Lest We Forget Our Roots

“The entire history of Western music can be characterized as the gradual acceptance of dissonant intervals.  In the middle Ages, writing a tritone in a piece of church music could get you excommunicated, or worse.”

–Mark Levine, “The Jazz Theory Book”

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Music is a language

Pianist Tyrone Jackson quoting Ellis Marsalis in an interview by Jon Ross

“One thing he said was that I should transcribe everything. Music is a language, and the first words you learn how to speak are by imitation. A child learning how to speak may say dog, and then he’ll point to a cat and say dog, and you say no, that’s a cat. As you get older and you get more fluent with the language, you might not want to say dog, you may want to be a little more eloquent and say canine. If you want to speak on another level, you might call it a dawg. That’s non-standard, but it communicates to a different kind of person. That’s how music is. You can play as sophisticated as you want to play, you can play as dirty, or you can play somewhere in between.

Everybody can’t say the same thing the same way all the time.”

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