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MMD > Archives > July 2008 > 2008.07.30 > 05Prev  Next

Fair Organs Should Play More Modern Music
By Ben Willis

I feel I must address something I have seen come up rather frequently
in this discussion over arranging contemporary music for organ scales.
The assertion that rap, hip-hop and most "heavy metal" do not translate
well to organ arrangements is, I should say, spot on, but I should
point out that this far from encompasses the range of music being
listened to by the youth of today.  There are a number of artists, and
songs, and even entire genres that have been glossed over by the mass
media, but which are very popular on a more grassroots level.  After
all, when did anyone last watch MTV (or even VH1) purely for the music?
And how much staying power do these acts tend to have any more?

As an example of what can be done with relatively current songs,
robindeorgelman has a video of what I would consider a very
well-executed arrangement of Mika's "Grace Kelly", a song that while
not incredibly popular in the US, is nonetheless quite recognizable. (fast-forward to the
  8:08 mark)

There are also a number of songs and artists from before my own time
that should translate well, but I have yet to hear organ arrangements
of.  ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" comes to mind.

My point is, don't discount the potential of an entire generation
of music simply because of the mass-market force-fed schlock everyone
and his mother can't stand.  People have been describing pop music as
"bashing three chords over and over" since boogie-woogie hit the scene,
but that doesn't mean there isn't good music being produced out there
at the same time, especially in this information age where searching
YouTube can get a teenager in Arkansas music videos from Miami to
Mumbai.  It just takes a little searching through the muck to find a
gem worthy of these venerable instruments.

Ben Willis

(Message sent Wed 30 Jul 2008, 20:52:58 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Fair, Modern, More, Music, Organs, Play, Should

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