Two Computers

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Working on orchestra or other large-ensemble music using a sequencer can be very taxing on a computer system in terms of processor power, memory and disk usage.

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The End of the Artist

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What are the factors needed to make art? or, more importantly, good art?
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The Big Lie, Part II

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Content is King

…like this random rainbow dashboard picture. Publish articles, release free music, make YouTube videos. This is how we build our “tribe” and create “engagement,” thus building our “brand” and setting ourselves up for prosperity. I discussed the other Big Lie in a previous post.

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Obfuscation through Pedanticism

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Ever find yourself in a conversation with some people who suddenly switch to another language to talk to each other? While certainly a bit rude, there are a couple reasons why they might have done this: They may be more fluent in that language, perhaps needing to get to the point quickly, or were at a loss for words in English, but more likely, they didn’t want you to know what they were saying. This is the same reason parents “spell” words around their toddlers: “Do you think we could get some I.C.E. C.R.E.A.M after dinner?” Continue Reading…

The Loss of Creative Innocence

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Ever have an idea, invention, or creative thought, only to find out somebody somewhere in the world had already done that same thing? Continue Reading…

Why Improvisation Matters

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If you don’t play jazz, blues, or some other type of music that involves spontaneous playing, you might wonder what purpose there is in learning to improvise. Sure, “jazzheads” can sit around listening to John Coltrane or some other historic figure, but how can this arcane skill be of any value to a contemporary musician? Listen to popular songs, film scores or even academic classical compositions, and you will hear very little improvised material. Even in the classic rock guitar-hero era, most solos were brief 8-bar affairs that could (and often were) pre-composed by the soloist. So what’s the point of putting in massive amounts of time for this “obsolete” skill? Why not just work it all out in advance?

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Myths and Mysteries about Technique

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I believe in clarifying terms, not to dwell on word-play or language, but to identify concepts and approaches to get things done. In our journey as musicians, the term “technique” gets tossed around and is used to describe many different things. Let’s examine this, and find a definition that helps us move forward.

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Symmetrical Scales – Geometry in Music

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In the previous article, we examined seven-note scales, arguably the most “familiar” sounds in tonal music. Since 7 doesn’t divide evenly into 12, these scales can’t be symmetrical, meaning they don’t repeat an interval sequence. (except at the octave, of course) Today, we will examine scales that are formed using interval patterns, with numbers of tones other than 7.  Continue Reading…

How Many Scales Are There, Really?

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One thing my students often ask about is “scales” and which ones to learn. In an effort to clarify this, here are some permutational ways to look at this question. Keep in mind, I’m not really talking about which ones are most useful, or how to practice and apply them. What we will do here is do a little surveying, to see what’s out there. First, let’s establish some boundaries:

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Gotcha! (off-topic)

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It seems that being insincere, criticizing something that you actually do yourself, hiding your “true” purpose or painting yourself as righteous when you are not, is the worst possible sin.
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