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Oral and Written Music Tradition

February – the month of love…

Love, Language and Music

…and I thought ‘hang on a string-pickin’ minute – what better way to celebrate than with a whole month’s worth of music as a language (of love)?’

So, we’re here, talking about music, language, love…  This week we are looking at Oral and Written Traditions and starting to see how music language came about!

Oral and Written Traditions

Back in Ye Olden Days (AKA shortly before millennials were born!!) the ability to reproduce music took one of two forms: reproduced from memory – the oral tradition – or reproduced on paper – the written tradition.

These two traditions coalesce somewhere around the 1700s when people went around notating (posh word for writing down) ‘folk’ music, in fear that it would die out. Let’s take Northumbrian Minstrelsy as an example. It’s a book written in the 18th and 19th century and contains folk songs and Northumbrian Small Pipe music, intended to be a lasting historical record. Well, that worked! 

But to write music down, there needed to be an alphabet, rules, grammar and syntax. And so written music was born. All those elements of a language and more are what we now know as music theory. But I prefer to think of it as music language.

By writing down their opuses, composers were telling us, in shorthand, precisely what they wanted us to do. And just like with any language, it has developed, refined and amalgamated from various different versions and dialects.

Next week we are looking at closer at this shorthand notation.

15% off Speech Lessons all throughout February!

And as Music is the language of love it follows that this month we should focus on music as a language.

SO have 15% off your Music Language (theory) Lessons in February….

To book now, select a 1-hour slot for your personalised, one-to-one, online lesson.

Lesson Need-to-Knows:

  • Choose to have your lesson on Zoom, Skype or Google Meet during booking process.
  • Links will be emailed to you latest the day before the lesson.
  • Please login to the call 5 minutes before the lesson start time (and have a glass of water with you!)
  • Headphones are not necessary but can sometimes help with background noise.
  • Payment required at time of booking. 
  • Suitable for age 10+

Let’s get your singing sizzling!

Hannah x