The presentation I am choosing to talk about is Adriana’s, “Music and Addiction” playlist. I thought this was a very interesting topic and something I did not think of myself. She explained that music is related to addiction because people can express their struggles about addiction through music. She also went on to explain that addiction can be about anything. People can be addicted to drugs, caffeine, another person, money, or social media. Her first song example was “Addiction” by Kanye West. It is an example of a straightforward song in relation to the topic. Kanye is speaking about his experience with addiction after fame in this song. Her next example was “Your Love Is My Drug” by Kesha. This song shows the side effects of addiction and shares the emotions that come about with being addicted to something. Two songs I would add to this playlist are “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran and “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The first song is said to be about a woman struggling with an addiction to cocaine. Specific lyrics like “going mad for a couple grams” is a good representation of what an addiction can do to you. There is a constant melody that the strum of a guitar plays in the background throughout the entire song. The second song is a reference to drug use/ abuse. The lyrics “Under the bridge downtown is where I drew some blood” which suggests the idea of using drugs and even living on the streets. A musically interesting moment is when the guitar stops and then the music picks up with drums and they start singing. Overall, I think this was a very interesting topic.
A song that I consider to be good music is “Open Arms” by Journey. This song is from Journey’s 1981 album called Escape. It is a “power ballad” and its lyrics convey the meaning of rekindling a relationship with someone that is starting to drift away. It has reached Billboard Hot 100 in the past and it is still a very recognizable song to this day. It has been described as one of the greatest love songs and VH1 said that this power ballad is the greatest of all time. There have been many covers of this song like one from Mariah Carey. In musical terms, “Open Arms” has a complex melody in comparison to other songs and was written in the D major key. It is under the genre of Pop/Rock. A unit that we have covered in class that this song can fit under could be Popular Music in the US. As I mentioned, this song is very well known and loved by many people to this day. It is one of Journey’s most famous songs. It would teach that all genres of music can be considered popular music. We saw how the Blues influenced Rock and Roll, so that could be worth mentioning too. Since it has been recognized by Billboard and VH1 as one of the most popular power ballads, that is why it can fall under the category of Popular Music in the US.
The religion I am choosing to talk about is Catholicism. This is a religion that I am familiar with, having gone to many masses at a Catholic church and receiving sacraments. Music is used in this religion. Like what we looked at in class the other day, Catholic churches would use chants. First, was the Gregorian chant which was the first notated piece of music. In these chants, there is no steady meter and other scales were used, not just major and minor. There are many different forms of chants, but they, “each [use] the human voice to sound a sacred text on an occasion of great solemnity,” (394). Music is played during masses at the church, during funerals, and during weddings at the church. A piece of music associated with my religion is “Ave Maria.” Today, this is a song used in Catholicism and in prayer at many funerals, especially in the United States. Musically speaking, it has a more complex chord in comparison with other songs and is written in B major. It has a polyphonic texture and starts in a duple meter but then shifts to a triple meter, but ends up back in a duple meter. Just like the purpose of the chants, this song is meant to give a sense of peace. It expresses the religious idea of being at peace after death. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpYGgtrMTYs
Something in relation to music that I have a lot of interest in is the genre of classic rock. There is no music like it. Songs from the 1970’s and the 1980’s are better than a lot of today’s music, in my opinion. The most popular classic rock bands include, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Beatles, Journey, Guns N’ Roses, and Bon Jovi, just to name a few. It can be heard on New York’s WBAB radio channel and is all over the internet where you can add it to a playlist or download it. Once certain radio stations started disappearing, that is when the term “classic rock” came about because that is what the remaining stations referred to this type of music as. The history of classic rock dates back to the Antebellum Period of the United States and it began in the deep south on plantations. If I were to teach this topic to a class, I would make a slideshow with notes and pictures and accompany the slides with musical examples from specific bands that I like the most as well as using an example from the mid 19th century since that was the beginning of this genre. Then, people would be able to see and hear the evolution of this music. Classic rock is still popular today and I believe it will never not be popular.
I have been to a couple of concerts in my life including Ariana Grande, Maroon 5 and Kesha and Macklemore. But, the coolest concert I have been to in my opinion was the combination concert of Joan Jett, Posion, Motley Crue and Def Leppard. It was so different than any other concert I have been to. It was a 6 hour long concert and their concerts only were taking place at stadiums, hence the name “The Stadium Tour.” I saw it at Citi Field with my boyfriend in June this past summer. The genre of all of the performers is rock/hard rock. I have always loved and appreciated older music and the fact that I had an opportunity to go see a concert from 70’s and 80’s bands was crazy to me. My own parents who also love these bands had never even seen them in concert before. The performers were all mainly dressed in black and it was the typical rock band look with the men with long hair. Even the audience dressed in a particular way with denim shorts or ripped jeans, band tees, and a lot of black. The audience mostly consisted of people in their 40’s to 60’s and everyone was drinking alcohol and even smoking weed. My boyfriend and I at only 18 years old felt a little out of place. The way in which the audience behaved was everyone was standing and screaming the lyrics. So many people in front of us were dancing the whole time and throwing up the “rock on” hand sign. It was a very loud, crazy and exciting performance. Once it got dark outside, the colorful beaming lights and strobe lights went on and it looked so cool. Motley Crue even had a giant blow up woman for their song “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Many people in the audience were recording the concert and during “Home Sweet Home” people put their flashlights on and waved their phones back and forth. Everything matched my expectations with this concert. In comparison to a concert we have spoken about in class such as Beethoven’s, this one was loud, intense and the audience interacted by screaming the lyrics and dancing. In Beethoven’s, the audience was sitting and listening and only reacted by clapping when it concluded. Also, in Beethoven’s, the performers were very formally dressed and that was not the case for the concert I attended. Finally, in the concert I was at, the performers were dancing and they had backup dancers while in Beethoven’s concert, the performers were sitting playing their instruments on the stage.
In the first article, “100 years ago today, ‘The Rite of Spring’ incited a riot in a Paris theater,” the author discusses what went down and what he believes happened in this ballet’s premiere. The author says that to this day, there is still not a clear answer as to what took place during that performance and he uses the word “hazy” to describe people’s memory of what happened. Everyone can agree that this ballet ended in “mayhem and chaos.” People in the audience ended up throwing things like vegetables at the stage which is what insinuated the chaos. Even with this going on, the performers kept going and the ballet itself was violent too. In the next article, the author explains what actually happened at this event. The author starts by saying that due to the ballet’s harsh instrumental sounds and ugly costumes, the audience having such a reaction is almost validated. However, he then shifts to saying that the riot actually never happened. The balcony sections would have experienced Stravinsky’s harsh music even worse due to the sound bouncing off of concrete walls. The author then goes onto saying, “Since this is the only audience perspective that has been preserved in history, we have no idea whether other sections of the audience experienced the same disorientation.” It was a disrespectful and even racist performance as well. He also states, “The ballet ignited explosive tempers, but the blasts were not all directed at the stage.” There is no mention of any physical fights that took place, only verbal, so therefore this “riot” did not happen. It is a myth. When I first watched this ballet, I thought that it would be something very boring and it is not something I would enjoy watching a whole performance of. If I was actually in the audience in 1913 watching this, I honestly probably would have not stayed for the entire show.
We have discussed many songs that were sung and basically redone completely from the original. One we did not mention was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which was originally written and performed by Nirvana. Tori Amos did a cover of this song and completely changed it up. She turned a rock song with a harsh, deep voice to a pleasing and more quiet voice. The original song is from 1992 while Tori’s is from 2008. She slows the song down immensely and plays the piano in the background while singing it. But in Nirvana’s version, there are the typical instruments of a hard rock band and no piano. Nirvana is an American rock band with the lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014 and have won many awards such as the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist. Tori Amos is an American singer, song writer and pianist. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range and she has also won many awards. The meaning behind the name of this song is actually because the singer of Nirvana apparently smelling like the deodorant Teen Spirit. The lyrics are meant to convey a mystery about Nirvana. Something similar between the performances are the lyrics stay the same and that is about the only thing that stays the same. There are way more differences including the overall meaning behind the song is changed and Tori has softer verses. The melody is enhanced by her voice. Like I mentioned, the , meaning of the song is changed when Tori delicately plays the piano and sings much more softly because the entire mood of the song changes.
The song that I chose for this assignment is “Hysteria” by Def Leppard. Def Leppard is a band that came about in 1977 who started in England. They are a heavy metal rock group with many popular songs including the one I chose, “Love Bites,” “Rock of Ages,” and “Photograph.” They became popular in the United States in the 80’s. Their first big hit was “Photograph” and their album named “Hysteria” is their most popular album. Ever since around 7th grade, I have come to appreciate songs from older generations. However, I never really listened to this band until this past year. Their music puts me in a better mood and is usually what I listen to while driving. I even went to their concert with my boyfriend this June. The song “Hysteria” has the keys D major and G major and is listed under the genre of Alternative Rock. Unlike their other songs, this one is a more soft texture song since it lacks the heavy instrumentals. There is a guitar melody as well as vocals. It has a tempo of 107 beats per minute and is written in the key of G. A musically interesting moment in the song is when it shifts to just an instrumental moment with different pitches. An interesting fact I found was that Rick Allen, their drummer, said in an interview that this is his favorite song and that it makes him feel comforted. I actually feel the same way listening to this song which is why when I listened to the interview I found it interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SluRyO4EA4
The piece of music technology that I chose to write about for this blog post is an instrument. I chose the piano. A piano is an instrument that was invented in 1700 and is “used to play two parts simultaneously.” It is actually classified as being a string instrument as well as a percussion instrument and not every piano has the exact same number of keys. It is versatile and allows for different textures to be produced. By a person pressing down on its keys, a hammer inside of the instrument hits the strings and that is what creates the sounds that make the music. Sound is produced automatically when the keys are pressed which helps achieve the sounds of music. I was not able to find ways that people have used the piano for things other than its intended purpose because I feel like there is not any other way to use this instrument besides to create music with its keyboard. I do not have any personal experience with this instrument but I have always wanted to learn to play the piano but I unfortunately never did. An example of a piece of music that uses piano in it is “Someone Like You” by Adele. The use of the piano in this song helps to maintain the solemn vibe that this song has. And, in this song, the only musical technology being used is just the piano and Adele’s voice. That makes the song more simple and so you focus more on the lyrics of the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0
What I find the most interesting in the Renaissance time period of music is that the composers of this time were focused a lot on creating pieces that dealt with “serenity” and “spirituality.” It goes along with the ideas of this time period, where there was a desire to understand the way in which the world works. This time period is also referred to as “The Age of Humanism.” What I already knew about this time period was that between these years, (1400-1600) is when colonization started to happen, when we could see there was a great diversity in the human race now. The music during this time period is described as an “emphasis on harmonias sonorities” and the use of “soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices,” (Natvig & Cornellius). I chose to look up Giovanni Gabrieli and listened to his song “O Magnum Mysterium” from 1587. The music sounds very angelic and churchlike. This is what I was expecting to hear since the textbook was talking a lot about religion during the Renaissance. It sounded like a very well composed harmony with a lot of focus on the sounds of the instruments and sounds of voices, not actual words which was also mentioned in this textbook.