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Seven or eight years of formal music lessons as a child (not that I had any talent) gave me an interest and passable understanding of the various forms of noise we call music. I played clarinet in grammar school and high school (though its been so long I shudder to think of the consequences if I picked it up today - my single-reed license was revoked long ago); I used to be an advanced beginner on the guitar before I started neglecting it (my prized possession is a 1971 Martin D-35 dreadnought with ebony finger board, 3-piece Brazilian rosewood back, and inlaid mother-of-pearl fret-board and trim); can find my way around the finger-holes of a recorder; own a Highland practice chanter (the single pipe you have to master before they'll sell you a set of bagpipes - lethal in the wrong hands), a handful of Irish tin whistles, (including a 22½ inch D below D monster that is actually too big for my hands) and an American fife (as in fife and drum); and can easily get my hands on an Appalachian dulcimer, a flute, and a Bodhrán.

"Rings" - written and performed by Gene Vogt (1.7 MB MP3 file, recorded June 1974)

The one musical instrument that I have totally mastered is the CD player in our stereo. My wife and I have a love for almost all forms of music, particularly certain less-well-known folk singers (ever heard of Bill Staines, or James Taylor's kid brother Livingston?). We're struggling with opera and rap, though the former was enhanced after we saw the movie Philadelphia. We've also collected a few European folk music CDs in our travels around Germany, the Czech Republic, and the British and Greek Isles. The CD player gets used so much in our house that we've worn out quite a few of them; they usually only last about 3-5 years.

Music has been an integral part of our married life as well, even since day #1. We spliced together a cassette of seating and ceremony music for our wedding, complete with timing charts and cues, that included some recorded music and some music taped live for the occasion, and have been including music in our lives ever since.

We like to think that we passed our love of music on to our daughters, and indeed it seems we have; both were very actively involved with high school and college singing groups (one's a soprano, and the other is an alto), and Megan continues down that path now, with a degree in Sound Recording Technology and occasional gigs as backup singer for local recordings.



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