Author: Robert Kennedy

Robert, where’s your sense of humor?

People far and wide send me accordion jokes, memes, etc. People far and wide wonder why I don’t ROFL. Here is my attempt to answer while being as nice and grateful as the truth permits. Let me ask you: How much do you laugh at the 647th time someone tells you the same joke? I…


New Recordings from Me and Ned Boynton

Here’s a set of tunes I recorded recently with Ned Boynton. In October, 2023, my close collaborator Ned Boynton and I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA to play as a guitar / accordion duo for the cocktail hour and wedding ceremony of a couple of now-newlyweds. I really enjoyed getting to meet them and their…


Why Twelve?

Modern Western musicians live and work mainly with a twelve-note chromatic equal-tempered scale. As you can read in ample resources elsewhere on the web, equal temperament is a tuning compromise that lets fixed-pitch instruments play in every key without sounding more out of tune in any key than in any other, and without sounding too…


Perfect Pitch?

Welcome to yet another episode of “Somebody asked a question on social media so Robert wrote a blog post!” People ask about a thing called “perfect pitch.” Confusion about this phenomenon is so rampant that even the Wikipedia article about it contradicts itself in its first two paragraphs, which I quote here for reference: Absolute…


Fraudio and the People who Buy it

I guess it was just a matter of time before a major controversy would arise around some of the issues I discussed in my earlier post about music media formats. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs created a business of getting access to original master tapes of classic albums and making vinyl pressings (and SACDs, I think)…


A New Accordion-Nerd Video!

Today I posted a video to YouTube in response to a rather inside-baseball question on social media about easier ways to play a particular type of chord on the left side of an accordion, the side with all the buttons that look the same (but sound different!). The video is called Crazy Stradella and it’s…


Phineas Newborn, and Revisiting the Question of “What Good are Scales?”

As students of music we aim to train our ears to hear each note on its own terms, and when we improvise, to intend each note on its own terms. To many of us, especially jazz students, scales can be crutches that work against the goal of musical intent because relying on rules like “every…


Fun with Fills, What Good are Scales, and Thoughts on Growing Musical Vocabulary

You know how every now and then you hear something and you’re like, “What was THAT?!?” Well, I was listening to music in the car a while back and this amazing fill caught my ear big-time. I made a note to come back to it because it sounded fantastic and a big part of it…


A (NOW FIXED!) Disappointment with My New Organ Clone

[ Over three years since I described the Viscount Legend phasing problem here and reported it to the factory, Viscount has issued the new OS 1.9 update for the Legend series and I am ecstatic to report that the update appears to fix the problem I described in my original post below back in January,…


Musing on Music Media: CD, Vinyl, and Streaming — Audio Media Sound Quality, and How We Got Here

In an offhand comment on Facebook I mentioned that putting music on an LP entails some necessary sonic compromises for engineering reasons, and a friend replied, “Are you saying the sonic compromises are still being made for today’s vinyl, or for CDs and other digital formats too?” This post is an edited version of my…