Adding Variety To Our Music

Adding Variety To Our Music

You have to start by stepping outside your musical comfort zone


Today's musical artists are providing listeners with less musical variety while relying upon permutations of the same basic chords and sound bits. As a result, pop music has become homogeneous, but here's how we can change that.

While some might say that comparing Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Katy Perry's Roar is much like comparing apples and oranges, this comparison stands because the role of these two songs in musical development has been quite the same. Both songs spent an extended amount of time as the most popular song of their era. Both songs paved the way for other hit songs within their respective genre. And both are the products of artists who understood the musical demands of their time.

However, there is one glaring difference between these two songs, and it definitely doesn't take a lesson in music theory to hear it. Katy Perry's harmonic material is composed of only 4 distinct notes while Beethoven's harmonic material is at minimum 12 distinct notes for just his Ode to Joy.

Here's the problem with pop music today: Producers and artists alike are taking fewer risks within the pop music genre because listeners of today's music have a lower standard for music appreciation. Case and point: Iggy Azalea's "Black Widow" and "Fancy" are composed of effectively the same cords with different lyrics. Yet both songs were on the Billboard Top 10 list at the same time.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, musical dynamics revolve around 3 major components:

-Timbre: the sound color, texture or tone quality

-Pitch: the chords, melody and tonal arrangement that contribute to the harmony

-Volume: the loudness with which the music is intended to be played.

Since Beethoven's time, timbre and pitch have decreased while volume has increased. As timbre decreases, songs lose their "uniqueness" and the homogeneity manifests at a subliminal level. In addition, pitch has decreased because musicians are afraid to move from one chord to another, instead opting to follow what the well-trodden path of musicians who came before them. Artists can get away with this because we have been conditioned to lower our standard of good music. And lastly, the average volume has increased, desensitizing us to musical nuances.

So, how do we increase our aptitude for more complex and dynamic music?

This is where experimenting with music comes in. Personally, after hearing the dissonance between the classical genre and pop music today, I tried to find artists and genres that were pushing the boundaries of modern pop. Here's where I stumbled upon an untapped, under-promoted and frankly underappreciated pool of genres and musicians. Dubbed the future of hip-hop by LA Weekly, artist Masego has forged a genre called TrapHouseJazz.

But what makes Masego stand out? Like many of the classical greats of the classical era of music, Masego is an improvisational composer. He plays almost every single instrument, is well versed in modern musical equipment, and sings his own vocals. He creates nearly a song a day and caters to multiple genres while still pushing the boundaries with unique musical components.

By stepping out of our musical comfort zones, appreciating the renaissance musicians of today and being cognizant of musical oversimplification in pop music today, together we can leave a musical footprint that we can be proud of.

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13 Quotes For All Of Us Empowered Female-Identifying People Out There

For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.


For the days when you need to be reminded that you are really doing the dang thing and doing it well.

1. Do you really need someone else's permission, acceptance, wink, or nod, or are you ready to give these to yourself? -The Universe

I get notes from the Universe everyday and all of them are so amazing and inspiring. There might be a few of them on this list. You can sign up for your own notes from the universe here.

2. The princess saves herself in this one. -Amanda Lovelace

The quote is based off a book called The Princess Saves Herself In This One, which is a collection of poetry about resilience, you can get the book here.

3. I'm made of more than you think. -Snow White, Mirror, Mirror

4. Other people's perception of you ain't none of your business. -Lisa Nichols


5. Do you realize how many events and choices that had to occur since the birth of the universe leading to the making of just exactly the way you are? -Mrs. Which, A Wrinkle In Time

I love this because it really hits home how so many right and wrong decisions led to the creation of you and how you should appreciate the good and the bad because without either of them you wouldn't be exactly who you were supposed to be.

6. You can't stop what's done to you. You can only survive it. -Rachel, Georgia Rule 

This brings up an important theme of my life that I'm still trying to figure out. The only thing you can control in your life is how you react to what happens to you.

7. Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want. -Patrick Verona, 10 Things I Hate About You

8. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Queen Clarisse, The Princess Diaries

9. No trifling of the past, no matter how great, can tarnish the brilliance of eternity. -The Universe

10. People who are insignificant to your future shouldn't have an impact on your present.

Someone once told me this, and although I can't remember the person, this quote has always stuck with me.

11. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before. -Lady Gaga

You know what... I think she was talking about you.

12. Tell yourself it's easy. Tell yourself often. Make it an affirmation. Eat, sleep, breathe it, and you life shall be transformed. -The Universe

13. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. -Mark Twain 

Go on then, be empowered and trust your instincts, you've got big things coming... I can tell.

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