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Musicality - by Cymry


June 26th 2008 10:15
Now I know it's been some time since I've put up something new, and whilst I could name all manner of excuses, the reality of life is that I moved house and had no internet for quite some time. That in itself is a bit of an aside, so begin, if you will, below:

I discovered a new type of music today and I think I shall call it heartsong, for lack of a better word and as a result of a soppy soul.

My cousin had her first baby last week and I finally got to see him today - it was the most precious little miracle. I do not profess to simply being clucky - but seeing such a tiny person and knowing that he is a part of someone that you love... it was a different kind of musicality I think. One that definitely tugs the heartstrings, but also burns indelibly into the soul.

Short, sweet and to the point - I'd like to offer my congratulations to the new parents and hope you'll excuse my absence and this small semi-tangent from my normal ramblings.

Poetry and Lyrics

April 12th 2008 00:12
Lyrics of a song are not just random words strung together to make a pretty sound. As with any section of a musical piece, they have their own specific structure. Split into verses, often with a bridge, lyrics have a rhythm and metre in the same way a poem is broken into stanzas and has a rhythm and metre. But does that make lyrics poetry?

Both forms of writing can rhyme, but this is not a necessary writing tool for either. Most often lyrics are more inclined to rhyme than a poem will be, and personally I think this has more to do with it making life easier on the musician and the audience than from any real 'rule of songwriting.' A rhymed sound is rounded to the ear, and symmetry is something that I have noticed human beings find preferable. But a rhyme, rhythm and metre do not a poem make; and truely enough the same can be said in reverse. So are they the same or different?

Muddied though the waters seem, I feel exploration allows us to draw some kind of conclusion. Whilst I believe that personally the two have a lot in common and yet are intrinsically different, I'd like to utilise the next couple of articles to look at both poetry and lyrics (in a light, general sort of way) and see where it takes me on the musicality road.

With any luck it will bring a bit of clarity and possibly also a smile into our lives when we sit and listen, really listen, to what a song is trying to say.

To be continued!

Lyrically Challenged

April 9th 2008 06:19
What is it about lyrics? Do they make or break a song, or do we need them at all? The topic of lyrics is something that, as both writer and listener, has always intrigued me. I am eternally facsinated with the way the written word (which becomes the spoken word through song) has the power to alter our values and perceptions; music is a poweful way for this to happen.

So what is it about a song that makes us want to sing along? When we hear a song we love, we are compelled to open our own mouths and warble along, whether in tune or totally tone deaf. Now the easiest answer to this would be genre, or artist – but in keeping with the theme of ‘musicality’ – of finding and exploring the musical soul, I want to look further than those aesthetic, easy answers we are all used to.

As with all opinions here, I can only express my own, and I’ll venture out: emotion. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s the songs that hit us in the heart somehow that have the ability to hook in and hang on. If a song moves me, one way or another, then I want more of it. I want to listen to it and learn it and sing along with it, and a great deal of that power comes from the lyrics. Now by ‘heart song’ I don’t mean a love ballad! I mean simply any song that catches me, whether a situation I can relate to or the artist sounding so sincere that they convey the emotion across the vast reaches of ocean and airwave into my own empathetic being. It can be any emotion, any genre, any style. I’m as like to relate to Michael Buble as I am to Linkin Park, and it’s the heart quality to the lyrics that do it.

No matter the genre, no matter the artist, the radio station, the listener, the time or the place, lyrics have the ability to reach across to a listener and embed themselves within us; sometimes so deeply that we can’t escape them. In the shower, in the toilet, even asleep, there are songs out there that stalk us through the halls of our own minds until we succumb and listen to them, again and again, in search of some fulfillment.

Grooving Through the Shops

April 8th 2008 00:16
I’ve noticed in the past, but never really paid overmuch attention to, the music they play in the shops when you are browsing. Since starting this exploration into musicality, I’ve made it a priority to pay attention to music and it’s influence everywhere I go. Sounds dedicated, but not really that difficult when there’s a ‘sale’ sign involved. I was amazed last night at the way music can be used to subliminally maniuplate the average defenseless shopper.

Female fashion shops often play upbeat music really loud. In the majority of cases, this will have customers smiling away, bopping along with the music, swanning about the store like it’s the dance floor and generally recklessly trying clothes on or buying them. The cheery, disco beat type tunes seem to work quite well here, as long as they don’t stray too close to techno, which I have observed clear a shop out in ten seconds flat. It is amazing how a simple change in song choice can send the customers running and have the grannies glaring from outside

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Moving to the Beat

April 7th 2008 04:00
A fundamental, defining factor of a song for me is the beat. Not ‘the’ defining factor, for I believe in the many facets of the musical world, but as a dancer feeling the beat or finding the groove of a song is definitely up near the top of my ratings list. A beat is not necessarily (in my eyes at least) simply the drum in the background whomping out a trendy disco tune; it is the underlying rhythm to a piece that speaks to your body and asks it to move.

Whether acoustic, recorded, live or synthesised, the beat or rhythm in a song sets the precedent for mood, both lyrically and instrumentally, and of course in the listener. It is often the quicker songs that get our blood pumping with emotions such as happiness, anger, inspiration, determination. The slower ones lend more easily to maudlin emotions such as pain, sadness, loss but also to the gentler, more softly expressed loves and joys

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Music and the Dinosaurs

April 4th 2008 05:51
A lot of time, energy and potato chips went by the wayside as I considered where to take the first step in the journey of musicality. There are so many aspects of music to think about, so many genres, bands, songs, instruments. ‘Where to start’, probably the biggest stymie known to man apart from how to open the plastic packaging JB Hi-Fi put around all their products without breaking a finger. Whilst I considered this problem I got to think about history.

Where on earth did music, and therefore musicality, come from? Surely Mozart, aged three, just didn’t get up one morning and think “Ho, I might tap out a few things on ye olde piano and oops! I made a tune, that’s pretty.” He must surely have been surrounded by it long enough for it to penetrate his very soul. I find here, despite my love and opinions on all topics music related, my knowledge in the area of where it all began was lacking

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In the Beginning

April 3rd 2008 04:21
What is musicality?

The dictionary defines it simply as "Of music". Are we not all children of music? After all, it surrounds us in our everyday lives, from the very subtle sound of bubbles in the fish tank to the much more complex mixture of instruments and linguistic acrobatics that is broadcast across our radio airwaves

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