Re: Music Appreciation teaching program ??

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Hi Tim;

The thread has turned a bit OT.  That's OK by me.  It lets me get a few
things about music off my chest.

On Mon, 2009-09-21 at 04:38 +0930, Tim wrote:
> Tim:

> That was the title to a program on our (Australian) ABC, Classic FM
> station:  

Found the above radio program.  For some reason the volume is coming
extremely faintly through RhythmBox.  I don't need help yet.  I am not
done fiddling.

> Though classical music
> isn't always to the taste of everybody, but the principles behind it are
> the underpinning of all other music types, as well.  And it's amusing,
> at times, to find out how some hard core rock artist has some very
> formal classical training in their past.

At my age I find I like "oldies but goodies" of the late 50's and early
60's.  That probably has more to do with nostalgia for my youth and
dating years, than a real appreciation of the music.  I can't remember
the name of a song or an artist until the announcer reminds me.  But,
after a couple of bars the name of the girl(s) I was dating at the time
comes instantly to mind.

As I have grown older, I have noticed that some particularly poignant
points in my life have been marked by some very strange (for me)
classical music.

The name of those classical pieces I can quite clearly keep in mind, but
again I have to hear a couple of bars (a second or two) to actually
recognize the music.  Quite often, though I can recognize name and
music, I have a hard time joining the two.

> In this day and age of world-wide internet radio, there must be others,
> and one's covering the styles of music that interests you.

Yes.  I have a classical radio station on now playing softly in the
background.  To explain what I am after, as I sit here, only a few
adjectives or adverbs spring to mind that I use to describe
noise/sound/music and they are:

loud, soft, higher, lower, tolerable, Gawd awful and -ish.

I do hear gentle intimations that a lot more is going on in music and
sound than that limited vocabulary can cover.

> I, too, like to know a bit more about what I'm listening to,
> particularly the unfamiliar stuff.  Some of the interview shows are good
> for that, where a composer, conductor, musician, etc., talks about their
> art, rather than themselves.
> >> but you end with what seems like a question related to playing music,
> >> yourself.  You might want to clarify your wants
> > The very thought of me trying to learn to play music would frighten my
> > friends and neighbours and send the dog running from the house in
> > sheer panic.
> You couldn't possibly be any worse than what passes for so-called
> "popular" music, these days...

Yes I could.  Bill's skill at singing, dancing or whatever has always
been a great source of mirth for family and friends.  In fact,  the
inability to hold a tune has had benefits.  I have managed to avoid
Sunday morning Church Services for most of my life by threatening to
sing the hymns.

> > No, what I was looking for was something in the way of music
> > appreciation. I was trying to indicate I wanted something that would
> > let me hear what different musical terms meant as well as offer an
> > introduction to different kinds of music.
> To me, the term "music appreciation" always conjures up an image of
> long-haired amateur music critiques, professing to be fans, but behaving
> otherwise...  ;-)  Haughtily condemning the performance of something
> over some trivial point, using jargon they've heard, but don't
> understand, and couldn't possibly do themselves.  ;-)  Though, at its
> most basic level, the term just means music lover.

I have spent a life time dedicated to pricking the balloons of those
kind of pompous elites -- mentally I just call them "A** H*les".  Here I
meant 'appreciation' in the ordinary sense of 'understanding the value
of something'.

In this I agree completely with Les.  Often jargon and formal training
has the side benefit to "Professionals" of making their knowledge
special and inaccessible to others. Let me tell you, there is a large
market for people who translate the language of specialized worlds into
plain language understandable by everyone. 

Which brings me around to what I was hoping to find.

It seems to me that music can be thought as, much like computers, having
abstraction layers.

1) The physics and physiology of noise or sound or music;
2) The basic components of listening; rhythm, timbre, pitch and tones;
3) The language of composition; chords, scales, harmonics and/or
4) The application of all of the above to types (classical, rock'n roll,
jazz etc.), varieties of music within the types (classical can be a
string quartet, a concerto, an opera etc.), the parts of the types or
varieties, overture, libretto, etc.

I probably have misplaced much of the above -- but you get the idea.
That misplacement is one of the things I am trying to correct.

I was hoping there was a learning program that would help me travel up
and down the music abstraction layers.  Something that would produce the
sound aspect I wanted to learn -- with lots of examples.  And for
someone like me who actually has trouble hearing the differences, lots
of drill.

>From the comments on this thread, all of you seem to have some musical
talent and therefore can start in the middle, as it were, and expect
others to know what you are talking about.  Have mercy on those of us
who have no musical talent at all.

Regards Bill
Fedora 11, Gnome 2.26.3
Evo.2.26.3, Emacs 23.1.1

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