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When you first made music?

WyoWoman 15 Aug 99 - 09:56 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 99 - 10:10 PM
Andres Magre 15 Aug 99 - 11:09 PM
CarlZen 16 Aug 99 - 12:39 AM
Pelrad 16 Aug 99 - 12:55 AM
Sourdough 16 Aug 99 - 01:20 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Aug 99 - 05:18 AM
Ana 16 Aug 99 - 06:03 AM
Rita64 16 Aug 99 - 06:09 AM
teller 16 Aug 99 - 10:02 AM
WyoWoman 16 Aug 99 - 11:41 AM
black walnut 16 Aug 99 - 11:48 AM
Margo 16 Aug 99 - 12:01 PM
Sourdough 16 Aug 99 - 01:47 PM
Allan C. 16 Aug 99 - 03:08 PM
WyoWoman 16 Aug 99 - 06:37 PM
Felipa 16 Aug 99 - 06:49 PM
Sir 16 Aug 99 - 07:59 PM
Jeri 16 Aug 99 - 08:36 PM
Rick Fielding 17 Aug 99 - 01:31 AM
Bugsy 17 Aug 99 - 01:49 AM
Banjoman_CO 17 Aug 99 - 01:56 AM
WyoWoman 17 Aug 99 - 04:01 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Aug 99 - 09:39 AM
WyoWoman 17 Aug 99 - 10:27 AM
Laura Babberl 22 Aug 99 - 10:00 AM
JedMarum 22 Aug 99 - 11:19 AM
Neil Lowe 23 Aug 99 - 11:50 AM
Joe Offer 23 Aug 99 - 12:39 PM
WyoWoman 24 Aug 99 - 12:46 AM
joeler 24 Aug 99 - 07:18 PM
Sourdough 26 Jan 00 - 02:02 PM
Amos 26 Jan 00 - 02:25 PM
Mbo 26 Jan 00 - 02:40 PM
Rana 26 Jan 00 - 03:09 PM
kendall 26 Jan 00 - 03:24 PM
kendall 26 Jan 00 - 03:26 PM
JamesJim 26 Jan 00 - 03:34 PM
WyoWoman 27 Jan 00 - 12:17 AM
JenEllen 27 Jan 00 - 12:18 AM
CBjames 27 Jan 00 - 01:19 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 Jan 00 - 04:22 AM
black walnut 27 Jan 00 - 11:23 AM
Sourdough 28 Jan 00 - 01:05 AM
GUEST,rdpayne@cal.net 28 Jan 00 - 01:24 AM
Sourdough 28 Jan 00 - 01:30 AM
Owlkat 28 Jan 00 - 01:56 AM
GUEST,Bobby 29 Jan 00 - 02:21 AM
Sourdough 30 Jan 00 - 01:28 AM
GUEST,Terry 30 Jan 00 - 02:33 AM
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Subject: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 09:56 PM

Folks,

I was talking on another thread today about the amazing moment I had last week when my weeks and weeks of noodling around on the guitar, 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, finally resulted in something that sounded like music. IT was amazing, after a lifetime of being guitar-player-dependent, and has opened up a whole new possibility for me in terms of being able to even consider someday (a long way away, no doubt, given my practice time) when I might be able actually accompany myself.

But it started me thinking of when the music actually begins, when what we've been doing becomes music and not mere notes. I was thinking of a few times when I've been singing, or singing with someone and suddenly, it becomes something completely *other* than it had been, something much more of spirit than of simply notes. THAT's what I consider music, and it's simply sublime. I know for sure, after having lived without music for some time, that I have to have those moments, or I die.

What about you? What are some of your memories of making music? Maybe the first time you became aware of that magic, sometime when the harmony was so beautiful, or the energy so spectacular that it made the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up?

WW


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 10:10 PM

pretty late, I'm afraid...though I COULDN'T sing till I found folk music at about age 20-21 and decided I didn't care anymore..*grin*..played recorder (still little singing)with folkies till I found the autoharp and HAD to try..was totally intimidated by guitars due to a friend who jokingly showed me a barred F chord and told me to practice THAT....never forgave him!


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Andres Magre
Date: 15 Aug 99 - 11:09 PM

I was in primary school when I first heared some of my mates doing elementary folk (argentine) music, and was delighted because this was proof that musicians not only existed at the radio and TV (B&W), and playing an instru- ment was not necessarily that torture that some other little schoolmates suffered because their parents forced them to study. More delightful was the discovery that my own voice could easily be coupled to the vibrations of the guitar at my very chest. I think the guitar (plain acoustic, of course) is the best instrument to encourage a small kid to sing and play, because of this intimacy. It rides you through the right notes, vibrates at your body, helps you to feel the music. Other instruments will not have the same effect. Although the violin and cello and harp vibrate close to your body, they are not usually played as a self-accompaniment. Many years after, my main musical activity is oratorio, lied and some opera, in a choral group and ocassional solos, however I never forgot that love relationship with the guitar. Best regards - escamillo@ciudad.com.ar


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: CarlZen
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 12:39 AM

WW- I can't recall the first time I had that awareness, but I do know the feeling of playing. The BEST is when there are two or more musicians together in that same ethereal, magical state transceding not just everyday life but the everyday "music" you make at practice and other times playing. I think that is part of what keeps a lot of us at it. Perhaps there is a certain tonal harmony that stimulates some part of our consciousness and takes over. I can never remember being in that state and actually thinking about "I go to the e minor chord, then to the..." It all just seems to be there.

As to when it first occurred, I'd like to think that some of the times when I was a kid and was singing with the family or with others in the course of play, perhaps the same thing was going on. Or maybe childhood is the natural state when we are in that realm, and music can, at times transport us there again. Maybe that's why, in spite of all the hard work that goes into making music, it is still referred to as "playing music"?


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Pelrad
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 12:55 AM

Having grown up with musician parents, I really don't remember my first awareness of music. But I've had so many of those magical moments, and they are among my favorite memories.

Awaking in the middle of the night to hear Jim Mageean and Johnny Collins singing in my living room; that was amazing. (I was ten and had the flu; it was a rather otherworldly experience)

The first time I heard a bombarde and knew I HAD to have one. I felt like a rat following the pied piper; I followed the sound until I found what was making it, then harrassed the player into teaching me to play and telling me where I could buy one.

The time I spent an hour in a room with a harpist (the nerdiest guy in high school), listening to him tune and practice his harp. What a magical time.

But to top it all, the time I participated in the All-Eastern Chorus and discovered 400 other people who walked around singing to themselves all day and night long. Who sang in the elevators, on the streets, hanging out of hotel windows at 2am...who barely ate because they couldn't sing while they ate. Now that was amazing.

Outside of choral groups, I haven't "clicked" while singing with many others, mostly due to lack of opportunity. It's a big empty space waiting to be filled.


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Subject: First love, a Vespa, and Pete Seeger
From: Sourdough
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 01:20 AM

In a way, my first attempt at music and my love of motorized two wheeling are intertwined. My Vespa and I had a short but intense relationship. I bought it new when I was eighteen. I rode it around New Haven, Connecticut for about four or five months before I began a job in North Adams, Massachusetts at a summer camp. The 125cc machine changed my life in a couple of ways. I used to drive it, on my days off, back to New Haven to visit my first love, an exotic creature named Donia Adzima. Donia was a graduate student at the School of Music. She dressed all in black and with her fair complexion and her long black hair, she was a striking figure. On stage, her presence was formidable and her voice was so sweet and clear that my heart would rise slowly in my throat until I could hardly breathe. I was terribly in love with her.

After work, if I had the following two days off, I would head for New Haven. As the little Vespa hummed across the Pioneer Valley, along Cold River, and down through the Connecticut Valley, my thoughts would already be in New Haven, thinking of how happy I was going to be when I saw her. Much of the trip was after dark and in my exhilaration I felt as though I was seated on that beam of light spraying out from the center of the scooter's handlebars. It was like traveling on a magic carpet of sorts. I would get aboard it in North Adams, turn it up to full throttle and then sit on it, patiently, until it had turned the world enough that New Haven's streets rolled underneath the wheels.

Coming down long grades, I used to open the little engine up to its top speed and watch the tiny speedometer creep upward, 45, 50, 55, 60, 61, 62.... I had been doing this for a long while before I realized that the strange sensation of smoothness that seemed to take over at speeds above fifty-five or so was the little scooter rising up on its diminutive shock absorberss. The pan, the single piece of pressed steel that formed the shield in front of the rider's legs as well as the floorboards, at high speeds acted like an airfoil. An unexpected cross draft or the need for a sudden turn would have flipped me into a fearful accident. After all, at that time helmets were rare so I rode bare headed, or on cold evenings, wearing a knitted watch cap. I had no idea of how to dress to avoid road rash.

One chilly evening, I arrived in New Haven and went, as usual, to the home of one of Donia's friends named Cornelia Schwartz. Cornelia was a hefty figure, round of face and wide of hip. She dressed in a manner that seemed to suit her immensely. She wore peasant dresses with wide belts. Everything about her wardrobe was colorful, reds, yellows, bright greens. However, it was her home that was by far the more intriguing. It was a wood frame house on the edge of the Yale campus. The ceilings, not high to begin with, were almost obscured by literally scores of puppet heads she had made from a composite material, I think it was plastic wood. The heads were never painted, the ynever had hair added nor were they ever attached to bodies. They just hung upside down from the ceiling making it necessary to walk through the house with your own head cocked to the side to avoid hitting them. I never learned why she made them. It may have been some sort of compulsion because she showed no other interest in puppetry that I remember.

On that particular evening, I arrived at Cornelia's home expecting to find Donia waiting. Instead, when I walked in out of the cold air and began peeling off layers of clothing, Cornelia looked very startled. "What are you doing here? Were you invited to the wedding?"

That, literally, was my first clue that all was not well in my relationship with Donia. On the next day, she was to marry a biologist who was working or soon would be working at the Woods Hole Institution on Cape Cod.

I spent the night sitting up alone in Cornelia's kitchen feeling very sorry for myself. After a few hours of that, I noticed a record album lying on the table next to the hi-fi phonograph. It was Pete Seeger's Folk Singers Guitar Guide. Grateful for the chance to divert my thoughts from the painful ones concerning Donia, I took a guitar that was sitting on the sofa and began teaching myself how to play. I remember that the Seeger method was to begin by teaching the key of D. I learned the D chord, then the A7th chord and well before dawn, I had learned the G chord. Pete Seeger assured me that I was now able to play thousands of songs. I did discover that I was able to play "I Gave my Love a Cherry" and "The Water is Wide". They were sentimental and bathetic enough to allow me to express my heart full of emotions that evening and the pain in my tender fingertips seemed to be being deducted from the pain in my chest. I was learning what a wonderful companion home made music could be.

Starting that night, music, guitar, and then autoharp, harmonicas, dulcimer and 12-string have been a major part of my life. Music was a parting gift from Donia.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 05:18 AM

The was always a piano in my parent's house and I've no real memory of when I first managed to get a tune of some sort out of it but the first memory that sticks in my mind was being given a harmonica as a present when I was about 9 years old. I woke up early in the morning (say 5 oclock) and opened the present and tried to work out how to play it. I can't remember what the tunes were but by the time my parents got up, I was proudly able to play them a few.

The next one I remember came just before I was to start secondary school. My brother had been given a toy ukelele which somebody tuned and lent me a book on how to play it. Within a couple of days I had learned all the chords in the book so my parents bought me a guitar for my birthday.

I wish I still could pick things up that quickly but it seems to get harder as you get older. I also wish that I'd have known of jig's, reels etc at that time as I spent too many years just playing chords to songs like the Wild Rover. I had to wait until I was 27 to start playing the tenor banjo which is now my main instrument (I rarely play anything else) but one way or other music has given me pleasure for as long as I can remember.

Jon


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Ana
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 06:03 AM

I was just 4 years old, and in a foster home. I remember standing on my pink candlewick bedspread covered bed, and singing (in my sweetest possible voice designed to melt hearts) a self composed song about Jesus loving me (aaah) because I was sure somebody did!. Unfortunately it was a bit like the sky falling on Chickenlittle's head, because an unexpected hairbrush came crashing down (oops). My hosts obviously didn't appreciate my middle-of-the-night contribution, and the ensuing chorus from myself was a payment they bought upon themselves. Needless to say, today I am an agnostic, normally intact, and reclaiming the sweet sounds.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Rita64
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 06:09 AM

Dance class at age 7 in lurid pink lycra listening to the tones the Village People doing "The Milkshake" and singing tunefully, giggling and performing feats of contortion that a young, elastic body can only achieve - all at the same time. I realised I was destined for the stage.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: teller
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 10:02 AM

So long ago that it's difficult remember - although I DO recall the first guitar I ever bought.....two quid from a school friend who was desperate for the money to take his new amour to the flicks!! But the feeling of joining with others, now THAT'S a different matter! Last time ? Ten days ago at the folk club when six voices were raised in wonderful harmony, singing 'Blackleg Miner'. Exquisite, even though I do say so myself...and I never tire of rediscovering that feeling. Teller.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 11:41 AM

I hold in my heart memories of perfect moments, strung together like pearls. Many of these moments involve music, so much so that I can't believe I ever let myself get away from music, ever let it out of my life, let it be silenced in me. But I did, for years and years.

I remember the first time I ever sang in front of people, when I was in the fourth grade and we were supposed to do show and tell and I forgot to bring anything, so I just stood in this circle of my classmates and sang "Catch a Falling Star." I went unconscious, in the way CarlZen mentioned above, and 'came to' at song's end to see the other children staring open-mouthed at me. For a minute I thought I had really messed up, because I had no real remembrance of even singing most of the song. Then the moment broke and they were all smiles and applause. I remember the rush of relief and pleasure, knowing I had NAILED it! And that's still the experience I have, performing. It isn't about their admiration, it's about having been the conduit for something *just right* and for not having gotten in the way of the music. Does that make any sense?

So tonight, I sing for the first time to a group of strangers here in Wyoming -- haven't performed here since I moved from New Mexico three years ago. It's my 'coming out' party. I'll be thinking of y'all and wishing you were out there sending me mental 'thumbs-ups' while I'm singing.

WW


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: black walnut
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 11:48 AM

where are you mr. fielding? i thought you'd have jumped right into this one!

(i'll submit my response when life is a tad less frantic)

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Margo
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 12:01 PM

I've been singing as long as I can remember. We used to sing in the car, my brothers and sisters and I. I have been told that I would cry when someone would sing out of key, though I don't remember that.

Singing with the records, singing with the choir, singing at home with the guitar. My dad bought the family a guitar when we were kids, a guild f-30. I have it today, and it's just right for me!

Margarita


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Subject: Wyo Woman's String of Pearls
From: Sourdough
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 01:47 PM

Yours is a wonderful description of a "peak experience". Those moments change lives. Once you know what one feels like, you search for more. Your very fortunate to have found a way you can repeat it. I think it is the search for moments like that, to repeat them, that makes some people devote their lives to a process; painting, singing, acting, dancing, writing, even if it means sacrificing things that others hold precious such as family, security.

You are extrememly lucky, I think, to be in such close contact with what gives you that sort of transcendent rush. I hope that your "coming out" performance provides you with yet another.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Allan C.
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 03:08 PM

WW, you can bet your last leaf of spinach we will be sending you every form of positive thought as you make your Wyoming debut. I just wish we could all be there in person. Then maybe we could have a "sing" afterwards.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 06:37 PM

I completely agree. Jamming afterwards would make it an absolutely stunning moment. Shy of that, I'll accept your good vibes and keep you all in my heart!

ww


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Felipa
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 06:49 PM

see also: what got you started?

'Your first time; be honest' (it's about singing, May 99) and a thread about the First Time playing in public are also related.
Among many influences on my musical interests I would have to cite my parents, a teacher named Fern Olsen, and singer Tommy Makem.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sir
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 07:59 PM

My first real good experience with music, aside from listening to my dad sing as we traveled in the car, was beginning band. In late elementary school I had few friends and was considered an oalf by my classmates and by my teacher. A big kid without brains or talent. Then came beginning band and I was assigned the trombone. Kids with long arms get to play trombone. My mother encouraged me and even though we lived in poverty she made sure I had private lessons. I started off sounding as bad as any beginner playing "Lightly Row" and "Abide With Me" but I did practice and even the kids who didn't like me acknowleged that I was the best in the class. I'm not a world class trombonist now, though I still play all kinds of music on all kinds of instruments, but being good at music made a difference in a big, insecure oalf. I didn't have to measure up to everyone elses expectations of failure. The encouragement of my mother and my band director and my own willingness to work made music the avenue of my self appreciation.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 99 - 08:36 PM

Music was always in my life, but the first time it felt like magic was when the teacher of my high school folk culture class took a bunch of us seniors to a festival. We all went to the party afterward, and there was a lot of acapella singing. I remember the air felt like it was vibrating from the harmony, and my head vibrated when I joined in, and it felt like I was connected to everyone in the room. I play fiddle and love lots of music, but I'm absolutlely hooked on being in a group of folks singing harmony to make the rafters ring.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 01:31 AM

At 14..confused teenager. Loved baseball, hated school. too shy to ask any girl out. Saw Pete Seeger live at Her Majesty's Theatre in Montreal. LIFE CHANGED! Learned guitar, banjo and mandolin. Still loved baseball, loathed school, found out that even shy guys who could sing "Barbry Ellen" and "Come all Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" could get dates! Still can't think of a better thing to do with your life. Not ONE regret!

Rick


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Bugsy
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 01:49 AM

I was 4 years old (1952) and singing in an open mike competition in the "Wintergardens" on Ramsgate seafront. The song was "Too Young" I have a photo of me standing there in my corduroy suit and beret with the MC holding the mike for me. A woman sitting in the 3rd row remarked to the lady sitting next to her "That's not a little boy, that's a midget!" Unfortunately for her the lady sitting next to her was my grandmother who not only gave her the edge of her tongue but something more substantial!

Oh by the way I won the contest, and have never been the same since.

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Banjoman_CO
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 01:56 AM

WyoWoman: Best of luck on you debut. I am sending all the good wishes and thoughts that I can think of. Just go and 'knock 'em dead'. Wish I could be there. Talk to you later.

Fred


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 04:01 AM

Turned out just fine. Thanks for your support!!!! Wish you all could've been there.

xo/ww


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 09:39 AM

I have just been reading through this thread agian and I read a couple of comments that got me thinking again.

One involved joining in. The session environmet is my favourite and to me, every time you get a bunch of musicans playing well together and really enjoying the music, it is a completely new and fantastic exerience - they are all different to me.

The other was a comment about debuts. My first experience of playing in public occured as a result of a few friends of mine dragging me up on stage during a folk night on a New Years Eve. A drunk in the audience decided he didn't like my playing and I ended up being dragged of stage (together with the guitar I had borrowed) by him. At the time, I (wrongly) blamed my musical ability as being the reason and it took me a good couple of years to feel confident about doing a floor spot in a folk club again.

Jon


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 17 Aug 99 - 10:27 AM

God, Jon, that would be pretty horrible! Kind of hard NOT to take something like that personally!

Glad you got over it!

WW


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Laura Babberl
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 10:00 AM

There are so many, it's hard to remember. Probably the first was the old pump organ we had growing up. I was 4 years old and too little to reach the pedals. I would get down on my hands and knees and pump up the organ by hand and then climb up on the bench and plunk out "The Green Beret". By age 8, I had my very own portable chord organ. My mom still has pictures of me with that chord organ (some kids have security blankets) covered head to toe w/ chicken pox. My first guitar arrived around the age of 9. It was a big old Sears special. Anymore, it seems as if my musical genius comes in spurts. I remember not too long ago, I purchased a banjo determined to finally learn the instrument. I seemed to be doomed to just simply playing from tabs when all of a sudden, the song "Wreck of the Old 97" came to me. I was so excited- thought I think I'm actually catching on to this thing. Alas, I'm waiting for my next spurt! Laura


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 11:19 AM

As a very young boy, pretty frequently my dad used to put us to bed and come and lie in my bed, or the bed of my brother, and sing with us. I understood then, the magic, 'the soaring spirit' of music. "Way down in Kilarney, many years ago ... " (one of our favorites) has stuck with me ever since, and still plays a magic chord in my heart when I sing it ... the first time I heard the expression that says the 'total is greater then the sum of the parts' I understood exactly how that seemingly contradictory phrase can be true; there is tangible, undeniable magic that happens when people sing - especially when they sing with others. I was blessed by discovering this fact early in my life!


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 23 Aug 99 - 11:50 AM

....was first introduced to the blues by my uncle who brought in a Jimmy Reed album and played, "Bright Lights, Big City." Knew instinctively at that tender age that something was going on there, but not sure what. Later, discovered the so-called "psychedelic" rockers on the burgeoning "underground" radio stations borrowing heavily from Reed, et al and pumping all that impassioned intensity into Fender Strats and stacks of Marshall amps. Made me break out in goose bumps all over, e.g., James Marshall Hendrix's cover of "Red House" (still does). Now, I rely on that as my "emoticator": it's what let's me know if a song has been imbued with a little piece of the performer. Failing that, if all the LED indicators on the equalizer max out and stay there throughout the recording, that's a pretty good sign too, but not as reliable as the goose bumps.

BTW, what other musical genre aside from the blues has as its primary purpose the conveyance of a specific feeling, as opposed to telling a story, etc?


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Aug 99 - 12:39 PM

I guess I've always sung, since my dad sang all the time. I first got serious about singing in fifth grade, when I joined the school choir at St. Rita School in Racine, Wisconsin. I guess that was 1958. Sister John Bosco assigned Ron Benedict and me to sing alto, and we beamed with pride every time she'd say that we were "really sharp." I recently found out what she meant....
Sister also recruited me for her harmonica band, but I never got very good. I've always wanted to play the guitar, and I keep trying, but I just can't quite get it - but you can't stop me from singing.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 12:46 AM

Wow, Neil, that was a splendid question. My first response was "all of them," but I do know what you mean. Rock music seems a lot more concerned with feeling than story ... But as far as I'm concerned, none of it is music if it doesn't use the words/story in service to the feeling.

Does that make sense?

WW


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: joeler
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 07:18 PM

Oh, what a beautiful question. The essence of life, the smell of a summer rain, the feeling when a small child hugs you, and the sound of music..... I personally cannot remember my life without music. My brother was a master at the piano, his son is a concert pianist in Europe, my father could play any instrument he picked up, my sisters could harmonize from birth and there is no sound that I hear, from a bird singing, to the Warsaw Concerto, that I do not appreciate and love. Your friend Joel


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 02:02 PM

I was going over some old threads and was reminded of this one. I thought I would refresh it and we would see what other stories are out there.

As an aside, Joeler's message above, reminded me of when I was a musician for John Cage. Now that would have tested Joeler's resolve to appreciate and love every sound.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 02:25 PM

Ah, Sourdough, whoever you are, here's to you and your achin heart! I too ran a scooter through a field of dreams, a little Lambretta up an down the streets of San Francisco, where I'd run away to from the rich suburban hills of Fairfield County in me heedless youth. God, I loved that machine.

Your description of love AND motorscooter is a pearl, mate. Thanks for the memories. A


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Mbo
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 02:40 PM

My first experience with music? I wasn't ever born yet when that happened! My mother was still in the USMC when she was pregnant with me. Once, she had to attend a Marine parade--and when the marching band--with those big bass drums--came close to where she was standing--she said I started jumpin' around in there--and keeping perfect time with the drums! I guess it was written that I should love music ever back then!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Rana
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:09 PM

Possibly hitting saucepans with wooden spoons, but then it possibly wasn't considered music since the post-industrial German avant-garde rock bands hadn't come out yet. :-)

Rana


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:24 PM

I've been singing and collecting songs since very early childhood. Having 4 brothers, 3 of whom I made music with, there was singing all the time at our house.
The first one I ever learned went..There was a young farmer who lived by a crick, a decent young farmer who played with his...marbles in springtime etc


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:26 PM

I've been singing and collecting songs since very early childhood. Having 4 brothers, 3 of whom I made music with, there was singing all the time at our house.
The first one I ever learned went..There was a young farmer who lived by a crick, a decent young farmer who played with his...marbles in springtime etc


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: JamesJim
Date: 26 Jan 00 - 03:34 PM

I suspect most everyone discovers the "magic of music" in stages. My stages:

-I had two older sisters who played piano. Having been born in the "sheet music" era, singing was a part of my earliest memories of life. My sisters wore me out with tunes like; "Give me 5 minutes more," "The Old Lamplighter" and "Racing to the Moon." Singing probably helped me talk early. We sung most every night (now they can't shut me up).

-When I was in the 4th grade, I wanted a trumpet. I got a cornet, which was just as good (probably better). I learned to read music early in life and I was excited by the harmonies of "Band." The real benefit of reading music was discovering those harmonies. I began to discover the possibilites and how to apply them to singing. I had a blast.

-I applied those "harmonies" in church choir, where I quickly learned to sing tenor. That led to singing solos and with a quartette. What an experience.

-Later in life (age 39), after singing folk music for a lot of years (with a lot of friends who played instruments), a good friend finally convinced me to buy a guitar. I wouldn't change anything in my musical life, except I wish I had added accoustical instruments to it when I was much younger. I didn't think it was possible to open the door to my singing life any further than it already was, but I was wrong. I've enjoyed it ever since.

Those magic moments still come at certain times, but it's always with others. I remember a "hoot" a few years ago, when near the end of an evening everyone was a little mellow (the beer had been flowing). About 20 of us stood in a circle and sung; It Soon Be Done, Amazing Grace, Will the Circle be Unbroken, Streets of Glory and several others. There was truly love in that circle of friends. How do you explain/describe that to someone who has never experienced anything like it (when someone at the office says, "How was your weekend?," what do you say)? Thanks; this was a good thread and great memories! Jim


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 12:17 AM

Hey there, Sourdough,

Thanks for refreshing this thread. I've only been popping in and out of the 'Cat lately because of time constraints and other concerns. Imagine my surprise to see this thread back on the board.

Unfortunately, I immediately went into remission with my guitar-learning (see time constraints above) and have just now picked it up again. But I am making progress, am actually able to accompany myself on a few songs. Now my quest is to be able to fingerpick my accompaniment and, again, that looks do-able, for the first time in my life.

The other day I recorded a song that I sing with a friend who's a guitarist -- just messing around, but when we played it back, I had that "Wow" again. It actually sounded pretty good -- like REAL singing. Amazing. I'm so inspired by the process of making music, and by the way you get to know another preson deeply when you've spent some time making music with them. Such a blessing.

WyoWoman


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: JenEllen
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 12:18 AM

I remember in the fourth grade starting violin lessons. I loved the sounds. One night, I played this horrible little "russian" number from my text, and actually played my little sister to sleep...I knew the power of music right then and there. The instruments have expanded and I have changed, but there is still no greater joy than having someone so at peace with your noise as to fall asleep on you.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: CBjames
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 01:19 AM

Well DubDub

My Mom got me singing. Roy Rodgers & Gene Autry were a hit early on. After that - Just about everything from Gershwin & Cole Porter to the Kingston Trio & Miriam Makeba. I can even butcher (a capella) some Vivaldi and Bach.

She gave me my first stringed instruments (a gutbucket, then a ukelele) & when I showed a small proficiency she helped me talk my Dad into buying me my first guitar - not the Stella - I bought that in my own later. We got recorders, we even had some ocarinas. We loved the kazooo--- .

I diddled at the piano when available. Dallied with tinwhistle & even took lessons in clarinet for a while.

But when did I first make music?

It had to be when she was dying & all I could do was to sing for her. There was a piano in the first hospital, just a door or so away from her room. Pretty awful versions of "Stormy Weather" & "Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe" were tinkled out there. In the next (& last) place all I could do was sing. Stuff like "Begin the Beguine" and "Over the Rainbow"

Funny how you think all your life that you're makin' some kind of sound - but then all of a sudden there you are makin' a sound that's important - both to your own samll audience and you.

That was several years back. Don't send sympathy. But for me that was when music came real.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 04:22 AM

Until I was about 9, I sang very quietly. > > > >

The short pause was for those who know me to stop ROTFLTheirAO, and to get back in their chairs. Anyway, I would sing so quietly that I was practically inaudible. Then one day, a teacher who was particularly sarcastic in manner accused me of not making a noise, but just mouthing the words. She said something on the lines of 'you make more noise in the playground', so I just took a deep breath and opened up to yell it out, and to our everlasting surprise (and, incidentally, right in her ear), out came this amazing note, in pitch and louder than the rest of the class put together. The rest, as TWKM will testify, is history.

LTS, who hasn't been quiet since!!


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: black walnut
Date: 27 Jan 00 - 11:23 AM

when i was in grade 6 or 7, i entered a singing contest at our school. the song we had to perform was 'it isn't raining rain to me, it's raining daffodils. in every dimpled drop i see wild flowers on the hills....'. i won first place, and got a trophy. i'm pretty sure i won because i was the only person who remembered all of the words. funny, these days of middle age, i can't seem to remember the lyrics to anything!

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:05 AM

CB James:


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,rdpayne@cal.net
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:24 AM

My grandmother woukd sing or whistle tunes all day long, my dad would sing songs when we went on long trips. Our favorites were "Oklahoma Hills" and "The Forest Ranger Song". When I was about seven years old my brother got a cheap plastic guitar for his birthday that he soon lost interest in. I picked it up and the book that came with it and began playing the songs. The only one I remember is "Shanendoa". Since I was using his guitar, he thought there must be something to it and took it back. Then it got broken. Eight years later I bought a $25 Stella. I paid $10 more than Mason Williams and had to put pads of tape over the ends of my fingers because teh grooves got so deep the no matter how hard I pressed the strings wouldnn't gp down to the frets. It was so nice when my fingers went numb because then they didn't hurt anymore.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:30 AM

Somehow the previous message took off a little prematurely.

What I had started to say was that CBJames story of singing for her dying mother reminded me how songs become invested with the emotions of our lives. Those of us who love music and have made it a part of our lives may have scores if not hundreds of songs with their own individual heart strings. It is such a warm, human moment, singing to a parent at the end of life. It is a primal comfort. A glimpse of a moment like that is one of the reasons I like Mudcat so much.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Owlkat
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 01:56 AM

Hi hi,
So, my story.
I found a ukelele and an Arthur Godrey book of chords in the cedar closet when I was about seven. I would sit in there and play so no-one could hear, since I figured that it was put there to be out of the way, and I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong. Nobody complained, so I took it up to my room, and played there.
I loved making the music, but since my folks considered it just kind of a distraction, and didn't pay it much mind, I kept it to myself until I discovered coffeehouses, and I was off and running from there.
Wow, audiences. What a hit it was. I started to play anyplace that people didn't seem to mind, and would pay attention, and, well, that was about 35 years ago.
I envy those whose parents actively encouraged them, and/or who presented an example to follow. I'm trying to be a musical role model to my daughter, even though she lives 2800 kms away. She does love making music, and I do what I can to lead the way and show her that it's a good thing. I send her music books and songs. For Hanukah, I wrapped her gifts in printouts of songs, which was fun for her to read as she was tearing them open.
Well, there you go...
Owl.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,Bobby
Date: 29 Jan 00 - 02:21 AM

I had been "knocking around" on my guitar for about a year. I had two or three Hank Williams songs that I was playing and a few others.

My brother-in-law was a much better player than I was. He had written sevral songs. I told him one day "I wish I could write a song." He replied "well you can do that today, just do it" (long before Nike adopted that slogan).

Well at that time my older sister had an old cat that was dying. My younger sister had a new kitten that had just been born. I sat down and wrote a song about the two cats. My brother-in-law was right, me writing a song, as limited as my talent was, was just a matter of me sitting down to do it. All it took was a level of commitment.

In my song "Josseta and Biff" the first verse was about the old cat, the second verse was about the kitten, the third verse contrasted the two as living and dying entities. Truthfully,the song really sucked but it was a start. I proved to myself that I could do it. That was twenty years and I've been writing (and getting better at it) ever since.

Now I want to get back to Hank Williams. I was really into him (still am) when I first started writing. If one knows just five basic chords (GCDAE, B helps a bit too)they can pretty much play Hank's ENTIRE song book. He was also so illiterate that he could hardly barely sign his own name. And yet, he wrote some incredible fricking songs. The guy changed music and greatly impacted the art of songwriting with a few simple tools simple. He was a crossroads of country, blues, gospel and unknown at that time, he was at the roots of rockabilly and rock. He didn't have much going for him but he took it a damn long way.

Ultimately, I honestly believe that one can write a GREAT song with very little talent. Musical talent surely helps, Lord knows I wish I had more. Still, I believe that writing a good song firstly requires sincerity, passion and commitment above all else.

Great musical talent alone will not neccessarily make one a great, or even a good song writer. On the other hand, minimal musical and literary talent can indeed make one a song writer of historical importance (as it did Hank), IF one approaches the process with sincerity, passion and commitment.

I think that's the key to writing folk and traditional music. It's not about having a pretty package that's wrapped with a fine bow, it's about what's in the box.

I guees what I want to say is even if you only know two chords there's a song in you if you'll just look for it. And more than that, there wouldn't really be anything holding you back from being able to write a great song. But if you know three chords, I like your chances much better.

To me writing a good song has MUCH more to do with "the process" than it does having a level of talent and musical knowledge.


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: Sourdough
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 01:28 AM

Amos,

Thanks for the nice words. Today I ride a BMW and can do things that I once only dreamed of, like accelerating on an uphill grade, but I still kind of miss the little scooter.

I almost never took up the guitar because I had kind of talked myself out of the possibility that I could ever learn it. I was at a junior high school dance and I rmemeber playing a little air guitar. Then, all of a sudden, it became very clear in my fifteen year old consciousness that I was never going to play a guitar. I remember the feeling, the place, so clearly. I remember even the direction I was facing in the room. It was so clear. This was a pleasure that I would never know. Luckily, within five years I turned out to be very wrong.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: When you first made music?
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 02:33 AM


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