Anyhoo I thought I'd take the opportunity to catch everyone up to speed on what's going on in the classroom. My Monday night class is coming to a close in two weeks. So that means I have a final essay to write. The class has been an overview of popular music and the different elements that must be considered when it comes to researching popular music. In recent weeks, we have been looking at the economy of the music industry. More specifically, we looked at EMI which was the parent company of Parlephone, the label in which The Beatles were signed. We discussed at how copyright is the most important thing for a music company because the royalties on songs is where all the money comes from. It's even more important now because most people download the music for free (cough cough Spotify cough cough).
As for my essay, I have to show how useful genre analysis is in studying The Beatles. In short, genre analysis involves taking everything into consideration. The economy, the style, the form of the music, the instruments, who played on the album, the fans, the culture and society. It's a massive concept that I have been struggling to wrap my head around. It's hard to pick and choose what elements of genre analysis I want to discuss without having to incorporate everything. I have to pick two "genres" of The Beatles and use them as a case study. I'll be choosing two songs that represent different genres of The Beatles repertoire. I haven't decided on the songs yet, but I'm looking at Rocky Racoon (Folk/Country), For you Blue (Blues), Helter Skelter (heavy rock/metal), and Lucy in the Sky with diamonds (psychedelic rock).
For my Thursday night session, my tutor is extending the class through February. Since we have 6 weeks of class in April/May after our 3 week Spring break, he's able to shift things and tier them to focus on the important concepts. This class is very important as we have been looking at Semiotics, how music conveys various messages. These messages can be in the form of the words, the rhythm,timbre, grain of voice. Last week, we looked at the voice of Frank Sinatra. We analyzed why Frank is so iconic even after all these years. It's because of his voice. His voice has a level of intimacy as if he's talking right to you. In some interviews, people said that the way he sang made them feel as though it were them. As if he knew how the listeners were feeling. That resonated with people. Whether you disagree or agree, that's alright. Because music is such an individual aspect of our identities, we respond to songs/artists in different ways. That being said, I don't feel so bad when people scold me for hating James Taylor. He's certainly no friend of mine....
Our final for this class is to pick a non-Beatle popular song and analyze it using the methods we have been practicing in class. In January, I'll have to present the many messages the song conveys to the class and write an essay on it (due in February). I haven't chosen a song yet but I'll let you know. Maybe I'll do a poll on the blog and you can decide!
I haven't done any research to the history of Hoylake but it definitely feels like a summer vacation spot. The houses are reminiscent of beach bungalows with this grainy, sand texture to the exteriors. The beach was huge, and reached around the whole peninsula. It stretched so far out that I could barely see the Irish sea. I started walking out there to see how far I could go, but then a woman warned me the tide would be coming in soon and it's faster than a bullet. So I retreated to safe ground and headed to the downtown area.
My conclusion that this city was a summer vacation city was even stronger because the downtown area was dead. It felt like a ghost town. There were cars that drove through but very, very few people. Many of the shops and restaurants were closed. I was waiting for a tumbleweed to blow by.
The concert was really nice although it was packed. The band advertised that there are no requirements to join the band. In fact, the oldest member is 91 and plays tuba, while the youngest member is 8, playing percussion. They played for about two hours and featured pieces from "Les Mis", Sleigh Ride, and John Phillips Sousa. After the concert, I asked if there was any chance I could join and the conductor said yes. Of course that was before I found out it was an hour drive for practices. They did end with a Beatles Medley. I was quite proud that I got the audience to clap-along to "Hey Jude."
Intermission: I thought this would be interesting to point out. During the concert there was a break but they didn't call it "Intermission." Instead, they called it "Tea Break", and the 20 minute break was spent drinking tea. I was the only person that didn't have a cup of tea. I asked if it is normal to have a "tea break" and the person responded that most concert intermissions involve drinking tea together. Strictly tea too.
Pasta: This caused a bit of confusion for me. Over here, the term "noodle" is only referred to in Asian cuisine. Everything else is considered pasta. Even a single strand of spaghetti is pasta. So I guess that means they eat Chicken "pasta" soup during the winter?
Trivia! 6 people voted and 2 people are correct. Survey says....Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells was written for Thanksgiving and premiered at a Thanksgiving concert. It was so popular that they sang it again at the Christmas Concert when they realized it was more appropriate for that holiday. I will point out that Sleigh Ride, although there are no mentions of Christmas in the lyrics, was written during a July heatwave. Leroy Anderson couldn't handle the heat and sat down to pen a tune that reminded him of winter.
This week's trivia is:
Peace & Love,