Friday, November 22, 2013

How Music Works > Episode 4 - Bass

Series 1 Summary
We all respond to music - whether clicking our fingers, humming along or dancing - there's something out there for everyone. In this series Goodall looks at melody, rhythm, harmony and bass to establish how music is made and how it comes to reflect different cultures.
Setting out on a journey that spans the globe and moves through the centuries, Goodall uncovers the elements that are shared by all styles of music. Following a trail of diverse musical talents from Mahler to David Bowie; the blues to Bulgarian folk songs; medieval choral music to disco; he reveals the tried and tested tricks of the composer's trade.

Episode 4 - Bass
Music is usually broken down into melody, rhythm and harmony. But what about the very lowest notes in music, that can have an impact on all three? In this film Howard looks at the abiding fascination musicians and composers have had with the bass.
For half a millennium instrument makers have been trying to construct instruments of all shapes and sizes capable of thudding, sonorous low notes. Only with the arrival of the synthesizer did they succeed in producing a rival to the mighty organ. With disco, dance, and drum 'n' bass, the bass has arrived centre stage.
But bass notes have another, crucial role. Far from just plodding away in the background, bass lines can have a critical effect on the whole structure of a piece of music, helping to drive the chord progressions.
Howard looks at the dark horse of the musical family, and its use in the hands of such diverse musical talents as Johann (and Richard) Strauss, John Philip Sousa, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Albinoni, Bach and Motown's resident bass maestro, James Jamerson.

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