~ about the author jacmuse ~

~ the stars aligned, so I get to pass the word ~


I dedicate this book to all of the folks of the last few centuries that together have carried forward the Americana spirit of education for all.

University training. The stars aligned for me back in the early 80's and I was able to attend formal university music school in upstate New York. As a novice player, with no other formal music schooling, the learning opportunity that I was afforded is beyond measure. And as faithfully as I can, I have reconstructed the basic principles of that university curriculum in this e-book.

At S.U.N.Y Plattsburgh, as an 'arts' major, my own curriculum became history, theory, jazz guitar, performance, Bach and Coltrane. This work is intended for all musicians who would also aspire for a university learning opportunity.

After graduating in 1984, a new life of adventure outside the music classroom became the new classroom for my life's learning; Alaska. As my own curiosities perked on and on, and with my university background, I began to re-discover how the now ancient pitches are brought to life today. That by weaving through the theories and histories of the pitches, rhythms, tuning, melody and styles, a story of the Americana musical arts unfolded.

Formal teacher training. I was further stoked by formal teaching training at UAA in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1985. In one class, we discussed the possibilities of writing curriculum with the new web based, interactive technology. In my case, this allowed for any music 'theory' musings could be heard in musical pitches, and included with notation into the text. Voila ! This e-book.

All must begin, somewhere. A first musical memory for me is of a Saturday night with my folks enjoying the NJ summer shore breeze and the hit song "Hound Dog', and others, comin' in over the air waves. I had the groove and as I sang and danced along, my Aunt Emma showed me how to snap my fingers along with the beats, which in time became you know, 'just clicking along on 2 and 4' :)

The writing of this book. So after a decade or so of gigging with artists both self taught and schooled, and since I had the technology to make the written music play back, since I got to get 'schooled', now there was a way to explore the musics of Bach to Coltrane, in school words, and fully continue learn by ear. While the stories told here span 40,000 years or so, our Americana musics from the 1880's to the 1960's is the focus and brought to aural life through playback. So if you 'play by ear', this will be a good theory book for you, and learn to read music too.

Thanks to the 'perfect closure' of the resources and theory principles, this book is written so that the linked vocabulary words create a way for each reader to choose there own pathway, on through the history and theory of Americana musics. And since every loops back to start eventually, any and all pathways create a learning journey that rote learns the music theory basics along the way.

Enabled by natural musical sounds and modern tunings, and when broadly applied to the musical components, this idea of perfect closure creates; the scales, arpeggios, chords, rhythms and forms, so the five essential threads we weave into making our musics. Oh, time too :)

Music, math, learn by rote. An early love of all things numbers as a kid gave me a jump start later with music theory, between the musical notes and our basic numbers.

For example;

'C D E F G A B C' becomes '1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8'

The 'movable one' arrives and there's only 12 pitches in total. With numbers we can count our histories, measure pitch intervals and set in stone label each one, number the half step / whole step formulas for scales and modes, label the unparalleled harmony kaboom created from tuning the pitches by the '12th root of 2' solution; 1.0594631. We've chords by numbers a couple of ways; position within the diatonic, progressions and even a numerical identification of chord color tones of 7, 9,11 and 13, for blues and jazz styled chords. Add in the 'b' and '#' to the numerical systems and we're covered, stem to stern.

And in measuring musical time; we count measures, bars, beats, subdivisions and time signatures with numbers, even the Fibonacci series sometimes. Oh, and how about the magics of iambic pentameter and the numerical meters of spoken poetry, creating music lyrics of stories, moving through real time paired with emotive tones.

So with a dozen or so numerical ways into music theory, having a numerical basis to understand each element's closure is a magical key to rote learning the basics. We combine this basic rote by the numbers learning with some nunchi learning curiosity, used for solving all of life's puzzles, and we'll begin to see the unmistakable patterns of 'numerical coincidences' begin to overlap one another. Understanding the weave of it can accelerate our learning, then we just have to do the shedding to get the chops, to make the art in our hearts :)

A love of reading and books. Blessed to have learned how to read English in elementary school, and in middle school dabbled in French too. There got some new word syllable rhythm magic's that I think turned out to swing just fine, and a beret too. By senior year in high school became an avid reader. So all along in my own studies, books have been the foundation, and a love of reading, of most anything, ever since :) Here's a couple of stacks of music theory and history books that influenced the writing of this book. Bach to Coltrane, East to West and North to South, the spiritual energies of love in written word that has moved all learning forward.

In this building. We educate to better our lot in life, and in university buildings such as this, we as a community build education programs for the betterment of all. This is the John Myers Fine Arts building at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where I achieved a B.A. Arts, in 1982.

In this building. We can learn to educate those who are interested, and gifted too, in university buildings such as this. This is the University of Alaska Anchorage Fine Arts building, where I achieved a State of Alaska public school music teaching credential in 1987.

Karma Helix. Seven songs for the seven chakras, colors included and all based on releasing the energy as we move from our red root on through yellow, to orange, to green, to blue, to violet and our indigo purple crown. Once song for each chakra color which combine together and bring the joy of living a musical life.

1 / root
2 / sacral
3 / solar
4 / heart
5 / throat
6 / 3rd eye
7 / crown


Karma Helix band featuring;

Jacmuse / guitar

Bob Andrews / bass

Chuck Henman / drums

Sandra Calvillo / percussion and muse


"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