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Mero Blog 9

The connection between Music and Police Brutality was actually very interesting. Specifically our generation has been very vocal about our support in raising awareness for certain topics that has not had a lot of light shed on it but seeing all the different songs being chose really was eye opening. The lyrics itself were very straight to the point. Both songs overall had the message of civilians, specifically certain individuals have to struggle from violence and the purpose of the songs was to raise awareness on this topic so that civilians do not have to get hurt. One specific thing I was actually shocked at is when it was revealed that cops will hit anyone just to keep their job in KRS-One’s “Sound of Da Police”. In terms of Social context, it was also interesting to see that both songs were released in 1993-1994, very close in years. This could possibly because of the rise in police brutality and the need that artists felt to raise awareness

I would choose to write about Chains by Usher. Usher wrote this song

Mero Blog 7

Music in the catholic church is mostly used to encourage the congregation to participate during the mass. Growing up, I remember my Sunday class teacher encouraging me to take one of Gospel lectionary and to follow along with the congregation. We would often get dirty looks if we did not follow along and were fooling around. Although it was encouraged, adults would often tell the youth to follow along so that they can believe in the faith and preach the faith forward to future generations. In the assigned reading, it says that the music creates a shared physical experience with others, which is similar to what I said before. I mostly think that the reason our Sunday class teachers pushed it so much is because the faith is getting lost after kids make their communion/confirmation (which is an important ceremony in the church). So, by them using music, it becomes a little more enjoyable rather than listening to the priest speak. Often, the music is used to help transition from one part of the mass to another. One of the more important pieces is called “Alleluia”  

“Alleluia” is a piece of music that is used to transition to the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a catholic ceremony in which bread is eaten and wine is drunk as a way of showing devotion to Jesus Christ. In my personal experience, this is the one song that always stays consistent throughout the mass, The choir changes their songs for the readings but the song before the Eucharist is always Alleluia. Alleluia consists of the congregation singing “alleluia alleluia alleluia alleluia” but what is interesting is the technique they use. Instead of just singing the words, they hold it out and have multiple pitches during each word. This technique is called melismatic. Melismatic is when multiple pitches are sung during one syllable. It is way more enjoyable and satisfying to the ears in my opinion because it sorts of contrasts against each other. This song does vary towards each church, but this is the best example I could find. Right from the beginning of the video, the men are stretching out the word alleluia with multiple pitches while the lady begins telling a story. The alleluia is really serves as a way for the congregation to join because it is just one word they must sing repeatedly.  

Mero Blog 6

The concert I attended was a Laufey concert. She considers her music style modern jazz, and her music is often soft and follows a slow tempo. The performance took place in Bowery Ballroom in New York city. Because her music caters to a younger audience, the audience was cheering loudly but not to the point where they were yelling but everyone was excited. I decided to attend her concert because I discovered her music during quarantine and related to a lot of it. During this time, I also wanted to expand my music taste from just regular pop. Laufey’s music is slower and gives off a chill vibe compared to my music before, which was often fast tempo and very loud. She is the reason why I decided to get more into jazz and now I love jazz.  

Because her audience is a much younger group, the audiences’ outfits followed a certain aesthetic like chic but although it was chic, it was still very casual such as long flowy skirts, crop tops with soft colors, jeans, etc. The fashion at her concert is what is considered popular nowadays with teens and young adults. Bowery Ballroom is a mostly standing hall because there is limited space, and it was packed with her fans. While Shes performing, the audience is swaying to the melody of her song. Laufey doesn’t really use a call and respond but the whole time the audience is singing along. Nothing really surprised me because the vibe of fans fit her music. It’s not hype music to where you can jump and yell but it’s a nice melody with the crowd singing along and cheering when she performs her songs.  

I chose to focus on the Khalid concert. While they are both popular artists striving in our modern day, their vibes are very different. Khalid’s music does follow a chill vibe but its more of an upbeat melody. In Khalid’s concert, he used a call and response with his audience while Laufey mostly sang and smiled at the audience. In Laufey’s concert, her audience swayed to the music and sang on pitch but for Khalid’s concert, his audience members did sway to the music too but there were more cheers before and during the song while Laufey’s audience tended to cheer before and after the songs.  It is clear that despite them being current popular artists, the genre really affects the way the concert plays out and the audience reacts.

Mero Blog 5

In Amar Toor’s 100 years ago today, ‘The Rite of Spring’ incited a riot in a Paris theater, they discuss how no one can accurately describe what happened there because there are so many different interpretations, but one thing is for sure: they know that the night ended in chaos. They believed that during the performance, with the ballerinas’ sharp violent movements, the audience began to yell, and it became so chaotic that the ballerinas could not hear the orchestra. After that, the audience began to harass the orchestra by throwing vegetables to them and that’s when the fight began. They weren’t sure if there were cops but it turned into a very chaotic scene with everyone yelling at each other and vegetables being thrown. However, because of this, Stravinsky is known for causing a shift in the music world as we know.   

In Linda’s version, some of the dance moves were a bit exaggerated because of the limited frame the audience could see. Often, the moves were taken from “exotic” people for amusement and the aristocrats that this was the case, so they laughed. But because of the aristocrats’ laughter, critics and musicians found it offensive so they insulted the aristocrats. But that was the most “violent” it ever was. It turns out that there was explosive temper, but the arguments mostly were political, not really about the art. In fact, the riot didn’t happen; the supposed “riot” that occurred was a man sitting behind Carl Van Vechtan beat rhythmically on top of his head. It just so happened that the word riot seemed to paSs on when describing what took place that night  

I honestly thought it was a bit disturbing because I tend to lean towards softer music. I can only imagine what it was like sitting in the audience, in the dark, having this sharp music being played and then dancers following the harsh dance music. Considering the year, I most likely would’ve endured the ballet and then afterwards, never attended another one of Stravinsky’s ballets. 

Mero Blog 4

The songs I chose are Got to get you into my life by the Beatles and the covered version is by Earth Wind & Fire. The Beatles version was released in 1966. It was written by Paul McCartney, but it was credited to Lennon-McCartney. What is interesting about this song is that it was written based on McCartney’s psychedelic experience. According to Many Years from Now, Paul McCartney’s biography written by Barry Miles, he says ‘Got to Get You into My Life’ was one I wrote when I had first been introduced to pot. I’d been a rather straight working-class lad but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting… I didn’t have a hard time with it and to me it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding.” In 1978, Earth, Wind & Fire covered Got to Get You into My Life. They originally recorded it to take part in a movie called Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the film unfortunately did not gain traction, so the song became popular when “The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1,” which was released. 

In Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version of “Got to get you into my life”, it is very different from the original version. It is very upbeat and has more of a jazz and soul feeling beat. Considering they released this in 1978 during the disco era, it is understandable of why the version focuses more on a upbeat and fast tempo. What is interesting in their version is that they have a intro that is longer than the Beetles version. In the original, it takes them 7 seconds before they start singing their first verse. In Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version, they have an introduction consisting of percussion, snapping, saxophone, and a bit of guitar. That lasts one minute and 11 seconds and then they sing the first verse. In their introduction, they added “got to get you into my life, into my life” and repeat it multiple times. They did not only change the introduction; they also cut out certain verses from the original. They only sing the first verse, part of the second verse, then jump into the chorus, jump back to the first verse and then repeat their introduction consisting of “got to get you into my life.  

The Beetles version is a bit more mellow, which fits with the reason of how the song came to life, and is not as long as Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version. The instruments consist of tambourine, electric rhythm guitar, and percussion. As mentioned before, Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version cut out one of the verses from the original so in the Beetles version, there is one extra verse.  

I believe the story being told by both versions is to have a good time, just differently. Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version is to have a good time and provides a beat to dance to and overall get your mood up while the Beetle’s version is a bit more mellow and has a calming tempo, which could correlate to song being about cannabis. In both versions, we can hear that percussion is present and the chorus stays the same.

Mero Blog 2

For this blog I chose ‘Good Vibrations’ by the Beach Boys. The Beach Boys consisted of 5 men: Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine. They started as a garage and their distinctive style was influenced by the music of pop vocal groups, R&B, and rock and roll from the 1950s. Murray Gage Wilson was their manager as well as the father of Brian, Dennis, and Carl but he was very abusive towards the boys, especially when the boys were successful. Because their father terrified them, they were scared to creating successful hits and they did whatever they could to achieve that, including drugs. They went through a lot of different stages in their career but ultimately, they were successful in having an impact on America that their music is still played today.  

When I first heard this song, I was 10 and it was played by my father. He loves playing older songs and showing me “the good music” as he likes to call it. I then heard it again in 2019 while watching hotel Transylvania 3 with my niece.  

The music elements I chose are harmony and texture. I chose to focus on the chorus in ‘Good Vibrations’. In the chorus, the texture is Polyphonic. At first, I was between monophonic and polyphonic but because each background contributes to the full piece of the music, it was clear that those were independent melodic lines. In this song, the Beach Boys used Electro-Theremin, jaw harp, string bass, and cello and you can hear all of these in the chorus. I never heard of an Electro-Theremin, but it turns out it was the little high pitched “wooooo“ during the chorus. That was just interesting to me. The harmony is consonant in the chorus. Because there are so many different instruments, including the singer’s voice, and they all lean towards a higher pitch, it sounds pleasing to the ear and there is a constant beat that the harmonies follow which give a sense of stability. 

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eab_beh07HU 

Mero Blog 1

This historical period was not what I expected. I have never heard of the Baroque period but learning about it was interesting. The level of violence present throughout this historical era is what makes it most interesting. The Thirty-year war occurred because protestants were forced into Catholicism, and half of their population died because of it. There were beheadings such as Mary Queen of Scots, because she was planning the murder of Queen Elizabeth I. Citizens were being heavily taxed because Louis XIV was living at a palace in Versailles, which he built, and he decided that he wanted citizens to support him. Essentially, there was a lot of drama, and many people were harmed because of this. Baroque music is described as vibrant in the textbook. In this time period, art has changed from being reserved for the aristocracy to becoming accessible to all. There were paintings, sculptures, and operas. In all these art forms, they were all described as “romantic expressions” meaning that there was intense emotion, rich color, and specific details to really demonstrate all the dramatic but powerful art being created.  

I chose Arcangelo Corelli as the major figure in music. I think his music does fit with what I expected from this era. There are shifts in the music tone and it kind of tells a story with its sound, ranging from quiet and low tones (sadder) to high and loud tones (happier), which the Baroque period is all for expressing our emotions.  

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July 2024

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