What is Music? Answer: ______________________________ Some people say music is “pitch in time.” Some say “sounds sung by voices or played on musical instruments.” Some people say music is “architectural time.” Some say “music is the language of the emotions.” I believe that music is a language, a code that conveys emotional meaning. Can you make one perfect sound?
Who hasn’t wondered if there is a better way to represent music. The arcane and archaic staff, with all its idiosyncrasies, has always given me trouble. It doesn’t seem much like music to me. I can’t hear it!
I’ve tried the modern notations. The squiggly lines, the “midi box” representational method. The guitar tablature. They all seem ridiculous!
John Cage wrote a wonderful book called “Notations.” It’s not presently in print. It’s just a compilation of the notations of an array of composers from John Lennon done in crayon to intense modern notations that look way too intricate to ever possibly play. None of it seems like music to me.
Music can be heard but not seen. I’ve been told “people hear what they see.” Video seems to be the future of music that has evolved from the MTV model of kewelness. There has to be a better way. A better future for music. An idea that contains movement but doesn’t need to show it with a picture. Something that arises out of a thought experiment.
To me, how the musicians look when they play has a profound influence on the sound of the music. But bringing in dancing girls and cars and nakedness seems way too formulaic. Catering to the lowest elements in human nature. Those things don’t really fall into the realm of “inspiring”. Music is meant to inspire. It is meant to contain some element of mystery and the sublime. Back to the kitchen…
So Bill Smith, a great jazz piano player was opening up with the Steve Watson Trio at the Hotel Indigo in Riverhead for the first weekend of Winterfest on Long Island’s East End. A terrible snowstorm hit and the gig was canceled. Bill happened to be at the hotel anyway so he sat down at the piano and played a few notes to see how the piano sounded. A few people in the lobby stopped to listen and smiled so Bill decided to finish the tune. One of the day managers of the hotel came over to Bill and said, “Excuse me, this piano is for professionals only. ” Bill said “excuse me”, stopped playing and left.
What is Jazz?
i think i have the right to ask the question.
According to Wikipedia:
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the Southern United States.
It uses blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and the swung note.
Jazz is considered difficult to define…
In April of 1970, 42 years ago, Miles Davis released Bitches Brew.
On that album, Davis rejected traditional jazz rhythms in favor of a looser, rock-influenced improvisational style.
At that point was he no longer playing Jazz?
or had the definition of jazz changed?
According to Wikipedia:
In a 1988 interview, trombonist J. J. Johnson said, “Jazz is restless. It won’t stay put and it never will”.