Saturday, February 25, 2006

When is it new or the same old thing?

I think that instrumentalists that look to be the best in a large ensemble has vastly different goals than the instrumentalist that is working to play in an ensemble that requires improvisation. I used to play clarinet in a concert band where I could hide and play the "part" notated in front of me. When I moved to a jazz ensemble (especially a small group) there was so much more required of me to participate. I needed a vastly increased knowledge of theory. I was also required to listen to the other performers so that I did not "collide" with them musically.

I find it interesting that educators are not in agreement on the “best musicians”. An orchestra conductor is not interested in musicians who want to improvise. Improvisers often cannot play an accurate performance of a notated score. So aren’t these musicians different?

Personally, I want to play what I want when I feel the need. I temper it when other musicians are in the room. I play exactly what is printed in front of me when the pay is good. I guess it then becomes a job.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Volti Subito

Even though we do a lot of online teaching we still work in front of an audience at times.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Old Men and Rock

Well, the Super Bowl again catered to the Boomers.

Here we had a group of musicians that would have never been taken seriously when the Boomers were young. Remember that Pete Townsend (I think) wanted to die before he was 30 because it was so old! Now we have these old rookers that for some reason still get audiences. Could it be that the youth today are forced to live through the nostalgia of their parents the same way we lived through the Swing music of our parents? I actually like swing but it certainly was not the music of my generation.

To me the real irony is that early rock was so connected to sex appeal and those who made it big then should be so interesting (sexy?) today. Their sex appeal is now sex repel. At least the Stones have been creating new music throughout their career but their image is still one of the bad boys so obviously now the corporate boys! Alas, it must be hard to give up the spotlight.

It is clear that the Boomers still control the market. Otherwise the Super Bowl would have catered to today's youth. Rock is not necessarily the music of the adolescent class but the leading market class. The Grammy's only reinforced that. What a tragedy to be young now and not have the marketplace paying any attention to you. But Boomers, just you wait, there is a bigger population buldge coming up (milenials) who will make you a forgotten generation. They will set cultural taste, music, clothes, sports, food, drug of choice, the look of sexy, everything -- and all the Boomers can do is watch.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Rock History Hits the country

It is interesting having a blog. There are those who have much to say and want to persuade and others who want to rant.

Dave and I started this blog just to show a day in the life of a teacher software developer. We make this blog available across all the classes that use our course software. To date this is now a national blog and growing. The last courses we have developed are Jazz History Online and just released Rock History Online. These last classes are perhaps our most exciting. The team that helped develop them is tops. The reason for studying history has become more clear with each course we have developed. Amazing how teaching remains so exciting after 30+ years with the move to online delivery. It has made us question everything all over again. I can't tell you how much has been thrown away. Good stuff.