Notes on Music

Notes on Music is heard throughout the week on KLRE, Classical 90.5, and is written and voiced by Ray Moore.

Ray Moore is Professor Emeritus of Music and former Director of Choral Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

Dr. Moore received his Bachelor's degree in music from Texas Tech University, and both his Master's and Doctorate from Columbia University.

Moore has published a book, High Notes and Low, based on his Notes on Music spots. You can purchase the book at And you can learn more about his book in this video:

The Beatles Tree

Aug 26, 2014

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan television show, and interest in the group is as strong as ever.

In 2004, a tree was planted in Griffith Park in Los Angeles in honor of George Harrison, a member of the group.

Unfortunately, the tree died this year, ironically it seems, from an infestation of... guess what... beetles!


Aug 26, 2014

We all applaud after a special event, but have you ever wondered about its use?

Instead of clapping, the ancient Romans snapped their fingers, stomped their feet, or waved handkerchiefs.

A claque, which is French for “clapping”, are people who are paid to applaud, primarily in opera theaters. And clapping was even used to reward good preaching in early times.

Auto-Tune 7

Aug 26, 2014

Have you ever stood by someone in church who simply can’t carry a tune? I think we all have.

Well, you might want to recommend to them “Auto-Tune 7”, an electronic device that, in recordings, corrects intonation and timing problems in singing while keeping the original sound of the voice.

I’m going to tell that tone-deaf church singer all about it!

Sharon Isbin

Aug 26, 2014

Sharon Isbin, born in Minneapolis in 1956, has been called “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time.”

A multi-Grammy winner, she has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras, and has played in venues from television and movies to a 2009 concert at the White House.

It’s interesting that her father was a nuclear physicist. I guess great minds run in the family.

The Origin of Throat

Aug 26, 2014

Singers are very aware of keeping their throats healthy.

Interestingly, the word “throat” originates from the French “gargouille,” which translates as “throat.”

It is also the origin of the word “gargoyle”, grotesque imaginary creatures found on the roofs of many Gothic churches.

The gargoyle has an open mouth and “throat” to funnel the water away from the building.

Conductor Lorin Maazel

Aug 26, 2014

The music world lost conductor Lorin Maazel recently, who died at his home in Virginia at the age of 84.

Amazingly, he was invited by Arturo Toscanini to conduct the NBC Symphony at the age of seven, with his New York Philharmonic debut coming only five years later.

In 2002, he was chosen to replace Kurt Mazur as music director of that orchestra. Quite a musician!

Virtual Youth Choir

Aug 26, 2014

In cooperation with UNICEF, composer Eric Whitacre has created the Virtual Youth Choir, a global project that creates a user-generated online choir wherein children and young people are asked to record video of themselves singing a selected piece of music.

A final video is then created using all the singers which is broadcast on global TV.

That’s neat!

Words of Wisdom

Aug 26, 2014

Words of wisdom, more or less, have been offered by many composers.

Leonard Bernstein said, “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.”

And George Bizet wrote, “As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, [and] the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note!”

Music and The Retail Sector

Aug 26, 2014

I guess we are all aware that merchants arrange their stores so as to psychologically influence the shopper to buy more.

From supermarkets to restaurants, background music affects a customer’s behavior in subtle ways.

It seems that customers react more positively to soft music rather than loud; moderate tempos rather than fast ones; and classical music rather than popular.

The Rondo, Opus 129

Aug 26, 2014

The Rondo, Opus 129 for piano by Beethoven was titled by publisher Anton Diabelli as Rage Over a Lost Penny.

Beethoven was known for his temper, and one can imagine that losing any money could enrage him.

The work is one of his most popular, however, and is even used by some as their cell phone ring tone. I guess they’ve lost money, too!