About this book 'nutshell.' This e-book is written in a 'mentor to pupil' dialogue, reminiscent of a now ancient music theory text titled Gradus Ad Parnassum, which dates from 1725. I borrowed often its format of 'call and response' or 'questions and answers' dialogue, to create a dialogue of academic vocabulary words. These hyper-linked terms then create learning pathways energized by the curiosities and artistic intent of each learner.

By merging Americana's blues roots of melody and phrasing with the 18th century diatonic harmony developed in Europe of J.S. Bach, we foundation Americana's own melody / harmony evolutions on through successive generations and styles, up to and including John Coltrane in 1960.

Solo or collaborative learning. Written to fully function off-line independent, as well as 'on-line' and fully web energized, those web connected learners have the option of collaborative learning, working through this e-book on a tablet or laptop computer in real time while on-line and collaborating with their musical friends. And though we all get by with a little help from our friends, way deep down we each know that ...

Highschoolers thinking of college have a mentoring option by reaching out over the web to their own State Universities and Music Schools to locate mentors. Many such schools have 'music ed' curriculums for the developing, certifying and placing of college students and degree graduates as professional musicians; as performers, teachers, writers, composers, arts administrators and technical personnel. Believe that there's fun in being serious about music, to want to go rub elbows with career musicians so as to become a better musical artist yourself.

Pathways of study. Thanks to the e-nature of the now modern e-book, writers can create topical discussions that include music and art vocabulary terms as active hyperlinks, to take the reader to all points within this primer. Hyperlinked words of power, one to another to another and forward, enable a gradually maturing complexity of ideas and content development, of the varied topics within our Americana music theory curriculum.

Self accelerate. A second aspect of this hyperlinked vocabulary is to encourage each and every reader to 'self- accelerate' their own learning. That if a reader already knows about the topic under discussion, and especially the music words used to describe its aspects, these vocab words also become linked ways to evolve the current topic into a new dimension, becoming puzzle pieces in another and very often more involved (complex) musical structure, etc. Just look to the right of any paragraph and there' usually links forward, and back too sometime :)

Thus, these active musical terms can create pathways forward skipping through already known facts and information till we bump into a topic we just might want to understand more fully, then we can stop to examine at our leisure. New musical artist / theorists have multiple 'start' pages of various essential music components and structures to spark off learning.

While advancing readers can skip along right through all the seven main chapters, even to the very end of the book, whose last discussion about 'time', included here from Forward Motion, can become a lifetime's worth of exploration, study and artistic development, a space portal into the potentially endless 'time universe' of improvising music together with other artists.

The goal in UYM / EMG is to get a sense of the 'whole tamale' of these same musical elements as quickly as possible when beginning one's studies; of the relationship that theoretically exists between musical style and the number of elements ( pitches and chords ) generally employed in their creation; # of unique pitches in a melody, # of chords in its progression, # of bars in its form. Just those three are often enough :)

An while an artist might not ever need a chord such as a super jazzed up 'G7 / #5#9#11' chord, knowing there is such a critter, and how to build one and maybe where to find it in the Americana songbook, that is the goal of this e-book; simply an awareness of the full spectrum of the musical elements we can conjure with just the 12 equal pitches. End author's note.

Author's note. And while slow and steady wins the race, just sayin' here, but whenever a 'lighting learnin' moment has come along over the decades; as a kid feeling balance, and understanding and mastering the 'balance' on a bicycle, 'crowning rafters' by sight, and understanding natural grains and shapes for strength to build a hip jack roof as a teen, on to spelling any chord through all 12 keys in the blink of an eye at 20.

We all have these learning moments in life which we'll always remember. In this e-book I tried to 'build in' such magics, ways to accelerate insights to a bigger picture, with the key music terms. Personal curiosity counts for a lot in accelerating the joys of learning new ideas, encouraging us to solve life's puzzles, which accelerated by necessity or pure curiosity, organically renews again and again all through a topic and beyond into its next.

So a superhoot special thanks to the new tech of this here generation, in evolving a book into an e-book, with nuts and bolts text words that link to other discussions, some becoming insights to a gradually increasing complexity of music's organization. When we pair this 'accelerate the learning' with understanding of a numerical 'spectrum of styles' one's perspective of their theory / art relationship can quickly come into focus in creating and understating their art, leaving questions about the far horizons till further on up the road.

Book stats / fun facts. With 30 years of research after completing my BA ~ Arts, this e-book took three years to develop and seven years to bring to finish. And it was quite a task to bring it to close. Just turns out that everything in music and art is somehow, someway connected to something else so 'linking to full closure' was quite a challenge.

Our Americana musical and art discussions take us through 108 bottomless e-pages, tucked into 53 topical folders. The 340 art concepts generate 3,349 links out into the discussions. There's 2,450 audio .mp3 audio files for learning by ear, of which 2,128 are nested with their representation in standard music notation. The glossary, 'a to z' has 960 vocabulary words which generate 4,031 links out into the e-book. And there's at last count 30,295 internal hyperlinks with an estimated additional 250 'wiki' written links, to wiki pages that are titled to that exact topic.

# of art page hyperlinks out / 3,349

# of images ~ written music / 2,128
# of .mp3 audio files / 2,450

internal hyperlinks / 30, 295 + :)

hyperlinks out of glossary / 4,031
file size / 917 megabytes

Internet safety. And for internet safety and respectful accordance with Wiki policy, these 250 or so 'wiki links' are not 'active' links. The reader must choose to leave the 'shell' of this e-book to wiki explore. So for those readers working on line and thanks to an e-book's online magics, 'wiki' links simply need a 'mouse rollover' to highlight text, a search click then a 'go fetch' click, to activate the link and take the reader through the web to that topic's wiki page. And along these expansionary lines when working this e-book on an online computer, these same search mouse clicks will work for any text words ... to generate a www. search for additional topical information. And just how cool is that huh ... ?

'Music and the fine art of ... everything.' As far back as I can remember music was my art. At early school in art class, all the arts where included and this spirit of 'inclusive of all the fine arts' is written into and woven all through the curriculums of this e-book. We each have our own memories and instincts towards making the kinds of art we love. And this e-book's curriculum components have ways to include all the arts in collaborative projects and solo ventures.

Music. As far back as I can remember now, music energized my life. Singing along with records, rote learning the words and melodies, sometimes playing the same song over and over, for the pure fun of it. And oftentimes, both the 'A' and B' sides of a single had hit songs we had to know. A first 'air' guitar riff for us all :)

Learn 'by ear.' This e-book initially comes from two hardcopy printed primers I wrote. When the e-book technology ( a desktop computer ) came along to me around the turn of the last century, and I realized that my previous paper texts could now become three dimensional, with full-on audio playback of all the theory necessary, and imaginable, in recorded and notated music ... I thought wow, it'll straighten out me karma in all this, I just have to write this e-book. So I did, for all musical friends that love to create their art 'by ear', and aspire to 'hear the theory' of a song too.

We learn the basics of ...

To aspire to understand ...

With lots in between ...

For all instruments, especially guitar and bass ...

Dance / choreography. Truth be told from earliest memories, I headed for the bandstand so as to be able to keep myself off the dancefloor. That said, and as the song goes; "I Got Rhythm" and can bring the deep swing too, dance ? Nope, I've steps for rain and for snow, and slow steps for dancing slow. So ...

There's too many positives about dance to begin to list here, suffice to say that when I'm on the bandstand and laying down the audio for dancers, not sure I've ever seen so much joy and giant smiles on participants collaboratively created.

There's solo and couples dance routines to be worked out for; the "SuperHoot" musical show, in learning the 12 bar blues form and choreographing exact steps to create a repeatable routine to a 'set in stone' song form and dance routines for both a lead singer and backup vocalists for a pop band "FoneZombies", which could also be included in the "SuperHoot" show.

Theatre / workshop a play. "Scene Billy" is a theatrical production in two acts. It is a work of fiction in a romance comedy rhythm, whose plot arc muses about the writing of 'Billy's ( William Shakespeare ) own plays and how these stories and their morals are viewed and included through his fictional participation as lead editor of the crew writing by commission the King James Bible, which according to wiki history was commissioned 1604, published 1611.

That the Globe Theatre was rocking London during these same years sets our story in motion. Scenes are formed up into a repeating cycle 'triptych', three ongoing dialogues bouncing between the King, Billy and the Bible writing crew. Each successive year brings us a new Shakespeare play and the King's own political dramas, both reflected in the discussions of the writing crew. Our story's closure is created by the demise of the Globe in 1613 and the Bible's arrival in the Americas on the Mayflower in 1619.

Workshop this theme. This plot line can 'workshop a play' of your own, becoming a writing project for students to express themselves on 'Billy's themes and topics', creating a story that reflects their own passions and perspectives of life and society's ever enduring truisms, through a lens of their modern life today.

To write. Consider to generate dialogue and eventual script by having actors improvisationally bounce topical ideas off one another in live acting classes, record these workshop classes and record these sessions with an i-phone. Then by transcription and then editing, these actors can create their own script. Which if retitled appropriately to reflect their own take on this plot arc and its history, can then be copyrighted as their own original work.

Administrative artists. At a recent get together for artists here in Alaska, we realized that among our group were artists whose creative powers were directed towards the infrastructure and logistics of what needs to be done to present art to the public.

In getting started in admin, if appropriate, just go to a show and ask the folks working the gig if they need any help, and jump in with whatever is needed at that moment, with an eye towards learning how it all the parts fit and get sequenced together to create a show from end to end, good 'admin' folks have probably done every job on a set at some point along the way too in addition to handling the loot $, promotion and production. Back in the day this was termed to 'get a foot in the door ... :) Read on !

 

The 'tech' side. When starting out, kinda the same as above; that if appropriate, just go to a show and ask the folks working if they need any help now or down the road. Most beginning jobs are physical labor, so always work safely for you and all around you, learn how to move things around, roll up cables and stay far away from the big electrical panels, make the ...

'if u can't work safe then u can't work here'...

'be a mantra, the bosses will love it. Know that there's all sorts of tech skills needed to create art that become careers; build, paint, lights, sound, fix anything, move things around, props, costumes, fetch stuff, sweep and take out the trash, can hang talent / stars of the show, plays well with others. For more art activity ideas and jobs in the bizz, watch the credits of any movie and read along with the scroll, looking for something that sounds interesting to you, something you think you might be good at doing. With an interest u'll find a way in, one gig leads to the next and as the saying goes ... 'the show must go on.' :)

"SuperHoot", the musical. The idea for this show comes from watching another production that caused me to feel quite sorry for the actors. Borrowing from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", our two main 'SuperHoot' characters are singers. One, Ms. Veronica, is quite famous but has achieved fame through the impersonation other big stars.

Our Romeo, Joey, is a real deal blues guy himself but can't get any traction in the bizz. Joey falls bigtime for Veronica, and she too but hesitates in returning Joey's intentions, as Joey, while is true blue to himself and his art, shows little to zero prospects for success, until that fateful day when over the radio airwaves ... :)

In production, the Ms Veronica(s) decide on popular songs of their choosing then 'dress up' to impersonate each star and sing their hit song. There's back up singers and four groups of two paired dancers for each of Veronica's numbers, oh and there needs to be a 'duet' song for her and Joey to sing together somewhere along midway through the show. That sparks off her love for Joey and here quest to capture true love.

Interspersed with these performances are performances by Joey, who plays either songs written by Jacmuse or bluesmen Jake Matson and Joey Fender. Or use write your own songs. Joey's hit song is also included if needed, one I wrote titled "When You Coming Back", which of course he sings to Ms. Veronica to close the show and seal the deal :)

"FoneZombees" / pop vocal band. After playing a blues show at an AK roadhouse, I had a conversation with a few dancers about life in this small town. Well, turns out that one of the high steppers had a day gig where they supervised a 'call in' help desk for people with cell phone problems. Quickly dubbed in this particular case as ...

The 'FoneZombee Queen' ...

Our new band now had a leader and name !

"The FoneZombees"

Although the queen's hip hop raps were sort of AI sounding, all the usual of 'hi and thanks for calling intro ... then as u might imagine into some rather hilarious rejoiners based on personal experience. Its was fun. And a band named as such, its way easy to jazz up into whomever, whatever, wherever this band hails from. Here in Alaska ...

"FoneZombees of Alaska"

"The AK FoneZombees"

"FoneZombees of the North"

They're all good :) So there can be your own bands and 'chapters' of 'fone-zombees' all over this globe, writing songs and telling stories, maybe with common hooks and parodies etc., and using our cell phones to first get us there, imagine that :) There's any number of singers, each write their own lyrics to the song's theme and front the band, then sing backup as other 'leads' sing their ideas. Historically its been groups of four voices covering the four part harmony, but every combination of will work, just gotta wanna be a bee ... :)

All the hooks in the songs are parodies of an oldtime kid' riff while spoken word poetry tells the stories between the restatement of the hook. Simple, fun and wide open for writer of verse to have their say on topics that are meaningful in their lives.

"Ring Ring Ring"

"Paaah-leeezzz ..."

"Tell me what you're thinking"

"When you gonna ring me"

"Why you telling me that"

"Really now"

"Don't touch"

"Half my diet is yogurt"

"Please don't push that button"

"What's with all the sparkle"

Blues band.

Jamm band.

Euro classical to Americana.

Writers.

... just write :)

"Life is about creating yourself."
wiki ~ Bob Dylan

Mentor / academia references of Alaska. And when you need university level answers to your questions and musings, and especially if you are considering a career in music and looking to continue your formal studies, begin to e-reach out to the Alaska University Music Campus communities and begin a dialogue with some of Alaska's finest resident maestros !

Always keep in mind that all along life's journey there will be folks to help us and also folks we can help ... for we are not in this endeavor alone :) The now ancient natural truth is that we each are responsible for our own education. Positive answer this always 'to live by' question; 'who is responsible for your education ... ?

Intensive tutoring. Luckily for musical artists like us, the learning dip of the 'covid years' can vanish quickly with intensive tutoring. For all disciplines; including all the sciences and the 'hands on' trade schools, that with tutoring, learning blossoms to 'catch us up.' In music ? The 'theory' of making musical art is built with just the 12 unique pitches, so easy to master with mentorship. And in 'practice ?' Luckily old school, the foundation that 'all responsibility for self betterment is ours alone.' Which in music, and same for all the arts, means to do what we really love to do ... to make music :)

 

"These books, and your capacity to understand them, are just the same in all places. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing."

wiki ~ Abraham Lincoln
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~ comments or questions ... ? ~

~ jacmuse@ak.net ~