Isaac Zuckerman

Boulder, CO, United States

About Isaac

I'm passionate about

Music Education, Sociology, the future and life itself.

Comments & conversations

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Isaac Zuckerman
Posted almost 4 years ago
What are musical genres?
because i study music, i find myself usually trying to describe all the music i hear very analytically and thus have gotten frustrated with this genre nonsense. would the people of this thread argue that the analytical approach of describing music in such detail actually takes away from just the main point of genres which is simply saying this song reminds me of that song, and that's as far as it should be taken?
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Isaac Zuckerman
Posted about 4 years ago
What are musical genres?
It seems like a chicken and egg problem. Does the music make the people feel it defines them, or do the people choose the music, which in tern makes the music have the certain reputation/identity?
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Isaac Zuckerman
Posted about 4 years ago
What was the greatest decade or era for music?
Ultimately there is no greatest era, nor does there have to be. People are attracted to different styles and genres and eras based on their exposure to certain types of musics at different times of their lives and the degree of exposure to which they had.
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Isaac Zuckerman
Posted about 4 years ago
What was the greatest decade or era for music?
To be alive in the time of Mozart would be to like living today with how we feel about the internet. We are starting to explore its possibilities and creativity sparks, just like people in the Baroque era were fascinated with harmony. What came to western music after the invention of tonal harmony is literally everything you hear now to say the least. Makes me excited, then, for what the internet will have done for us 400 years from now... :)
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Isaac Zuckerman
Posted about 4 years ago
What will the future of music hold?
Alex, Great question, thanks for bringing it up! I think about this a lot too, I think Levitin did an amazing job of turning music into a great new way of discussing the past, connecting it to the future, human beings being the link. Anyway, I believe as people become more connected with technology, much like this website, people get the chance to hear and see much more of the world's cultures. Music is a great thing to explore with the recourses the internet offers. Today, I can look up any country and probably find some traditional and modern music from that place. Simply by listening to different musics, I am inspired, as are many musicians. Because of this phenomenon I believe as this idea sharing gets bigger and bigger on the internet, music will keep trying to fuse with other kinds to find happy mixed-breeds much like we have done with dogs from around the world. We will continue seeing "unusual" or unique instrument combinations, trying to find perfect timbre mixtures; we will keep exploring rhythm and harmony of different parts of the world and try to stir them together in a way that becomes harmonious; music will continue to be expressive but technology and electronic music will certainly have an impact on the futures' musics. Technology has done a few things for modern music: add the sense of "perfection" to intonation and time--most music-writing software puts every rhythm in perfect mathematical time and ideal pitch. Musicians of the future might learn how to be quite metronomic, which could potentially destroy expressivity (but that's not a claim I can justify yet.) ALSO, music gets to have a new sound now that technology has a push of creativity. The new "sound" is just that--what we call synthesizers. Musical instruments are the coolest things ever made on earth in my opinion, BUT computers have made some intense sounds as well. Right now, popular music started exploring our hearing thresholds with BASS and TREBEL. Future music: LOUD?
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Isaac Zuckerman
Posted about 4 years ago
Why does music "touch" us emotionally? It doesn't make sense.
Dear Laurens As a music educator I think about this question quite a bit. I learned in 10th grade that I prefer teaching music over performing. I have found I tend to have more of an emotional response when I have taught a child rather than perform myself. I will do my best to explain why. Music and language share many elements that are vital for sharing, expressing, and understanding emotions. One example is timbre. We find our mother's voice naturally soothing as a baby, especially when she speaks in a higher tone. Likewise a harsh or yelling tone of voice will scare babies or dogs away who naturally know to become frightened by these sounds/tones. The timbrel element of music works similarly--certain instruments sound pleasing to us: cello, piano, breathy saxophone, etc. Music takes it to the next level by adding several other elements, one of which is contour. The shape of a phrase in spoken languages vary depending on where you are in the world. In English, our sentences and phrases give us so many clues as to how others are supposed to feel when they hear us. Getting higher and higher in pitch tells the listener to keep being interested as there is a kicker coming soon! When that kicker of the sentence comes, there is a peek in the tone of a persons voice, or a quick drop, a change basically that informs us that something important was just said. Musical phrases and contour works the exact same way, especially in expressive music such as the romantic period. Other musical characteristics are the same, volume (dynamics), harmony, (dissonant or consonant?), unpleasant/exaggerated timbres (distorted guitar), speed or tempo (think of someone speaking very quickly vs slowly). The examples go on and on between communicational and musical expression. When I teach a child music, I realize that they now have a great tool for expressing themselves. And since human expression is a ubiquitous commodity, seeing my students fall in love with expression, is my drug.