Inspired by a post on a blog i follow, I thought it would be good to give you an insight into what music i enjoy, considering i study it and hopefully will work in music in someway after graduation. Of course this is not all the music i listen to as there is always a bit of cheese within anyones music taste for a diva moment……I’ve also added a YouTube playlists with the music mentioned and other related pieces if you want to listen to them 🙂
Favourite Composers with there genres
Classical/contemporary (Unpopular music!!)
Although i listened to a fair bit of this before I started my degree and a levels, it’s only since start uni as with analysing pieces and listening to a wide variety of music that I’ve really started listening to “unpopular” music a lot more. If my university lectures had met me when i was a gcse music student or even when i did a fast track music group during year 9, they would have properly been shocked that they would be giving me my degree teaching in a wide variety of music!!!. In terms of a specific period, my favourite period has to be the romantic era due to the but i have a massive soft spot for renaissance choral music. I’m not really a fan of a lot of 20th century music with extreme dissonance though. I can listen to a few 20th centuary pieces but people like Schoenberg NOOOO!!!! I do like 4:33 by john cage though…..
Mahler-What a man.Before studying him for a bit of a musicology module last semester at uni (and again for next semester!!!), I never really listened to much of him but after finding out the history of the romantic era, he’s became my favourite composer. His writing is terrific in terms of instrumentation and brass parts (the brass chorale in symphony 2 is beautiful!). I am a massive fan but my favourite piece of his has to be the adagietto from symphony 5. I heard it first just after i finished sixth form and along with no suprises by radiohead, those pieces meant a lot during that period of change and uncertainty.So much beauty and passion within 10 minutes of music it’s unbelievable. No wonder why it was used for death on Venice and some ice skating routines.
Steve Reich-Yes, I discovered him through studying gcse music. I don’t know what it is about minimalism but the whole repetition and cross rhythm as well as gradual rhythmic changes but I love it. I even composed a minimalist guitar ensemble piece directly inspired by the 2nd movement of electrical counterpoint i’ll link below. I discoverd a lot of his earlier works recently through music technology lectures at uni which has been really fascinating to listen to-bridging a time before the use of daws. My favourite piece by him is properly piano phase although i belive out of all his works, the works for percussion ensemble emphasises the minimalist genre the most-the use of tuned percussion really works and represents the genre well.
Debussey-Like steve reich, I discovered him by studying his music for a level music. Being a late romantic composer but the pioneer of the impressionist genre, his music with his use of whole tone scales is beautiful to listen to. In particular, his symphonic poem prelude a l’apres de midi un faune for a small chamber orchestra is gorgeous and tells a real story throughout it.
Other mention must be made to the composer Karl jenkins-his music is a breath of fresh air with a real modern feel to it particularly shown in stabet mater and the armed man. As well as this, the finale from the saint saens organ symphony, the lark ascending and prelude from tristian und isolde are other pieces I would highly reccomend.In a choral sense of my favourites, Masse de nostre dame by mauchet and missa papa marcellia are great examples of early renaissance choral music. Also as well the durufle requiem. Beautiful piece and also the first ever proper choral piece i sung in my unis chorus (forced torture on all none singer music students)….what a way to start a singing career with a hard but beautiful requiem.
My dad is a child of the 70s which has influenced a lot of his music taste. A lot of his music taste has rubbed off onto me and it was properly the genre I listened to the most before 2014. I still listen to it a lot but i have a more widened listening taste now.
Manic Street Preachers-My all time favourite band. Just love everything about them and their music. I first heard them in 2010 when it’s not war just the end of love was released and I was hooked instantly. 6 years on i own all there albums and i hope one day i can hear them live. Apart from a design for life which i will talk about later, my favourite track is black square.
The who-One of the ones which has come through my dad. Class music and class nutters on stage and off stage with the endless list of hotels wrecked and toilets blown up.My all time favourite is love reign o’er me as its such a powerful track (both the orignal and the orchestral version arranged by Pete Townshend Mrs). I actually got a copy of quadrophenia for my birthday as its one of my all time favourite records, havent had a chance to play it yet though as I don’t have a record player (sounds bad seeming as I’ve been collecting records for over 6 years but haven’t got a record player to play them on yet…). As well though, i do like baba o Riley and the quiet one (i can relate to it in more ways than one!!!)
Pink Floyd-The first band i properly got into again thank to my dad. Amazing amazing music with some beautiful instrumental textures within it. My favourite album by them is a momentary lapse of reason but favourite instrumental track has to be the great gig in the sky no words more needed.
Queen-They are one of those bands that we can all love and listen to a song by them which can relate to everything. The group fitted perfectly as a team and their everlasting popularity to now says it all about them.Bohemian rhapsody has to be my favourite by them though, an opera within a 6 minute song.
Special Mention must be given to Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield. I first listened to it when I was about 6/7 and was blown away by it then. I never thought then that i would be doing a music degree 14 years down the line and have mike oldfield as a direct influence on my playing and composition.
I’ve been listening to electronic music since 2010, first with a lot of synth pop and house music but again, my listening taste has been tamed and widened since starting uni.
Public Service Broadcasting-Oh my word I LOVE these guys. I only started to listen to them because the drummer from the manics recommended them to listen to. I was instantly hooked due to the catchy music and brilliant use of samples. I love there most recent album the race for space and i would properly put it in my top list of albums ever created.
Moby-Another one discovered through studying his music at gcse level. All of the stuff he writes is mesmerizing and if you read his autobiography, there’s some very interesting stories within it.God moving over the face of water is a track I am particularly fond of
Pogo-This time discovered through music technology lectures about plunderphonics! Unlike some plunderphonic composers who deliberately make their music not nice to listen to, pogo creates some beautiful music just by using samples of audio. Data and Picard is a favourite as well as his classic upular
Special mention must be given to john Oswald a massive pioneer of plunderphonics. An absolute nutter but his tracks strangely resonate with me… He even influenced one of my bits of coursework for uni which I will link below….
As well trickfinger is another recommendation creating some beautiful acid house with a late 80s feel
Kind of a spin-off from listening to a lot of rock music, it’s really my thing yeahhh….
Radiohead-A massive favourite of mine in terms of music and meaning to it. When stuff was going very bad and when i finished sixth form , i listened to a lot of their music as i was going through a lot of uncertain change but the music kept me going thinking yeah, there is a light at the end of the tunnel however far down it may be. My favourite track is no surprises although i am a massive fan of the bends and ok computer era of radiohead.
The Maccabees-If you read the previous post on my blog, you can tell how much their music means to me and how gutted i still am that they are calling it a day. Just beautiful textures and music from them is perfect. The music from the given to the wild era is properly my favourite.
The Vaccines-One of my all time favourites and a group who I’ve been lucky enough to see live. So much energy and fun in their music there’s actually not a track by them which I don’t like….they are just perfect in every single way
Special mention must be given to alt j ∆. I discovered them through them winning a mercury award and I’ve been hooked since by their catchy hooks with good music attached.
As a youngster, the only stuff of this I would listen to would be Glenn miller and big band music (thanks to strictly come dancing) and think all other jazz is rubbish. As I’ve grown up and started listening to a bigger variety of music, i’ve discovered a whole world outside this and realised how much of a bubble i was in beforehand.
Snarky Puppy!!!-Very very popular group among people my age and it’s no surprise why. Catchy jazz grooves with a modern vibrate feel but still containing that cool vintage element is their perfect mix. There another group where i have not found a track i don’t like due to them being that good!!
John Wilson Orchestera-Seems a bit of an odd one for someone my age but they are a real hit for me. Bringing back light music into the bigtime through transcribing some of the classic movie scores by ear and playing a huge variety has made them very popular. Their first prom with a focus on mgm music stands out as a highlight for me.
Jamie Cullum-An artist who I have grown with and adored for years. The maturity of his music and arrangements are fantastic. My favourite track of his being his cover of please don’t stop the music
Special mention must be given to Glenn miller. One artist i have always listened to and who’s music will never age. My favourite being moonlight serenade 🙂
As a brass player and active brass band musician, it’s hard to escape brass music in any sense seeming as I’m playing it or listening to it all the time.
Favourite Brass Band Pieces/Composers
Resagurum: Eric ball-One of my all time favourite pieces by the daddy of beautiful brass music. Eric ball was the greater beginner in writing great music for brass band. Despite him being dead for over 20 years, this piece and many others by him are still played and widely considered to be some of the best brass writing around taking you back to a time where a test piece was not about how many demi semi quaver runs you can put in but having passion and real emotion with music.
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Derek Bourgeois-This is my all time favourite test piece and so much so that i sampled it for a bit of uni coursework….i just love the whole range of emotions within it from the fast runs all the way through to the beautiful hymn like tune at the end of it.
The Torchbearer: Peter Graham-The torchbearer is a march by eric ball and within the test piece by peter graham, he uses fragments of many different pieces by eric to create a test piece. It is a stunning piece of music which has the equal test of technical runs but also pure emotional solos and i have put in the best performance of it here
Special mention must be made to Edward Gregson my all time favourite brass composer-i’ve loved all his pieces and included a link of essay in which i am privileged to know the solo horn player on it. Also to Phillip sparke who was the first composer i really listened to with harmony music being the first test. Mentions must also be made to the composers, oliver waspei, johan de meji, jan van deer rost,Eduard de Boer and thomas doss whos pieces are really modernizing the brass band repoitre.
Mnozil Brass-Love these guys. They are absolute nutters but are insane players and comedians. I haven’t seen them live yet but a lot of the brass lot at uni have seen them and actually meet and hung out with them!!!!!
Hackney Colliery Band-Guys really brining the new orlens jazz scene to the uk well. They are really building up a following and the response to their music says it all. I saw these guys in may and they where insane live!
I’m not naming any of my favourite bands in terms of the traditional genre as well, a lot of us do idolize the top bands. As well, although, in a local sense, when i joined my current band, i had always known them as a fantastic band which i would never be good enough to join but here i am nearly 2 years on playing solo horn with them….
Favourtie Solo Artist and icon
David Bowie-What a guy. He could still stay relevant for the decade and adapt his music around whatever growing trends there was. His music was and is stunning and still stands the test of time.
Favourtie Band and icon
Manic Street Preachers! Although they have arguably tamed down from generation terrorists, the political messages and the power within their music is still standing and relevant today. With asides from lifeblood….., there music is epic on all senses and just flipping fantastic!!! I love them!!!!!
A Design For Life-Manic Street Preachers
When i heard it for the first time, it stuck instantly. Its resonates with me and the lyrics still blow me away. It was also number 2 in the charts the day i was born….
Where are we now-David Bowie
The return of bowie was signficant and where are we now was released when i sadly house swapped and everything started going even wronger than it was before. It’s a beautiful track and with the lyrics looking back on the past and thinking where we are now, it made me think that although the good times where back in the house i grew up in , there was not much i could do to stop the house move happening and just try to accept this new change (shame nearly 4 years on, its worse here compared to how it was when i was living in the old house ) 😦
Is Music Important?
My god yes it is. Whether you are actively involved in music or are just a listener, it is very important and in some cases life changing. I don’t think that i would be at uni if i had not chosen to learn an instrument in middle school. I did not feel like i had anything i was good at until i started learning music in year 5.Which is why it has infuriated me with the amount of government cuts made on funding for instrumental lessons so it feels like on the well off can afford them. I had to control my anger when doing a business report on instrumental tuition for uni and talking about the figures which have been cut. (still got a first for it though!!!)
Hope you enjoyed this post looking into the music which makes me 🙂