Great Music Should Communicate a Universal Life Essense

Great Music Should Communicate a Universal Life Essense

What makes a piece of music legendary? To quote Richard Wagner, it’s a “universal life essence.” It contains a spirit that saturates the air waves. Great music is a democratic lightning bolt…it reaches into the heart of all men, regardless of their race.

Note: A man can only write a heroic symphony is if he is a hero himself. You cannot separate the GREAT MAN from a GREAT WORK!

By way of example…

Beethoven is beloved in Europe, Asia and Africa. His time and place is irrelevant…for the music is created inside the mind of a genius: a man that worked in a majestic spirit world. In the modern era, we see a similar quality in the music of Elvis Presley or James Brown. The energy is bursting forth in a wave, and people from all walks of life can understand the essence.

To illustrate, I leave you with the “Tristan and Isolde” from Richard Wagner. Note how at 1:35, Wagner describes the relationship between the knight and his maiden. The passionate heights of love are perfectly expressed: we hear two lovers, crashing into the arms of one another. And they are lost in the unfolding waves of bliss…

See Related Article: Song Review: “On the Turning Away” by Pink Floyd

How to Write Music

How to Write Music

When you write music, you should do it with lust and passion. The song should evoke the highest sentiments of the spirit. You should be able to sing the glorious melody on the peak of Mount Everest…the wind blowing through your  hair.

Do away with the “clever” postmodernism. The rearranging of order for the sake of re-arranging. The charlatans that offer a cerebral type of “music talk.” Reject the latest media dilettante: the plastic artist whose “music” is nothing more than the marching orders of a Frankfurt school.

We’re talking about music here: an elevator to the human soul. It’s no small matter, no trinket that’s placed on your mantle as a nifty collection. It’s the reflection of your greatest emotions.

Music is about a personal revolution; not a social one.

The lofty strings, the majestic horns. Humanity stretching forward to witness the grandeur of the moment. The deepest well of human lust…the highest peak of a man’s passion. The greatness of the human experience, embodied in the floating air waves.

That is music!!!

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In Appreciation of “Sleepwalk”

Todd Clayton does a great job on this version of “Sleepwalk”: a classic instrumental tune that conjures up feelings of tranquility, desire and sadness. I remember the first time I heard the song. It transfixed me and I was drawn into its web. The popularity of the song shows that I am not alone in that sentiment.

Enjoy your Saturday, my friends. Remember that God is good…even if the world if often clouded with darkness.

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An Analysis of “Love on the Air” by David Gilmour

An Analysis of “Love on the Air” by David Gilmour

I’ve always been a fan of David Gilmour. When it comes to music, tone is everything. And Gilmour’s tone – both on guitar and vocals – is fantastic. An example of his skill is the solo album, About Face.

In particular, I like “Love on the Air”. Vocally, it has the signature tone of Gilmour: warm and pleasing. And musically, it’s a good example of how to build tension in a song. For example, we get the acoustic guitar first; that’s a good choice, because it’s an effective contrast to the electric guitar that follows. The same theory is applied to the pacing; we get a slower beat in the first part of the song, which makes the latter half more effective when he increases the beats-per-minute.

Faster tones work better when they’re preceded by slower ones. It’s a technique that’s lost on the younger musician; for example, the novice will start a song at a faster pace. He tries to accomplish everything immediately. To use a sexual metaphor, he wants to “blow his load” early on. There’s no foreplay…just an immediate ejaculation. So the chorus is not surprising in any way: all the excitement has already been used up.

Have a listen to the wonderful song…it’s a good piece of writing:

See Related Article: How Woodstock Was Used to Destroy the Traditions of America

On the Greatness of Ronnie Dunn

On the Greatness of Ronnie Dunn

Good voices are a dime a dozen. You can go to a smoky Karaoke bar and listen a good singer, hamming it up to “You Lost That Loving Feeling.” You’ll hear somebody that is in tune, knows the lyrics to a song, and has a pleasing tone.

But let’s be clear—there is a difference between a good singer and a GREAT singer.

A good singer sounds ok in a smoky bar. But a GREAT singer sounds wonderful on a recording. The difference is huge. In the live setting, a voice is amplified and blends into the accompanying instruments. But on a recording, the voice is chiseled down to its fundamental parts—it becomes the resin of the hashish. It’s the steak, alone on a plate without the accompanying vegetables and potatoes.

And it must be different. That’s the key word…DIFFERENT.

Take Ronnie Dunn, for example.

RD2
Ronnie Dunn exhibits the difference between a good voice and a GREAT voice.

What’s notable about his voice is how unique it is. Nobody sounds quite like him. Sure, he’s hitting all the correct notes and annunciating all the words. But there is something more—his voice in UNIQUE.

America has not given full credit to Ronnie Dunn, but that’s another story (see the lamestream media’s addiction to everything anti-heritage). But musicians know better. When that great voice is singing, we know we are listening to God-given talent. There is only one Ronnie Dunn.

Let’s take a listen to one to my favorite tracks…”A Man This Lonely”:

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On Singing Along to the Bee Gees

On Singing Along to the Bee Gees

The Bee Gees were an interesting band. On one hand, they wrote some beautiful songs. On the other hand, no man with a pair of descended testes should sing that high. It’s just wrong on so many levels.

Naturally, I can’t sing along with the Bee Gees (I have a very deep voice). And when I do, I feel like a tranny. But that’s life…we can’t have it all.

That’s why I prefer the instrumental version of their songs. Here’s a great rendition by Tommy Emmanuel, the Australian guitar virtuoso:

See Related Article What’s the Greatest Love Song of All Time?

 

How Rhyme Scheme and Pronouns Are Used to Create a Hit Song

How Rhyme Scheme and Pronouns Are Used to Create a Hit Song

“Troubadour” by George Strait is a hit song: and 34 million views on YouTube will attest to my claim.

When we analyze the lyrics, we see the art of songwriting at work; in particular, the use of effective rhyme scheme and pronoun.

I still feel 25 most of the time.
I still raise a little cain with the boys.
Honky Tonks and pretty women,
But Lord I’m still right there with ’em
Singing above the crowd and the noise…

The rhyme scheme here is AB/AAB. This sets the table for the rest of the song, and he’ll contrast it later against the chorus.  The structure matters. Professional songwriters will never repeat a rhyme scheme in both the verse and chorus.

Secondly, he’s writing in the first person (I/Me/My). Again, we see an important element of songwriting. A hit song is always in the first and second person: it’s me/you and never he/she. Some examples?

  • “Lady…for so many years I thought I’d never find you.”
  • I’ve got you…under my skin”
  • I left my heart in San Francisco.”
  • You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

You get the picture. The pronoun is critical to a hit song…a point that was made by Ralph Murphy, the vice-president of ASCAP. The next time that you hear a hit song, take note of the pronoun.

And now on to the chorus…

Sometimes I feel like Jesse James
Still tryin’ to make a name.
Knowing nothing’s gonna change what I am.
I was a young troubador
When I wrote in on a song.
And I’ll be an old troubador when I’m gone…

Notice that the rhyme scheme has changed: we’re on to AAB/ABB. It’s a subtle change, yet a profound one. The listener can notice a difference (if only on a subconscious level). Also, we’re still in the first person. Introducing a different pronoun would confuse the listener.

Now, we’re on to the second verse…

Well the truth about a mirror…
Is that a damn old mirror…
Don’t really tell the whole truth.
It don’t show what’s deep inside.
Or read between the lines.
And it’s really no reflextion of my youth…

The rhyme scheme here is different than the opening verse. The reason? Very simple…the listener gets bored easily. So the songwriter has to alter the pattern to pique the interest. Logic would dictate that we repeat the rhyme scheme from the first verse. But a talented songwriter knows better. You have to do something different if you don’t have a bridge (which the song doesn’t).

Needless to say, George Strait did not write this song; he knows better. Instead, he hired a pro to do the work for him. And Strait focused on what he does best – singing. Every man is born with a talent. And sometimes the talent involves knowing what you CANNOT do, as opposed to what he can do.

Enjoy the song…and notice how the fundamentals of songwriting come together.

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