Basslines

2016/11/06 § Leave a comment

Und soll wie aller Musik also auch des Generalbasses Finis und Endursache anders nicht als nur zu Gottes Ehre und Recreation des Gemütes sein. Wo dieses nicht in acht genommen wird, ists keine eigentliche Musik, sondern ein Teuflisches Geplerr und Geleier.

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I often begin the process of composing a song with a bassline.

Not sure why I do this, but it comes naturally. At times, I don’t even have a chord progression laid down before a bassline emerges. One possible reason for this is that I begin piecing together the intervals of a progression before actually writing out (or recording it for matter) that progression, and then this is reflected in the bassline.

This approach does not come without drawbacks. There is a potential for the bassline that emerges to contain more than a bit of what I will announce to be my melody. Depending on how you look at it, this could be a good thing. But it can often be seen as a bad thing, or at least unfashionable. It’s been tried many times before and sometimes to poor effect.

My particular approach to writing music is likely as much a part of the type of music that I produce. In others words, the music I write is innately part of the way I write it. Basically. Maybe that’s not true. I hope it isn’t true. As soon I typed the sentence, I wanted to set this computer on fire. Set the whole table on fire. I writhe at the thought of being less than able to control the way I do things. My stomach lurches at the thought of being determined to not choose.

Johann Sebastian Bach is quoted as saying that one thing I included above. But for those of us who do not read German all that well, here it is in English:

Like all music, the figured bass should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the recreation of the soul; where this is not kept in mind there is no true music, but only an infernal clamour and ranting.

Amen.

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