Think about Story Telling, Musicians and Bards…

A long, long time ago in medieval Gaelic and British culture, a bard was a professional story teller, verse-maker and music composer, employed by a patron (such as a monarch or noble), to commemorate one or more of the patron’s ancestors and to praise the patron’s own activities. (Wiki Definition)

Bards kept track of the history of their people and would observe humanity and sing about it; whether local or foreign they would tell stories, counsel against wrong behavior and sing about the consequences of attitude.

Shakespeare would not have been far removed from the Bards. The Bard order having become troupes of performers and artist guilds over time would have a lasting effect on musical story-telling. I am personally very fond of the telling a story in music!

It is often called the language of the soul and the best example I can think of is David playing skillfully for King Saul to drive evil spirits away and refresh him (I Sam 16:14-23).

In fact, according to an Assyrian bas-relief, King Sennacherib asked for a tribute from King Hezekiah in the form of male and female musicians. It seems that they were first-class performers BUT David stood out among all virtuosos!

David’s divinely inspired compositions excelled in many ways. His songs include both contemplative and pastoral psalms. They range from expressions of praise to narrative history, from the joys of the grape harvest to the pomp of the palace inauguration, from reminiscences to hope, from request to entreaty.

We must remember man is not the inventor of music but rather the mouthpiece of history, stories, news, emotions and will; a messenger of words in rhythm and tone that can affect the course of things to come.

Yes, music can alter our moods and even Neurologists have discovered that music activates many unexpected areas of the brain like emotion and memory. Even Crazy_Eyes can vouch how one of his songs drove several women wild with anticipation. I will ask him share the details with you if you and him so desire.

Here is a good example of a song with story telling including a warning in a Bard-like fashion and based on one of my favorite books: The Pilgrims Progress.

Take a listen as he tells you about a place and an experience.

Nate Currin – Vanity Fair

Also thebuddha is a great storyteller who engages our senses with his words and  expresses the emotions of others in his music so well!

Speaking of which, I have missed his storytelling these last few days and I hope he is okay? I hope he brings us a good story!

Until next time, keep the story alive and sing me a song!

 

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Something Witty Goes Here!

Man, we gotta talk about this publication schedule. I’ve published something every single day – for a long time. (With the exception of when someone has done it for me.)

This is horrible! Whoever came up with this idea needs to be fired.

Wait, that was me… Well, I’m firing myself.

Have some videos – they’re Les Paul and they are being posted ’cause I just learned some neat information about Steve Miller and Les Paul. Les is dead now, but they used to be friends and it’d appear that Les was Steve’s godfather.

Things I learned…

Anyhow, have some videos:

I found this again! I knew this existed, but had been unable to find this to post to one of the earlier articles, ’cause I smoke pot presumably. Sure enough, it has Steve Miller in it.

I hadn’t connected the two previously. I’d write about it but that whole concentration thing isn’t doing well. But, if you play guitar, maybe listen to the runs that Steve does and then think carefully about what Les played in his traditional style. It’s food for thought.

That’s really all you’re getting. They’re both delightful videos and I’m going to guess that many/most won’t have seen either of them.

In the interest of pretending I care enough to make this longer, I’ll add that the important part is (to me) the interaction between the musicians. I don’t always listen to the music, I look and listen for things unlike what most probably do.

It’s actually a bit like work. It’s an analytical thing and I’m seldom listening purely for enjoyment. I’m not even really able to passively listen to much music anymore. People are sometimes surprised by exactly how little music I actually listen to.

I’d write more but I’m gonna blame concentration and lethargy. The truth is somewhere around there, but part of it is just wanting a nice easy day today. I ain’t even going to proofread this! Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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Closed for the Holiday

Today is the Day of First Appreciable Snow Event at Ol’ Buddha’s.

Drinking cocoa. Listening to music. Wearing fuzzy slippers. Got a fire going. Sitting in living room with a laptop and looking out the window. The wind is excessive, but the advisory expires in a few more minutes (though they’re probably lying).

Yup… Winds gusting upwards of 45 and 50 mph. It’s as awesome as you might imagine, but not enough snow to call it a real storm. That’s okay, it’ll do. It’s pretty good, but not spectacular.

Anyhow, not writing a damned thing today. Closed for the holidays. Until next time…

Shut up and make me a snowman!

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TheBuddha Approves #8: Some rock history.

Update: I have been back to the witchdoctor and I’m still on various restrictions. Physically, I’m doing pretty well. It’s the damned lethargy that’s killing me.

For whatever reason, this lethargy has made it damned difficult to concentrate. I’m used to being able to focus and I’m used to being able to complete tasks. This is currently a problem.

For example, this is the third draft that I’ve written today. The other two subjects were just more than I could handle. I just can’t seem to get more than a few paragraphs down before I’m no longer able to write.

I’d smoke some pot, in hopes that it’d help, but the witchdoctor has suggested I not smoke much. Well, okay… That’s how I interpreted him saying that I shouldn’t be smoking anything. I do have edibles, but I really can’t be that fucked up today. I’ve got shit to do!

So, I’m going to use today to cheat and I’m not doing anything heavy/major. I can almost guarantee that there will be no Guitarist Better Than Hendrix tomorrow. I started researching that yesterday, artist already chosen, and just couldn’t even start outlining it. (That’s pretty much the only article category that I put that much effort into. The rest kinda tend to get written on the fly, but I strongly suspect you’ve figured that out!)

Well, that was a long paragraph. Moving on…

So, today, I’m just gonna straight up cheat! I have a wonderful video that you may enjoy but, the truth is, I’m mostly sharing this video ’cause I’d like to share it with a wonderful friend named @COF.

You might recognize that name and you may know him from our sister site, Music For Us – Keeping The History Alive. If you’re here, you probably know who we are, but you may not have visited that site. I’d love it, if you did. It’s a labor of love and we struggle to share the history of the music we know and love. We’d love it, should you join us and we’d love it even more if you’d contribute!

Anyhow, moving on again…

So, today is just a video! That’s right, y’all ain’t gotta do a damned thing except press play. You don’t even have to watch it – you can just listen! Pretty sweet, huh? It’s about an hour long and will make an excellent bit of background noise for you. Who knows? You might even find it informative and entertaining!

Trust me. It’s lovely. Pretend it’s a podcast! Also, no news on the pipe organ. I’ll email ’em again in a couple of days! I ain’t scared. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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Measuring Sound and Your Voice

Yes, you produce sound or noise every day!

The difference between your sounds is caused by intensity, pitch, and tone.

What is Intensity?

Your sound is a wave and waves have amplitude, or height. Amplitude is a measure of energy, how much oomph you put into it! The more oomph you give the higher the amplitude.

When energy increases, Intensity increases. Simple, hey?

The smaller the space the less energy is required to achieve the same Intensity. We tend to call higher intensity sounds, louder. Loudness cannot be assigned a specific number, but intensity can.

Intensity is measured in decibels.

The human ear is more sensitive to high sounds, so the next time you are stranded, twist your knickers and make the highest sound you can. You will be heard as this type of sound will travel further. That is why we scream for help when in trouble as  a natural reflex that is effective in getting attention! REEEEEEEEEEE……

Decibels and intensity, however, do not depend on the ear. They can be measured with an instruments. A whisper is about 10 decibels while thunder is 100 decibels.

Listening to loud sounds, sounds with intensities above 85 decibels, may damage your ears. If a noise is loud enough, over 120 decibels, it can be painful to listen to. One hundred and twenty decibels is the threshold of pain but thebuddha may dissagree on this.

Sounds and their Decibels

Source of SoundDecibels

Boeing 747

140
Civil Defense Siren130
Jack Hammer120
Rock Concert110
Lawn Mower100
Motorcycle90
Garbage Disposal80
Vacuum Cleaner70
Normal Conversation60
Light Traffic50
Background Noise40
Whisper30

What is Pitch

Pitch helps us distinguish between low and high sounds.

Pitch depends on the frequency of a sound wave. Frequency is the number of wavelengths that fit into one unit of time. Remember that a wavelength is equal to one compression and one rarefaction. Frequencies are measured in hertz. One hertz is equal to one cycle of compression and rarefaction per second.

High sounds have high frequencies and low sounds have low frequencies. Thunder has a frequency of only 50 hertz, while a whistle can have a frequency of 1,000 hertz.

The human ear is able to hear frequencies of 20 to 20,000 hertz. Some animals can hear sounds at even higher frequencies. Sounds that are too high for us to hear are called ultrasonic.

What is Tone & Harmonics ?

When a source vibrates, it actually vibrates with many frequencies at the same time. Each of those frequencies produces a wave. Sound quality depends on the combination of different frequencies of sound waves.

How is this knowledge useful in everyday life?

The more harmonics a sound has, the fuller the quality the sound is. All the different overtones of a sound help give it a unique pattern. This is especially true for a person’s voice. Everybody in the world has a different voice print, or pattern of overtones within a certain range.

What specific voice type or vocal range do I have?

If you do not know what your range is then you need to find out. It is important to know what range your voice is in to perform songs confidently.

It’s best use a five-note scale, singing up and down the entire scale until your voice cracks or you cannot hit a note. It is recommended that you sing the scale with a vowel sound — try “ah” — making sure to pick a comfortable middle pitch to start the scale on. From there, move your voice up a pitch. It is generally recommended to scale up in half notes — a small step musically — so you can ascertain exactly which notes you can and can no longer hit. 

Here is a Two Minute Video on how to find your range.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IejHKpfHso

The famous French vocal teacher Tarneaud defines the typical ranges of the four voice types as follows: Sopranos can typically sing B3 to F6
A
ltos perform D3 to A5
Tenors belt A2 to A5
Bass singers rumble out B1 to G5.

Basically, Sopranos and Tenors Sing High — Altos and Basses Sing Low, simples

Congratulations you have now discovered your Range and how we measure sound!

So keep the sound alive within your range and watch your intensity while delivering good pitch! You all are such good students here… 🙂

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Ol’ Buddha Goes on a Quest…

So…

I have found a pipe organ in a secular facility. Today, my quest begins. Without further introduction:

Title:

They tell me that I’m sane. You’ll see why that’s important.

Message Body:

This is going to be long. This is going to be very long. I’m also serious. I’m very serious. This is a serious matter!

You have been warned.

It should also be known that I’m not even a little sorry for what I’m about to do.

For reasons that are too long to get into, I sent a hoard of people on a quest to find me a pipe organ, preferably in a secular facility. Your name came back on the list.

I should probably start at the beginning.

Because I will be publishing this, I will simply say that my name is David G. I’m an accomplished guitarist, old and retired, and have a dream. (I also have money, if that helps.)

Seriously, I’m pretty good. I’m not very famous for playing guitar, but I have performed for many, many people – mostly drunk people. Pretty sweet, huh?

Except, I play guitar like this:
https://instaud.io/2ew4

Told ya, I ain’t even a little kidding. I can play a guitar.

Alas, most of my career has been me playing music such as this:
https://instaud.io/26oi

See? Wasn’t kidding. I can play the snot out of a guitar. I’ve been at it for almost 5 decades.

Let’s see…

Sadly, musicians make very little money – as a general rule. So, my actual real career was that of a mathematician but I’ve given up my heathen ways and mostly concentrate on music, now that I’m retired.

I think those all go in the plus column!

I have played a piano. I have taken formal piano lessons. I have even played *at* an organ in a church, multiple times. (I can’t believe they let me do such things! I’ve even been asked to ring the bell. Pretty awesome, huh?)

I’m the kinda guy who can’t walk past a music store without window shopping. I can’t see an instrument and not want to touch it. Some fuzzy memories tell me that I’m probably kicked out of at least two museums for just such a thing!

So, now that you know a little about me… Let’s move on!

I have zero idea how to play a pipe organ. None.

Let’s just get that little detail right out of the way.

Frankly, I hardly think that should matter!

See, I’m 99.9% confident (trust me, I’m a mathematician) that being allowed to play a pipe organ is pretty much the best day ever.

That’s right. I’m on to your little secret. I know darned well that playing a pipe organ has to be pretty much the most awesome thing on the planet. You’re not fooling me any.

I want in.

Not for long, but I’d like a four hour block of time and probably should have someone there to tell me what not to do.

I will give you money. I will even pay someone to stand there and not yell at me too much while I struggle to play the merry tune of my people.

Frankly, the sheer volume of air that you folks move is inspiring. I have actually met people who don’t understand when I say, “Man, I want to play a pipe organ.” They’re just not good people. No, they are not good people.

I will not break your pipe organ and I will follow instructions. I will even wear my pants!

Umm… I might also have a small camera crew and I’ll ask them nicely to wear their pants.

Moving on…

No, I don’t have anything specific to play. Like I said, I don’t even know how to play a pipe organ. Not a clue, but it has stops, pedals, and a keyboard. I know enough music theory and I’ve played a whole variety of instruments.

Heck, I’ve played a grand harp before! That’s right, it was even a pedal harp. (It lets you cheat and once you know where middle C is, you can play anything!)

I know some music theory… Yeah… I ain’t scared of your pipe organ – but I will respect it.

I’d absolutely love to come play your pipe organ. I’m telling you, it’ll be a good time. I’d love it if you even had an audience there. That’d sweeten the deal! (We may need to chain them in, but once again I remind you that I’m not scared.)

I guess my ultimate question is, can I play your pipe organ? I promise to behave.

If the answer is no, my next question is can I bribe you and play your pipe organ? I have a few bucks.

If it’s still no, my next question is if it will help if I pretend I have cancer and that I’m from the Make-A-Wish Foundation? (Trust me, I can come up with these all day long.)

I have the entire month of January off and I’m not actually sure what I’m going to do with it. I’m pretty sure playing a pipe organ should be on the list of things to do! Anyone who doesn’t have “play a pipe organ” on their list of things to do is just broken inside.

Thank you in advance! If you need more examples of my playing merry tunes, you go ahead and ask! I’ll send ’em along! Somewhere around here, I have me playing every instrument for Rush’s XYZ, but I didn’t think you’d necessarily appreciate that.

I’m on a mission. You’ll be jealous. You’ll see.  I shall update you with any news!

Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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Today, I shall tell you about a guitar and pretend it is a lesson.

That right there is a title. It’s a good title, as far as titles go. It tells you exactly what I’m gonna do! (It’s probably a horrible lie.)

Today, I’m in the mood to write something. I feel pretty good, actually. I was even able to smoke some pot. Damned right and about time!

That was probably a bad idea, ’cause I haven’t been able to smoke much lately and imbibed a ton of it. Hindsight is 20/20 and I now see that I didn’t think my plan through very well.

After much inner-discussion, I narrowed down the list of things I was going to write about. Trust me, you don’t actually want to know the subjects that were cut from the list, but they had very little to do with guitar and things like fake Grange Hall conspiracies were on the list.

It’s probably important for me to tell you the complete truth. It is that I don’t actually yet know what guitar I’m gonna tell you about. Not a clue, really. I’m pretty sure I’ll think of something!

Hmm… I should do a series on guitars that were horrible, horrible ideas. I’m probably not gonna, but I should do that.

But… The plan is to write about a guitar. I can’t actually say that’s what I’m gonna do, but I remain hopeful! So, get in the car! We’re going on a grand adventure!

~*hands you a rusty screwdriver, half-eaten fruit roll-up, and an old film canister filled with pennies*~

Bring those, you’ll know when it’s time to use them!
Continue reading “Today, I shall tell you about a guitar and pretend it is a lesson.”

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TheBuddha Approves #7 – Guitar Tab

Today, I’ve been tasked with teaching someone to drive and giving her the opportunity to learn more about photography. I’m not actually sure why this needs to involve driving, it’s beautiful right outside my front door. However, it does – and I’m not sure that she wants to drive so much as she wants to take pictures of something else. I’m also not a photographer. Dunno how I’m supposed to help with this. We shall see!

Yesterday, my ISP hated me. They didn’t just hate me – they hated millions of us. So, I didn’t really do any prep work for this article. Instead, I just reached into my magic text document of links I approve of and picked this one.

What is it? It’s a bunch of real, official tab. Unlike many of the tab sites, these are the authentic tabs and not something transcribed by someone with dubious abilities.

Don’t actually know the legality of this site. Nope…. I can’t actually say that I much care about the legality of this site. Hey, neat, it kinda wrapped around the image a bit more. Isn’t that special. I should try to remember that, but I digress… Hmm… After formatting, it looks a bit ugly. Meh… I’m leaving it.

I don’t actually think this needs much more of an introduction or commentary? There’s other stuff at the site, but you might just as well see the giant collection of real tabs. It’s large and might have something you’re interested in learning.

Visit guitars.ch and explore their collection of authentic guitar tab.

Umm… Yup… That’s pretty much all I need to do for this article. Can’t really think of much to add to it! Sweet! (I’m still pretty low-energy and it’s actually weird because it appears to impact my concentration. I dunno? I’m not that kinda doctor.) Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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I’m doing smashing, thanks!

Today, I don’t even really hurt that much. I haven’t even eaten a pain pill yet today. My body doesn’t feel that bad and, at this moment in time and if I’m doing it properly, my spleen doesn’t even feel swollen!

I’m still devoid of energy, but I feel pretty damned good – comparably speaking, of course. I feel like I can constantly use a nap, except I can’t actually sleep. I’ve never been a big fan of sleeping and my body doesn’t seem to like doing so. But, I feel like I could sleep for days.

It’s reached the point where it’s damned annoying, to be quite blunt about it. I will deal with it, but not without complaint. I’m grateful that I’m at least not sore. Even my throat isn’t feeling bad!

I never did get the promised rash. Trust me. I looked everywhere for it. I’m pretty disappointed about not getting the rash. I was told I’d get a rash. I got no rash. I feel deprived.

And now for what might be the most inappropriate story you’ll read all day. I was going to share it last night, but I was on a tablet. Today, I shall share it! I probably shouldn’t, but I’m gonna. It’s what I do!

~makes spooky intro music sounds~

Last night, I went and watched a movie with the missus and the eldest hoodlum. It was one they picked and I don’t even remember the title. They enjoyed it and I partook.

Midway through the movie, the eldest hoodlum started coughing and was saying her throat hurt. The conversation follows and went something like this:

EH: *cough cough* Ow! My throat hurts. I probably have mono!
Helga: No. you don’t have mono.
EH: Do too have mono!
Helga: No, you don’t. David hasn’t been kissing you.
EH: Well, not when you’re watching!
Both: Cackles of laughter as they both felt this was the funnies thing ever.
TheBuddha: You’re both incorrigible. Real life needs an ‘ignore’ button.

In this house, we don’t actually always talk about music, math, and science. Sometimes, I’m surrounded by lunatics that crack bad jokes. Discipline, order, and deep thought are actually just as rare at my house as they probably are at your house, maybe even more rare!

With that story now out of my system, I shall move on! (The two online people who will appreciate that story know it’s for them.)

I was pondering what to write today. This is a lengthy process when there’s no reasonable way for me to smoke weed, which is a more complicated problem than you might imagine! I’ll explain…

If I cough, my throat will start hurting again. If my throat starts hurting again, I’ll want to take opiates. If I take opiates, I’ll get even more lethargic. I’m tired of being lethargic. There’s also the whole opiate abuse thing and opiate abuse leads to not pooping. I kinda like pooping. So, I’m not smoking pot. (Trust me, you don’t actually want to see the rest of what goes on inside my head.)

To write the article, I pondered the many ways to say that I’m feeling better today. Eventually, I recalled the turn of phrase, “I’m doing smashing!” In that case, it’s used to indicate that they’re doing well.

This seemed to remind me of something. It seemed like it might be important. I knew, beyond reasonable doubt, that I’d remembered this for a reason – and that I’d probably written it down.

So, I cracked open my “ArticleIdeas.txt” (which is not the most clever name, I admit) and scrolled through. After some distractions and mis-clicks, I finally found what I was looking for and the heavens burst open with sound as much rejoicing was had.

A couple of months ago (it has been that long?), I was smoking pot and talking to PMYB2 on a site known as “Poal.” (It’s a nice place to visit, though I’d suggest you put on an asbestos suit and have thick skin.)

In that conversation PMYB2, I was talking about how the universe runs on smashing. It does, too. The universe runs on smashing, not Dunkin.

Once upon a time, I envisioned turning that conversation into a 3000 word essay and explaining it all. I had a pretty good idea of where I’d take that and the memories of that intended article came flooding back. It was something that I’d put on that list, ’cause it was maybe a good article – and PMYB2 had been there to suggest such.

Reality is not often nearly as awesome as my dreams. Reality would be much more awesome if it was, but this universe cares not for justice.

Which is a rather absurd way to say, “I ain’t doing it.” I’m not doing it now. I’m not doing it tomorrow. I’m never going to turn that into a decent essay. Nope… ‘Snot gonna happen.

So, what better day to just pretty much cut, paste, edit, and pretty up that comment and turn it into an article? I can’t think of a better day. I feel pretty damned good but haven’t got much energy. (Speaking of which, the lack of energy makes it exceedingly difficult to concentrate. I think this bout of mono has given me greater understanding of the maladies that other people sometimes suffer from.)

That’d be what you’re getting today. It also serves the purpose of finally getting that entry out of my ArticleIdeas.txt file. Side note, it’s probably the least efficient organization system in the world, but it’s the one I have. You’re just getting a glimpse at a conversation from a couple of months ago.

Without further ado…
Continue reading “I’m doing smashing, thanks!”

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There’s no specific GBTH this week.

And now, for something completely different! There will be no Guitarist Better Than Hendrix this week. I will write something. You’ll maybe like it. You’ll see. It’s gonna be a grand adventure!

In my imagination, you asking me earnestly, “It’s Thursday, where is my article about a guitarist better than Hendrix?” You also look nervous, as though you might not get your weekly fix!

It’s my imagination, I’ll use it any way I damned well please!

Well, I suppose that somewhere in this article there’s a guitarist greater than Hendrix – but I can’t actually give them a name. I don’t know their names and I’m not even going to begin to look them up. I’m sure they have names. In fact, I’m positive they have names!

Come on, what are you waiting for? Get in the car, we’re going on an adventure!
Continue reading “There’s no specific GBTH this week.”

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