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Friday, June 4, 2010

music and politics whats the connection

Music and Politics: What's the Connection?Writen by Dr. Alice Cash

Good evening! Are you watching the election returns? I am and I can't help thinking about all the music that has accompanied election campaigns and political campaigns of all kinds in the last few centuries. The first song that comes to mind for me is Happy Days Are Here Again. This well-known song became the theme song for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1932 inauguration - and was synonymous (with its upbeat tempo and cheerful lyrics) with the promised emergence from the Depression and Roosevelt's New Deal. There have been hundreds of other songs before and after this one, but on this important election night, I can't help but consider how important music is in setting the tone and the mood of a particular candidate, a particular race, or even a particular political party. A friend in another state is running for Secretary of Education. Imagine how much better her campaign is for using School Days behind television ads rather than I Can't Get No Satisfaction.

What is it that creates the strong feelings? The lyrics, obviously but also the tempo and the rhythms; a strong march-like rhythm with strong lyrics gets most people involved and makes the words more memorable. Think of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. That song has been sung for generations and will last for many, many more.

Music enhances and reinforces every human experience. Notice and be selective about what you include in your sonic environment. Music can heal and it can also wound. Give yourself the healthiest and most beautiful, uplifting music you can get.

Dr. Alice H. Cash is a clinical musicologist and a media expert on the healing power of music and the effects on music on all aspects of society. She is also a nationally known speaker and presenter. For more information on Dr. Cash and her work, visit

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

so you want to be president learn to play a musical instrument

So You Want to be President? Learn to Play a Musical Instrument!Writen by Duane Shinn

President Harry S. Truman, the man in the White House when the United States intervened on behalf of the millions of innocent people who were being displaced and massacred by Hitlers Nazi Germany, claimed to have practiced his piano lessons for two hours every morning during his childhood. Likewise, President Warren Harding was said to be able to play every instrument except the trombone and the clarinet. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) played the organ. Of course we all remember President Clinton and his saxophone, but did you know that President Nixon was an accomplished pianist?

And more recently a girl who was a musician long before she became an academic and then a world-famous diplomat, our own globetrotting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a very accomplished classical pianist. As she was growing up in the Rice home music was a family affair, and as early as age 3 Condi played piano at family gatherings. Her Dad was a minister and she often accompanied her organist Mother in church. The name Condoleezza is from the Italian phrase con dolcezza, which refers to playing music with sweetness. While other kids in her neighorhood were playing outdoors, she was more likely to be found practicing the piano or reading a book.

The list goes on, but the real question is why do people with musical training tend to achieve more in life? There are differing theories about that, but studies have shown a direct correlation between music and the brains ability to adapt to the world around it. One such test showed that people that had listened to just ten minutes of Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major and then took a spatio-temporal reasoning test (which is a part of a standardized intelligence test) scored 48% higher than the control group while a second study done at the University of California, Irvine on what has been called the Mozart Effect shows a increased IQ score of nine points.

In another study the Bulgarian psychologist George Lozanov discovered that playing Baroque instrumental music in the background had a profound effect on students ability to learn and retain a foreign language. The key is that highly structured, highly organized music seems to help the human brain to function in a more organized and efficient manner while further studies have shown that discordant music actually has a negative effect on the brain.

Studying music is the perfect way to derive its benefits. At least one study has shown that young children can gain the spatio-temporal reasoning effects mentioned above just by learning to play the piano or organ. Likewise, through the study of music we have the discipline of practice to expose us to great music regardless of our age. Besides for the effect of the music, studying music teaches discipline and the relationship between hard work and reward and there is little in life more rewarding than to hear beautiful music coming forth as a result of ones own effort.

Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America

Duane Shinn is the author of over 500 music books and products such as DVD's, CD's, musical games for kids, chord charts, musical software, and piano lesson instructional courses for adults. He holds advanced degrees from Southern Oregon University and was the founder of Piano University in Southern Oregon. He can be reached at He is the author of the popular free 101-week e-mail newsletter titled Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions with over 56,650 current subscribers. Those interested may obtain a free subscription by going to

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

write songs the music industry wants to hear

Write Songs the Music Industry Wants to Hear!Writen by Alex Forbes

Sure, art for art's sake is cool... but what if you're pursuing a career as a songwriter? This article is full of suggestions for how you can tailor your songs to suit the requirements of music business professionals.

Many of us bemoan the state of commercial music today, but what are you doing to improve things in your own microcosmic corner of the universe? Are you working to create the next wave of great material songs that have a lifespan of more than a few weeks or months? How can you use your talents to actually make a powerful contribution... and make a living while you're at it?

The first step is to take a good look inside and explore what you as a unique individual have to say, lyrically and musically. What do you think about, believe in, stand for? What makes you tick? These precious truths that bubble up from the soul provide the driving force behind great songwriting. These sparks of inspiration, these aha! moments, are what listeners crave when they play a song. They're also what People Behind Desks are desparate to find. Do you have the courage to lay bare your personal truth in public? I firmly believe that's what it takes to achieve success with your songs.

The cynical among us will say, o, you just need the right equipment, a catchy hook and a whole lot of money behind you. Sure, those things help, but if you're trying to break into the business, your song has to simultaneously grab people by the guts, tickle their ears, and slam them over the head like a 2-by-4. Strive to write songs that take risks, tap into the universal via the personal, and motivate people to laugh, cry, feel, dance or take action. Make an effort to innovate, not imitate what's already out there. In other words, write your passion. Songs miraculously translate to listeners the exact emotion you felt while you were writing them. Do your best to work that magic!

Another quality that professionals look for in a song is strong dynamic flow. Skillful use of the many conventions of songwriting can manipulate listeners in the most enjoyable way. Don't be afraid to push those emotional buttons! Here are some ways to go about it:

Suck listeners in with lyrical, melodic and chordal tension.
Create a question in their minds: how will this turn out in the end?
Throw their bodies off balance with chords or melodies that are unexpected or quirky.
Take a strong point of view that's boldly provocative, unique or intensely felt.
Paint a vivid picture in the mind's eye.
Set a palpable mood.
Construct an entire sonic and/or lyrical environment.

Once you have piqued people's interest, crank up their involvement using all the techniques in your lyrical toolbox, i.e. rhyme, meter, imagery, metaphor, alliteration... you name it. Avoid clichs like the plague, or turn them on their heads somehow. Experiment until you find the melody lines that best show off your lyrics, and vice versa. Salt your song with enough repetition to make it memorable, but not so much that it becomes predictable. Use chord progressions that are fresh, stimulating the ear rather than lulling it into complacency.

When it comes time for the ultimate payoff, your Hook, don't settle! This is your Money Shot, and most music biz pros will hit the eject button if they don't hear a strong hook in one listen. One listen! Here are a few ways to enhance your hook:

Construct your song so that all roads, lyrically and melodically, lead to your hook.
Remember that famous music business adage: Don't bore us, get to the chorus.
More hooks is merrier! Instrumental riffs, backups, rhythmical chord movement, and verse melodies can provide secondary hooks.
Fear not repetition (up to a point, of course).
Throw in memorable monkey wrench words that stand out.
Make sure the world can sing along.
Play with the language: use slang, twists of phrase, even invent a new word!

Finally, People Behind Desks really appreciate it if you know your marketplace. Don't submit a country ballad when their artist is a heavy metal guitar-shredder. And if you're the performer, have at least 3 crowd-pleasing, radio-ready songs in hand before you shop a deal. Make a detailed study of the hits in your chosen genres, and incorporate those lessons into your work. The Internet has made it incredibly easy to educate yourself about what's selling these days, so there's no excuse for ignorance.

Look at the world for a moment from the perspective of a music industry pro: They'll respond positively if they think your song will save their job. By bringing them dynamic, single-worthy, heartfelt material you'll be well on your way to doing just that, and creating a career for yourself as well.

Happy songwriting!

2006 by Alex Forbes

Award-winning hit songwriter Alex Forbes has seen over 65 of her songs released, many of them landing on the Billboard charts, on TV and in feature films. Her hits in the U.S. include Dont Rush Me, (Taylor Dayne), Too Turned On, (Alisha) and Nothin My Love Cant Fix. Her song, You Are Water is featured on the hit Classical/Pop album by Hayley Westenra. Alex has taught songwriting since 1990 and has appeared on many music industry panels. She offers one-on-one coaching, song critiques and interactive teleclasses for up-and-coming songwriters on her site,

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music in mesopotamia

Music in MesopotamiaWriten by Gabriel Rise

If we view the movement of history in the light of the conditions which increase men's knowledge, it seems that the most potent results are to be found where the greatest number of culture-contacts meet. For this reason, it is of Mesopotamian civilization that we speak, rather than of Sumerian or Akkadian. Thus we are compelled to look beyond strictly geographical limits in our survey of Mesopotamian music of the distant past, for indeed all peoples on what Breasted calls 'the fertile crescent' and its periphery must come within this purview, because it was by reason of admixture of stock, contrasts in habits, diversities in religion, and even friction of interests, that crossfertilizations of ideas were produced, which made the supreme greatness and vitality of Mesopotamian civilization possible. Nowadays, when scarcely a month passes without some fresh archaeological discovery, or a new philological deduction being registered, it is difficult to speak with any chronological certainty.

That being so, many of the early dates that will be posited in what follows must be considered simply as helpful stepping-stones, placed temporarily to accommodate the eye and mind in their stride across the stream of history, until a more durable bridge has been erected. The readjustments so ably determined and summarized by Albright have persuaded us, with some latitude, to draw up the following table which enables the reader to appreciate why certain dates do not synchronize with those of Dr. Curt Sachs and the late Canon F. W. Galpin who have contributed so much to our knowledge of the music of the peoples of the Mesopotamian past. Of the instruments of music in ancient Mesopotamia we possess a fair store of knowledge through the existence of actual specimens and a multitude of delineations, although much perplexity lies in their names, of which both the Sumerian and Akkadian languages offer quite an assemblage. Among idiophones we possess actual specimens of clappers from Ur ( twenty-fifth century B.C.). These consist of a pair of copper blades. Other specimens were found at Kish. We also have them depicted in the art remains, although we do not know their names. Sistra were also discovered at Ur, but all that remains are the jingling plates. Yet we know the complete form from art sources. At a late period we have a bell from Assyria, and sonnettes from the same place and period. Cymbals occur in two kinds: the plate type, pictured on a Babylonian plaque and a cup type of late Assyrian times.

Gabriel Rise has been experiencing in custom research papers and dissertation writing for several years. Now she is consulting writers and customers on term paper writing.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

rock sheet music

Rock Sheet MusicWriten by Marcus Peterson

Sheet music is defined as a musical document that describes arrangements, melodies, and chord changes. With the exception of solo performances, where memorization is the norm, rock musicians generally have a sheet music at hand when performing on stage. In fact, professional musicians are expected to develop the art of sight-reading i.e. the ability to perform an unfamiliar work of music upon viewing the sheet music for the first time.

Although all kinds of sheet music is readily at hand, many of the rock singers nowadays prefer to memorize the piece and perform impromptu, either in the practice space or in front of the audience. Music of other cultures, both folk and classical, is often conveyed verbally; though some have sheet music as an aid, a few performers even go the extent of using hand signals or a similar device as a learning aid.

Sheet music may come in several different forms. If a sheet is written for just one instrument, the music will be written on a single piece of sheet music. If it is to be played by more than one person, each person will usually have his or her own piece of sheet music, termed as a part. If there are a large number of performers required for a piece, there may also be a score, which is a piece of sheet music that shows all or most of the instruments' music in one place.

Rock sheet music can be downloaded from a number of websites; the more popular sites include,,,, and

Rock Music provides detailed information on Rock Music, Rock Sheet Music, Rock Music Code, Download Rock Music and more. Rock Music is affiliated with Musical Instrument Stores.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

canadian urban legend wes maestro williams still bringing the music to us after all these years

Canadian Urban Legend Wes 'MAESTRO' Williams - Still Bringing the Music to Us After All These YearsWriten by Orlena Cain

MAESTRO has evolved past his Let Your Backbone Slide days, but people still associate him with his first hit 15 years ago. Does that bother him? No way! For MAESTRO it is through his accomplishments as an artist that he has evolved and looks fondly back on his early years with pride.

To date no one has exceeded the levels of accomplishments that MAESTRO has achieved. To date, 7 music awards, 7 albums, 11 JUNO nominations, Gold and Platinum albums, Gold singles and a mixture of other awards in film/T.V and personal achievements. All of this, plus a film and television career? No wonder his latest album is called Urban Landmark 1989-2005 - its obvious he has made his mark, now lets see where he goes from here!

One of my very first interviews on radio was with MAESTRO, back when I was working at York University radio, he was a special guest on a show called, The Cutting Edge. I realized back then after our brief hour together on the show, that this is one hell of a passionate man! He is passionate about what he does, whom he speaks to, what he involves himself with and most of all passionate about MUSIC. It is the same passion I saw and felt when we (Liesa Norman and I) sat down with him the day before his CD release party. He truly is conductin thangs now more than ever, his life a full blown Symphony in Effect - just goes to show you he is Built to Last


You seem to have a love affair with Canadian contemporary and rock artists? This is not the average approach to hip hop is it?

WES- Janet Jackson sampled Joni Mitchell, that is a lot farther apart than me, a Canadian artists, sampling another Canadian artist. See?

Yes, but you are the only one that has been acknowledged for doing it.

WES- No, Swollen Members did it too, but not a lot of people know they did a track with Sarah MacLachlan that was HOT. This was off their last album..I dont know WHY those guys did not make it the single, it was so hot!

To date you have worked with HAYWIRE, GUESS WHO and now Gowan!

WES- It is just something I like to do. Take Canadian rock records and just revamp them. I have these albums, I like them- I collect them.

So, within the song that you are listening to, you hear another song?

Orlena, Hip Hop up n'comer Subliminal, Liesa WES- yeah, yeah. Like when I heard Stick to Your Vision (track off his last album, that sampled The Guess Whos - These Eyes)- I was like.Whooooo! That was a nice reflective song to talk about what you been through and inspirational at the same time.

So that was a favourite?

WES- Hell, yeah! (chuckles)

Lyrically do you find that the words come first or does the music?

WES- There is no specific formula. A concept may come first and then the music after. You know I never try to assimilate - I try to innovate.

So your latest track, Criminal Mind with Larry Gowan- was that something that you heard within the song, or was that something you conceptualized on your own?

(l-r) Orlena, Actor-Richard Leacock, Liesa WES- Nah. It was more like the original version was talking about being a criminal and having a criminal mind. I had the take on it of the justice system being more criminal. But, at the same time, we as a community not being in a position where we are more followers, rather than being the leaders that we should be. In life you have to be a leader and STOP MAKING EXCUSES for whatever! With the song I just put my own little spin on it. What I love is that Randy Bachman and Larry Gowan, both like what I did with the song.

Were you in the studio with Larry Gowan?

WES- Nah. I was in his living room when I played him the track when it was done and I saw the hair stand up on his arms. Then we went downstairs to watch his video from Criminal Mind and then my new one, that he is in. The video is full rotation now - its just BANANAS!

Do you find the violence is accurate to what the media portrays? Or do you really feel that there is a surge of violence within minorities?

The Showstoppers(ctre) Maestro

and Kardinal Offishall WES- Yeah, Yeah (as he sighs). It is a bit of both. A bit of sensationalism still occurs though. But, to me it is embarrassing for all people that we carry on like that with each other. We dont have to be like that. We have lost our ability to talk to one another. My question is how did the guns get here in the first place? Who is bringing them into the country? That is the last line in my song Criminal Mind. I come from a good place and I hope that people gravitate toward what it is that I am doing.

The album, which came out August 23, has 5 new hits?

WES- The album does not really have five NEW hits, but 5 previously unreleased songs. These tracks have been out before, but just on radio and more as singles that were unavailable for purchase.

Well, your greatest hits album, is going cover the span of your career - are you prepared to do any of those moves you used to spin for Let your Backbone Slide.

R&B Sweetie Melanie DurrantWES- Oh yeah. I am going to have a full-blown show! Choreography, the is going to be hot to death!

You are still hot to death after all these years. You still have the same fever and flavour that you had when you were younger. It is good to see! What are you listening to in your car right now? Do you have any music influences?

WES- Right now I am listening to myself (outbreak of laughter from us all). I have my show CD in and I am practicing that over and over again.

Laughter aside, you have a reputation to upkeep, if you dont come correct you know people are going to be writing about it! Watching and waiting for you to fall..or just all off the stage!

What a night!WES- Thats finewatchjust keep watching!

We will!

FYI- The next day MAESTRO came with it and blew the roof off the MOD CLUB! The place was packed, people were bumpin to his hits and when he let us have the final trackit was all over. Hey! When MAESTRO left the stage - everyone else left.

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