of leprechauns (shoe makers), like Bobby Barcelona and FrankC could handle. Right behind were Pluto, JohnnyG and BigBadJohn.

Seemed like everyone was born this week, as we sang Happy Birthday three times during the evening. Each time sounded worse than the time before, but we kept trying. Hope we sound better on Sunday when we join Ed Deacy here at MSC for some old Irish ballads.

Even the cat lovers among us were surprised to learn that a “chowder” refers to a group of cats. Of course, a “crash” refers to a group of rhinos. The Driver has some recent first hand experience with Rhinos, and came away very impressed. He says they are huge and imposing, and it’s a shame that the poachers are after them. In some places in Africa they have been assigned 24-hour armed guards for protection.

sedna Good Question!: A few years ago a potential 10th planet was named Sedna, for the sea goddess in whose legends?

 Choices: Inuit, Mayans,  Vikings,  Celts

 Answer: Inuit

Of course, if this was a potential 10th planet, then that would mean that Pluto is back in business and considered the 9th planet. YEAH!

 Bulletin: NASA-funded researchers have discovered the most distant object orbiting the sun. It’s a mysterious planet-like body three times farther from Earth than Pluto.

“The sun appears so small from that distance that you could completely block it out with the head of a pin,” said Dr. Mike Brown, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, Calif., associate professor of planetary astronomy and leader of the research team. The object, called Sedna for the Inuit goddess of the ocean, is 13 billion kilometers (8 billion miles) away, in the farthest reaches of the solar system.

see caption

Above: An artist’s rendition shows the newly discovered planet-like object, dubbed “Sedna,” in relation to other bodies in the Solar System, including Earth and its Moon, Pluto, and Quaoar.

This is likely the first detection of the long-hypothesized “Oort cloud,” a faraway repository of small icy bodies that supplies the comets that streak by Earth. Other notable features of Sedna include its size and reddish color. After Mars, it is the second reddest object in the solar system. It is estimated Sedna is approximately three- fourths the size of Pluto. Sedna is likely the largest object found in the solar system since Pluto was discovered in 1930.
(Alas, this bulletin was dated: Mar.15, 2004, before Pluto was unceremoniously dumped as a planet).

If we are talking about far away planets, we need to watch/listen to a couple of clips from “2001: A Space Odyssey”:


Read Full Post »

Winner: FrankC

Tonight’s game was tres difficult, with lots of stumper questions. How difficult? Well we learned that a kytoon is a windless kite (isn’t that an oxymoron?), and that a refectory is where people eat. FrankC, the winner, was as surprised as anyone that he had won, and asked for a recount. There was a pack of players following close behind – Nadia, Jessie, the Driver, and Coffee Bill.

Darin made the night more palatable by serving some delicious brownies. Unfortunately, the Driver was on them like white on rice, and intercepted most of the trays of brownies as they came out of the kitchen. He went after them like he hadn’t eaten in a week, which by all appearances is not true. We are thinking of sponsoring him in the big eating contest at Coney Island this July 4th. Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi better watch out!

Next weeks theme is SuperHeroes, should be fun. Perfect opportunity for Bren to reprise his awesome batman costume.


Good Question!: Eiswein is wine made from grapes that have been what on the vine? Answer: Frozen

Ice wine (in German Eiswein) is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes  that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does. This allows a more concentrated “grape must” to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine.

With ice wines, the freezing happens before the fermentation, not afterwards. Unlike the grapes from which other dessert wines are made, such as Sauternes, or Tokaji, ice wine grapes should not be affected by noble rot, at least not to any great degree. Only healthy grapes keep in good shape until the opportunity arises for an ice wine harvest, which in extreme cases can occur after the New Year. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity.

Due to the labour-intense and risky production process resulting in relatively small amounts of wine, ice wines are generally quite expensive. Canada and Germany are the world’s largest producers of ice wines. About 75 percent of the ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario. Take the bus from Buffalo to Toronto and you will see those vineyards along the lake front.

On Long Island the Ospreys Dominion winery has a very nice ice wine that won’t break the bank. This North Fork winery has a new tasting room, lovely picnic grounds, and music on the weekends in the fall; a good winery to visit.

Typical grapes used for ice wine production are Riesling, considered to be the most noble variety by German winemakers and Vidal, which is highly popular in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada.

Ice wines from white varieties tend to be pale yellow or light gold in color when they are young and can maderise (acquiring a deep amber-golden color) as they age. The red varieties tend to have a light burgundy or even pink color like that of rosé wines, since the steeping of the skins in the pressed liquid typically used in red wine making is obviously not possible in ice wine production.


TNBE wants to give a shout out to Queen Elizabeth, who celebrated her Diamond Jubilee this week. “Long Live the Queen!”

Read Full Post »

Winner: FrankC

The themes for tonight’s game were two of my favorite pastimes – baseball and beer. We learned that the first beer company to distribute beer in 6 packs was Pabst in the 1940’s. Why a 6 pack? The brewery found that 6 cans were the ideal weight for the average housewife to carry home from the store. Now, those were the days, my friends.

FrankC, who has been on a hot streak recently, edged out Driver Shea (again). Pluto, recently returned from the Big Easy, forgot that he wasn’t still on Bourbon Street. While loudly discussing a question about Roberto Clemente, he pretty much gave away the answer. He knows better and was properly chastised by all the other players. After he self-forfeited the question, he pledged to behave better. We’ll see.

Good Question!: Why did the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock instead of travelling to warmer climes as was originally planned?

Answer: They were running out of beer!

Now this is a great story and I hate to be the one to question it’s veracity, but question I must.

First the story:

Barrels of beer were the most voluminous and important item in the hold because water couldn’t stay drinkable on a ship for that long. The Mayflower colonists decided to settle at Plymouth because they were running low on beer. In an age when so many have lost their moral compass, it’s comforting to know that people in the old days had their priorities straight.

Beer was a dietary mainstay in those days. Chances are the beverage in question was “ship’s beer,” a not-very-alcoholic concoction that, along with the even weaker “small beer,” was drunk in formidable quantities during the colonial era (upwards of a quart per day seems to have been a typical ration). Undoubtedly an advantage was that, unlike more perishable foodstuffs, ship’s beer would keep during long voyages and, having been boiled, was likely purer than ordinary water.

On November 9, 1620, after 64 days at sea, the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod. You may inquire: What sort of idiot would sail across the north Atlantic at the height of storm season? The voyagers probably asked themselves the same question. They’d initially left Southampton, England, in August, but one of their two ships, the Speedwell, sprang a leak. Repair attempts failed, and by the time the travelers had consolidated themselves on the Mayflower, a month had passed. Then they spent an extra couple weeks under sail due to bad weather, arriving just in time for winter. That was problem one.

Problem two was that Cape Cod was not where the colonists were supposed to be. Their patent from the Virginia Company of London authorized them to establish a plantation between 38 and 41 degrees north latitude; the tip of Cape Cod was just north of 42 degrees. Many colonists questioned if they had the legal right to settle in Cape Cod.  The last thing you wanted to do was colonize the land and have another group of settlers take the land from you over a legal dispute.  That was ok to do to the natives, but not so cool to each other.  That’s why they wrote the Mayflower Compact.  It was to alleviate the legal fears of the settlers.

The question remained exactly where the colonists should set up shop. The voyagers weren’t disposed to be fussy: “We could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer, and it being now the 19th of December” (Mourt’s Relation, 1622, commonly attributed to colonists William Bradford and Edward Winslow). Plymouth it was.

It’s important to remember that accounts of what happened were not written until many years later.

Now the alternative narrative:

The pilgrims got the heave ho from the Mayflower because they were out of time, not out of beer.  And they really didn’t get the “heave ho” as many would imply.  The Mayflower set sail for the return trip to England April 5th the following year.  That’s five months after reaching America.  If the crew was worried about supplies, they would have left much earlier. The ship had at least half of their beer left at this point, because they needed it for the return trip.  They were not low on beer.

The pilgrims wasted five weeks running around New England, robbed a few Native American graves for buried corn and beans, and eventually landed on Plymouth Rock on December 17th.  They picked the spot because the ship needed to get the colonists established before winter really set in, not because they were low on beer.  Three days later, December 21st, they agreed on a site to settle and set out on their first task.

Was the first pilgrim structure a brewery?

If you’ve been on a ship for two months, winter is already here, people are dying, and someone told you the first building was going to be a brewery you would laugh at them,  probably after beating the silly person senseless. The first structure was not a brewery, it was shelter.  The pilgrims planned on building nineteen structures, but they only made four common houses.   Only 45 people of the original 102 settlers survived the first winter.  A brewery was the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Now for the true story of the Pilgrim’s, check out Popeye’s version:

sources: straightdope.com, fermantarium.com

Read Full Post »

Winner: FrankC

Spring was in the air at Main Street this week, with a loosely equinox-related quiz.  The results, however, were more fitting to last weeks World War Two theme.  It was a slaughter.

Frank was the most surprised that he won with only 60% correct.  That’s a D in academia. Droppin’ Dave finished second yet again. The rest of us flunked, I guess, including perennial in-the-money Rosebud.  Pluto, true to his name, was in a distant orbit in  Louisiana,  for the Final Four, and so missed a chance to save the family name from ignominious defeat.  Darin deserves credit for an educational and cohesive quiz., and Daphne did her usual fine job as emcee.  No dress code this week.

Good Question! :  What was the first professional baseball team?

Answer:  The Cincinnati Red Stockings.

The original Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball’s first openly all-professional team, were founded as an amateur club in 1866, and became fully professional in 1869. The Red Stockings won 130 straight games throughout 1869 and 1870, before being defeated by the Brooklyn Atlantics.

Their record of 57 – 0 in 1869 is the only undefeated season (so far) by a professional baseball team. .  It leads one to wonder who the heck they were playing against.   Even the Yankees lose once in a while.

The best players of the Cincinnati Red Stockings relocated to Boston after the 1870 season, taking the nickname along with them and becoming the Boston Red Stockings, a team later dubbed the “Beaneaters” and eventually the “Braves”, who are now based in Atlanta.

A new Cincinnati Red Stockings team became a charter member of the National League in 1876. This second Red Stockings team was expelled from the league after the 1880 season, in part for violating league rules by serving beer to fans at games, and for their refusal to stop renting out their ballpark, the Bank Street Grounds, on Sundays.  Times have changed.

A third Cincinnati team of the same name became a founding member of the American Association, a rival league that began play in 1882. That team (which is the same franchise of today) played for eight seasons in the American Association and won the Association’s inaugural pennant in 1882. In November 1889, the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Brooklyn Dodgers both left the Association for the National League. Here is a nice slideshow / montage of baseball photos from the dead ball era (before WWI):

Twice in the 1950s (the McCarthy era), the Reds, fearing that their traditional club nickname would associate them with the threat of Communism, officially changed the name of the team to the Cincinatti Redlegs.

Starting in the late 1960s, the Reds instituted a strict rule barring the team’s players from wearing facial hair and long hair. The clean cut look was meant to present the team as wholesome in an era of turmoil.

On at least one occasion, in the early 1980s, enforcement of this rule lost them the services of star reliever and Ohio native Rollie Fingers, who would not shave his trademark handlebar mustache in order to join the team.

The rule was not officially rescinded until 1999 when the Reds traded for slugger Greg Vaughn, who had a goatee. The New York Yankees continue to have a similar rule today, though unlike the Reds during this period, Yankees players are permitted to have mustaches.

In the seventies, the Big Red Machine featured a truly awesome lineup of Tony Perez at first base, Joe Morgan at second, Dave Concepcion at shortstop, Pete Rose at third, Ken Griffey in right field, Cesar Geronimo in center, George Foster in left, and Johnny Bench as catcher.

During the 1975 season, the Reds compiled two notable streaks: (1) by winning 41 out of 50 games in one stretch, and (2) by going a month without committing any errors on defense.

The Reds, in their long history. have won 5 world series and 9 pennants, but neither since 1990.

As a nod to their place in baseball history, the major league baseball season used to begin with a game involving the Reds, but that tradition is no longer observed. Instead, we now have an upstart like the Seattle Mariners play the Oakland Athletics in the Tokyo Dome to open the season. Yes, times have changed.

Thanks to this week’s guest blogger – Droppin’ Dave.

sources: wikipedia

Read Full Post »

Winner: FrankC and Duncan

Tonight’s game, with 20 players, was managed by a one-eyed purple people eater. Well, maybe she wasn’t wearing purple, but after eye surgery mistress Daphne was pretty much one eyed, and if you have played this game, I don’t have to explain the “people eater” reference.

We had a new first time winner for the second week in a row as Duncan tied with FrankC. Finishing just behind were Droppin’, Colm, and Pluto, in what was a very competitive game. We learned that Pocahantas was warned by a spiritual talking willow tree about the presence of the Englishmen (need to keep up with Disney animated films for that one).

Good Question: What present did Hercules receive from his father?

Answer: Flying Horse

Greek mythology is filled with tales of great heroes and fantastic creatures. One of the most famous mythological creatures is Pegasus, the winged horse. However, it was Arion, a lesser known winged horse, who helped many heroes, including Hercules, who rode Arion into battle.

Disney created the myth that Pegasus was created by Zeus and given as a companion to Hercules for their Hercules cartoon. Poor Hercules is probaly turning in his grave:

The concept of a winged horse may originate in Egyptian mythology, and thus predate Greek origin myths, but today pegasi (pl.) are seen as uniquely Greek. One of the most common myths of Pegasus’ creation was that he was created of Medusa’s blood after her beheading by the hero Perseus, who is said to have had Pegasus’ aid in defeating the Amazon’s.

In later years, after aiding heroes, Pegasus is said to have lived on Mount Olympus, where he became the servant of of the gods. There he was the mount of Eos to help bring the dawn, or was ridden by Apollo to bring the sun. Pegasus also served Zeus by bringing to him the thunder and lightning needed for the thunderbolts. For all his noble services, Pegasus was honoured by a constellation in the autumn sky.

Thus we have the beautiful Pegasus constellation, which forms a square, with lines leading out from the top left, and bottom right to slightly resemble a grazing horse. It does take some stretch of the imagination to visualize the constellation as connected to the mythical beast.

Representations of winged horses proliferate in Western culture. The Greeks used them on coins, and Exxon Mobil uses a winged horse as its symbol. Pegasus continues to be an indelible symbol of flight, strength and inspiration.

sources: gogreece.about.com,relache.hubpages.com (Mythological Creatures)

Read Full Post »

Winner: FrankC

In game that had some controversy, Frank, who had shared the trophy before,  finished all alone at the head of the pack. KathyS was close at 2 back. Rosebud was awarded a special “Rosebud” T-shirt for her recent amazin’ 3 peat performance. Thanks to our old friend from across the sea – Miss Connie for the shirt. Don’t forget to visit her bed and breakfast in Old Saybrook CT, when you are in the neighborhood. Speaking of distant neighborhoods, our host Darin is headed to Sin City to try her hand at the World Series of Poker. Those guys better not underestimate her.

Good Question: On a standard piano what normally is the lowest note?

Answer: A

As the only musically challenged member of my family I was curious about the notes on a piano. Plus it gives me a chance to link to Billy Joel and Elton John’s fun duet of Piano Man:

The piano is an instrument that offers the musician eighty-eight musical pitches organized in ascending order of pitch. The lowest note is at the far left of the instrument, the highest note on the far right. These 88 pitches, generally speaking, are all the ones our human ears can recognize as musical sounds. Pitches lower than the bottom note of a piano: the low ‘A’, are so low as to sound like a rumble; any note above the highest note on a piano. the high C, can be heard only by plucky dogs.

Now when I watch and listen to a piano player I will know – low notes from his left hand and high notes from his right hand.

The piano organizes these pitches in a seemingly arbitrary but ultimately logical system. When these notes are combined in various rhythmic and harmonic patterns they produce music as diverse as that of Mozart, Elton John and Ray Charles.

Interesting Piano Questions, Facts, and Information

What is the largest type of piano? Concert Grand. The Grand piano is the largest of all pianos and has the richest sound. A Grand Piano is one that is 8’11” or longer. The model D Steinway Grand weighs over 1400 pounds, and the average concert grand contains over thirty tons of total string tension. You’ve got to have a big instrument to handle that!

What instrument, similar in appearance to a piano, was used by early musicians (such as Bach and Beethoven) to create music prior to the invention of the piano? harpsichord. The harpsichord was the instrument that early composers like Bach composed their music on. It has a higher pitch than the piano and no notes can be sustained.

What is the real name of a piano? Pianoforte. It was given this name because, unlike the harpsichord and other similar instruments of the time, the pianoforte could play, as the name suggests, both loudly and softly. Piano being soft and forte being loud. This name was given to the piano by its inventor, Bartolomeo Cristoforti, who built the first practical piano in the 1700s.

What instrument family is the piano part of? percussion. Although the piano contains around 230 strings, it is considered a percussion instrument. Thus, it lives in the same family as drums and xylophones. The piano is usually considered a part of the percussion family because it uses a hammer to hit the strings which makes the noise you hear. Brass instruments include the trumpet and trombone. The woodwinds include the clarinet, saxophone, and flute. String instruments include the violin and guitar.

Watch this performance by Jerry Lee Lewis and it’s easy to consider the piano a percussion instrument:

How many keys does a standard piano have? 88. There are 36 black keys and 52 white keys.

What were the keys of a piano originally made from? ebony and ivory. Due to bans on the importation of ivory, and the expense and rarity of ebony, keys now are mostly made from plastic. Plastic has been used since around the 1950’s.

What instruction means to play the notes short and choppy? Staccato. Staccatos are marked by a little dot on the top of the note head. To play staccato, strike the key, then quickly release.

What time signature is most common? 4/4. 4/4 timing is used commonly in both classical and modern piano music. 4/4 time means a quarter note gets one count and each measure receives 4 counts.

When instructed to play “legato”, how should the piece sound? Smooth and connected. When playing legato, you will usually also be playing in phrases and/or with the sustain pedal down.

sources: funtrivia.com, en.wikipedia.org, martymethod.com, piano-lessons-info.com

Read Full Post »