Monday, March 31, 2014

Accompaniment

In musical terms “accompaniment” refers to a musical part that supports or partners with a solo instrument, voice or group.

I’ve sung lots of solos and 99% of the time I have preferred to have some kind of accompaniment. 

An accompanist is one who comes along side of you and supports you in your activity.

I love it when I get to accompany Carolyn at one of her business events, and she likewise enjoys hanging out with me at my stuff.

I guess we could say an accompanist has your back.  They support you, they back you up. 

Certain foods sometimes need an accompaniment too.  A hamburger is just not a hamburger without the bun.  Neither is guacamole without some chips in most cases.

I like accompaniment.



P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time


Monday, March 24, 2014

Dotted Note

According to the WIKI, a dotted note is a note with a small dot written after it.  In modern practice the dot increases the duration of the basic note by half of its original value.

In life, that would be like taking a vitamin that extends your life by half again.  Wow!  I’ll take two please.

Got it?

Get it!

And now this …




P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time


Friday, March 21, 2014

Coda

Coda is an Italian word for “tail” and in music it primarily designates a section of the music that brings the piece to an end.

I've wished a few times that movies had a coda that I could execute right on the spot. 

And occasionally I wish for a “coda” button to push in church to end a boring monologue called a sermon.

And now, perhaps, you are wishing for a “coda” button of your own to end this blog. 

And with that …

Bye!

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chord

In musical terminology, a chord is any harmonic set of two or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. 

As a musician I love experimenting with chords and seeing how many interesting combinations I can muster.  A favorite vocal group who has mastered the art of vocal chord progressions is the group Singers Unlimited.

Chords speak of harmonic coordination.  Each note in the chord has a role to play in producing the color for that particular chord.

I suppose we could say a marriage is a chord involving two individuals who are supposed to be in harmonic sequence with each other in order to produce a pleasing relationship. 

One would think a government would desire to be in good chordal structure in order to operate effectively – at least we hope that is what our governments would think.  When they achieve that structure, I imagine some really lovely living would be produced in their country.  And it would most likely be in harmony.

I can dream, can’t I?
  
P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time


Friday, March 14, 2014

Let the Melody Dominate

The melody is everything in music.  There is always a dominate melody and it is supposed to be heard above all other parts.  Harmony is important, but not at the sake of the melody.

Balancing the two is the critical process.

So, what is your melody?  What is the most important thing you do?  What is your dominant strength, skill, talent or craft?

In whatever way you answer that question, the answer becomes your melody.  And all we can add is this … let your melody dominate.

LET            YOUR        MELODY           DOMINATE

The harmony will follow. 

Always, always let your melody dominate!
  
P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time


Monday, March 10, 2014

Master Score

I've had the joy of conducting a few orchestras in my lifetime.  Wrestling with a master score is an important part of that whole experience, for on the master score you will find every note, every rest, and every dynamic mark that is needed to make the music come alive and sound like it is supposed to sound.  I love master scores.

Today there is a huge emphasis on having a dream, a plan, a goal for one’s life and creating a visualization chart so you can picture your goals and dreams.  Those tools become, in essence, a master score.

The most successful enterprises all got their start from some kind of master score.  The seeds of the original idea were put down on paper or on a computer somewhere, and then embellished along the way. 

Projects will morph, change, expand, grow small, but they still follow kind of master score.

The master score simply tells us what is supposed to happen and as we follow along it will show what is to come next, how many, how loud or soft and when to stop and start.

I like master scores.

They perpetuate the music of life.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time


Friday, March 7, 2014

Legato

“Legato” is a musical term indicating the notes are to be played or sung smoothly and connected as opposed to choppy and detached.

“Legato” technique is required for slurred performance, but “legato” does not forbid re-articulation. 

You probably want the meringue on your lemon pie to be legato as opposed to the opposite.  I love a good lemon pie with smooth meringue. 

Note this – when a person uses slurred speech, he is not being “legato” in his speech.  He is probably under the influence of something and it’s not great music.

Just sayin’.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time


Monday, March 3, 2014

Largo

In musical terms “largo” means ‘in a slow manner with dignity’.  Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a wonderful example of ‘largo’ music.

I especially like the ‘with dignity’ part of this definition. 

How many moments have you had to demonstrate dignity in your lifetime?

Wedding ceremony
A funeral
A graduation ceremony

For those ‘largo’ moments, I believe the idea is to use this experience as a sobering and reflective moment to savor what is happening.  It is a subdued celebration – and that is not a contradiction of terms.
  
P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time