Real vs. Hyper Real vs. Surreal


For the real category, I picked My Strongest Suit from the musical Aida. After I saw the production of this show at Montclair State in October, I was hooked on the music. Every time I listen to the music, I can picture the stage and what is happening in the show during each song. The thing that makes this song sound realistic is that it doesn’t have the instrumental accompaniment playing the melody. While the music is really great, the vocals are what really captures your attention and are the main component of this song. Its easy for any song from any musical to sound real because they are always meant to be performed live.


For the hyper realistic piece, I chose Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D Minor recorded live by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This recording is hyper realistic because not everything is perfectly in sync which is whats great about live performances. Instead of having everything be so perfect and exact, theres more realism in the music when there are actual humans playing. An example of everything not being totally together is in the beginning with the cello’s opening theme. The section is together but there are just split seconds where you hear one person move a little differently than the entire other section. It doesn’t sound bad, it is just a minor flaw that wouldn’t be made if a computer was playing this music.


Lastly, for the surreal section, I chose Centipede by Knife Party. At first, you think that there is a slight possibility that real instruments could be being used. There are some drums and percussion sounds that sound pretty real and also something that sounds almost like a guitar. But then the song continues. The opening section of this song is a man narrating a centipede like it was on a National Geographic show. As the song builds up to the drop, its clear that everything is being played on synthesizers. These sound effects would not be able to be played on actual instruments. If someone even attempted to replicate them on real instruments, it would sound absolutely ridiculous.



Midi Song Process

For the Midi song project, I used an arrangement of Human by Christina Perri. I intended it to be written for a small string ensemble consisting of 2 violins, a viola and 2 cellos. I used Noteflight as my notation program. But when I transferred the file from Noteflight to a Midi and put it in garage band, all of the parts came up as piano. Instead of immediately trying to change it back to a string ensemble, I listened to it with the piano arrangement. It turns out that I liked the piano version a lot better than the string version. There are some crunchy voices in my arrangement and they sounded better on piano than they did on strings. One thing I think I could improve on is getting the lower voices to be more present in the song. I tried playing around with the sound mixing but it obviously wasn’t enough. If I had unlimited time and ability, I would orchestrate this song for a larger ensemble with strings and winds or piano and winds.

Groove Pizza Beat

At first, I found that making a beat using the Groove Pizza was a little harder than I thought it would be. My process when it came to creating this beat was basically trial and error. I filled every sixteenth note spot up on all three instruments and just starting cutting things to make it more interesting. Eventually, I came up with something that I was happy with an semi-musical. I would say that this drum loop belongs to the funk genre because it is very syncopated but also with a very laid back feel.

Loop Project Process

I created my loop project using garage band. First, I knew I wanted to highlight a variety of different percussion instruments. I ended up picking “African King Tsonshi” to start the piece. Then four bars later, I added “Tambourine 2” and four bars after that, I added “Brazilian Ago-go”. As a woodwind player, I knew that I wanted to incorperate some type of woodwind loop that was available. I was between a flute loop and the oboe loop that I ultimately chose to use. Then as I got to the chorus, I added a 3 second sound effect to add anticipation and then I cut small portion of the oboe loop to lead directly into the chorus. At the chorus, I added “Action Synth” to add energy to the song.

When it came to musical form at the beginning of the song, I gave each percussion instrument a 4 bar intro. Then I added the oboe loop into the mix and thats what I consider to be the first verse. After the first verse, I have a small percussion break and then the oboe loop comes back in for the second verse. As the oboe loop is ending in the second verse, the 3 second sound effect plays followed by a cut piece of the oboe loop to lead right into the chorus. The synth comes in at the chorus and I end each 8 bars of the chorus with a cut piece of the oboe loop. I repeated this process until I got to what could be called the bridge. I took 8 bars of the synth and added two different cut pieces of the oboe loop on top of it. For the outro, I let each instrument play for 4 bars and the last four bars feature the oboe loop that most of the piece is based upon.

I feel this is a valid way of creating music because it really makes you think about the structure of the song and what you are adding to it. Without the form of the song, you would just have noises put together which some people would still argue is music. Before this project, I didn’t think that creating music this way was a legitimate way of making music.…922505/oboe-in-the-jungle

Perfect Illusion (Lady Gaga) Song Structure



Lady Gaga- Perfect Illusion

(0:00-0:07) Measure 1-4 Intro 1

(0:08-0:14) Measure 5-9 Intro 2

(0:15-0:30) Measure 10-18 Verse 1

(0:31-0:45) Measure 19-26 Chorus 1

(0:46-0:50) Measure 27-29 2 Bar Break in between Chorus 1 and Verse 2

(0:51-1:05) Measure 30-38 Verse 2

(1:06-1:20) Measure 39-46 Chorus 2

(1:21-1:51) Measure 47-62 Bridge

(1:52-2:14) Measure 63-71 Chorus 3 (Key Change)

(2:15-2:24) Measure 72-76 4 Bar Break in between Chorus 3 and 4

(2:25-2:38) Measure 77-84 Chorus 4

(2:39-2:54) Measure 85-92 Outro

Favorite and Least Favorite Song

Favorite Song: It seems that whenever someone is asked about their favorite song, they have such a hard time answering such a simple question. This question is so simple yet so difficult because there are so many elements that go into answering it. Things like genre, style, mood and even time of the year can effect someone’s answer to this question. My favorite song is The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, particularly The Adoration of the Earth. As a bassoonist, it seems a little cliche that I chose this as my favorite song but it is just really great piece all around. The bassoon solo at the beginnning might be the most iconic orchestral excerpt for bassoon and it is equally as entertaining to play as it is to listen. The piece just feels very organic and natural. I find it interesting that this piece was so controvercial when it was first debuted and now its become standard piece of orchestral repertoire.

Least Favorite Song: This question on the other hand, people seem to have an easier time with answering. I think it’s easier to identify and explain what you don’t like about something than to explain what you do like. I’m going to sound like a scrooge or a grinch saying this but my least favorite song has to be Santa Baby, specifically the version by Michael Buble. The song by itself is irritating because it is the epitome of gold-digging. If a female is singing it, the song is at least bearable but when you have Michael Buble sing it, the terms of endearment that conclude each phrase seem insincere. To avoid the song having any romantic feeling between the singer and Santa, Michael Buble continuously ends each phrase with “…Santa buddy” or “…Santa pally” and by the fourth or fifth time he sings that, it gets old. The song is just extremely repetitive and just not as enjoyable as the other versions.