An early version of the Capriccio, Op. 76, Nº. 1, in the hand of Johannes Brahms. See the fancy decorative border? This copy was given to Clara Schumann as a “suitable-for-framing” birthday gift in 1871, possibly ending a quarrel between them.
(Yale Univ. Library)
In music, an agogic accent is a natural—and, in common practice, usually implied rather than directly marked—emphasis given to a certain note within a phrase because of its placement on a strong beat, its longer duration relative to surrounding notes, and/or the use of a non-harmonic tone in the…
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”
—Margaret Atwood from The Blind Assassin.
Photo by Petras Gagilas. (Taken with Instagram)
New Device Converts Sign Language to Audible Speech
Students at the University of Houston designed a device called MyVoice, which uses a video camera to capture a person’s sign language movements. It also contains a small video monitor, a microphone and a speaker. Software processes the images and determines what was said, and then translates the word or phrase into speech, which is transmitted through an electronic voice.
It also works backward, capturing a person’s spoken words and projecting the appropriate hand sign onto the monitor. Students sampled a database of images to train their software to recognize the hand signs, according to a UH news release. The team used between 200 and 300 images per sign.
Tip: Don’t ask me this question unless if you have two hours to kill.
If only this actually worked…
The score of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony, missing for 100 years and presumed lost, was discovered in a Swiss cellar in 2004. The music critic of the Daily Telegraph, Geoffrey Norris, an expert on the composer, was contacted by a mysterious man who invited him to confirm that the manuscript was genuine. When the two men met at a Swiss railway station, Norris noticed that his companion was carrying a Co-Op plastic bag. This turned out to contain the 300 page missing score which the composer’s had covered with his scribblings.
Widely regarded as Rachmaninov’s most popular orchestral work, the score of his second symphony, written in 1907, was due to be sold at Sotheby’s sale of 7 December with an estimate of £300,000 - £500,000 but the lot was withdrawn at the last minute, the result of an ownership dispute between the vendor and the Rachmaninov estate. Legal wranglings were still going on in 2006.