Bob Dylan

Val Wilmer/Redferns, via Getty Images

Half a century ago, Bob Dylan shocked the music world by plugging in an electric guitar and alienating folk purists. For decades he continued to confound expectations, selling millions of records with dense, enigmatic songwriting.

Now, Mr. Dylan, the poet laureate of the rock era, has been rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor that elevates him into the company of T. S. Eliot, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison and Samuel Beckett. [Read more.]

Weston Noble

If one thinks of American choral legends, Weston Noble surely has to be fairly high up on the list. Born in 1922 in Riceville, Iowa, Noble discovered a passion for music at age 5 when he began piano lessons. [More here.]

A great resource for information about voice is Vocapedia. Check it out.

Twenty years after his death, what do today’s generation think of the American rapper’s legacy? [Video here.]

 Johan Botha in Verdi’s “Otello” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2012. Credit Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Johan Botha in Verdi’s “Otello” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2012. Credit Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The tenor Johan Botha, who performed for more than two decades at the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London and the Vienna State Opera, died Thursday morning in Vienna. He was 51. [More]

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Singer Marni Nixon, whose work as a voice double was heard in such classic movie musicals as ”The King and I,” “West Side Story” and “My Fair Lady,” has died. She was 86. . . . Nixon became the most famous example of a common Hollywood practice: “ghosting,” or replacing the singing voice of an actress whose gifts did not extend to music. Nixon was the voice double of such stars as Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, and Audrey Hepburn. [More]

What is the Genealogical Proof Standard and Why Should You Use It?

What is the Genealogical Proof Standard, and why should you be concerned with it in your research? That’s a good question for most beginning genealogists. The Genealogical Proof Standard is the standard of proof set by the Board of Certification for Genealogists that states what type of proof is acceptable to show a relationship beyond a reasonable doubt. Its use is required for articles on genealogy and family history that are published in scholarly and recreational genealogical journals. Most published works of genealogical family history need to use this standard to be taken seriously in the genealogy community, as well.

Even if you don’t plan on publishing anything, you should still be using it in your research, and ideally, should use it from the very beginning. Having the Genealogical Proof Standard in your work from the start will save you a lot of time and effort going back over old research and examining what you did before if you ever have a question about whether a previous genealogical conclusion you came to is correct. It is also useful to already have in place if you come across new information that may possibly change the research you’ve already done on a person or a branch of your family…

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Courtesy of The Beatles FB page.

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“. . . I often liken opera to the Olympics of singing; my voice teacher compares hearing a great singer fully in control of her instrument to watching a figure skater flawlessly execute a technical program. It’s absolutely thrilling. There is an athleticism to operatic singing that is truly stunning to behold. That a single human voice can project over a full orchestra and envelop an audience of 4,000 people without any artificial amplification; that we never rely on autotune to deliver a note-perfect performance; that we can sing higher, lower, faster, and longer than anyone else in the world—all while telling the greatest stories and giving life to the most intense human emotions. How is that not exciting? In my heart of hearts, I feel that if people really knew this, they wouldn’t dismiss opera as elitist or irrelevant or ridiculous. At its best, it is a perfect marriage of technical mastery, physical endurance, and artistic vision, and no amount of sexy costumes or high-concept set design can ever displace that.” — Chelsea Feltman.