Should Historians “Mind” What’s Been Said? By mcheesaker

who's word's?

According to Google’s new n-gram tool, when researching history, words count.

Literally.

By analyzing over 500 billion words from 5.2 million books in Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish, the n-gram tool allows users to track the usage of words from 1500AD onwards. The implications of this tool in terms of historical and cultural research are just beginning to come to light. In the article  “Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books,” Jean-Baptiste Michel and his fellow researchers suggest that Google’s n-gram can be used to track the emergence of diseases, state censorship and the relative “celebrity” of a given person.

There is no doubt that the n-gram is, and will continue to be, an extremely useful tool in historical inquiry. However, there are some limitations that need to be addressed.

Firstly, the Google n-gram is limited in regards to language. Most of the collected works are written in English. Although this is helpful for me (an Anglophone student from Canada), some of the world’s most spoken languages, like Arabic and Hindi, are not even present in the database.

Furthermore, as Jean-Baptiste Michel notes, the Google n-gram tool simply measures the frequency of words within books, and books alone. Therefore, other publications like newspapers, and academic journal articles are marginalized from each search. The impact of this becomes quite clear when you compare n-gram searches on Google, and an n-gram search that browses through local newspaper clippings like the site, Mining the Dispatch. On Mining the Dispatch, users are able to see the relative frequency of fugitive slave ads that made it into the local Richmond newspaper during the Civil War. Because of its larger scope, and inability to browse through newspapers, this kind of historical deduction cannot be made through Google’s n-gram.

There is no doubt that the n-gram is, and will continue to be, an extremely useful tool in historical inquiry. However, there are some limitations that need to be addressed.

Firstly, the Google n-gram is limited in regards to language. Most of the collected works are written in English. Although this is helpful for me (an Anglophone student from Canada), some of the world’s most spoken languages, like Arabic and Hindi, are not even present in the database

I think it’s also important to note that language, although an important (and often forgotten) indication of culture is certainly not the only one. As historians know, geography, religion and class, all play a critical role in shaping the thoughts, actions and mindsets of a given people. Language is only one small piece of what makes us who we are.

Indeed, Canada, the United States, and the UK, may all be English speaking nations, but we have very different cultures. Just to prove this point, I decided to gauge the relative frequencies of three major sports: baseball, hockey, and football. From 1900-2008, the frequency of hockey was dismal compared to football and baseball. However, this was a search that took into account all English books written during the designated period. I imagine if I were to search a corpus containing only Canadian books, hockey would be mentioned far more frequently..

But more than that, words themselves are limited.

Think about Twitter. Depending on the words we choose to use in our hashtags, our statuses are more searchable. Similarly, if we tweet about a topic that’s trending, what we say is viewed by a larger audience. But what if we don’t use the right words to categorize what we’re saying? What if we type in an extra “s” or add an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong? But more pertinent than that, what if we say one thing, and mean another?

My previous example with sports provides an interesting example. In English, the word “football” can either mean soccer, or American football. In my search, this discrepancy wasn’t accounted for. Therefore, any mention of the word “football,” whether that book was actually talking about soccer or American football, was nonetheless counted. And therein lies another problem with Google’s n-gram: the tool gives us no sense of context.

And for the historian, context is king.

An old Chinese proverb claims that, “If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.”

After playing around with the Google n-gram, and uncovering its uses, I think this is extremely accurate. However, words are only one investigative tool in the proverbial historical tool-belt that can be used to understand history and culture.

F0r charts and more information visit: http://hist291.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/should-historians-mind-whats-been-said/

How to Be a Guitar Teacher

 

ZZZZ03

1) Determine whether you have the skill level instrumentally to teach others to play the guitar well and properly. Contact a teacher yourself to see if they think you are ready to teach guitar lessons to another.

2) Go to a few guitar lessons and make notes of how they teach. Think about which aspects of the lesson you like and which aspects you disliked. Then integrate the aspects you liked into your own lessons.

3) Begin gathering materials for lessons from music stands, music books, CDs of concerts or examples. Determine where you will have your lessons. Decide if you will rent a space at a music store, teach at a university or out of your garage.

4) Decide on a fair rate according to your years of experience playing and teaching. This rate can vary from city to city. Usually teaching fees range from $10-$200 a lesson, depending on your notoriety and skill.

5) Advertise your services through word of mouth, newspaper classified ads, magazine ads and school bulletin boards. Consider where you advertise and what type of student you want to work with. If you advertise on college boards, you can get anyone from experienced players to hobbyists.

6) Gather a few students and spread your good services through word of mouth. Hold recitals and opportunities for your students to display their talent and your good teaching abilities.

See Original Post At: http://www.ehow.com/how_2085453_be-guitar-teacher.html

 

MIDI Troubleshooting 101

midi

Original Post From http://forum.recordingreview.com

It’s sometimes difficult to started with MIDI. The communication between all the different components can get very confusing. This article is designed to help you through the process of solving your MIDI problems. The basic chain for MIDI is quite simple. The biggest problems occur in the understanding of what each piece of the puzzle does. In this first example, I’m going to assume we want to record a piano part within Cubase using Kontakt2.

#1) We need a way to enter the MIDI data. This sounds very unmusical, but it’s important for me to write in this fashion to make sure you understand what is really happening within your MIDI sequencer. You CAN enter your MIDI data with a mouse within Cubase and most other software based MIDI sequencers. However, most people prefer to have a little more human element in their MIDI productions and therefor using a MIDI controller (piano style keyboard) is the most popular way of entering MIDI data. You can also enter the data with an electronic drum kit, a MIDI guitar pickup, triggers, or using one of the keypad style gadgets out there. It needs to be said that any old keyboard with MIDI out can be used as a MIDI controller. Just to clear up the part, “entering the data” is the same thing as recording a performance or playing an instrument. In our first example, we are recording a piano part, so we will use the standard piano style MIDI controller.

#2) Now we need to hook our MIDI controller to our computer. The old standard was the 16-pin MIDI cable. Most computers do not have a MIDI cable input, but many audio interfaces do. You’ll need to plug this cable into an audio interface that has built in midi. (If you don’t have an audio interface with built in MIDI ports and your MIDI controller leaves no other options, like USB, you’ll need to obtain a MIDI interface. Most modern midi interfaces designed for working with computers use USB to connect to the computer. No special MIDI interface is required.

#3) Now it’s time to make sure the MIDI Sequencer / Recording software is picking up the MIDI signal. Most will have a meter that flashes when MIDI signal is received. So hit a few notes and see if anything lights up. If nothing lights up, there is probably a problem with your MIDI controller, the MIDI interface (if applicable), or the signal is not being routed properly within the recording software. You’ll want to check the manual for your recording software for specifics.

In our example, when we strike a key on our MIDI controller, we see a meter light up on the Cubase transport. This tell us that Cubase is getting the signal. If we do not see the meters on the Cubase transport lighting up, we have a problem. It’s possible that your operating system isn’t receiving the signal. Make sure your drivers are installed for your device(s). Also make sure that you have properly setup and set as the default MIDI device in Control Panels > Sound and Audio Devices if you are using Windows. Also make sure that you have the device setup in your recording software / sequencer as well.

Now we need to create a MIDI track to actually record the MIDI data and we may have to specific which MIDI input we want to use. (This is sometimes handled automatically). When we strike a key on the MIDI controller, a meter should light up on for that MIDI track. We have the data in the sequencer, but we still won’t hear any sound. Cubase (or any sequencer itself) doesn’t necessarily play sound. We need virtual instruments that utilize either synths or samples to actually create the sound based on the MIDI data we send to it.

So, in Cubase, we’ll open up the MIDI instruments section and load Kontakt 2 (our sampler software of choice) and then select a piano sound. Going back to our MIDI track, we need to send the MIDI signal to that piano sound by setting the output of the that MIDI track to Kontakt 2, on the appropriate channel.

READ MORE AT: http://forum.recordingreview.com/f18/midi-troubleshooting-101-a-5208/

How To Get A Record Deal

 

Let’s talk about how to get a record deal. After all this is what you want. Right? You’d probably do anything just to get one. One of the most important things that you should focus on is making your music unique. I’ve seen too many artists try to record a song that is almost identical to a particular song they’ve heard on the radio. When it comes to record deals, it just doesn’t work.

All the record labels want is one thing that is uniquely different in your music. That’s all. You know what? You’re already unique. You are different to every other artist, musician and songwriter on the planet. So what do you do? Bring out that uniqueness in your music. Bring out the you in your music. Let your music reflect you. Your songs should capture your unique personality and individuality.

This is how you capture your listener. They will stop and listen because your music takes them to places they have never been before. It’s not the same regurgitated songs that they have grown accustomed to and are tired of. Record label reps are the first listeners and they’re human. Make them stop and listen. This is how artists get record deals.

There are songs that you listen to for the first time and they immediately grab your attention. There is something in them that do that to you, whether it’s a particular kind of melody, something in the lyrics, the topic or whatever. Here’s what you should do. Write songs with the intention of doing the same thing to your listeners. That’s all! Don’t do exactly what was done in the song you heard. Make it different and unique, but make it create the same impact.

Regurgitation doesn’t get artists record deals. It’s uniqueness. Give a record label a song to knock their socks of in the same way that your favorite songs knocked your socks off. As soon as you do this, you’ll be on your way.

Original Post From http://www.ultimatesongwriting.com

 

“The Gods” – Song By: Ronnie and Heather Whitley Gibson

Here comes Zeus in his zuit suit
Hercules in all his glory
hot and bothered, looks for Venus
history and poetry
standing at the Mayan temple
watch them sacrifice a child
Egyptians prepare a mummy
watch out the gods are on fire

all chant when the sun shines bright
the gods, the moon, the night

looking at the stars and Mars
watching Aztecs playing ball
George is singing my sweet lord

everyone try’s to stand tall
even when their idols fall
what you must do against all odds
is try your best to worship the gods

some people take time to pray
pray to Billy Holiday

some even praise animals
to stop sky and thunder from falling
and after the day is done
some pray to Jim Morrison
everyone try’s to stand tall
even when their idols fall
walk to the door and turn the knob
drop to your knees and worship the gods

muses mount the Trojan horses
pyramids and the white house
Apollo take your pick

shine your tongue and join the mob
drop to your knees and worship the gods

Play The Gods