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Johann Strauss II: “The Blue Danube Waltz”

The problem with running a site in which all great forms of music are represented is that it is easy to look like a dunce if you try to fake it.

Jazz? I know something about it. Enough to get by. Rock-and roll? Sure, I grew up with it. Country? A bit, enough to not seem dim. And certainly more than a few years ago.

Classical? Well, not so much. But much of it is beautiful and, of course, it can’t be ignored.

Even I know that The Blue Danube is one of the most recognizable standards. Composer Johann Strauss II also composed A Night in Venice which, as everyone knows, is an operetta in three acts. The libretto, of course, was by F. Zell and Richard Genée based on Le Château Trompette by Genée and Eugène Cormon. In this day and age, anyone with a browser is a genius.

Seriously, this nicely videoed version of The Blue Danube Waltz was performed by the Vienna Philharmonic and accompanied by wonderful dancing.


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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.