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The abundance of high-quality music theory YouTube channels

Started by Dewt, December 31, 2019, 05:57:38 PM

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NoSleep

Quote from: the on March 03, 2020, 12:02:28 PM
In this safely established popular classic song, that bit was really great

'Why, Rick?'

It uses a diminished chord

'So where does that fact lead us?'

That bit was really great

Yeah, Rick Beato is knowledgeable and many of his videos are informative, but a blow by blow account of any song, or a "top 20 greatest intros, drum fills, guitar solos, etc", is a fairly pointless exercise (aside from being clickbait) compared to his videos on modes and symmetrical scales, or how computers have screwed rock music, and why audiences have abandoned rock music. I wish he'd focus less on rock, actually, and let us see more of his jazz roots, but that's also not clickbaity enough for him.

Adam Neely is impeccable, though.

Likewise, 12tone, the musicological scribbler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y4T9SkNYFo

olliebean

Quote from: NoSleep on March 03, 2020, 01:51:09 PMLikewise, 12tone, the musicological scribbler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y4T9SkNYFo

I couldn't watch that, the speeded up fiddly scribbling hand just makes me tense right up.

Technically production, but I greatly enjoyed this channel's interviews with a few producers - particularly Michael Beinhorn talking about producing Soundgarden (and Manson).

On the topic of Soundgarden he goes into some of the writing, and makes some really great points. I've always loved Black Hole Sun (SG generally), being both anthemic yet unnerving at the same time, and there's some discussion of the composition on this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng4f_fj9Lfc

One thing I've never really conciously noticed is how there's no real sense of resolution apart from the big D chord at the end of the early choruses. Sometimes picking music apart like this can ruin the magic, but in this case absolutely not.

NoSleep

Quote from: olliebean on March 03, 2020, 02:26:10 PM
I couldn't watch that, the speeded up fiddly scribbling hand just makes me tense right up.

But the visuals are mostly secondary to the commentary, which is always great.

phantom_power

Quote from: Dewt on January 20, 2020, 01:37:28 PM
I forgot to mention the Strong Songs podcast. It will take stone cold classic pop songs and analyse the shit out of them, as well as passionately talking about why the songs are great. Imagine NoSleep's post above extended to an entire song, with clips.

It's the perfect podcast for me, somebody who has a reasonable musical education but no practical real practical application of it outside of casually playing instruments.

Have  you tried the "Why Do I Like This" podcast? It is Martin Rossiter and his wife discussing why she likes particular songs. Rossiter will be given an hour to figure out the song and then he comes back and goes through all the theory stuff to try and explain why it is good. It is interesting in and of itself but an extra bonus is that he sounds exactly like Greg Davies, both in how he sounds and how he speaks. That was unexpected

https://www.patreon.com/whydoilikethis

NoSleep

More Beefheart-related goodness, this time from Samuel Andreyev. Here's an interview he conducted with Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo) in which Bill is revealed to be a wonderful human being (well, I knew this already, from his music and his book "Lunar Notes"):

Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWgfVVbK4bA
Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfeKBp6OJdQ

I've just discovered this account and I see he's interviewed other members of the Magic Band - Mark Boston (Rockette Morton), John French (Drumbo), Jeff Cotton (Antennae Jimmy Semens), which I'm looking forward to viewing.

Here Andreyev breaks down the opening track of TMR, Frownland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FhhB9teHqU EDIT: This analysis appears have been what inspired Jeff Cotton to allow the only interview that he ever given.

NoSleep

David Collins; a really good guitar tech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEjekEOMWmg

EDIT: Looks like he's way too busy to do YouTube videos; last one is two years old.

El Unicornio, mang

Quote from: idunnosomename on December 31, 2019, 09:17:50 PM
a middle eight is the different bit in the middle, also called a bridge. usually it is vocal and seperate from the solo break.



It always irritated me that the middle 8 is also called the bridge, I always thought the bridge would be a better name for the part that goes between the verse and chorus on some songs (the "bridge" between the two) but learned the name for that is the "pre-chorus"

NoSleep

Quote from: El Unicornio, mang on April 10, 2020, 01:20:51 PM
It always irritated me that the middle 8 is also called the bridge, I always thought the bridge would be a better name for the part that goes between the verse and chorus on some songs (the "bridge" between the two) but learned the name for that is the "pre-chorus"

That's what I mentioned when I explained the structure of River Deep Mountain High. It is what is often named the bridge.

There is no one way of naming parts of songs, as I have discovered working with many different artists in the recording studio.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

Quote from: jake thunder on January 15, 2020, 01:53:14 PM
I am detecting a slight increase in harmonic sophistication in some current pop music. Wouldn't be surprised if the preponderance of these YouTube vids has an effect on future music. Good stuff. Learning a bit of music theory shouldn't be limited to musicians.

Do you not feel a certain cynicism and hollowness at its core though? I feel the same way when watching many modern movies. They use techniques that have reliable emotional responses but lack ingenuity and authorial voice, so you can be sat there sometimes feeling teary-eyed while simultaneously thinking "this movie is a pile of fucking hackwork". There is something about the best art that is a sweet spot between the organic drive to create something with a message and an understanding of the form behind it, whether that be innate or learned.

NoSleep

Quote from: Shoulders?-Stomach! on April 10, 2020, 02:15:26 PM
Do you not feel a certain cynicism and hollowness at its core though?

Lack of genius combined with technical ability/knowledge has always been a stumbling block for players. They need to get beyond the technique to use it properly.

Twit 2

Feldman on Cage:

QuoteAt this first meeting I brought John a string quartet.  He looked at it a long time and then said, 'How did you make this?'  I thought of my constant quarrels with (Stefan) Wolpe, and how just a week before, after showing a composition of mine to Milton Babbitt and answering his questions as intelligently as I could, he said to me, 'Morton, I don't understand a word you're saying.'  And so, in a very weak voice I answered John, 'I don't know how I made it.'  The response to this was startling.  John jumped up and down, and with a kind of high monkey squeal, screeched, 'Isn't that marvelous.  Isn't that wonderful.  It's so beautiful, and he doesn't know how he made it.'  Quite frankly, I sometimes wonder how my music would have turned out if John had not given me those early permissions to have confidence in my instincts.

Some great suggestions so far. It's very piano specific but I think this guy is great:
https://www.youtube.com/user/cedarvillemusic

A real emphasis on the almost lost classical traditions of partimento and improvisation.

This sort of stuff has been a part of my teaching for a long time so it's nice to see. I've always been fascinated by the similarities between for example Nadia Boulanger's teaching methods which were seen as old fashioned in the 1920s and the way jazz musicians learn.

Nahre Sol is fun too
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8R8FRt1KcPiR-rtAflXmeg

Instrumental tuition is somewhat more varied in quality as there's a lot of emphasis on 'hacks'. I'm teaching myself a new instrument and i certainly feels I'd be wasting a lot of time with rubbish if I wasn't a professional already. There's enough good stuff out there if you know what to look for though.

It's under-appreciated the extent to which the church music scene in America (and the uk to a much lesser extent) is absolutely huge. Many musicians in the pop scene cut their teeth in that world and it fuels so much popular culture now. A lot of harmonic and rhythmic sophistication comes from that but it not cynical, it's absolutely joyous.



NoSleep

Quote from: NoSleep on March 03, 2020, 01:51:09 PM
Yeah, Rick Beato is knowledgeable and many of his videos are informative, but a blow by blow account of any song, or a "top 20 greatest intros, drum fills, guitar solos, etc", is a fairly pointless exercise (aside from being clickbait) compared to his videos on modes and symmetrical scales, or how computers have screwed rock music, and why audiences have abandoned rock music. I wish he'd focus less on rock, actually, and let us see more of his jazz roots, but that's also not clickbaity enough for him.

Looks like the lockdown has moved Rick Beato into a preferable mode for me; his lockdown videos have been amongst his best ever, exploring his love, and knowledge, of music in a more personal way.

NoSleep

Discovered Tantacrul recently[nb]via Shostakovich - How to Compose Music Despite [ R E D A C T E D ][nb]Stalin[/nb][/nb], who is primarily a composer in real life and talks about music with a sense of humour, to produce stuff like this:

Corporate Music - How to Compose with no Soul

Marner and Me

Quote from: the on January 15, 2020, 11:48:10 AM
4/4:

1          2          3          4
Oh         Mickey     you're so  fine

1          2          3          4
You're so  fine you   blow my    mind, Hey

1          2          3          4
Mickey!    (clap-clap)           (clap), Hey

1          2          3          4
Mickey!    (clap-clap)           (clap)


Four beats (the 1, 2, 3, 4 bit) and four bars (there are four lines, then the phrase repeats).


Middle 8:

(If you're listening to a song that's got quite a standard structure) the middle 8 is basically that bit that happens about two thirds of the way through the song that isn't the verse or the chorus. (In songs that have vocals, it's often instrumental.)

That is one of the few things I hate about music. For something that is meant to be free expressionism and a do what you want attitude to it. Music is so formulated. If you don't play an instrument in the right way or make a song in the right way, it doesn't sound 'right' to people.

NoSleep

They're just devices that can work; there's no hard and fast rule that they must be adhered to, as was exemplified to myself when I randomly chose to break down River Deep, Mountain High (see earlier, upthread) into sections and realised how unlike a standard song structure it was.

Describing the structure of something in hindsight does not prove that it was written to fit that structure, which is what I think you are implying. That's a problem with musicology rather than the music it tries to explain.

Twit 2

Quote from: NoSleep on June 06, 2020, 07:58:31 AM
Got to love Adam Neely:

The ****ed up legacy of the arrest of Miles Davis

I can't watch more than 30 seconds off him and his affected, smug drawl. Beato is great, though: not up himself, just a genuine, humble enthusiastic guy.

Mr_Simnock

Quote from: Marner and Me on June 06, 2020, 10:37:10 AM
That is one of the few things I hate about music. For something that is meant to be free expressionism and a do what you want attitude to it. Music is so formulated. If you don't play an instrument in the right way or make a song in the right way, it doesn't sound 'right' to people.

I get the impression that's the sort of thing that drove people like John Cage to spend such a lot of time on looking for alternate sounds and ways of creating music, just sick to death of how rigid music can get, although No Sleeps point about them just being tools is spot on.

NoSleep

Quote from: Twit 2 on June 06, 2020, 11:57:14 PM
I can't watch more than 30 seconds off him and his affected, smug drawl. Beato is great, though: not up himself, just a genuine, humble enthusiastic guy.

I would have said that Rick Beato is the smug one of the two and a bit too needy for me too; until this lockdown (he's been far for more genuine and honest). I'd say Neely is the the one with a genuine humility and sense of humour.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

QuoteMusic is so formulated. If you don't play an instrument in the right way or make a song in the right way, it doesn't sound 'right' to people.

I have never had that impression. Musical genres all have fans who use their understanding of the genre to say stuff like that at times. Some people don't understand or appreciate atonal music, for example, yet it has a significant fan base. Who decides what sounds right? I think some music that is enjoyed by millions sounds like a meteor of turds colliding with a malattended substation. Am I right?

One of the joys of playing an instrument or composing is that you can pick up techniques or 'what sounds right' to you organically through experimenting. And because you are alone there is no pressure or disappointment if you feel something sounds wrong. You need to practise to improve your technique, so you may as well try to keep it fun and low pressure.

Formal learning on the other hand can save some time at the start and provide a good grounding, but depending on your mindset it can encourage rigidity. Classical music is a good example of a cultural phenomenon with embedded rituals and traditions which to a section of its fans are as important as the music itself. Some reject modernism and any attempts to reform classical instrumentation, the composition of orchestra, performance format etc. It seems they just want a preserved in aspic idyll of high culture which makes only familiar reinforcing sounds.

On a personal note electronics have done a lot to progress the development of 'texture' and the variety of sounds available as the manipulation of aural space and sound can be more fine tuned, taking listeners to different places trad bands and orchestras tend not to even try and reach. It has tapped into emotions and experiences which preciously didn't have musical representation (or if they did were imprecise and not made with the most suitable equipment).

earl_sleek

If we're talking smug, I can't fucking stand that grinning twit Jacob Collier. His music is shit as well, though all the other Youtube musos seem to love him.

David Bruce is a contemporary classical composer whose channel has some interesting videos about classical composition, and how it relates to pop music and various non-western musical traditions.

Also like Nahre Sol's channel, particularly her "... as digested by a classical pianist" videos, where she's investigating different genres like flamenco, hip hop, electronic music etc and trying to incorporate them into her playing.

NoSleep

Quote from: earl_sleek on June 07, 2020, 12:40:29 PM
If we're talking smug, I can't fucking stand that grinning twit Jacob Collier. His music is shit as well, though all the other Youtube musos seem to love him.

I get the feeling they point toward him from a safe distance, if at all. At least Jacob Collier thinks Jacob Collier is amazing.

Nobody Soup

it's not really as high concept as some of these, but I enjoy https://www.youtube.com/user/MusicTheoryForGuitar

best intro of the bunch, and the white board and simple loops are the easiest of all of these people to understand for me.

Never really got into Rick Beatos theory stuff but I'll give him a look as his other videos are good.


NoSleep


Famous Mortimer

Beato did a video hours after the death of Eddie Van Halen which perhaps shows you don't need to make a video about everything. Just grieve, my man, if that's what you want to do - no need to film yourself grieving though.

But the people mentioned so far have been great. Neely's video, mentioned by NoSleep, was a real eye-opener, but shows how a change you'd think would be relatively uncontroversial (saying "great music is made all over the world") has become very controversial.


NoSleep

I spent all morning today watching videos from Classical Nerd (albeit not talking about classical composers). He's very well-researched and speaks with passion and is clearly having fun doing this.

The best summary of what Duke Ellington's career and his immense contribution to music I've so far found, not that many people bother to give him more than a footnote mention (I'm looking at Rick Beato & Adam Neely here). Compared to the perfunctory and often inaccurate few I found before stumbling upon CN's video, this is an essential contrast:

Ellington: The Life and Music of the Duke and His Orchestra

Then I noticed that he done a couple of videos on another of my favourite musical figures - Harry Partch - and once again he really knows his stuff (and has read Partch's amazing book Genesis Of A Music) distinguishing how Partch's research and practice of microtonality and just intonation is so different from many other practitioners in this field.

Harry Partch and his Microtonal Carpentry [Harry Partch, Pt. 1/2]
What is the Tonality Diamond? (Harry Partch's Theories, Explained) [Harry Partch, Pt. 2/2]

And finally, a nice sympathetic assessment of Frank Zappa's life & music.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc9ZKxJbAAo

Lots more to delve into on this channel. Given how well-researched the above are, I'd trust him as a guide to people whose music I know less well. Subscribed and liked.

earl_sleek

Thanks for posting that - I think you're right that Duke doesn't get the attention he deserves, and as a jazz newb I'm looking forward to watching the vid.

NoSleep

Quote from: earl_sleek on January 05, 2021, 03:28:54 PM
Thanks for posting that - I think you're right that Duke doesn't get the attention he deserves, and as a jazz newb I'm looking forward to watching the vid.

You should scan through this CaB thread, too:

https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,44868.0.html

Lots of useful information about when various releases of Early Ellington material on CD, which you may be able to track down. As I mention in the thread, the period from 1924-1942 is absolutely essential especially the last leg from 1940-1942, which is a true high point of his career. But there is gold even going back to the earliest recordings (you mustn't miss Bubber Miley, who plays trumpet like Hendrix later played guitar - the original voodoo chile bluesman) and it just gets better and better as he gains experience and hones the band.

I'm sure Robert Johnson must have heard some of that early Ellington stuff somewhere along the way; you can hear its influence on him.