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Thread: Songs I Like

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatinginbc View Post

    Actually I'm more fascinated by the similarity, not disparity, in primeval music, as if there once exited something called "proto-music" or as if all human races could trace their sense of musicality to the same gene.
    Whenever I stop to think about it, I'm always astonished at the fact that just about every culture values music in some way. Some groups may allow only liturgical music, but it's splendid liturgical music. Or at least prayers are chanted rather than spoken (as in Judaism). Music seems to be as deep in our bones as the very marrow. In that vein (pun not intended), I recently saw that wonderful documentary The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which takes us down into a cave with the oldest known paintings, more than 30,000 years old. Just to think that this long ago, some individual looked at animals so closely that he/she could draw them that vibrantly on a wall in a dark cave. That painter had to get some personal satisfaction out of the task--the feeling that all artists get from creating something. So whatever it is inside of us, whether spiritual or chromosomal, has been there for millennia. If that doesn't give you gooseflesh...

  2. #32
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    Double post; interval of several hours

    I am listening to that last Li Tai Xiang song, with the man singing. I wasn't expecting such a full voice, what I'd call a classical voice rather than a pop voice. This is really very interesting. His voice sounds almost like Jan Peerce, a wonderful tenor who came from the Eastern European Jewish cantorial tradition and also sang Yiddish popular songs. There's a plaintive, emotional styling that I associate with that tradition that I get glimpses of here.

    What great music this is, and I've lived all this time and never knew it existed!

    Next: Doris's polkas!

    ETA: I'm back. The polkas were fun. That Finnish one, sung a cappella by that sweet-faced young quartet, is especially delightful.

    Then I went to BC's two Central Asian songs. Wow! The Tajik one is especially gorgeous, and the photos and paintings that accompany the song on the video are beautiful.
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-25-2012 at 08:18 PM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I am listening to that last Li Tai Xiang song, with the man singing.
    That was Li Tai Xiang himself singing his own song, a very rare occasion in fact. If you pay attention to the last note of each phrase, you may find that his voice often slid down as if he failed to stay in key. He did it on purpose actually, to reflect the tonal contour of each Chinese word. Chinese is a tonal language after all, which dictates the types of western music instruments that can be easily incorporated into the Chinese music. Piano, for example, is NOT a good candidate because the pitch cannot be changed once the key is pressed. Violin, cello and guitar-like string instruments are good candidates.
    Here is another Li Tai Xiang's music: Listen to that gliding, "pitchy" or "talking" voice of the bow-string instrument, so "Chinesy" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ef4VE41Jg).
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 04-26-2012 at 08:30 AM.

  4. #34
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Whenever I stop to think about it, I'm always astonished at the fact that just about every culture values music in some way. Some groups may allow only liturgical music, but it's splendid liturgical music. Or at least prayers are chanted rather than spoken (as in Judaism).
    Olympia, I'm a little puzzled by your statement here. Yes, there are quite a number of prayers in Judaism that are spoken, but there are also many that are sung. I've sung in an adult synagogue choir for years, and am now participating in a women's chorus @ our synagogue, and we are learning plenty of newer liturgical pieces for parts of the Sabbath service.

    Back to Steeleye Span, what is the name of the instrumental piece they do that sounds like an Irish jig? It's from the album "Below the Salt." I , play it on the piano, and feel like getting up & dancing every time I hear it. Maddy Prior has a magnificent voice, and I the group's harmonies.

  5. #35
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    Oh, whoops! I just reread my statement and it implies that I meant that prayers were spoken as in Judaism. I meant that they were chanted as in Judaism rather than spoken. I'm so sorry for the misplaced modifier, which changed the whole sentence! My apologies to thousands of years' worth of cantors and rabbis.

    It's great that you're in the choir. My aunt was in her synagogue chorus, and their cantor (a wonderful baritone) commissioned several new pieces. Thanks for getting me to clear that up, Iluvtodd.

    I can't remember the name of the jig on Below the Salt. I looked up the playlist, and it could be "The Bride's Favourite" or "Tansey's Fancy." You could probably find a free extract online, on Amazon maybe, and figure it out, or even on YouTube. Isn't the Internet grandl? My two favorites on that album are "Gaudete" and "King Henry." The latter is a variant on the folktale motif of the Loathly Lady, also seen in the Wife of Bath's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

    BC, that voice is the composer? Impressive. I was so drawn in to the song.
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-26-2012 at 08:02 AM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I love a lot of English Revival folk music, especially by the group Steeleye Span, who I think did a lot of their own arrangements and adaptations, and used electric instruments. Here's "The Weaver and the Factory Maid," which has everything: Maddy Prior's clarion voice, some story, some dancy music, and a glimpse of the Industrial Revolution and the people who lived through it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do7ep...eature=related
    That's a very interesting song. It uses a Hexatonic scale (namely, C, D, E, F, G, B♭, C) that combines a C-Major triad (C, E, G) and a G-Minor triad (G, B♭, D) and thus creates a mixture of subtle sadness and joy. It doesn't sound very "English" to me however. It deviates from other Germanic (including English) folk music (e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR8Lf6qcSIo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zep8ZFcZztM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot1ut...eature=related). The "classical music" that we know of was greatly influenced by Germanic musicians, for instance:
    Baroque era: Bach (German) and Handel (German-British).
    Classical Period: Haydn (Austrian), Mozart (Austrian), Beethoven (German), Schubert (Austrian)
    It is my stereotypical impression about "English" music--It sounds rather "classical". The hexatonic scale I mentioned is not "classical" and thus to me it seems somewhat "exotic" (I mean non-Germanic).

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    My two favorites on that album are "Gaudete" and "King Henry."
    Love "King Henry." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrsGpPA5TBA).

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    prayers are chanted...as deep in our bones as the very marrow...
    Islamic Chant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...3R49-OWk#t=81s
    Jewish Chant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...bwqDEHI#t=157s
    Christan Chant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcK26_mYD4Q
    They sound somewhat similar, don't they?

    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Here's another number by them (Inti-Illimani) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_9d8...eature=related
    Love that music, beautiful

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    His voice sounds almost like Jan Peerce
    Oh, that divine, powerful voice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w633M08hsaU&feature=fvst

    And how could I forget this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxgW_RgsHL4 from Andrea Bocelli. It gives me chills every time I hear it.
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 04-26-2012 at 03:48 PM.

  7. #37
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    I have a bunch of songs that seem to have a blood-stimulating rhythm. Here's one of them, "The Rap," which may or may not be traditional Celtic music. It's performed by Secret Garden, which seems to be a fusion of Scandinavian and Celtic. I defy you not to tap your feet when you hear this. The rhythm is very complex. Part of it seems to be one-two-three-one-two-three-one-two, but not all of it. It's almost as if the ground is shifting under one's feet as one listens.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9yxp2aw5eE

    This is perhaps the fastest rendition of "Libertango." I always gravitate back to it. It has a kind of floating rhythm to me; despite its speed, someone could skate to it rather smoothly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bjps_apYdKw

    I'm interested in your thought about English music sounding Germanic. Your point about English music having strong German influence is underlined by the fact that there really wasn't any prominent native-born English composer between Purcell and Elgar. Instead, they borrowed: Handel and Mendelssohn were boffo in Britain in their respective eras. (By which time, a German family was on the throne of Britain, in any case.) When I think of English composed music, Elgar certainly has a lot of German to me. But Vaughan Williams doesn't. This may be because VW used a lot of folk idioms, but he also went back and used Elizabethan musical elements. I don't know what modal music is, but according to an article I read once, that's what a lot of Elizabethan music was, and Vaughan Williams used it in his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, one of my favorite pieces in the world. (What is modal music?)

    This thread is so delectable!
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-26-2012 at 10:59 PM.

  8. #38
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Oh, whoops! I just reread my statement and it implies that I meant that prayers were spoken as in Judaism. I meant that they were chanted as in Judaism rather than spoken. I'm so sorry for the misplaced modifier, which changed the whole sentence! My apologies to thousands of years' worth of cantors and rabbis.

    It's great that you're in the choir. My aunt was in her synagogue chorus, and their cantor (a wonderful baritone) commissioned several new pieces. Thanks for getting me to clear that up, Iluvtodd.

    I can't remember the name of the jig on Below the Salt. I looked up the playlist, and it could be "The Bride's Favourite" or "Tansey's Fancy." You could probably find a free extract online, on Amazon maybe, and figure it out, or even on YouTube. Isn't the Internet grandl? My two favorites on that album are "Gaudete" and "King Henry." The latter is a variant on the folktale motif of the Loathly Lady, also seen in the Wife of Bath's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

    Cool! That partly explains my "Gotta Have Music" in my profile. I can't imagine life without music!

    I the whole "Below the Salt" album. I need to upgrade it to CD, though. "Gaudete" is gorgeous! I also "Saucy Sailor." The "Parcel of Rogues" album is great too! Off to do a Youtube search for that jig!

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    What is modal music?
    Definition 1: Modal music is one that uses a modal scale other than the Ionian mode (major scale), Aeolian mode (natural minor), melodic minor and harmonic minor scales common in the music of the classical period. Under this definition, Thomas Tallis' Third Mode Melody, which inspired Vaughan Williams' composition of Fantasia, is modal because it used a Church mode, namely, the Phrygian mode. The Third Mode Melody (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXt-2BmgVbA) known to us today is not the original but Vaughan's rearrangement, which is underlined by traditional tonality despite having sprinkles of modal coloration here and there.
    Definition 2: On top of using a non-classical mode, modal music is one that focuses chiefly on melodic beauty inherent from the mode, in contrast to classical music that focuses on harmonic progression and heavily gravitates toward a central triad with a clear sense of "major" or "minor". Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWwBh...eature=related) is an example of modal music. It sounds "oriental" (e..g, A Chinese traditional music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN5k6WtYvso) for I see the image of Yuna Kim, not a British skater.

    Although church music (e.g., William Byrd and Thomas Tallis) in Elizabethan era employed church modes (a borrowing from foreign sources), I don't know if they have been used in street music as well. And the Hexatonic scale used in The Weaver and the Factory Maid is different from those church modes, so I'm not sure about its connection to Elizabethan music, either.

    But I think you proved a point: "English" music does not always sound Germanic. Since the early Britons contained mainly Germanic tribes such as Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Danes, I naturally consider English folk songs that carry Germanic elements to be the "real" ones. Of course, it is a stereotype, biased against Normans and other peoples that have contributed to the establishment of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 04-27-2012 at 10:05 AM.

  10. #40
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    Thanks, BC! I knew you'd come through for me. And you found the original Tallis melody! I've poked around but never found it. I've loved the VW piece since I first encountered it as maybe a teenager; I didn't know music could be so sublime. If there's ever a piece that can take one out of oneself, that's it. Have you ever heard his opera, Sir John in Love? It's his Falstaff opera.

    I have to sit down with all the info you've so generously laid out and figure out the differences in sound. My background in music is strictly by ear; it consists solely of listening to radio and recordings, and one survey class on music that I got into on the strength of knowing the repertoire--they exempted me from the prerequisite of the theory class. The result is, no theory background. So I'm doing this all backwards!

    We had the little Kalmus scores, and I followed along by the shape the notes made on the page--oh, it's going up now, and there's the fast part with the notes crowded together. I used ear memory instead. We did Bach's "Sleepers Wake" cantata, Haydn's Drum Roll symphony, Beethoven's First Razumovsky Quartet, Brahms' Fourth symphony, and something by Stravinsky. (Modern dissonant music does not float my boat. At all.) And Schubert's Great C Major Quintet, with the two cellos. I'm getting gooseflesh just writing out the title to that one.

    The first part of the Schubert:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmeOkfhkqa4

    And I found a complete recording:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3tmF...eature=related
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-27-2012 at 10:51 AM.

  11. #41
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    Can I play?

    Dangerous Tango, I like it, it's kind of catchy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjZyUVAGuqs

    Ray Buchanan - Wayfaring Pilgrim
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSKqEmeONuU

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatC View Post
    Can I play?

    Dangerous Tango, I like it, it's kind of catchy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjZyUVAGuqs

    Ray Buchanan - Wayfaring Pilgrim
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSKqEmeONuU

    Yay! The more the merrier. Thanks for these. The tango is heaps of fun, and I like the rendition of the song I've also known as "Wayfaring Stranger."

    Here's a song sung in French by the international performer Esther Ofarim. I think it was actually written as a tribute to the actor shown in the video, Gerard Philipe, after his death. He was hugely popular on stage and in films, and he died of cancer before he was forty. Even if one doesn't understand the words, it's so plain from the melody that this song is as sad as can be.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75H0E_b-LAU
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-27-2012 at 05:06 PM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    And Schubert's Great C Major Quintet, with the two cellos. I'm getting gooseflesh just writing out the title to that one. And I found a complete recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3tmF...eature=related
    Speaking of musical modes and melodic progression, you easily called out the masterpiece of Schubert: the String Quintet in C major, which is lauded for its brilliant modulation and melodic development. I'm so impressed with the music database in your brain, literally a living encyclopedia. I also love Schubert's Unfinished Symphony No.8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mnrHf7p0jM). I have a hard time deciding who is the most poetic musician that ever lived: Schubert or Chopin? Chopin's piano concertos are poems (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaSnq...eature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_lELKeJUTw). Every note is beautiful.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatC View Post
    Ray Buchanan - Wayfaring Pilgrim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSKqEmeONuU
    It reminded me of Fantasia's Summertime (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9MOJaHzm3A). And then it somehow--don't ask me why--brought my memory to Brooks & Dunn's Ain't Nothing 'Bout You (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLN8EWkYx1o), the first song of theirs that I listened to. I love Dunn's voice and accent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Here's a song sung in French by the international performer Esther Ofarim.
    Another beautiful song of hers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ8eL...eature=related).
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 04-27-2012 at 09:52 PM.

  14. #44
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    You're pretty good yourself as a living encyclopedia of music! (I personally think that you have more volumes in your inner encyclopedia than I do, by far.)

    I love Fantasia's rendition of "Summertime" also. That was the first year I watched American Idol, and to me right away, this lady was the Real Thing, with a unique voice and an innate understanding of a song. (And that was in the same season as Jennifer Hudson!) I was so glad Fantasia won, though I feared even then that her rather feckless approach to life would hold her back. She just gave off a wounded vibe. I hoped (and still hope) that she would dip more deeply into Broadway and jazz, because I could see her as an heir to the likes of Nancy Wilson rather than as a pop diva.

    I know what you mean about poetic composers. I couldn't choose between Schubert and Chopin either, though Schubert created in a greater variety of forms--and all those songs! I'd also compound your agonizing by adding several of the French composers to the list, like Ernest Chausson. Here is his Concerto for piano, violin, and string quartet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR9U6nhP7t4

    And what about Mendelssohn? See, I'm no help at all. My feeling about music is that it's one area where that awful phrase "greed is good" actually should apply.

    So now I'm listening to that Brooks and Dunn song you linked us to. I am not too familiar with country music, so this is new to me. I gather that Dunn is the lead singer? If so, I see what you mean about his voice and his accent. One thing I enjoy about country music is that a good voice is valued (unlike rock most of the time). Also, I like that a country song so often tells a story or at least delineates a character.

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    Double post: As I'm paying bills, I'm listening to my favorite part of Rimsky Korsakov's orchestral suite from his opera Le coq d'or. It's amazing that the first part is just up and down the scale for awhile, five notes, yet how he forms them into a narrative that moves forward and draws you into a magical setting alive with color and light! You just know that something astonishing is happening all around you. How does he do that? *imagines Mao Asada skating to it*

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j-vQ...feature=relmfu

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