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TV Wall Mounts:
Top 5 Reasons To Get One
 TV wall mounts continue to offer the easiest way to install a flat panel TV by hanging on a wall or other suitable surface, providing a professional look that quickly gets noticed. But there is a lot more to wall mounting a TV than just show. If you have been weighing the pros and cons of using a TV wall mount for your flat screen TV, here are the top 5 reasons to get one.
- Today's high-tech screen technologies require pinpoint precision with regards to room location and screen angle in order to maximize performance. Unfortunately, many owners fail to realize the full benefits of their big screen investment because of poor installation. Using a TV wall mount you can position the screen in precisely the right location, usually to within a couple of inches. Getting the screen elevation and angle correct will produce a noticeable improvement in picture quality and a big boost in overall viewing pleasure.
Space Saving Design:
- Furniture found in most homes today is not well suited to accommodate the latest big screen TVs. Shelves and table tops are seldom in the right position to be effective and are more often than not already full of household items. A TV wall mount addresses both issues simply and effectively by getting the TV up and out of the way and correctly positioned for the best viewing angle. You end up with a lot less clutter and more living space.
- Many TV wall mounts come with anti-theft features built in that can thwart burglars and prevent unwanted tampering to help keep your big screen investment safe. An effective deterrent to tampering can be as simple as mounting the display high up out of reach. And for more challenging environments the screen can be locked to the mount and padlocked in place. Properly secured, the screen is very difficult to detach from the mount without risk of damage. A TV wall mount offers a more practical and cheaper insurance alternative than making a claim on your homeowners policy.
Flexible Viewing:
- For maximum range of motion the articulated TV wall mount can re-position the display through multiple axis. The mount has a cantilevered arm mechanism that lets you pull the TV away from the wall, turn it from side to side and tilt it up and down. If you have an open plan home you can frequently take advantage of this maneuverability to view the screen from other locations, such as the kitchen, living room or dining area. This allows you to maximize your big screen purchase and avoid the expense of additional TVs.
- A wall mounted flat screen TV can often become the center of attention and make a big improvement in the interior design of any room. The illusion of a big screen TV 'floating' next to a wall is just one of the advantages of using a TV wall mount. Astute interior designers have been using this technique for dramatic effect and to catch the eye of their audience. TV wall mounts have become the one must have big screen accessory that many consumers have never heard off.They can be installed in under an hour and offer a level of convenience that is hard to beat.

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The Importance Of Art and Entertainment In Our Society
Days in which we live, life is full of stress, that's why art & entertainment is a must for life, it is an important part of our cultures and habits. We can search many types of art & entertainment, some types are contemporary and some are conventional. Songs, movies, funny jokes, health and fitness, entertainment news, literature, fine arts, visual sections, humor, graphic designing, online games, and much more which can be expanded as interests of people.
If we talk about entertainment, we all know its importance in our lives. It is not only a form to explain our views, but also a way to remove stress in our society. Where stress makes our minds off, on the other hand entertainment removes stress from our lives and also gives us best global knowledge. Internet is the main source of entertainment today, but Media, online entertainment sites, mobile phones, online games, internet, magazines and newspapers are the important and big types of entertainment in our society at this time.
Now we talk about art, we know art has many forms as performing art, writing art, talking and explaining your views is also a form of art, painting is also an art, a painter paints his thoughts with brush and explains the things in his mind. In performing art we know acting is a famous form of performing art, movies, music, dramas on television and theaters are forms of performing art, that's why we call actors as artists.
Writing is a very important form of art because of what can be explained with pen that can't be explained with any other form of art. So we can say "the Pen is the power". Poetry, articles writing, funny jokes with conclusions, novels writing and drama writing are most famous forms of writing art.
Talking and explaining views of mind is also an art form. Speeches, live television shows, talk shows and news casting are famous forms of talking art.
So the conclusion is that we can't alive without entertainment and art in this society.

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A Brief History Of Sound In Entertainment
This aural cue is important when processing information as joyful as music and as dangerous as traversing a busy intersection. Live concerts, like the jazz in New Orleans, always have surround sound. Throughout history, however, that hasn't always been the case.
Ancient Temples
The island nation of Malta in the Mediterranean has the oldest freestanding structures built by man and the first known example of sculpture as architecture. While archaeologists classify these structures as temples, the classification is based on pure conjecture. The peoples who built these structures disappeared from the island about 1,000 years before the next group of settlers showed up. The Hypogeum, an underground temple, features an acoustic cave that amplifies the sound of a resonating deep voice. Its main chamber is set up like a stage and changes when the light changes. It is easy to imagine that this place was used for performances and storytelling, complete with mystic sounds.
At the Movies
Movies were accompanied by a piano player before the advent of synchronized sound and the release of The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson in 1927. Walt Disney created the first synchronized sound short with Steamboat Willie in 1928. However, it wasn't until Disney's release of the concert film Fantasia in 1940 that movies started to explore stereophonic sound. Disney's Fantasound system gave viewers the aural cues to believe that sounds were coming from different parts of the theater. Ultimately, the system proved too costly, and Disney ran out of funds to convert theaters to the required system.
Marconi's Triumph
Even today, the radio has AM stations still broadcasting in mono. However, most FM stations are in stereo. Stereophonic sound means that sound is broadcast on 2 tracks, 1 for the left ear and 1 for the right ear. It approximates surround sound without really delivering the fullness of a surround sound experience. Some older recordings have been converted into stereo, which has resulted in the vocals in 1 ear and the instruments in the other.
At Home
With new technologies and the home theater system, surround sound has been made available to individuals for the first time in history. These systems often feature 5 or more points and can be configured to deliver the best sound experience possible for home entertainment viewing. Watching movies that feature things like spaceships or dinosaurs all around makes a surround sound system so appealing.
In the Car
It may seem like a surround sound system in your car is a little overkill, but considering how much time people spend in their vehicles, it may be one of the best ways to get the most out of your stereo system. There are few who can resist turning up the volume on their favorite songs; the right vehicle system will make that experience even better.
While people are focused on their eyesight as a sense, sound is highly underrated. Getting a surround sound system in New Orleans, LA, may be the best thing that you do for your home, especially if you like to watch films. Now you no longer have to just listen up, you can listen in the multidirectional glory of surround sound.
By Doug Morrison


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All You Need To Know To Buy and Setup A Home Theater System
Enjoyable entertainment is indispensable in this fast paced world with hectic schedules. Listening to music and watching movies with life-like sound, are two of the best entertainment options available today. Compared to the other entertainment options such as high end PC gaming, entertainment through music and movies is very inexpensive. Listening to music and watching movies with high quality sound has changed in the past decade. The speakers of long ago with mono sound only, have changed into stereo and surround sound with 6+ sound channels. This advanced speaker system is popularly known as the home theater system. Home theater systems can bring your room to life with extraordinary, realistic sound effects.
Buying Home Theater Systems
There are varieties of home theater systems available in the market. However, choosing a home theater system is very easy. The first factor to be considered while choosing the home theater system is the room size. You should make sure that the home theater system of your choice can be conveniently placed in your room. Many people make a common mistake of buying bulky home theater systems and then struggle with the insufficient space. So be sure about your room size before you head out to buy a home theater system or order one online. Sound quality is obviously another factor to be noted. Always remember the fact that great sound quality doesnandrsquo;t need to come with great looks. So donandrsquo;t choose a home theater speaker system based on appearance only as it may disappoint you with the sound quality. Always test the home theater system before you buy them, or search online for reviews if you are buying from a web commerce store. When it comes to budget, you can save a great deal of money by buying cheap home audio speaker systems online. There are a few home theater system suppliers online who provide up to 50% discounts.
Installing Home Theater Systems
Buying a speaker setup is no big deal these days with many affordable options and easy access to online merchants. However, installing them properly is a challenging task. Improper placement will destroy the sound quality. You should be well aware of the acoustics of your room where you are planning to install the home theater system. If you are not sure about this, you have to get the assistance of an experienced installer or be prepared to spend a few hours researching online. Getting help is often worth the money you spend because, the proper placement based on the acoustics of your room is very much essential to enjoy the best sound.
Bottom Line You can buy home theater systems in the comfort of your home today. You donandrsquo;t have to roam all around, hauling huge audio systems all the way back to your living room. All you have to do is to find a genuine online supplier of quality, cheap audio systems and place the order. The audio system will reach your doorsteps after a few days. If you are not sure about making a choice, you can make use of the audio system reviews available online.

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3D Film From Its Birth To Its Current Status In American Culture
During the early 1950's the 3D film first made its impression on American pop culture. Everyone from children to adults were wearing the old red and blue spectacles when they went to the movies. At the time this type of filming was mostly demoted to cheap niche films that required expensive special effects to keep fans entertained, few of the 3D films of the 1950's went down in cinematic history.
Eventually the astronomical cost of producing the rudimentary 3D films of the time began to be too much for most studios. Film makers weren't getting what they wanted out of the expensive to budget films and eventually they dropped into oblivion.
Around 1980 the 3D film began to show up again. By the time the 80s rolled around B-movies were a smash hit and pop culture was once more intrigued by the third dimension. Finally as the century turned, improved technology made it much more affordable and easier to both create and display these types of films. That life was a still a pretty short one as the trend was eventually forgotten about and allowed to stagnate.
These films made their comeback slow and steady through children's films. Just after the turn of the century studios worked to develop a method of producing 3D movies that was not only more effective but more affordable, too. The biggest success story of the twenty-first century came with 2009's runaway success, Avatar. After producers witnessed the kind of success a film like Avatar could bring about, 3D exploded. Developers instantly began to work overtime to bring out new 3D capable televisions.
Now that 3D film has caught the attention of the market practically every movie to come out is shown in 3D for just a few bucks more. The technology is no longer exclusive to the box office, either, as it is finding its way into family homes in many different forms. Movie players and video game systems have been updated with 3D capabilities to be enjoyed on the various 3D TV sets now on the market. Even home recording devices allow families to make their very own 3D film.
The 3D trend seems to be here for good this time around with many major movies such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and Tron Legacy being played in 3D. The reborn fad of 3D film is expected to continue to develop into more and more realistic film experiences for movie goers as time goes on.

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Why Music Is Important For Child Development
Many skills can be learned through music lessons, no matter if it is a musical instrument or singing lessons. Skills such as patience and concentration are learned. A child will learn to focus for longer periods of time. This will prove invaluable for school. Patience is a great skill for children as they mature into adults and face the many stressful challenges of life. Learning about the musical arts and taking lessons create positive changes later in life. How a child learns music is very important. Such a process can lead children to enter positive situations, making learning easier. Another skill a child should develop at a young age through music is coordination. Mastering this skill will give them a significant advantage, as they grow older. This will be a very important skill when playing sports or gymnastics. Piano, guitar, even singing lessons can be fun and exciting to a child. These can inspire a young singer or future band member.
Starting a child at an early age is key. It has been argued that they can be more beneficial than some pre-school courses. We live in a world where vocational learning has become more and more essential to our success later in life. Of course you should find out what interests your child. Do not be surprised if you have to go through a few instruments to find the one that is right for him or her. Some kids may learn that they like the harmonica more than a piano. You need to allow the child a chance to experiment. A drum lesson may lead them in another direction. Your child will grow into the instrument they like and if they are encouraged, they will succeed.
In school, children will take a music class and possibly practice a certain instrument. They may even have a school band he or she can join. This will give him a clue as to what type of instruments he like.
Music lessons of any type can be entertaining and fun but there is more to it than that. Many needed skills can be learned in this fun environment that will prove to be essential in their adult life.

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The Importance of Discovering New Music
Why is it important to discover new music?
Music is one of the greatest things to ever be introduced to us. It's a way of interpreting emotions and feelings into a few stanzas with a melody. It's something that we can all relate to, whether you're either happy or sad. There are songs that are related to a depressing moment such as a break-up or losing someone. Heck, maybe you just feel down for no reason. Regardless, there's a song out there that you can relate to.
Something I have noticed is that a lot of people tend to stick to a group of bands and not want to branch out. That's something that should be changed right away. Listening to the same bands over and over again will just make them hard to listen to down the road. The same joy and excitement you got from listening to them will slowly diminish over time.
I'm not saying to disregard these bands, but branch out and add new ones to your collection. There are all types of bands out there you would like that may surprise you.
On top of only a small selection of bands that people stick to, some people may only stick to one genre of music. I know for the longest time I only stuck to listening to rock music. As I got older, I decided to listen to Rap and Hip Hop groups such as Outkast, NWA, and Lupe Fiasco.
I'll never forget those first times popping in those CDs. It was an incredible experience. I was blown away by the outpour of the style of music that I hadn't given much of a chance to. I was intrigued by the way the artists were able to recite their lyrics in a way that matched the beats so perfectly. You could feel the raw emotions that were being expressed in the lyrics and in the melodies. Granted, I'm not a huge fan of sampling other artists' work, but these guys could it well. It fit perfectly!
As a result of this, I learned more about Hip Hop and Rap. I decided check out more artists that were apart of this genre. I simply could not get enough of it. It broadens your mind and makes you more cultured to check out new music.
As an added bonus, you have new topics to talk about with people. Can't beat that!
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Why Do People Listen To Music?
I've always liked to listen to music, even from a very early age. I liked it so much that I went to music school. In music school, my apartment was known as 'Tunelandia,' because there was always music being played. In fact, I often attributed my ability to make it through the arduous course of study at music school to the fact that I always did and still do love music.
I never much asked myself why, exactly, so preparing for this article was a bit of an interesting exercise. I decided that there are many reasons I like to listen to music but there is one that is first and foremost; good music transports me to another realm or world. It's no accident that the first music I was really attracted to was Beethoven. As a child, at the age of six or seven, I experienced this when listening to Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. This music transported me right out the mundane world around me and into another world that seemed to have its own logic and where the physical laws of this one are superceded.
Let's see what Beethoven had to say about this. Here are a couple of quotes from Beethoven on the subject;
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents."
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."
I find these two quotes fascinating as they seem to point to an actual place, as I have suspected it is for a long time. Let's look at one particular definition of the word inspiration, from the Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary;
"Divine influence divine guidance and influence on human beings."
So might this higher world of knowledge be the place where man gets his higher and better ideas from? Obviously some ideas are higher or better than others. Love, for example, is better than hate. No coincidence that these great artists took a lot of stock in self integrity, virtue and love. Here's what Beethoven had to say about love;
"Love demands all, and has a right to all."
And here's what John Lennon had to say about love;
"Love is the greatest refreshment in life."
Beethoven makes the remark that music is the 'one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge.' Therefore music serves as a sign-post for all people to gain access to this higher world of knowledge. John Lennon said;
"You're all geniuses, and you're all beautiful. You don't need anyone to tell you who you are. You are what you are."
So here we have music actually transporting some people, if even briefly, into a higher realm of existence. Indeed, there are a number of accounts from people who actually heard Beethoven perform who claimed that was exactly what transpired for them.
Even if people are not taken to another realm, they can be moved emotionally by music. Music can lift them up emotionally when they are feeling down. Also music can express emotions that they have felt and have been unable to express. This can bring comfort to people as they realize that the emotions they have felt have also been felt by others.
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Is It Ethical To Download New Music On The Internet?
For some time now, people have been able to download new music on the internet and there has been much controversy over the ethics of doing this. One claim that has come up, time and time again, is that the musical artists are getting cheated out of their royalties. This is a claim that is mainly raised by the record companies, since they are the ones who are really cheating the artists.
According to statistics that are over a decade old now, the average musical artist who has a recording that goes platinum, will only go into debt to his record company to the tune of fifty grand or so. How can this be? Well the record company makes a recording in its own studios and uses its own producers and the musical artist is charged for this. This studio time runs into hundreds of dollars an hour and this money comes back from the artist's royalties first. Now the artist's royalties are only a small percentage of the sale, so the record company is not only getting the majority of the sale but also the artist's royalties.
There is probably no other business where people would accept such a sucker deal and, as I said, these statistics are somewhat old so the situation is probably much worse for the musicians today. These statistic, by the way, come from the book; Making Money Making Music: No Matter Where You Live by James W. Dearing.
So all these claims that, when you download new music on the internet, you are hurting the musicians really come from the record companies, who are doing so out of greed and also an effort to shut this new business model down. Now, granted, many musical artists have signed contracts with their record companies and the record company has a legal right to collect its royalties.
But, really, why is the music industry bent on shutting this down? Why are they falsely representing the reason for this by trying to make people feel guilty about hurting musicians?
The real reason is that many musical artists are bypassing the record companies all together by recording in their own studios. So you can download new music, in many, many cases and there are no legal problems at all. Granted, many of these musical artists are using digital distribution companies that get a cut of the action, but the artist still does much better than being on a label and, at least, they are not going into serious debt.
So, if you like to download new music, support your independent artists and keep this business model going because it also offers far more in the way of new music to the listener.
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Opera Glasses- A Closer Look
Devices to improve eyesight in general have been around for hundreds of years. It was not until the 1800's that opera glasses achieved their position as a status symbol among theater-goers of the day.
Opera was becoming an increasingly popular social event. But not everyone was able to afford the high prices for seats with a close view of the stage. To get a good view of what was happening on stage it became necessary to find a compact way of magnifying it. Scientists found a way to combine telescopic lenses with stereoscopic prisms and invented a method by which a clear three dimensional view of the stage was available.
Opera glasses quickly became more than just ways to see the stage. A night at the opera was simply more than just an evening out. People came to the opera to be seen, and to make important social connections. It was critical to be able to see who was sitting with whom and what people were doing during the performance. Many people spent more of the evening scanning the audience than they did watching the drama onstage.
Because they rapidly became status symbols and signs of wealth, opera glasses rapidly became very ornamented. They were often made of valuable materials and featured gold, painted enamel and expensive inlay work. There were different styles of opera glasses. They ranged from the familiar lorgnette version with one handle to a compact folding version that would fit will into a handbag or a pocket.
Modern opera glasses are much the same as they were in the beginning. They still come in several different models. Opera glasses are still popular as well. They are not hard to find but it may take a bit of looking on your part. You should start your search in stores which sell binoculars. A camera store may have some or they may be able to order them for you. One thing to look at when selecting your opera glasses is what the level of magnification is. Unlike a telescope or high powered binoculars, you will want to make sure that there is a fairly low level of magnification. A 3x magnification factor is considered ideal. This allows you to get a large field of view and it will keep shaking from hand movement as low as possible.
The actual style you choose is a matter of preference. Do you like the traditional look of the lorgnette? Are you interested in a style which folds down very small? You can also look at the accessories that are out there including straps and carrying pouches.
If you are someone who wants to view theatre performances but are not able to pay high prices for your tickets, then opera glasses might be a good solution for you. It will allow you to feel in touch with the past and still enjoy the fine details of modern performances from anywhere in the theater.

4 Reasons Why the Acoustics Are of Poor Quality In your Home's Entertainment Center
The most important element to any home entertainment center is that optimal sound should be provided to every corner of the room while watching a movie.
Poor sound acoustics, on the other hand, can lead to the speakers giving off a sound quality that is tinny, echoing and generally poor; which is why the listening experience isn't very impressive, despite having the best surround sound speaker setup.
Below are the potential reasons why the sound in your home's entertainment center is dull, flat or echoing.
Hardwood Floors
While hardwood floors are impressive as flooring; having them in an entertainment center is akin to a virtual echo chamber. The reason for this is that the flooring provides a lot of reflective area for the sound waves to bounce around the room as they come out from the speaker.
Carpeting the entire floor is the least preferred idea as that would hide the beauty of your hardwood floors. In such a case, placing a nice Persian rug right between the front row speakers and the audience is a good idea to absorb sound waves and reduce echoes.
Angular Wall Corners
One more possible reason for bad acoustics can be the harsh and sharp angles that are usually found in the corners between walls. These sharp angles are the result why sound waves are likely to bounce around a room, hence increasing echoes and creating an interference with good sound. You can solve this problem by placing acoustical tiles strategically around the room. Another way is to install a few pieces of dark and sound absorbent foam. By placing only a few tiles or pieces of foam, the angles will soften; thus enabling a better sound quality.
Speaker Placement
Usually the problem of poor quality sound is caused by the speakers not being placed in an optimal location of the room, which can result in the sound being directed into a corner and echoing. Another reason is that the sound might be getting absorbed into an overly plush couch which will also cause poor sound quality.
To improve sound quality, you can refer to Home Cinema Center's ideas and guidelines of furniture arrangement for entertainment centers in your home.
Hard Furniture
Another contributor to poor sound quality can be the hard furniture that is arranged in your entertainment center. If you have noticed, the seats in theaters and cinemas are made of plush leather upholstery. Place couches and chairs in the room that are made of plush material as well.
Don't use large tables, but instead place small side tables around the room.
There are chances that the entertainment center in your home has poor acoustics and quality because of one or all of these reasons. It's often very easy to determine the exact cause and rectify it, but in order to not get in this situation in the first place, consider Home Cinema Center as your primary furniture buying destination.
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Houses of the Moving Image
The motion picture industry has come a long way in its 120 year history. In the early days it was regarded as an entertainment for the working classes and was sometimes looked down on by the middle and upper class. Many people seeing the potential jumped on the bandwagon and opened houses of the moving image. Converted shops, halls and fairgrounds were some of the places where early animated films were screened. Purpose built cinemas were yet to arrive. The films, which were short were on nitrate stock, which could burst into flames if near a heat source. The projector was often placed in the aisle of a building and was hand cranked by the projectionist. The film would often drop into a basket after running through the machine.
Because of a large number of fires it was decided that projection equipment needed to be kept away from the public in a fire - proof box. In 1910 it became law that equipment had to be kept separate. Fire shutters were placed above the ports that allowed the projection light through. These had to be dropped in front of the ports at the end of the show - or dropped if there was a fire. For many years the projector was hand cranked at a speed of 16-18 frames per second.
In 1927 the talking picture arrived and projectors had to be motorised. The first talkies were sound on disc. A 16 inch diameter disc would lock with the projector. The downside of this system was if a frame needed to be removed, blank spacing would have to be inserted to keep sync. Also if someone slammed a door the needle could jump, creating a sync problem. Sound on disc didn't last long and the soundtrack was put on the film. It was called an optical soundtrack. Sound films were projected at 24 frames per second.
The super cinemas arrived in the 1930s. Many of these were inspired by the large American cinemas. The art deco super cinemas were very luxurious and for many at the time the surroundings alone were a welcome change from their own humble surroundings. They had decorative plaster work in their foyers and auditoriums and had large seating capacity, some having over two thousand seats. For a small charge you could go in and stay as long as you liked. What may seem odd now is that people would go in halfway through the film, so the second half would be seen before the first. Somehow the story could still be followed.
A number of cinema circuits were formed. Big circuits included Odeon and Associated British Cinemas (ABC). There were many independent operators that couldn't show a film until the big circuits had shown it.
In the 1930s and '40s cinema was big business. In the 1950s many cinemas struggled because of television. Of course, if you enjoyed films the cinema at that time was still the only place to see a new or recent film, so they still had an important role to play. At that time a film couldn't be seen on TV until it was ten years old. Also TVs were still black and white, so the cinema was the only place to see a colour film.
In the 1950s nitrate film stock was replaced with safety base. Also in the '50s bigger screens such as cinemascope with 4 magnetic soundtracks and cinerama with a separate reel, carrying six magnetic tracks began to appear. There was also 3D, where two projectors running together were used. The big format 70mm made an appearance carrying six magnetic soundtracks for an all round sound experience. Projection room started to become automated with Projectomatic, a system that would automatically open curtains (tabs), dim the lights and perform several other functions. In the 1960s Odeon cinemas installed a more sophisticated system called Cinemation.
Projection room technology kept improving and the non rewind and tower systems were introduced. These allowed a complete feature to be shown without changing reels.
Film stock started to improve and shortly before the digital revolution polyester based stock was introduced. This meant no more film breaks and the calling out of 'put a shilling in the meter'. Polyester was strong enough to pull a projector over.
Today practically all cinemas have digital equipment and the role of the traditional projectionist has disappeared. The equipment is now, in most cases looked after by the management - there is not a frame of film in sight. To me the multiplex of today doesn't have the drawing power of the old art deco cinemas. We have come a long was in the last 120 years but is the cinematic experience any better?

How Do You Define the Greatest Actors
In 1947, after spending several years training with renowned acting teacher Stella Adler, and honing his skills on the New York stage, Marlon Brando stunned audiences with his explosive portrayal of Stanley Kowalski, in Tennessee Williams', "A Streetcar Named Desire". No one, layman or professional, had ever seen anything like him before. Nor have we seen the likes of him since. Brando possessed qualities that eclipsed every actor that preceded him. His combustible performance in "Streetcar" proved without question that he was a standout amongst his peers. The great Laurence Olivier, in seeing Brando play Stanley was stunned by his brilliance. He was by no means alone.
So what was it about this young man from Omaha, Nebraska that made him so unique? What were the exceptional qualities he possessed that separated him from the rest?
Acting as defined by Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, and other Group Theater notables, concerned the ability to "live truthfully in a given set of imaginary circumstances." To achieve that the actor needs talent, skill, finely honed instincts and the temperament and imagination to "play" with authenticity. Brando by his own account was not a "method actor", but an instinctive one. Although highly intelligent and well-read, his approach to acting was non-intellectual. In addition to uncanny instincts he had, according to a nephew, a supernatural ability to focus and concentrate, blocking out any interference around him. Director Elia Kazan thought him the greatest actor with whom he had ever worked. According to Kazan, Brando did everything "wholeheartedly" by nature. Never resorting to pushing, clinging to an emotion or playing a result, he "lived" the role, inhabiting the character's world as if it was his own. He was able to relax, "play", listen and react, exposing all that was inside of him. Never one to pre-determine his responses or do by rote something he had done before, he dealt with the here and now of the imaginary circumstances. Karl Malden, one of his co-stars in "A Streetcar Named Desire" said that Brando was always unpredictable. Night after night of "Streetcar's" 2 year engagement, Brando challenged his co-stars with impulsive reactions to whatever was happening in the moment. According to Malden, Brando's raw energy and combustibility, coupled with his instinctive way of working, made them all better actors.
Up until Susan Mizruchi's latest biography, "Brando's Smile", little was known of his preparation. In her fascinating biography we learn that Brando did by no means take his extraordinary talent for granted. Contrary to what many of us held to be true, he expended much time and energy reading extensively and crafting his role. In preparation for the part of 'Napoleon' in the film "Desiree", he read several books on his subject, annotating every page. In his quest for details he left no stone unturned. Generality was not an option. Over his career he would exhibit his remarkable range playing a wide variety of disparate characters exhibiting great depth of emotion. Although a leading man, in his heart he always considered himself, first and foremost, a character actor.
In addition to his exceptional talent and skill he also possessed qualities that defined his singularity as an actor. Human qualities that are not often found in one actor. Exceptionally handsome, charismatic, intense, bold, spontaneous, daring, sexual, irreverent, defiant, challenging, capricious, charming, intelligent, and sensitive with an enormous capacity for empathy; human elements that he continually exposed in his work.
When I think of the world's greatest actors Brando is always at the top of my list. His impact on acting continues to resonate to this day. Kazan thought Brando's performance in "On The Waterfront" the greatest he had ever seen. A clnic in acting in which Brando hits every note imaginable. In bringing all of himself to the role of Terry Malloy, he defined the meaning of great acting for all time. No other actor I have ever seen was endowed with his unique gift. He was and still is the whole package.
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Dance Innovation: The Relationship Between Video and Dance
When one hears the word innovation, what comes to mind? Something technologically savvy? Cutting-edge? Each industry has its share of innovative ideas and works. In relation to the dance world, what is considered innovative? There are revolutionary choreography, dance techniques, products, approaches to movement, and endless other examples. More specifically, it is undeniable that digital film is a major contributor to the avant-garde advances in the dance industry, and most importantly, for the birth of dance on camera. The collaboration of dance and film has changed the dance industry for years to come, and such hybrid art form has taken the language of movement to a heightened, innovative level.
Ever since the inception of photography and motion studies, performances have been staged for the camera, however, the revolution of dance on film became more known after the explosion of the digital revolution. Film has been used for quite some time in the dance world, especially as a way of preserving original choreography and the history of dance (Fenner & Harris, 1995). It allows for a performance to be captured if one is not able to experience it live, and brings the arts directly to one's digital playing device. The digital revolution has allowed for dance choreography to be captured like never before through a video lens, and the overall art form of dance on camera. This practice evokes certain emotions and communicate specific ideas to an audience that cannot be portrayed as effectively live, but through a movie inspired documentation of dance. Not only this, there is the flexibility for one person to be the choreographer, director, videographer, and editor of a dance film project, which is an asset for the entrepreneurial artist (McPherson).
Dance on film is so revolutionary not only because of how it changes the face of videography, but the traditional dance experience as well. The dancer(s) is/are no longer the stars-the camera is the main performer and the process of editing is the choreography. There is an increased intimacy from an audience member perspective, due to the fact that dance movement is not watched from an auditorium seat but is easily seen through the perspective of the frame. Dancers involved in a dance camera project no longer have to perform the dance from beginning to end, but have the option of choreographing for the camera how they desire, and allowing the editing process to complete the choreographic process. It is more common for dancers to perform choreography in repeated chunks. When editing, the relationship between sound and image is crucial, as well as creating flow, creating a variety of paces, and ultimately creating a story (McPherson, 2006).
It is intriguing to think about how dance on camera will continually evolve in the future. Will the incorporation of film and dance seep into other areas of the dance industry, such as in a classroom setting? Only time will tell. If you're interested in looking more into what the art form of dance film looks like, as well as a timeline of dance on film, check out the Dance Films Association official site at
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London's West End and the Invasion of British Actors
London has a long and rich history of theater that dates back to late 1500s. It is now widely considered the theater capital of the world, even surpassing New York City. London's West End has something for everyone, and it is no longer just catering to the aristocratic upper class. And it is not just the West End, as the Southbank of London as well as other areas around the country has their theater venues, with the Globe Theatre highlighting Southwark.
Such an extensive theater background obviously has been a breeding ground for great acting talent. I personally have done some acting in London and can attest to the fact that the acting talent there is amazing. There are so many venues these actors can develop their craft that it is a huge industry. So with the number of actors that have grown out of this hotbed for acting that is London, should it be any surprise that there are so many British actors getting key roles in American television now?
It has been called the British invasion of television and movie actors. It seems like you can rarely turn on a TV drama series in America now without seeing at least one British actor. There is a perception that British actors are much better trained than their American counterpart, and for the most part this is probably true. In America actors are often trained for a single genre, be it stage, films or television. Perhaps because there is a lot more work in the United States actors have become more specialized.
From a commercial standpoint this might be a good thing, but the typical English actor does everything. They act on a television show, do commercials then move on to star in a film. In between it all they might perform a role on stage. This devotion to their craft comes from not trying openly to be stars, but to take on work wherever it comes. They end up with well-rounded resumes and they take something from each genre that they work in.
Another thing that English actors seem to be able to do better than American actors is their mastery over accents. The variations in the English accents they have to learn while mastering their craft in the UK has forced them to develop this area of their repertoire. So when they are asked to take on an American accent it's just a matter of fine tuning. Because American actors aren't asked to develop this part of their toolbox they have the disadvantage to the British actor of not having that accent range.
So when we watch an American television show with a British actor doing a southern accent, be assured that a great deal of work went in to what we see on the screen.

Need Or Love: The Driving Force In Art
The journey for the artist is by no means an easy one. In the majority of cases time, energy, tenacity, hard work, and talent are not necessarily a recipe for success. All too often achieving even a modicum of success is elusive, and yet many artists persist in spite of the overwhelming odds.
So what is it in the artist's nature that allows them to persevere, knowing they will have to endure a seemingly endless stream of criticism and rejection? How do they maintain a positive outlook in a world inundated with nay sayers, cynics, abusive personalities, and the like? Clearly there is no simplistic explanation as we are dealing with the human condition.
When I have asked people over the years why they want to act, the most common response I get is, "Because I love it." That is certainly a legitimate reason but I don't believe it is the driving force that keeps the artist going? I have known more than a few actors that have fallen in and out of love with acting. Some had a brief fling, while others lingered until rejection and other forces dulled their enthusiasm. And then there were those that tried to walk away but were drawn back by some inexplicable magnetic force. One actor I spoke with told me that after he "quit" he got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach every time he passed a theatre. His love for acting was nothing compared to the need that perpetually summoned him.
In some cases people are drawn to the arts for the "promise of money, fame, sex, adulation, approval, et al, but after a few bouts with rejection, disappointment, and failure they go sprinting for the hills.
For me there is one key element that provides the artist with the flame that enables them to endure, and overcome the many hurdles and obstacles they will face, and that is "need". Need trumps love, riches, fame, sex, approval and the rest. It is to the soul what food and water is to the body. The need to express, create, connect, touch, explore, and discover is immense.
David Mamet was once asked if he liked to write. He replied that it wasn't a matter of liking it. Writing was something he had to do. He had no choice. No other options. Writing was and remains, his calling.
It is impossible to describe that feeling, to put into words what it means to need something in that particular way. I began acting and segued into teaching over 25 years ago. I have lived through some very lean times and have done a myriad of jobs in an effort make my dreams a reality. There is no question that I love and have a passion for what I do, but it is not the driving force that keeps me plugging away.
We are bound to fall in and out of love on more than one occasion in our lifetime. But the need to create cannot be extinguished. It does not fade away. It burns inside of the artist like the eternal flame. It is not a question of liking or loving. They do it, because they have to.
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A Brief History of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Formed in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is generally considered to be one of the country's finest classical music ensembles. Along with the orchestras of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland, these groups are collectively known as the Big Five, both for the quality of the music they play as well as their influence on the world of classical music.
The orchestra moved to its permanent home, Orchestra Hall, in 1904. Now a part of the overall Symphony Center complex located along South Michigan Avenue, the exterior of this edifice was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham in the Georgian style. Above the ballroom windows that grace an upper floor are inscribed the names of five important composers: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Wagner. Starting in 1995, the building underwent a significant renovation that took three years to complete. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1994.
As with most orchestras, their success is oftentimes best described by noting the accomplishments of the people who led them. Under the musical direction of Frederick Stock, the CSO made its first recording in 1916. He was also responsible for instituting a series of young people's concerts during the 1919-20 season that remains part of the orchestra's commitment to the community to the present day. In the period between the two world wars, Artur Rodzinski conducted the orchestra's first full-scale production of Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner, which starred Kirsten Flagsted. In the 1950s, Fritz Reiner conducted a number of historic recordings on the RCA label, including one of Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra that is considered by many aficionados the best example of its era. The orchestra has also attracted a number of high-profile guest conductors down through the years, notably many who were also composers. These have included Richard Strauss, Maurice Ravel, Edward Elgar, Leonard Bernstein, and Aaron Copland.
The person who clearly had the greatest impact on turning the Chicago Symphony into a world-class orchestra was Georg Solti. The Hungarian-born conductor served as music director from 1969 until 1991 and led the ensemble in a total of 999 performances. Many of his recordings are listed as among the best examples of each respective work. Under his baton, the CSO undertook its first European tour [1971] and recorded the soundtrack for the feature film Casino.
The current music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is Riccardo Muti, known primarily for his work in opera and as principal conductor for the La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy. However, he also enjoys a solid reputation as a leader of various symphony orchestras, in particular having served as music director for the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1980 to 1992.
Every summer the Chicago Symphony relocates to the northern suburbs and its summer home at Ravinia, a forest-like setting in nearby Highland Park, Illinois. The annual Ravinia Festival began in 1936, and it offers a wide range of classical music-everything from "pops" to opera, and occasionally a world premiere-in a pastoral setting beneath the stars. Several famous conductors have made their CSO debuts at Ravinia, including James Levine and Seiji Ozawa.
The CSO was the first American symphony to align itself with a training orchestra. The Civic Orchestra of Chicago was formed in 1919, and it continues today as one of the most prestigious venues for musicians interested in becoming professional orchestra players. This ensemble generally performs five or six concerts per year and also sponsors a chamber series that showcases its most prominent young players.
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The Most Popular Music Genres in the World
It is incredibly hard to trace the origin of music. In fact, music as we know it today went through several transformations, both great and small, over the years. However, at every point, there have always been some genres of music that were incredibly popular, and took most of the world by storm. Listed below are some of the most popular music styles the world has seen, heard, and loved so far.
Five of the most popular genres of music in the world are -
• Rock music
- Perhaps the most influencing genre of music, rock, also known as rock and roll, has left a mark in almost every artist's record. Rock music was an offshoot of the original classical melody. However, it is centered on the electric guitar. Rock itself has several sub-variations, such as classical rock, hard rock, indie rock and many more.
• Pop music
- Pop music is an abbreviated version of the term 'popular music.' Pop music was born in the 1950s, and was more like a modified extension of rock and roll. Live performances became popular, and with time, pop music has also begun to encourage rhythm, beats, and dancing. This genre was made internationally popular by artists like Madonna and Michael Jackson.
• Electronic Dance Music
- With the burst of clubs and discos, electronic dance theme, promoted everywhere as EDM, became an instant hit. Disc jockeys everywhere began to experiment with dance music, and the trend of remixing popular songs to make them suitable for club dancing, and using synthetic instruments became a hot trend.
• Country music
- True to its name, this form of music traces its origin to Southern USA, way back in the 1920s. Country music includes ballads, dance tunes, and sing-song tales accompanied by stringed instruments such as guitars, harmonicas, and fiddles. With time, lighter beats have also begun to become a part of this music. The pieces backed by country music general have a calming effect.
• Jazz music
- Jazz music dates back to the nineteenth century, and has an African American origin. Interestingly, it grew simultaneously in various parts of America. The common undercurrent to these various places of origin of Jazz music was their characteristic property of being performance oriented. Over the following century, Jazz melody went through several transformations, and has finally become the Jazz theme that we know and love today. It is one of the important things to remember for everyone.
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A Brief History of the La Scala Opera House
Known in Italian as Teatro alla Scala, the opera house in Milan -- an industrial city in Northern Italy often compared to Chicago -- is the Mecca of the art form for performers and opera lovers the world over. Aspiring singers who want to "make it" in the world of opera dream of performing on the stage of La Scala, much the same way musicians yearn to play at New York's Carnegie Hall.
The opera house opened in 1778, and its first production was an opera by renowned Baroque composer Antonio Salieri. La Scala was built to replace the Teatro Regio Ducal, which had burned to the ground several years earlier. The name of the theater is derived from the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which formerly stood on this site. After considerable wrangling over interior design elements, the building was configured with slightly more than 3,000 seats into 600-plus "pit stalls" on the main floor, six tiered balconies of private boxes on the side and rear walls, and two galleries above that. The leasing of these private boxes to wealthy individuals provided the bulk of the funds necessary to pay for construction. The galleries above the boxes, known as loggione, were standing-room-only affairs that provided inexpensive entry to the theater. Then as now, these gallery occupants could be merciless in expressing their displeasure if a singer or a production failed to meet their exacting standards. As recently as 2006, tenor Roberto Alagna was booed off the stage by the loggionistas during a performance of Verdi's Aida; his understudy was forced to replace him in the middle of the scene without being given a chance to change into costume.
Electric lights came to La Scala in 1883, and the auditorium underwent significant renovation in 1907. This remodeling reduced the number of seats to its present count of 2,800. Bombing by Allied planes during WWII caused considerable damage to the structure, but the edifice was rebuilt after the war and reopened with a memorial concert conducted by legendary maestro Arturo Toscanini. Another major renovation took place from January 2002 to November 2004, during which time opera productions were staged at another theater elsewhere in Milan. The backstage area was increased significantly to provide more storage space for sets, and an electronic libretto system was installed into the backs of every seat in the house, thereby giving members of the audience instantaneous translations of whatever was being sung onstage. By removing the heavy carpeting throughout the auditorium, experts discovered that La Scala's sound improved considerably.
Given the importance of opera in Italy and the high profile of its patrons, it is hardly surprising that a number of notable operas have had their premieres at La Scala. These include the first performances of many of Giuseppe Verdi's compositions, including Nabucco [1824], I Lombardi [1843], and Otello [1887]. This latter work, which many consider to be Verdi's finest, is often chosen to open each season, which typically begins on December 7. This date was selected because it is the feast day of Milan's patron saint, Saint Ambrose. Other famous operas that were first performed on the stage at La Scala include Il pirata and Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, Lucrezia Borgia and Maria Stuarda by Gaetano Donizetti, and Madama Butterfly and Turandot by Giacomo Puccini.
Music directors at La Scala have included Franco Faccio [1871-1889] (Verdi's favorite conductor), Claudio Abbado [1968-1986], and Riccardo Muti [1986-2005]. Muti was succeeded by Daniel Barenboim [2007-2014], who in turn was replaced by the current officeholder, Riccardo Chailly, in time for the 2015 season. Maestro Chailly's contract runs through 2022. A museum attached to the opera house is filled with paintings and statues that depict important moments in La Scala opera history, plus costumes and drafts of musical scores from many of the productions that have graced its stage down through the years.
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The Basics of Electric Guitar Pedals
Many instruments have one key sound and stick to it. The electric guitar is different; with today's technology, guitars have a vast arsenal of sounds. Guitars sound different from guitar to guitar. The choice of amp also drastically changes the tone of the instrument. The biggest factor in getting different and unique sounds is the use of pedals. From The Edge of U2 to Jimi Hendrix, many famous guitarists used pedals to alter their signature sound. Here are some of the most commonly used pedals.
The most famous guitar pedal is probably the wah pedal. The wah pedal, getting its name from its trademark "wah wah" sound, is a pedal commonly associated with guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine.) It is controlled like a gas pedal on a car, pushing down and up adjusts the filter that creates the "wah wah" effect. A good song to hear this on is Rage Against The Machine's "Bulls on Parade" or the intro to Hendrix's "Voodoo Child."
The next two pedals are reverb and delay. Reverb creates an instant echo that is comparable to yelling in a cathedral or a large open building. Delay is another type of echo, however it is multiple controlled repeats. There are many types of delays, but they mainly fall into the categories of analog or digital delays. The most prominent user of delay pedals is The Edge of U2. Listen to any U2 song and there is likely the extreme use of delay and reverb to create lush soundscapes.
The final types of pedals we'll be discussing are the overdrive, distortion, and fuzz pedals. Almost everybody uses one of these types of pedals, as they are the unsung heroes of guitar pedals. Overdrives are typically used to add a bit more grit and drive to an amp. Distortions are used to add a full on distortion to a clean amp. Fuzz is that in-your-face, overly distorted, buzz saw sound. The song that comes to mind for great fuzz tone for me is the song by The Black Keys "Strange Times."
Of course, there is a lot more to know about pedals, and a lot more pedals to know about. I chose not to mention modulation pedals such as flangers, phasers, and chorus because those are much more advanced than the ones I have mentioned above. The best way to experience the magic of playing with pedals is to go to your local guitar store and try some out.
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