Clark JM Jazz Mandolin
Tips & Tricks Mel Bay Mandolin Sessions








Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

« Tips on improvising from the Pros; Jason Anick | Main | Photographing Mandolins »

May 24, 2012 | Complexity leads to simplicity

How do we make music simpler?

The interesting video we've embedded discusses a new path to embracing complexity. The counter-intuitive goal is to achieve simplicity. Speaker Eric Berlow shows how diagrams can map ecological, biological, and social problems visually in science. The irony is through colors, shapes, and graphs, we can make a complex set of elements much easier to understand by eliminating components, and not adding them.

Check out the brief 3:34 video.
Video Link: Eric Berlow: Complexity leads to simplicity

Music can be approached similarly with our own mental "spaghetti" diagrams. We embrace theoretical elements that seem complex on their own, chord extensions, modes and boutique scales, sophisticated chord progressions and tonality shifts, but ultimately, the goal is to make music simpler. We learn modes to be able to internalize inherent harmonic (vertical/chord) structure to reproduce and communicate it melodically. We analyze chord patterns to reduce it to variations of tonic, dominant, and dominant preparation (simply, "ii V7 I"). We spot consistencies in form (verse, chorus, bridge) so we can wail away without having to think or organize in form.

Music theory should always be about making the music simpler, not more complex.


Accidental Indicators
Jazz Primer: Harmonic Function
Analysis: Macroscopes and Microscopes Part 1
Analysis: Macroscopes and Microscopes Part 2
Chord economy

Posted by Ted at May 24, 2012 8:27 AM

Bookmark and Share

QuickNav:   Home | Book | Webtracks | Tips | Store | Contact
Feeds: Tips & Tricks | What's New
© 2005-2018 All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: In the 'Information Age' of the 21st Century, any fool with a computer, a modem, and an idea can become a self-professed 'expert." This site does not come equipped with 'discernment.'

Site designed and hosted by No Hassle Design, Development, & Hosting

Tips & Tricks - Listen & LearnMel Bay Mandolin Sessions Articles- check it out!