"Classical Music

should be

heard and not seen!"



How do *you* "move through life?"
One of our friends, Jenny, is a wonderful *ballerina*.  Perhaps you'll have an opportunity to watch her dance, one of these days.  If you hope that *your* life, day by day, and over the years, will be "beautiful music," it's incredibly important to step back from the "busy-ness" of life, from time to time, and do things like watch Jenny dance.  The fact is, *all* of us "move through life" ... but do we move though it as beautifully (and *deliberately*!) as Jenny does when she's dancing?!  Such things as Ballet remind us of how it is possible for us to live.
We feel strongly that, deep inside, people want their lives, in *all* aspects, to be "beautiful music."  If we truly do aspire to a "beautiful music" life, it is a *very* good idea to take the greatest possible advantage of the *role models* we have available to us, such as Classical Music and Ballet, role models which demonstrate, in the clearest possible terms, what beautiful music *is*.  When such Beauty is fresh in our minds, it is *much* easier to try to live each moment of our life in a way which is as gorgeous and inspiring as the most beautiful Classical Music and Ballet.
But...  There's been a problem.  It goes *waaay* back in time.  The "beautiful music" role models we're talking about have been around for hundreds of years.  But, for the most part, people ... the vast *majority* of people ... have not had access to them!  For a long time, Classical Music was seen and heard by royalty ... kings, queens, princes, princesses, maybe a few dukes and duchesses, and some percentage of the "elites" who were the favored buddies of the royalty. <smile>  By the time our great-great-great-great grandteachers, Fred and Franz, were performing, which was only a little over 150 years ago, only the *tiniest* percentage of the population got to see and hear them.  For instance, when they performed in salons in Paris, only a *handful* of the city's approximately 3 million people ever got to see and hear them perform.  (And, of course, not even *radio* had been invented, yet, so the people in the room at any given performance were *it* ... the only ones who had access to the beauty and inspiration of their playing.)  [This is especially interesting to us because the metropolitan area in which we live now has about the same number of people as Paris did back in those days.  What an awful thought, that so few people would have access to something so beautiful and important.]
Not much changed, in terms of access to Classical Music, until *recorded sound* was invented, and *records* and *radio* came to the fore.  Suddenly multitudes of people, all over the world, had access ... albeit a *limited* access, since it was only aural, and not visual ... to Classical Music.  But of course the *sounds* of Classical Music are magnifient, and the large percentage of the population which listened to recordings, and to radio, fell in love with the music.  Those who listened to Classical Music on their records and radios still didn't have access to "the full picture," of course...  But as technology continued to emerge, such things as advances in the domain of *transportation* allowed the great Classical Music artists to move more easily from city to city, and country to country.  So more people were able to actually see and hear Classical Music.  But the percentage of the population which had *full* access remained miniscule.
Then, of course, television came on the scene.  And, for a while, at least, people began to be able to not only *hear* Classical Music, but to *see* it, too!  But television was preoccupied with a wide range of content and, for those who were strongly drawn to Classical Music, the number of programs was hardly satisfying ... Classical Music programming was relatively infrequent, and only a very small percentage of the *best* of Classical Music made it into people's living rooms via "the small screen."  [An aside, of sorts: the *speakers*, through which television audio is piped, have always been notoriously poor, so the full *quality* of Classical Music was *not* well-represented during, say, the first half-century of television's existence.  The effect was similar to trying to look at the beauty of a natural vista, perhaps the Grand Canyon, through a veil of gauze.  Also, television's emphasis on short attention spans, and regular interruption by commercials, are antithetical to the intensity of Classical Music and the uninterrupted engagement required to have its full benefit!]  In any case, television has featured less and less Classical Music, over the years, and its presence has almost completely vanished from that medium as we've entered the 21st century.  But TV at least provided, for many people, a *glimpse* of the *visual* beauty of Classical Music.

And then ... a radical development
A while back, Johnny and Chris were asked to provide all of the musical entertainment at the opening night gala of an *amazing* exhibit, held at the Phoenix Art Museum, of *all* the bronze sculptures done by Degas.  The evening (which was a fund-raiser for the museum) began with a chef-catered dinner for about 200 patrons.  After dinner, the guests went to a different part of the Museum for the musical portion of the evening (about an hour and one-half's worth).  Since Degas was known as "The Painter of Dancers," the Museum also imported a *terrific* young ballerina, a little older than the boys (Jenny, who we mentioned above), who danced to the boys' playing, including a *stunning* ballet ... over six minutes long (longer than almost any ballet solo a person would see) ... which she choreographed to, of all things, a Nocturne by our great-great-great-great grandteacher, Fred.  (It is not exactly "usual" to see ballet danced to Fred's music, but she had heard Chris play the piece, and *loved* it, so she had decided to choreograph and dance to it!)
The evening might be said to have been very "old fashioned."  The guests were quite wonderful (we had the opportunity to talk with many of them) ... but it was a very, very small gathering, at least in comparison to the number of people around the world who we know would have *loved* to have been able to watch and listen.  We know they would have loved to have watched and listened because of what happened at our first rehearsal with Jenny.  Chris thought her dancing was absolutely magnifient, beautiful and inspiring ... so much so, in fact, that he really, really had difficulty keeping his eyes on the piano he was playing ... instead, he kept looking up and staring at Jenny while she danced.  Chris took quite a bit of teasing about this, to which he replied, "Hey, I didn't make any mistakes on the piano, did I?!" <smile>  Also ... Papa Rice, who had driven Johnny and Chris to the rehearsal, was so moved by Jenny's dancing that he just stood there crying.  And Jenny's Mom, who had driven *her* to the rehearsal, stood there crying because she thought it was so gorgeous to watch and listen to Chris' playing of the piano!  The point, of course, is that the music and dance were a major blessing to those who got to see and hear it.  Wouldn't it have been lovely if a *lot* more people could have seen and heard it?!  Through time, it has been a terribly sad fact that so few people have had access to such things.
But then, something truly radical happened.  Jenny asked Chris if he would please play the Nocturne again, this time in collaboration with a younger ballerina (Samantha, by name), who would be taught the ballet by Jenny.  Jenny requested that Chris participate in four performances to be held in the State of Utah, which is quite distant from our home.  Chris did that.  However, he did not travel to Utah for the performances.  Instead, his playing was broadcast, *live*, from our very own living room, to a theater-sized screen at the University's gorgeous Marriott Dance Center.  The astonishing thing, historically speaking, was that the broadcast was accomplished by use of no more than our family's video-camera, fire-wired to our Mac computer (with Broadcaster software installed), which was attached by a cable to our home's high-speed internet connection!  We sent a "single-stream" broadcast, which was captured by a computer at the university and re-directed to the theater screen.  *However*...  If we had channeled the stream through a server (which is something a family can set up in their own home, or obtain easy access to from many internet service providers), people anywhere in the world could have watched the performances on *their* computers!!  *Imagine* what it might have been like "in days of olde" if, say, one of the duke and duchess' kids could have used a simple video-camera, hooked up to the castle's computer and high-speed internet connection, and broadcast a performance by Papa Joe or Wolf directly to the homes of all the *other* youngsters in the world who might have been interested!!  In other words, the times have *really* changed.  And, given the advances in both audio and video technology, including such things as HD TVs and excellent speaker systems, it is now possible, at *spectacularly* low cost, for a huge percentage of our population to have *access* to the phenomenal blessings of such things as Classical Music and Ballet!
And ... even better than *that* (!!) ...
We're immensely glad that technology now exists which expands the number of people who, to use the old radio and television phrase, can be "welcomed into your living room."  If Classical Music is something you enjoy, or wish to begin exploring, you'll *easily* be able to have very direct access to it, and you'll be able to have that access when you *want* it, instead of when it happens to fit into some television network's ideas about "priorities!"  This is part of the "on demand" revolution which is now emerging, again thanks to developing technologies.  It is interesting, isn't it, that new technologies can make such a phenomenal contribution to something which has been around as long as Classical Music!  But then, technological advances and Classical Music have *always* gone hand-in-hand ...for instance, modern *pianos* are *so* superior to the earlier, less technologically-advanced forms of keyboards!
But, y'know...  While it's simply *amazing* that we can now broadcast a performance from our home to yours, something which used to require a full radio or television station to accomplish...  Well, a mere broadcast from us to you is sort of ... impersonal.  From our viewpoint, the really *exciting* thing which is now beginning to emerge is referred to by names such as "video-conferencing."  Are you familiar with video-conferencing (which major corporations have used for a while now, but which is only now becoming something which even *families* can afford)?  If we set up a video-conference between your home and ours, the communication runs in *two* directions, not just *one*!!  (In other words, when you invite us into *your* living room, we can invite you into *ours* at the same time!)  So, if you like, we can play Classical Music for you ... but we can also listen to *you* playing music for *us* ... or, for example, we can listen to your *child* playing the piano or other instruments, from time to time, and offer encouragement!  We can actually *talk* with one another during the course of the evening.  We can even share a Civilized Evening together, no matter how far apart we may live!  [Have you read about our Civilized Evenings, and the Civilized Evening Movement?  If not, you can read about them by clicking
HERE!]  It is even possible to link *many* homes together in a single video-conference!  Of course, this doesn't just mean that, when you want to, you'll be able to see and hear, for example, Johnny playing Beethoven's Waldstein Piano Sonata, or Chris playing Beethoven's Appassionata Piano Sonata ... or, for that matter, Johnny and Chris performing their stunning cello-piano ensemble of Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante ... it also means that grandparents will be able to not only *hear*, but also *see*, their grandchildren's musical development ... even if they live far away from one another!!  Merely hearing a grandchild play over the phone really, really pales by comparison with being able to *see* them play, too.  When it comes to grandparents and grandchildren, who wouldn't want "the full package," if such a thing happened to be possible?!  It's the same issue we were talking about, above, when we said that something *valuable* is missed in being carted through the woods blindfolded, or merely *listening* to Classical Music, instead of being able to access the *full* beauty, the sights *and* the sounds!!
Our goal is to have Classical Music seen *and* heard in as many formats as possible, such as video-conferencing, DVDs and "vidcasting" (which is like "podcasting," but also includes *video*).  As you may be aware, The Rice Brothers have completed their first DVD, "Classical Music and the Beautiful Music in *You*," which is availabl
e HERE.  It is the first in a series which introduces children to classical music and encourages children to find the "beautiful music" in them, whether or not that "beautiful music" involves such things as instruments.  The Rice Brothers are also close to completion of two "performance" DVDs, each of which will give viewers/listeners an idea of what it is like to attend one of our concerts.  In our DVD series, we intend to introduce children to wonderful young musicians who play *many* instruments.  We also plan to make DVDs which feature collaborations between musicians and artists such as dancers and ice skaters.  And of course we plan to encourage as many Classical Music artists as possible to produce DVDs of their music, so that it can be seen as well as heard.  (We'll be offering technical help, when that's needed.)  If you would like to participate with us in such pioneering projects as these, please send us an e-mail, so we can talk about what we can create together!










          We'd love to hear from you!   Please feel free to e-mail us at:

         CHRIS:                                          JOHNNY:                                            JOHN and JEAN (parents):







©  This page and the entire contents (including the video and audio contents) of this Classical Music and the Beautiful Music in *You*!(TM) site are copyright © 2003, 2004 and 2005 John, Jean, Johnny and Chris Rice.  All Rights reserved.  No copyright claimed in brief quotations from other authors for purposes of review or scholarly comment.

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005 John, Jean, Johnny and Chris Rice










Video Playlist

(by period and composer)


Baroque (1600-1750)

Yo, Sebastian!


Mr. Vivaldi**


** We (The Rice Brothers) have not played very much of this composer's music, so we do not consider ourselves to be on a first name basis with him.


Classical (1750-1825)


Papa Joe!












Sergei One









Contemporary (1900 through present)



Sergei Two!











Baroque (1600-1750)





Classical (1750-1825)























Contemporary (1900 through present)