Thursday, September 29, 2011

History of Ear Training

Ear Training is a really old fashion in music. For what we know, ear training is as old as music itself. You realize of course, that in any kind of musical language, in any kind of musical performance, any musician who was to participate in a ritual or in a secular playing, would have to have his ears checked first. That is the very nature of ear training, to be in touch with you artistic side, and be able to understand and reproduce every aspect of music you hear in a heartbeat.
Certainly, I wasn't able to understand that when I was littler. The more money I made, the more money I spent, and I was always trying to catch the bus. Then, being on a bus, I saw a little sign that wrote something about ear training. And in that moment I knew what I wanted to become. I started my career in sign nailing two years ago. But I never forgot that sign about something to do with music, apparently. People were telling me that music comes with a handbook and you have to read it, and that this handbook was training your ear. Nevertheless, I never got into the musical industry. I just sat there, nailing signs.
The next point of this article, is to ensure that you are not going to be a competitor of mine. You see, music is a wonderful universe of sounds, and you should try to be a part of that universe, not come into the sign-nailing business and destroy me! Perfect pitch is also important! Many people with relative pitch don't understand what it's about, but it's quite simple alright. Perfect pitch ensures that you are able to withstand four hundred kilometres an hour without dropping your hat. It's not as easy as it sounds. You see a musical profession is not without its risks. You have to break some eggs if you want to make a modern symphony. Yes, they do that.
Furthermore, the more you get yourself involved in ear training, the more you will understand that beautiful world that is music. It may paralyse you with its beauty, but even if you can't walk ever again, like Joe, you will be happy that your musical friends will be there to support your back.
One of the most important things in music, is that you understand its form. Form, you see, is the structure and the shape of the entire piece. Nobody can stand not understanding that, and that is why you have to learn it so badly. Every time someone in the street will ask you "Hey, can you tell me what kind of structure this piece uses?" you will be like "Er... I don't know. Why don't you ask that guy over there?". That is not cool!
So, my advice is: get out there, try to find a good tutor to start your musical life with, and not necessarily in a romantic relationship, but more of a professional one. Good luck with your musical career, and don't ruin my business.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Baroque Music

The Baroque period started approximately at the 1600s. Of course, there's neither a way to know the exact date, nor it exists. Because musical periods didn't change like a clock that goes from 11.59 to 12.00, but rather flowed one into the another, and they weren't even conceived as specific periods until many years had passed and they could name them and separate them, for the shake of historic study. But it has to be understood, that periods are just different perceptions of music, that mingle into each other, and what really separates them is the perception towards music itself.
Baroque Music was of course a more general movement of art, and as always, music was the last one to "catch wind". Baroque means more or less "rough pearl", and it's referring to the unwashed beauty that lied behind that art, which was certainly mortal, and therefore not beautiful and perfect, according to the point of view of that time.
The most prominent of the baroque composers was, as I'm sure you know, Johann Sebastian Bach. Other famous composers of that time were George Friedrich Handel, Claudio Monteverdi, Johann Pachelbel, Antonio Vivaldi, Tomasso Albinoni, and others.
Although music in that time was very developed in harmonic progression, harmony in music was not used much out of context. Harmony still existed as a conclusion through counterpoint, as a mean of a counterpoint pleasant to the ear. Baroque composers tried a lot to find new methods to develop harmony even more, because they weren't as much interested in the development of form, which we 're going to see in classical music. We have to admit though, that even if these composers didn't give as much attention to harmony as to counterpoint, that they evolved harmony a lot, since renaissance, and tat harmonic progression was starting to be really present in music.
The end of this period is linked to Johann Sebastian Bach's death, in 1785. Of course, as we said, the periods mingle together, and long before Bach's death, there were many composers that looked at music differently, and were preparing the world for a new age of music. However, there are numerous composers, that are being played until the present day with the same passion as three hundred years ago. That kind of power in some people's music is found in every musical age of the world, and every time differently expressed.
Perhaps the most important factor as to how to determine the quality of the music of one composer, is time. When you look at a piece of music that has been around for four hundred years, you know his composer is good! But that means that people decide what music is worth listening to, and what not. That is certainly the most important thing, and not highly literate music, which is quite clearly for the few who can understand it, and maybe not even them.
Finally, you can be sure, that whatever music from Baroque is kept alive until today, is certainly worth listening to. Twelve generations can't be wrong!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Music History: Introduction

The History of Music is a long, complicated, and beautiful tale. A most interesting one, too. This is in introductory article, that will try to get you up to speed.
The first things we know about the music history, are, of course, as old as the idea of humanity itself. People had always the need of music, and music had always the need of people. We can't exactly tell how it started, because, as far as we are concerned, it always existed in some form.
Usually the first era taught in music history, is ancient Greek music, and medieval music. But these musical eras are way past us, and it's really difficult to relate to them. So we 're going to talk more about more recent eras
Starting with the musical period or Renaissance. Personally, my favorite. One of the main composers of that era is Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. His style, like music was in a more general way in that time, was mainly counterpoint. Harmonic progressions were not yet developed logically that early in history. It all started of course, with the human voice: singing! The development of singing, and, of course, the development of polyphonic singing, was slowly taking its place into the musical world.
Then along came the Baroque period. Were counterpoint had its rightful place in music, in the hands of Johann Sebastian Bach, and Claudio Monteverdi, and many other elegant composers. The Baroque period is one of the favorite of many many musicians across the world, like me. And with a right mind, because that time's music was heavenly!
The next step, as one would imagine, was the development of harmony, and the establishment of logical harmonic progressions. A musical language morality, if you will. That happened in the Classical era. Of course there is a reason it's called Classical. We will talk about that later. The most elegant composers of this period were Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven, was also the passing point, in a way, to the next musical era:
The Romantic! There we have even more extended research of the harmony, and of course the musical form. With the most known composers being Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Ferenc List, and many others. That music focuses especially into extended mood changing and a sense of adventure and deep feelings. Although, even with music being even more explored and developed, the public which it attracted was becoming smaller by the day. And that is because it gradually passed the understanding capabilities of the common man, without any music training.
That left the Classical period being the most prominent in our ears, and that's the reason it's called Classical. Because, even today, so many years after it, the common man's ear is still conquered by that music, probably because it was the last major literature of music, that he could understand pretty good.
Nowadays people that are interested in contemporary music, are a very special and select group, consisted 99% of musicians. No man with no music training can understand contemporary music, and that's a shame.