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Polyphonic chant (and a little polyphonic trivia for the digital age)

gregorian chant

K Leb – Old book of Gregorian Chant; some place in Aragón via Flickr

Polyphonic chant is a type of Christian devotional singing developed in the 10th century where two or more melodies or parts are sung together in a composition.

As with anything new, not everyone approved of polyphony.

Some believed that melodic complexity was the work of the devil, who tried to seduce believers through the sin of pride. Pope John XX II was dead against polyphony and in 1324 CE warned his flock not to fall into the satanic lure of musical innovation.

However, such narrow-mindedness couldn’t stop the flow of musical evolution.

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Why some mamas and papas don’t like pop music

Last night I was listening to Stingray Music, a Montreal based company which is one of the highlights of Canadian industry. Listeners can switch among several good streams in any given genre, without ads or talk. And the programmers dig deep to find not just the hits but a whole bunch of stuff you’ve almost forgotten or never heard before.

Tuning in to the 70s, I came to appreciate how it’s all variations on a few themes. The hit songs put everything together in the most effective, original way. But there are oodles of copycat, cover and “not quite” tunes. So are things really simpler today? I don’t think so.

As I say in the above tweet, we just have to learn the new medium and its message.

Krewella via Wikipedia


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Merry Christmas!

In Toronto we have an FM radio station, CHFI, that plays only Christmas music at this time of year. I noticed this song came up a lot (by checking “recently played” on the web) but never heard it ’till now. Not bad! 🙂


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“I’m a – – – – Starboy”

Okay. I like this song. I like it a lot. I’m not sure if I like the censored version better than the uncensored. I mean, I am all for freedom of expression. Even as a Christian, I am not against the artist who put a cross in a bottle of urine (can’t remember the name offhand, and don’t really care to). On some level, that “art” might mean something worthwhile to someone.

Usually, I deplore censorship.

However, this tune raises some interesting questions.

The two main contentious words are the N-word and the MF-word (be forewarned if you follow the links from the above tweet).

So why can The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk can use these words, get about a billion hits at YouTube but if little ‘ol me were to use these words in this here blog, I’d run the risk of being sued?

Double standard?

As for the censored vs. uncensored versions, I admit that while out the other night with my FM/MP3 player, I really liked hearing the censored version on FM. Cutting out the heavy stuff just made it more spiritual.

Hearing the word “Starboy” after a string of synced scratches instead of the MF-word made the whole experience far more transcendent. Walking along a moderately busy road, I could almost envision that Star Child in 2001: A Space Odyssey watching over us, making sure we don’t blast ourselves to hell.

So what’s the story? Should this tune be “cleaned up” for radio?

 The Weeknd Announces A Second Leg Of Legends Of The Fall Tour (thefader.com)

 Firefly Music Festival Announces 2018 Dates, June 14th-17th (allaccess.com)

 Future – “Comin Out Strong” (Feat. The Weeknd) Video (stereogum.com)

 10 Great Musician Selfies for National Selfie Day (v103.cbslocal.com)

 Drake, the Chainsmokers, and all the winners from the Billboard Music Awards (mashable.com)

 Exclusive: Selena Gomez Denies Collaborating with The Weeknd on New Music (now100fm.cbslocal.com)

 China bans online videos showing homosexuality, affairs (rappler.com)


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EP Today – A Song and a Poem

The song:

The poem (Google Chrome automatically translates):


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Happy New Year!

Here’s a little sketch I’ve been working on.. finished just in time to ring in the New Year!

All the plugins, fx etc. are freeware… except for my MIDI host, Reaper, which is very reasonably priced.


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A Little Sunday Reading…

I just updated a 2009 earthpages.ca entry about Rastafarianism. I’ve been meaning to update this for several days but partly because I wasn’t feeling motivated and partly because I was busy with other things, I didn’t get around to it till today.

It seems that if I wait and do an entry when the spirit moves me, the outcome is much better than just “trying to get the damn thing done,” as I’ve been guilty of in the past. 🙂