Twitter In The Classes I Am Creating

The Almost-100, Arnold Schoenberg, and the not-so-sad omission of business, communications and the arts

One of my pursuits these days (August 2014) is creating, designing, reconfiguring, ratcheting up a few new courses in intellectual property, a survey of the music & entertainment industry, social media & marketing in music/video/IP, and business and legal issues helping and hindering music get created, disseminated and experienced.

All of these classes will deal significantly with technology, business, law and music (how could they not?).  I could add words like “communication” and “arts” too but I often use words like “technology” to subsume “business” and “communication,” and “entertainment” to subsume “art” and “arts.”  (With my classical music pedigree, I should NEVER associate “art” or “arts” with “entertainment.”  One of my heroes, Arnold Schoenberg, in his past writings set me straight on that (but I veered off the ranch twenty + years ago):

“If it is art it is not for all and if it is for all it is not art”

or something similar but identical in sentiment.)  (One of my favorite Schoenberg compositions is “Summer Morning By A Lake,” the third of his “Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16” from 1909.


In my Twitter account, I have created eleven (11) lists that cover all of my interests.  Since 2008 I have required students to read what certain Twitter users post.  I provide a list of these Twitterers in each syllabus.  What I want to do now is create a shortened master list of Twitterers from which I can extract subsets that would work in any one, two, three or more of seven or eight classes.

The “rules” and “preconditions that must be met” in order to fall into this list of less-than-100-favorite Twitter authors include:

1.  It intrigues me.

2.  I find it compelling (out of Spinal Tap context, “compelling” can have positive associations).

3.  I’m inspired to act and think (refined people “think ” and then “act”).

4.  I might disagree with what is expressed but it is original and/or important.

5.  It came to mind first when I thought to compile a list of less-than-100.  (Spontaneity, impulse and fast matter when it comes to action, wonderment and ponder-ment.)

(However:  A few of these Twitterers are not at all inspiring (and perhaps pompous and verbose) but most people of a field seem to read these and it is OK sometimes to have some things in common with most people – these form a sort of vernacular canon.)

Here are The Almost-100:


And with extra-special secret code placed to the right, The Almost-100 looks like this: Tech Tech IP MusEnt Tech IP Tech Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech IP MusEnt IP A MT MusEnt A 3 Tech IP A 3 MusEnt Tech MusEnt Tech Tech MusEnt Tech IP Tech IP A MT MusEnt IP IP IP IP Tech IP MusEnt Tech MusEnt A 3 Tech Tech IP Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech Tech MusEnt Tech MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt Tech Tech A MT Tech MusEnt MusEnt A MT A 3 MusEnt A MT A MT Tech A 3 MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt MusEnt A 3 MusEnt MusEnt A 3 MusEnt A MT Tech Tech Tech Tech A 3

Perhaps the above should be annotated so as to make for more clarity.  In fact, I began but never finished or published an annotated post about great Twitterers to follow more than a year ago.  I think I will save those thoughts for class and spend that writing-annotating time better.

I can imagine negative reactions to a few of The Almost-100 above:

Just why should anyone read Taylor Swift?

Doesn’t Bob Lefsetz assault us enough every day?

Why read a young lawyer who has not even passed the bar?

Read Torrentfreak?  Are you pushing crime or somethin’?


Wishing everyone everywhere a happy Sunday.  Annuit Coeptis.

The Beatles – It Was 50 Years Ago Today



 T H E     B E A T L E S


Any Date From Now Through April 10, 2020 Should Be An Excuse For A Beatles 50th Anniversary Celebration

1. The Beatles are back.  2. The Beatles never went away.  3.  In the future, the Beatles will be back and never go away.  (New Beatles fans will assure that their music is still heard.)

Although they disbanded 44 years ago, the Beatles’ impact is still felt as their shadow is cast over almost every musical style and aspect of the U.S. and international music industry.   With the release of new social media accounts, websites, CD’s, DVD’s, books, collaborations, interactive media, “authorized mashups,” television specials and more, longtime fans are being reminded of their greatness, while new generations of Beatles’ fans are being created.  They still sound great to those who were there in the 1960’s, and because no other comparable artists have come along since, they keep sounding better in hindsight.

The Beatles revolutionized popular music – the intensity and depth of the public’s reaction to them has never never been approached since that they first burst onto the world’s stage.  Elvis had 14 #1 hits before the Beatles, but only 1 after the Beatles.  Only a few Motown acts and the Beach Boys were popular before and after the Beatles.

The Beatles arrived at the perfect moment historically when they began recording in 1963 and invading the U. S. and the rest of the world in 1964.  Between 1959-1963, rock & roll was in its dullest period as the careers of many of its pioneers were in hiatus or had ended.  A plane crash had taken the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson, Chuck Berry had been jailed for violation of the Mann Act, Little Richard had left the secular for the religious world, Jerry Lee Lewis had drawn the wrath of the public for marrying his 13 yr. old cousin before legally divorcing his second wife, and Elvis Presley was softening his image by trying to appeal to adults and becoming a movie star.   In addition, the large out-of-touch record labels were trying to hoist bland and safe white cover artists (principally, Pat Boone, Frankie Avalon and Fabian) onto the public.  And on November 22, 1963, three important events occurred, only one of which caught the world’s attention – President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  (The Beatles released their second album in England – “With The Beatles” – and novelist Aldous Huxley died also on that day.  Who could have known that the best and worst events of 1963 would have occurred on the same day?)   Many of us alive then will remember just how bleak a time it was – our popular young President had been killed, it was a cold winter, and except for a few Motown artists, there was little exciting popular music.

So, on February 9, 1964, when the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, the public was ready for good news and good revolution.  The reaction to this television show and the Beatles cannot be overestimated.  In 1964 alone, The Beatles had 19 Top 40 hits!  In comparison, Michael Jackson’s best year was 1983 with 6 Top 40 hits; Elvis’s was 1956 with 11 Top 40 hits.

The Beatles convincingly fused widely disparate influences throughout their seven-year recording career as they assimilated U.S. rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, country, Motown, R & B, soul, Tin Pan Alley, Afro-Cuban, bossanova, classical, and Indian music influences.   They also steadfastly avoided following any fads or attempting to be “cool” or something which they were not.  Each of their albums was a significant musical event complete with the seemingly incongruous achievements of important artistic innovations and great popular appeal.


The Beatles had many firsts.  They were the

first to have all five of the Top 5 songs in the same week (April 4, 1964)


first to have 11 songs in the Top 100 in the same month


first to create music videos (16 years before the debut of MTV) –   Paperback Writer


first to use feedback and distortion at the opening of a recording  –  I Feel Fine (0.00-0.06)


first to use the fade-in  –  Eight Days A Week  (0.00-0.07)


first to use the electric 12-string guitar  –  You Can’t Do That  (0.00)


first to use the sitar   –  Norwegian Wood  (0.08)


first to use an Indian ensemble  –  Within You Without You  (0.00)


first to record a song for string quartet and acoustic guitar  –  Yesterday  (0.23)


first to record a song using only string octet  –  Eleanor Rigby  (0.00)


first band to use the French horn as a solo instrument  –  For No One  (0.49-1.02; 1.27-1.38. 1.53-1.56)


first band to use the piccolo trumpet as a solo instrument  –  Penny Lane  (1.09-1.27; 1.56-2.00, 2.21-2.26, 2.38-2.43, 2.47-2.49)


first band to use tape speed manipulation  –  In My Life  (1.29-1.47)


first band to use backwards tape  –  Rain  (2.35-2.58)


to name only a few Beatles’ firsts.

The Beatles were the antithesis of “safe” – with each album released, they had the “safe” and extremely successful product.  Almost any other artist/s who could attain this much success would certainly do only ONE thing next – repeat the exact steps to try to repeat the exact success.  Almost all artists then and now would not stray from a winning formula.

This is exactly where the Beatles differed completely from everyone else.  The Beatles would always take the adventurous and risky path by throwing away the proven recipe for business success and doing something which ARTISTICALLY pleased them.  Against all odds and “common” sense, they would succeed and then lead society and other musicians down new roads.

In the next post, we will explore the universality and themes of many Beatles songs.


Thanksgiving 2013 & Music Expressing Thanks


 H A P P Y      T H A N K S G I V I N G  

I thought to celebrate this wonderful day of ThanksgivingI’d compile music with lyrics that express thanks in various ways.

Here is my Thanksgiving wish:

Music from these artists (arranged alphabetically):

Louis Armstrong

J. S. Bach

Charles Ives

Led Zeppelin

Bob Marley

Pat Metheny

Charles Mingus

Me’Shell Ndegéocello

Sam & Dave

Hank Williams

The ten (10) THANKFUL recordings (arranged in the listening order I prefer):

Thanks A Million  –  Louis Armstrong

Holidays Symphony – Mvt. IV.  Thanksgiving (Forefathers’ Day) – Charles Ives

Thank You Lord  –  Bob Marley

Everyday I Thank You – Pat Metheny

Thank You  –  Led Zeppelin

I Thank You  –  Sam & Dave

Thank God  –  Hank Williams

Thankful  –  Me’Shell Ndegéocello

Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am – Charles Mingus

Now Thank We All Our God – J. S. Bach

Excerpts of lyrics from six (6) of these songs (corresponding to the listening order above):

“Thanks a million, a million thanks to you, for every thing that love could bring you brought me”  (sung by Louis Armstrong)

“Thank you, Lord, for what you’ve done for me.  Thank you, Lord, for what you’re doing now”  (sung by Bob Marley)

“And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles, thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one”  (sung by Robert Plant)

“You didn’t have to love me like you did, but you did, and I thank you”  (sung by Sam & Dave)

“Thank God for every flower and each tree, thank God for all the mountains and the sea, thank God for giving life to you and me, wherever you may be, thank God” (sung by Hank Williams)

“So much suffering for fancy cars, big houses, everything, I lose my faith sometimes, I lose my faith sometimes, yeah, just want to be happy and thankful”  (sung by Me’Shell Ndegeocello)

 H A P P Y      T H A N K S G I V I N G


Which words work with which music? W. W. W. W. W. M. ?


I may never pose this many questions again.  It starts out with many questions and then morphs into many statements, statements that could have been made by people of different ages, tastes and sensibilities.  I thought it would be illuminating to shift to a series of statements that might have functioned better as questions.  Almost everything in this post, initially, is a question or a statement of uncertainty.  Then they become reactions of people who are positively or negatively inclined towards the music, or neutral, even in times of crisis.  (And you know what is said about those who remain neutral in times of crisis?)

So, why would you read further?  Why would you NOT read further?

Listen to this.  It is very short, so you should probably listen to it several times.  There are also some visuals to keep you more engaged.  Engaged?  No, don’t get so serious that you commit to someone from listening to this.  I meant “engaged” as in busy, occupied or involved.


Up until you heard the singer, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the vocalist, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the soprano, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the mezzo soprano, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the alto, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the female singer, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the male singer, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the boy soprano, this was a composition.

Up until you heard the convict sing, this was a composition.

Up until you found out that this was called, “The Cage,” this was a composition.

Up until you found out that the piano playing you heard was written down (out), this was a composition.

Up until you found out that the piano playing you heard was written, you thought this was an improvisation.

If this composition was written down (out), it represents deliberation and care.

If it’s improvised, than that’s no big deal as you just write stuff that comes to mind without thinking about it and oooomph there it is.  (IMPROVISATION in many circles carries little respect.  IMPROVISATION is considered foreign to CLASSICAL MUSIC and is rarely taught and/or studied in CLASSICAL MUSIC.  IMPROVISATION used to be taught in CLASSICAL MUSIC and was considered an aspect of CLASSICAL MUSIC.)


After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a COMPOSITION or was it now a SONG?

After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a COMPOSITION or was it now an ART SONG?

After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a MUSICAL WORK or was it now an OPUS?

After you heard the VOCALIST, was this still a MUSICAL WORK or was it now a MUSICAL OPUS?




Is this a WORK?


Is this a SONG?

Is this an ART SONG?

Is this an OPUS?


Or, if we want to be LEGAL and invoke LAW – FEDERAL LAW, i.e., the Copyright Law of the United States…



(The answer could be YES it was, but now it’s not.  In my opinion, it constitutes a work of authorship and an original work of authorship even though the Copyright Law of the United States uses the terms, work of authorship and original work of authorship but fails to define these terms.  (It is extremely likely that) the copyright on this composition has, in fact, expired and this original work of authorship is now in the public domain.)


If this is a COMPOSITION, then it is serious and worthy.  It took a higher level of musicality to create and perform this COMPOSITION.  For this to be a COMPOSITION, the music was (likely) “written down” in musical notation.  Those who can WRITE MUSIC using MUSICAL NOTATION are usually more respected in some circles.  Conversely, those who can write music using musical notation can be considered (pejoratively) in some circles as ACADEMIC COMPOSERS or TRAINED COMPOSERS.  They are not SONGWRITERS.  They are not writing (music) from the heart, but instead are writing (music) from the head.  The “from the head” writers are often not welcome in those circles where SONGWRITERS exist.  The SONGWRITERS are often not welcome in circles where the COMPOSERS, the “from the head” writers, exist.

If this is an IMPROVISATION, then it is pretty cool.  It’s dope.  (Maybe) it took a reasonable level of musicality to create and perform this IMPROVISATION.

If this is a SONG, then you need to keep your day job.  This sounds ugly, and do you call that singing?  (It’s great that Starbucks has upped your hours to 21 per week because now you’ll have health care.)

If this is a COMPOSITION, then the composer has no sense of melody, harmony, rhythm, form or taste.  It is unfortunate that the musicians had to learn, rehearse and perform this dreadful “COMPOSITION.”  (Just where did this barbarian “composer” learn his craft?  Somewhere like Yale?  Perhaps this is deep thinking…deep thinking by a disturbed mind.)

Is this jazz?  It starts out sounding like Cecil Taylor.  But Cecil Taylor would start playing a melody above those great chords.  He wouldn’t just play chords for the entire song.  And what’s with the singer?

The song’s too short.

It is an abbreviated composition.

If this was composed for the Special Olympics by one of the Special Olympians, this shows a great deal of creativity.


Words to describe the person who SINGS this composition (or song, art song, work, musical work, etc.) can further define, elevate, d-elevate, or illustrate more about the music, musicians, creator/author/writer, style and genre of music and musicians.

The word SOPRANO is often used in conjunction with CLASSICAL MUSIC or ART MUSIC.  SOPRANO is rarely used with popular music, rock music, jazz, country, urban, R & B and many (or all) other styles of popular music.  SOPRANO can now mean of or affiliated with a New Jersey mob family.

It is even more likely that the term MEZZO-SOPRANO would be used exclusively with CLASSICAL and/or ART MUSIC.  Using the term MEZZO-SOPRANO would indicate that the user knows more about CLASSICAL and/or ART MUSIC and perhaps knows that the term MEZZO-SOPRANO can means a person with a different “sound” than a SOPRANO and a person with a different (and usually lower) “musical range.”  The term MEZZO-SOPRANO places this discussion in a different zone – if the term MEZZO-SOPRANO is used, the discussion now excludes the Grand Ole Opry and other types of popular music.

In the context above, using the terms MEZZO-SOPRANO, ALTO, MALE SINGER, BOY SOPRANO or CONVICT would indicate that one did not read the opening credits in the video, is not aware of the definitions of these words, or  is likely being pejorative by describing the vocalist/singer in this manner.


What of the musicians involved in this YouTube performance?

I’d like this song better if Tim McGraw sang it.

I’d like this song better if Adele sang it.

I’d like this song better if Alicia Keys sang it.

I’d like this song better if John Mayer sang it.

I’d like this song better if Norah Jones sang it.

I’d like this song better if Katy Perry sang it.

I’d like this song better if Eric Clapton sang it.

I’d like this song better if Steven Tyler sang it.

I’d like this song better if Cecilia Bartoli sang it.

I’d like this song better if Mitt Romney sang it.

Tim McGraw couldn’t begin to interpret this composition.

Adele’s magnificent voice would be wasted on something like this.

Alicia Keys would make the melody into something we’d want to hear.

If John Mayer played guitar while he sang this, it might be OK.

Norah Jones would bring subtlety, breathiness and style to this (if the piano didn’t drown her out).

Katy Perry would sound good if she could get Snoop Lion to rap part of it.

Eric Clapton could give it a blues swing and play acoustic guitar – like he did with “Layla” on UNPLUGGED.

If Steven Tyler screamed it, forgot the lyrics and danced, I’d be down with that.

Cecilia Bartoli just needs a more operatic aria to sing.

Mitt Romney wouldn’t sing this as this is music for the 47%.


More words.

The composition unfolded effortlessly  – concise with punctuated chords rising so as to cover the surface with a delicately-veiled, subdued, impressionistic sheen that harkens back to several early 20th-century tone poems by the likes of Debussy, Ravel or even Scriabin.  (That last sentence is an example of critic-speak at its worst.  We’ve managed to leave CRITICS out of it so far – let’s continue to be critic-less.)

I liked it pretty good ’til that woman started singing or talking or whatever she was doing.


How do we react to music based on the WORDS used to describe the style, genre, time period, composer, songwriter, musician, improviser, pianist, keyboardist, singer, soprano, mezzo-soprano, diva, chick singer, etc.

How do we react when we are told little?  Very little?  Nothing?  When we see a video BEFORE we hear the music?  AT THE SAME TIME as we hear the music?  AFTER we  hear the music?

How do we react when we are told what to expect from the music?  From the musical performance?  About the music? About how the music was composed?  Whether the music was composed or improvised?   Whether the composer is young, middle aged or old?  “Trained” or “untrained?” From the European Union?  United States?  Latin America?  (Latin America is Flavor Of The Month in classical/art music in the past few years.)  Asia?  The Subcontinent?

CHARLES IVES composed “The Cage.”



How I Hear It – Beethoven & Van Halen


My Nashville trip has been eventful and much longer than expected.  My one week has turned into three.  I need to get back north and as tempting as it is, I won’t quote or paraphrase Paul McCartney and “Get Back.”

When I was learning classical music, and classical music theory (known to many as simply, “music theory”), what helped was comparing classical music to what I knew much better and made more sense to me, namely, rock music or pop music.  The more I learned about music and different styles of music, the more I explored and then compared classical with those other styles  –  first soul/Motown, then jazz, folk, blues, country, world music (although I had been hearing that earlier without knowing I was hearing world music) and eventually hip hop, trip hop, acid jazz and anything else with or without a name.

When I listen to music, it usually reminds me of other music.  When I first heard Van Halen When It’s Loveit reminded me of the opening of the first movement of Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 (as well as a few other rock and country songs).  That is because they share the same somewhat unusual (for rock and pop) chord progression.  There are four (4) chords heard clearly in both, although in Van Halen, the chord progression is heard twelve (12) times, whereas in Beethoven, it is heard only three (3) times.  This chord progression is based on four (4) bass notes from the major scale – the 1st pitch followed by the 5th, followed by the 3rd, followed by the 4th:  1   5   3   4.  Three of these four bass notes are the roots of the chords:  1    5    and 4.  The “3” is the 3rd of the “I chord.”  This chord, therefore, does not have its root as the lowest sounding note in the chord.  It is an “inverted” chord, and there are are far fewer inverted chords in rock and popular music than in classical music.  The somewhat-unusual-for-rock chord progression is  I   V   I6   IV  (pronounced, “One.  Five.  One six.  Four.”)

Van Halen  –  When It’s Love

That     I   V   I6   IV   progression is heard four (4) times at the opening and eight (8) times near the ending of When It’s Love:

I N S T R U M E N T A L     A T      O P E N I N G:

0.00 – 0.09

0.10 – 0.18

0.19 – 0.28

0.29 – 0.38

N E A R    T H E     E N D    O F     T H E    S O N G:

4.02 – 4.10

4.11 – 4.20

4.21 – 4.30

4.31 – 4.39

4.40 – 4.49

4.50 – 4.59

5.00 – 5.08

5.09 – 5.19


The majority of Classical music is not as repetitive, in terms of a singular repeated chord progression, as popular and/or country music.  But the    I   V   I6   IV   progression is heard at the outset of the first movement of Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4.

Beethoven  –  Piano Concerto No. 4, Mvt. I

S O L O    P I A N O:

0.42 – 0.48

O R C H E S T R A    (without piano):

1.00 – 1.08

P I A N O     &    O R C H E S T R A:

11.43 – 11.51

Do these sections from Van Halen and Beethoven sound similar?  They are identical in terms of harmony and bass melody, and chord progression.  This intrigues me but probably very few other people, and I was even warned not to write this post.  Oh well.  I did.  I will not write posts like this often but I love the idea of parallels between music that at the surface should have little in common and I believe that hearing these parallels leads to a better understanding and appreciation of music.  I intentionally avoided explaining the elementary music theory and music theory terms and nouns above because I do not think an understanding of music theory is necessary to hear these specific parallels between Beethoven and Van Halen, and the education/explanation would take too long for a single post.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Here is the full orchestral score of Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 58.  Thrillingly to me and sadly to some, the printed musical scores Beethoven composed can be copied for free, i.e., they are in the public domain – one does not need to ask the copyright owner permission to use this music because the copyright term has ended.  No one gets paid when one downloads the scores to these excellent compositions.

One of my favorite and most used music website is IMSLP – the Petrucci Music Library.  It should be the first place one visits to study and download music.  (I intentionally left out some details in that last sentence.)