Friday, January 31, 2014

Allegro and Presto

In musical terminology “allegro” and “presto” have to do with the speed of a piece of music.  My on-line dictionary tells us “allegro means in a quick, lively tempo, usually considered to be faster than allegretto but slower than presto.”  The acceptable speed for allegro is 120-160 bpm. 

"Presto" means extra lively and quickly. the acceptable speed for  presto is 160-208 bpm.

I suppose “allegro” would be like running a marathon, and ‘presto” would be like running the hundred yard dash.

You would move at “allegro” speed if you were rushing into the mall to get out of the rain.  You would move at “presto” if your house was on fire and you were upstairs when it started.

I ran “presto” when I first met Carolyn.  She captured my interest and I wanted to be near her.

What are your “allegro” moments verses your “presto” moments?

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, January 27, 2014

Accent Marks

An “accent mark” in music indicated that the performer is to give extra emphasis to that particular note or string of notes.  They would typically be played more loudly than the surrounding notes.

Speakers sometimes speak with “accent marks”.  The examples below are bolded for accent purposes.

“The law says
Read my lips.

There is a great line from Gone with the Wind that comes to mind.

“I done tole’ you and tole’ you.”

Those are great examples of “accent marks”.

Bottom line, accent the important, the essential, and the necessary. 

And remember this – “accentuate the positive”.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Fermata

In musical terminology the fermata (sometimes called the bird’s eye) is a symbol for “hold”. It means this:  when musicians come to a fermata in the music they simply play/sing that note until the conductor gives directions to either stop or proceed.

Have you ever had a moment in life when you needed to place a fermata sign over your head?  Maybe you’ve had a rough day, or week, or series of stressors that simply would not stop.  In those moments, a simple, caring, compassionate human touch from a trusted one could make all the difference in the world. 

In other words, sometimes we just need to be held. 

There is nothing wrong with that.  It is a basic human need, I think.  It’s called by many names.

Significant touch

A fermata can be a very good moment in one’s life.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Repeat

In music, when a composer/arranger wishes to restate what has already been played or sung, he/she will use what is called the “repeat” sign.  It simply means go back and do that again. 

I like repeat signs in life.  We went on an Alaskan cruise in 2007 and I want a repeat.

Carolyn made some outrageous tacos recently and I want a repeat.

Every time we go to Nashville we go to the Bluebird CafĂ©.  I want a repeat of that.

I’ve read a few books that are definitely on my repeat list.

A few select movies are on my repeat list as well.

Repeat is another way of savoring what we have experienced. 

Life is short.  Savor the best moments.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Vivace is a Latin term in music meaning “in a brisk, lively manner”.  Some dance tunes would be considered “vivace” in style.  If a band played a fast foxtrot, that would be considered a ‘vivace” tempo. 

If, after writing my blog I get a reward of going to the movie, I think I would try very hard to write my blog at vivace speed. 

If I had a three o’clock flight to Nashville, and it was 2PM in Edmonds, I would drive like a “vivace” daredevil to get to the airport on time.

Let your speed match your need.

Within reason, of course.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, January 13, 2014


Sforzando in music means “suddenly or strongly”. 

I suppose you could have a sforzando moment on Halloween night if someone jumped out from behind a bush and scared the bejesus out of you. 

It could also happen if you were in an airplane and without warning the engines died, but let’s not dwell on that one. 

One of my favorite techniques in choral conducting is to ask for a “sforzando piano”.  That means I’m asking for a very strong attack on a note and then the music dies down immediately to piano or pianissimo.  That would be like being scared out of one’s wits and then the one doing the scaring would immediately take off her mask and you would find instead your Mom.

Some Mom’s do that to their kids, or so I’m told.

Sforzando!  For emphasis.
P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Rest

In music, the rest is just as important as a string of eighth notes, or a crescendo.  It allows one to pause, just for a moment.  It is as musical as any other note, symbol, or instrument.  So, a pause can be a good thing.

And so, the pauses in life.  That is why park benches are made.  And comfortable chairs in a shopping mall.  That is a key reason to sleep at night. 

Don’t’ rush past the pauses of life.

Sometimes it is a beautiful person who catches your eye.
Perhaps it is an extreme waterfall, or an ocean view to take your breath away.

Perhaps it is a lovely scarf that you simply stop and gaze upon. 

Remember to note “the rest” as you do today.  

It keeps the rest of life in perspective and it adds to the music.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, January 6, 2014

Got Poise?

          Stand Tall

How about you?  Got poise?

Here’s a gentle reminder. 

“For poise, walk with the knowledge 
that you never walk alone”

You Never Walk Alone!  What a comforting thought.  I have found helping hands at every turn in my life when in need.  Family, friends, and neighbors have always helped when the call goes out. 

You are never alone.  You are surrounded with helping hands also.  Reach out.  Allow others to help, and then become the one who helps others in need.

Ultimately, you never walk alone, for HE is always by your side.

Stand tall.  Be encouraged.
P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Attractive Parts

I love beauty – beauty in landscape, in mountains, and beauty in people.  I even want to be beautiful, or attractive, as is the proper politically correct way. 

I want attractive lips.  I want to speak words of hope and encouragement to you.  I want to see you light up simply because I found something in you worthy of acknowledgement.  Perhaps it is a character trait, or a talent yet undiscovered.  Maybe it is a kind and gentle nature you have never recognized before. 

If my attractive part can connect with your attractive part, we will have created something really spectacular – a spark of two human beings living in harmony on this planet.

Now that would be something.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time