Music in the Digital Age

The Jurassic 5 channel on Pandora is groovin’.

Do you know about this?

iRealBook is an iPhone app that has the chords (only the chords) for all the tunes in the Real Book.

But you can also create your own chordal lead sheets.  I’ve been working on a new song and was away from the computer and I remembered that I could input chords using iRealBook.  Wrote the lyrics using the Notes app.  There’s a piano app that lets you record, too.

You can record on the iPhone with FourTrack ($9.99).  Or just the regular Recorder app if you don’t need multiple tracks.

BeatMaker ($9.99) is a great drum pad and sample based app.

Music Notation

So I had an idea to look for notation apps.  There are two that I know of, but I’m not going to bite yet:



There’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on out there.  And these are just iPhone apps.  There’s an ever growing number of adapters for various mic and guitar inputs.  Plus iPad apps.  I see much potential there.

Remote DAW controllers and such are already in the mix.

They’re not perfect, of course.  There are a lot of features that would be useful.  And some are a little clunky but there’s a confluence of features and usability on the horizon.

What an age

Of course, having said all of that, there’s something to be said for just a person and an instrument.  There’s something metaphysically intimate and ethereal about the transitory nature of music.  It’s in the air and then it’s gone.

Before all of this electricity, electronics and the industrial age, if you wanted to hear your favorite band live you had to saddle up the wagon and head to the city or your local juke joint.  You would hear it knowing that you may never hear it again.  Could have been the most moving song you had ever heard.  You better enjoy it while it’s there.  In the air.  Strumming your senses.  It won’ t take long before that melody you hear will fade away and you’ll have the memory of how it made you feel and a vague sense of the melody and chords and beat that you may only recall in dreams that you won’t remember.

It’s like sitting in a room with a friend who’s practicing their piano or guitar and they strum out chords.  Sing an unfinished melody.  They’ll make such beautiful music a few seconds at a time.  The most sincere, authentic expression of music you’ve heard in a long while.

You ask them, “What was that?”

And they’ll say, “Oh, just something I’ve been working.  That last part I just made up.  I should write that down.  I’ll do it later if I remember.”

They don’t.  And you know they won’t.  That makes it all the more … sacred.

Anyway, it’s 10pm on a Friday night.  I feel like I should be doing something.

Don’t worry if it’s not good enough
For anyone else to hear
Just sing (Canta)
Sing a song (Canta una canción)

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