No junk, no soul?

I was reading an article on the link between music and drugs, and this question occurred to me……

What would the music scene be like if drugs were never invented?

Is it too hard to imagine a world where, people just go to a venue to listen to music and appreciate it with a clear head? Or, where musicians aren’t known  for their habits before their talent? Or where a genre of music isn’t defined by a drug that goes with it?

Just imagine if the creativity of the musicians of the past had come from their own brains, and not aided by LSD, Heroin or Cocaine etc.

As the article reminded me, the Jazz world in particular got taken to another level by drugs. Would jazz have moved and transformed itself into the art form that is today, if it weren’t for smoking of dope and taking of heroin, leading to the advent of Bebop and the more free Jazz elements? Would the style have moved on from the Jazz of the 40’s, which sometimes come across (to me) as a bit formulaic in structure?

Look at these old Jazz and Blues players who survived the excesses of the 60s and 70s, and I think about the friends they have lost to drugs and alcohol. Just imagine a world full of old jazz guys who didn’t get hooked on heroin or over-dose in a hotel room somewhere. The world would be overflowing with cool old guys (and women of course).

Without LSD and Marijuana, the Hippie generation would never have existed?  What would the disillusioned youth of the 60’s and 70’s have grabbed on to…. Going into the Army? Embracing religion? Alcoholism? Rioting?

There would have been no Jimi Hendrix as we know him, the man widely regarded one of the most influential guitarists of all time might never have picked up a guitar and a wah-wah pedal.

There would have been no Bob Marley…..No Rastas even.

Maybe, coffee shops would be the place to hear live music and get your fix of caffeine and other legal drugs.

If the world had of changed tack back in the sixties, there is no way of telling what music would have become today.

Personally, I like to think that the people who made the biggest musical contributions to the world would have done it with or without drugs. I believe that some people are born with such gifts, and have been since the beginnings of mankind.

Even without the psychedelic 70s, couldn’t you see a version of Jimi Hendrix with a guitar in hand, and still re-writing history in a different genre of music. Maybe Flamenco or Blues guitar….

Take a good look at the losses that have been made to the world of music, as a direct result of drug abuse.

Was it worth it?

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A few Jazz quotes…..

Coutesy of Allaboutjazz

I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.

— Miles Davis

Art is self expression. If you are expressing someone else’s personality, that is not art.

— Bennie Wallace

Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread–without it, it’s flat.

— Carmen McRae

In the midst of creating, a person is raised to another level of consciousness that doesn’t have that much to do with everyday thinking. It’s as if you could imagine life before there were words.

— Charlie Haden

 

Philosophy 101

According to philosophy, each individual interacts with their own individual world. That is to say that, a person with colour-blindness sees a red ball as green. But in a room full of colour blind people, the ball is actually green.

This is the secret of the music industry and why they control what is perceived as “good music”.

I understand that the music industry survives on selling its music. I also understand that they are selling a package, the “artists” are a commodity and they have to make them appealing to as many people as possible. But, I believe that the general public need to hear good music. Original songs, with lyrics that make sense and Rhythm, Melody and Harmony.

People like Jamie Cullum and to a lesser extent Michael Buble have gone a long way toward changing the public psyche with regards to what is good, popular music, but they will never have the same kind of backing as the more edgy, dangerous and very unhealthy people they tend to highlight.Which is a shame, because they do use genuine musicians, they can perform  live and they have spent time learning their craft.

Don’t get me wrong, I have noticed a vast increase of new bands in other genres who are genuine musicians and who I am not including in this commentary. I am focusing on more on the Pop Genre.

At the end of the day, the music companies tell the public what is good music and what is not….. So if the people in music companies genuinely love music, why not steer them toward real artists who can at least play an instrument or sing the right note.

Philosophy of music

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Philosophy of music is the study of fundamental questions regarding music. The philosophical study of music has many connections with philosophical questions in metaphysics and aesthetics. Some basic questions in the philosophy of music are:

  • What is the definition of music? (what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for classifying something as music?)
  • What is the relationship between music and mind?
  • What does musical history reveal to us about the world?
  • What is the connection between music and emotions?
  • What is meaning in relation to music?

Try my quiz…

Think you are a JazzMan?

Why not try your luck at my Quiz?

70% is a pass.

Good luck.

If this proves popular, I will rustle up another.

What is music to me?

Music means different things to different people. I want to explain to you, the reader, what it means to me. I would welcome input from you with regards to your personal relationship with music. I would be happy to place any comments left on this subject, onto the main post.

The relationship I have with music has been a very intimate thing. It has always been as though music speaks to me in a way that words cannot. In a way that explains all that it needs to, without having to clarify or repeat itself.

Whereas people often confuse me, music never has. People make me angry, anxious, afraid, stressed and irritated, but I know that when i put on some of my favourite music, all that will not matter. It is like the best friend that knows that you want to get something off your chest and gives you a cup of tea and a hug.

Different types of music affect me in different ways. As a young(ish) man I seemed to have developed an allergy to young people’s music quite early on in life. The sound of sickly sweet Pop music, or X Factor drop-outs new singles, or some good-looking 18 yr old guy with a six-pack singing about how he “wants to get wit’ ya” or something equally as deep, either makes me walk out of shops, puts me in a bad mood, makes me angry, or just makes me feel sad for the kids – this is what they are going to have as their song one day, (seriously, go to a young persons wedding, it’s hilarious!).

I appreciate that I sound like a 60 yr old, who doesn’t like “those pesky kids”, but I can assure you that I am not. I just happen to have a taste in music that probably averages out at about 1960, or thereabout.

As you may have read before , I really got into music via Motown and the Blues. And since then,  have branched off into Folk, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Flamenco, World Music and more. And my tastes are constantly changing……I have recently found an elegant beauty in Classical Music which I used to be snub as elitist nonsense.

But, I have come to realise, since learning how to play, and how it works, that music is all inter-related.

All these different, styles of music that all have their mystic roots and traditions, all conform to a universal rule of music. The more instruments you can learn, the better a musician you will become. If you play guitar, you should learn the basics on Piano and vice versa. A percussion instrument may well help you develop a more natural playing style. All these little nick knack instruments that you see in music shops will all help you to become a rounded musician.

The way I see it is, that if you speak one language, you can understand people who speak that language, if you learn another language, one more group of people you can talk to. The more languages that you learn, the more people you can speak to. But, If you can work out how languages work, the inner workings of linguistics, you can potentially communicate with everyone.

It is the same with Music, I don’t remember how many musicians I have jammed  with, without even having to speak the same language.

Music is universal, make sure that you are as universal as it is…..