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Essays on Music

Music Before It Was Recorded
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... great Pope Gregory. It signified the religious aspect of the early to middle ages. Chants were performed as a ritual of praying and were very popular in these times. An organum was the earliest sacred music performed in churches and many other religious stages. It could be sung in polyphonic, monophonic, or homophonic. Homophonic consists of a singer and accompaniment. Polyphonic has many contributing factors, singers, instruments, and back up singers. Pallastrena composed many sacred masses of the Renaissance. A mass is a religious gathering of performer that sings praise to the heavens. Acupela is one performer without any accompanying instruments or back u ...

Gangsta Rap: Crime
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... the younger generation. Unfortunately this fact does not comfort someone when listening to Snoop Doggy Dog or Ice Cube talk of sex, violence, beatings, and suicide. Hollywood, the country's Mecca for TV and movies, is another contaminated disaster area. This area has given us hero's such as Clint Eastwood, Humphrey Bogart, and Bruce Willis. Once filmmakers would evoke sexual interests through eye contact or a touch of the leg. Today cinematographers resort to graphic sexual acts and horrific beatings. A poll by Newsweek stated that sexual moderation and fidelity are normal for both married people and for those who live together. In contrast, 7 out of 8 tel ...

How The Beatles Changed Rock Music
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... solo guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums, sitar, and violins. They took advantage of the creative possibilities afforded by the multiple track tape recording. They made rock music into music that were produceable in studios but were not possible to produce in live performances. They were the "Greatest show on Earth." They were the biggest concert draws on Earth. Their music and lyrics changed the lives of a generation and the generation that followed. Rock Ďn' roll was a mixture of blues and country. Its rhythm seemed to have an amazing power over young people that couldn't be understood by anyone born before 1940. John Lennon joined Paul McCartney, ...

Best Of Van Halen: Volume I
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... Van Halenís career. With 11 albums under their belts, itís about time they made a best of album. The album cover is simple and to the point. It consists of Van Halenís signature logo; the VH connected to the circular swooping lines, in the middle. The black background sports the words VAN HALEN BEST OF on the top and VOLUME I on the bottom. There is not any fancy art work or anything. I think Van Halen is strong enough to let their music be the artwork for the album. They took their hit songs from all of their records and put them in order by year. The first song, Evolution, incorporates a monstrous guitar solo by non other than the master himself, Eddie Va ...

Review Of Gyorgi Ligeti's Danse Macarbei
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... sculpted a piece together from bits and pieces of other musical styles: a sort of modern-art approach to music. The violins tuning without a care in the first few moments, the slow mock continuo of the highly dissonant bassoon counterpoint, and the later high pitch of a clarinet all seem to be broad, bold strokes on a canvas of sound. Ideas come floating to the front of the imaginary "stage", and drop back behind newer themes. The percussion also adds considerably to the complexity of the piece in the later minutes, stomping along without any respect for the classical violin or the clarinet's solo theme. A bird drops in, played by the flute, taking the focus aw ...

Louis Armstrong
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... from the top position". (Guiness Book of World Records) And 17 years after his death, "Armstrong's record of "It's a Wonderful World" generated a new young audience when it was featured in the 1987 film 'Good Morning, Vietnam' ". ( Most recent research gives Armstrong's birth as Aug. 4, 1901. He grew up in New Orleans and received his first music instruction in 1913 at a children's home. By 1915 he was sitting in with local bands. "He came north to Chicago to join King Oliver in 1922 and made his first records with Oliver the following April". ( "Though Chicago would be his base for the next 12 years, he went to Ne ...

Pythagorean Philosophy And Its Influence On Musical Instrumentation And Composition
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... the father of music. According to Johnston, it was a much told story that one day the young Pythagoras was passing a blacksmith's shop and his ear was caught by the regular intervals of sounds from the anvil. When he discovered that the hammers were of different weights, it occured to him that the intervals might be related to those weights. Pythagoras was correct. Pythagorean philosophy maintained that all things are numbers. Based on the belief that numbers were the building blocks of everything, Pythagoras began linking numbers and music. Revolutionizing music, Pythagoras' findings generated theorems and standards for musical scales, relationships, instrume ...

A Cappella? Is That How You Spell It?
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... singing without instruments A Capella? Some musical dictionaries indicate that the Italian a cappella is preferred over the Latin a capella (one "p") yet both are technically correct. Why do those dictionaries muddy the waters with two spellings? The phrase was first used in Italian Catholic churches, where Latin was the language for sacred text. Thus, the Latin spelling for 'in the style of the chapel' - a capella - has some historical basis. However, most other musical terms - forte, accelerando, and many others - are Italian in origin. Since the Italian spelling is more consistent with other musical terms, it has been used more f ...

My Trip To Woodstock
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... with my three friends, hot, sweaty and prepared to be in for the best three days of my life. When we reached our campsite, the one we had shown up a day early to claim, we realized that city kids do not know much about setting up a tent. Without even asking the boys behind us set up our tent, asking right away if we were, "from the city". Within moments, we were talking like old friends, sharing horror stories about the drive up, complaining about the heat and anticipating the next few days. Random acts of kindness surrounded us for the whole weekend. I saw a boy climb through the mud to get someone he had just met a bottle of water. As the sun went ...

Audio Format Wars
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... Philips' Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) and Sony's Mini Disc (MD). What exactly is digital recording? The definition is, "An electronic format that is designed to duplicate sound, while affording extremely accurate control over any changes you might wish to make in the recording" (Mclan & Wichman,1988). In simple terms it means that the digital circuitry samples the signal and then reproduces what it has seen. The quality of the recording depends on the sampling rate of the machine. The sampled signal is then encoded to the tape or disc in 1's and 0's, just like a computer disk drive would encode information. However, the biggest advantage of digital reco ...

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