Grounding Underpinning  

Day 254 Week 37 Q3 Tuesday, September 12, 2023

In music, having a solid sense of time is extremely helpful. This is why musicians perform with conductors and why they practice with metronomes. It is also white in Mini Music ones. There is a drummer whose job it is to hold down the tempo and prevent it from drifting. It is well-known that solo piano players have a tendency to drift in time when they play by themselves. This is why when they begin to play with others, they frequently have a hard time playing with solid time.

Musicians who are used to playing with others can divide the responsibilities between who will handle the melody, who will handle the rhythm, and who will handle the tonal center.

There is a reason why ensembles generally sound better than solo artists. And of course, solo artists can be compelling, but generally not for as long as an ensemble. A solo artist could be fine for half an hour, but if you want to listen to music for two hours, it’s better to have an ensemble, orchestra, band, or whatever grouping you can imagine.

In modern times, there is such a large stage show that there are musicians playing with backup tracks and backup singers and backup musicians, and sometimes the vocalist is on the stage by themselves as a large pile of musical backdrop supplied by others.

Everyone benefits from having some grounding underpinning. Even listening to a drum track while performing a solo instrument and not recording the drums results in a more solid performance of the solo instrument. 

Is it cheating to record while listening to a click track? I hope not because I assume that most of the recordings in the world by popularization are recorded to a click track.  Would it be preferable to play without one? I am not sure. Because even if there is a click track underlying, this does not prevent the solar musician from advancing and retarding the time during the performance.

Perhaps it might be a good habit to always perform with some underpinning rhythms. Since there can be an infinite number of underpinning rhythms, there could be infinite performances based upon the same piece of music composed without rhythm.

This race is a very exciting possibility that one can write a piece of music and then perform it with different rhythmic accompaniment and end up as literally anything in a number of different performances. In addition, if the original piece is intentioned as a set of chord changes, there could be an infinite number of different melodies to get from each tunnel center to the next. And then there can be infinite chord substitutions to render a musical idea.

Therefore, it is possible for an artist to create a few dozen songs, which can be rendered as a few thousand performances.

But in all cases, it is extremely helpful to have a grounded underpinning.