Re: A few words about Stylemaking

Bob 'Notes' Norton

At 09:32 AM 7/2/01 -0400, Sherry Mayrent <> wrote:
I can only speak about klezmer music, which is what
I play and know the best, and what I've been writing styles for. Klezmer
(traditional Eastern European Jewish dance music) is a melody-driven music,
And is one of the factors that combined to form what we now call Jazz.
Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw were both influenced by Klezmer music.

....The whole band kind of
"breathes" with the melody player.
Therein lies the groove.

This is an incredibly difficult and
complex concept for most of us to get our minds around, if we haven't grown
up with it, and it was certainly the last aspect of the music that I and my
band were able to master.
When we play with other musicians, we tend to learn the groove of the
particular music we are playing by experience. Swing players learn the
specific groove for swing band by "apprenticing" in swing bands and
listening to swing music. R&B players do the same thing with the blues, and
so on.

Usually the gentle nudging of this beat a little early and another a little
later is not consciously done. The player doesn't even know he or she is
doing it. They just do it because it sounds right to them.

The incredible strength of BIAB is that this program, which was constructed
to be useful for your standard, down-the-middle pop music groove, can be
made to function like an old world klezmer ensemble.
Especially now that the "Live Drums" feature has been added.

...Now, I know from coaching my live musicians that if
the bass player doesn't play on the absolute nose of the downbeat
(visualize, if you will, downbeats in the shape of an egg; the nose will be
the left-most edge of the pointy part of the oval), the whole rhythm gets
dead sounding etc. even if being played by real people. The bass player,
and to some extent the drummer, need to be the musical equivalent of
sitting on the edge of their chairs, or the music loses some of the
internal drive that gives it its distinctive sound.
I've never heard it described this way. That's a very good way to put it.

One of the most wonderful things about music is the seemingly endless
variations the same notes and same beats can give us.

Another of the most wonderful things about music is the fact that there is
always something new to learn.

- - - - - - - - -
Bob "Notes" Norton
owner, Norton Music

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