MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
LibriVox is a group of worldwide volunteers who read and record public domain texts creating free public domain audiobooks for download from their website and other digital library hosting sites on the internet. It was founded in 2005 by Hugh McGuire to provide "Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain" and the LibriVox objective is "To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet". On 6 August 2016, the project completed project number 10,000. and from 2009–2017 was producing about 1,000 items per year. Most releases are in the English language, but many non-English works are available. There are multiple affiliated projects. LibriVox is affiliated with Project Gutenberg from where the project gets some of its texts, the Internet Archive that hosts their offerings. LibriVox was started in August 2005 by Montreal-based writer Hugh McGuire, who set up a blog, posed the question; the first recorded book was The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad.
The main features of the way LibriVox works have changed little since its inception, although the technology that supports it has been improved by the efforts of its volunteers with web-development skills. LibriVox is an invented word inspired by Latin words liber in its genitive form libri and vox, giving the meaning BookVoice; the word was coined because of other connotations: liber means child and free, unrestricted. As the LibriVox forum says: "We like to think LibriVox might be interpreted as'child of the voice', and'free voice'; the other link we like is'library' so you could imagine it to mean Library of Voice."There has been no decision or consensus by LibriVox founders or the community of volunteers for a single pronunciation of LibriVox. It is accepted. LibriVox is a volunteer-run, free content, Public Domain project, it has legal personality. The development of projects is managed through an Internet forum, supported by an admin team, who maintain a searchable catalogue database of completed works.
In early 2010, LibriVox ran a fundraising drive to raise $20,000 to cover hosting costs for the website of about $5,000/year and improve front- and backend usability. The target was reached in 13 days, so the fundraising ended and LibriVox suggested that supporters consider making donations to its affiliates and partners, Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive. Volunteers can choose new projects to start, either recording on their own or inviting others to join them, or they can contribute to projects that have been started by others. Once a volunteer has recorded his or her contribution, it is uploaded to the site, proof-listened by members of the LibriVox community. Finished audiobooks are available from the LibriVox website, MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files are hosted separately by the Internet Archive. Recordings are available through other means, such as iTunes, being free of copyright, they are distributed independently of LibriVox on the Internet and otherwise. LibriVox only records material, in the public domain in the United States, all LibriVox books are released with a public domain dedication.
Because of copyright restrictions, LibriVox produces recordings of only a limited number of contemporary books. These have included, for example, the 9/11 Commission Report, a work of the US Federal Government therefore in the Public Domain; the LibriVox catalogue is varied. It contains much popular classic fiction, but includes less predictable texts, such as Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and a recording of the first 500 digits of pi; the collection features poetry, religious texts and non-fiction of various kinds. In January 2009, the catalogue contained 55 percent fiction and drama, 25 percent non-fiction and 20 percent poetry. By the end of 2018, the most viewed item was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in a 2006 solo recording by John Greenman. Around 90 percent of the catalogue is recorded in English, but recordings exist in 31 languages altogether. Chinese and German are the most popular languages other than English amongst volunteers, but recordings have been made in languages including Urdu and Tagalog.
LibriVox has garnered significant interest, in particular from those interested in the promotion of volunteer-led content and alternative approaches to copyright ownership on the Internet. It has received support from the Internet Project Gutenberg. Intellectual freedom and commons proponent Mike Linksvayer described it in 2008 as "perhaps the most interesting collaborative culture project this side of Wikipedia"; the project has been featured in press around the world and has been recommended by the BBC's Click, MSNBC's The Today Show, Wired, the US PC Magazine and the UK Metro and Sunday Times newspapers. A frequent concern of listeners is the site's policy of allowing any recording to be published as long as it is understandable and faithful to the source text; this means. While some listeners may object to those books with chapters read by multiple readers, others find this to be a non-issue or a feature, though many books are narrated by a single reader. Virtual volunteering Voice acting LibriVox siteLibriVox home page and LibriVox Catalogue of Audio BooksArticlesXeni Tech story from NPR's Day to Day, "Amateur Audio Books Cat
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, executed two-and-a-half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, Elizabeth was declared illegitimate, her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters and the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels. In 1558 upon Mary's death, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister to the throne and set out to rule by good counsel, she depended on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.
One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement was to evolve into the Church of England, it was expected that Elizabeth would produce an heir. She was succeeded by her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland, she had earlier been responsible for the imprisonment and execution of James's mother, Queen of Scots. In government, Elizabeth was more moderate. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo". In religion, she was tolerant and avoided systematic persecution. After the pope declared her illegitimate in 1570 and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with the help of her ministers' secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, manoeuvring between the major powers of Spain, she only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands and Ireland.
By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history; as she grew older, Elizabeth became celebrated for her virginity. A cult grew around her, celebrated in the portraits and literature of the day. Elizabeth's reign became known as the Elizabethan era; the period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited, when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones.
After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity. Elizabeth was born at Greenwich Palace and was named after her grandmothers, Elizabeth of York and Elizabeth Howard, she was the second child of Henry VIII of England born in wedlock to survive infancy. Her mother was Anne Boleyn. At birth, Elizabeth was the heir presumptive to the throne of England, her older half-sister, had lost her position as a legitimate heir when Henry annulled his marriage to Mary's mother, Catherine of Aragon, to marry Anne, with the intent to sire a male heir and ensure the Tudor succession. She was baptised on 10 September 1533. A canopy was carried at the ceremony over the three-day old child by her uncle Viscount Rochford, Lord Hussey, Lord Thomas Howard, Lord Howard of Effingham. Elizabeth was two years and eight months old when her mother was beheaded on 19 May 1536, four months after Catherine of Aragon's death from natural causes.
Elizabeth was deprived of her place in the royal succession. Eleven days after Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, who died shortly after the birth of their son, Edward, in 1537. From his birth, Edward was undisputed heir apparent to the throne. Elizabeth was placed in his household and carried the chrisom, or baptismal cloth, at his christening. Elizabeth's first governess, Margaret Bryan, wrote that she was "as toward a child and as gentle of conditions as I knew any in my life". Catherine Champernowne, better known by her married name of Catherine "Kat" Ashley, was appointed as Elizabeth's governess in 1537, she remained Elizabeth's friend until her death in 1565. Champernowne taught Elizabeth four languages: French, Flemish and Spanish. By the time William Grindal became her tutor in 1544, Elizabeth could write English and Italian. Under Grindal, a talented and skilful tutor, she progressed in French and Greek. After Grindal died in 1548, Elizabeth received her education under Roger Ascham, a sympathetic teacher who believed that learning should be engaging.
By the time her formal education ended in 1550, Elizabeth was one of the best educated women of her generation. At the end of her life, Elizabeth was believed to speak Welsh, Cornish and Irish in addition to the languages men
The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews and Rastafarians. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; the Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect. Attitudes towards the Bible differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone.
This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history and culture than any book written, its influence on world history is unparalleled, shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells 100 million copies annually; the English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, translit. Ta biblia "the books". Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural, it came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun in medieval Latin, so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.
Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια tà biblía tà ágia, "the holy books". The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book", it is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, "Egyptian papyrus" so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia was "an expression. Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together. By the 2nd century BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the "scriptures" and they referred to them as "holy", or in Hebrew כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ, Christians now call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" or "the Holy Scriptures"; the Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and it was divided into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne and is now cited by book and verse.
The division of the Hebrew Bible into verses is based on the sof passuk cantillation mark used by the 10th-century Masoretes to record the verse divisions used in earlier oral traditions. The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, it is known as the Codex Vaticanus; the oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin Bible is the Codex Amiatinus. Professor John K. Riches, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, says that "the biblical texts themselves are the result of a creative dialogue between ancient traditions and different communities through the ages", "the biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural and ecological – varied enormously". Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, says that the Old Testament is "a collection of authoritative texts of divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing."
He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it written by God and passed to mankind. Parallel to the solidification of the Hebrew canon, only the Torah first and the Tanakh began to be translated into Greek and expanded, now referred to as the Septuagint or the Greek Old Testament. In Christian Bibles, the New Testament Gospels were derived from oral traditions in the second half of the first century CE. Riches says that: Scholars have attempted to reconstruct something of the history of the oral traditions behind the Gospels, but the results have not been too encouraging; the period of transmission is short: less than 40 years passed between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark's Gospel. This means that there was little time for oral trad
A metrical psalter is a kind of Bible translation: a book containing a metrical translation of all or part of the Book of Psalms in vernacular poetry, meant to be sung as hymns in a church. Some metrical psalters include melodies or harmonizations; the composition of metrical psalters was a large enterprise of the Protestant Reformation in its Calvinist manifestation. During the Protestant Reformation, a number of Bible texts were interpreted as requiring reforms in the music used in worship; the Psalms were commended for singing. Let him sing songs of praise." Colossians 3:16 states "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, as you sing psalms and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." In the preface to his edition of the Greek New Testament, Erasmus wrote: I would have the weakest woman read the Gospels and the Epistles of St Paul. I would have those words translated into all languages, so that not only Scots and Irishmen, but Turks and Saracens might read them.
I long for the ploughboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow, the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle, the traveler to beguile with them the dullness of his journey. The Reformers, taking their cue from these Scriptures and from Erasmus, shared a common interest in Scripture that would be singable. Various Reformers interpreted these texts as imposing strictures on sacred music; the psalms were felt to be commended to be sung by these texts. A revival of Gregorian chant, or its adaptation to the vernacular, was not considered. Instead, the need was felt to have metrical vernacular versions of the Psalms and other Scripture texts, suitable to sing to metrical tunes and popular song forms. Following the regulative principle of worship, many Reformed churches adopted the doctrine of exclusive psalmody: every hymn sung in worship must be an actual translation of a Psalm or some other Biblical passage; some Reformed churches the Calvinists, rejected the use of instrumental music and organs in church, preferring to sing all of the music a cappella.
Today, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, other Reformed churches of the Scottish tradition maintain this practice. During the pre-reformation days, it was not customary for lay members of a church's congregation to communally sing hymns. Singing was done by other clergy. John Calvin, inspired by Erasmus's comments, desired singable versions of the Psalms and other Christian texts for the communal use of the Reformed churches. One of the greatest metrical psalters produced during the Reformation, the Genevan Psalter, was authored for the Protestant churches of France and Geneva, it has been in uninterrupted use to the present day by the Huguenot and other French-speaking Protestant churches. The texts of the French Psalter were brought together from two independent sources: the poet Clément Marot and the theologian Théodore de Bèze. Marot and Beza's psalms appeared in a number of different collections, published between 1533 and 1543; the full psalter containing all 150 canonical Psalms, plus the gospel canticle "Cantique de Siméon", appeared in 1562.
The French psalms were set to Gregorian and popular, sometimes unpublished melodies that were harmonized and altered for congregational singing. Music for the Genevan Psalter was furnished by Loys Bourgeois and others like Guillaume Franc and a certain Maistre Pierre; the composer Claude Goudimel harmonized these melodies with great variation in the complexity of the music. In some cases each part matches note for note, while others are contrapuntal or motets. More elaborate musical arrangements were composed in the seventeenth century by Paschal de l'Estocart and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. An example of the Huguenot Psalter is Psalm 24 from the French Psalter: La terre au Seigneur appartient Tout ce qu'en sa rondeur contient Et ceux qui habitent en elle. A metrical psalter was produced for the Calvinist Reformed Church of the Netherlands by Petrus Datheen in 1566; this Psalter borrowed the hymn tunes from the Genevan Psalter and consisted of a literal translation of Marot and Beza's French translation.
The Dutch psalter was revised on orders of the Dutch legislature in 1773, in a revision which added non-paraphrase hymns to the collection. This psalter continues in use among the Reformed community of the Netherlands, was revised in 1985. In 1968 a new metrical psalmbook appeared, incorporated in the Dutch hymnbook; the Genevan Psalms were translated into German by Ambrosius Lobwasser in 1573 "Psalter des königlichen Propheten Davids" and were sung a capella to Goudimel's harmonies for over two centuries. The Lobwasser psalms are still in use in the Amish congregations in North America, who took them with the Swiss Hymnbooks to the New World; the music edition of 1576 was reprinted in 2004, a result of the International Psalm Symposion in Emden. In 1798 the German pastor in Den Haag Matthias Jorissen gave out his: "Neue Bereimung der Psalmen" which replaced the old-fashioned psalm book for nearly 200 years; the present Hymnbook of the Evangelical-reformed Churches and the Old Reformed Churches of Germany contains the complete psalter with many psalms of Matthias Jorissen and other authors.
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Frankfurt is a metropolis and the largest city of the German federal state of Hesse, its 746,878 inhabitants make it the fifth-largest city of Germany after Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne. On the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main, its urban area has a population of 2.3 million. The city is at the centre of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region, which has a population of 5.5 million and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr Region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km to the east of Frankfurt's central business district. Like France and Franconia, the city is named after the Franks. Frankfurt is the largest city in the Rhine Franconian dialect area. Frankfurt was a city state, the Free City of Frankfurt, for nearly five centuries, was one of the most important cities of the Holy Roman Empire, as a site of imperial coronations, it has been part of the federal state of Hesse since 1945.
A quarter of the population are foreign nationals, including many expatriates. Frankfurt is an alpha world city and a global hub for commerce, education and transportation, it is the site of many European corporate headquarters. Frankfurt Airport is among the world's busiest. Frankfurt is the major financial centre of the European continent, with the headquarters of the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, KfW, several cloud and fintech startups and other institutes. Automotive and research, consulting and creative industries complement the economic base. Frankfurt's DE-CIX is the world's largest internet exchange point. Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's largest trade fairs. Major fairs include the Frankfurt Motor Show, the world's largest motor show, the Music Fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest book fair. Frankfurt is home to influential educational institutions, including the Goethe University, the UAS, the FUMPA, graduate schools like the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.
Its renowned cultural venues include the concert hall Alte Oper, Europe's largest English theatre and many museums. Frankfurt's skyline is shaped by some of Europe's tallest skyscrapers; the city is characterised by various green areas and parks, including the central Wallanlagen, the City Forest and two major botanical gardens, the Palmengarten and the University's Botanical Garden. Important is the Frankfurt Zoo. In electronic music, Frankfurt has been a pioneering city since the 1980s, with renowned DJs including Sven Väth, Marc Trauner, Scot Project, Kai Tracid, the clubs Dorian Gray, U60311, Omen and Cocoon. In sports, the city is known as the home of the top tier football club Eintracht Frankfurt, the Löwen Frankfurt ice hockey team, the basketball club Frankfurt Skyliners, the Frankfurt Marathon and the venue of Ironman Germany. Frankfurt is the largest financial centre in continental Europe, it is home to the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange and several large commercial banks.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is one of the world's largest stock exchanges by market capitalization and accounts for more than 90 percent of the turnover in the German market. In 2010, 63 national and 152 international banks had their registered offices in Frankfurt, including Germany's major banks, notably Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, KfW and Commerzbank, as well as 41 representative offices of international banks. Frankfurt is considered a global city. Among global cities it was ranked 10th by the Global Power City Index 2011 and 11th by the Global City Competitiveness Index 2012. Among financial centres it was ranked 8th by the International Financial Centers Development Index 2013 and 9th by the Global Financial Centres Index 2013, its central location within Germany and Europe makes Frankfurt a major air and road transport hub. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's busiest international airports by passenger traffic and the main hub for Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa. Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest rail stations in Europe and the busiest junction operated by Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway company, with 342 trains a day to domestic and European destinations.
Frankfurter Kreuz, the Autobahn interchange close to the airport, is the most used interchange in the EU, used by 320,000 cars daily. In 2011 human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Frankfurt as seventh in its annual'Quality of Living' survey of cities around the world. According to The Economist cost-of-living survey, Frankfurt is Germany's most expensive city and the world's 10th most expensive. Frankfurt has many high-rise buildings in the city centre, forming the Frankfurt skyline, it is one of the few cities in the European Union to have such a skyline and because of it Germans sometimes refer to Frankfurt as Mainhattan, a portmanteau of the local Main River and Manhattan. The other well known and obvious nickname is Bankfurt. Before World War II the city was globally noted for its unique old town with timber-framed buildings, the largest timber-framed old town in Europe; the Römer area was rebuilt and is popular with visitors and for eve