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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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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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80-Listener Compositions Pt.2

Everyone enjoyed our last listener compositions episode so much, we decided to make this a regular thing. Our listeners have bared their souls. Let's listen! This episode will feature the original music of: Cody M. Gibson, Ray Parker, Alex O' Hagan, Seth Hammonds, Paul Olsen, Chris Waite and Scott Jackson.

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79-Modulating to Distantly Related Keys Pt.2

Picking up from where we left off on episode 71, we will now further our discussion on modulation to distantly related keys. The focus, on this show, will be the use of chromatic mediants!

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78-Melodic Dictation Pt.2-Major

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 share some tips and get right in to some examples. Ready your ears and get ready to explore the major scale!

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77-Transcribing a Song Pt.2

In part 1 of this series, we heard an original song (by one of our own listeners) for the first time. By the end of that episode, we put "Dewey and Dora" (by Keith Andrews) to paper with key and time signatures, tempo and a chord chart! Now it's time to round it out with lyrics and a melody, in proper lead sheet fashion!

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76-Transcribing a Song Pt.1

It's time to talk about transcription. This is the process of translating what you can hear to something you, or another musician, can read. In part one of this series, we will break down "Dewey and Dora", by Keith Andrews (one of our talented listeners). We will figure out the key, the meter and the tempo and chart it down, in "lead sheet" fashion. We have a great song to work with and a great process to take you through as we put it down on paper!

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75-Middle Ages Music Pt.1

Middle Ages music occurred roughly between the dates of 500-1400 CE. In this episode, we will mainly talk about monophony. We will discuss plain chant, Gregorian chant and the antiphon, as the common types of vocal music within the church. We will also cover some of the secular music, made popular by the troubadours, trouvères and Minnesängers. Climb inside our time machine!

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Solfege has been used for centuries to help vocalists and music students acquaint vowel sounds with certain notes. In this episode, we will discuss solfege in major, minor and chromatic terms. We will also cover the two different kinds of solfege ("fixed do" and "movable do") and the advantages of these systems. Finally, we will address the Curwen Hand Signs and try some exercises that you might find useful.

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73-Harmonic Progression Pt.7 (viiº/V, viiº/ii)

Continuing where episode 63 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary functions. We will now add the secondary seven of V and seven of ii (iiº) 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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73-Harmonic Progression Pt.7 (viiº/V, viiº/ii)

Continuing where episode 63 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary functions. We will now add the secondary seven of V and seven of ii (iiº) 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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72-The Schumann Resonance

It's time to try something different, though "music-adjacent"! The Schumann resonances are the vibrations of the Earth's atmosphere. Some believe that if we tune our instruments to these resonances, using 432Hz as our tuning standard, our music will be more satisfactory and enhance our well being. Let's talk a little about the physics behind this and why it has become a topic of controversy!

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71-Modulation To Distantly Related Keys Pt.1

Picking up from where we left off on episode 69, we will now learn how to modulate to distantly related keys using chords that are diatonic, or chromatic, in either key (or any combination thereof). Some pivot chords we will use to pull this off will include the German augmented 6 chord (Gr+6), the Neapolitan chord (N) and secondary seven diminished vii chord (viiº7 of ?). Let us invite a few more accidentals to the table, shall we? Join us!

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