Distractions: An Accessible Introduction to 12 Tone Music and Everything Else

Every once and awhile a YouTube video comes along that is to good not to share. This is one of those. This is for those of you who know a little about music but wish you knew more. An assessable introduction into what has been going on over the course of the last century to create new contexts for musical expression. The function of music (and approaches to its creation) has gone through a radical process of deconstruction and re-construction over the last 70 years. A basic understanding of what has been going on goes a long way. As the author of the video suggests, “…without context meaning does not exist.” The first 8-10 minutes of the video provides significant background context ala an example from Stravinsky, but hang in there, it starts to get mind blowing once she begins her examples related to 12 tone music and the modern desire to create music free from the tyranny of control, manipulation, and predictability.

Warning: this video is thirty minutes long. But…If you have any interest in music, or have even wondered about the world outside of a standard rock n’ roll chord progression, you would do yourself a favor to forgo an episode of Parks and Rec to watch this instead.

Remember…musicians want to be understood, not necessarily comprehended.

So, don’t want to commit to a thirty minute video? Here are a few other choice music related Youtube videos I have found to be interesting.

Introduction to the Drums

The World’s Most Important Six Second Drum Loop

The History of Music in Seven Minutes

Beck Re-Imagines David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision”

John Coltrane’s Only Live Performance of “A Love Supreme”

The Scientific Power of Music

The Story of the Guitar (Full Documentary)

Finally…Heckled Christian Rock Band knows how Jesus Felt