musical taste

Musical Taste Referenced by 3 Composers

Musical Taste Referenced by 3 Composers. Obviously, the feature picture is a gag photo and from the 1930’s. Bing Crosby was not a violinist. Here, Rubinoff let him play his Stradivarius violin. Back then, like now, people needed laughter and fun; anything to raise the spirits. My connection with this photo: I both arranged for and accompanied Rubinoff and His Violin over a fifteen year period. Below is a picture of me with “Ruby” from the 1980’s.

Musical taste
Rubinoff was a master of what the public enjoyed. For his astute musical taste, he made as much as $500.000.00 annually during the Great Depression. A younger David Ohrenstein (me) is pictured with the master.

Musical Taste as per Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughn Williams and Arnold Schoenberg

  • Edward Elgar: Believed that being common place is worse than being vulgar. Even a University education cannot replace a commonplace mind. All white for rooms in a house does not show exquisite taste. It merely shows want of taste.
  • Ralph Vaughn  Williams stated: “If  a composer is naturally vulgar, let him be frank and write vulgar music, instead of hedging himself about with an artificial barrier of good taste.” 
  • Arnold Schoenberg went even further: “In my vocabulary (taste) stands for arrogance and superiority-complex of mediocrity. And taste is sterile. It cannot produce. Taste  applies only to the lower zones of  human feeling.” 

The above notations and quotes are reference in Michael Steinberg’s The Symphony, A Listener’s Guide , p.156 Oxford University Press 1995.

To sample Rubinoff’s musical taste click on the link below:







How, Music is in the Biblical Name, David

How, Music is in the Biblical Name, David: OK, so my name is also David. I’m a composer/pianist. Pure co-incidence. The Hebrew language can lift the fog that lies between the similarities between music and David. In Hebrew letters, David is spelled “dalet, vav, dalet”:  דוד. As a letter and  a number actually share the same symbol in Hebrew, we have:

  • Dalet- the 1st letter equals 4
  • Vav- the 2nd letter equals 6
  • Dalet-the third letter equals 4.

Now, I hope not too many of you will be upset with this quote from Aristotle:”The elements of numbers are the elements of things and therefore, things are numbers.” The most obvious connection of numbers with things are musical intervals. They use set ratios between two number.


The basis of both ancient and modern tuning is the musical fifth. Here is the ratio of the two tones:

  • For every time the higher of the two tones vibrates three times,
  • The lower note vibrates two times
  • To hear these notes just think of the opening 4 tones of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. The second two are a fifth higher than the first two.

Now let’s look at the numbers behind the name of David:

  • 4 to 6 reduces to 2 to 3. By interval ratios this defines the lower fifth from a starting tone,
  • then 6 to 4 reduces to 3 to 2. This defines the higher fifth from a lower starting  musical tone

David’s power came through his music. He harmonized with the natural plan. This is why the Bible speaks of him as a musician first and and ruler second.


At this point, I must mention another upcoming project (too many projects!). I call the book Music Under the Zodiac. It is based on a unique way to align the 12 key signatures with the 12 signs of the zodiac. It will be used to advance musical therapy. For example, if you have a headache, listen to the music in F# minor.    So much is recorded on Youtube that is free. Most important, pick a pianist with a good touch. Arthur Rubinstein is my favorite in this regard. I also plan to make piano recordings of music that uses my inspired system of therapy. I have several examples of touch in the music of Debussy on my front page of DSOworks,com.  Francois Couperin le Grand wrote a treatise on this subject in 1717. It is called L’Art de Toucher le Clavecin. Then, if you care to, e-mail me about the effect of the music you’ve listened to.

  • Chopin- Polonaise Opus 44 in F# minor
  • Chopin- Nocturne Opus 48 #2
  • Brahms- Sonata in F# minor
  • J.S. Bach- Prelude and Fugue No. 14 Book II of The Well-Tempered Clavier
  • Rachmaninoff- Concerto in F# minor opus 1.

Astrology Signs, Birth Signs, Zodiac, Astrology
The Discovery I Made Between Key Signatures and the Zodiac Can Help the Cause of Musical Therapy. Keep Watching For My Book: Music Under the Zodiac. It’s 3 or 4 months away from publication on this website. I’ll try to hurry!