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Puzzle for the Week of December 17

Tudor Music

Thomas Tallis’ monumental motet Spem in Alium is the inspiration for this week’s quiz. Heard in the first program this week, it is a work for 40 voices, divided into 8 choirs, each with 5 voices. Below, you will see a grid of 40 letters, organized in 8 columns and 5 rows.

Moving from left to right, and selecting one letter from each column, can you spell out five 8-letter composers from the Tudor period? Every letter is used once!

By James Andrewes

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Puzzle for the Week of December 3

Incidentally Speaking

The titles of most of the musical works heard in this week’s programs contain multiple words, such as “Pelléas et Mélissande”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Peer Gynt”, and “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”. Represented as initialisms, these would abbreviate to PEM, AMND, PG, and LBG.

Can you work out what the following musical works are, based on their initialisms?

4. ADG
6. ESM

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Puzzle for the Week of November 26

Gabriel Fauré 

Fauré, along with several of his French contemporaries, is invited to a private soirée by the Societé Nationale de Musique, of which he was a founding member. To maintain privacy, the organizers insist that the composers arrive at a back entrance, knock three times, and give a personal numerical pass-code to be allowed in. As Fauré arrives, he realizes with dismay that he left his invitation card at home, and his access code was written on it.

Fauré listens carefully as composers ahead of him knock thrice, then successfully give their code. Taffanel is admitted with the code 12112, and Franck is let in with the code 19118. Two more composers move forward and knock: Massenet enters with the code 12519 and Chausson 51920. By this stage, the quick-thinking Fauré has realized the logic and steps confidently up to the door.

What is Fauré’s pass-code?


By James Andrewes


Fauré’s passcode is 9512. Each composer’s code represents the last three letters of his first name, translated numerically into code, where A=1, B=2 etc.

9512, therefore, represents the letters I, E and L, which are the last three letters of Gabriel.
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Puzzle for the Week of November 19

    Martha Graham and her Music

One of Martha Graham’s notable quotes was “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” In this puzzle, you must find names of dances ‘hidden’ within sentences. For example, in the sentence “During the family’s trip to Manhattan, good times were had by all”, the dance tango is hidden, connected from the end of ‘Manhattan’ to the beginning of ‘good’.The name of the dance may be hidden either forwards or backwards within the sentences, so look carefully! Ignore punctuation and spaces between words. All hidden dances are at least six letters long.

1. We were ecstatic our antenna started to work again after going kaput last week.
2. It’s a fact that the more lobster an arrogant man eats, the more shellfish he becomes.
3. What a sad rascal the boy was after he was scolded by his parents for his behavior.
4. The pastel color schemes of the room added a sense of cozy decor to the house.
5. Together with the orchestra’s maestro, I kayaked down the Volga river.
6. The end of an era came quickly for the team’s coach after three successive losses.

1. Courante (ecstatic our antenna)
2. Bolero (more lobster)
3. Csárdás (sad rascal)
4. Zydeco (cozy decor)
5. Troika (maestro, I kayaked)
6. Macarena (an era came)

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“Dancing the Past” — Artbeat on WTTW (2000)

This segment of "Artbeat" shows the Joffrey Ballet in rehearsal for performances of Martha Graham's "Appalachian Spring" and features former Martha Graham Dance Company dancer Yuriko Kikuchi and members of the Joffrey Ballet. This program aired on WFMT's sister station, WTTW, on October 18, 2000.

Series Producer: Daniel Andries
Narrated by Fawn Ring
Produced by Gita Saedi
Camera: Emmett E. Wilson
Edited by Barbara E. Allen

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Puzzle for the Week of November 12

Music in the Time of War

Benjamin Britten, who wrote the mighty War Requiem heard in this week’s program, has an interesting feature to his name: his first and last names both begin with the same letter - B. This is not so unusual, as numerous other composers share this feature: Béla Bartók, Edward Elgar, George Gershwin, Modest Mussorgsky, William Walton, to name a few.

However, with Britten it goes one step further: his first and last names also both end with the same letter - n.

Several other composers share this rare ‘double’ feature, with their two names both beginning and ending with a shared letter. I have written four such composers below, but removed from their names all but two letters as hints. Can you identify them?

1. ________L__ ______________D__
2. ____O__________ ____B__________
3. ____R__ ________M________

4. ______M____ __A________



1. Cécile Chaminade
2. Giovanni Gabrieli
3. Toru Takemitsu
4. Thomas Tallis

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Puzzle for the Week of November 5

I Hear America Singing

After listening to this week’s Exploring Music programs, the poet Walt Whitman decides he would like to literally hear America singing in election week. He invites seven American composers - past and present – to sing a stirring concert of choral music. Ives, Copland, Amy Beach, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Irving Berlin, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and Missy Mazzoli all accept Whitman’s invitation.
On arrival, the composers arrange themselves left to right according to their voice types, with the four women taking soprano and alto, and the three men tenors and basses. Initially, Whitman is unhappy with this line-up and proclaims: “No, this won’t work. Copland, you go on the left...” He continues to assign each composer a specific position in the chorus from left to right. When finished, he announces triumphantly: “Now I will hear America singing!”

In what order did Whitman place the composers from left to right, and why did this satisfy his desire to “hear America singing?”


Answer:   From left to right: Copland, Mazzoli, Zwilich, Seeger, Berlin, Ives and Beach.

“Initially, Whitman is unhappy....”

Whitman’s order is based on the initial letters of each composer’s first name: Aaron, Missy, Ellen, Ruth, Irving, Charles and Amy. Combined together from left to right, they spell AMERICA. Whitman can now literally hear AMERICA singing.

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Puzzle for the Week of October 29

Demons,Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night
By James Andrewes

To celebrate Halloween, the Grim Reaper organizes a deathly music party, to which he invites the spirits of his favorite deceased composers. As each one arrives throughout the night, the Reaper conjures up the sounds of that composer’s music.

Upon Beethoven’s arrival, strains of his famous Triple Concerto, op. 56, ring out.
Shostakovich walks in to the eerie sound of his Second String Quartet, op. 68.
As Chopin enters, a haunted, upright piano plays his Scherzo No. 3, op. 39.
Britten arrives to hear a ghostly choir wailing his Missa Brevis in D, op. 63.

Why these specific pieces? If you can figure out the Reaper’s grim logic, answer the following question: what piece of music does the Reaper produce when Elgar makes his appearance?

Think creatively and remember puzzles have no rules!

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Answer:        Elgar’s Symphonic Prelude Polonia, op. 76

The opus number for each work corresponds to the age at which the composer died.
Beethoven: died age 56; Triple Concerto, op. 56
Shostakovich: died age 68; String Quartet No. 2, op. 68
Chopin: died age 39; Scherzo No. 3, op. 39
Britten: died age 63; Missa Brevis in D, op. 63

Since Elgar died age 76, the Reaper played his symphonic prelude Polonia, op. 76


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Exploring Music Puzzles by James Andrewes

James Andrewes lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where he works as Assistant Librarian for the Fort Worth Symphony. He grew up in New Zealand and began learning violin at a young age. His studies eventually took him to the United States, where he earned a Master of Music, followed by degrees in String Quartet Performance and Early Music. For as long as he can remember, James has enjoyed puzzles, riddles, and word games of all kinds, and he is excited to be creating unique musical puzzles for the Exploring Music community.
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Bill McGalughlin with George Hanson, Tucson Desert Song Festival Director

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Tucson Desert Song Festival Director , George Hanson
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Bill McGlaughlin with Jubilant Sykes

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Baritone Jubilant Sykes talks about his role as Celebrant in Bernstein's "Mass."
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Bill McGlaughlin with Jeannette Segel and Jack Forsythe

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Tucson Desert Song Festival:
Jeannette Segel, President of the Board of Directors
John G. (Jack) Forsythe, President Emeritus

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Bill McGalughlin with José Luis Gomez

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival


 Here Bill McGlaughlin interviews the Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez, the Music Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

This week Exploring Music is celebrating the Leonard Bernstein centennial, featuring highlights from "The 2018 Tucson Desert Song Festival", including performances of works such as Candide, Symphony No. 3 “Kaddish”, On the Town, and Trouble in Tahiti. Leading Arizona ensembles participating in Tucson Desert Song Festival are True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, Arizona Opera and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

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Bill McGlaughlin with Eric Holtan and Jubilant Sykes

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Eric Holtan, Jubilant Skyes, and Bill McGlaughlin


Sitting Together

During a break in rehearsing Bernstein's MASS at the 2018 Tucson Desert Song Festival, Bill sat with Eric Holtan, Music Director of True Concord Voices & Orchestra, and baritone Jubilant Sykes, the Celebrant.
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Tucson Festival Pictures, Part 1

Bill McGlaughlin @ The 6th Annual Tucson Desert Song Festival

Part 1

Bill McGlaughlin and Bill Siegmund in Tucson


Bill heading down the trail


Natural Tucson wildlife


More natural beauty


Natural Arizona landscape


Long day on the hike


Check out Part 2

The Exploring Music team would like to thank the Tucson Desert Song Festival and Central Sound at Arizona PBS for their support and coordination in making this special presentation possible. Additional thanks to the Tucson Desert Song Festival participating artists and ensembles for their performances and cooperation with this collaborative project.
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Tucson Festival Pictures, Part 2

Bill McGlaughlin @ The 6th Annual Tucson Desert Song Festival

Part 2

Bill back on the hike


Beautiful view of the valley


San Xavier Mission, Tucson, AZ


San Xavier Mission, Tucson, AZ


View on top of church


The rolling hills and landscape of the Tucson area

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Bill McGlaughlin with Dan Buckley, Part 1

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Part 2


And be sure to check out Dan's website The Mariachi Miracle
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Bill McGlaughlin with Dr. Bruce Chamberlain

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Part 4

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Bill McGlaughlin with Dan Buckley, Part 2

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Part 3


And be sure to check out Dan's website The Mariachi Miracle
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Bill McGlaughlin with Katherine Webber, Aaron C. Finley, and Tamar Greene

Exploring Music Interviews @ Tucson Desert Song Festival

Part 1

Performers of Leonard Bernstein's Mass at Tucson Desert Song Festival and in collaboration with the True Concord Voices and Orchestra and conducted by Eric Holtan.
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Architecture and Music

“Everywhere in the world, music enhances a hall, with one exception. Carnegie Hall enhances the music” - Isaac Stern.

Music and architecture have always had a close relationship. From the principles of harmony and repetition to the concepts of texture and proportion, there are many correlations that relate these two art forms. They have encouraged growth in one another, developing in unison to create the performance experiences we have today.

From sacred echo chambers to great halls, one understands the quality of a space through the context of hearing. Daniel Libeskind says:  “sound and space communicate to the soul, not just the mind. It is also communicating with the soul, as architecture is based on balance. However, balance is in the inner ear, not in the eye.” Balance within a space is appreciated when we hear the venue hold an echo, the final note of a chamber performance, or a pin drop, as one can experience in none other than New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

The building’s architect was William B. Tuthill. He had been a practicing architect for 11 years, but he had never built a hall before. Carnegie could have had his choice of any architect, and yet he chose Tuthill. Why—for his understanding of music, as a gifted cellist. He was the secretary of the Oratorio Society, which was started by Leopold Damrosch in 1873. Leopold was succeeded by his son, Walter, who became the conductor for the Symphony Society and birthed the idea of a new concert hall in New York to Andrew Carnegie himself.

Tuthill’s knowledge of principles in both music and architecture made him an exceptional candidate for the job, and his understanding of reverberation helped create one of the most unique performance spaces in the world. From the Palais du Trocadéro to the Bapistry in Pisa, he explored classical European architecture to understand the movement of sound through a space long before acoustics were studied, says the Hall’s archivist, Gino Francesconi. He would demonstrate his theories on how sound travels using billiard tables and applied his theories to his most advantageous job yet—the building of Carnegie Hall.

The design of Carnegie is simple. “No frescos, no chandeliers, no curtains–the detailing inside of the main hall is what you would find in the ‘three for a dollar bin’ at the home depot of the day” (Francesconi). The hall itself was built to be home to all types of performances. It was not designed specifically to house a ballet, orchestra or opera—as most halls were at the time. The main hall is a stage built intentionally to accommodate all. Through its lifetime, Carnegie Hall has housed everything from the New York Philharmonic to political rallies and war protests. Andrew Carnegie stated in the marking of the hall’s cornerstone, “all causes find a home here." William Tuthill followed Carnegie’s philosophy in his design—and time has proven his success in doing so.

Tuthill also had the keen sensibility to create a concert hall where everyone was there to be seen. “All of the levels are tapered back some, there are no barriers between the boxes,[…]so no matter where you were sitting, you were a part of the show… seventy-five percent of the audience could see [the other] seventy-percent of the audience” (Francesconi). While the seating design was socially strategic, it was also sonically ingenious.

The hall’s ceiling is divided into five sections, as are the seats of five cascading tiers, all tapered at the edges, which allows sound paths to spread with near equal velocity; the notes that are carried to Row Q are heard bouncing from the bell of the stage in unison (Francesconi). The unprecedented height of the ceiling allowed for extreme dynamics, allowing even the smallest noises to be heard throughout the main hall..  “Take La Scala [Opera House]. People in the audience, they used to eat, drink, gossip, and yell out… when they liked a piece and would want the encore immediately… That’s what going to a show meant back then” said David Byrne from the Ted Stage.  The sounds of the audience were forced to change as the architecture developed to hold sounds in new and exciting ways.

According to Alex Ross of The New Yorker, audience behavior shifted just before the 20th century, as aristocracy was declining and the middle classes were rising.  “[They] took control of how the concerts should unfold” and what music could be played. “When Beethoven began his Ninth Symphony with ten bars of otherworldly pianissimo, he was defying the norms of his time… imagining a new world in which the audience would await the music in an expectant hush.” (Ross). On opening night at Carnegie Hall, the audience was witness to what a hall of its magnitude could do for music.

On May 5th, 1891, the evening’s program began with Old Hundred—a doxology also known as Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow. The Organ blared as the hall reverberated from the multitude of octaves. Next came America, played by the Symphony Society under the direction of conductor, Walter Damrosch. Following was the Beethoven overture Leonore No. III. After, Marche Solennelle written and directed by Tchaikovsky himself. The evening ended with The Te Deum by Berlioz. Carnegie Hall was built for pieces like this. You could hear the quietest diminuendos, breathe with the credscendos, and feel your heart sing with the tremolos. This night marked a program filled with awe, curiosity, and new beginnings.

But the mystery still remains about Carnegie Hall- how could a space not built for a ballet, not built for an opera, not built for an orchestra—become one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world? “Its uniqueness”, says Gino Francesconi. The music and architecture of Carnegie Hall coalesce in a profound way, leaving the audience stunned by the final notes and echoes for over 127 years.

-Anna Jean Williams
Exploring Music intern
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Part II – Bill McGlaughlin interviews Carnegie Hall’s Archivist, Gino Francesconi

The second part of Bill McGlaughlin’s interview with the Director of Carnegie Hall’s Archives and Rose Museum, Gino Francesconi. This audio interview takes listeners backstage for an intimate view of the hall, its history, and the legendary performers who have appeared there.

Watercolors of Bill McGlaughlin and Gino Francesconi by Abigail Edmonds.


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Thank You To All

Here we are at the end of Exploring Music’s two weeks at Carnegie Hall. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks to our Carnegie team- the Archive department, Carnegie’s Associate Public Relations Director Mari Beth Bittan, and of course, Gino Francesconi. Additional thanks to our team at WFMT- Production Assistants Erik Opland and Becky Nystedt , interns Karina Kucking, Abigail Edmonds, Josh Davidoff, and Aj Williams. Lastly, a special thank you to our listeners. Without your support, none of this would be possible!

-Bill, Bill, and Cydne

Please enjoy more photos of Exploring Music at Carnegie Hall featured below.

 Featured left to right are Bill McGlaughlin, Gino Francesconi, Kathryn Gronsbell,
Kathleen Sabogal, Rob Hudson, Cydne Gillard, and Bill Siegmund.

Producer Cydne Gillard on the roof of Carnegie Hall.

Producer Bill Siegmund and Bill McGlaughlin on the rooftop of Carnegie Hall.

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Batons of Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall is fortunate to have a plethora of recorded history about the famous musicians who conducted on its main stage. Held in Carnegie Hall’s Rose Museum, 25 batons of these batons used to conduct world-renowned orchestras are now considered archival treasures. Follow the photos below, as Carnegie Hall Archivist Gino Francesconi and Bill McGlaughlin go behind the glass. Featured in the photos (in order) are the batons of Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, and Arturo Toscanini.

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Exploring Music Interview Amy Rhodes

Bill McGlaughlin sits down with Amy Rhodes, Director of  Ensemble Connect. Ensemble Connect is a two-year fellowship program for the finest young professional classical musicians in the United States that prepares them for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. It offers top-quality performance opportunities, intensive professional development, and the opportunity to partner with a New York City public school throughout the fellowship.

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You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
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This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
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Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
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