Here’s a winning formula: the guitar starts out with the song’s main riff, completing a full cadence, before the bass ensues with a countermelody high up on the neck, building up a suspenseful intro until the drums kick in and carry the song into its full tempo. “Hotel California” operates the same way.
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Founded in 1939, BMI is the largest PRO in the US, and represents over 900,000 songwriters, composers and publishers. The organization distributed $1.023 billion in 2017.
Other examples of horizontal hemiola, particularly in classical music, act as momentary, unwritten changes in time signature. If you have a piece written in a 3/4 time signature, having half notes play over two bars can create an interesting effect that will draw in the listener.
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Yet, just because somebody with deep pockets purchases something for an exorbitant price, doesn’t guarantee that it will be widely-accepted as a work of art. There have been numerous forays into “fine art” for pop musicians as of late, some of which, in hindsight, were nothing more than marketing stunts to sell more mass-produced album copies.
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.
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