Remember our Songwriter Series featured writer Elizabeth Eckert? (you can check out our last interview with her here). Well, we're excited about a new program she's just launched which brings her original songs to high school students throughout the country. Creative Immersions (…Continue
I'm sitting here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, getting ready to go check out the studio where we will be recording the winning song from the songwriting contest, on a beautiful spring day. (although my day started with me saying to my 2-year-old, "Cream cheese is NOT PAINT.")
Actually that's the perfect segue to the…Continue
Fourteen-year-old Andzaur only travels to school every Thursday—if he is lucky. Since his father is an invalid, Andzaur bears the weight of responsibility for caring for his family out in the village. But in his fleeting moments of escape he devotes himself to music.
On the recording day, Andzaur wearily entered the recital hall, supporting his accordion with both arms extended perpendicular to the floor, as a school kid might support a stack of…Continue
Added by Hannah Schneider on May 24, 2014 at 9:30pm — No Comments
What sorts of musicians and music emerge in the mysterious Greater Caucasus Mountains?
The peaks of this range pierce the horizon from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, dwarfing those of the Alps. Like the spires of Babel, they signal an explosion of a panoply of languages, peoples,…Continue
Added by Hannah Schneider on May 4, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments
I am LOVING everyone's posts, songs, comments, videos, participation, etc etc lately! It makes my heart SING and I know that is cheesy but I do not even CARE.
I hope that if you haven't yet, you each take part in the songwriting activities we have specially crafted for you on the site. And that each of you is considering entering our songwriting…Continue
A groove or ostinato can be a rhythmic pattern, a bass line, a chord progression, or all those things put together. Check out these detailed definitions on Wikipedia for more info on groove and …Continue
Write a musical phrase or song using the…Continue
I'm fresh back from 4 days of writing and recording with a new band in Detroit and I wanted to share a little nugget of knowledge that surfaced while I was in the midst of collaborating with a frustrated bunch of writers. You know what is a very powerful tool to have? The ability to throw something away and start again fresh. Why? Am I telling you to give up? NO! I'm telling you that not all your ideas are good. That's all. Some are just stepping stones to something better,…Continue
Added by Mike Viola on March 23, 2014 at 6:55pm — No Comments
Hello, Musical Exchangers! (or "MXers" as I like to call you)
It's been really fun reading everyone's title brainstorms from the What's in a Title activity. If you haven't done it yet, go give it a try-it's literally a 3-minute exercise!
In the exercise everyone was asked to jot down song titles for 3 minutes, without stopping to judge them. There have been some…Continue
It's also time for another interview. Today's…Continue
Added by Darcy James Argue on December 15, 2013 at 2:00am — No Comments
Added by Darcy James Argue on December 14, 2013 at 2:30am — No Comments
Added by Darcy James Argue on December 13, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Greetings, all. Our deadline for Arranging Ellington submissions has passed, making a lovely whooshing sound as it flew by. As we draw to a close, I'd like to extend my deepest thanks to all of those who submitted, and to everyone who participated in this conversation. It has been a tremendously inspiring experience for me to immerse myself even more deeply into the world of a composer who means so much to me, and a genuine pleasure to share my love of Ellington's music with all of you. I…Continue
Added by Darcy James Argue on December 16, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
Attention arrangers: the submission deadline for the Arranging Ellington project is rapidly drawing near! There is nothing quite like a deadline to get the creative juices flowing a bit more vigorously — as Duke was fond of saying, "Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn't do nothing!"
So, you have until December 15 to submit your arrangement of "Come Sunday" or…Continue
I'd like to continue my series of Arranging Ellington posts by zeroing in on the two compositions you are invited to arrange — "Come Sunday" and "Almighty God." As you know, the deadline for submission (December 15!) is rapidly approaching, so by this point I hope you've done some of the recommended…Continue
Sometimes when I'm stuck in my songwriting, I do something very simple: I take the melody I'm working with and try it with both major and minor tonal centers underneath.
For example: in the below video I take a piece of the folk song "Shenandoah", which is traditionally in a major key. Just to shake things up, I try it using the relative minor.
If your song is in C Major, try it in A Minor. If your song is in D Minor, try it in F Major. And so…Continue
Live in 1975…Continue