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How to ace your music, part 1

How to ace your music, part 1

What is music? The OED says "Music is vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion". 99 out of 100 people like music, have preferences about music, hate some (or many) kinds of music. Music is so pervasive in human culture it has its own letter in the Library of Congress classification system (M). That's up there with Science (Q), Law (K), Medicine (R). All the other arts (dance, painting, equestrian statuary) are squished into the letter N. Rock on, music! Music speaks to people's souls and bypasses the mind, apparently even if you're an atheist and don't believe you have a soul. It's always fascinating to watch someone react to the music around them, accepting or rejecting the sounds, frequently subliminally; only rarely is a person uninfluenced by music around them.

One thing music is not is an intellectual exercise, except for perhaps classical composition of the last 90 years, which no one listens to anyway. When you're working on your music, you must always move it past the point of mechanics and into beauty, emotion, drama, I mean, every week you have to do that. You say 'how do I do dat when I aint no good?' This is where practicing intelligently and picking appropriate songs come in. And how do I do that, I wonder? Tune in next time for....the Mark Black knows!!!!


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