Music as a historical document
The third verse of a popular Anglican hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly, And ordered their estate. This comes between some very poetic reflections about the grandeur and variety of the natural world. To me, it is something of a stain on an otherwise lovely piece of music - but far more...
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Karl Benz, generally acknowledged as the inventor of the gasoline engine, got his patent just ahead of the Daimler/Maybach team who made a nearly identical discovery, totally independent of Benz’s work. Similarly, Alexander Graham Bell won his “race to patent office” just ahead of several competitors, some of whom appear to have offered viable equivalents to Bell’s...