The International Language of Music

Let me challenge you to find a country anywhere that doesn’t have some form of music. Anywhere in the world. You can go to the people of South Asia or to the jungles of Africa and, no matter where you go, they will have some type of music. Even the most remote of people will make music of some kind. People love music.  It is in our nature.

the-language-of-musicThere is a quality about music that speaks to the core of our humanity. Even newborn babies respond to the melody of its mother humming. Music is the language of the soul and is spoken by everyone on earth.

There are many different reasons that music is loved by all. It makes us move. Just hearing the beat of a drum causes all ages of people to get on their feet and move their body. When a sound is good, we have the need to respond by dancing, moving, or just clapping. Music helps us when we are working, too. Whether you work in a doctor’s office or with Minneapolis window washing, music can help keep the stress of your job at bay and make you more productive.

All around the world, people love music. We feel the beauty of it all the way down to our soul. We are not able to fully understand why music sounds so wonderful to us, but everyone everywhere loves music.

Another wonderful thing about music is its diversity. Some prefer rock n’ roll while others love classical music. Some like music with complicated notes, while others like a simple melody. What one person finds beautiful in music, another person may not, and that’s a great thing.

People connect music to different events in their lives. It brings back memories of those times every time we hear the music. You likely remember the song that was playing when you kissed your first love, or the song played at your wedding still brings back memories of that day. We are able to remember entire periods of our lives based on the music that we listened to then. What is known as “oldies” brings back memories of youthful days to parents many times.

No matter where you live, from Alabama to Africa, music is a part of the culture that stands out. We use it to help define people and cultures. There are some styles we enjoy, and some we don’t, but we can all agree that music is an important part of life. Our world would likely be a very different place without it.

Traditional and Modern Jazz

Jazz music has changed quite a bit over the years. There have been many styles of Jazz to come to the music world. Some of the styles are not really considered Jazz music, but were influenced by Jazz.

jazzchurch-s460x460In the age of electronica where jazz was used in the beats, some of the musicians include Apex Twin, Portishead, Jazzanova, and St. Germain. Julien Lourau and the Cinematic Orchestra used this kind of music for their success. Some of these musicians, however, were able to keep the traditional jazz music and combined it with some newer stuff and are seen as more loyal to jazz. In the American Pop scene, the elements of jazz music were seen with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Christian Aguilera, and Norah Jones.

As a by product of jazz, Rhythm and Blues are more about soul and funk. There were quite a few artists that made their mark successfully with this kind of music. Some of them are Terry Lewis, Jimmy Jam, Brian McKnight, Lauren Hill, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Justin Timberlake, Teddy Riley, Levert, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Guy, En Vogue, Mariah Carey, Keith Sweat, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Robert Palmers.  Later on, with Pop music, other artists added some R&B elements to their songs such as Gwen Stephani, Britney Spears, and Pink. Jazz, throughout its history, has become a starting point for many different styles.

Many people still love jazz in its traditional style and fear that it may be lost forever because of the new innovations in music. A divide between the traditional and modern jazz lovers has been caused because of free thinking. Jazz was once the leading type of music but has now become an element of art in today’s world. Nothing about traditional jazz music has been changed, though, but many radio stations add all the music styles with elements of jazz into the “jazz music” grouping.

When you visit a jazz festival, the music played in many of them has a lot of African elements that do not even sound close to the original jazz. It’s the elements of jazz music, such as the chord progressions, the chromatic chordal harmony, and the complex rhythm that make these types of music be seen as jazz by many.

For the Love of Vinyl Records

vinyl-record-playerAs music downloads continue to soar, the music industry is changing in a whole new way. Die hard lovers of music are moving to the past and turning their attention to vinyl records.

For many music lovers, collecting vinyls is a fun hobby that takes them back to their youth. For others, it has become almost an addiction as they surf the web, rummage through garage sales, go to record conventions, and run to second rate shops to find that perfect vinyl to add to their collection.

Many collectors, if asked why they collect records, will say that the sound produced by vinyl records is superior to any other type of music. They are quite tired of the sterile reproduced music that they get with a CD or an online download. You will often hear them comment that there is a warmer sound with vinyl, that it’s a love affair almost, and creates a pattern that is ritualistic when playing a record.

There is another way to describe the vinyl record sound, though, that I think fits well. To me, a vinyl record of music is a lot like a fingerprint. The music being played from vinyl has a clarity and clearness to the music, almost like the grooves on the records have captured the sound. When digital music is copied from the fingerprint, it produces more of a binary sound and loses that special flavor of the vinyl record.

Many people believe that the CD has been able to replace the vinyl records for the quality of warm sound, but I disagree. Yes, the CD has it’s place in society because of the convenience it offers as well as the cost and ease of use, but the sound is too clear for my taste. When listening to a CD, you miss some of the important parts of the sound that was recorded, the sounds that the recording artist wanted you to hear on the recording.

In this world that is mostly digitized, there are good arguments for any form of music reproduction that a person wants to use. For me, vinyl records will always be a part of my life, though.