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Yukon

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About Yukon

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  1. How about I move your post about a "12 bar verse" into a new thread titled, "Study of a 12 Bar Blues Progression", instead? I don't think changing the name of this thread will clear up the confusion I have. I also would rather not delete this thread, as it contains a lot of worthwhile discussion, not only in your posts, but the posts of others. I'll also plan on moving forward with a Muse melody project, like I've described, unless you object. Do as you wish. Eric
  2. Can we change the name of the thread? If not, can we just delete the whole thing. Thank you, Salley.
  3. Here is a post about musical phrase patterns in a song. We're going to be using a 12 bar verse. First, I'm sure all of us are familiar with the traditonal blues 12 bar phrase pattern. It can be thought of as 3 phrases, each 4 bars in length. The first and second phrase often use the same lyric with a variation of the melody. The 3rd phrase sort of winds up the melody. Also note that each 4 bar phrase is 2 bars of melody, with bars 3 and 4 just chording. Such as: I I I I IV IV I I V V I I There are obviously countless progression variations for this. Phrase 1: Boy I really feel so bad today Phrase 2: Man, I mean I REALLY feel bad today Phrase 3: I feel so bad, I think I'll take 2 aspirins Listen to Rober Johnson here. He adds a few bars here and there. But the basic form is clear. Here is a another 12 bar verse musical phrase pattern. Progression: I I I I IV IV I I V V I I An example form Garth Brooks: I I Yeah she's my lady luck hey I'm her wild card man I I Together we're buildin' up a real hot hand IV I We live out in the country, hey she's my little queen of the south V V I Yeah we're two of a kind, working on a full house Note that the 1st 2 phrases are 2 bars in length and rhyme. The 3rd and 4th phrases are 4 bars in length, with the first 2 bars of each phrase containing melody. It's best just to listen to some songs to hear how the phrase pattern works in a few songs. Listen Here: Two of A Kind Working On A Full House - Garth Brooks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjtnmaVe3IQ Other examples: I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxDh2sYQRpo In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry Sombody Like You - Kieth Urban http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgpOGLXVHKk&ob=av2e Just some examples of how some common musical/lyric patterns are used in songwriting.
  4. I'm sure you do have a bunch of those . As we all probably know, that is really easy to do. You can create a lot of song backgrounds very quickly. BIAB, by the way, will generate them for you, with or without a melody. The time consuming, and challenging part of such a project would the the theory part. Phrase patterns of the melody, song form, how progressions and phrase patterns fit into a form, etc.. Eric
  5. Thanks for the helpful post, Alistair. I may start posting some examples along with my ideas. On another forum I posted probably 40 or 50 example song analysis, and hardly got any significant feedback. If I do make such postings, they would probably be primarily country songs. Because I have a large database of analysis of country songs, and country tends to be a little more amenable to analysis. I would also assert that country is sort of today's Brill Building. The last bastion of a robust, independint songwriting community. And, by the way, it ain't country anymore . Eric
  6. Primarily???? With all due respect, my friend, you initiated this thread. You have been the driving force behind some particular vision you seem to have of what form it should take. So where, might I respectfully ask, are your examples of examinations of great songs? Where is the wisdom you have taken from such examples? If you have something you wish to teach here, then I'm sure we are all open to learning. If you feel that this teaching/learning process be best achieved in the form of a "dictatorship" then by all means set in place some clear rules and procedures within which you believe this can happen. And then LET'S ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING... er... please? You want to teach something? You lead; and maybe we'll follow. You're probably right. I was mistaken and arrogant to think that I could provide any knowledge to the group here. I apologize for starting the thread, and I'm sorry for the time wasted by all. I'll quit wasting everyone's time. I'll henceforth only reply to posts that relate to me. My effort to do something was obviously a misguided endeavor on my part and a waste of everyone's time. I really have no hard feelings. Just sort of giving in to the obvious. I wish everyone well. Eric Eric, your proposal for a group melody study has received some pretty solid support here. Several people have contributed to your threads about this, showing that you have gotten people's attention. On top of this, the moderator of this forum has pledged support by participating in and providing encouragement of your proposed melody study. Alistair has offered a wealth of his services as a musician, chord arranger, lyricist, and any other capacity. There are people ready to participate, both in your study and to help you implement it. It seems that leading such a study may be beyond your particular skill set. There's no shame in that. You can add to your skill set so that you can still provide this study, by responding with patience and flexibility to our requests for clarification by using sound files and visuals, and continuing to develop a simple structure for the course to follow. If you would like to continue sharing your knowledge and perspective as you have been, without a structured study, there will still be those who are interested. If you want to walk away in a huff because this group doesn’t isn’t up to snuff, you’re also welcome to do that. You’ve been given the go ahead from the beginning. What more would you like? Thanks, Salley. I know you have been supportive throughout this. I'm not su much in a huff, although there is some of that to be honest, it is more a calculation of the time involved and the possible result. I hold no grudges, and I wish all well. Eric
  7. Yeah - I get the idea alright, no problem - I just look at it differently. Just because a work is measurable and able to be reduced to a number system does not mean that it was derived from mathematical formulae. I look at that as ex post facto rationalisation. (and have a myriad of practical and philosophical examples) ***** I regret that your honest intentions have been so deflated. My cynicism predicted that it was only a matter of time.... I actually lack Simon's confidence that 'we are all open to learning'. I think most here are closed and fearful - as this thread can be seen to confirm. Too bad. Then again - if I am after information or learning or illumination, the internet (and Wikipedia) isn't where I would turn anyway. I had some cynicism also. Those that visit here have seen this cycle play out before. The decision comes down to how much time do I want to spend, and what the result would be. I wasn't getting a good feeling about the process and result. Thanks for hte thoughtful input. Eric
  8. Primarily???? With all due respect, my friend, you initiated this thread. You have been the driving force behind some particular vision you seem to have of what form it should take. So where, might I respectfully ask, are your examples of examinations of great songs? Where is the wisdom you have taken from such examples? If you have something you wish to teach here, then I'm sure we are all open to learning. If you feel that this teaching/learning process be best achieved in the form of a "dictatorship" then by all means set in place some clear rules and procedures within which you believe this can happen. And then LET'S ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING... er... please? You want to teach something? You lead; and maybe we'll follow. You're probably right. I was mistaken and arrogant to think that I could provide any knowledge to the group here. I apologize for starting the thread, and I'm sorry for the time wasted by all. I'll quit wasting everyone's time. I'll henceforth only reply to posts that relate to me. My effort to do something was obviously a misguided endeavor on my part and a waste of everyone's time. I really have no hard feelings. Just sort of giving in to the obvious. I wish everyone well. Eric
  9. I just want to make a general observation here. I think it's fair to say that I have been in the lead of trying to get something going in a constructive way about improving one's songwriting. I have been down this road before, as many here may recall. And what are we seeing in the forum? Primarily discussion about the problems with left brain/right brain, you can really only teach boldness and pass on wisdom, many posts questioning what method to use, and how to proceed with that method, and on and on. I see very few posts that even really talk about songwriting in a serious way. No real examination of great songs. No attempt to draw wisdom from such example songs, etc.. We even complain, myself included, that we are talking about it too much and not doing it enough. I certainly see how that teaching has to be a dictatorship, and not a democracy. Class would never start, or end, any other way. And no serious work could be accomplished unless someone establishes the rules, and enforces them on the class. This is really true of any clas in musical composition. You are given a lecture on something, then you are assigned to compose something of your own that uses the principles taught in the class. No one in the class gets to say, "Hey, I don't want to write an 8 bar melody to the chord progression provided. That's too restrictive. My muse is inspired by the sunset, and it can't be contained by 8 bars." You just can't have anarchy in a class and accomplish anything. I don't know if I really advanced things here, but I wanted to get that off my chest. Thanks to all for listening. Eric
  10. Ok. Here goes! Listen everyone. LISTEN! Be BOLD!!! Wow. I'm glad to get that part of the instruction here out of the way . You make some good obersvations. Here is a thought I have. If you take the last 100 posts in this forum, I think you'd probably find it would be about 80% talking ABOUT being creative and writing music, and 20%, perhaps even less, about any substantive ideas on composing beyond the subjective platitudes. Besides being bold. I command all to "keep it simple", "write lyrics like you talk", "don't bore us get to the chorus", "keep you intro down under 20 seconds", "song lyrics are not poetry, don't write them like they are", "keep the length down to 3:30", "make the chorus simple and singable". NOW! I COMMAND ALL! GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY1!!! Sorry about that, I meant GO FORTH AND COMPOSE! Eric
  11. Thanks Eric, but hardly informative from me - as I said, I know pretty much doodley-squat about the guy other than what others who know far better have told me. While Berk & Lee took over the premises and concept of a music college, I don't think the modern Berklee has much relation to Schillinger's system anymore. I don't think many are really interested. (As I don't think many here are really much interested in developing any kind of theoretical understandings.) And, I must admit, while ever curious, I have never found a need to explore the geezer myself while still getting heaps of good juice instead from other later dudes like Dick Grove and David Baker and Don Sebesky. As a lyricist and singer (and self-taught tyro arranger) they give me heaps to chew on for quite a while yet, I reckon. This sort of stuff, for example, I find a bit unnecessarily off-putting and obscure, and possibly part of the reason people have such odd dispositions towards his stuff. It's all a bit a-musically nerd-like. But never mind. I have also been told that, if we consider a 12-inch ruler to be mathematical, then we can think of his system as mathematical, but otherwise 'mathematical' is a misnomer. Nonetheless, I do know there are at least a couple of attempts to develop his ideas for computer programs - I can search out the references if you're interested. I would be interested in hearing your Schillinger piece. Anecdotally and by the way, it was the uncle of a bass-clarinet-playing friend of mine who, dumping his pay-load into the English Channel while fleeing an aborted WWII mission, provoked that final downward glissando which marked the coda for Glen Miller, composer of Moonlight Serenade. Official history calls it a mystery, but we know what happened. Interesting about Glen Miller. I saw a documentary a few years ago trying to determine more about what happened to Glen. Sounds like you have some good inside info. One point. Schillinger's system is definitely mathematical. Having said that, just about everything is. When you do your arranging using Dick Grove or David Baker's methods, I'm sure you deal with 1s, 3s, 5s, 7s, 9s, 13s, b9s etc.. The staff itself is matematical, Five lines and four spaces. The steps of a major scale are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. Form itself is mathematical. Athe Verse is 8 bars, the Chorus is 8 bars, the TA is 4 bars. The 2nd verse is 8 bars, perhaps with a different ending than the first verse. A song may be 64 or 90 bars long. When you write for a transposed instrument you write it a step down, or a 6th higher The notes of the scale and their overtones are all derived from mathematical formulas. From Wikipedia: Pythagorean tuning is based on a stack of intervals called perfect fifths, each tuned in the ratio 3:2, the next simplest ratio after 2:1. Starting from D for example (D-based tuning), six other notes are produced by moving six times a ratio 3:2 up, and the remaining ones by moving the same ratio down: E♭—B♭—F—C—G—D—A—E—B—F♯—C♯—G♯ This succession of eleven 3:2 intervals spans across a wide range of frequency (on a piano keyboard, it encompasses 77 keys). Since notes differing in frequency by a factor of 2 are given the same name, it is customary to divide or multiply the frequencies of some of these notes by 2 or by a power of 2. The purpose of this adjustment is to move the 12 notes within a smaller range of frequency, namely within the interval between the base note D and the D above it (a note with twice its frequency). This interval is typically called the basic octave (on a piano keyboard, an octave encompasses only 13 keys ). For instance, the A is tuned such that its frequency equals 3:2 times the frequency of D — if D is tuned to a frequency of 288 Hz, then A is tuned to 432 Hz. Similarly, the E above A is tuned such that its frequency equals 3:2 times the frequency of A, or 9:4 times the frequency of D — with A at 432 Hz, this puts E at 648 Hz. Since this E is outside the above-mentioned basic octave (i.e. its frequency is more than twice the frequency of the base note D), it is usual to halve its frequency to move it within the basic octave. Therefore, E is tuned to 324 Hz, a 9:8 above D. The B at 3:2 above that E is tuned to the ratio 27:16 and so on. Starting from the same point working the other way, G is tuned as 3:2 below D, which means that it is assigned a frequency equal to 2:3 times the frequency of D — with D at 288 Hz, this puts G at 192 Hz. This frequency is then doubled (to 384 Hz) to bring it into the basic octave. You get the idea. music is all about math. Eric
  12. I hear you, Danny, but I think there is a bit of room for both the left and the right brain... and I often feel that the very best music represents such a balance. When I listen to the artists/composers I most admire - Mozart, Methany, Bach, Loussier, McLaughlin, Davis, Fagin, Corea, heck, even Santana - I hear and feel this balance. What I'm feeling/hearing/reading here, though, seems to me to be very much weighted towards the left-brain... the analytical... the academic Perhaps that's why, as Alistair noted, "a lot more has been said than done" around here. We can talk about music as much as we like, but in my experience, the production of the best music is inevitably accompanied by the fewest words. Which is probably why I should simply shut up and go play my guitar. Let me be clear on my opinion of this left brain/right brain discussion. I don't think you can "teach" the right brain stuff. Do you? How do you teach sunset appreication? How do you impart a "mindset" into another mind. I would love to "learn" Paul McCartney's right brain methods. I think the wonder and mystery of creation, in any field, is not teachable. Perhaps it can be coached, and you may be able to help someone get in touch with that, or use it more, but I think it primarily remains something beyond objective analysis. The left brain stuff can be taught. And in my opinion, there is much to be learned there that can improve songwriting. Here is a point I like to make about objective analysis of music. Each time a composer writes a song, isn't he or she showing us part of what they think about how to write a song? They have complete freedeom to write any way they like. They don't have to conform to a common song form, but they almost always do, don't they? Isn't that giving us some insight into their opinion of form in a song? Pop songs in particular, largely conform to 5 or 6 major forms. Is there some all powerful force dictating that songs be written in those forms? No, obvously. The writers make those choices when they write. Also, when a songwriter chooses to make the melody to the 2nd verse the same as the melody in the first verse, doesn't this give us more insight into the writer's opinion on songwriting? Again, no one if forcing such conformity. The writer obviously thinks having the melody the same in the second verse contributes to the effectiveness of the song. We can go round and round on this left brain/right brain discussion. Here is my bottom line. If you don't want to do any left brain work on songwriting, then don't. Isn't that simple. And if you are not going to participate in left brain stuff, why drop by here to just criticize those of us who are wanting to study the left brain stuff? If you want to ignore the left brain stuff, go into a forum that talks about sunsets and fireplsces, and leave us here to voluntarily pursue our left brain work. This is not directed at you, Simon. You do mention that both left brain and right brain stuff are useful. I just wanted to make a more general statement about what, at least I, am doing here. I think we risk the old "too much talking about it nad not doing it" problem. We can discuss endlessly about which brain side if the most important, or we can roll up our sleeves and start to do some hopefully constructive work on songwriting. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Simon. Eric
  13. Thank you for this info. I will look up Schillinger. I remember him in the movie. As an aside, I used to get in trouble with the director of the Music Masters, a band I used to play with. (A take-off on the name of Harry James' band, the Music Makers.) I kept playing Moonlight Sonata with sticks instead of brushes. But the song is so beautiful with a light, steady rhythm on a ride cymbal. Ken I think you meant Moonlight Serenade, not Moonlight Sonata. And I have to agree with the director, brushes would be preferred . Eric
  14. A few points. I hadn't heard the Ira Gershwin quote. And, by the way, I agree with Ira. It is about tools not rules. I had also forgotten that Berklee had evolved from Schillinger. Thanks for that info. The system is about tools not rules. He provides ways to apply mathematics to every part of composition. Rhythm, melody, harmony (voicings), and orchestrations. It is totally up to the composer how he wishes to apply these tools. It is "possible" to write a set of mathematical formulas that will result in a composition. But I would say it is about tools. Composers already use a lot of "tricks" or "methods" when they compose. Things like drop2 or drop 4 voicing. And how composers will start with a motif, and play with many variations of it, and expansions until they find one they like. Schillinger's methods were just more defined than most. I have a song I wrote, with apologies to Schillinger , many years back, in which I used an example from the Schillinger book examples. It was primarily a voicing example in the book. It had a melody in the sense that the top voice forms a melody you can discern. I can post it here if anyone would like to hear it. Thanks for the info on Jeremy Arden. It seems to me that the Schillinger tools would be ideal for developing a set of computer programs to perform the various methods from the book. The books, I might add, seem pretty fully formed and complete. And much of it is written in the first person. Like it is Schillinger himself writing. Just wanted to make the point that the ideas developed in the book are not sort of half-baked. They are explained in precise detail. And examples are given of their application. Thank you for the informative post. Eric
  15. I'm not clear about the melody creation... Are you thinking we would be composing a melody before we had the lyrics, and then adjusting it, or composing a new one, once we had the lyrics? We might want to consider keeping the same chord progression throughout the exercise for all the participants. It seems that might keep things simpler. Generating a chord progression could even be a separate exercise. Just a thought. I'm game either way. Yes, we would be composing a melody before we had the lyrics. The idea would be that the initial phase would be to compose melodies, within the song form designated, with all members using the same chord progression provided. This is the week period I mention. All melodies in that period would be written to the same chord progression. No lyrics are necessary at that point. The lyrics come into play in what I see as a sort of "final exam", which would be to create your own chord progression, and write a melody using the lyrics provided, all within the confines of the designated song form. If a memaber wishes to use the same original chord progression for their melody, that is up to them. I thought allowing more freedom at that point would help members write better songs, and be more creative. Allowing more freedom in composing the final songs is something that some more advanced members might want to take advantage of. If any member is uncomfortable with creating their own, new chord progression, using the same progression would be fine.