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Sunday, December 16, 2012

When the Master's Away, His Apprentices Will Play (Music, That Is)


People sometimes refer to the musical sound of horse hooves. Others remark on the music that the hammer makes on the anvil.

Hit the right thing the right away, and you'll hear a tone that you can adjust by hitting it with something else, or by hitting the same thing in a different place.

Is percussion by itself still music?





Not only is it music, it's the root of all music. The mathematics of the musical scale--the base of all music--was set by hammer tones on the face of an anvil.

This blacksmith shop is in St. Anton in southern Austria, a city known for its affinity to the music. The smith must be a mightily generous man (or woman) to allow the shop's hammers to be used this way.

These kids will probably auditioning for Blue Man Group soon!

Here's someone who might have inspired them:


That's Doc Cudd, blacksmith at the Biltmore Estate outside Asheville, North Carolina.

 There's more than one way to play an anvil chorus!


--written by Fran Jurga

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