Lagos! The first time I had an encounter with a Lagos musician I almost couldn’t play a chord, all of us who came from Ibadan sat down and were waiting for showtime then this guy came on the keyboard and started playing every solo, riff, scales and chords he knows in this world. I was looking in awe, then a guy tapped me and said “Omo that’s Lagos o, the guy might not know how to play to a simple praise worship song like ‘O Sing O Sing O'”. I said it’s a lie, but lo and behold a lady stepped up and started singing simple songs but the guy messed her up, I was so angry I went to the second keyboard to play then the guy stylishly lowered his volume for me, after that lady every other singer was looking for me to accompany them. “Where’s that Ibadan guy”?
Well, I wasn’t as good as the Lagos guy but he only knows what he knows, he doesn’t know how to flow with what he doesn’t know and that is called concept. It’s what is lacking in most musicians, someone is singing hi-life you’re playing irrelevant jazz chords, someone’s rolling funk, a singer is taking a solemn song you’re hitting the snare like a rocky fella. The church is singing a congregational song and you’re jamming syncopations and they’re confused, you’re a keyboardist who is always selecting clavichord tone to play a worship how will the spirit move? You do not understand cadence, so you can’t predict the next chord a song will move to based on its previous note. A vocalist is starting his first verse with ad libs without even establishing the melody first. Drummer soloing on top of music as if it’s a drum competition, saxophonist playing continuously like hi-hats. All these are signs of ignorance of musical concepts.
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The word concept seems common, but mostly misunderstood. It was taken from the word CONCEIVE. God could have dropped us as adults with beards from heaven, but he rather made us undergo the concept of life; Growth and Development. A boy is only different from a man through those two concepts, but his DNA, Genotype, blood group, finger prints remains for life. So, what are the concepts of music?
6 CONCEPTS OF MUSIC
- Duration: Beat, time signature, tempo, silence, syncopation
- Pitch: Key, melody, scale, chord progression, modulation
- Dynamics and Expressions: Loud, soft, smooth,staccato, vibrato
- Tone Colour: Mood, feel, sound quality
- Texture: Solo, Choir, polyphony, call and response
- Structure: Intro, verse, chorus, bridge, coda, vamp
You can use the points to make further studies. It’s high time we stop playing or singing in isolation. Music is not drums, keyboards or vocal skills; it’s an organized combination of all.
The concept of playing is superior to the notes played.