Stretta Journal

Dear Musical Friends,

Music and sheet music are part of our everyday life at Stretta. But music also enriches our lives outside our daily work. At Stretta, musicians work for musicians.

Let us share our enthusiasm and expertise with you in our Stretta Journal! Arouse your curiosity for current topics from the wide world of music, travel reports, interviews, reviews, puzzles and many interesting facts about your instrument.

Discover all about music with the Stretta Journal. We hope you enjoy reading and browsing!

Musical regards,
Edd Lee & the #StrettaSquad

From Sound to Emotion - How Music Affects Our Feelings

From Sound to Emotion - How Music Affects Our Feelings

How can music evoke emotions? How can music calm and reduce stress? Systematic musicologist Bettina Zeidler introduces us to the world of music psychology.

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Young and Under Pressure - From the Lives of Budding Professional Musicians

Young and Under Pressure - From the Lives of Budding Professional Musicians

The start of a career in music can be particularly challenging for young people. Alongside rehearsal stress and the constant pressure to keep practicing and developing, the fear of auditions and thoughts of all the competition out there can take a hold of everyday musical life. Why do young people take all of this on and how do they deal with it all? A conversation about the pressure to perform with five aspiring professional musicians.

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Instrumental Up-Keep in Winter - What Should I Consider?

Instrumental Up-Keep in Winter - What Should I Consider?

What would Christmas and New Year be without concerts and music? Unfortunately, many instruments don't like the winter temperatures at all, and the dry air from our heating can also cause problems. What might happen and how can I protect my instrument from damage?

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The New Performance Option for The Christmas Oratorio – Orchestra vs Organ

The New Performance Option for The Christmas Oratorio – Orchestra vs Organ

For many musicians, it is as much a part of the Advent and Christmas season as the Christmas tree or minced pies... Of course we are talking about the Christmas Oratorio by the Leipzig Thomaskantor Johann Sebastian Bach, which fills almost every church with festive sounds in wintertime. It is well known to us all in its original form with four soloists, mixed choir and orchestra with basso continuo, but the circumstances are not always suitable for such a grand performance. Good thing there's now a new option to perform this masterpiece without orchestra!

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Learning to play the Bassoon – 20 Questions for Anselma Veit

Learning to play the Bassoon – 20 Questions for Anselma Veit

“I think the bassoon gives the music a nice depth - literally and figuratively. Precisely because the tone is so wonderfully warm and velvety. No matter what formation.“ Bassoon player Anselma Veit anwsers our musical questionnaire in the hopes of making the choice for a new instrument a bit easier.

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The Life and Work of a Classical Composer Today – An Interview with Zdeněk Král

The Life and Work of a Classical Composer Today – An Interview with Zdeněk Král

Zdeněk Král is one of the most prominent figures in modern Czech classical music and, with more than 1000 compositions, he is extremely prolific. In an interview with Tomáš Ibrmajer he talks about his life as a composer: from his inspirations, the creative process and the challenges, to the final performance.

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Día de Muertos – Music in Mexico

Día de Muertos – Music in Mexico

Every year on the 2nd of November, Mexico celebrates one of its most important holidays, Día de Muertos. As the name suggests, the "Day of the Dead" commemorates the deceased. But unlike many funeral and commemoration ceremonies in Europe, it is a lavish and colourful festival with great hustle and bustle on the streets, festive parades and exuberant music and dances.

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What’s the Deal with John Cage's 4'33''?

What’s the Deal with John Cage's 4'33''?

A brief insight into John Cage's important yet controversial work, its background, and the composers intentions.

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What Exactly is a Decibel?

What Exactly is a Decibel?

We clarify why this unit of measurement exists, what it means, and how it can affect us musicians.

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Learning to play the Recorder – 20 Questions for Vera Petry

Learning to play the Recorder – 20 Questions for Vera Petry

“What fascinates me about the recorder is the warm, soft sound and the natural playing style: the direct contact of the fingers to the wood and the wonderful feeling, similar to singing, of bringing the instrument to life with your own breath.” Recorder player Vera Petry anwsers our musical questionnaire in the hopes of making the choice for a new instrument a bit easier.

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WMC Kerkrade Retrospective: What is the Status of Wind Music Today?

WMC Kerkrade Retrospective: What is the Status of Wind Music Today?

The opinion is growing amongst wind musicians that the scene seems to be in a difficult situation. Which direction should wind music take in order to reach as many people as possible in the future? Perhaps the WMC, World Music Contest, in Kerkrade in the Netherlands, often referred to as a “laboratory for wind music” can give us an insight into the scene…

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How Rhythmic Speech Can Make it Easier to Learn your Instrument.

How Rhythmic Speech Can Make it Easier to Learn your Instrument.

In music lessons, rhythm often receives less focus than other aspects of the music. In this article, drummer Manu Holmer shows us the first steps to help us use speech to overcome rhythmic uncertainty.

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The Art of the Encore!

The Art of the Encore!

What makes a good encore? We asked eight professional musicians to try and answer this question. Let their answers inspire you for your next concert!

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StrettaCast – Film Music: From Brünnhilde to Blade Runner

StrettaCast – Film Music: From Brünnhilde to Blade Runner

What would 2001: Space Odyssey be without Richard Strauss? What would Back to the Future be without Chuck Berry? What would Alfred Hitchcock have done without Bernard Herrmann? It is hard to imagine our favourite films without music. But the first films were produced without any sound at all! From the first moment someone pushed a piano onto the stage at a silent movie theatre, this wonderful musical genre sprung to life.

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Loop Me, Pachelbel! Creative Practice with Loop-Apps

Loop Me, Pachelbel! Creative Practice with Loop-Apps

Do your students find repeating scales, exercises, or tricky phrases monotonous? Then why not try a Loop-App! These easy-to-use helpers create fascinating pieces of music from unpopular exercises in no time at all, which will delight beginners and advanced users alike!

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10 Music Films You Should Have Seen

10 Music Films You Should Have Seen

Since the very first silent films, music and film have always gone hand in hand! For us as musicians, however, it is particularly interesting when we reverse the terms ‘film’ and ‘music’, and focus on the genre 'music films'. Here, the music itself is the subject, and each and every film provides numerous musical numbers. Ten members of the #StrettaSquad recommend their favorite music films, and every single one is an absolute must-see!

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The Sounds of the Forest

The Sounds of the Forest

The forest has undergone an amazing transformation: from a place of a multitude of dangers, to a preservation area of untouched nature. It serves as a seismograph for the general state of the environment. But what role does the forest play in music? Do hunting horns and birdsong really emanate from the forest? Holger Slowik from the #StrettaJournal spoke to musicologist Georg Högl, an expert on the forest in music.

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The Sounds of Spring

The Sounds of Spring

As nature awakens from hibernation, floral scents fill the air. Fresh leaves give the world a green hue, and gardens and meadows start exploding with colour... Can all of this be captured in music? Stretta editro David Rauh went looking for anwsers, guided by his own personal Spring Music-Highlights.

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Learning to Play the Accordion – 20 Questions for Nadine Soppa

Learning to Play the Accordion – 20 Questions for Nadine Soppa

“The accordion is a very physical instrument, so a good awareness of your body gives you a clear advantage. You have to play with your whole body and "breathe" with the instrument.” Accordion player Nadine Soppa anwsers our musical questionaire in order to make deciding which instrument you would like to play a bit easier.

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Pretty Wild! Practical tips for educating restless students

Pretty Wild! Practical tips for educating restless students

Do you know that feeling of standing up in front of a group of children, but some of them are fidgety, and the restlessness starts to spread? What do you do when a private student finds it difficult to concentrate and their mind keeps wondering off? Kristin Thieleman collected a large selection of practical and effective tips.

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Spooky Tunes – Three Eerie Musical Journeys Guaranteed To Give You Goosebumps

Spooky Tunes – Three Eerie Musical Journeys Guaranteed To Give You Goosebumps

We take a look at a few questions about dark music: Why do we get goosebumps and what does that say about us? Do you know the melody of death that has been creeping through music history for centuries, quoted by many great composers, and even features in children's films like _The Lion King_? Embark upon our eerie musical journeys and let yourself be inspired. Some answers and examples might scare you...

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Playlist: Freaky Film Music

Playlist: Freaky Film Music

Now the horror really begins. Atonality, dissonance, specifically developed, weird instruments, rhythmic unrest, menacingly deep tones or bone-chilling high notes - there are no limits to the imagination of film composers to make us uncomfortable, to accentuate terrible images or to forebode disaster.

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Playlist: Terrifying Pop & Rock

Playlist: Terrifying Pop & Rock

So, you think that after “Scary Classical” and “Freaky Film Music”, nothing can frighten you anymore? You're probably right, since popular music tends to be more entertaining and generally tries not to be too disturbing. It's often the backstory that frightens us the most, like with the first song on this playlist…

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Playlist: Scary Classical

Playlist: Scary Classical

Come into the cool catacombs of the most catastrophic classical compositions! Crisp as a cat, you can listen to the clear, concert call in the cold cellar of a cathedral with clattering teeth. Is that an organ I hear? No, for at the beginning of this playlist, one of the most important pieces of all time was arranged for orchestra, in order to be even more effective. Discover the terrific depths of classical music!

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The Sounds of Summer

The Sounds of Summer

Shimmering heat, balmy evenings, thunderstorms… Summer has many faces, tones moods, and sounds. In this Stretta Journal article about the sounds of summer, Holger Slowik presents his selection of summer music favourites.

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Joy of Music – Rare Discoveries from the Schott Archives

Joy of Music – Rare Discoveries from the Schott Archives

While the word 'archive' rarely inspires joy, the opposite can be said of the "Joy of Music" series, which Schott produced for its 250th birthday. There are five volumes containing mostly virtuosic, sometimes meditative, but always entertaining treasures from the publishing house's archive. It’s an exciting insight into the music culture of the 19th century!

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Large Choral Works with Small Orchestral Forces

Large Choral Works with Small Orchestral Forces

How can large-scale choral masterpieces be performed by smaller choirs? This question has not only arisen from the corona pandemic, there have always been many reasons, including financial, to reduce the forces. Carus-Verlag regularly expands its series of choral works with reduced orchestrations with new, exciting releases. So the Stretta Journal team chose to take a closer look at these editions and present some of them in detail.

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