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Johann Sebastian Bach

When I was a youngster I had some pretty well-defined musical tastes: if it rocked I liked it: Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Doobie Brothers, The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Alice Cooper ... Van Halen, AC/DC. I didn't matter, I liked it all ... As long as it rocked!

When I got to college, my tastes got a little more sophisticated: I discovered jazz! Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins ... I even stooped to listen to classical ... as long as it was 20th century, like Stravinsky, or Bartok, or Schoenberg, or Dvorak.

As a graduate student, my tastes expanded even more .. I started digging country, bluegrass, kletzmer, salsa ... and I decided that anything could be good, as long as it was good. (makes sense to me!)

I feel like now I'm getting to a place where I should have been a long time ago ... Bach. I just bought a piano book: First Lessons in Bach: Twenty-eight Short Pieces.

I have to admit: it's a revelation. I can see with my own eyes how he would modulate between keys: starting a minuet in Bb and somehow twisting it in the last few measures so it ends in G major. How does he do that? The alternating statement of melodic themes between the right hand and the left ... it's all so simple, but at the same time so complex... I'm fascinated.

I sit at the piano for hours learning this (relatively simple) music.

Why didn't I discover this years ago?



Toccata and Moog in Coal Minor

From Bachman, to Bach the Man!
Sounds like a natural progression.
Think of all the rock stars like Randy Rhodes and Peter Frampton, that were classically trained before discovering rock.
But then again, they were sort of inventing rock as they went.
You now have the opportunity to invent something new from your expansive influences!

January 2018



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