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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    And Pat Metheny questioned Joni's authenticity at a 1989 master class, Royal Conservatory of the Hague (paraphrased): 'I worked w/Joni Mitchell. She said she didn't care what the names are for her chords. Can't get behind that'.
    Joel, I enjoyed your whole post. I'm confused by this part. I don't know what "authenticity" means here.
    Joni's not caring about the names of her chords doesn't seem to me to a matter authenticity (or its lack) at all. Lots of musicians with very good ears don't care about the names of chords (or notes, for that matter): it's all sound to them, not names.

    Pat Martino was playing professionally in his teens (and at a high level) without knowing the names of all the chords he played. He said he picked them up off records---lots of Wes Montgomery records, IIRC---and they were sounds to him. Knowing their names would not have been a benefit to him. (He later needed to learn some of these things to communicate with other musicians but he didn't need to know it to play the music.)

    Bruce Forman talks somewhere about playing with a pianist who used some tasty voicings. Bruce wanted to learn them and asked the guy about them. The guy had his own sorts of names for them, the only one I recall off hand was "baby doll". I think the others were a "doll" of some sort or other. That's how he thought about them. That's what he actually called them to another pro player. Those names meant nothing to Bruce, of course. He had to suss out the voicings, analyze them and then give them conventional names. But the guy who came up with them did not need that.

    Either way, I don't see what this has to do with authenticity one way or the other.

    What am I missing?
    Was Pat saying she wasn't an authentic musician?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Joel, I enjoyed your whole post. I'm confused by this part. I don't know what "authenticity" means h
    Well, of course I'm not inside the man's brain, but it's a good guess he was looking askance what he saw as at Joni's willfull ignorance, and falling into that oft-fallen into trap of avoidance of knowledge b/c somehow it will impede the pure, if you will, 'childlike' creative flow. (I used 'authenticity' b/c she did).

    I'm a huge fan of her work, and there are few more 'authentic'. But Pat does have a point---if I read him right: self-limitation of knowledge is anathema to artistic growth---or growth in any field. Learning bolsters intuition. Only the naive or very insecure---or simply misled---artist would disagree with that. You don't have to use every can of paint, just stock 'em and know at least something about what each does.

    Learning is a life-long undertaking. Can't wait to get up tomorrow and learn something new...

  4. #53
    But Red Rodney's comment to Phil Schaap re Charlie Parker's purported limited theoretical knowledge ('every time I'd ask what something he played was, he'd say "Bb 7"') supersedes even what I just wrote: 'It's what you got, not how you got it'.

    (You may have heard: not everyone's a genius. And geniuses still have to study. They just zoom through the basics quicker)...

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Well, of course I'm not inside the man's brain, but it's a good guess he was looking askance what he saw as at Joni's willfull ignorance, and falling into that oft-fallen into trap of avoidance of knowledge b/c somehow it will impede the pure, if you will, 'childlike' creative flow. (I used 'authenticity' b/c she did).

    I'm a huge fan of her work, and there are few more 'authentic'. But Pat does have a point---if I read him right: self-limitation of knowledge is anathema to artistic growth---or growth in any field. Learning bolsters intuition. Only the naive or very insecure---or simply misled---artist would disagree with that. You don't have to use every can of paint, just stock 'em and know at least something about what each does.

    Learning is a life-long undertaking. Can't wait to get up tomorrow and learn something new...
    I don't know. I didn't hear the conversation, I don't know the context. Joni was a fabulous musician. I don't think her lack of knowing chord names hurt her any. She said "Life is for learning" so I don't think any of this should be taken to mean she didn't care about learning. We should all be so stunted in our artistic growth as Joni Mitchell!

  6. #55

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    Meh names, who cares?

    they're just labels.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Meh names, who cares?

    they're just labels.
    I needed the names. My mind works that way. My mom---who I admit is an extremely difficult person---has been able to play whatever song she wanted to without knowing one note name from another, much less chord names, since she was in the fourth grade. She played in churches and for school functions. She would open a hymnal to the right page but couldn't read the music, she just played the song. Obviously, she could not play things she had not heard. But then, she didn't want to.

    She does know where middle C is. If I ask her what she is playing in she will find middle C and alphabet upwards or back and say, "E but in the black." She just knows the sounds. It's all sound to her. To her recognizing the notes of a melody on the piano is as easy as seeing different colors in a Crayon box. She has no theory of color and wouldn't sit still to listen to anyone else's. She doesn't understand why anyone would need a theory to play music when it seems so much more easier to just play it.

    The mean reason to know the names is to talk to other people about music.

  8. #57
    [QUOTE=MarkRhodes;1036622]I don't know. I didn't hear the conversation, I don't know the context..../QUOTE]

    When I have time I'll find the spot. Worth watching anyway, good presentation...


  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    But Red Rodney's comment to Phil Schaap re Charlie Parker's purported limited theoretical knowledge ('every time I'd ask what something he played was, he'd say "Bb 7"') supersedes even what I just wrote: 'It's what you got, not how you got it'.
    I agree. And Joni's got it.

  10. #59
    Never said she didn't.

    (I analyzed Chelsea Morning in my slowly evolving book American Song Redux). She's a favorite. And I love those weird-ass chords.

    But I stand by my credo about learning being life-long and willful ignorance anathema to artistic (and general) growth...

  11. #60

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    [QUOTE=joelf;1036725]
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I don't know. I didn't hear the conversation, I don't know the context..../QUOTE]

    When I have time I'll find the spot. Worth watching anyway, good presentation...

    It's at 46:00

  12. #61

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    [QUOTE=Lobomov;1036806]
    Quote Originally Posted by joelf

    It's at 46:00
    Thank you for pointing that out!
    I get his point that knowledge won't spoil creativity but I think it's asinine for him to suggest she would have been a better musician if she knew the names of the chords she played. (It may be sacrilege to say on a guitar forum but I consider her by far the greater and more important artist.) But it's not worth arguing about. She's a great songwriter and this thread is bout songwriting.

  13. #62

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    Are there people who think Pat Metheny is more important than Joni? I mean, seriously?

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Are there people who think Pat Metheny is more important than Joni? I mean, seriously?
    In all honesty Pat Metheny just claimed that Joni would have been a better musician, if she had not shunned theory

  15. #64

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    Today on Twitter a person named Justin McElroy started a lenghty thread as follows:
    Nobody:
    Me: in the history of Disney animated movies there have been exactly 18 types of songs, and i'm going to tell you about each of them.

    Twitter

    He doesn't describe the songs in musical terms but in terms of story function. A few examples:

    This Is The Movie (26 entries):- It summarizes the theme of the film or says its title several times- It is at the beginning of the film (exception: Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas) - It is first sung by a chorus, or an unseen or minor character (exception: Pocahontas)

    I Want (26 entries): - It is sung by the main character (exception: the Frozens, Ralph Breaks the Internet)- It is a monologue, sung alone — or to animals! — expressing their greatest desires

    I’m The Villain (18 entries):- It’s sung by the villain (exception: Cruella De Vil) - It always comes after the I Want songs- It usually expresses the villain's desire, but can also be mocking the main character

    We Should Bone (17 entries):- Never happens in the first-third of the movie (exception: One Song, Love is an Open Door)- Can be a duet, monologue, montage, OR a separate character egging things on- If a man is singing, he’s either egging things on, or in a duet

    Cheer Up, Kid! (17 entries):- It’s always sung by a supporting character who likes the protagonist - The theme is always positive- It generally builds up to dancing or fevered choreography, with an element of "let's put on a show!"

    The core songs of great Disney movies are in the This Is The Movie/I Want/I'm The Villain/We Should Bone/Cheer Up Kid! categories, particularly once the Disney Renaissance starts. But there are five other song types that are very important to the Disney canon.....

    Those interested can follow the link above and read the whole thread.
    I was surprised someone took the time to listen to all these songs and categorize them.
    Not only that, he made a nifty chart of his findings.

    Songwriting Rules of the Road (at least in, and ONLY in my opinion)...-disney-songbook-table-elements-jpg








    Disney movies are a place where songwriters can place their work and if they do, it shall surely draw a great deal of attention. According to Google, 12 Disney songs have earned Grammies since 1991. The only one I have heard is "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" from "Lion King" but I don't go to movies much. I suspect those among us with children have heard (and over-heard) songs from Disney movies and might do worse than to give some thought to what makes them tick.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    In all honesty Pat Metheny just claimed that Joni would have been a better musician, if she had not shunned theory
    Correct. But I don't grant that that is true. She created a lot of great music. She obviously knew how to do that. That's what counts.

  17. #66
    We all made our points about Joni, Pat, knowledge, intuition. Well, and more than once.

    Time to move on---please...

  18. #67

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    Chord progressions.
    Songwriters use them.
    I-vi-ii-V is the backbone of many a standard, and I-IV-V is the basis of many a blues (and many a rockabilly / early rock'n'roll song).

    Which progressions are you partial to?
    Do certain progressions suggest definite moods to you?

  19. #68

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    Progressions - I like a surprise or two in a progression, something that grabs the ear and makes me wonder what was that.

    I tend to like disguise the ii V 's, such as Dm7 C#m7#5 C13 Bm7 E7b9

    I like progression that seem to be in more than one key. I also like Gospel style chord progressions. Something like

    ||Emaj7 / C#m7 /| Dmaj7 / /Gmaj7 / | F#m7 / G#m7 | A6 / A/B / | E / F#m7/E / | E etc

  20. #69
    I write from titles. Those are germs for everything. The title is in the 1st melodic germ, or near it usually.

    I notice certain favored harmonic habits, but they don't figure in the conception of a song, at least not in a leading way. When it happens it all happens together, as an entity. The details are tweaked (and lots of time spent on) later, and they may include a preferred harmonic color to underline a word or mood.

    In the past 10-15 years I notice I favor 3rd-less and 7th-less chords. They are opaque, and even in a song I'm leaving room for a solo, and the player has more options. I also like 7b9 sus, say on a root. Must be my Yiddisha soul.

    But we have to be careful not to fall into formulaic thinking---happy/sad, etc. and the chords many hacks or even good writers immediately 'punch in'. Going against the grain---in harmony; rhyming or not; etc., etc. can lead to discovery and unusual and appealing sounds and strategies. It can lead to failure, too---but at least you tried, and didn't coast.

    I've written many pieces in many ways and styles. I have habits and 'signatures', sure, but they don't lead me. The idea does...

  21. #70
    I should add: style supersedes a lot of things---and there's a time and place for experimentation. I wouldn't try to fit the above-mentioned into a blues.

    Which leads to another point: the harmonic language,whatever it be, must be consistent. Writing a whole tune with mostly D or C2 chords, a sudden 7th chord sounds out of place. And it's a mistake a lot of writers---especially neophytes---make...

  22. #71

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    A funny bit about the I V vi IV progression


  23. #72

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    If you want to play along with the above, it's in E, so: E B C#m A

    I really like some songs that use this progression: Let It Be, Beast of Burden, No Woman No Cry...

  24. #73

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    Something Irving Berlin did was to write two melodies over the same changes, introducing them separately and then repeating them together.
    Here's an interesting article about that, as well as a notable example, "You're Just In Love." (Donald O'Conner and Ethel Merman)

    A Guide to Musical Theatre Quodlibets – (and How to Write Your Own) – major to minor


  25. #74

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    Here's another example of that. My mom told me that she and my dad sang this together while dating.


  26. #75

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    An Adam Neely video about quodlibet which addresses the question why so many pop songs can be sung over the changes of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." Here, Smashmouth's "All-Star is used at the beginning which is interesting because it is NOT sung over I- V-vi-IV progression in its original version.

    Irving Berlin often wrote two sets of lyrics for one set of changes but others have put together separate songs that were not written by the same composer or intended to be sung together.