help me with my class?

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I am starting this thread for a specific purpose: to harness the collective knowledge of ILM in order to help me provide the best music appreciation class to my students. I think ILM has the friendliest group with the widest-ranging interests, so that is why I am posting here. Also, I have been a community member for some time. I hope and trust that the conversation can remain civil and helpful.

There is a course syllabus and a structure I have in mind; I'm not looking for teaching strategies or ideas.
I am looking for information, youtubes/links, recommendations within certain parameters (TBD).
(Note: I plan to use youtube for sharing with students, so all other streaming services are out, I'm afraid.)

My plan is to post questions here, and then hopefully people will help me to answer them.
I thank you in advance for your help and civility, you are doing a musical community service :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:07 (one month ago) Permalink

bookmarked

clouds, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:08 (one month ago) Permalink

The first few weeks will be introduction, overview of various facets of the music industry, basic musical terminology, how to describe music, examples of certain terms (this is what I might need some help with initially)
I need to meet my students before I proceed much beyond that, at least wrt this thread.

Bookmarking is a good idea -- that way you will know when I have a question and you can help me answer it! :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:12 (one month ago) Permalink

Down!

kolakube (Ross), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:32 (one month ago) Permalink

Yep, bookmarked!

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:44 (one month ago) Permalink

https://youtu.be/JkYhneTczXo

#TeamHailing (imago), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:46 (one month ago) Permalink

Ok I forgot a rule -- please do not post youtubes without words telling me what they are. Thank you.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:48 (one month ago) Permalink

Bookmarked

Good thread idea

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 17:29 (one month ago) Permalink

Bookmarked. HMU for classical, 20th c and film score stuff.

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 17:38 (one month ago) Permalink

I've bookmarked as well.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 18:52 (one month ago) Permalink

LL, I have to admit the first time you mentioned this I had an image

You're sitting at a drum set in the front of a classroom, drumming as students file in. The class begins, and you pause

"Music!"
drum a little more

"What is it?"
do a little fill

and then a little more of the intro to the class until you finally wind down into slow cymbal crashes, then get up and present the syllabus

mh, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:05 (one month ago) Permalink

I feel like this is cheesy and completely reminiscent of something I've seen and I've been holding back

mh, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:06 (one month ago) Permalink

On the actual practical advice side:

How music is taught. After using some of the books in learning, I found reading up on the background of the Suzuki Method fascinating: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_method

mh, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:11 (one month ago) Permalink

I wanted to learn via the Suzuki method so badly when I was a kid. The teacher was too expensive iirc :( But this isn't a music performance class and students aren't learning how to play instruments (although I may do a short workshop introducing improvisation in the 2nd half of the semester because I already have that all done)

My initial goal with this class is to be as inclusive as possible, and start off by giving them some tools for listening to, describing, and discussing different types of music as well as its context. Then we can start talking about different types of music.

I only hope I am up to the challenge, and I hope to do the best job I can this first time. The next time will certainly be better and easier.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:21 (one month ago) Permalink

Things I may be asking from this thread:

1) examples of certain key terms (what is a quintessential example of a crescendo? examples of songs in xyz scale? different types of melody, etc)

2) essential artists/tracks in a variety of types of music -- folk (from anywhere in the world), popular music (from anywhere in the world), classical music (not just Western but other types too -- I don't know much about this so I'll def need ILM assistance)

3) musicians who are willing to be interviewed by students (questions will be predetermined -- I did this for a student last year and it was exceptionally enjoyable as no one had ever interviewed me about music before)

4) electrifying live performances on youtube to share and watch in class

Overall, fun questions to answer! At least I think so.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:28 (one month ago) Permalink

i can maybe connect you with certain artists to discuss an interview
and can generally talk folk/pop/genre-specific suggestions out the wazoo

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:42 (one month ago) Permalink

cool, thank you -- folk/pop/genre-specific suggestions out the wazoo this is why i started this thread, to harness the substantial collective knowledge of ILM!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:46 (one month ago) Permalink

It's a little basic but this video of Bobby McFerrin guiding an audience through the pentatonic scale is delightful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne6tB2KiZuk

dinnerboat, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:05 (one month ago) Permalink

yes! basic is what i am looking for -- this is a survey course and i need to cover the basic before i can go into any more depth

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:06 (one month ago) Permalink

i've seen mcferrin do that bit live in concert; it really works somehow!
see also: entire arenas knowing the right notes for "AIR-BALL"

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:13 (one month ago) Permalink

I took a Music Appreciation class in 6th grade (1977) that was very influential to me, but the only thing I really remember now is that our teach (Ms. Kennedy) went through all the lyrics of "American Pie" explaining the lyrical metaphors ("jester" = Dylan, etc.) and it BLEW MY MIND

sleeve, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:21 (one month ago) Permalink

Will likely benefit from this myself and happy to share when I can.

Whole thread reminded me of this Stark Reality edu-jam: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FIm60fP_KwY

Skip to 4:25 is you’re not feeling super patient

rob, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:23 (one month ago) Permalink

When you get to chords and chord changes, the widely shared Axis of Awesome doing "4 Chord Song" should provide familiar reference points for your students.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=every+4+chord+song

Brave Combover (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:45 (one month ago) Permalink

Ooh yeah -- the other thing I'd like to find is the youtube of a drummer going through like 50 years of popular beats?! I googled and couldn't find it.

I started a youtube channel w playlists, let's hope I can keep it organized and updated...

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:48 (one month ago) Permalink

There's a really great documentary on the music scene of New York in the 70s which is a great primer for cbgbs, bands like talking heads, ramones and I think it focuses on disco as well. Probably too long for class tho, but certainly gives a good look at the social climate too and how music was a reaction to that.

I'll wait for your questions :)

kolakube (Ross), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:50 (one month ago) Permalink

here's a drumming history in multiple parts that might be interesting for your budding percussionists?
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpKMeH_MXcaSL7sTLRAzOaWf6NLQgX9W4

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:51 (one month ago) Permalink

i should probably watch that myself

none of my students are required to be musicians -- they are not being trained to be musicians either. they are fulfilling an academic obligation to the humanities in order to earn their credits to graduate. i can't say for sure since i haven't met them yet, but they are probably interested in a fun class where they get to learn about stuff that isn't boring. my obligation is to provide a well-rounded overview as well as opportunities for fun projects with maximum mind-blowing listening opportunities for everyone :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:55 (one month ago) Permalink

Ooh, F bomb in part of that though...

Brave Combover (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:57 (one month ago) Permalink

...part of that Axis of Awesome vid.

Brave Combover (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 20:58 (one month ago) Permalink

thanks for the warning

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:05 (one month ago) Permalink

you're supposed to listen to aaron copland in this kind of class iirc

j., Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Not outside of North America. At least I hope not.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:09 (one month ago) Permalink

I doubt I'll have much to contribute as I'm a rank amateur when it comes to this stuff but great thread idea, btw.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:10 (one month ago) Permalink

When you get to chords and chord changes, the widely shared Axis of Awesome doing "4 Chord Song" should provide familiar reference points for your students.

Rob Paravonian's "Pachelbel Rant" is also good for showing connections between contemporary popular chord progressions and Baroque/CPE antecedents. He calls Pachelbel a one-hit wonder of the 1790s, though, when he was really closer to a one-hit wonder of the 1690s.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:16 (one month ago) Permalink

spent a few minutes grimacing at j.'s post

mh, Wednesday, 17 January 2018 21:21 (one month ago) Permalink

well i have no idea if this will be any use but here's a half-finished series of amateur thoughts on classical music:

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/rushomancy/the-classical/

Arnold Schoenberg Steals (rushomancy), Thursday, 18 January 2018 02:04 (one month ago) Permalink

i’m also interested how music curriculum now deals with the “classical music” versus “classical period” dichotomy. I had a few teachers who would grimace if anything other than the period (1750-1820ish) was referred to as “classical” and insist we use the right terms, but I think generally things are looser?

mh, Thursday, 18 January 2018 03:31 (one month ago) Permalink

Generally, in an academic context, "Western art music" is the preferred term for the entire tradition. "Classical music" may sometimes be used in more general lower-level courses, especially if WAM is not the primary focus of the course.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:46 (one month ago) Permalink

That said, no one says e.g. "I play guitar in the Western art music tradition" as opposed "I play classical guitar".

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:55 (one month ago) Permalink

Also WAM also commonly stands for Mozart which makes things extra confusing

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 18 January 2018 13:02 (one month ago) Permalink

i might adopt the western art music terminology to distinguish between "classical" traditions in other parts of the world.
the syllabus that i was given spends a week each on the baroque period. the classical period, the romantic period, 20th c/modern classical music and...buckle your seatbelt..."music of the oklahomans"
i am going to see what my students are like before i commit to 4-5 weeks of western art music + whatever the oklahomans are up to in the second half of the semester.

i need to emphasize that this is 1) an elective 2) students are not only not studying music, they are barely studying the arts. this class might be the best opportunity they have/have had to explore different types of music in an academic context.

i also need to get them to a live performance, which shouldn't be too hard since our class is at night. we also have a performance space we could potentially use with a fully functioning piano in it!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 January 2018 13:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Leonard Bernstein explains intervals and the development of the circle of fifths with brevity and giddy enthusiasm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt2zubHcER4

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Thursday, 18 January 2018 13:51 (one month ago) Permalink

I've spent a couple of years reading about and listening to pre-WWI recorded music, minstrel shows, ragtime, cakewalk, Sousa, etc, would by no means call myself an expert but can recommend the best books and recordings I've encountered if you feel like going in that direction.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 18 January 2018 13:56 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was answering mh's question, to be clear, not suggesting that you should be fussy about terminology in a gen ed music appreciation class. 2xp

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 January 2018 13:57 (one month ago) Permalink

(Very curious about this Oklahomans business, though.)

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 18 January 2018 14:00 (one month ago) Permalink

that bernstein video is perfect, thank you

pre-WWI recorded music, minstrel shows, ragtime, cakewalk, Sousa, etc, would by no means call myself an expert i may need your help, thank you. for some reason* i am really excited about telling them about the gigantic shift that occurred once music started to be recorded and played at home (not family singalongs, but records!) and the resulting explosion of music. i remember learning that and finding it so compelling to contemplate. also my gpa worked for RCA so i was familiar with the gramophone and the doggie. i'm trying to stay away from forcing them to learn the pet things i am interested in but i'm sure a little of that is inevitable.

i thought maybe the oklahomans was like grapes of wrath/okies/oh susanna/i've been workin' on the railroad?! if that's not it, i have no idea tbh.

* the reason is obvious, this is the kind of music dork i am

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 January 2018 14:04 (one month ago) Permalink

LL if you want to have some retro fun i recommend showing the classic "Mr. B Natural" short. MST3K famously riffs it but i was actually shown this film in class.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 18 January 2018 14:06 (one month ago) Permalink

If you're looking for the broadest possible overview of Western art music, I very much enjoyed A Concise History of Western Music by Paul Griffiths.

pomenitul, Thursday, 18 January 2018 14:08 (one month ago) Permalink

i have a textbook -- World of Music by David Willoughby

there are so many movies i want to show them. one of my priorities is to give them a solid background for talking about music and then encouraging them to research, describe, and present their findings to the class. there are three projects where they can choose their topic. i haven't settled on the general themes for each one yet.

they also will write 2 short papers 1) describing a performance they saw 2) interview a musician

in between all that, i need to present information to them. that's the basic structure of the class. it is 3 hours every tuesday night.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 18 January 2018 14:18 (one month ago) Permalink

my next task is to talk about 1) the roots of jazz and 2) the evolution and influence of jazz (idk how far i will make it before the midterm) in preparation for a class outing in 3 weeks to the legendary green mill!

currently accepting recommendations for the early roots of jazz lesson :) :) :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:24 (six days ago) Permalink

recommendations in the form of:
links, readings available for free online and youtubes of examples

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:25 (six days ago) Permalink

(which is to say that i can't read or buy any entire books for this purpose, i have to make do with what i have available for free to share with students)

lots of great things happened in class this week -- one student gave her presentation about almeda riddle and said that her preschool class especially enjoyed "i love my little rooster" and they hollered out the cocka DOODLE DOO doodle DOO doodle doo part

i had it stuck in my head for the entire next day :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtbPk5NsEQA

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:28 (six days ago) Permalink

The Original Dixieland Jass Band's "Livery Stable Blues" is commonly cited as the first jazz recording. It's from 1917. It's on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um4xhfwYnvg

From there, jump to Louis Armstrong's "Wild Man Blues," from 1927.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO3k-S_pqK4

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:30 (six days ago) Permalink

Interesting note from that Armstrong YouTube clip, which could spark a discussion in class about the record business:

The tune is credited to Louis and Jelly Roll Morton, though Louis said he never could figure out how they could have written it together: "I never had a conversation with him until 1936; guess he was working for the publisher at the time."

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:32 (six days ago) Permalink

thank you! i am really excited about this part and also SUUUUUPER nervous because i don't want to screw it up

one slightly negative thing that happened is a new student arrived in week 3 and started giving me a little bit of a hard time. this week he scoffed because i didn't know how yodeling was invented. i told him he was free to do his presentation on the origins of yodeling since he was not prepared when it was due in class this week.

funny you should mention the youtube comments -- they have been quite helpful in giving added contextual information (both factual and subjective emotional reactions) to support my recommendation of that particular song. you can imagine the comments for joni mitchell's "both sides now" -- one of my students read them and asked if she could do her project about joni because she seems very important <3

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:46 (six days ago) Permalink

King Oliver's "Deep Henderson" is the early jazz track that gets me every time, something about the heave-ho of the rhythm and the cornet arpeggios in the second half

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2zER0jmrps

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Thursday, 15 February 2018 17:03 (six days ago) Permalink

Crystal clear transfer of Armstrong's "Ain't Misbehavin'" from the original metal mother disc: https://kottke.org/16/04/unbelievably-clear-recording-of-louis-armstrong-from-1929

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 15 February 2018 17:15 (six days ago) Permalink

with the influences of jazz it could be fun to show just how far it went. "country" outfits like Bob Wills whose main job was to get people to dance would regularly play popular jazz tunes. jazz being essentially functional dance music in many of its incarnations. here he is with the Texas Playboys doing "take the A Train"

https://youtu.be/ZMyXOv3ttCE

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:00 (six days ago) Permalink

musically, the hard-driving "swing" beat in take the a-train and many other classic jazz tunes was the crucial ingredient grafted onto folk/country to create Bob Wills' genre of "western swing"

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:12 (six days ago) Permalink

(which in turn influenced rock and roll, rockabilly, etc)

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:13 (six days ago) Permalink

Glad it's going so well, wish I could enroll! Seems like you're covering use of folk in some other musics, are you considering maybe that re Joni, Dylan, Richard Thompson, John Fahey? Plenty of Fahey on youtube, duh, and as something of a backstory gateway, here's the 2001 Fahey section at Perfect Sound Forever, incl. the Byron Coley overview and 90s update is often credited with relaunching Fahey's career: some Warners-Rhino people read it and got stoked, put out the comp Return of the Repressed, followed hella reissues and new releases, shows etc.
http://www.furious.com/Perfect/fahey/index.html

dow, Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:20 (six days ago) Permalink

xp - yes, that is going to be info i share with them when we transition away from jazz
i love bob wills & western swing. one time i was in an interview for a music related job and mentioned my affection for spade cooley. did not get the job :-/

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:21 (six days ago) Permalink

Bob wills is a heavy influence on the way my mom and her sisters (all in their late 80s, raised in rural SD) sing at family singalongs. There’s a whole lot of spontaneous “AWWWW-haww” ing.

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:30 (six days ago) Permalink

Aunt Clarice who just passed last year was an accomplished yodeler, the only one in the family.

Winter. Dickens. Yes. (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:31 (six days ago) Permalink

xxxpost Yeah, Spade Cooley is not somebody I'd rec. mentioning on a job interview---read a good history and *description* of Western Swing in its original glory days, and h0w many participants fared later---most hitting a wall re the commercial headlock of The Nashville Sound and Countrypolitan, not hanging on 'til the WS revival of the 70s, though some did, and--well, read it yerselves in Southwest Shuffle, by Rich Kienzle. He could use an editor, but he knows a lot about the music and the people, and that certainly comes through---real good discography too. It's kind of like Four Lives In The Bebop Business in reverse, because we know how well most of those scufflin' outsiders ended up (all of 'em really, if you consider that even Herbie Nichols got posthumous studies and a kickass box set on Mosaic, among other reissues).
More on Fahey, by me, not as rah-rah as Coley, but no trolling; search on here for the term "Faheytronica" and you'll see it, and one of our good Fahey threads anyway:
Search and Destroy: John Fahey

dow, Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:40 (six days ago) Permalink

the great nat hentoff on louis armstrong:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/born-on-the-fourth-of-july-how-louis-armstrong-taught-us-to-swing

a good piece that trace's armstrong's career in the context of civil rights:
https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/what-louis-armstrong-really-thinks

a really cool vintage video, from 1937, on how to make records, starring duke ellington:
http://www.openculture.com/2016/01/how-vinyl-records-were-made-from-start-to-finish.html

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 15 February 2018 18:50 (six days ago) Permalink

i'm prejudiced because i never much liked cooley's work, but yeah it strikes me as kind of like saying "you know who does some really great clown paintings?"

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Thursday, 15 February 2018 19:03 (six days ago) Permalink

way to pick on me y'all! the person interviewing me didn't even know who spade cooley was. i deserved that job and would have been good at it. fortunately, i did not get it, went on to grad school and now i am a teacher.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 15 February 2018 19:06 (six days ago) Permalink

thanks sincerely for the reading material fcc

i am not trying to argue with y'all
i just wanted to clarify that the reason it was stupid to bring up spade cooley in an interview was not because spade cooley sucks; it was because the person interviewing me didn't know what i was talking about.
spade cooley being a clown painter is incidental

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 15 February 2018 19:08 (six days ago) Permalink

This course sounds so damn good. Any scope for putting it online?

I'm always wanting to bring things back to text but could you introduce some of the sections from Coming Through Slaughter- the descriptions of Buddy Bolden? Obviously he never recorded but goddamn those descriptions are extraordinary.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 16 February 2018 17:32 (five days ago) Permalink

ooh i have been looking for good examples of descriptions of music
is this something that can be found online? i don't have time or energy to chase down a book, too much work :(

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 16 February 2018 17:39 (five days ago) Permalink

Can c+p here? Or can email if that's more convenient. James Baldwin in Another Country would be another one.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 16 February 2018 17:54 (five days ago) Permalink

please email if it's not too much trouble -- my ilxmail works, just send me your address and we can take it from there
thank you!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 16 February 2018 18:37 (five days ago) Permalink

Re: Richard Thompson and jazz, there's a track from a couple of years ago where he pays tribute to several of his jazz heroes, let me find it. ...

Ha, it's called "Guitar Heroes:"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abFBhMdbjIo

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 16 February 2018 18:55 (five days ago) Permalink

OK, maybe not much jazz.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 16 February 2018 18:59 (five days ago) Permalink

my next task is to talk about 1) the roots of jazz and 2) the evolution and influence of jazz (idk how far i will make it before the midterm) in preparation for a class outing in 3 weeks to the legendary green mill!

currently accepting recommendations for the early roots of jazz lesson :) :) :)

― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, February 15, 2018 4:24 PM (three days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

If it's not too late -

* The first episode of Ken Burns Jazz is a pretty good primer on the orthodox view of the roots of jazz
* The 'Stomp & Swerve' book & CD I mentioned upthread are a good attempt at an alternative theory - Jazz having roots in band music (like Sousa) as well as the oft-cited unrecorded early blues music of the deep south - the use of solos and improvisation through the selections is really an eye-opener
* My pet theory is that a lot of this can also be linked to latin music, for example Son Cubano (which also has African roots of course) - here is an example of something from a full decade before the "first jazz record"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bstBjWn1ge0

* Also should be remembered that in the late 1910s and early 1920s jazz was taken into the mainsteam by the professional (white) musicians who were already around - so could be argued that the biggest name in early jazz is Paul Whiteman. The real revolution happened much more slowly and many of the classic records of the 1920s were not that successful at the time - the history of the jazz we know is very much a selective one.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 18 February 2018 00:28 (three days ago) Permalink

not too late! thanks!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Sunday, 18 February 2018 00:57 (three days ago) Permalink

Was thinking about Levon Helm describing the local music scenes of his Arkansas area, and how it all died down when TVs took over, which reminded me of another thing Byrne said in xpost How Music Works, about the difference records made: now you could listen alone (without playing the song yourself), and quotes an early description of the mutual embarrassment of intruding on such a listener's very private experience---also thinking of how it became even more private w headphones, the term "headphones music" among collectors, also before headphones when you might have to listen under covers or with ear up to the transistor radio (itself quite a change, re portability, as I dimly recall).
Also in a Hemingway story, an invalid gets fascinated with the stations coming in so clearly at night, from so far away (something to do with the Kellogg-Heaviside layer, I think, and its facilitation of AM broadcasts when the sun can't interfere). He pictures those calling in requests to a dance music show live from a Seattle club (also pictured in his mind), a series---several more like this in his nightly rounds, and then we learn that he listens with the volume turned almost to silence, that kind of focus--reminding me of Eno saying that he had his revelation leading to Discreet Music etc. when he was sick, and a friend brought him an LP of harp music, and when he managed to put it on and got back to his bed, one of the speakers went out, but he was too weak to see about it, so he just lay there and listened...

dow, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:08 (yesterday) Permalink

Also in Arakansas, could imagine that live music for most?) became, at least for a while, more significantly part of a different kind of scene: sing "Happy Birthday," "Aud Lang Syne," sing a hymn at church, sing National Anthem at ball game etc. (or fake it in most such situations, no prob). And then later on maybe back to the clubs, on to the festivals etc., when media promoted those.

dow, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:12 (yesterday) Permalink

whoo boy
right now i am wading through "what is jazz"
pick me up from the floor when today is over please

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:26 (yesterday) Permalink

Does it swing y/n

Y: it is jazz
N: it is not jazz

(Just kidding)

Lockhorn. Lockhorn breed-uh (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 19:14 (yesterday) Permalink

Ha, I just finished a jazz intro lecture an hour ago.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 19:18 (yesterday) Permalink

i have a slide entitled "why is jazz so confusing?"
lol

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 19:52 (yesterday) Permalink

post-swing jazz is like wine in that it requires some level of being inculcated into the conversation around it before one can really talk about it at its level, and this is a conversation with decades of history, one that is contentious and speaks to both internal politics but is still connected at its root to outside ideological divides around i.e. race, class, etc

unlike pop but like wine, post-swing jazz has an internal conversation that is not exactly democratic, although of course anyone can enjoy wine and anyone can enjoy jazz being able to speak knowledgeably about it is def one of those secret society things w/ concentric circles ringing a core group of artists whose stylistic choices drive it. It's not exactly auteur-driven, though, because it's more about (especially in small combo jazz) the interplay between different auteurs, its a community-auteur kind of thing

the styles of individual players, the artists who are seen as Greats, tend to be performers whose stylistic choices were so distinctly their own that it creates a center of gravity around them, where they are frequently imitated ... jazz aficianados can hear the difference between one trumpet player & another not just through surface level characteristics like the tone or context but through melodic choices & tendencies, stylistic tics that give it away even as that artist is pushing (as they do improvisationally every time) to create something that resists their own cliche

this is generally my pov on jazz post-swing

its also my issue w a lot of the way the 'alternative press' would write about jazz is it would ignore this discourse & prefer to take novel surface aesthetics from the music first and foremost, so you'd get cult fanbases for like a random miles or coltrane or mingus record that doesnt take his catalog into context / reflects overvaluing of alt tastemakers like lester bangs / generally overvalues novelty of form vs. novelty of performance

idk i hope that's somewhat helpful

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:26 (yesterday) Permalink

this is intended as an explainer for my pov not 'this is how jazz is' fwiw, dont mean to pretend mine is The Word here

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:28 (yesterday) Permalink

thanks -- maybe i will use the wine comparison. i was thinking of trying to explain how jazz is like druids but wine seems uh more accessible and less crazy
that is stuff i am reserving for next week
this week we are discussing basics, multicultural roots, elements, stuff like that
i want them to be able to identify/discuss improvisation, syncopation, instrumentation, use some vocab (most are not native English speakers) and hear some samples and hopefully enjoy them!!

my textbook is pretty weak on jazz and i have made an executive decision to not mention smooth jazz in class; it's in the book, that's enough.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:47 (yesterday) Permalink

more than enough!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:47 (yesterday) Permalink

"Okay, here's how it works -- if it puts me to sleep, it's folk; if it's played by black guys, it's funk; and if I don't understand it, it's jazz."

https://www.discogs.com/The-Frosted-Flaykes-Waste-Your-Time-Rockin-Rhythm/release/1858055#images/15877774

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 21:08 (yesterday) Permalink

I love the (possibly apocryphal/overly romantic?) notion that the development of jazz was hastened after the civil war, where so many discarded brass instruments were retrieved from battlefields.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 21:10 (yesterday) Permalink

i think of smooth jazz tbh as being more in the R&B lineage

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 21:39 (yesterday) Permalink

omg Lechera play them that scene from Matewan where the Italian, black and white miners start improvising over each others' riffs - it's like the ultimate idealised version of American roots music compressed into about 20 seconds of screen time

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 21:41 (yesterday) Permalink

if you can find it for me, i might
right now i have to clean dog poop off my shoe and get to work!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 22:41 (yesterday) Permalink

there is a paragraph about smooth jazz in the textbook but i am going to ignore it unless someone brings it up

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 22:41 (yesterday) Permalink

cool, can now find my way back down here by Ctrl+F "poop."

From 'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac
'Nobody knows where Slim Gaillard is'

'... one night we suddenly went mad together again; we went to see Slim Gaillard in a little Frisco nightclub. Slim Gaillard is a tall, thin Negro with big sad eyes who's always saying 'Right-orooni' and 'How 'bout a little bourbon-arooni.' In Frisco great eager crowds of young semi-intellectuals sat at his feet and listened to him on the piano, guitar and bongo drums. When he gets warmed up he takes off his undershirt and really goes. He does and says anything that comes into his head. He'll sing 'Cement Mixer, Put-ti Put-ti' and suddenly slow down the beat and brood over his bongos with fingertips barely tapping the skin as everybody leans forward breathlessly to hear; you think he'll do this for a minute or so, but he goes right on, for as long as an hour, making an imperceptible little noise with the tips of his fingernails, smaller and smaller all the time till you can't hear it any more and sounds of traffic come in the open door. Then he slowly gets up and takes the mike and says, very slowly, 'Great-orooni ... fine-ovauti ... hello-orooni ... bourbon-orooni ... all-orooni ... how are the boys in the front row making out with their girls-orooni ... orooni ... vauti ... oroonirooni ..." He keeps this up for fifteen minutes, his voice getting softer and softer till you can't hear. His great sad eyes scan the audience.

Dean stands in the back, saying, 'God! Yes!' -- and clasping his hands in prayer and sweating. 'Sal, Slim knows time, he knows time.' Slim sits down at the piano and hits two notes, two C's, then two more, then one, then two, and suddenly the big burly bass-player wakes up from a reverie and realizes Slim is playing 'C-Jam Blues' and he slugs in his big forefinger on the string and the big booming beat begins and everybody starts rocking and Slim looks just as sad as ever, and they blow jazz for half an hour, and then Slim goes mad and grabs the bongos and plays tremendous rapid Cubana beats and yells crazy things in Spanish, in Arabic, in Peruvian dialect, in Egyptian, in every language he knows, and he knows innumerable languages. Finally the set is over; each set takes two hours. Slim Gaillard goes and stands against a post, looking sadly over everybody's head as people come to talk to him. A bourbon is slipped into his hand. 'Bourbon-orooni -- thank-you-ovauti ...' Nobody knows where Slim Gaillard is. Dean once had a dream that he was having a baby and his belly was all bloated up blue as he lay on the grass of a California hospital. Under a tree, with a group of colored men, sat Slim Gaillard. Dean turned despairing eyes of a mother to him. Slim said, 'There you go-orooni.' Now Dean approached him, he approached his God; he thought Slim was God; he shuffled and bowed in front of him and asked him to join us. 'Right-orooni,' says Slim; he'll join anybody but won't guarantee to be there with you in spirit. Dean got a table, bought drinks, and sat stiffly in front of Slim. Slim dreamed over his head. Every time Slim said, 'Orooni,' Dean said 'Yes!' I sat there with these two madmen. Nothing happened. To Slim Gaillard the whole world was just one big orooni.'

dow, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 23:58 (yesterday) Permalink

Oh yeah meant to say re post-swing (or any jazz)(or anything else), as long as I can find and follow and care about the beat, the rest tends to work its self out. Later.

dow, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 00:02 (twenty hours ago) Permalink

welp, tonight my students learned what feel is, what it means to swing, and several took me up on the opportunity to play an instrument (a small hand drum) in a straight feel vs swing feel
i heard presentations about joni mitchell, joan baez, and "yodeling" and then played them "prince of peace" to show yodeling in jazz
while the song was playing, another teacher came in from the hallway and was like IS THIS LEON THOMAS?! and i was like YOU KNOW IT and then we talked about jazz and yodeling and alice coltrane

prepping for tonight was a lot of work but i feel like it was worth it :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 05:20 (fifteen hours ago) Permalink

ok best class

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 08:39 (twelve hours ago) Permalink

(there is no YT clip of the Matewan scene that i can find ☹️)

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 08:40 (twelve hours ago) Permalink

thanks for trying! it's ok -- we had a lot to cover anyway

idk why but i freaking LOVE talking about improvisation. it's such a relatable topic, maybe more relatable than playing composed music because everything about life is improvisation. i feel like my students connected with the concept really well.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 13:36 (seven hours ago) Permalink


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