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November 17, 2004
Vol. IV, No. 30

"Getting Back to Music"
I know that many of you feel discouraged over the outcome of the recent presidential election. Perhaps you feel that you didn't make a difference when you were told and believed that you would. Well, you did make a difference even if it doesn't seem that way. If you're still not satisfied, however, you may want to click over to ( Otherwise, it's time now to turn to more important things.

What could be more important than a presidential election? Well, for one, music because it touches people at a deeper level than elections, politics or government ever will. Music can cross all kinds of borders, be they physical, political or philosophical. Music is truly universal.

A recent news item reported a skirmish between rock guitarist, Pete Townsend, of The Who, and film maker Michael Moore. Moore wanted to use Townsend's song "Won't Get Fooled Again" in his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11." Townsend declined for a variety of reasons and later claimed that Moore then accused him (in the press) of being in favor of the war. After some back and forth, Townsend ended with this quote:

"I wish him all the best with the movie...But he'll have to work very, very hard to convince me that a man with a camera is going to change the world more effectively than a man with a guitar."

Townsend's opinion of himself aside, can a person with a musical instrument really change the world? Well, Bach did. Never underestimate a man (or woman) with a pipe organ! Who keeps Bach's legacy alive 254 years after his death? You do. Who brings music to people? Who brings the pipe organ to people? Who keeps the art of organ playing alive? It's you and lots of other people like you who can, and do, make a difference.

You make musical choices every day that affect others, whether it's choosing what song to teach a child at a piano lesson or choosing what prelude to play on Sunday. It's all the little things you do that add up to change the world. When you teach children music, you're not just teaching them notes, you're showing them that there is something more beyond the day-to-day. When you play your prelude, the notes you play go into people, who carry them out into the world, where they deal with other people, shaping what kind of world we live in.

For sure, we are at a low point culturally in this country. Appreciation for the arts, in general, and music, specifically, is not being cultivated, at least on a scale that will have any meaningful impact. Unfortunately, there's a good chance that times will get worse before they get better. Fortunately, there are many bright lights shining in the darkness and those bright lights are you!

Click this link to read comments and offer your own:

VERY IMPORTANT: If you can't afford Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, a FREE alternative called OpenOffice is available for download from Programmers around the world have volunteered their time and energy to make this possible. Also available FREE from is the super-fast Firefox web browser that you may have seen in the news lately. So whether it's a cost issue or a "Protest Microsoft" issue, go for it!

For more information, here are quotes from and a link to a recent BusinessWeek article:
"It took under a minute to download and install the Firefox browser from More than five million people have downloaded the preview version since mid-September because it isn't affected by all the viruses aimed at Internet Explorer. I had no problems with viruses or spyware, even though I searched for half an hour looking for "free stuff," trying to trigger an attack."

"I also installed an alternative to Microsoft's Office suite, OpenOffice ( While others have warned of compatibility glitches, I found none. The OpenOffice applications had all the capabilities I needed to type this story and perform other routine tasks."

Updated Pages
Pipes Hall of Fame:
Newly inducted is First Congregational Church, Columbus, Ohio. "This church now has two world class functioning pipe organs: a von Beckerath organ in the rear loft of the church (3500+ pipes) from 1973 and the restored Kimball organ in the front of the church." Click this link for more information on all the Pipes Hall-of-Famers:

WHAT I'M READING..."The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self" by William Westney. I'm almost finished with this but I think it's time for me to move on. I think this is a great book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who plays and/or teaches an instrument. I'd like to come back to it in 3-6 months for a refresher and to judge what kind of progress I've made in becoming a healthier player. Click the link below for more information on this book:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's Book Club:

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO..."Tarkus" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. ELP is one of my all-time favorite bands. I started listening to them when I was a teenager but I didn't own this particular album until much later. It's fairly hard to describe some of the music on Tarkus but if you go over to Amazon, you can listen to samples. It's progressive rock with lots of Hammond organ and synthesizers. Click the link below for more information on this CD:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's CD Club:

WHAT I'M WATCHING..."Legally Blonde (2001)" Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson. This was OK. It continually verged on terrible however I couldn't turn it off. Very light entertainment. I think it paved the way for the likes of Paris Hilton. Click the link below for more information on this DVD:
Click this link to see all selections in Dan's DVD Club:


Have a great week!

Dan Long

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