1. My personal exposure to bands and music
I never realized I had exposure to live music, or bands, from a young age. My parents were members of the Anglo-Indian Association were there would be quarterly parties with live bands like NightShift and The Right Combination playing for the congregation. My family and I had a great time, and we learnt, early on in life, to appreciate self-made music.
My only other exposure to music was through the compulsory music class I had in my high school with a teacher who had an American accent. We would learn the recorder, a watered-down version of the flute, and play pick-the-musical-note. I was average in playing the recorder, being inconsistent, but was very good at picking the notes which were shown to us at random. Almost like in theory compared to practice. Yet like most people who learn a musical instrument, if you want to call a recorder a musical instrument, I have forgotten that part of my life that made me today.
But I definitely had a musical ear, and enjoyed dancing, which I took up later on, going to the clubs with high school friends after our final year was completed. I must admit, apart from the Anglo-Indian Association, I only ever saw a live band a couple of times, but saw them on mainstream television with the music show Rage on ABC and Video Hits and Take 40 Australia on Channel 10 and the ad hoc movie.
I tended to go for the DJs really, not truly appreciating bands for what they offered. Some free music magazines like 3 and Drum Media had all the latest DJs and bands which I used to pick up on the way to work and from music stores.
My love for 50’s and 60’s Rock and Roll and Rhythm and Blues
It was my love for music that led me to do this piece on bands. My current passion is 50’s and 60’s Rock and Roll, particularly Black American Rock and Roll such as legend Chuck Berry, who teases the likes of great composers with the all-time great hit, ‘Rollover Beethoven’. Ludwig van Beethoven, from 1809, gets a taste for the future of music with the movie I viewed, ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’.
According to Weinstock, it is hard to believe Rhythm and Blues for instance, in the late 1940’s, was mainly carried out by Black Americans for Black audiences and it was not until the ever-famous king, Elvis Presley who brought it to the public around the mid-1950’s Weinstock, Len., 1991 . I don’t think the American and worldwide public had realized what they were missing out on. I must admit such eras like the 50’s and 60’s were memorable, but things continue to keep being re-invented.
2. The popularity of Rock Bands and other music
It is almost like the orchestra had been shrunk into a band, and then into a DJ, and then into an MP3 player (from movie, ‘Honey, I shrunk the kids’).
It is amazing the progression in music unto today, and bands are a good example of this. Bands were popular up until the mid-to-late 90’s, with bands like Guns ‘N Roses, Metallica and Nirvana, and then The WhiteStripes, Muse, Green Day and ColdPlay really defining the band scene. In fact, so popular these bands were they brought people together, for example, the different years at a school Ross, N. 25 May, 2012.
It is interesting to note that when bands and Rock appeared, it was so influential as to have people to take up a musical instrument. There was B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen and Les Paul. Yet such influential power is rarely seen these days. The popular Rock band Bon Jovi influenced an ‘Unplugged’ movement of playing live music with no backing. Music festivals all around the world became huge with live music becoming very popular, for example Big Day Out in Australia Ross, N. 25 May, 2012 . Then the music genre changed to Rap and Hip Hop, with groups like NWA, Ice T and Cypress Hill, and a more modern Rhythm and Blues like BabyFace and Boyz to Men. Ross, N. 25 May, 2012
3. Change from live bands to commercial music
Yet this changed again with the move from proper live band music to predominantly commercial, industry-friendly music. School kids are not following many bands and radio stations are not filled with hot new bands with the UK sticking with Pop, Australia with the 90’s and America too segmented with no united music scene. It is like the music scene has gone back into the 80’s, lacking that urge, originality and passion Ross, N. 25 May, 2012 .
4. A band is like a smaller version of an orchestra and classical music
A band is like a modern day computer used at home, work or school. Computers, like orchestras, used to take up a whole room, now, like bands, take up a much smaller space and there are fewer pieces of equipment. Then again, an orchestra made for even better music back in the days, and a large number of people today lack that love for and understanding of classical music. Some great movies for example had great orchestras producing music for the film to keep entertained and sometimes on the edge of their seats Sparknotes / Berman, P. September 19, 2013 .
My father loves classical music, having grown up on it as a child, but he did not pass this love on to his children like myself. I think he wanted us to decide for ourselves what we liked, loved and enjoyed.
Music maestro and Violinist, Andre Rieu, has recaptured the love affair with self-made music through orchestras Andre Rieu.com . It would be questionable if a band could replicate the holistic sound of an orchestra, for instance. Rieu is one of only a few in “a present age of bankrupt orchestras”, according to Berman Berman, P. September 19, 2013 .
Playing in a band or orchestra, like the growing popular television show, ‘Glee’, is similar to playing a sport or hobby or interest, but better. Members of the band and orchestra get to travel everywhere and meet new people and make new friends, becoming almost like tourists and developing teamwork skills and attributes. If it is part of a music class at school, people can learn and have a great time at the same time Sparknotes.
Members of a band or orchestra also “learn to appreciate the finer things in life” with a proper music education into how and why music was established. With music having the strong attachment to people and society, members of a band or orchestra can get credit for making a noise. Lastly, parents will be very proud of their children for being members as parents’ eras had musical instruments and bands and orchestras more so than today’s generations Sparknotes.
Paul Berman writes a particularly interesting article on how people are not learning or continuing to learn musical instruments when they are older or do not have a true and proper appreciation of classical music – “Does the study of classical music offer something that cannot be found in the study of folk and pop music?” Berman, P. September 19, 2013 . “Aren’t there grandeurs to be found in basketball, too, and in golf? Or in rock anthems performed at stadiums?…Classical music tradition has managed to express certain ideas and emotions that cannot be expressed in any other way” Berman, P. September 19, 2013 . Then again, there are bands of yesteryear and today who can replicate some of the magic of an orchestra and classical music.
Berman states how classical music is a “spiritual enterprise” in that it is a “self-conscious tradition” practiced for hundreds of years and is bigger than other kinds of music, which is a big call with the way young people are into modern music, for example, carrying mobile phones and MP3s full of music. Classical music is said by Berman to have a mystical and majestical, mathematical, trancical, intellectual and lively and warm beauty and light to it. When one listens carefully to classical music, or to a band at that, one begins to “notice the depth and intensity and logic of what you are hearing” Berman, P. September 19, 2013 .
5. Learning a musical instrument and being part of a band or orchestra
Classical music, similar to a band is a physical activity one engages in with the instrument and band or orchestra; it is “an activity more than entertainment”. The performers in a band or orchestra merge with the actual singer and song creator and make it their own Berman, P. September 19, 2013 .
Berman urges children, but more so adults to learn a musical instrument to attain what Sparknotes describes as learning to appreciate the finer things in life. One good way to display such talents is through a band. Usually other specialized instruments are included from time-to-time in a band, like flute, saxophone, trumpet, violin and cello; these are such specialized instruments found in an orchestra. This usually creates an orchestra-type feel to it, or mega-band style atmosphere, and sometimes the DJ is not required.
Nowadays, it would definitely be behind the scenes or relegated to school or extracurricular activities for children to learn a musical instrument. Berman states how there are a number of benefits for learning a musical instrument, like the “ability to master difficult topics, developing finger and hand dexterity, an appreciation of aesthetics, sociability and a can-do spirit of practicality” Berman, P. September 19, 2013 .
Berman goes on to say how some adults “appeared to have reaped no benefits at all from private lessons and their years of study”, moving into adulthood without using the instruments they once learnt, nor developing a taste for classical music. An example is the American educated class Berman, P. September 19, 2013 . Some adults remember their lessons to be a burden when they first started, but it got better by applying themselves. Some even established a great relationship with their music teacher and even go on to say how such a relationship was “among the handful of people who most powerfully influence them as a child” Berman, P. September 19, 2013 .
Dr. Robert Johnson states how “many parents want their children to learn musical instruments but are unsure of the best way to proceed” Johnson, R. . Johnson states how children need to “understand the sounds of music” before learning an instrument by “listening to a wide variety of music and exposure to rhythm and tonal patterns through movement and singing” Johnson, R. . Parents should expose their children to an assortment of instruments and allow the child to select the one they like. Johnson states how a child performs better with an instrument or sound if they like it. “Parental support and encouragement” is important, as is “finding a good teacher, making practice fun and celebrating accomplishments” Johnson, R. .
6. Why people create a band
For those who are into music specifically or in general, a band is something of coolness in today’s society and culture, with old and young, multicultural and even stars and celebrities establishing bands to really make a go of it or to just pass the time Kimble, S. Oracle/ Weinstock, Len., 1991 .
Horror Fiction writer, and writer of the learn-to-write book, ‘On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft’, Stephen King, did just that by starting and joining a band called “Rock Bottom Remainders” with other writers. At first it was just fun for King and the others in the band and then the writers in the band discovered it was a passion; meeting up, playing music, socializing and sharing ideas King, S. 2000 .
- · Andre Rieu.com ‘The Orchestra’
- · Berman, Paul. (September 19, 2013) ‘Parents Absolutely should force their kids to take music lessons’, New Republic
- · Johnson, Dr. Robert E. ‘Musical instrument rep’, LeapFrog.com
- · King, Stephen (2000) ‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’, Scribner: New York
- · Nicalong (April, 2011) ‘SWOT Analysis of Music Marketing’, StudyMode
- · Personal Experiences:
– ‘Rollover Beethoven’ is one of my favorite songs
– I watched ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ on television when I was young.
- · Rateyourmusic.com (2000-2013) ‘Top 25 Bands of All Time’
- · Ross, Nick. (25 May, 2012) ‘The real reason why the music industry collapsed’, ABC: Technology & Games
- · Sparknotes, ‘The Benefits of being a Band Geek/Orchestra Dork’
- · Weinstock, Len. (1991) ‘The Big Band Era’, Redhotjazz.com