Sunday, January 18, 2015

Musical Monday - Classical, Country, Popular ---? Which is Best?

When I was a beginning music teacher in schools, I was certain that "rock" music was of no use whatsoever.  It didn't take me long to realize in studying the rock music genre that it had roots in jazz and rhythm and blues which of course came from folk music in various countries.  I taught a double course on this genre and we all learned so much.  The biggest learning curve was mine in not eschewing any one type of music.  Each genre has something for everyone.

Some choirs choose to sing a specific type of music.  This means that they become rather good at that genre to be sure.  I would think that one would have to be very creative to get people to come to concerts year after year with a single genre.  I know there is a plethora of music out there but I would find it hard to just stay with one as so much fascinates me.

What did I learn from my foray into the rock scene?
1. Variety - As in anything there is music that is well written and some that is rather shoddy in that there might be little of musical interest or challenge.  This isn't a bad thing except if it is all the time.  Did you know that there are rock songs NOT written in 4/4 time?

2. Technology - As we cruised through the rock music listening and singing, we found that the early rock music was distinguished by the simple technology of recording in the early days.  The changes wrought by The Beach Boys, Jimmy Hendrix for instance as well as the changes from analogue to digital etc. have made music recording very different.

3. Crossover - Rock musicians often sing country and country musicians sing rock.  There is "rock-a-billy" style music and popular mixed with them all.  Classical bits find there way into many pieces.  The Beatles were some of the first to use different instruments not used before.

This is but the tip of the iceberg that is musical genres.  As I head off to Nashville for a conference next week, I am excited to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the RCA recording studio.  I have several opportunities to attend music venues one of which is the Grand Ole Opry at the Rymer.  The older I get the more I realize that there is something to be learned from every piece of music and that we must NEVER use the word "like" when referring to music as it closes our minds to possibilities.  Let's make it our intention to APPRECIATE everything musical that comes our way.

You may surprise yourself and find that there is something really great in a new genre you didn't take time to appreciate before.  If madrigals are your thing, great!  Just be certain to broaden your horizons and listen to it all.  It will bring a new verve to all you do musically.  Really, I know that first hand.

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