It seems we can always turn to a popular old melody for some familiar sing-along action. The lyrics of this tune have a bit of an icky past, harking back to the American Civil War, but like most public domain songs to stand the test of time, the simplistic melody often reminds us of childhood. In “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” you’ll find the major third at 0:04, on the lyrics “Shoo” and “fly.”
The very first time I can recall hearing this song on my parents’ turntable, I was struck by that groovy little bass riff between the lyric lines “tell you something” and “I think you’ll understand,” and repeated throughout the verses in the same spot. What makes this little flurry of notes so clever is the sudden change in meter (coming out of the slow, steady rocking on the root and sometimes the fifth) and the double emphasis on the leading tones.
Only drowning men could see him…
Getting a space prepped for a recording session takes a considerable amount of time. If you’re recording clients, or guest musicians, or just helping out a friend, always try to ask for a specific tech plot in advance so you can plan accordingly. There’s nothing that will suck the inspiration and energy right out of the room more than waiting around to set up mics and inputs when the musicians are already done setting up their gear.
Student-Artist: Lisa Reshkus
“We are dealing with music here, not 1s and 0s, so we made the early decision to not trust the data. We engineered the user experience and worked our way back to the data. When we were faced with a problem, we looked at music theory and Djing to solve the user experience rather than rely on what the data was telling us.”
One of my projects for this summer is to realize my decades-old ambition to learn how to scratch. I borrowed a Korg Kaoss DJ controller from a friend, downloaded Serato, and have been fumbling with it for a week now. The Kaoss DJ leaves much to be desired. The built-in Kaoss Pad is cool, but otherwise it’s too small and finicky. I will definitely want to upgrade to something with big, chunky buttons and more haptic feedback in general. Still, the Kaoss DJ is enough to get started with.
This remarkable music video features an exceptionally talented young female dancer named Maddie Ziegler. Her stellar performance is both hypnotic and mesmerizing. (We love escalating dance performances in music videos — we did a whole thing on it.) The song itself conveys Sia’s struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, and Ziegler’s wild dancing is a striking visual depiction of that mixed with the guilt and pain that follows. She violently jumps and throws herself around the empty room with constantly changing expressions of anger, pain, confusion, excitement, and sadness. The room itself is empty and represents a mind that is distressed and sadly neglected.
Music unites america
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We’ve already covered this with ascending intervals, so let’s look at how to identify descending intervals using popular songs and melodies. Wherever possible, we’ve offered more than one example, in case you’re not familiar with the first. Ready?
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