“Music was my first love
And it will be my last
Music of the future
And music of the past
To live without my music
Would be impossible to do
In this world of troubles
My music pulls me through”
- Music is not a race like winning the marathon, 100 meters et al
- Music is not about success, who was first, how it is classified
- Music is not about the ‘best’
- Music *is* a collection of notes, and variations of patterns and rhythms and timbers and tones and and and …. that hits an individual in a different way
- Music is a language with rules like mathematics and then suggestions and abilities to change and move things around – to see what happens – just like maths
- Music is at once science AND art
- Music is about emotion and feeling and sensory engagement
- Music is about creativity and living
Genre’s are meaningless
- think of ballad’s by metal groups,
- think of pop music produced by classically trained musicians
- think of rock groups ripping off 20s blues musicians
- think of C and W with rhythms and riffs that emerge from the same blues
- think of jazz emerging from blues and then jazz emerging from ‘classical’ ‘ ‘folk’ spanish music
- think of Roger Waters and Paul McCartney and others attempting to write opera
- think of Tommy – a rock opera – but what is ‘opera’
Wikipedia : Opera (English plural: operas; Italian plural: opere) is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text (called a libretto) and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting.
Tommy wasn’t the first Rock Opera – it was the first to hit mainstream attention.
It was also dubbed a Rock Opera before it was delivered in a ‘theatrical setting’.
Unlike (say) The Wall which – from inception – was delivered in ‘theatrical settings’ – albeit at venues like Earl’s Court and LA’s Sports Arena – not exactly ‘theatres’.
And remember how everybody waxed lyrical over Sergeant Pepper’s in 1967. Great album. Definitely a shift for the ‘fab four’ – but you only have to look around at the London music scene at the time to understand how they were influenced ….. even listen to some of the lesser known bands who released debuts in that year … but they were the Beatles – and they got the headlines.
And I do not want to take anything away from what the Beatles did – I truly don’t – but I do want people to understand music and its history in context. ‘We’ don’t. ‘We’ barely understand anything about the music, the business, how hard these people work to deliver what they do. And instead we keep flocking to what the experts say is ‘the stuff’ you should be listening to.
The chances are if you are reading this – you aren’t in that category BTW. And that is the problem. How do people who ‘GET’ this make the 99% ‘get it’.
And why do I care ?
All the racing and winning and charts is stuff that has been produced by the publishing industry to justify their existence – WITHOUT attention to the musicians. And it still goes on. If they really cared about who is ‘winning’ then why were downloads only recently counted as ‘valid’. Why can’t bands count the disks they sell at their concerts as part of their count ? And ‘classifications’ helps the music industry package up and sell it. And anyway how do you make a judgement call on whether a beautiful new voice singing a modern cover of an old Billie Holiday tune is better or worse than a brand new instrumental released by an ex member of Yes. You can’t. You shouldn’t. They are different.
Popular music is based on exactly that. What is POPULAR ? Back in the day – popular was who bought the most – not which was requested the most – go figure.
And we (the people) have been shaped accordingly by that industry – and it is sickening. Because, it is the same as it ever was. The banality of music coming across the airwaves is because most of humanity don’t get it.
Sit in audiences and listen to the cover bands and the requests made by people. “Can you play any Willie Nelson” … “sure the one I JUST played was a Willie Nelson – didn’t you know that – IDIOT !! ”
Don’t get me started. And the crap continues. And it is crap.
Let’s wake up and LISTEN.
Let’s PAY ATTENTION
Let’s STOP talking about winning.
Let’s just support ALL MUSICIANS. It is tough what they do. And though I don’t’ LIKE some of the music I hear – I do listen and try it out. I do try to stop myself from being too critical – because I know what it takes to put that stuff together and get up on a stage and perform and sing your heart out and expose yourself. I could never do that.
And seriously – despite what the ‘airwaves’ will have you believe there is some AMAZING modern music out there – we don’t have to keep listening to bad scratchy renditions of music from our youth – sure, its fun – but seriously people – you do not have to live there and keep telling me that
… unless you want to read this BRILLIANT post from my friend and Just Good Music Cofounder John Parker (the other one was Robert Golladay) …. 10 years ago this year. It is different – but relates. And one reason it relates is that John out of so many people I know that are drawn to music is one of the few that does NOT have a total match on the music I love, but still understands music (and me) well enough to bring things to my attention that have bypassed me – but he STILL discovers it – finds it and shares it. Because he is engaged. As he wrote in an email to me just yesterday :
If I understand ….
… your musical tastes at all, then I have to ask, do you know the group This Will Destroy You?
Now THAT is what it’s about (John’s share – not (necessarily) the band.
Apologies for the wandering nature of this post. Something just hit me this afternoon, and I wanted to get it off my chest. Thanks for your attention – and if you have any comments – please add them below. I am going to be promoting this post and engaging a few more ideas as I consolidate it all into more structured thought.