Music Monday: Come Out

Here’s a long overdue habit for some people: see others as human beings rather than members of a group of people. Or as one guy put it, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Racism (and sexism) should have gone out of style a generation ago. Yet, somehow or another there are those that think it’s ok to criticize the President’s heritage rather than his policies. There are people who fear or think themselves better than those who are different — bafflingly, often at the same time! This is the 21st Century; time to stop it.

Since each of us is an individual, that means each of us must stop ourselves if we have an unworthy thought before it becomes a despicable action.

In honor of MLK’s birthday, I bring you music from the Civil Rights era. Come Out is an early work of minimalism. I recommend listening in stereo and giving it at least 3 minutes before you decide whether you like it or not. I’m a little disappointed that so little is said about the technique of layering tape recordings that differ ever so slightly in timing.

Music Monday: Modern Minimalism in March

Last week I introduced everybody to minimalism. Sure, there are “serious” composers doing minimalism, but I think that the dance music community has done a far better job with the genre. Notice the small selection of notes used and the repetition of slightly-changed thematic material. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t go on for a half hour:


In Closing: do you really think almost half of black preschoolers do things that warrant a suspension?; drug resistant bacteria are a problem; TPP; happy; random facts; birth control; on minimum wage, you can’t afford to live indoors; those damned tests; and marriage.

Music Monday: Minimalism in March


The first half of the 20th century saw the development of atonal music — music with no “main note” you could hang your ear on as the center. Needless to say, it’s hard to compose something atonal that still has something cohesive going on, which lead to the development of serialism, a type of atonal music where each of the 12 notes of the modern equal temperament scale are played before any are repeated. I will spare you the discussion of how that works.

This was the scene when Terry Riley did something radical: he wrote a piece of tonal music; he used a limited number of notes, repeated often; he structured it to be for any number of instruments and any period of time;  and then he rubbed everyone’s face in the fact by simply calling it In C. It turned out to be one of the top classical music events of the year.

In Closing: clean water is important; a few items on the minimum wage and the living wage; branching out; Common Core; why exactly do we need a pink one?; the finest justice money can buy; police state; and grounded.