This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Keyboard Kings

              If you were to ask me to name some of the greatest mathematicians of all time, one of the first people that would come to my mind would be J.S. Bach.

           "What?" You may ask. "He was a composer and a musician!"

            But, you see, I think of music as one of the purest most wonderful forms of mathematics.  It's based on intervals, progressions, and combinations that can be expressed numerically as much as by lettered notes.  I can see a work of music as a fantastic equation which deciphers some of life's deepest meanings.  Listen to one of Bach's many works for keyboard and you might begin to understand what I am saying.

           Mozart was an early showman who might be compared to being the Elton John of his day, if I may be so crass in saying.  As a youngster, Mozart toured with his father throughout Europe and was famed for his keyboard wizardry.

           Some later more serious composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, or Schumann were keyboard kings in their own right composing some of the greatest works for piano of all time.  Then of course, there were the keyboard specialists like Chopin and Cesar Franck and the heralds of the romantic age of music, Brahms and Rachmaninov.   There were the mystical sounds of the impressionists such as Debussy, Ravel, and Eric Satie.

           Any discussion of keyboard kings would be incomplete without mentioning Franz Liszt, one of the first superstars of music.  When Lisztomania swept Europe this popular artist played hundreds of sold out concerts during which women swooned and fought for articles of the musician's clothing.  Some have said that  Liszt would sometimes play the piano with such ferocity that the instrument would sometimes break, while other times he would play with such rapturous beauty that audiences would be entranced.

         With the advent of the age of jazz many wonderful keyboardists came onto the scene.  Artists such as Dave Brubeck, Erroll Garner, and Keith Jarrett have had illustrious careers playing their popular styles.  The rock era has also seen many fine keyboardists like Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, and Nicky Hopkins.

          A dear friend of mine has established himself in the Southern California area with his self-taught keyboard artistry.   Sebastian Sidi has gained a sizable following playing concerts and other venues over the past decade.  With seven CDs and two live concert DVDs, Sebastian has sold hundreds of thousands of copies without distribution from a record label.  He is the equivalent to a self-published author and doing extremely well at it.  He is certainly a Keyboard King in his geographical realm and he would love to take his musical message to the rest of the world.

           Here is a sample of Sebastian in concert as he plays his own composition, "A Moment in Time":

         Here is a promo video for his composition "The Ride":

               For more information about Sebastian, his tour schedule, or purchasing his CDs and DVDs, you can visit his website.

               And of course let us not forget the other royalty of the keyboards--me and all of you as we type away at our blog entries for A to Z.   How are your fingers holding out so far?



  1. A big fan of the keyboard genius! Coming back later to watch the video.

  2. The ambience created while Sebastian plays is very nice

  3. Sebastian has a lot of talent. He should see if QVC would sale his stuff. They have other musicians like him. Qvc is the Amazon equivalent for writers.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  4. This was right up my street, love music and as I play the piano/keyboard found this great.

    As for my fingers holding out it's unprintable.


  5. Wow - first of all very thoughful post, never really thought about the Math part of music and composition before. Secondly - can't wait to hear more Sebastian, he is bookmarked for payday!

  6. Excellent tie-in, math and keyboards. My fingers are holding up but my mind is wandering :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  7. Most people don't make the connection between math and music. It was one of the keynote points I made during a presentation to our local school board on the importance of fine arts education. Great post! Kat

  8. thoughtful post..never thought of keyboard... when I was thinking of K words.

  9. Great post. I love the piano. I love it from southern gospel, to honky tonk. One great keyboard artist from the country field is Hargus "Pig" Robbins. He is the Chet Atkins and Roy Clark of the piano.

    Great selection for the letter K, very original and thoughtful. I enjoyed the example.

    I resisted the obvious last year and bypassed "K is for Kiss." This year I couldn't resist the holy kiss or kiss of peace of the early church.

    Gregg Metcalf
    Colossians 1:28-29

    Gospel-driven Disciples

  10. Siv-- Definitely check out the videos when you can

    Uma-- Much of his music rocks out, but it also sets a nice mood.

    N.R. -- Don't know if he's ever looked into the QVC marketing strategy although one of his DVDs has often appeared on PBS fundraisers and marketed on other TV stations.

    Alex --Which similarities? Math and Music I presume?

    Yvonne -- You'd probably like Sebastian. He has many fans who follow to his concerts like you go see Danny.

    Van-- Also make sure to visit his website.

    Jules -- My mind is always wandering.

    Kat -- Yes! Music is a branch of math just like Algebra or Calculus is, except it's more fun and enjoyable.

    Lisa-- I thought alwhile about K words until I came up with these.

    Gregg-- I've heard of those keyboardists as well. Of course one could write a book about the topic of keyboardist--a whole series in fact!

  11. Shoot I can't get the videos to play. Will be back once I get this sorted out! Stupid firefox and its plug-ins


  12. Oh if you could pull a time warp and put all those talents on stage together. What a show!!!

  13. i've never thought of music in terms of math but i do know these people were pure genius and i love to hear their music. bravo well done on this post

  14. Definitely mathematical progressions! Great post.

  15. He is doing it! Rocking that piano! The smoke and facials add to the beauty and drama...awesome

  16. I am just now learning to play the piano and I'm turning 62 this month. If I had to think about it in terms of math, though, I'd quit. It's challenging to learn, but I'm loving it.

  17. My sister used to have the coolest keyboard! I knew how to play a bunch of Christmas songs on it. I'd love to brush up on my festive keyboard skills once again!

  18. I LOVE the "keyboard kings" title. It's memorable and creative.
    I did get to see the Woodstock movie as an adult, and I Loved it!

  19. Love Sebastian's music - will def. be checking his site out!

    I've played piano since I was first able to climb up on the piano stool - but I play by ear, never had a lesson in my life! Yet I only have to hear a tune and I can replicate it - much to the annoyance of OH and the kids, who all had musical training!

    As for the 'other' keyboard skills - I'm still clackin' away!


  20. Lee... thanks for the post.. I appreciate the plug... but most importnatly CONGRATULAIIONS on your Blog... look how far you have gone!! AMAZING!!! you always have some much to talk about.. Again, congrats !!

    Sebastian Sidi

  21. Roxie -- Thanks!

    Dafeenah -- Hope you can hear it. I've heard about problems with Firefox. Lately I've been using Google Chrome with pretty good results. Always something though isn't it.

    L.A. -- I would definitely go see that show!

    Becca -- Yes, there has been some great musical talent over the last few centuries.

    Laura -- Math and art in perfect tandem!

    Jacqueline -- Sebastian is very good in concert.

    Karen --It's math without thinking of the math. Maybe playing the music will help your math skills.

    Laura -- Music is a wonderful pastime.

    Rachel -- I was impressed with Woodstock as well. It's a great concert documentary.

    Sue H. -- maybe you can start a musical career like Sebastian. He was self-taught as well.

    Sebastian --- Glad you got to see this. You may want to check back tomorrow and see the additional comments as there will probably be many more to come. Hope some folks will check out your website and your music as well. A new PBS special for 2012? Very cool! Looking forward to that and wish you much success with it.


  22. LOVE this post!
    My Papa always played classical in the car when we took long drives. He said it would give us couth one day. He was right.

    At almost 35, I now have Mozart, Bach and many other composers of classical on my IPOD. Yup, I do.

  23. Another fascinating and educational post today, Lee. AND I am listening as I comment, how fab :)

    Thank you again for such a wonderful April. March was a real bummer for me and you have helped make April a wonderful month of learning and growth.

    Stroke those keys, my friend :) Can't wait for your L :)

  24. I love Liszt and Debussy AND Ravel. For some reason, I cannot get into keyboard jazz, I like other jazz though...go figure.

  25. No wonder I'm as bad with music as I am with math.

    Sebastian has sold hundreds of thousands of copies without distribution from a record label. He is the equivalent to a self-published author

  26. Great analogy. I love music of all kinds and have always be amazed by those that can play instruments with such talent and skill... much like those that work the keyboards of blogging with talent and skill:-)

    Stop by and give K is for Karma a read:-)

  27. Fredamans-- I mostly listen to classical these days, but even when I was in college I frequently listened to it.

    San -- So glad to hear that. All the creativity that we've been seeing has been pretty inspiring.

    Busy91 -- Let me recommend Dave Brubeck and Don Shirley. They are jazzy, but also have classical backgrounds and play in very nice styles.

    Brianna-- Sebastian is not afraid of self-promotion and he is good at it. He wins fans not only with his talent, but also with his caring personality and willingness to reach out to them. His industriousness in achieving success as a full-time musician has impressed and inspired me.

  28. Wonderful! I absolutley adore classical music! ...I am horrible at math (can't count past 10 if I have shoes on!),but I know that mathematics is as natural as the just is and those who have figured out the formulas are amazingly smart..I learn so much from your posts Lee!

  29. Up --I agree. The talent is necessary, but the practice and the plying of one's trade hones that skill.


  30. Eve -- That you learn is a rich compliment to me. A musician probably doesn't usually think in terms of the math. It's like being a poet and not know it perhaps :)


  31. Very cool - thanks for turning me onto this guy, I will def be buying some of his music and perhaps catching some shows. (and for mentioning Rick Wakeman among KK, an all-time fav.

  32. Bach was a GENIUS! When I studied music theory in college, we had to write a piece of music based on his chord was INSANE! I love the Paritas, the Goldberg Variations, the orchestral suites and the suites for cello. I'm a big jazz fan, too. I have a wonderful box set of jazz pianists.

  33. Great post - great music.

    My post for letter "K" is up.

    Thanks for looking.
    Laura T.

  34. Mozart - wonderful!
    Keyboards are perhaps the easiest forms of making music - the note is there but making it on a string or through an embouchure is so much more difficult and technical. As for a kazoo - well, how good is your voice?

  35. Writing Goddess -- Check Sebastian's website for his schedule of appearances. He's usually playing somewhere in the Los Angeles area at least once a week. Stop by to tell him hello and that you heard about him here on Tossing It Out.

    Luana -- I agree about Bach's genius. My favorites are the Brandenburg Concertos.

    Laura -- I'll try to be by soon. I'm really behind in my reciprocated visits.

    Jabblog -- I play the violin so I know what you're saying. Still, mastery of the keyboard, like any instrument, is demanding and requires a lot of practice.


  36. Very cool post, Lee! I always teach music using math & show how they're connected!

    I'm off to check out your friend's website - thanks for the tip! :)

  37. Now that was very informative and I thank you for this.
    I'm going to check out the videos, later. I'm about to give you a bit of a hint as to how old I am. I had the great pleasure of seeing Emerson, Lake and Palmer perform their 'Brain Salad Surgery' concert in Vancouver, way back when. Rick Wakeman is now a regular guest on British game shows.
    And now then , my new buddy, I wonder what the 'L' is next in your fascinating 'Alphabet Challenge'? Heck dude, being the letter 'K' as in 'Klahanie', I even decided to have a bit of fun with it all :)
    Take care and enjoy.

  38. Piano composition as math, interesting...I see it...sort of. Sebastian is self taught? That's amazing. Such beautiful compositions and performances, thanks for including them.

    P.S. Yes, I'm having lots of fun w/ the challenge---my keyboard's holding out just fine so far. ;)

  39. Wow, you really through me for a loop with the post title, lol, and I like it!

    I enjoy music from many of the composers that you wrote about here and watched the first Youtube video of your friend Sebastian. The music in that video is groovy!

    I'm trying to get through 20 blogs a day but since last week, I've noticed that a LOT of bloggers are still using that captcha word verification and that delays my progress so much :(

    Now, with my computer acting up and having visited yet another blog today that had that word verification, I'm going to have to lower my visits to 10 blogs a day because, well, I do have a job and other regular life duties that need to be tended to, so I wish that it were easier to comment on many of the participating blogs.

    Over the weekend, I may boost up my visits just to get through as many as I can and bookmark or follow the blogs that I like and then just go back to those only for the remainder of the challenge....I dunno.

    Hopefully, I can figure out a good visiting, reading, commenting routine :)

    The Madlab Post

  40. Oh, shoot, I just realized I started talking about the music and didn't even explain what I meant about the post title.

    When I saw your "Keyboard Kings" title, I thought that your post was going to highlight either writers or authors whose work inspired you in some way OR other bloggers who have great accomplishments in the blogging arena OR blogging tips.

    I thought it would be related to computer or laptop keyboards rather than piano you got was clever and oh so good, lol! :)

    The Madlab Post

  41. It's funny--we in the special education business have known the connection between math and music for a long time. In fact, a lot of our learning disabled students have an easier time learning fractions if we explain it using music.

  42. Jemi -- Hope you enjoy Sebastian's website.

    Klahanie -- Then you and I are probably of very similar age. I remember when Keith Emerson was playing with "The Nice". I never got to see ELP in concert, but friends who went told me about his "levitating piano". Rick Wakeman on game shows? Have you seen John Lydon's (aka Johnny Rotten) butter commercial. What happened?

    Nicki -- Yes, Sebastian started out as a rock and roll drummer and then taught himself keyboard when he was in his teens.

    Nicole -- Yes the dreaded word verification still lives on many blogs. I have overcome it since I have switched to using Google Chrome as my browser--it loads everything superfast and WV doesn't seem to be as much problem now.

    Not -- I'm surprised more teachers don't use the music connection to make math more interesting and fun.

  43. Mozart is my favorite composer. I have long been a fan of anyone who can play the piano well. After 7 years of lessons, I gave up. I've never heard of Sebastian Sidi, I'll go check him out. Thanks!

  44. "Klahanie -- Then you and I are probably of very similar age. I remember when Keith Emerson was playing with "The Nice". I never got to see ELP in concert, but friends who went told me about his "levitating piano". Rick Wakeman on game shows? Have you seen John Lydon's (aka Johnny Rotten) butter commercial. What happened?"

    Right then 'ELP, the year was 1973, I saw the 'levitating piano' and I saw Emerson thrash his organ to bits. Wait, that doesn't sound right:)
    Rick Wakeman appears fairly often on a game show called 'Countdown'. I have indeed seen 'Johnny Rotten' acting as an ironic 'country gentleman' in that ad :)

  45. oh wow... did you say "self-taught keyboard artistry"??? Sebastian is amazing... simply amazing!!!


  46. Oh, I'm so sorry to have missed this April blogging challenge! But at least I can return to yours and follow along each day. Nice to meet you. I found you through a blog author on the {in}courage community. I look forward to reading the rest of the alphabet here!

  47. JSB is wonderful ... I knew I liked your for a reason, Arlee. Great taste in music!


  48. Kari -- Mozart's music is great. Though Sebastian's PBS special has shown on various stations throughout the U.S. you probably wouldn't have encountered him unless you were in the Southern California area.

    Klahanie -- 1973 I was in my 4th year of college and in my concert going heyday when topnotch concerts could be seen for $6 or less. Those were some great times for music.

    Doris -- Sebastian is dedicated and is a good example of what can be accomplished through persistence in achieving his dreams and a total love of his talent and artistry.

    Amy -- Thanks

    Carrie -- Thank you for stopping by. I left you a message on your blog post for today.

    EJ -- An friend of Bach's is a friend of mine. Thank you friend.

  49. You're a genius yourself for tying Math and Music - M&M :)

    My fingers are okay despite suffering from carpal tunnel; my eyes still see beauty despite battling with insomia; my mind is still working despite being knocked heavily for word of the day. Meaning, my heart is really happy with A to Z!

    I didn't take you seriously when you say that this is a challenge. Really challenging! But hey how could it be fun without the challenge?

    Blessings to you and everyone! :)

  50. Lee, great title and Sebastian is extremely talented. I always wanted to play the piano and made the mistake of taking lessons while I was pregnant with my second child. My focus was slightly off then, and our piano is still collecting dust. Thanks for the very informative piece. Julie

  51. I agree about maths and music. Bach and Mozart are my 2 top classical composers. :O)

  52. Bendedspoon -- If it weren't somewhat challenging it wouldn't be that much worth doing. Glad you're contributing your efforts.

    Julie - You need to dust off that piano and start playing! But I know how distracting having kids can be.

    Madeleine - Can't go wrong with Bach or Mozart!

  53. Hi Lee .. I loved the music .. I do hope he goes places .. but the music and maths .. I never really realised the connection til 15 years ago or so .. and have bought some books on the subject .. as it just made so much sense. Sadly I'm neither musical nor mathematically inclined .. but I am creative and so can see and feel things .. even if not quite connectively with it! Thanks .. inspired me this post ..

    Cheers Hilary

  54. awesome........

    both of my boys play Cello,
    love music and instruments.

  55. Hilary -- the ability to appreciate music makes us musical enough. I don't know how anyone can't like music

    Jingle -- I think it's great to get our kids involved in music. It's an enriching activity.



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