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If you said that music is everywhere you are not mistaken because music is heard everywhere nowadays. In the auditoriums, homes, schools, church, playgrounds, streets, offices, and theaters, to call but a few. Also i would not be exaggerating if i say that we owe so much to modern technologies in the form of compact disc, digital video disc, mp3 players and iPod.
RECORDED PERFORMANCE is one of the great innovation of the twentieth century and now music can be heard in diverse places such as your rooms, cars, shops, and in the market, such places where you cannot dream of hearing it in the past.
Long ago, LIVE PERFORMANCE is the call of the day and we all go to the theaters, concert halls and cinemas to enjoy good musics right from the artistes themselves.
In as much as recorded performance is now taking the order of the day in our music life because of its portability, for you only have to on your mp3 player or slot your compact disc and music will keep blasting and you keep dancing till you wish to stop. Live performance shows you a special side of music because it provides a special excitement. In a live performance, the performers puts themselves on the line to make sure that the audience are actually involved. To do this the performer or the artiste must practice beforehand and make sure that technical difficulties is avoided. What is been performed, how the instruments sounds, how the artiste or performer sings and sways all make up the excitement and feeling being shared between the stage and hall.
In understanding what musical sounds is, first lets consider sound itself. What is sound? the answer is simple and is taken from different angles.
Sounds are vibrations emitted from a medium when it is being hit, plucked, ringed, tapped, or stroked. Having said that, we now consider musical sounds.
What is musical sounds?
Musical sounds are vibrations emitted from musical instruments when they are being hit, plucked, ringed, tapped, or stroked.
Difference between musical sounds and other sounds(noise)
A sound is a noise when that has an irregular beat. They are irregular vibrations that comes from any kind of medium, while musical sounds are regular beats or vibrations emitted out from mediums such as musical instruments.
In layman’s’ understanding, noise are irregular sounds while musical sounds are regular sounds. That is why when a musical instrument plays our hearts grows fonder because it reaches our ear uniformly.
Musical instruments are use to produce musical sounds, and we have three main types of musical instrument. They are:
String Instruments: The Guitars, the Banjos, the Violins, and the Harps.
Percussion Instruments: The Drums, the Tambourines, the Cymbals, the Bells, the Gongs, and the Pianos.
Wind Instruments: The Trumpets, the trumpets, and others.
The string instruments are played by plucking the strings, and the percussion instruments by hitting, ringing or striking, while the winds instruments by blowing air into the air columns.
Music theory or language is about explaining the music we hear through scientific terms and formulas. that you have never toke a music theory class does not make you a lesser musician, in fact if you are a good musician, you already know a lot of music theory, but the only thing is that you just may not know the scientific terms and formulas for what you are doing.
Music theory is very much like learning the grammatical rules in a written language, also it is to composers what grammar is to poets.
why is music theory necessary?
Music theory is necessary and rewarding if you want to go into music, because it helps in learning new techniques, and performing rare and unfamiliar styles of music. It can also boost your confidence to explore the unexplored in the music scenes.
I believe that in music you reap what you sow, so for composers it is strictly advisable to get a bit of music theory, because it makes it easier for you and puts you in a place to know what is next and what to expect before it comes. But it takes some sacrifices and discipline such as: MONEY, TIME, your INTELLECT and you may also have to sacrifice what you love most doing! but at the end it pays.
Remember, “when the going gets tough the tough get going” and “all perseverance leads to conquering”. Learning music theory is a higher and deeper thing altogether from having the musical talent and can sing very well, it is like a mere computer operator learning computer engineering!
Music is defined in mechanistic terms as merely vibrations that are detected by the organ of cor-ti and assimilated by the brain’s cortex into what we hear. But to my own definition, music is spiritual and evokes the spiritual in us, because it takes us from this world we know to an unknown world,(the world of imaginations).
Music does not have a specific definition because it comes in different mediums and can be anything to anybody.
Music can be a friend, companion, guide, and a teacher. It can be in the shape of a culture, identity, origin, history, invention, remembrance, symmetry, revolution, genius, mastery, dazzling, breath-taking, extraordinary and spell-bounding.
Music is a powerful and fundamental tool in our religion, because most a-times music is required in other for you to communicate with your creator. Take note that their is a big different between hearing and listening, it is only when you open up yourself to a music by listening that you can connect.
Also note that music is outside of only when you are hearing, but when you listen it connects and flows inside you carrying you to a world of imagination, because musical lyrics are born through inspiration(imagination) which is gotten from divine or the supernatural.
Mozart was able to play with such brilliance at the age of four only because the inspiration is there, given him from above. He is a small boy then, he does not work for it rather it flows out from within him . That is music for you!
Why We Need Music?
We need music to su7stain this world like we need air to survive. The followings emphasizes why we need music…….
- Music is therapeutic: In the sense that it addresses the physical, emotions, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.
- Music is pleasure: Because whenever you are down you listen to music and feels good.
- Music boosts imagination: Because it takes you to a world of scenery and imagery whereby sharpening your minds to dream big.
- Music is spiritual: Because it most a-times serves as a medium to connect to your creator.
- Music is used to create ambiance: Yes, it can connote with things already present to achieve an explosive finish. Imagine a birthday party with music and one without music.
- Music educates our minds both negatively and positively: So we have to be cautious on what we listen and assimilate.
- Music evokes emotions: In the sense that it can make you cry, smile, laugh, get angry or feel nostalgia for the past.
- Music is a universal language: Because it inspires common human feeling were spoken languages fails.
All these things tells us that music is an essential part and tool of our survival in this world. Without music, people would not understand themselves due to languages differences and will lead to wars which will render this world listless and lifeless. Plato, one of the greatest man that lived in this world once said that ‘music is a more potent instrument than any other for education’ so let us use it wisely!
And a child was born into this world on may 3,1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina in USA. It was a male child. His life was made worth living by his determination and strong focus on what he want, which made it quite interesting.
The child grew into a young boy, and his early life was that of poverty in nearby Elko in South Carolina which was an impoverished town at the time. The young boy grew up not knowing a mother’s care because his mother was divorced, so he grew up in the midst of his father and his girlfriends that doesn’t really care. What an emotional trauma he would have undergone?! but his spirit was not quivered.
The boy lived and survived by the street, earning some money by doing menial jobs such as; shining of shoes, sweeping out stores, washing cars, selling old stamps and what have you. He sings at local talent contests and also performed buck dances for soldiers in the start of world war II to entertain them, and was able to learn the Harmonica, Piano, Drums and Guitar from people he came across during his tender years. One can’t help being amazed at such grey hair bestowed on such a young shoulder!
The young poor boy, at the age of 12 began his performing career, forming his first vocal group ‘The Cremona Trio’ in 1945. The gained much respect and popularity in thier locality for the awards they bagded.
Then tragedy struck, the poor boy was convicted of arm robbery at the age of 16, and was sent to a juvenile detention prison. Still the spirit was strong in its focus, because while in prison he formed another group with fellow prison mates, and was given th nickname ‘Music Box’ for a drum he made from lard tubs and wooden box. Again, one could not help recalling ‘that in every situation ther is a way out’ and that ‘neccesity is the mother of invention’.
The poor boy now a young man,after his early release which was secured by R&B legend ‘Bobby Byrd'(a long time friend to be), he pursued a career in boxing and baseball pitcher which was halted by a leg injury, then he turns his energy to music and joined ‘The Avons’ as a vocalist. They later changed name to ‘The Famous Flames’ and produced hit songs such as; ‘Going Back to Rome’ and ‘Please, Please, Please’.
His song, ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’ became his top ten list single, winning him the grammy award in june 1965, and he is no other person other than the world famous James Brown. Yes, James Brown the famous! J.B the legendary!
James Brown was a rock n roll, soul, blues and funk musician, and achived a lot during his musical career that spans over six decades. He also founded many other bands such as; ‘James Brown Band’ and ‘The James Brown Orchestra’ in the 1950’s and 60’s, but later found ‘The J.B.’s’ in 1970 after most of his members walked out because of pay dispute.
Then along the line his vocals turns to a kind of rhythmic declamation, not quite sung but not quite spoken, which we can all notice in one of his songs ‘Say It Aloud, ‘am Black and Proud’. This become a major influence on the techniques of rapping which we now see in nowadays hip-hop musics.
James Brown made wave in the music scences and become the world most sampled recording artistes through his unique styles. Actually he failed to win the title ‘King of Soul’ to ‘Solomon Burke’, but he made it to being called ‘Soul Brother no 1’. His musics influnces other grat musicians such as; ‘Sly and The Family Stones, ‘Funkadelis’, ‘Charles Wright and The Watts’, ‘Dennis Edward’, and ‘Michael Jackson’, who throughout his career cited J.B as his ultimate idol.
Then, as it has been with others and will be with us, James Brown died at the age of 73 years on december 25, 2006. He died of heart failure after becoming very ill two days earlier, then nine months later his longtime friend and founder of ‘The Famous Flames'(Avons) died of cancer also at the age of 73. What a fate! they lived and dined together and at the end died the same age! A thunder rumbles, lightining struck, an iroko has fallen!
On december 22,2006 the first annual ‘Tribute Fit For The King of King Records’ in honour of James Brown was held at the Madison theatre in Corington, Ketucky. The tribute featured many popular acts, also during the show, the Mayor of Cinnati proclaimed december 22 as James Brown day.
Questions need to be ask on my reflected thoughts. What if he had furtherd his career in boxing or baseball, would he have been so popular? What if he had let the difficulties he undergo overtake him, what will he and the world stand a chance to lose? All these tells me that we are all here for a reason, and one would not help recalling that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’.
My ink is running short, someone is crying, a tear droped, James Brown lives in our minds, forever! Oh Lord! that was me crying!