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Music Student 101

Music Student 101

We are musicians, composers, engineers, teachers and students alike. The path of a musician can be challenging and uncertain but it can also be enriching and great fun! This is the path we chose and we are here as your resource. Explore theory, history, ear training, technique, special topics and overall musicianship.


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127-Harmonic Progression Pt.11-Neapolitan Chord

The Neapolitan chord is a great tool for modulation and for adding intrigue to any chord progression. In this episode, we will talk about it. We will listen to it. 
We will test our ears and their ability to identify it!

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126-Native American Music Pt.1

Today there are hundreds of Native American communities on the continents of North and South America. With each, their own cultures, cuisines, languages and rituals. But at the heart of all of these communities are dance and music. Let's learn about the sounds and origins of their music! This episode will focus on North America 
(Canada, The United States and Mexico).

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125-Altered Chords Pt.4

Continuing from episode 112 (Altered Chords Pt.3), we will top off our discussion of altered chords. Ready your theory brain for coloristic chord successions, chromatic sequences and non sequential linear processes!

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124-Instrument Care Pt.4-Woodwinds

To keep your woodwinds sounding their best, it's important to keep them safe, clean and properly maintained. In this episode, we will review the instruments of the wood wind family: the oboe, clarinet, saxophone, flute and bassoon. We will also discuss the many parts involved and how to properly care for them.

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123-Melodic Dictation Pt.6-Lydian

Melodic dictation, the act of transcribing and notating a melody by ear, is a crucial skill for a musician to cultivate. In this episode, we will focus on the Lydian mode. Let's listen!

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122-Sound Engineering (feat. Raymond Calhoun)

The sound engineer is the driving force behind a good listening experience at any live concert. If you enjoy the tech end of the music world, you will enjoy what our special guest, Raymond Calhoun, has to say. This career path can lead to some awesome places and some amazing people. So let's get mixing!

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121-Harmonic Rhythm

Harmonic rhythm addresses the rate in which chord changes occur within a piece of music. On the surface, it seems like a simple concept. On a deeper level there's so much more to discuss. So let's discuss!

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120-Listener Compositions Pt.6

It is time to add yet more listeners to our composing community! They work hard, that we may listen hard! So let us listen! This episode will feature the original music of: 
Visa Oscar, Alex Turnbull, Aubriel, Lemongrass, Neal Malley and Steve From an Undisclosed Subterranean Location.

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119-Animals and Music Pt.1

Do animals appreciate music? Do they create their own music? Could they benefit from exposure to the right kind of music? The field of zoomusicology attempts to address some of these questions. In this episode, we will revisit some scientific studies involving primates, pets and some of our underwater friends. It's gonna be a wild time!

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118-Harmonic Progression Pt. 10 (Augmented 6th Chords)

On this episode, we will dig deeper into augmented sixth (+6) chords. We will discuss the difference between these chords and the standard augmented triad. We will discuss the three types: Italian, French and German. Then we will test our ears to see if we can identify them in a chord progression.

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117-Melodic Organization and Thematic Development

Once you've written a theme, or a main melody, there are a number of ways you can develop it and organize it into your overall piece. Repetition, transposition, expansion, contraction, augmentation, diminution, fragmentation, variation and melodic sequences are just a few of the many ways this can be achieved. Let's, listen!

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116-What Makes Scary Music Scary?

What makes scary music scary? We can only SPOOKULATE! Join us as we examine some well known scary scores in the classic music and cinematic genres. We will discuss some reoccurring themes, such as the dreaded "Dies Irae". We will discuss reoccurring intervals, such as the minor 2nd and the tritone. Grab you pop corn and maybe don't listen all by yourself. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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115-Music and Productivity

Does listening to music make you more productive? Does it elevate your mood and help you get through your chores. Many have asked this question. Many have researched the answer. Let us discuss!

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114-Form and Analysis Pt. 4-Rondo

Moving forward in our discussion of form and analysis, we will dig deep into the rondo form. We will listen to a popular example, Fur Elise, and yap about the form in real time. Ready your theory brains! 

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113-Melodic Dictation Pt.5-Aeolian Mode

Melodic dictation, the act of transcribing and notating a melody by ear, is a crucial skill for a musician to cultivate. In this episode, we will focus on the Aeolian mode (a.k.a. the natural minor scale). Tune in and tune your ears!

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112-Altered Chords Pt.3

Continuing our discussion from episode 106, we will find yet more ways to alter chords. We will listen to non-dominant, extended tertian chords. We will marvel at the common tone diminished chord. We will revisit linear chromaticism and reckon with the appoggiatura chord. Finally, we will ponder a few good simultaneities!

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111-Music and War

Musical instruments, compositions and techniques have served many purposes. Some were for communication, some for support and some for intimidation and the extraction of information. On this episode, we discuss music and war, from some of the earliest accounts to the modern era!
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110-Listener Compositions Pt.5

Once again, the students become the teachers! There's so much talent among our listeners, we simply must feature it.
So, get ready to listen and discuss!
This episode will feature the original music of:
Treybien/Alex, Gerald P. David, Linda Felcone, Rev. Jack Ladybird, Adam Hayes, Kara Ciezki and Andersonlane

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109-Harmonic Progression Pt.9 (vii/IV, vii/iv, vii/VII)

Continuing where episode 98 left off, we will top off our ear training for secondary seven chords.  We will listen how to tonicize the IV chord (in major and minor) and the VII chord in (minor). Then, we will test our ears with some chord progressions...
a.k.a. Jeremy Torture!
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108-Reading Music Pt.2

Resuming from the previous episode, it's time to top off our discussion on reading music. We're going to take it back to the basics with the clefs, the lines and spaces of the staves, the notes they represent and some methods for grouping them. We'll also cover the notes and rests, their symbols, and the time values they represent. Finally, we'll cover some dynamics, tempo and form indicators that we may have missed in past episodes!

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107-Reading Music Pt.1

Reading music is a complex but essential skill for one who wants to learn and reproduce new melodies or songs. On this episode, we will discuss some tips and philosophies on how to approach reading and sight reading music. We will also share some of our own experiences and challenges in this endeavor.
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106-Altered Chords Pt.2

Continuing our discussion from episode 88, we will dig deeper into extended tertian harmonies from a theory perspective with the 9th, 11th and 13th chords. We will listen to chords with substituted 6ths and raised and flatted 5ths. We will discuss how they work in traditional, and in not so traditional, ways!

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105-Melodic Dictation Pt.4-Dorian Mode

Melodic dictation, the act of transcribing and notating a melody by ear, is a crucial skill for a musician to cultivate. In this episode, we will focus on the Dorian mode and some of the chords that compliment it. It has one small difference from the minor scale, or Aeolean mode. Let's listen!

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104-Studio Effects Pt.1

If you love to play music, you probably love the idea of recording. Once you plug in, or approach the microphone, you may find some of these effects to be a great help. With dynamics, such as compression, limiting and gate, you can tame your volume levels. With equalization (EQ), you can add or subtract frequencies to better shape your sounds. And with reverb, to can add depth and dimension to an otherwise sterile sound by adding the reflections that would otherwise occur in large spaces.

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Today's most widely used tuning system is equal temperament. It sounds great to our ears. But it is a compromise! Musicians and mathematicians have always struggled finding tuning systems that didn't compromise the pure tones provided within the natural harmonic series. On this episode, we will discuss these struggles and the systems that arose from this effort: just tuning, Pythagorean tuning, meantone tuning, well temperament and equal temperament!

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102-Enharmonic Reinterpretation

Follow along as we delve into enharmonic spellings and reinterpretation and the various reasons why they are necessary. We will also demonstrate some great ways to use these reinterpretations for some snappy modulations to far away places!

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101-Listener Compositions Pt.4

It is time for us to give a listener to another round of fantastic listener compositions! They work hard, that we may listen hard!
So let's listen! This episode will feature the original music of:
Michael Chapman, Pasi Pasiaala, Dane Howard, Melody Brook Gibson, Adam House and Stefan Jacques

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100-Episode 100

This episode is truly a celebration of how far we've come on the show and how far you've come in the theory sequence! We will discuss songs we've written for our pets. We will catch you up with our own projects and talk about the future of the podcast! Finally, we will hear some outtakes from previous shows. Don't worry, it's still a family friendly episode thanks to my censor guitar!

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99-The Fully Diminished 7th Chord

We've almost said everything we can about the fully diminished 7th chord. ALMOST! In this episode we will explore this versatile chord and its many possibilities. We will hear it's use as a secondary leading tone chord (viiº7 of), as a modulatory technique, as a chain of viiº7 chords and as a counterpuntal element. Enjoy our chatter on this extraordinary chord!

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98-Harmonic Progression Pt.8 (viiº/III, viiº/VI)

Continuing where episode 73 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary functions. We will now add the secondary seven of III (viiº/III) and seven of VI (viiº/VI) chords. Listen for the chord qualities and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher these chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

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97-Women in Music Pt.2

It's time to further our discussion of women composers! Continuing where we left of on episode 81, we will now cover several influential female composers from the Baroque and Classical periods.

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96-Orchestration-Strings Pt.2

On episode 95, we began a discussion on orchestration for the string section and it's instruments: the bass, the cello, the viola and the violin. We will now continue this discussion with a focus on techniques for fingering and bowing, the terms involved, and a bit more detail on the instruments themselves!

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95-Orchestration-Strings Pt.1

Orchestration is the art of choosing the right instruments, and the proper balance thereof, for a composition. Different considerations go into conveying different moods and emotions to better tell the story. The string section is often the most utilized. So well will focus on it's instruments: the contra bass, the cello, the viola and the violin!

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94-Instrument Care Pt.3-Brass

We don't show enough love to our good horn section and other brass players! We're going to start making that right with a discussion on the general care and maintenance for the tuba, trombone, euphonium, horns, trumpet and other brass instruments! We will discuss their mechanics, routine cleaning suggestions and how to keep them sounding shiny and brassy!

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93-Form and Analysis Pt.3-Sonata

We've familiarized ourselves with the building blocks of a form, such as motives, phrases and periods. We have delved into small forms, such as binary and ternary. Now it's time to think a little bigger. It's time to talk about the sonata form and it's basic elements: the exposition, the development and the racapitulation.

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92-Creativity During Difficult Times

In this episode, we are going to take a moment to address an issue that many of us must reckon with: staying creative during difficult times. We are going to share some of our experiences, based mainly on the Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. We will hear from some of our listeners who have been so kind to share their own stories. We will also discuss a few articles on the topic. Enjoy and be well!

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91-Listener Compositions Pt. 3

Once more, our listeners have bared their souls and shared their own original music. Let us listen! This episode will feature the original music of: Badrinarayan Rammohan, Eamon Kelly, Jerome Chapman, Sharli Azulai and Keith Andrews.

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90C-Music Students' Q&A Pt.3

In this episode, we will be meeting more new listeners and discussing more music topics! We're going to give a little tease of an up and coming episode on form and analysis, by discussing the sonata form. We'll meet two mothers who are continuing their music education while being rock star moms! Furthermore, we will cover some good sight reading tips and we'll hear a fantastic submission for our "Locrian Challenge"!

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90B-Music Students' Q&A Pt.2

Continuing our ?shelter in place video series?, the content of this 2nd video is now available for our good podcast listeners. We will find some good acronyms for the diatonic modes. We will discuss some of these modes and we might pick on Locrian for a bit. We will give also show a little more love to the minor diatonic chords and dissect a classic rock favorite. We hope you enjoy! 

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90A-Music Students' Q&A Pt.1

In efforts to keep this show going, while sheltering in place, we have decided to launch a mini series of videos to share on social media and other video platforms. But for you, our good LISTENERS, it seemed fitting to release the audio of these videos! In this episode, we will tackle diatonic and non diatonic (chromatic) substitutions. We will also discuss our composition processes and what inspired them. Enjoy this series while we work on the next step forward!

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90-Meet The Area 47 Band

It's time we had a chat with some more musicians! Most of our bumper tracks for this show have really come together thanks to the efforts and talents of Brian Maloy (drums) and Jerome Chapman (guitar). Let's get to know them as we discuss their beginnings, some of their favorite bumper tracks and what music has done for them.

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89-The Blues Pt.2-Country and Delta Blues

Having covered the origins of the blues, in Pt.1 of this series, it's time to dig in to the genres that emerged from these origins during the early stages of the blues. Join us, as we discuss country blues and delta blues, the styles involved and the musicians that continued to make this such a popular genre.

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88-Altered Chords Pt.1

Dive with us, face first, into chromaticism with this discussion on extended and altered chords. We will make sure we're well acquainted with the concept of suspended ("sus") chords and added ("add") chords. This will prepare us for an ongoing exploration of altered chords. We will also compare the use of these chords, in classical theory, to their rolls in the jazz and pop music genres!

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87-Substance Abuse and Music Pt.1

For some reason, creative types are often drawn to mind altering substances. Musicians have been no exception. In this episode we will discuss the lure towards nicotine, alcohol, marijuana and hallucinogenic influences. We will discuss their effects and some of the risks involved. We will also share some stories of those who have fallen to, and those who survived, some of the dangers that come along with this lifestyle.

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It's time to get a little out of step with time! Syncopation is a technique that can add more color and interest to your rhythms. In this episode, we will define syncopation, give some examples and share some stories where we've been challenged by this composition technique.

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85-Augmented Sixth (+6) Chords Pt.2

In episode 65, we discussed the Italian, French and German augmented sixth (+6) chords and their main functions. In this episode, we'll dig a little deeper into these chords and talk about some other functions and placement options that can really add color to your chord progressions!

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84-Harmonizing A Melody

When you learn or write a melody, you may want to add some harmonic textures to it. In this episode, we will learn a melody. We will write harmonies that move along with it in parallel motion. We will then find the chords that suit it best. Get ready to know harmony better!

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83-Practice! Practice! Practice!

We talk a good bit about theory, ear training and history. But let's talk about you and your craft. The only way to get better at playing your instrument, ear training and theory is to practice like crazy! In this episode, we will focus on how to practice more efficiently and effectively. Let's get to work!

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82-Melodic Dictation Pt.3-Mixolydian Mode

Melodic dictation, the act of transcribing and notating a melody by ear, is an important skill for a musician to cultivate. In this episode, we will focus on the Mixolydian mode. It has one small difference from the major scale, or Ionian mode. Let's listen!

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81-Women in Music Pt.1

Our discussion on the significance of women in music history is well overdue! Join us on this series as we highlight some of the notable female composers, from the advent of recorded music history!

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