This is becoming a bit of a tradition for me, having started this as part of an activity for the MOOC we wrote. I have done this in 2014, 2015, 2016, and now 2017.
I love getting to the end of the year and giving myself an excuse to dig back through all the music that was released and pick some favourites to share. There were some incredible records released this year, but here are some highlights for me.
Please do feel free to join in by posting yours in the comments section below!
Continue reading My Top 5 Songs of 2017:
Last year, having spent a bit of time thinking about the way that people like to make lists of ‘top 5 records’ (read the original post here) I decided to compile a list of my top 5 songs of 2014. At this time of year I get more of an opportunity to actually sit back and enjoy listening to music and it is nice to look back over the songs that were released in the previous 12 months. So, the following is a list of the 5 tracks that I have enjoyed most in 2015. I’m not trying to convince anyone or to campaign for these songs in any way – they’re just my personal favourites from this year.
What were your favourites? Please feel free to comment below with your own top 5 list or even just the odd link to music that you have enjoyed from this year.
Continue reading My Top 5 Songs of 2015:
Earlier this year, I wrote a post about ‘top 5 records’ for this site (have a read here) which seemed to generate a lot of activity in the form of comments and discussion. At this time of year, I thought it would be fun to follow this up and compile a ‘top 5 songs of 2014’ list. So, the following is a list of the 5 tracks that I have enjoyed most this year. Again, as in the original post, I’m not trying to convince anyone or to campaign for these songs in any way – they’re just my personal favourites from 2014.
It would be great to hear what other people have to say, so please feel free to comment below with your list or even just music that you have enjoyed from this year. Continue reading My Top 5 Songs of 2014:
This post is based on a presentation that I gave at ‘Improvisation: Educational Perspectives’, a conference that we held at the University of Edinburgh in April, 2014.
It is very common for people to say to me on a gig or recording session: ‘play a sax solo…you know – like the the one on ‘Born to Run’ – or, ‘let’s do Baker Street’ (or even Careless Whisper, unfortunately). Similarly, I’ve had many occasions where my pupils have said things like – ‘show me how to do it like Maceo Parker‘ or ‘how can I make it sound more like [X, Y or Z player]?’. I am really interested by the idea that people, particularly in the realm of pop music, will not only learn to improvise by emulating those who they enjoy listening to and respect, but will in many cases also be asked in educational and professional contexts to do so and may be assessed or evaluated on the success of the emulation. So, in this post, I would like to explore the notion of improvisation in pop and rock music – clearly this is a huge topic but this is deliberate and I will try to write as generally as possible for the purposes of stimulating discussion. I should also note that, although a great deal of pop/rock music is improvised, (guitar strumming, keyboard fills, etc.) featured solos are inevitably of great interest. Continue reading ‘Just Like Clarence’
OK, if you are reading any of the posts on this site you are probably a bit of a music geek (compliment, not pejorative)! So, be honest – is there anyone who doesn’t (at least secretly) enjoy the ‘Top 5 Records’ game? If you’re not quite sure what I am referring to then have a quick look at this clip from the film ‘High Fidelity’ from 2000 in which a group of record store employees indulge in a round of the game (as they do throughout the film). Not only do they demonstrate how the game works but they also show, and caricature, a lot of the other interesting attitudes that surround the choices that people make when asked to list their top 5 records.
Continue reading Top 5 Records: