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Music

Great music scenes in movies

Some of my favorite music-and-imagery moments:

Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon: seduction at the gambling table, on Schubert, Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat major, andante con moto


Lars von Trier, Melancholia: opening scene, on Wagner, Tristan und Isolde


Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life (2011): evolution of life, on Alexandre Desplat, Cirlces


And thanks to dad:

Luchino Visconti, Morte a Venezia ‎(1971)‎: final scene, on Gustav Mahler's Adagietto ‎(from Symphony No. 5)‎


Walt Disney, Fantasia (1940): procession on Franz Schubert's Ave Maria



Contemporary interpretations of classical music

Classical music sounds boring to some, and sometimes they are right. The philharmonic orchestra does not deliver what we would today consider the most spicy sound. But that does not mean that the music written for classical instruments cannot be spicy. The best illustration is contemporary interpretations of classical music, be it jazz, hard rock or techno...

JAZZ...

Jacques Loussier playd Bach, Jazz style



METAL AND ROCK...

Paul Gilbert plays Vivaldi´s Four Seasons, metal style


Dan Mumm plays Toccata and Fugue in D minor by J.S. Bach, metal style


And, again, thanks to dad:

Some Laotion-Canadian does Bach's Air on the G String, mix of Steve Vai and Brian May styles



TECHNO...

Some dude techno-remixing Grieg's Peer Gynt thinking it is Mozart



Here's the other way round: 
Classical interpretations of contemporary stuff...

Vika playing Metallica, Master of Puppets


Vika playing Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody


Music theory

Did you know that the way we tune our instruments is an acoustic/mathematical compromise? Well, learn about tuning systems (equal temperament, Pythagorean tuning, etc.) here (listen to the comparisons of the systems: freaky).

Analyses of great music

Classical music never sounds as beautiful as when you have done your research. Did you ever go to a concert and were bored? Probably it wasn't the music: it was you who weren't prepared. You have to listen to the music a few times, read some background info on it and some analyses. Apollo, Great God of Music, might forgive you for not looking into the music scores. But he won't forgive you not browsing the web a bit for some quick and easy analyses! People think that art must come spontaneous, that reasoning spoils the immediate emotional contact with art. There is of course some truth in that. But appreciating music is exactly like playing music. Sure, you shouldn't be thinking when playing a piece. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't practice and study every note before performing a piece. Once you have done the analysis, you can trust your intuition and let the emotions play: but meticulous labor comes first and does not spoil the experience later on. On the contrary. Listening to music is the same as playing music: Work first, then feel.

Here are some online analyses I went through myself. So there is not much logic to the selection: I happened to see Wagner's Ring and I happened to have Beethoven's symphonies on my iPhone. Still Beethoven and Wagner are excellent subjects for analysis.

Note: It is better if you can read notes and have some basic knowledge on music theory, but actually these online analyses don't really require much musical literacy, since you can just click and listen to the music! (I also added some freely downloadable books and videos though.)
In general, if you are in for more in depth analysis (on paper): scores of music in the public domain can be found on IMSLP's Petrucci Music Library. Moreover, many analyses in books in the public domain can be found on the Internet Archive. All free, all legal. The cultural inheritance of civilization. Enjoy it: many people worked very hard for it!

My own experiments


I composed this piece for my music theory class in June 2012. The Almost Short History of Everything is supposed to tell the story of the emergence of everything - a bit ambitious, but ok. The flutes are the wind, the kettledrums the big bang, the tubas the earth, the cellos water, the pizzicato violins unicellular organisms (yes you read that right!), the first violin man, and the second violin domesticated animals (yup!)... So you get the story from the big bang to the emergence of man and culture: a quite harmonious evolution, in this composition. But it's still a draft and never finalized itThanks to the teacher Erika Budai (if you're in Leuven go there) and to the MuseScore open source software! Don't mind the crappy sounds, use your imagination.

Translations of great songs

Thai song: Full Moon by Carabao (คาราบาว - เดือนเพ็ญ)

YouTube Video



ดือน เพ็ญ สวย เย็น เห็น อร่าม
deuan pen sŭay yen hĕn à-ràam
The full moon is beautiful and cool [is the hour when] you can see her glow

นภา แจ่ม นวล ดู งาม
ná-paa jàem nuan doo ngaam
The sky has a pale shine that looks beautiful

เย็น ชื่น หนอ ยาม เมื่อ ลม พัด มา
yen chêun nŏr yaam mêua lom pát maa
The evening is pleasant [OR: Pleasantly cool], is it not, the time when the wind comes blowing

แสงจันทร์ นวล ชวน ใจ ข้า
săeng jan nuan chuan jai kâa 
The light of the pale moon makes me 

คิด · ถึง ถิ่นที่ จาก มา
kít · tĕung tìn têe jàak maa
Think about the place I come from

คิดถึง ท้อง นา บ้าน เรือน ที่เคย เนาว์
kít tĕung tóng naa bâan reuan têe koie nao
And think about the fields and the house I used to live in


เรไร ร้อง ดัง ฟัง ว่า · เสียง ที่ เจ้า คร่ำครวญหา
ray-rai róng dang fang wâa · sĭang jâo têe krâm-kruan-hăa
The grasshoppers cry loudly, I hear them complain: Voices that are repeatedly yearning [OR: A sound I repeatedly yearn for]

ลม เอ๋ย ช่วย พา กระซิบ ข้าง กาย
lom ŏie chûay paa grà-síp kâang gaai
Oh, wind, help carry the whispers [of the grasshoppers telling news about home] in my direction 

ข้า ยัง คอยอยู่ · ไม่ หน่าย
kâa yang koi yòo · mâi nàai
I am still waiting [for news] and have not lost interest

ไม่ · เลือน ห่าง จาก เคลื่อน คลาย
mâi · leuan hàang jàak klêuan klaai
I will not fade and distance myself [from my home and past]

คิดถึง มิ วาย เมื่อ เรา จากกัน
kít tĕung mí waai mêua rao jàak gan
I will always remember when we parted


กองไฟ · สุม ควาย ตาม คอก · คง ยัง ไม่ มอด ดับ ดอก
gong fai · sŭm kwaai dtaam kôk · kong yang mâi môt dàp dòk
The fire that warms the buffalos in their stalls hopefully has not yet died out

จันทร์ เอ๋ย ช่วย · บอก ให้ ลม ช่วย เป่า
jan ŏie chûay · bòk hâi lom chûay bpào
Oh, moon, help me tell the wind to help blowing

สุมไฟ ให้ แรง เข้า · พัด ไล่ ความเยือกเย็น หนาว
sŭm fai hâi raeng kâo · pát lâi kwaam yêuak yen năao
To light the fire stronger and blow to chase away the chill

ให้ พี่ น้อง เรา นอนหลับ อุ่นสบาย
hâi pêe nóng rao non làp ùn sà-baai
So that our older and younger ones can sleep warm and comfortable


ลม เอ ย ช่วย เป็น สื่อ ให้ · นำ รัก จาก ห้วง ดวง ใจ · ของ ข้า นี้ ไป
lom ay yor chûay bpen sèu hâi · nam rák jàak hûang duang jai · kŏng kâa née bpai
Oh, wind, help me by being the messenger: Take the love from the heart of this wretched man

บอก เขา น้ำ นา
bòk kăo náam naa
And tell the hills, fields and waters [about it]

ให้ เมือง ไทย รู้ว่า
hâi meuang tai róo wâa
Let the Land of the Thai know that

ไม่ นาน ลูก ที่ จาก ลา · จะ ไป ซบ หน้า กับ อก แม่ เอย
mâi naan lôok têe jàak laa · jà bpai sóp nâa gàp òk mâe ay yor
Before too long, the son who has left you will go nestle his head on mother’s breast - The end
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