Ancient Greeks artists could have travelled to China 1,500 years before Marco Polo’s historic trip to the east and helped design the famous Terracotta Army, according to new research.

The startling claim is based on two key pieces of evidence: European DNA discovered at sites in China’s Xinjiang province from the time of the First Emperor in the Third Century BC and the sudden appearance of life-sized statues.

Before this time, depictions of humans in China are thought to have been figurines of up to about 20cm.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/china-terracotta-army-ancient-greek-sculptors-alexander-the-great-marco-polo-a7357606.html

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Who was Julius Caesar?

February 24, 2019 — Leave a comment

Few Romans would have chosen young Julius Caesar (ca 100–44 B.C.) as the man most likely to succeed on a grand scale and dominate their world. But when he led his troops across the Rubicon River in defiance of the Roman Senate, he distinguished himself for the ages and set Rome on a path of transformation from republic to empire.

Caesar made the political prime time at around age 40 by forging the First Triumvirate with Pompey the Great, noted general and statesman, and Marcus Licinius Crassus, one of Rome’s richest men. In 59 B.C., Caesar was elected consul.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/people/reference/julius-caesar/

Myths were very important in the ancient world. The Roman myth of Romulus and Remus is one such example and many believe that it is based on real-life events. Now experts claim that they may have located the over 2,500-year-old ‘tomb’ of Romulus – the legendary founder and king of Rome. They theorize that this sarcophagus is located underground in the heart of the city.  The tomb was a symbol of the founder of the city on the Tiber and will not contain any remains which would prove his historical existence.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/romulus-tomb-0011485

Bad teaching is a common explanation given for the disastrously inadequate public education received by America’s most vulnerable populations. This is a myth. Aside from a few lemons who were notable for their rarity, the majority of teachers I worked with for nine years in New York City’s public school system were dedicated, talented professionals.Before joining the system I was mystified by the schools’ abysmal results.I too assumed there must be something wrong with the teaching. This could not have been farther from the truth.

Teaching French and Italian in NYC high schools I finally figured out why this was, although it took some time, because the real reason was so antithetical to the prevailing mindset. I worked at three very different high schools over the years, spanning a fairly representative sample. That was a while ago now, but the system has not improved since, as the fundamental problem has not been acknowledged, let alone addressed. It would not be hard, or expensive, to fix.

https://quillette.com/2019/02/10/public-educations-dirty-secret/

Methodist Madness

February 14, 2019 — Leave a comment

Duke University, which prides itself on being an elite and cosmopolitan institution of higher learning, has suddenly reminded the world—and probably many of its own astonished students—that it has a religious affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Duke’s president, Vincent E. Price, joined the presidents of 92 other schools also claiming Methodist ties in voting unanimously on January 4 to endorse a statement that calls on the church to jettison a 1984 provision in its Book of Discipline (its rules for church governance) that bars “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from its ministry and forbids its clergy to perform same-sex weddings. It was a statement timed to precede—and influence—a special session of the UMC’s General Conference devoted exclusively to the church’s teachings on sex, scheduled for February 23–26 in St. Louis. The statement, from the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church, urges the UMC to honor “the past and current practices of inclusion by amending their policies and practices to affirm full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church of all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation.”

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2019/02/methodist-madness

Repertoire for Students

  • What violin repertoire are suitable for students?
  • What is a violin etude?

Violin Concertos for Intermediate Students
Learn about some of the often neglected student-level concertos that are so beautiful and full of pedagogic value. Explore the works of Rieding, Seitz, Sitt, Portnoff, and Accolay.

Violin Concertos for Pre-Advanced Students
Learn about the violin concertos suitable for pre-advanced students. Explore the works of Viotti, Rode, de Bériot, and Kabalevsky.

A Guide to Violin Etudes and Studies
Explore the technical works of Wohlfahrt, Mazas, Kreutzer, and Rode. Understand how violin etudes and studies benefit the students.

 

Music for Violin

  • What famous violin music pieces are out there?

Music for Two, Three, and Four Violins
Find out some of the chamber music that you can play when there are only violinists around.

The Great German Violin Concertos of the 19th Century
Explore the violin concertos of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Bruch.

Famous Pieces for Violin and Orchestra With Descriptive Titles
Explore some of the works for violin and orchestra that carry descriptive titles and involve extra-musical narratives.

https://www.justviolin.org/literature.html