For many, the brilliant excitement of technological advancement coexists with a desire to return to simpler times and to reconnect with the pulse of life. Music provides us with the opportunity to communicate, express ourselves, and to take a break from the rigors of our technical world. Although technical advances give us great gifts some fundamentals are irreplaceable.

Do take advantage of technological advances like sophisticated new metronomes but be sure to also go on musical journeys with friends, teach a child the joy of physically holding an instrument, or clap and sing along to your favorite song on the radio—music transcends technology to the core of what makes us human.

The Mysteries of the Lydian Mode

the-lydian-scale-seeking-the-ultimate-mysteries-of-musicThe laws of music are much like the laws of nature. Some theorists explain the how of music; others have sought the why. George Russell, originator of the Lydian Chromatic Concept, was a seeker of the why.

If we take the major scale, (which is usually our music starting point), and raise the fourth degree by a half-step, we have the Lydian scale. Sounds simple but is deceptively powerful. Take a deeper look into the Lydian scale, analyze what it sounds like and why notes arranged in this particular order generates a feeling of rest and resolve unparalleled by any other scale.

Actually, chances are that you already know the Lydian mode. “The Simpsons” iconic theme song is composed in the Lydian scale, as pointed out by Pop Music Theory. Do you want to learn how to sound dreamy in the Lydian mode? Check out this video by Music is Win:

When you’re ready to get your Lydian vibe on, have a look at this blogpost from Unlock the Guitar.

Why It’s Worth It to Play an Instrument

benefits-playing-instrumentIn this day and age, technology has made it possible to have so much of what we need at the touch of a button. With today’s easy accessibility to many of our needs, there is also a risk of losing certain skills that are important to development, especially in the younger generation. Waning are the days of face-to-face conversation—and even the need to physically pick up an instrument? Musical U takes a look at the reasons why learning to play a musical instrument is not only beneficial for the enjoyment of music, but for the growth of the mind as well.

According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, playing an instrument as a child sharpens the mind as we age. YourDOST explains why this is true, as well as some of the other benefits of playing an instrument.

Confucius says: “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” But that’s not all. Metropolitan Arts lists 14 more reasons why you should learn an instrument.

PolyNome: Reinventing the Metronome

polynome-reinventing-the-metronome-with-joe-crabtreeWe were awed when we recently discovered the way-beyond-the-metronome app, PolyNome, developed by drummer Joe Crabtree. This app can program full drum and percussion grooves and any rhythmic idea you might have—including using quintuplets, septuplets, or any other subdivision of a note. In addition, it can create sets lists, practice logs and help you create a practice routine. Read our interview with Joe to learn how this remarkable app came to be.

Joe’s interest in polyrhythms helped inspire the creation of PolyNome. Have a look at Joe in action in this video lesson on how to hear parts of polyrhythms.

PolyNome has received great reviews. In this video, Sweetwater Sound takes a look at the PolyNome app:

Creating a Whole New Wave of Music

inventing-a-whole-new-genreMusical U recently introduced you to Musicpreneur Tommy Darker and his U25 program, which aids musicians under the age of 25 to be both musicians and entrepreneurs. Born in Greece and now based in London, Tommy is also a musical innovator.

Musical U asked him some questions about his new project, Kenophania, which documents his quest to create a whole new genre of music. Folk wave, as he calls it, mashes up British post-punk with Greek traditional music using only natural sounds and acoustic instruments. Read more about this fascinating project.

For more from Tommy Darker himself check out this video discussing Kenophania:

Or this beautiful blog detailing the whole story of his Kenophania journey.

To learn more about the history of Greek music, traditional Greek music and instruments, take a look at this helpful guide from World Music.

How to Hone Your Sense of Rhythm

how-to-hone-your-sense-of-rhythmRhythm is the gas in the musical engine so it’s very important for musicians of all genres and abilities to have a basic understanding of its fundamentals. From music producers to singers, there are many benefits to practicing your rhythm skills, even just while listening to popular music you hear on the radio. Take a look at the simple things you can do to hone your rhythmic skills and continue to develop your ear for music on a regular basis.

Before you rest with your rhythmic training, consider the benefits of being a happy, clappy musician! Activate Music has more on the importance of rhythmic training.

Do you find that you’ve been practicing and practicing rhythm, but you’re still not getting the desired results? Ninebuzz explains why this may be and offers ten tips for more effective rhythmic training.

Even today there’s no substitute for listening to acoustic instruments, learning about the traditional music of your heritage, or the sense of tranquility that listening to certain music can bring. Take advantage of the technological gifts of our times, but don’t forget to connect to the past, to the mysteries of music and to each other.

These are difficult times, indeed!

Want more, every week?

Get the latest and best resources for modern musical training, direct to your inbox each week. It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. Just enter your details below:

Spam-free, guaranteed.