Right off the bat, I think I’ve found one of my new favorite composers ever. His music is simply stunning. Ildebrando Pizzetti was born in Parma in 1880 to the pianist, Odoardo Pizzetti. His father taught him to play piano at a young age; but Ildebrando’s first love was writing plays — he had two produced for the stage before he turned 15. His focus turned back to music and he decided to enter the Musical Conservatorium of Parma in 1895 to study music full-time with Giovanni Tebaldini.
Next, I’m raising the white flag at these two choruses. At first I just wanted to label them “title refrains” because there’s different material happening after them, but on the other hand, the second half of the choruses are the same, so you kinda have to go back to chorus over refrain.
I am fascinated by the creative potential of “musical theology,” a pre-Enlightenment relic from the tradition in which J.S. Bach thrived. For Bach and his cronies, music theory was a direct extension and reflection of metaphysical and religious truths. The major chord, three notes in one sound, was the trinity; equal temperament (a practical approximation that detunes each note slightly from the mathematical ratios of just intonation) represented the sinning imperfections of humankind, a musical Fall from God-made purity.
Pbr studio time
Lindy Vision is an all-girl electro punk rock band composed of three sisters Dorothy, Carla, and Natasha Cuylear. All three sisters currently reside in Albuquerque, NM. They are devoted to making music that makes you feel something.
Christine Elise Occhino is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for the music business. In addition to being a vocalist herself, she is the CEO of Elise Music Group, Artistic Director of The Pop Music Academy, and owner of Stamford Recording Studio. She is also the proud Founder and Executive Director of Hope in Harmony, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses music to help and heal those in need. Christine is a member of the Grammy Recording Academy, the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers, and the Berklee College of Music Alumni Association. She has spoken on many music industry panels, contributed writing for music business publications for over a decade, and currently hosts the music-based web series and podcast, Soundbytez.
Course: The Art of Hip-Hop Production
Pre- and post-choruses were a little less aggressive this year, even while variations on these chorus-abutting sections saw an increase. Interestingly, only “The Middle” dispensed with any intro material this year, and only Eminem’s “Killshot” got into the Top 5 without any chorus or refrain material, but I mean, he did say right at the start of the song that he wasn’t gonna repeat himself, so there you have it. (And yes, I said “chorus-abutting sections” back there, and yes, I had Morgan Freeman’s voice in my head when I said it … “chorus-abutting sections.“)
It seems we can always turn to a popular old melody for some familiar sing-along action. The lyrics of this tune have a bit of an icky past, harking back to the American Civil War, but like most public domain songs to stand the test of time, the simplistic melody often reminds us of childhood. In “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” you’ll find the major third at 0:04, on the lyrics “Shoo” and “fly.”
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Ian is a pianist, entrepreneur and professional musician. He started Soundfly to help people really find what gets them most excited musically and pursue it. He’s toured all over the world with his experimental trio Sontag Shogun. Check out his most recent course Building Blocks of Piano or follow him on Twitter at @ianrtemple.
When Shimkovitz launched Awesome Tapes as a record label in 2011, he started tracking down Ata Kak, but after years of searching he kept coming up empty. After four years though, he finally tracked down the man behind the mysteriously amazing music, Yaw Atta-Owusu. Yaw Atta-Owusu has been touring live ever since being discovered and is finally getting the international recognition he deserves.
Using NYU MusEDLab’s embedded aQWERTYon widget here, or by joining our free Theory for Producers: The White Keys and Major Modes course and playing along to several other songs in different keys and modes, you can play along to “Under Pressure” directly in your browser! See if you can follow along with the chord changes, nail that classic bass line, or simply fuss around in the key of D Major.
+ Producing and mixing music at home? Check out Soundfly’s brand new mentored online course, Songwriting For Producers, to take all those unfinished ideas and transform them into fully fleshed out, compelling songs! Free preview here.
Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.