Bloomer fighting transposition - Page 4

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  1. #61

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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    Pete says, "Yes, I agree with you about guitarists not ranking amongst the best readers, although I hate to stereotupe."

    Forget about "not ranking among the best readers". So few guitarists in the business are musically literate that, statistically speaking, there are virtually no literate pop guitarist out there. Popular music is primarily a musically illiterate craft, and that makes it pretty boring for me.

    Now my other theory is that because the music is so simple minded, there are virtually {I would guess} hundreds of thousands of bands out there. This keeps the compensation low for all musicians. Club owners get used to paying sub-living wages to rock bands, and feel they shouldn't have to pay more for real musicians.

    Remember the story of the Baker Street solo? The guitar player couldn't read it, so they had the sax player do it. Even studio guitarists are often illiterate.

    BTW, I like a lot of pop music. If there is a good band playing, I can listen to a couple of tunes. I wish they'd turn it down though.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    I dunno, most of the guitar players I've played with could read okay, especially basic lead sheets. Anecdotal, of course, but that's been my experience.

  3. #63

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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    Fred, I've played on the street at what we call the Dixieland spot for more that five years. It's usually a few guys from my band but anyone can sit in. We've had a lot of guitar players want to sit in but none have been able to cut it. We play in flat keys and use dimished chords and a few extended chords. That's enough to throw them completely.

    If you look at the history of art music and popular music, there have been stretches where these two are the same. From about 1500-1700, this was (roughly) true. Then as music got more complex, the two diverged. The only other time that art and popular music has merged was during the jazz era in the United States. Then as Jazz got more complex, they diverged again. There is still art music out there, i.e. both a continuation of the European music and American jazz. What you hear on the radio (even alternative stations) is largely over-rehearsed, diatonic, guitar-centric songs with a heavy wack on beats two and four. With the thousands of bands out there banging out tripe, there is bound to be some very good music being made somewhere, but the basic style and almost all the illiterates who play it, are just blue collar workers, not artists. (Nothing wrong with being blue collar, BTW)

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    Quote Originally Posted by lutemann View Post
    Fred, I've played on the street at what we call the Dixieland spot for more that five years. It's usually a few guys from my band but anyone can sit in. We've had a lot of guitar players want to sit in but none have been able to cut it. We play in flat keys and use dimished chords and a few extended chords. That's enough to throw them completely.

    If you look at the history of art music and popular music, there have been stretches where these two are the same. From about 1500-1700, this was (roughly) true. Then as music got more complex, the two diverged. The only other time that art and popular music has merged was during the jazz era in the United States. Then as Jazz got more complex, they diverged again. There is still art music out there, i.e. both a continuation of the European music and American jazz. What you hear on the radio (even alternative stations) is largely over-rehearsed, diatonic, guitar-centric songs with a heavy wack on beats two and four. With the thousands of bands out there banging out tripe, there is bound to be some very good music being made somewhere, but the basic style and almost all the illiterates who play it, are just blue collar workers, not artists. (Nothing wrong with being blue collar, BTW)
    Your argument has a nice shematic to it and does make sense, and I agree that much (not all) of what you hear on the radio these days is tripe, but I suspect that the internet, mp3's, and the likes of iTunes has more to do with that. I also agree with Pete regarding the explosion of music in the 60's and 70's--that was a golden age, when, using your scheme, fine and pop music merged. It's also quite possible to have both the merger and divergence at the same time--Joyce, Elliot, Pound, and Virginia Wolf were writing at the same time as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Cummings, and William Carlos Williams, and both groups greatly admired each other.

  5. #65

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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    My theory has more to do with the problems relating to reading on the guitar. Once you leave the first position, the fingerings constantly shift . Imaging each position to be a saxophone in a particular key and that there a 11 of these saxophones which are constantly changing under you fingers as you shift about. Then add the fact that you have double to quadruple stops. it's a bi#ch. I've known tons of good sight readers on piano and horns, but have only known a few good ones on the guitar. When you read to the guitar lists, sight reading is as big a topic as MPC is on this list. When a kid picks up a guitar at age 10, he will learn 10 times faster if he keeps away from the music. It is my belief that this has stunted the growth of (for the lack of a better word) rock and roll. We know that R&R can be great. Some of the atonal shredders, for example, are right up there with the European style modern composers (IMO). Unfortunately, whenever rock begins to develop, it ceases to be rock and nobody bothers to listen.

  6. #66

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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    Quote Originally Posted by lutemann View Post
    My theory has more to do with the problems relating to reading on the guitar. Once you leave the first position, the fingerings constantly shift .
    So why is this any different than violin family instruments, all of which have an extensive culture related to sight-reading from standard notation?

    The banjo, in non-African-American use, started out being a standard-notation instrument used to play light classical selections and "white people's popular music" of the mid to late nineteenth century. No one had any trouble playing banjo from standard notation. It was later, much later, that it became a fundamental instrument of types of music that were not written out (country, and later on, the bluegrass variant of country).

    *****************************************************************

    Personally I subscribe to the theory that the music is not in the dots; that the dots are a code indicating the music, but do not - cannot - provide all the necessary information. For example, just try to notate jazz rhythms, especially during passages that "swing" but don't have a lot of notes, using standard notation. Can't really be done. That's why in a reading band you constantly hear things like "Play on the left hand side of the beat", "OK, really lay back on those three beats", or "give me more of a New Orleans swing here".

    I agree that there's a lot of dreck on the radio, but I attribute that to the business model of mass market production of "music products". I disagree that it's necessary to have complexity and musical sophistication to have art. Look at Hank Williams. He used the simplest of forms, yet his songs are still alive. Why? I don't know. Why will Hank's songs last for decades and be recognized as great songs despite their simplicity, while so many other singing starlets will disappear in a year or so? I don't know. Neither does anyone else. The first one to explain why, will have achieved that thing that has never yet been achieved in the history of Western Civilization - a coherent theory of aesthetics.

    Same thing in classical - why are Beethoven and Mozart clearly recognized as masters while a host of "minor" composers from their times, using the same materials, handled in the same way, are largely forgotten?

  7. #67

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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    Quote Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
    SI agree that there's a lot of dreck on the radio, but I attribute that to the business model of mass market production of "music products". I disagree that it's necessary to have complexity and musical sophistication to have art. Look at Hank Williams. He used the simplest of forms, yet his songs are still alive. Why? I don't know. Why will Hank's songs last for decades and be recognized as great songs despite their simplicity, while so many other singing starlets will disappear in a year or so? I don't know. Neither does anyone else. The first one to explain why, will have achieved that thing that has never yet been achieved in the history of Western Civilization - a coherent theory of aesthetics.

    Same thing in classical - why are Beethoven and Mozart clearly recognized as masters while a host of "minor" composers from their times, using the same materials, handled in the same way, are largely forgotten?
    The answers to your questions are supplied by Sturgeon's Law: Ninety percent of everything is crap.

  8. #68

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    Default Re: Bloomer fighting transposition

    Now here's some real art music. That's me on banjo and vocals. We're playing at that same art gallery tonight. Tomorrow we drive to Mississippi and play at Julep's which was Elvis' favorite bar, so I'm told.

    https://www.facebook.com/BayouRhythm...2803415528270/

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