Happy Friday the 13th, or, RIP Rossini!

It’s pretty late right now, and I’m up blogging because I made the mistake of falling into a Wikipedia black hole right before bed.  At some point, I realized that tomorrow (today, really) is Friday the 13th and I got to wondering why Friday the 13th is considered bad luck.

Well, that led me to Wikipedia (duh), where I learned that the first known reference in the English language to Friday the 13th as an ill-omened day ties it to the death of none other than the opera composer-turned-chef, Gioachino Rossini (of Barber of Seville and William Tell fame).  The biographer Henry Sutherland Edwards described Rossini’s death thusly:

He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that one Friday 13th of November he died.[4]

So, it turns out that Friday the 13th is unlucky because a great composer departed this world.  But then again, as Rossini was a mere mortal, he had to go sometime . . . The death dates of all great men and women can’t be inauspicious, after all.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, it’s time for bed.  Tomorrow, make sure to pour out some vino in memoriam of Rossini.  Maybe blare a round of “Figaro” from your speakers.

Update: I realized some of you may not be familiar with Rossini, at least not by name. Here’s one of the arias that made him famous:


PS) For those of you who didn’t know this, Rossini retired from composing and became a chef.  Many Italian dishes were named after him, including Tournedos Rossini (pictured below)


Operalia Competition Final Round Available to Stream for free!


Renowned tenor, Placido Domingo’s opera competition designed to encourage rising young singers, held its final round over the weekend in Verona.  Presumably, youweren’t there (and neither was I), but never fear, we can watch the entire final round online!

For the entire performance and a list of the results, click here (via medicitv).

For info about the competition, click here.

Curiously, I wasn’t able to find competitor bios.  If you happen to stumble upon them, please share!

Here’s photos of the 1st prize winners, soprano Aida Garifullina and bass-baritone Ao Li.

Ao Li, bass-baritone from China
Ao Li, bass-baritone from China
Aida Garifullina, soprano from Russia
Aida Garifullina, soprano from Russia

Free Music Math Worksheet!

The worksheet is great for students who have done the better part of the Bastien Primer set (through p. 40 of the Lesson Book, to be precise).  I created it in response to requests from my students who really enjoyed this worksheet from MakingMusicFun.net but hadn’t necessarily covered 8th notes yet.

The worksheet includes quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes and quarter, half and whole rests.

music theory

Download the pdf here.

Classical Music according to Google Autocomplete

Here’s a few excerpts from a fun post from Classic FM: 


Classical music… according to Google autocomplete

classical music google autocomplete

Classical music will never be the same again once you’ve seen it through the eyes of Google autocomplete.

This is a worry.

composers are made of fire

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Oh please no.

Pachelbel's canon is every song

 I can sympathize about the Pachabel’s Canon sentiments.   It will definitely not be played at my wedding

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