Here is one of the lamest arguments in rock in roll.
Geddy Lee is often criticized as a singer because he doesn’t write his own lyrics. Critics ask, ‘How can he put his heart and soul into words that he didn’t write? Umm…Classical musicians/opera, jazz standards, great cover tunes in all genres…and of course actors too. How can anyone expect an actor to put emotion into his script if he/she didn’t write it?
Another sign of music critics who take themselves a bit too seriously.
“More Human than Human” is a blog series here at 12 Notes & the Truth! dedicated to the unexplainable moments in music that defy words.
Sometimes there is an extra-human element that finds its way into recordings and performances that can’t be explained…a visit from the Muse!
You know the parts of a song that you play over and over because the way they make you feel? Here is my attempt to bring you some of the moments that have moved me over the years, hope they hit you the same way.
“Aguas de Marco,” is a nice little tune written and recorded by A.C. Jobim, the famous Brazilian Bossa Nova composer. In this clip there is a vocal interaction between Jobim and Elis Regina. An exchange that results in a laugh and a light-hearted tone that could not be planned. It could have been edited out as an outtake, but, thankfully it was left as performed! All this happens over an intertwining of descending chromatic lines set by Jobim.
Additionally, there is a slightly out of tune whistling over the piano line that creates an odd chorus-y toy piano sonority.
A small song that packs a heck of a ‘More Human Than Human,’ punch of emotions over a brilliantly composed tune.
Been a great year on many fronts. Day to day it was great, life and work, enjoyable and getting better, although, overall it was a weird year and I can’t really say I am sorry to see 2013 in the rearview mirror.
Blogging was waaaay in the backseat this year, for many reasons. To ALL my fans and followers(mom) I greatly apologize.
Still there were a few interesting trends at 12 Notes & the Truth!
-The little Michael Schenker post I wrote a couple of years ago continues to get hits all the time. Personally I am glad to know there is so much interest in one of my all time favorite guitarists!
-Folks are interested in 12×12 Sudoku, lots of continued hits there, as well
-Malaysia found its way to 12 Notes ALOT. In fact more than any other non-English speaking country. And I know my mom was not in Malaysia this year. Welcome and hope you keep visiting!
-One thing that has not changed is my lifetime love of music. Creating, performing, listening, studying and discussing the effect these 12 Notes have on our lives!
Soon this blog may split between another website http://www.guitarguys.com keep an eye out for it as the year develops and I am sure I will let ya know, as well!
Well that’s it short and sweet…
I am looking forward to many great projects and wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year 2014!
I always teach my kids/students, major, sounds happy and, minor, sounds sad…with that in mind…
Keep life on the Major Sonority side of the street!
I think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.
This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. 😉
…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.
Gustav Holst, “Jupiter,” from, “The Planets.”
If you are unfamiliar with, “The Planets,” each planet was characterized musically. “Jupiter,” was composed as The Bringer of Jollity. This piece is fun and furious. Even the slower parts are dignified, stately and triumphant!
Do you think, “Star Wars,” composer John Williams mightn’t been influenced? hmmm
This is one of Debussy’s most popular pieces. “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”
Impressionist music was often dreamy in nature and this piece fits right in that category. The dreamy quality of the melody is achieved using the whole tone scale. Whole tones on guitar are achieved by skipping on fret each time you advance on the neck. On piano you would skip one key(whether black or white.) There are only two whole tone scales….think about it???
Debussy achieves the lush sonority with his orchestration in the strings and his use of tall chords…chords with extensions, 9, 11, 13s etc. The sound of the harp also adds to the piece’s calmness.
The video again has an amazing animated score which may visually help you enjoy the music so try and follow along!
Did you check out my previous post on Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” Centennial celebration?
Did you try to listen to it?
Did you just not get it?
That’s OK it is a hard listen but one that is well worth it. I just came across this video which has animated the complete score of the first section of the piece. It enhances the listening experience for myself and I think a novice listener would benefit, as well.
Through the animation you can see the compositional and orchestrational processes more clearly which should enhance the listening experience.
Give it a try…or just enjoy the flashing colors… 😉
Ahhhh Classical music, enjoyed by the aristocracy, your grandmother’s tea sipping friends the 1% in todays terms….
Well that was the scene 100 years ago today as Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” was premiered. Well that was allegedly the scene. Would you believe these said music aficionados and high society folks kind of started a riot? Booed so loud the music could not be heard? Began throwing anything they could find?
However it went down that fateful night the music has absolutely stood the test of time. 100 years later the piece’s centennial is being celebrated all over the globe with performances and tributes.
Yes, for most people’s tastes, even today it sounds odd and perhaps ‘ugly.’ For those who have found their way into the works masterful composition it is a thing of beauty. When I first began studying music I was a Mozart and Bach fan. The ‘modern’ art music was not for me… But, through time and guidance of some of the most amazing musicians, my San Diego State music professors, I have learned to appreciate and yes even enjoy, ‘modern’ music.
To really explore the piece, I bought the score back in college so I could immerse myself, visually and aurally, inside the compositional and instrumentation processes Stravinsky employed. Try following the notes on the video below, the piece’s first section.
You have to laugh a little at what in art is called ‘modern,’ because most of it is extremely old. The 20th Century may well go down as the “Modern Era,” for hundreds of years to come. Like the 14th Century is known as ‘Ars Nova,’ or new art.
‘Modern,’ music may never be fully encompassed by humans. Perhaps it lies just out of our centered humanness and can only be appreciated and enjoyed by those who seek to study and look for it’s beauty.
I find myself extremely lucky to be able to love music, such as, the “Rite of Spring,” with all its complexities both in sonority and compositional structure and then listen to a 3 chord AC/DC hard rock song and be moved by both.
The part of the “Rite of Spring,” that has always moved me most both sonically and compositionally starts at approximately 7:45 on the video below. Specifically at 7:56 through the 10:30 mark, although the WHOLE piece is a true masterpiece!
In the past, I have written about relaxing music and what makes it relaxing. The words that I come up with over and over again are spacing and open-ness. Most of my previous posts focused on these traits in regards to the harmonies(chords) and rhythms.
In ‘Un Bal,’ Berlioz uses another technique in addition to these, orchestration. One of my favorite aspects of composing and listening to music is that of orchestration. The combination of instruments and timbres(sounds). When in the hands of a master, I believe, that even inferior melodic/harmonic music can be made great.
Berlioz often uses sparse groups of instruments including solos. When the music does get more dramatic he tends to feature the strings and woodwinds over the heavier brass timbres, of the later Romantics such as Mahler and Wagner. The use of a harp adds to the dulcet nature of the piece.
The creator of the embedded video supplies some great commentary. For those of you trying to gain insights into classical music make sure you check out their other videos, as well.