Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A very fine name for a music room

In Ancient Greece and Rome there was a specific term for a building where musical competitions took place: ᾨδεῖον. It is important, of course, to keep in mind that musical contests were a very important part of their musical culture, as evidenced, for instance, in Virgil's Eclogues. The word Odeon has since been used in the names of some prominent musical buildings: Hammersmith Odeon, Odeon theater (several places in different countries use this name), Odeon Marble Arch etc. If you happen to have a magnificent room or structure dedicated to music, Odeon or Odeum (the Latin form of the same word) can be a very classy name to refer to it.

See also:
Latin quotes & phrases at InRebus.com

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Music room picture

Classical music requires classical architectural design. Nothing speaks classical style better than columns. My only concerns here are about the sound quality (unrelated to columns). Too many windows and hardwood floors will make the sound resonate. And you better hope none of those window panes are loose.

See also:
Architectural columns: ideas and information

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Organize sheet music: bookcases, crates and baskets

Every serious musician has a large collection of sheet music. The problem is that sheet music books are not well suited for traditional bookcases. For one thing, they usually don't have hard covers and the format is almost universally oversized, compared to "regular" books. As a result, special furniture styles had to be developed. Such furniture pieces can be special ordered or bought ready. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when looking for ways to organize your sheet music.

The absolute best way to store sheet music is to do so horizontally. This preserves the books very well, they will be in best shape when used for performances. There are two distinct styles of furniture that can be used for these purposes: cabinets and open shelves. Cabinets protect sheet music from dust and light. They provide an easy way to categorize sheet music.

Open shelves, on the other hand, can be very ornate. Having too many shelves would be unsightly, so if you have many different categories of music (chamber, orchestra, piano etc) organizing your sheet music is not easily achieved with this style of furniture. However, in a music room such shelves can create great romantic atmosphere. And of course, you can combine the two styles, the open shelves and utilitarian cabinets.

For a more modern look and portability plastic crates are often a valid solution. Finally, wicker baskets can be a nice touch as long as the design of your music room is compatible with this somewhat rustic look.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Setting up a music room: a few ideas from an old book

These two excepts from old books discuss the basics of having a music room in the house. They may sound outdated, particularly because the world of musical instruments has changed so much, but there are many useful observations. And, certainly, the words of these old authors are inspiring!

The Music-room

The principles of acoustics are so little understood that it is difficult to advance any definite suggestion as to the best size or shape for a music-room. In most houses it is the drawing-room which usually fulfills this function; and, when crowded with furniture and draperies, the result is not usually satisfactory, as the sound becomes muffled and choked. Amongst other advantages of sparse furnishing and uncarpeted floors may be included the appropriateness of such surroundings in a room which is used for music. A room specially designed for music should have few draperies and rugs and no carpet. Paneling is the best covering for its walls, and the best position for the room is probably one where it is surrounded by other rooms. Thus, if it is on the ground floor it would be improved if placed over a cellar. In a large music-room a stage may be introduced with good effect, and this isolated floor for the piano will often improve the sound.

In some cases a gallery to a hall may be used for music, and this traditional feature may meet modern requirements in the most satisfactory way. It will be especially appropriate on festive occasions, and the position of the performers will help to give a quality of mystery to the music, which may add greatly to its effect.

From Houses and gardens by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott

Few families require both a music-room and a library, and in a home where the musical tastes predominate the unused room is most acceptable when made into a music- room. In such a room there should be good light, and nothing to muffle and obstruct the sounds. The floor should be uncarpeted, and the furniture entirely without upholstery. Draperies should be wholly tabooed, for the genuine musician's soul is rapt, listening to divine harmonies, and all outward, discordant things, however decorative, are abhorred. A light, cheerful tint should relieve the walls, one that looks prettily by artificial light being preferred, as the room will be the most sought at this time.

Bamboo or rattan furniture is among the prettiest for this room. Small chairs in rattan cost from $4 to $10, and the arm-chairs cost $5 to $12. A rattan sofa costs from $10 to $20, while bamboo chairs in silver, gilt, or copper are $5 to $8; and stained wood, rush-seated, cost $4. Much cheaper rush or cane bottomed chairs are equally comfortable, and can be substituted for the more showy rattan.

Old-time music-racks were seldom capacious, and were unhandy. The modern ones are really cabinets. They stand about five feet high, and their shelves and drawers are especially convenient for sheet-music, protecting it from being tumbled and torn. Such music-racks, plainly made, cost $10, while elaborate ones cost as high as $50. Tall lamps to stand on the floor beside the piano are made with standards in nickel, brass, and wrought-iron. The cheaper ones cost $10, and others vary in price from that amount up to $100. A lamp with a reflector behind it is more modest, but equally efficient. It should be fastened to the wall so that its light will be focussed on the music-rack of the piano.

Pictures of the masters of harmony, scenes from the various operas, and busts of composers or ideal heads of musical heroes form fitting ornaments to such a room. But when the piano is open, the violin in tune, and flute and banjo mingle their notes in the family orchestra, then is the music-room best fulfilling its destiny and adding to the comfort and pleasure of both players and listeners.

From The house comfortable by Agnes Bailey Ormsbee

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Music Room Design: a few useful books

There is not a lot of books out there that deal specifically with creating a music room in your house. In most cases music rooms are bundles in with some other types of spaces that are desirable in a higher-end dwelling. If you simply try to search any online bookstore for books about music rooms you will find a whole lot of mystery novel. Go figure, music room is just the kind of place where murders occur. Curse you, Colonel Mustard! :) Anyway, ut is my hope that people looking for some direction while trying to set up a music room in their homes will find this selection of books useful. All images are clickable.

Music room Ideas (design aspects)

This article about setting up a music room is fairly comprehensive. I plan to write something similar, but with more focus on specific purposes with which various home music rooms are planned.

All people love music. Good music soothes the soul, calms the heart, and fills the ears. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a world without music.

If you are a musician, a recording artist, a member of a band, a businessman engaged in the music industry, or merely a music lover, it would be a cool to have a music room in your house. This could be a spare room, a cozy corner, or even a specifically constructed room where you could practice your musical skills, hang out and practice with the band, or just relax and unwind while listening to the soft strums of a guitar.

If you are planning to have a music room, here are some ideas to make it more conducive to its purpose.

1. A music room is usually a place for relaxation. Therefore, you should put chairs, tables, or couches for people to relax while listening. Even a single very comfortable chair, a recliner, or a love seat would suffice.

2. Preferably, your music room should have an outside view, and that outside view should be a pleasant one. For example, through your music room's window, you may see the city skyline, a garden, or the beachfront.

3. Add some wall decors. For instance, musical metal wall art of your choice may be metal notes that are cut or photo-etched from sheet metal or brass. You may also want to put posters of your favorite singers or musical groups. Do not just stick the posters on the wall; it is usually better to frame it.

4. You can also add other decorations such as lava lamps, flowers, and plants. Lamp shades and blooms usually brighten up any room, and it would be very good to have one in your music room. Choose blooms and light accessories with bright colors. Just make sure that vases and lampshades and such do not stand in the way; a swing of a guitar or the thrusting of a violin bow can knock them off from their perch.

5. The way you arrange the furniture in your music room plays a big part of its composition. For example, if you are using your music room as a place where you can sit and relax while you are playing your guitar, then avoid clutter and put your recliner or seat near a window. If you are using the room as a practice venue, place all large instruments, amplifiers, speakers, and other equipment against the room's walls, leaving the center clear for you and other members to practice. In case your members are carrying portable instruments such as guitars, make sure to have enough space to swing the instruments around.

6. Aside from music metal wall art, sculptures, and posters, you can also use your own instruments or paraphernalia as decorations-guitars, jackets, album covers, the list is endless.

7. Lighting also plays a big part in setting the mood in your music room. For example, if you are in a rock band, a red light would give your room a "dangerous" feeling, very conducive for a rock theme. However, if you are the one who likes classical or instrumental music, install pin lights and soft lighting.

Senior staff writer Alyssa Davis with Metal-Wall-Art offers many more free ideas on decorating with music metal wall art and wall hanging.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008