TIPS FOR HANDWRITING

Plant two feet on the ground.

Drink plenty of water. If you are in a library keep it in your bag. No need to make guards nervous.

Extend your spine from time to time.

Enjoy your pen.

Select paper with optimum texture, weight, and smoothness, something which feels good to the touch.

Take breaks for tendon gliding exercises

Embrace errors. Cross them out and keep going.

Walk around and stretch your legs every 45 minutes or so.

 

NPR REPORT: ATTENTION STUDENTS, PUT YOUR LAPTOPS AWAY

The more words the students copied verbatim to their computers, the worse they performed on recall tests. But the students taking notes by hand performed better.

This is suggestive evidence that longhand notes may have superior external storage as well as superior encoding functions

Source
The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard: The Advantages of Writing Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking by Mueller, P.A., Oppenheimer, D.M.
Psychological Science June 2014 vol. 25 no. 6 1159-1168

BACH: HANDWRITING MUSICAL SCORES

It is well known that Johann Sebastian Bach as a composer was mainly self-taught , as was emphasized by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel in his obituary. Sebastian was, of course, a member of the large music clan of the Bachs, where he observed music practices throughout his early childhood, and surely he got some basic musical instruction from his father. He also heard impressive organ performances given by his uncle Johann Christoph, his father's twin.

Because both of his brothers died when Sebastian was only 9 years old, he was placed in the care of his eldest brother's family. There is no record of anyone giving him training in composition. However, during the next 8 years he became a very accomplished composer. He got his insight into composition through his painstaking copying of scores written by other composers. There is a famous story about his secret copying of a collection of pieces from his brother's bookcase - by moonlight. His habit of making handwritten copies of other music he kept till his adult age, later even making his own arrangements for some of those he had copied. (e. g. some violin concertos by Vivaldi he arranged for organ etc.)

Handwriting was for him that effective practice which gave him understanding in how some music is made. This he demonstrated in his own compositions, which soon became more challenging than his models.

It is interesting to me that probably none of the big army of music copyists became a great composer. Probably the difference was in focus - Bach made copies to master the music, the copyists made it for the money. They were more interested in numbers of pages or measures, than in the handwritten music.

Jarek Štástný
Composer and Professor of Composition
Janacek Music Academy
Brno, Czech Republic

THE CYRUS CYLINDER

The Cyrus Cylinder has been called “the first declaration of human rights.” It is a barrel-shaped baked clay cylinder, and despite popular belief it’s not a big object: It’s about 23cm long and 10cm wide / 9 x 4 inches.

This clay cylinder is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform – a form of wedge-shaped writing – about Cyrus, king of Persia (559-530 BC) and his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, capturing Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king. The cylinder was discovered more than 130 years ago in the ruins of Babylon in Iraq. It was excavated in several fragments. The cylinder was glued together straight away, and was read by Theophilus Pinches and Henry Rawlinson at the British Museum.