I would like to share a musical secret with all of you…Your ears will be thanking me later. Bach rules and pop music sucks! Bands that are popular right now that I find pleasing to my ear include Mumford and Sons. Many others, but I will use them as my example. Mumford and Sons music is passionate, melodic, rhythmic, and uses harmony, counterpoint, and chromaticism to convey their music’s power. I wish more contemporary artists did this.
So What? No pun intended, although Miles and the Jazz greats owe more to Bach than the vast majority of contemporary musicians. Not using Classical Music’s influence is one reason why I feel popular music can feel soul-less or spineless in comparison to something like Keith Jarrett in Koln or Clarence White in Sweden. I am trying to examine this now in my listening and my playing. I have found that musicians who are playful with melodies and time can create more suspense, or beauty in their music. Theory knowledge is a great tool for composing and playing, although it is not necessary, and in some extreme cases can even hinder the composer’s creativity.
I am currently learning Bach pieces to better understand my instrument and music in general. Starting with a simple melody then making it move, changing tonal centers, using secondary dominants, ii-V changes, chord substitutions as well as altered scales and diminished arpeggios makes songs more colorful and interesting. Giving them a timeless appeal. It is the icing on the cake, the drama between the first act and the curtain call. Every note or chord wants to resolve, (V-I) all music really is how a composer or band gets the notes to play with each other before resolving/ or not.
Well you gotta start somewhere. I will later upload a piece I wrote this morning. I was trying to compose a jazz piece somewhere in the thread of a Thelonious Monk song with Jethro Burns influence I guess? The title of the song is “Picky”. The title of this post is referring to my journey back in time to find inspiration in music that has always been here and always will be.