I was speaking with a friend the other day about musical appreciation- not in any academic way, but in ways in which many of us first heard a piece of music and for whatever inexplicable reason, it struck a chord with you.
That’s the glory of, that’s the beauty of music. Like love, it comes into your life to either save you, remind you of priorities or to inspire you. And every day, we allow new music in no matter how old it might be and that’s because music is timeless and the appreciation of it is as ageless as Mr.Bojangles.
This music appreciation could have come from something your folks had on their record player at home, perhaps something heard on the radio, something heard somewhere for some reason that will always be as “sensory” or even primal as why one falls in love and stays in love with the same person despite the tearing up of a marriage certificate or falls outta love and leaves.
Luck be a lady tonight and surround her with music if she is to stay with you forever.
The first pieces of music that moved me and have stayed with me forever were Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet and the standards The Autumn Leaves, Skylark and Stardust.
Nothing really wrong or unusual with any of that except that I was a seven year old kid living in Ceylon and while friends played marbles and cricket, I was happy listening to the drumming of Joe Morello, Ella, Peggy Lee and the Benny Goodman Orchestra featuring Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa.
These initial musical inspirations live on and return when years later Sal Mineo starred in The Gene Krupa Story. And what a sick, sad Hollywood Babylon story did Sal Mineo live.
The Beatles were a hard days night away, but without him knowing it, my old man, a musician brought up listening to Errol Garner, Count Basie, Sinatra and Billy Eckstine, was giving me my first lessons in music appreciation.
Without really thinking about it too much- perhaps for whatever reason, I didn’t wish to give him credit for it- it is through my Dad that this incredible journey of learning and respect comprising melodies, lyrics, chords and musicianship continues today.
Music appreciation and music education takes one through many twists and turns- everything from being forced to learn the recorder in school, buying a Vox 12-string teardrop ‘cos Brian Jones played one, but never keeping that promise to your folks that you’d actually learn to play it, and taking piano lessons when all you really wanted to do was learn a few guitar chords and play some Beatles songs while learning to stand onstage like George.
For that short time, music appreciation took a back seat to finding a release for raging hormones and being in a band helped the cause. But even getting laid were lessons in music appreciation as what was being played in the background lives on like some collective mass of memories. Okay, an orgy and orgasm of sound.
To some, the term “music appreciation” might sound elitist and if that’s their takeaway, I really don’t give a shit.
MY music and the music that belongs ONLY to me and for reasons important to ME is what matters.
If the voice and music of Don Henley will always cut through whatever crap might be playing tricks with my addled head and helps get to the heart of the matter and how it’s all about forgiveness, well, that’s free therapy.
The songs of Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, Jimmy Webb, Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Johnny Mercer’s lyrics to “Moon River”, the soundscapes that Robbie Robertson that built around movies like Goodfellas and the genius of using Donovan singing “Atlantis” and juxtaposing it with one of the most brutal scenes ever filmed, how- and why- Kathy Nelson used “Stuck In The Middle With You” in “Reservoir Dogs”, all this and so much more comes from appreciating music- all music- and growing with it, returning to it in case you missed something the first time around, and understanding that this is an ongoing journey of discovery. Like Tarantino dialogue, where it leads, no one knows.
This talk about music appreciation and music education came about while discussing the obscene amounts of money paid to celebrity judges in television singing contests.
Why? Pandering to the ratings game by television networks and bending over backwards to appease sponsors like Coca-Cola or Pepsi.
(Source: Hollywood Reporter)
Nowhere is there anything about music education or even music. Sure, it’s nothing personal, it’s business. I get that.
BUT, just like the music purists who wonder why they are broke and still with a skeleton cv, there has to be teamwork/partnership as the business side cannot continue without their various houses put in order and the core component put on the back-burner.
It’s all arse-about thinking by lawyers, accountants and corporate toadies.
(Source: Chase And Wonder)
If these houses of the unholy are to accommodate music, then, the ways in which all this new technology to HEAR music and is flogged and raved about is missing out on what music is and will always be about: Heart, passion, soul and maintaining an interest in learning much more about a subject pretty much neglected in schools.
(Source: Music Is Life Hunt)
And here lies the problem- the very big problem affecting the music industry and music as an art form: The way Music is neglected and only pulled out as a carrot to flog something completely different.
This is progress? This is “saving the music”? Give me a fucking break.
It’s time the original lunatics took BACK the asylum and removed the padded cells so that the music is not muffled.