Feel free to browse the links on this site for more information about our products,
elementary music education for parents, and also join our mailing list and get your
music education resources for FREE download.
Send us request to be added to our Mailing List here and we will add you to our database
of mailing list records.
Despite a seeming incompatibility of such concepts as "music" and "sports", they've
been going hand in hand for a number of centuries. In sports, music was often used
to accentuate the importance of an event. It stimulated both the public and the athletes.
Today music in sports is used quite often. However, the question is, how can sports
be used in music?
The classical musicians and composers are considered to be the founders of “musical”
sports. And rightly so; possessing remarkable talent, these people were the first
ones to introduce complex passages and techniques into music pieces, hitherto unknown
First it looked like the modest attempts based on the desire of classical musicians
or composers to insert something new and unusual into the symphony to surprise the
public. But with each subsequent opus the majority of composers mastered the possibilities
of the instrument or, instruments, for which music was written.
Classical musicians mainly used keyboard instruments, and soon there was a lot of
“novelty” in symphonies. Eventually, these novelties were replaced by the new ones
and so on. The composers continued to create new masterpieces and neither deafness,
as in case with Beethoven, nor blindness, as with I.S. Bach, was capable of preventing
these people from writing new compositions.
We are not going to go too deep into the past and we shall concentrate our attention
only on those composers and performers who influenced modern music the most.
The first person to consider in this discussion is the Italian violinist Niccolo
Paganini. Having extraordinary long hands and fingers by birth, Paganini quickly
mastered violin and guitar. He developed his talent and has broken all known records
of tempo. The apex of creativity of the great Italian violinist was 24 caprices and
5 concerts for violin with an orchestra, where the great maestro demonstrated his
genius brilliantly. There is perhaps no one who can possibly surpass him in performance
However, if Paganini was the first among violinists and guitarists of his time, then
the classical musicians had a number of keyboard instrument players with great technique.
However, there were leaders among them as well. The first ones to mention are Frederick
Chopin and Franz Liszt. And if the Chopin has left only his own "sports fantasies,
then Liszt, trying to show the infinite opportunities of a grand piano, in addition
to writing his own compositions, liked to set the opuses of other composers written
for a symphonic orchestra to the piano. Can you imagine the speed at which the hands
and fingers of a musician have to move in order to simultaneously play all parts
of an orchestra on one black and white keyboard?
Besides the classical musicians, classical composers liked to get singers, who performed
their vocal pieces. The biggest ordeal was endured by the tenors. Quite often they
had to sing such high notes that would cause a regular person to lose their voice.
But even the professional singers sometimes managed to strain their voices after
the first two or three lines. For example, singing a part of the Astrologer in the
opera “The Golden Cockerel” by Rimsky-Korsakov.
As for the percussion instruments, the musical sport arrived at utilizing them mainly
due to black jazz musicians at the end of XIX century. Every year, jazz music became
more and more complicated. Because of its complexity of performance, it soon became
the elite music.
Parallel to the development and popularity of jazz in America, the Spanish flamenco
guitarists were emerging in Europe, competing among each other. They perfected the
performance tempo to such a level that many of the compositions sounded like one
frantic trill. It was absolutely impossible to remember a single note from it.
Fresh breath in musical sport was rock music and its first bands; The Beatles, Rolling
Stones and Cream.
But the first one to really develop a sport approach to rock music was the legendary
Jimmy Hendrix. It was he who showed what was possible to do with a guitar. It was
aerobatics of musical acrobatics!
And this is only a small part of the long list of the well-known classical musicians
and those who participated in the Musical Olympic Games.