“Music gives you something to face the world with.”
[Bruce Springsteen, musician]
IT’S ALL MUSIC – LECTURE INFORMATION
21st Century urban living means being involuntarily surrounded by a swamp of noise. Music is ubiquitous in public places where, for the most part, we are passive musical consumers. Similarly, with a basic mobile phone or iPod and a pair of headphones we are able to create our own private musical oases from an apparently limitless stream of available music. But, although our musical choices are apparently endless, much of our consumption is from a narrow choice of increasingly homogenised music and we have lost some of the skills required to know how to listen to music.
It’s All Music™ aims to rectify this in-balance by investigating the musical devices which young people engage with so readily in rock, pop, dance and electronic dance music and demonstrating to them that the same devices also exist in classical music. It demonstrates that, if people are willing to dispel some of the prejudices associated with classical music and become active as opposed to passive listeners, then they might find some space for other sorts of music. Their musical diet will be healthier for it and their lives will be richer.
Crucially, the hypothesis of this lecture is not that classical is better or worse than pop and rock, but it considers music on a much deeper level by discovering how certain musical devices and compositional techniques cause a physical and emotional reaction in us, the listener. It then illustrates and connects those devices in musical examples which, in some cases, were written 250 years apart.
Simon’s background is as a formally and Classically trained pianist and composer, but his current professional musical life includes work in the fields of jazz and pop as well as classical music. Drawing from this wide range of genres and experience working with leading musicians from a variety of musical disciplines, It’s All Music™ aims to open students’ ears to the possibility that classical might be for them too. If it can enrich our lives, it doesn’t matter if it’s a piano prelude by Bach or a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo – there should be no prejudice against either. No matter if it was written in 1735 or 1975, in New York or in Germany, it’s all music.
Lecture Equipment Requirements:
Good quality hi-fi with aux input
Piano (a keyboard can be provided if there is no piano available at your school or college)
Photography by Mehgan Kruass