Music of the Other

Hate music

There will always be music that we don’t like, or like less then then the music that we enjoy listening to.  So how can we understand what it is in the music that we like or don’t like? How we can communicate this to other people?  And more importantly, how can we move beyond being a biased listener?  Are there things that we can do to appreciate a type of music that might otherwise consider “bad music” or “not my taste”?  BLOG POST: Submit a response to this Blog Post by replying belowTell us about a style of music that you don’t like. Rack your memory bank, and pull out some reasons why you might not like this music based on your experiences with that style of music.  Then talk about what it is that you don’t understand about the music or people who listen to that music? Use some of the readings, guiding questions, and our conversations in class to connect to your thoughts about this music, and reasons why you might not enjoy it.   I would also like to see that you read what other students have written about, and respond to one other comment.  In your response, maybe find someone you disagree with, and tell them your perspective, and why you might like the music that they don’t like, and why you like it. (Due 5/15)

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Music & Story

What's the Story There is some controversy in the Music world if story is an important aspect of music.  When we think of story, we might think of childhood fairytales, or maybe a book we have to read, or have read.  Or maybe it is a humorous retelling of a story of something a friend did unintentionally.  Regardless of what the story may be, there are many ways to tell it.  Sure you could put it in words.  You could write it, or read it, or say it, or see it, or could you play it?

In band this year we have been exploring the relationships that music may have with music. I know when I hear music, especially instrumental music, I see images.   Maybe this is because I have an infatuation with movies and music in those movies. Or maybe it is because I like to interpret the world through stories?  Maybe it is because I am a visual learner?  Or maybe I’m just crazy and no one else sees images with music.

In any case, with this post, we have had many learning experiences in class, and you have just done some reading about how music and stories work together. With this Blog post I would like you to reflect on some of this learning.  What things interest you about what we have learned this year?  What did you learn from the readings?  What pieces are your choosing to do your research on?  Without doing any of this research, what do you know about the pieces, and what stories do you hear with these pieces?  Remember you need to choose 1 piece of your own choosing by any band or artist, and one piece that we have done in band this year.    Give us a synopsis of what the stories are without doing your research, and what the similarities between the pieces are.





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Hearing Local: Maine Music & Musicians

Fogcutters Big Band at the State Theater with local Rapper Spose

Fogcutters Big Band at the State Theater with local Rapper Spose

I remember my high school days well, and other then my parents and their musicians friends who were local musicians, I don’t really remember many other groups. I do remember when I heard about Rustic Overtones from a friend who performed one of their pieces for a lip sync competition at school, and won.

In college I had the opportunity to meet and play with a lot of younger musicians, who were trying to find their way into the local music scene and make a way as a musician in Maine, which as you might expect, is rather difficult to do. Since that time though, I have come to realize how many musicians are in Maine, and making a vibrant and interesting music scene in our state.  From Reggae groups to cover bands to grunge to Jazz groups, the state has a lot to offer for music, and it is a vital part of the economy and our spirits.

Every semester I try to teach students in all music classes about how music plays a role in our life, and we try to dig a bit deeper to think about all the facets about what makes this Music so important.

To start thinking about local musicians and music, (1) write a blog post below about what you know about the maine music scene, and discuss what live music you may have seen in Maine, and how much of it may have been performed by local musicians. Also talk about why you think it is or isn’t important to support the local music scene, and why the local music scene may be important to the community. If you know about any local bands or musicians, talk about them in your post, and tell us what you know without doing any research.  (2) I would also like to see that you have read other people’s posts, and respond to them with something that you might know about someone’s post or something that might disagree with them about.  Make this appropriate comments that illustrate that you read their post, and thought about it.  (Due 5/17)

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Colliding Sounds-Genres and Styles

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 11.00.25 AMSometimes we get so wrapped up in listening to the music we like that we forget that there is long historical story from which the music came to be.  The story did not start with that band or artist, or even within the artist’s lifetime.  There were inspirations and a lineage of sound to help that artist develop.  We forget that there may not have been that song we so love, if it were not for the history of expression where it came from. We have seen this in the context of Jazz in the New Orleans tradition, but I would like to see you dig into the music you love to make connections to the past, and how that sound developed.  To start thinking about the process of how sounds collide to create new genres and artists, write a blog post to posted as indicated by Mr. Sturtevant about what you know about a specific genre, and discuss what you know about that genre, and how it relates to genres of the past.  You may choose to focus on one band or artist that you enjoy, and possibly focus on one song or album and tell us what you know about how the song is connected to sounds of the past.  (Due 12/10)

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Music Project: “I Feel Good!- Na Na Na Na Na Na Na”

So music can actually make you feel good?  Really?  And playing music can too? Really?  Even Bayou Breakdown?  Ok,  maybe not that, or maybe for a few people.  However, music seems to have some sort of power to effect us, both when we are playing it, and when we listen to it.  We will be learning about some of the reasons that music effects us this way, and in particular we will be looking at why some music just makes us feel good.   After a bad day or a break-up, or when something happens in the world that just makes people down, how does certain types of music take us from these depths of the sea to the peak of the mountains?

As the 19th century jewish poet Berthold Auerbach said, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Please post a reply to this about why you think music has these effects on us?  Have you ever listened to something that made you feel just plain good?  What was it, and why do you think that music can have that power?

What about playing music?  Do you like playing music?  Does it help get you through some other emotions when you play? Why are you in band?  Does playing in music in band help you get through the rest of your school day? Why? If you play other instruments outside of school, talk about why this might bring you “joy”?

Remember, talking to other people’s posts are encouraged, and though no specified length is given, you should take your time to think this through when answering, and illustrate that you have thought about this concept in your post. You also do not have to any research with this post, you are really just starting to think through your thoughts on this subject.

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Music Machine

We are looking at some of the inner workings of the Music Industry in class, and we had a good discussion in class on November 30 surrounding what we have learned so far, and our particular views.  There were some differing viewpoints, and that makes for some good discussion.  This post will help us continue this discussion letting us share with each other what we are researching for a topic, and how we can share ideas and opinions with each other on what we are finding.

Here is the Post Discussion topic:

  • Sometimes we get so wrapped up in listening to the music we like that we forget that there is a process that goes into making the music we are listening to.  We also all have different ways we find the music that we like, and this is changing how the ‘music machine’ or the music industry works.  To start thinking about the process of how we discover music, and what happens on the inside of this machine to get that music to us, write a blog post to posted on this Blog as indicated by Mr. Sturtevant about what you know about the process of how music starts from an idea to where it becomes a reality that we can experience and share with each other.  Focus on one band or artist that you enjoy, and possibly focus on one song or album and tell us what you know about how it came to be in your ears and on your mind.  (Due 12/2)
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