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Vivaldi's Four Seasons Is Multimedia

This classic piece of music is Antonio Vivaldi's most recognizable work. Antonio is in his mid-40s as he completes his composition entitled: "The Four Seasons." However, it won't be published in its entirety until 1725 when he will include it with several other violin concertos. This larger work will be called "The Contest Between Harmony and Invention". What is the invention? This is one of the first multimedia compositions with music designed to work with written poetic elements. Thus he is guiding the listener and shaping his mood through the ear and the intellect. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
You've heard Spring's 1st Movement, Allegro, many times in the movies. I've even heard it on a TV commercial. You can just imagine life springing forth in joy. Most people also recognize elements of Winter's 1st Movement. For those who would like an introduction to classical music, Vivaldi is a good start. You'll find yourself wagging your finger in time with the music. It is a beautiful piece of work. [3]

The Scottish Enlightenment and the Economist, Adam Smith

Adam Smith is born this year in the town of Kirkcaldy. ("Kirk" is the Scottish word for "church".) His father is a Scottish solicitor. Smith will become the first modern economist. He is born into the Century of Enlightenment as the French call it. In Scotland it will be a rather exclusive club called "The Select Society". Intellectuals such as Adam Smith, David Hume and others will meet to share their ideas. It is more than a debate society. They will work to improve themselves and to think of ways to improve society as a whole. Smith will be the author of "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" published in 1776. It will be a master work of modern economic theory. Here is a classic quote from his work: [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. -- Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 2. [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Many people criticize "Wealth of Nations" as being too pro-business, but the economist Walter E. Williams has challenged anyone to point out one sentence where Adam Smith suggests that businessmen are sweethearts. A businessman will take advantage when there is a need that he can profit by. In doing so he INADVERTENTLY serves the needs of community. For example, when Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana in 2005, people were without power, A number of out-of-state entrepreneurs bought generators and trucked them to Louisiana residents who paid through the nose. The businessmen were criticized for gouging customers, but selling generators at the pre-hurricane price would not compensate them for the great personal risk they were taking. They were not a charity. When the need is greater than charity can fulfill, the businessman will run to fill the gap... for a price. Distribution of scarce resources is based on an individual's own assessment of "What can I afford?" rather than a government's evaluation of "What do you deserve?" It's not always pretty, but it works. [10] [11]

Why I Should Care about William Blackstone

Blackstone is born this year. He is NOT the guy with the audiobooks! William Blackstone is the guy with the LAW BOOKS... specifically... the "Commentaries on the Laws of England." His father is a cloth merchant who dies a few months before Blackstone is born so he is raised by his mother and uncle. There is no formal educational path to become a barrister, so Blackstone will forge that path by dividing British Law into categories. He will organize British law and make is comprehensible, systematic and logical. His first book analyzing British law will sell out immediately. When his "Commentaries" are published, the printers will have difficulty keeping up with the demand. His work will become the basis of much of the legal system in the United States and the US Supreme Court will continue to cite Blackstone into the modern day. [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Thomas Jefferson hated Blackstone yet he still said the Commentaries were required reading because Blackstone's ideas were pervasive throughout the laws of the colonies and later the laws of the United States. If you want to know what the original intent of the Founding Fathers was as they were writing the US Constitution, you first need to know how certain terms and ideas in the law were used at the time. That means you must know what Blackstone was thinking as a baseline. The Founders were reading his Commentaries and took them seriously whether they agreed with him or not. [13]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1723, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. The Four Seasons (Vivaldi) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 February 2016. “The Four Seasons is the best known of Vivaldi's works. Unusually for the time, Vivaldi published the concerti with accompanying poems (possibly written by Vivaldi himself) that elucidated what it was about those seasons that his music was intended to evoke. It provides one of the earliest and most-detailed examples of what was later called program music—music with a narrative element.”
  2. Antonio Vivaldi - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 3 February 2016. “Born in Venice, he is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He is known mainly for composing many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.”
  3. Four Seasons. YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 2 February 2016. “Budapest Strings Bela Banfalvi, Conductor You can get the exact album I have here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1I2dNNu (affiliate). Here are the times for the specific movements: Spring 0:00 Summer 10:31 Autumn 20:59 Winter 32:48”
  4. The Select Society » The Select - A Brief History. web.archive.org (2016). Retrieved on 3 February 2016. “This was no mere University debating society; as one of its members recorded, 'This Society had no affinity to the clubs that are composed principally of raw half-thinking lads'.”
  5. Adam Smith - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 February 2016. “His father died two months after he was born, leaving his mother a widow.[7] The date of Smith's baptism into the Church of Scotland at Kirkcaldy was 5 June 1723,[8] and this has often been treated as if it were also his date of birth,[6] which is unknown. Although few events in Smith's early childhood are known, the Scottish journalist John Rae, Smith's biographer, recorded that Smith was abducted by gypsies at the age of three and released when others went to rescue him.”
  6. The Poker Club - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 February 2016. “The Poker Club was created out of the ashes of The Select Society. Adam Smith said, 'Divided counsels and diminished zeal supply, no doubt, the main reason for the decay of the Poker Club,' but he also mentioned the rising costs to members.”
  7. Scottish Enlightenment - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 February 2016. “Adam Smith developed and published The Wealth of Nations, the starting point of modern economics. This study, which had an immediate impact on British economic policy, still frames discussions on globalisation and tariffs. The book identified land, labour, and capital as the three factors of production and the major contributors to a nation's wealth, as distinct from the Physiocratic idea that only agriculture was productive. Smith discussed potential benefits of specialization by division of labour, including increased labour productivity and gains from trade, whether between town and country or across countries. His 'theorem' that 'the division of labor is limited by the extent of the market' has been described as the 'core of a theory of the functions of firm and industry' and a 'fundamental principle of economic organization.'[46] In an argument that includes 'one of the most famous passages in all economics,'”
  8. Kirk - definition of kirk (2016). Retrieved on 3 February 2016. “the Kirk, the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), as distinguished from the Church of England or the Scottish Episcopal Church.”
  9. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. gutenberg.org (1776). Retrieved on 3 February 2016.
  10. Hurricane Katrina - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 3 February 2016. “Hurricane Katrina was the eleventh named storm and fifth hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. The storm is currently ranked as the third most intense United States landfalling tropical cyclone, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Overall, at least 1,245 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest United States hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. Total property damage was estimated at $108 billion (2005 USD), roughly four times the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.”
  11. Alex Shrugged notes: The story of out-of-state generators is based on my personal recollection of news reports of the time.
  12. William Blackstone - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 3 February 2016. “On 9 July 1740, after only a year and a half as a Bachelor of Arts student, Blackstone was admitted to study for a Bachelor of Civil Law degree, civil law being the only legal area recognised by his university. This degree course was seven years long, the first two 'supposedly devoted to a broad course of reading in humane studies', which allowed him to study his own interests. On 20 November 1741 he was admitted to the Middle Temple, the first step on the road to becoming a barrister, but this imposed no obligations and simply allowed a legal career to be an option. At the time there was no proper legal education system, and Blackstone read (in his own time) Coke on Littleton, the works of Henry Finch, and related legal tracts.”
  13. Sir William Blackstone in America. Archiving Early America (2016). Retrieved on 3 February 2016. “Jefferson said that Blackstone and David Hume’s History of England 'have done more towards the suppression of the liberties of man, than all the millions of men in arms of Bonaparte,' because both books glorified the systems Jefferson had devoted his life to fighting. Yet on two occasions Jefferson listed the Commentaries as required reading for law students.”

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