The Composer Arranger 04

It’s almost like A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” — Charles Dickens. There was confusion, and then there was clarity.

OK. The Composer/Arranger is a difficult book which to my eye is for what I’d call an advanced educated musician (or I am rather stunted). But where the opening of the book changed topics and perspectives at rapid pace, here in the ensuing pages about melody while the author makes frequent references to clarification in later parts of the book he does stay on point. And they are very good points indeed.

Let’s talk about melody, and in the larger sense talk about creative construction in general. Continue reading

The Composer Arranger 01

JM_ComposerArrangerAs a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step so does learning music start with sitting your butt down before an instrument. I’ve done a lot of butt sitting and banging on a piano, even doing a year where I would practice upwards of 4 hours each day including holidays such as Christmas. I earned the BS degree with a major in classical piano and have performed in a classic rock band for ten years. I started doing this the summer before kindergarten and am now 56 years old. As time has gone on from then to this very day I have tried very hard to understand how this music thing works, particularly more in recent years. I’ve even dabbled in composing here and there and I try to teach my own students an understanding of what is really going on from day one which is something my early teachers never bothered with. I recently discovered John Morton’s blog and have read his articles very closely — this guy knows more than me, particularly where writing and arranging are concerned. And he has written a book. I bought the book and I invite you to join me as I take that first step and turn open the cover. Continue reading