About This Site
The goal of this web site is to promote some of my favorite topics and views, talk about musical intonation and harmony, publish the genealogical data I have collected, and share some photos. We are fortunate to live in an age of a relatively free world wide web on which we can self-publish at will. Who cares if only family and friends read it? I think of it as a journal on steroids.
The photo in the masthead is me playing a Civil War era E-flat cornet built in 1867 by D.C. Hall, Boston, MA. I use this instrument in the Americus Brass Band. This instrument has a much more mellow tone than modern high brasses and it is a joy to play despite it’s inherent intonation problems.
Music is a big part of my life. When I was young the trumpet was really the only activity at which I excelled, so naturally it became my first real passion. Trumpet is a physical instrument requiring constant practice to maintain endurance, flexibility, technique, and tone. Though I have a day job I practice at least four hours a week. Not much, really, but life is busy enough, and I’m a lot more efficient at practicing than when I was young. It keeps me in shape so I don’t suck.
Another musical passion for me is intonation. Even people who play music for a living often don’t really know what it is. I have come to the conclusion that our music education system is in need of adjustment in this area. To explain myself and promote my viewpoint I have been working for several years on an intonation primer for musicians. It isn’t even close to finished, and the way things look right now it may have to wait until I retire from my day job. But there is enough for people to play with and get an idea of what I have in mind. Beginning with the launch of this new web site I have placed my prior intonation work in a special section of the site called “Deep Intonation” (heh heh). This area is for the nerdy types who want to get into deep sh…, ah, heavy reading. But for regular folks the Musical Intonation tab on the horizontal nav bar will be where you will find lighter reading on the subject, where I intend to promote my views on music education and it’s value to society, and to provide some easy-to-understand insights into musical harmony and tuning for non-musicians. Deep Intonation is available in the side bar menu on that page.
Like most people, I grew up hearing stories about my ancestors, learning some of their names, and seeing a few photos. A few of those stories that made me curious, but there wasn’t a whole lot I could do to satisfy that curiosity until records started being published on the web. It was then that I started spending some serious time on genealogy. The Genealogy tab on the horizontal nav bar leads to that section. I will post family stories, interesting (to me) tidbits, and my speculations, and from there you can visit my online genealogical database, an instance of Darrin Lythgoe’s “TNG” (The Next Generation). Like Deep Intonation, TNG is for those who want to roll up their sleeves and dig around. I am hoping it will be of use to other genealogists, and that my own genealogical pursuits will also benefit from publishing it.
I make my living as a technologist, though my degrees are in music, specializing in trumpet performance and intonation theory. In addition to my musical and digital pursuits I enjoy fresh water fishing, gardening, genealogy, photography, and home improvement. I’m not much into television (it takes too much time away from my other activities), though I’ll watch San Francisco 49ers games sometimes. My political views are mostly liberal, and my religious views, if one can call them that, tend toward humanism and the kind of spirituality found in teachings of eastern mystics and the “new physics.”