Welcome to Southwest Florida Real Estate

Posts tagged ‘Music’

Music About Dance

While we all know that Jazz is as much a style of music as it is a style of dance, many people may not realize the importance that dance has played in music. There are many songs out there that mention the importance of dancing and yet we as a society seem to have forgotten the importance or limited that importance to a certain age group. Once we age it seems that we forget not only how to dance but also the intrinsic importance of dancing as well.

“I Hope You Dance” is only one of many songs that relate the important role that dancing plays in feeding the human soul. If one thing in life is important for all, that one thing would be to dance whenever the opportunity arises. You never know when you will run out of opportunities to dance or find that you’ve squandered so many of them away. Take them as they come and your life will be filled with much greater joy than you may ever realize. Despite many other songs out there that may convey the message, there are very few that say it more concisely than this particular song. “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you’ll dance”.

Garth Brooks is another musician that had an excellent commentary on dance. His song “The Dance” chronicles not necessarily the importance of dancing but of participating. Given the choice, many who have lost their lives in some risky endeavor would more than likely tell those left behind that they would not have traded the dance for one more breath. The lyrics to this song are somewhat haunting “I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance”.

Believe it or not all good songs that mention dance do not happen to be country songs. These honestly happen to be, in my opinion, the most poignant. Other great songs about dance include the song “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie. The lyrics to this song include the stanza “Let’s dance for fear tonight is all”. The truth of the matter is that you never know and dancing is a great way to celebrate living.

Music and dance for years have gone hand in hand and will continue to do so long after we’ve left this earth. At least that would be the hope. I would hate to see what a world without dance would be like. It would be like having children without laughter and that would be a sad world in which to live. If you want to keep your children dancing then you must teach them to dance. Teach them that it is okay to dance and be silly around the house. That it is okay to dance their way through their chores (hey if it makes them smile while taking out the trash I say go for it!).  Teach them that dancing is a great way to express joy and that laughter is the best thing to follow their dance.

Native Americans have a long and noble heritage when it comes to dance. They let their dreams beat out the heartbeat of Mother Earth and danced in companionship with nature. They danced for joy and sorrow, war, peace, and praise. I can think of no better example to follow when it comes to dance.

Advertisements

Jazz as Dance

While few people understand the true origins of Jazz as a music form, fewer people still understand the origins of jazz as a style of dance. Jazz is very much a fatherless child. More than that however, jazz as music and dance seem to have many mothers despite the fact that they have no father. By this I mean that there are many influences to this colorful form of music and dance though no one influence is notable enough in the new creation to be considered the ‘father’ or ‘mother’ for that matter of jazz.

Though jazz has many supposed birth places it really only has one true home and that home would be New Orleans. Much like the music this city is famous for, New Orleans is a city without a father too. New Orleans was a melting pot in the truest sense of the word before we had any real clue what it meant to be a melting pot. From the influences of the French, Spanish, German, English, and of course the population of former slaves and black free men and women, New Orleans was the perfect place for this blended and mixed style of music and dance to call home.

It is no wonder that jazz dance emerged as the result of jazz music. There are simply no adequate dance steps for the delightful music we have come to know over the years as jazz. For this reason something new and a little bit off the main path was needed in order to keep time and pace with the new music that was emerging.

As a style of dance, jazz was much more ‘brazen’ than dances in the past had been and in some circles considered to be singly unseemly. Polite society certainly had no interest in this particular form of dance. The good news for those who enjoyed this style of dance is that there were plenty of places in which jazz, as a form of dance and music, was readily embraced. You had to go off the beaten path a little in order to find it but for many it was well worth the effort.

Jazz music and dance was popular for quite a while and then seemed to go underground except in cities such as Memphis, New Orleans, Kansas City, and St. Louis where it was an ingrained part of the history and culture. We have seen a reemergence of this once popular style of music and dance in recent years however with some notable musicians bringing back the swing and ‘big band’ sound that went hand in hand with jazz as both a music form and a style of dance.

You should understand however, that when it comes to jazz dance, much like the music, there are no definitive rules that you must follow in order for it to be jazz. There are no rigid dance steps that must be adhered to for the ‘jazz’ effect. Jazz dance is often confused as ‘tap dance’ because tap music was often set to jazz music. It is important however to realize that jazz isn’t limited to tap dance and that other styles of dance fall under the rather large umbrella of ‘jazz dance’.

Some of the more common jazz dances include: Black Bottom, Boogie Woogie, the Cakewalk, the Charleston, the Jitterbug, the Lindy Hop, and swing dancing. Each of these styles of dance seems to be making a rather remarkable comeback in popularity over the course of the last two decades and are very interesting to watch, as well as in which to participate should you ever have the opportunity.

If you have considered jazz dance lessons for you or your children, I hope you will decide to indulge. Not only is the music for this type of dance excellent and uplifting but also the style of dance in and of itself is quite fun and enjoyable. There are very few styles of dance that can compete when it comes to allowing artistic license, going with the flow, and simply dancing for the sheer joy of dancing. As an art form and as a form of entertainment jazz music and dance are tops in my book.

Theater Arts – History of Opera

 In the 1600s Opera started to flourish in Italy. French opera was popular for adding the element of dancing to opera other than the already existing elements such as singing and music. In Italian, opera means works and in Latin it means the plural of labor. This means that there can be duet, trio, and group singing. It also utilizes various aspects of the spoken theater, like costume and backdrop.

Greek were the first known theater artists especially people from Athens. Their theater plays included all the elements like acting, dialogues, singing, scene, dancing, chorus and music. This art was cultivated by different civilizations having few or all the elements. One of them was the opera. The western classical theater arts which involves conveyance through singing and dancing and not through dialogues, is known as Opera. Composition by Jacopo Peri, Dafne, was written in 1597 and was the first known composition specifically meant for opera although it was inspired by Greek theater arts, but it no longer exists. Euridice composition by Peri written in 1600s was the first recorded composition which is available till this date.

The performances are most of the times accompanied by chorus and instrumental music. Libretto is the word in opera and there have been great composers who have written famous libretti like Richard Wagner. Handel was the famous German composer who wrote for theaters in England. Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte are famous for the great musical works which were played during the opera performances.

There are two types of singing in opera. The first is recitative in which the story is being narrated in a non-melodies style and the second is aria, where the performers were more melodious. Chorus is used as a commentator and sometimes as a narrator. Subcategories of recitative are secco or dry recitative and Accompagnato or Stromentato in which orchestra accompanies the performance.  Opera can be further classified as singspiel, operetta, semi-opera and opera comique. In these types of opera, dialogues are used on the contrary, instead of recitative. Ariosto too is replaced by semi-melodic passages.

Opera started with court performances and then shifted to royal theaters. In 1637 this performance was open to public when the idea of opera festival in Venice was brought up by Monteverdi. It was then known as Baroque opera which had a mixture of both the tragic and comic elements along with some education. This started a reform which was promoted by Venice’s Arcadian Academy. Metastasio was a part of this academy and his libretti became famous till the end of the eighteenth century in Italian opera. And this mixed with baroque opera was known as opera buffa.

The characteristic of Opera Seria is that it had a high tone along with secco kind of recitative. It was greatly liked due to it highly stylized form and the singers at that time were very popular and Opera Seria was in great demand all over Europe except France. The hero had the castrato voice such as Farinelli and Senesino and the heroines had the soprano’s voice such as Faustina Bordoni. Alessandro Scarlatti, Porpora and Vivaldi were some of the great Opera Seria composers. 

But Opera Seria had few loopholes. It concentrated more on drama and left music, singing and ballet behind.  It was Francesco Algarotti who brought all this elements back with his composition Essay on the Opera. He was then followed by other great composers such as Niccolo Jommelli, Tommaso Traetta and the most successful, Gluck. He used rich orchestra and vocal lines and brought a reform in Opera Seria.

Trying out for American Idol

As everyone knows American Idol is a television program that has singers competing with each other to win the coveted title of American Idol. The show was conceptualized on the lines of Pop Idol from U.K. Even now American Idol is produce by U.K. producers Ken Warwick and Simon Fuller who also produced Pop Idol. The first ever episode of American Idol debuted on June 11, 2002 with its first season attracting a lot of enthusiasm around the country and record television viewers. The show aims to discover the best young singing talent in the country through a nationwide search for the singers. The search is usually performed in six to seven cities every season. The candidates are filtered into few hundreds from thousands. The contestants are further filtered in Hollywood round and ultimately 24 contestants go to the semifinals of which 12 are males and 12 females. The contestants are further reduced to 12 in the final round. From there on a singer is eliminated from bottom three contestants each week until the last episode when only two singers remain from which the winner and the runner-up are selected.

Many youngsters dream about getting a break in American Idol and also try hard to get there. Some fail and some come out with flying colors. But we should realize there can be only winner at the end the day and everyone performing in the program cannot be an American Idol. Apart from the singing talent one also need to have the personality to win the competition. In addition to having a beautiful voice you need to have the rhythm and command over different tunes. Knowing how to dance along with singing is also a huge advantage over others who can’t dance.

If you are planning to audition for American Idol do not forget to read and if possible memorize the information provided on fox television’s idol website. There are a lot of frequently asked questions and answers on this website. You can clear many misconceptions you have by reading the information provided. The eligibility criterion to get into the competition is that you should be a citizen or permanent resident of the country and you should be between the ages of 16 and 29.

Some of the previous winners of the American Idol gives an advise to the aspiring contestants to really put everything you can into the song you are singing. You should feel the lyrics when you are singing a song and the expressions should show on your face. Also they advise rehearse the songs you choose over and over again until you perfect it and sing the same song in front of the judges with full confidence and capture their attention and imagination and leave them wanting to hear more from you. Remember focus you attention on getting though the current round and each time you make it into next round you have an extra chance to show your talent and you are that much closer to the crown.

Also remember you may be asked about your role models. Try to come up with two or three names. And how you describe them? You should fine tune your verbiage and if possible try to come up with some interesting words to describe those personalities but only if you are comfortable, do no use it if you feel that you will end up getting embarrassed. Also be prepared to tell about yourself concisely. Part of the job is to dress well, get fashionable if possible but never under dressed. Also be honest, respectful and truthful to the judges. It is also seen that the judges often like contestants who dedicate songs to their friends or family members. Also taking few voice-training classes greatly increases the chances of making it into American Idol. If one follows the tips discussed above there should be no stopping you in landing on the sets of American Idol and who knows you might be the next American Idol.