Berg understood that these mechanical principles were only techniques to aid the communication of emotion, rather than ends in themselves. While freeing himself from the conventionality of earlier compositional techniques, he also relaxed many of the dogmatic rules handed down by his teacher (and serialism’s doctrinaire evangelist) Arnold Schoenberg.
And what about that surprise at 3:51? More of that 2018 jazzy major-9 business followed by a frigging VII chord (E♭), which I kind of hear as an augmented 6th chord. Yes, I said “augmented 6th chord” in an article about Top 40 music in 2018 — pick your face up off the floor.
If you’re mixing at home and just getting started, I’d advise checking out Soundfly’s Faders Up: Modern Mix Techniques course to learn everything there is to know about DIY mixing best practices. But making sure your headphones and monitors are a decent quality will also help, even if this is just a piano vocal demo.
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(If you find yourself lost in all the music theory below, check out our free series of courses, Theory for Producers, and catch up on the fundamentals, even if you can’t read sheet music!)
Note how Ligeti starts from a very low register, at a very quiet dynamic (pianissimo) and with staccato articulation (0:24). The pedal in the left hand forms gradually from a fragmented rhythm until it unfolds in a continuous stream of staccato eighth notes (0:42). Superimposed on this low A pedal is a rhythmic motif in the right hand (0:46). Ligeti shows here great mastery in rhythmic variation. This rhythmic fragment is created by accumulation and extension of a first cell which is elongated and then further fragmented in this fashion.
As a general rule, I think comparing your work to other artists can be a pretty unhealthy practice, especially if you have a competitive mentality. But when it comes to duplicating marketing activities and online strategies, learning from them and their tests mean that you aren’t always starting from scratch.
Music data has a similar problem. As such, it’s impossible for any digital catalog owner, to know exactly what music they have in their database. Without knowing what music you have or what new music you’re adding — your recommendation, discovery, and curation will always suffer.
Finally, use an aux send to create a parallel compression chain for the vocal. Use extremely fast attack and release times, super-aggressive ratios, and excessive amounts of compression to create a pumping, slamming performance that’s full of energy. Then, gently blend in the results with the original. A common trick is to use an 1176 in “British Mode” or “all-buttons-in,” as it adds a colorful distortion that helps vocals cut through the mix.
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The bariolage part isn’t only exciting because of the chromaticism — all those repeated A’s are intense too, in a way that doesn’t come across fully in MIDI form or played on a piano. On violin, you’re not just hammering the same note over and over. You’re really playing two different notes that are both very close to being A — you alternate between the open A string and the D fingered at the equivalent of the seventh fret in the guitar. These two A’s are a little out of alignment with each other.
Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.
Kronendal Music Academy is a local music program aimed at engaging at-risk youth in the Hout Bay Valley of the Western Cape in South Africa. Located about 20 miles from the next nearest music school, they opened in 2007 to facilitate creative exchanges among the three distinct cultures native to the region. The academy provides quality instruction in diverse genres, instruments, and traditions.
Speaking of international recognition, while they may not be an electronic group, per se, Kokono No.1’s approach to technology is reminiscent to early Suicide records, and they exist in a world of their own. At the core of their sound is three electric likembé combined to make a single instrument that is then amplified through home made speakers that illuminates its sound with cracks, pops, and hisses. Their frenetic energy and multitude of singers on each track makes you feel as if you’ve stumbled across them on the streets of Kinshasa.
Founded in 1939, BMI is the largest PRO in the US, and represents over 900,000 songwriters, composers and publishers. The organization distributed $1.023 billion in 2017.