Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Reggae Polka

Given my Germanic heritage (okay Danish heritage for centuries until the Germans decided the border should move north!) I have seen several live polka bands over the years. Bob Marley in lederhosen playing an accordian was never captured on film but do give some thought to the blending of musical genres such as reggae and polka. Perhaps this is such an extreme example it is laughable but what about combining country western music with rap music?

Yes, this is a new genre of music now known as -- "hick-hop" -- primarily due to artists like Cowboy Troy, http://cowboytroy.com/, who is the opening act for country star Gretchen "I'm here for the party" Wilson. They are set to perform at the Xcel Center on November 27th in St. Paul, Minnesota which is an ideal opportunity for me to witness this new style of music.

The short newspaper article on Cowboy Troy in today's paper reminded me of an article I clipped for future reference in my "blog file" which explained the background of the "Music Genome Project" which I quote below;

On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever. Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony.

This is clearly an ambitious project given the range of music available in the world and the decentralized nature of musical technology which allows bands and single performers to record and market their music with great ease. Based on what I have read so far this genome project appears to be an ideal class project for high school and university students since it combines music, technology, and scientific study. The genome project offers us a promising model for creating new teaching methods especially for teaching courses such as -- history, geography, sociology, anthropology, and computer programming (given the database requirements of such a project) -- in a entirely new way utilizing the medium of music. School/university administrators and record company executives should consider working together on such an educational venture.

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