Maybe the greatest promotion of Classical Music in the Internet Age

Today, December 17th, Google updated their ‘doodle’ to celebrate classical music.    The doodle is the GoogleDoodle
‘Google’ graphic at the top of the google search engine.  In the past this has been variations on the google wordmark to celebrate various anniversaries.   This one is special for two reasons, it celebrates the 245th baptism of Ludwig van Beethoven (his birthdate is unknown) and it is also Google’s first interactive doodle.

Why is this big?  Google is the most used search engine in the US, and process about 40,000 searches per second, about 3.5 Billion per day.  Doodles are often country specific, but this one is worldwide.

The interactive google tells the story of Beethoven out on the town with his freshly written score.  A series of mishaps cause the score to get mixed up, and the viewer is played a melody and then has to correct the arrangement of segments of the music.  Getting it right moves you along in the story.

This is great exposure for classical music that will reach a broad audience.  Bravo Google!

Play the interactive Google Doodle here.

Museum List Updated

Check out the new page of violins you can visit in Museums around the world.  This is located along with the Book Shelf page in the Resources section.

I’ve added 16 museums from around the world bringing the total to 38.  The interactive Google map has been updated and check out the individual links for each museum.  These list the address, website and often the most interesting instruments in a collection, such as the page for the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

Listen and Compare: Amati, Strad, and del Gesu!

For those interested in the differences in sound between early Cemonese instruments, a great video session is on YouTube where you can see five instruments playing the 6 Violin Sonatas and Partitas of Bach for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006).  Recorded on May 23rd, 2009.   Here is the line-up:

  • Violin Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV 1001 on the Goldberg Guarneri del Gesù (ca. 1730)
  • Violin Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002 on the Castelbarco Stradivarius (1699)
  • Violin Sonata No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003 on the Betts Stradivarius (1704)
  •  Violin Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV 1004 on the Brookings Amati (1654)
  • Violin Sonata No.3 in C major, BWV 1005 on the Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù (1733)
  • Violin Partita No.3 in E major, BWV 1006 on the Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù (1733)



Violin Museums Around the World

Violin Museums Around the World

I’ve been looking for a list of museums with ‘famous’ and historical stringed instruments from the violin family.  I never managed to find a good list, so I’ve started to compile one.  I’ll post it as a page in my ‘Resources’ section soon, but in the mean time I’ve created a google map with a listing of the primary ones.  Check it out here.  As well, feedback, corrections and additions are most welcome!


I’ve recently had the pleasure of helping the OrKidStra group.  Olivia Pelling ( invited me to assist in repairing and setting up their stock of instruments in anticipation of the new school term.  OrKidStra’s mandate is to give children from under-served communities the opportunity to learn and make music together, inspired by El Sistema of Venezuela.