Composition Exercise #88

For one year, dedicate each month to twelve musical cultures that are foreign to you. Listen to at least one piece every day. Go to a concert. Maybe even take some lessons. Observe what makes each culture sound like itself. What is rigid in this music, and what is flexible and improvised? What are the sonic and rhythmic qualities? As the year progresses, observe differences and similarities between the cultures you’ve encountered.

Two remarks:

1) Don’t get intimidated by the duration. Instead of twelve months you could also do twelve weeks, or twelve years.

2) “Musical cultures” could mean music from other ethnic cultures, but it could also mean immersing youself in Detroit techno, then German Schlager, K-Pop or your city’s flavour of Hip Hop.


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