Musical intervals can be likened to measurements that we learn early in life like the inch, the foot, the yard and so on. Music notes are are also given names for the space that exists between two points. In the most basic way, intervals can be defined as the distance between two musical notes. Musicians are often encouraged to know intervals by recognizing them on staff paper and most importantly to recognize their aural effect. Each interval is a unique distance and thus will give the listener a unique experience with each interval that is heard. Intervals can be classified as simple intervals or compound intervals. Simple intervals are the most commonly talked about intervals in theory while simple and compound intervals are used frequently in music. There are 13 simple intervals starting with the perfect unison. A perfect unison actually represents no distance at all. It is the same note played together or one after another. Intervals played at the same time are referred to as harmonic intervals while intervals played in succession are called melodic intervals. The next interval would be the minor 2nd. A minor 2nd is the smallest measured interval in music using the equal tempered tuning system. This equal tempered system is used pre-dominantly in modern American music like Pop music, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Country and pretty much all other styles heard in this country. On a guitar, a minor 2nd would be the distance from one fret to the next fret. On a piano the distance would be rom one key to the very next key. Playing harmonic minor seconds will usually be described by the listener as a non-pleasing or dissonant sound. Playing a harmonic minor second on the guitar can be a difficult task because you’ll have to stretch your fingers pretty far. Playing a harmonic minor 2nd on the piano is much simpler. Just play two adjacent notes and you’ll have the sound of the minor 2nd. Examples of minor seconds are C-Db, C#-D, D-Eb, D#-E, and so on. The next interval in terms of size would be the Major 2nd, followed by the minor 3rd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th, Tritone, Perfect 5th, minor 6th, Major 6th, minor 7th, Major 7th, and Perfect Octave. To learn more about intervals and their names so that you can effectively use them while practicing and playing music, you’ll need to get some reference material. Click here to see an awesome, yet inexpensive book on music theory for guitar.
Creative writing in music can happen in many different ways and begin from many different angles. If you’re a singer or just someone who thinks up songs and melodies, you might want to learn to play guitar or piano to provide accompaniment for your singing. In this method, the creative process will first begin with a melody and then the a harmonic accompaniment will be developed to help shape the mood and fill out the aural spectrum. The creative process of music can also happen from doing just the opposite. Accompaniment instrumentalists on guitar and piano will often create a the harmony of the song using chords and structure of the song first in order to inspire a melody or multiple melodies. In some cases, musicians with or without experience will conjure up a melody and harmony simultaneously. In all of these cases the composer will, or at least should, have a general sense of which type of rhythm the melody and harmony will play to. Those with experience composing on paper or recording music will naturally have an easier time documenting the songs they hear. Mozart, considered a brilliant musician and composer of his time, was maddened by his inability to write all of the music he could hear in his head. In order for Mozart to hear the music that he would write, he would have to have the whole orchestra present. He lived during a time that preceded recording devices. The modern day musician is blessed with a gamut of recording tools to literally fit every budget. I was once able to record a couple songs while sitting passenger on a couple hour drive using my handheld Boss Micro-Br recording device and a Traveler Escape acoustic/electric guitar. For under 200 dollars you can get a handheld device with direct line-in inputs, on board condenser mics, vocal effects, instrumental effects, stereo effects and full mixing capabilities. If you own a Mac computer and haven’t checked out the Garage Band program then you probably don’t realize you have a luxury at your fingertips that so many of our most revered classical and pop composers could have never dreamed of. The biggest problem with technology and songwriting though is that many people forgot about the songwriting part and become enamored with the gear itself. The music industry has progressed to a point where there is no end to the selection of any type of product you are looking for. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of choices for home recording gear. If you’re into writing music then keep your focus there. If you like to record your music then pick a device, learn how to use it, and then use it rather than shopping for the next newest model. Feel free to post links to your music or websites.
History books will tell you that the violin is actually an Eastern European descendant of the Japanese Kyoto. They’ll say something about Marco Polo bringing the idea of the violin back to Eastern Europe after his highly publicized jaunt to the Far West in the 1200’s where he enjoyed a Kyoto concert with Kubla Khan. Turns out the history books are all wrong.
The violin was brought to earth by aliens in the 1650s. And Marco Polo and his brother, Ralph Lauren Polo, only had dinner at a Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse while they were in Tokyo this one time.
The aliens were an advanced life form from a galaxy beyond Alpha Centaurs. They landed in what is now known as Italy and shared some of their cultural artifacts with the Italian people who had just assumed they were simply missionaries from Ireland. The Italians gave their new friends delicious recipes for lasagna, pizza and spaghetti and, in turn, the aliens offered up their “funny little hallow-bodied paddles” for the Italians to use.
Originally, the violin was used as a bat– to bat high hanging oranges off of orange trees in small Mediterranean villages where villagers were just too short to reach the citrus fruit. It wasn’t until and Italian luthier—a crafter of stringed instruments—in Cremona, Italy– stumbled upon a young boy using the alien tool to bat oranges off an orange tree in an orange orchard that the violin became a musical instrument.
His name was Antonio Stradivari and he was considered the most significant artisan in the field. I mean, that day… in the field where the orange trees were. Stradivari took one look at the alien paddle and realized that it had the potential to make a nice instrument.
He noticed that when he added strings to the tool, one could pluck the strings and produce a unique sound. Later, while riding a horse through his small village, Stradivari noticed that when he held his new instrument in his right hand and unintentionally rubbed the strings against the horse’s mane, the sound coming from the instrument changed dramatically—and was even more pleasing to the ear. The bow (made of horsehair) was introduced.
The young man studied the lines and contours of the alien tool and began to mass produce them in his workshop. Often producing up to one (1) instrument per month. Today, a Stradivari-made violin can sell for as much as 3.9 million dollars. Not too shabby for an orange paddle thingy brought to earth by aliens.