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Thread: Musical Musings

  1. #21
    Founder & Hero Uska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silinteresting View Post
    first of cudos to you for a nice thread.

    i listen to a wide, very wide, selection of music. there are some good
    pieces in all types of music from opera and clasical to drum and base,
    but for me personaly the music that moves me the most is delta blues.

    the stories, the pain and suffering told in the songs i listen to is
    amazing, well for me anyway.

    most people i know think its kind of wierd that a 50ish year old
    white boy from south england listens to the sounds of the delta
    but if it moves you it moves you.

    i just recently recieved a 8 track of songs from the chain gangs of the
    deep south and drove my familt nuts listening to it over and over. it is
    amazing.

    anyway enough of my ramblings, nice thread and may the music you listen
    to move you in the same way mine does.

    your friend sil
    Hey I love the old blues I count myself lucky that I got to see John Lee Hooker before he passed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSnQ0bdHW0s

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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by silinteresting View Post

    most people i know think its kind of wierd that a 50ish year old
    white boy from south england listens to the sounds of the delta
    but if it moves you it moves you.
    Not to me, I love the blues.

    This one to me was very special, you think you are wierd being 50 white and into the blues, try being 8 and explaining THIS to your friends!

    Of course it helps if one of your friends happens to be the great blues legend Buddy Guy, and your name is Quinn Sullivan.

    For ANY blues fan who hasnt seen and heard this, its awe inspiring.



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  3. #23
    Community Member Glad's Avatar
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    Hi all

    Since it's Summer and I'm in good mood I will share with you my House C, can't share, it moves me play list

    First song is for all monks out there




    And What did he say album is just awesome
    Last edited by Glad; 07-20-2014 at 04:09 PM.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glad View Post
    First song is for all monks out there
    The loneliest paladin uses a shield to eat ice cream.

    Real monk music:


    Quote Originally Posted by LeslieWest_GuitarGod View Post
    This one to me was very special, you think you are wierd being 50 white and into the blues, try being 8 and explaining THIS to your friends!
    Pretty amazing. Just goes to show you, you have to teach children young before they can be prejudiced by the culture around them, whether it's about music or about race.

    Quote Originally Posted by dunklezhan View Post
    <stuff>
    Funny, The Planets was one of the first CDs of art music I ever bought. I think it was an old Mercury Living Presence recording. "Jupiter" was one of the bits that the school band played. Thanks for mentioning comedy; that gives me some ideas to research for future posts. Note to self, Anna Russell, Victor Borge, Igudesman and Joo, PDQ Bach, Beethoven play-by-play.

    The Wagner issue is a thorny one... I think a few years ago, Wagner was performed for the first time in Israel, and there was some controversy about it, though other composers who were anti-Semitic (Chopin was apparently such) were never banned. To paraphrase one radio host I heard long ago, the only solution is to separate the composer from the music. If you listen to Wagner's music, so much of it is about love, not hate; thus we must celebrate the music and condemn the man. I do wish he'd been less verbose though. I'm hoping to see Die Meistersinger next year during the Met broadcasts, and I'm simultaneously dreading it and looking forward to it.

    My philosophy on analysing music is that if that floats your boat, go ahead. As I said in my first post, I am no musician and can't take a piece apart an explain everything that's going on. But enjoying music doesn't have to be an intellectual activity (well, unless your name is Schoenberg or Cage ). Bach, for example, wrote very complicated melodies with too many voices for me to keep in my head while listening. Yet despite the obvious cerebral qualities of the music, the emotion shines through--though this may depend on the interpreter (I can't stand Glenn Gould, but adore Angela Hewitt).
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  5. #25
    Community Member Glad's Avatar
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    Ty. Thal you always put me On fire

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glad View Post
    Ty. Thal you always put me On fire
    I prefer jazz standards as opposed to improvised (I'm guessing that video was improv) since in terms of music I prefer somewhat repeatable experiences rather than one-time-only affairs (unless you're sneaky and record it ). But jazz musicians improvising at light speed is one of the few things that impress me as much as witnessing classical musicians flawlessly executing a complicated score together.

    Improv is less common in classical spheres, but not unknown. Different performers can ornament the melody differently. Concertos often have a "cadenza" section which allow a soloist to insert their own original material, though most will use famous cadenzas by composers or performers of old.

    Gabriela Montero is probably the best-known classical improvisor today. I've been to one of her recitals; she typically does "normal" music in the first half, then in the second half, asks the audience for musical themes and then improvises on them.

    She apparently also improvised an entire accompaniment to the silent film Nosferatu. I'm going to have to check it out when I have 90 minutes to spare.

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  7. #27
    Community Member Glad's Avatar
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    Did you Thal?


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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glad View Post
    Did you Thal?
    He screams more impressively than many operatic sopranos.

    If I turned you into a frog we could always be together.


    I haven't posted any symphonies or Beethoven yet, so let's kill two birds with one stone. Beethoven composed lots of different types of music, from his solo pianos piece (his complete sonatas take up 10 CDs), a large body of chamber music, to concertos and his nine symphonies and an opera. The general public knows him for his Fifth (dun-dun-dun duuuuuun!) and Ninth (Ode to Joy) symphonies. I myself prefer the Sixth and Seventh.

    The second movement to the Seventh is my favourite bit of the Beethoven symphonies. It starts with a passing similarity to the opening of the Fifth, with a repetitive rhythm and tone, but the two passages soon diverge. Whereas the Fifth is aggressive and brisk, the main theme of the movement posted here is funereal. I like the way Beethoven builds on such a simple start, slowly layering on variation and volume.

    If you're a film buff, I believe this movement was used recently in The King's Speech, though I've yet to see it myself.

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  9. #29
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    Joseph Haydn was a composer with both feet firmly in the Classical era. He was another of those people whose musical ideas flowed so freely that his output dwarfs (halflings?) those of many other composers. Last I heard, there was some debate about how much he really wrote, but the general consensus is that he wrote over 100 symphonies, 60 string quartets, 40 piano trios, a dozen operas, and a large body of concertos as well as solo piano works. Much of this work was done as the "house composer" of a noble family, so rich they retained an orchestra for their personal entertainment.

    (Haydn was also one of Beethoven's teachers. There's a really bad and famous joke: "Why couldn't Beethoven find his teacher? Because he was Haydn...")

    Haydn is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and the "Father of the String Quartet" for his output in these musical forms. Since I posted a symphonic movement last week, I thought a string quartet would hit the spot this week. Aficionados of the quartet form often remark that it's like listening to a lively conversation; it's really easy to imagine four friends joking with each other in this movement. Each of the four movements has its charms, but the last really illustrates Haydn's wit and good humour.
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  10. #30
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  11. #31
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    Funny, I used to hear Béla Fleck all the time on the radio until the station changed formats. I think I've seen him live once.

    He does a nice version of the famous movement from Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as well.

    His arrangement for banjo doesn't sound weird at all to me, since the first time I heard it was in a very electronic form for the Nintendo Gameboy music for Dr. Franken. The main adventure music is the Moonlight and the title music is from Bach's first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier. To this day, I can't hear one piece without thinking of the other, even though they are by different composers in different eras.
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  12. #32

    Default Ole Blue Eyes - Mack the Knife

    When it comes to class, First Class, Frank Sinatra represents the best of a bygone era of crooners. "Connected" to more dangerous folks than any modern day rap "star", Sinatra somehow crossed over to many genres, many age groups. This was my parents music. HOWEVER, this man's stage presence is crystal clear, his delivery, flawless.

    I like the way he tackles this song.

    Last edited by LeslieWest_GuitarGod; 08-03-2014 at 10:47 PM.


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  13. #33
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    "Mack the Knife" is generally sung by a man, but for sheer organised chaos, I've heard no better version than the live recording of Ella Fitzgerald. The story goes that she forgot the lyrics in the middle, and started to make up verses on the spot.



    I've never heard her sing with less than a smile in her voice.
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  14. #34
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    I've been at this for three months now, posting examples of the art music of the West, mostly because that's what I know and like. But of course, there is an entire world outside of the West, and since summer is traditionally the season of folk music festivals, I thought it'd be fun to have a gander at the art music of different cultures. "Ethnic" food is very popular among western countries, and there's no reason, with a bit of exposure, people could acquire an ear for ethnic music as well.

    I was lucky enough to listen for several years to a public radio station which played a wide range of genres... the Western art music stuff I've been talking about, musical theatre/Broadway, jazz, contemporary works, and world music. It was through the radio that music of the Indian subcontinent caught my ear. (Unfortunately, the station changed formats, and the ones I listen to now don't program such a wide range. Until I find some time to make an extended effort, my knowledge of Indian music consists of one CD and a vague awareness of Bollywood.)

    The album with this track is interesting for several reasons... India was a British colony for a while, so you will hear Western influences in this piece (guitar, bass, harmonium--sounds vaguely like an accordion). It's also got instruments you might expect, like tabla drums and s?rang? (I want to say sitar, but the liner notes don't give a sitar credit, and the instrument I'm hearing has more a bowed sound than a plucked one). It has a jazz sensibility to me, in that each instrument seems to get a chance to do a bit of a solo.

    This poem set to music is called "Koi tanhai" (from Urdu, "Loneliness"). English lyrics are posted on the YouTube page.
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  15. #35
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    Off to Cape Verde, a collection of islands off the west coast of Africa. The nation had an unfortunate start... initially uninhabited, it was eventually populated by the Portuguese and displaced Africans during the evils of the slave trade. According to its Wikipedia page, today the country of half a million people is quite an African success story.

    The most famous musical style from Cape Verde is morna, and the most famous practitioner of morna is Cesária Évora. To my layperson's ears, it has a very Latin feel to it.

    I was not aware that she passed away a couple of years ago. It's too bad... she did tour internationally, and I only got to see her once at a multigenre outdoor festival. I was cranky because her set started quite late and the act before her had cranked their amps to the point where it caused physical discomfort. But once she took to the stage, her warm personality and the perfectly amplified sounds of her voice and band floated up to the stars, and it was pure magic.


    Lyrics courtesy of lyricstranslate.com
    Coragem Irmon
    Co bô desanimá ô fidio
    Força de vontoda E tão grande
    Ca sinti boxe
    Pa mode olguem qui disprezá 'bo
    Tudo ta fazê parte
    Di nôs vida Si hojie
    Causa de caode e' riqueza
    Nôs sentimento ja caba
    Tonte gente Envolvido ness riqueza
    Qu' sês coração ta sofrê
    Coragem Irmon Ca bô desanimá ô fidjo
    Força de vontade
    E tão grande Ca sinti boxe
    Pa mode alguem qui dispreza 'bo
    Tudo ta fazê parte Di sós vida
    Ca bô dispreza bô pobreza
    Ca bô destrui bo sentimento
    Pa mô ca tem dinhero nes mundo
    Qu'ta pagá um coração cheio d'amor
    ===============================
    Courage, my brother
    Do not lose heart, my son
    Willpower is so great
    Don't let you down
    Because someone despised you
    It's all part
    Of our life

    If today
    Wealth is the reason for marriage
    Then the sentiments are finishing
    So many people
    Are involved in that business
    That their hearts are suffering

    Don't despise your poverty
    Don't destroy your sentiments
    Because there is no money in the world
    That may pay a heart full of love
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    Klezmer is a Jewish musical tradition. The examples I've heard have generally been performed on more portable instruments like violin, accordion, clarinet, and guitar, with a double bass doing the bass line (though I've seen a cellist do this job, while singing to boot... not every day you see a cellist singing while bowing her instrument!).

    This particular track is instrumental, though lots of klezmer music has vocals as well, usually, I believe, in Yiddish.

    Last edited by Thalone; 03-27-2015 at 09:26 PM. Reason: replaced dead link
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  17. #37
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    La Bottine Souriante is a French-Canadian group of folk musicians. They play on the expected instruments for folk musicians, such as accordion, guitar, and fiddle (What's the difference between a fiddler and a violinist? About $200 and hour.), though some of their later works include brass instruments.

    Their name translates as "the smiling boot," which is apt since their work consists of many toe-tappers, and their "rhythm section" consists of the musicians furiously stomping their boots on stage. Much of their tunes are called reels, which has a Scottish/Irish dance connotation to me, but Canada being a nation of immigrants, it's not surprising at all that cultures have mixed to produce the unique sound of this band.

    When I saw them live they also had a dancer on the stage. I initially found it weird, but lots of pop concerts have dancers, and LBS' music is fundamentally dance music, so in retrospect it makes sense.

    Last edited by Thalone; 08-29-2014 at 09:00 PM. Reason: grammar is hard
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  18. #38
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    Well, Labour Day's past in North America, which means the adults are back to work and the kids are back to school, so my thoughts are a little bit on youth and music today.

    There are lots of "young people" in art music. Many of them, of course, play in high school bands; some go on to higher education in university (many universities put on concerts of chamber music or for full orchestra during school terms). Some countries and states run youth orchestra programs over the summer. Perhaps surprisingly, there is a great tradition of youth in Western art music in Venezuela, the most famous example of which is the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. That orchestra is a product of El Sistema, which is a publicly funded program that provides music education to youth at risk of getting involved in drugs and crime. People like talking up the "social engineering" aspect of the program, but as much as I love music, I'm not 100% convinced it has as big an impact as people imply. Yes, the more things kids have to do, the less likely they are to get into trouble; we should all encourage funding extracurricular arts, sports, tutoring, and the like. But I'm guessing most of the children interested in extracurriculars are not the ones who end up walking the dark side.

    Anyway, one of the SBYOV's signature pieces is "Danzón No. 2" by the Mexican composer Arturo Márquez. No idea what his first dance sounds like, or even if he wrote one, but #2 is quite popular. Thinking about this too much makes my head spin: a piece composed by a Mexican for Western European orchestra performed by kids from Venezuela.


    They perform quite well. Again, I'll stress that I have no expert ear, but I would pay money to see these kids, just like I would the local professional orchestra.

    The SBYOV also does a version of Leonard Berstein's "Mambo" from West Side Story that is more theatre than music, but is worth a see!
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  19. #39
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    A lot of the old art music composers were deeply related to each other in some way. I've mentioned before that Joseph Haydn was Beethoven's teacher. Brahms was helped at the beginning of his career by Robert and Clara Schumann. In turn, Brahms gave Dvorák a helping hand.

    Of course, some composers are related to each other by blood. Felix Mendelssohn's sister Fanny was, by all accounts, a talented composer, but was dissuaded from pursuing a career due to her gender. Mozart's father was a musician and composer. Joseph Haydn had a composer brother named Michael.

    J.S. Bach had over a dozen children, with two wives--one his cousin (ewwwww). Of the ones who survived into adulthood, I'm aware of three who went on to become composers. As revered as Papa Bach is today, in his time, it was his sons' music which was popular, whereas his own was considered out of fashion. It was not until Felix Mendelssohn (I believe) started championing J.S. Bach's work that it gained the prominence it deserves.

    One son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, worked at the court of Frederick the Great, who was himself a gifted flute player. I imagine this sonata was composed for the emperor to perform. It's another of those works for an instrument by itself... it's fascinating how the composer and performer ornament the melody, and in some passages, make it sound like there are two musical lines coming out of the instrument.

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    I heard an excerpt this week from Luigi Boccherini's guitar quintet, and it's been an earbug for several days. Boccherini isn't, to me, one of the major composers in history, but he wrote lots of stuff that gets airplay now and then. In fact, most people can probably recognise the Minuet movement from one of his string quintets, which is used in popular media.

    I found a couple of versions worth a listen on YouTube. The version here is arranged for string quintet, and the musicians tease out a really percussive quality to the music--especially the cellist starting around 2:00.



    It's also popular to use castanets with this movement, and I can't deny that there's a certain something about it in this track.

    I don't think either version is authentic... it's supposed to be a guitar quintet. Nevertheless, the percussion effects really highlight the Spanish influence on this piece.
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