Homework Question on Creative Musical Expressions
IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENT TWO RESPONSES ARE REQUIRED – one to the prompt, one to a classmate’s response.
Part 1: 70% portion of the paper needs to be written about below.
- My experience with an expressed idea of mine being “borrowed” is relatable to the Led Zeppelin article in that it has to do with creative musical expression and giving credit where credit is due. When I was in my junior year of high school I was in a band. At that point in our lives, we had been playing music together for about two years and felt that we were at a point where we were comfortable enough to record our music and expand our base of listeners by putting it on the internet. Of course since we were all still in high school, we had no money for any legitimate studio time, so we decide to search craigslist. We stumbled upon a guy who was around our age and lived in our area who was willing to do some cheap at-home recording. We figured we’d give it a shot. This guy was inexperienced and the recording was terrible to say the least. We decided not to release what we recorded publically and to focus our sites on playing more gigs to raise more recording money. A few months go by when I stumble across the guy’s facebook to find a link to some new music he created. To my surprise, the songs he composed were strikingly similar to ours. The worst part was, the quality of his recordings were much better than the ones he made for us. This infuriated me and my bandmates because we felt robbed of the opportunity to release this music for the first time to the public. This guy wasn’t making any money off of our music, but at the time, being high schoolers, seeing people post comments about how much they liked it was enough to make us feel robbed. It felt so wrong to have spent all that time working on our music just to have someone else take it, change it a little, and call it his. At the time, there really wasn’t much we could do about it, he blocked us on social media and we didn’t ever run into him again. Eventually, we took it as a sign to just drop our old music all together and start fresh with new ideas. I think you’re asking this question in relation to the Led Zeppelin case because it deals with the concept of credit where credit is due. Personally, I do not think the band ‘Spirit” is due any credit for the success of “Stairway to Heaven”. Both songs take as a whole are not similar enough. I believe that this case against Led Zeppelin is an attempt to undermine the credibility of a talented and successful group of individuals. Perhaps Led Zeppelin was inspired by Spirit’s use of folky sounding guitar since they shared bills together. However, I feel Jimmy Paige and Robert Plant are the ones that I can relate to with my experience. So much of the 8min (10 min live sometimes) that is “Stairway to Heaven”, is nothing like “Taurus”. Why should an artist have the credibility of an entire song questioned if part of it sounds similar? “Taurus” is free of the legendary guitar solos and transitions of Jimmy Paige, the broad vocal range of Robert Plant, and the game changing drumming of John Bonham. “Taurus” is simply a guitar ballad that Stairway to Heaven’s intro sounds similar too. 2) The pair of songs I decided to choose was Take 5 by Dave Brubeck and The New York Ska Jazz ensemble. Although these songs are essentially the same song, they are drastically different renditions of the song. The Dave Brubeck version definitely has the more “original” feel because its played in the swing jazz genre that was intended for it. The New York Ska-Jazz ensemble takes the song in a reggae/ska direction while preserving some of the jazz feeling with the brass and woodwind instruments. In the Dave Brubeck composition, we hear a smooth yet raspy saxophone solo to the tune of soft rhythmic piano and a swing beat on the ride cymbal. From there, the song transitions into a drum solo in which the drummer rides of wave of different dynamics by switching between loud to soft drumming. The New York Ska-Jazz ensemble takes the song in a different direction by changing the swing aspect of it to that of a reggae song with its constant drum beat, organs/synthesizers, and guitar solos. The NY ensemble does keep some of the jazz elements, especially with the saxophone solo beginning at around 2:40, but is uniquely mixing these jazz elements with reggae/ska trademarks like the organ and electric guitar in the background. The Sax and guitar combination they do throughout also adds a rock/blues element to the song, resulting in an easy listening fusion of different genres complementing each other. I personally like the Dave Brubeck version better, because I am a huge fan of old jazz and more specifically, jazz drumming. However, both artists produce very honest renditions of the song by speaking beautifully with different instruments saying different things. While Dave Brubeck was probably targeting the mainstream audience of the time, the New York Ska-Jazz ensemble is attempting to modernize the song by adding modern components of different genres of music. In my opinion, both songs have an honest musical intent.
Part 2:30% portion of the paper needs to be written for peer review.
Homework Answer on Creative Musical Expression
From experience, crediting my team members resulted to team cohesion and trust, which promoted more partnership and creativity even though we needed not progress with our musical adventure. Similar to Zeppelin, he progressed to attract bigger audiences in the midst of much criticism in his early days. His inner strength was derived from appreciating his efforts and creativity other than relying on the contributions of other people.
The band spirit is indeed unworthy of the credit for the success of ‘Stairway to heaven’ although the songs are quite similar. Even though Zeppelin was inspired by the use of folksy sounding guitar, the case against him is actually an attempt to undermine his creativity. Conversely, I can closely relate my experience to that of Jimmy Paige and Robert Plant. The eight minutes’ live presentation of the song ‘stairway to heaven’ is incomparable to ‘Taurus’ therefore, the artist cannot be given overvalued credibility of the entire song even if some of its portions are similar.
The music ‘Taurus’ is free of legendary guitar solos, transitions of Jimmy Paige, the broad vocal range of Robert Plant, and the game changing drumming of John Bonham. Similarly, Dave Brubeck is to carry the day as his music is original and greatly soothes through its jazz switch from in drumming.