My Adventures in Writing Music

It was my fiftieth birthday and when I got up that morning I decided to celebrate by giving myself the day to do anything I wanted – something that I had always wanted to try and had never allowed myself time to do. I decided to try to write music. It seems unbelievable that I had been playing piano since the age of four and had never tried to write music of my own. It just never entered my head that I would be able to do this. I didn’t believe I was intelligent enough.

When I began composing, the music and lyrics would flow out in complete form. I would sit on the couch in the evening watching TV and writing words and music at the same time. Sometimes I didn’t even listen to them until the next day. Many of them were about places and things and events in Colorado. I wrote songs about everything and everybody. I realize now that the compositions followed my own experiences with music. I worked my way through folk music, country, blues, pop, show music, even some rock, and then the music started turning spiritual with new age lyrics about a visionary world.

At one point I was in contact with one I called Frances, as I spelled it for a long time until it was corrected to Francois. A couple of years after that the last name came down and it was Couperin, who was a famous French composer and musician, a harpsichordist for the court of Louis IV and the teacher of the royal princes and princesses.

A year later, I began to receive information from a spiritual source that flowed the same way as the music. Some of the information came from a being named Sashuyon and one of his former incarnations had been as Tchaikovsky. This is where the Russian influence came from in the music.

Eventually I was in touch with the Musical Universe and the Science of Music started coming through. This science will give the world much needed new technology by applying music to seven established sciences for new ways of healing not only humans but also the earth herself.

The day I decided to start composing music, the first song I wrote was entitled “Walk, Walk, Walk with the Angels.” I hated it. I didn’t want to write religious songs. Then I realized that while writing the song I was seeing a vision of angels parading across the top of Grand Mesa, a 14,000 flat top mountain close to my home in Grand Junction. I decided it was meant to be and went on to write another song. This one turned out to be very different. It was about the female singer in my dance band. It continued on from there.

One evening while driving to choir practice a song started coming through and I had to write it on a piece of paper while driving the car. This was kind of hard to do and also kind of dangerous. This song was entitled “When the Columbine Turns Blue Again” and was inspired by a trip we had made up onto the Grand Mesa to cut firewood for our fireplace. I was later informed that this was a reflection on a previous life I had lived.

By the time I had twenty-five songs written I decided to write a musical play and fit the songs into it. I called this play “Boomtown, U.S.A.” Our area was a boomtown at this time based on the oil shale development that was going on at this time is western Colorado. This play will soon be available on my website.

As I worked the songs into the play, I began hearing arrangements for them and tried to incorporate these arrangements into the piano accompaniment. Most of the music in this group was of a country western flavor. Besides piano, I played guitar and mandolin and my sister and I sang at various events as teenagers. I know this influenced these early songs.

The music eventually became a little more in the line of pop music with some influence by early 50s rock and roll. It still didn’t stop me from writing about everyone and everything. One night as I went into choir practice I heard someone ask “Where’s Joe.” The answer that came back from another member was “Joe’s not here.” This became the title of another song and was in the blues genre. This happened quite often.

For some songs I drew from events that took place in my childhood. The song “Daddy was a Bootlegger” was a true story because my Dad was a bootlegger. He ran a still in the blackberry bushes on our property and he quite often spent some time in jail when caught. My Mother hated this song, but did like most of my other work.

For twenty-five years I played for dances every New Year’s Eve. I never had a New Year’s Eve off. One year I had surgery on my right wrist and I still played a four hour gig with just my left hand and left foot on the organ. Anyone who plays piano or organ knows that the melody is most always in the right hand, so this was a very difficult night. This was when we lived in Ohio.

Another night that was kind of unforgettable, while we were still living in Ohio, was when I was playing a dance for a group of state patrol officers. I was about 8 months pregnant; the officers were drinking merrily and kept yelling at me all night, “don’t worry lady, we’re all trained in childbirth.” They repeated this over and over more loudly as the night wore on and they became more inebriated. The last worrisome part of the night was when they insisted on carrying my organ down a steep flight of stairs. I was sure they were going to drop it.

“Christmas in the Country” was the aftermath of the holiday season when I lived in Vail, CO. For Christmas Eve I had the honor of playing a church service for President Ford and his family. A week later on New Year’s Eve I was on my way uptown to play in a bar when I was in an accident. The woman who hit me turned out to be the sister of the man who hired me to work at the bar. I had to be careful how I handled the event for fear of losing my job, which I really needed.

When we moved to Grand Junction, CO I started my own dance band called, “Aces and Eights” after the hand of cards that Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot. I had this band for about ten years. I remember well the first and last jobs.

The first gig was in Telluride, CO, a ski town about 150 miles southwest of Grand Junction. I had booked a three piece band at a club and hired a trumpet player and drummer, both college students. We all went in our van with the instruments including my organ. My husband was driving. The drummer said he’d been in an auto accident earlier that day, but he was all right. We made it through the first set and he got sick. He had to lay down on a couch backstage and the trumpet player took over the drums. He’d never played them before, but had studied how to do it in college. Thank goodness for his talent. We had to pack the van carefully going home so there was room for the sick drummer to lay down on the floor. We had taken the rear seat out and that was the only place he could lay down. He was pretty sick by this time. He had a concussion from the accident.

The last job was in a town about the same distance northeast of Grand Junction. It was New Year’s Eve and that night I had booked a five piece band. We had to take the equipment up three flights of stairs. But that wasn’t the worst part – the travel was treacherous that night. The roads were snow covered and very slippery. My husband was driving and did a very good job, but I was scared both going to the job and home again. There were snow shoe rabbits all over the roads on the way to the job and coming home it was deer and moose that were all over the roads.

That was the night I “hung it up.” Our son Neil was about four when we moved to Colorado and by this time he was 14 – too old for a baby sitter and too young to stay by himself. I never played another dance job.

After moving to Los Angeles I decided to try to write some pop music so I signed up for lyric writing classes and started going to workshops. I had signed up for twelve weeks of lyric classes. The classes were held at the teacher’s house. One night after I’d been going there for about three weeks, I left her house and headed for my car. It was across the street and down a little ways from her house.

While walking to it I noticed two homeless men walking towards me pushing their carts. I saw them cross the street and head towards me. I hurried and just got inside and shut and locked the door when they were knocking on my window. I started the car and tore out of there. I never went back to finish my lessons.

Another night I was at a workshop in a downtown high rise and when I came out to go to the parking lot which was about a block away, I had to walk among street people laying right on the sidewalk and reaching up as I passed, asking for money. I never went to anymore workshops.

I lived in Los Angeles about five years. I was there for fires, floods, earthquakes and riots. I was teaching music at a preschool one day and the other teachers came in, locked the doors and pulled all the shades shut. I sat there and entertained the children while they waited for their parents to pick them up. The rioting was within a block and a half of the school.

“Talk to Each Other” was inspired by actually seeing a woman lift the lid of a garbage can. I also was acquainted with a teacher at the school where the student was shot. I entered the song in a contest to “Heal L.A.” after the riots. It got an honorable mention out of 1200 entries and I also got an eighteen month contract on it, but nothing ever came of it.

I was there for the big earthquake that did so much damage. Our house didn’t receive much damage, but one day when I went to the preschool where I was to teach it was completely destroyed from an earthquake.

When the fires were burning I could open my front door and see the flames behind a hill not too far away. My big worry was having to leave my cat locked in the house while I was teaching. I gave the neighbor a key and asked her to let the cat out if the evacuation order came. It never did.

Nokia 5700 – Let the Music Play

The new Nokia 5700 XpressMusic 3G smartphone comes in a choice of colours including red, grey or black color with in a smooth white finish. This model from Nokia 5700 is stylish, fashionable and a fun handset measuring 17.3mm thick, 50.5mm wide and 108.2mm high. The Nokia 5700 mobile phone comes with a removable battery, a headset, travel charger, USB cable, Nokia PC Suite CD Rom and a user guide included in the start up kit. This model mobile phone from Nokia comes with a high quality music player that can be easily accessed and managed with the twist action feature.

The music player existing in this model phone is capable of playing music in MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ & WMA format. The stereo in the mobile phone comes with a built in equalizer, stereo widening, balance and loudness features that assures excellent musical experience. The mobile phone also has a built in FM radio providing the user with a visual radio feature that will help him in listening his favourite radio stations.

The added feature of this model mobile phone from Nokia is the built in 2 Mega Pixel camera complete with flash and 4 x zoom option. The camera function ensures the user of photos of perfect and excellent quality. The camera feature also has photo editing features that will help the user to edit the pictures according to his preference. It is also possible for the user to play popular video formats in this model mobile phone. The Nokia 5700 XpressMusic mobile phone comes with an enhanced video editor that comes complete with different effects and video options waiting for the user to create and enhance the videos.

The 5700 XpressMusic mobile phone comes with a battery that provides the user with approximately 288 hours of GSM standby time and 3.5 hours of GSM talk time from a full charged battery. There also exists Bluetooth wireless connectivity, USB cable connection with Pop Port and infra red making things more beneficial for the user. The 5700 XpressMusic also has EDGE technology and GPRS that ensures easy data transfers.

Piano Chords for Beginners 4: Learn to Play the Carol, O Christmas Tree, with Four Basic Chords

In our Piano Chords for Beginners articles so far, we have seen how to play Silent Night and Away in a Manger using only three different Major chords, and we have discovered how to add Minor chords to our accompaniment in Good King Wenceslas.

To play the piano accompaniment for this Christmas carol, O Christmas Tree, we will need to add yet another important chord type to our piano chord repertoire: the Seventh Chords.

The Seventh Chords

The Major and Minor chords we have studied so far were all composed of three notes played at once on the keyboard. In Seventh chords, four notes are played at the same time. The Seventh chords are closely based on their corresponding Major chord. In fact the first three notes of the Seventh chord are the same as those of the corresponding Major chord. However, the final note of the Seventh chord adds a beautiful harmony and richness to these chords.

For the carol, O Christmas Tree, we need to use both the C Major chord and the C Seventh chord. The actual notes in these two piano chords and the chord symbol for each chord are given below:

C Major

– Notes: C E G

– Chord Symbol: C

C Seventh

– Notes: C E G Bb

– Chord Symbol: C7

Play the C7 chord with the fifth, third, second and first (thumb) fingers of the left hand.

O Christmas Tree: Two Major Chords, One Minor Chord and One Seventh Chord

To play this Christmas carol we will need the following piano chords:

C Major:

– Notes: C E G

– Chord Symbol: C

F Major:

– Notes: F A C

– Chord Symbol: F

D Minor:

– Notes: D F A

– Chord Symbol: Dm

C Seventh

– Notes: C E G Bb

– Chord Symbol: C7

Practice these chords in the two octaves below Middle C on your keyboard.

Lyrics and Tune of O Christmas Tree

Play the tune of O Christmas Tree with your right hand, starting on Middle C. There are three quarter-note or crotchet beats in every bar in this carol. In my notation, the ][ symbol represents a bar line separating the bars in the music.

O ][ Christ-mas tree, O ][ Christ-mas tree, Thy ][

C ][ F F F - G ][ A A A - A ][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; O ][

G A Bb E ][ G F - C ][

Christ-mas tree, O ][ Christ-mas tree, Thy ][

F F F - G ][ A A A - A ][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; Not ][

G A Bb E ][ G F - C ][

on-ly green when ][ su-mmer glows, But ][

C A D C ][ C Bb Bb - Bb ][

in the win-ter ][ when it snows. O ][

Bb G C Bb ][ Bb A A - C ][

Christ-mas tree, O ][ Christ-mas tree, Thy ][

F F F - G ][ A A A - A ][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er!

G A Bb E ][ G F

Practice this melody until you can play it by memory.

O Christmas Tree Chord Accompaniment

Now let's look at the piano chords for O Christmas Tree. Play the chords in a regular rhythm corresponding with the three quarter-note or crotchet beats in each bar.

A special note about the chords highlighted in bold face: these chords are played by themselves, half a beat before the final note of the melody in those bars. For example, at the end of the first line, F chords are played with the syllables 'Christ-' and 'tree', then the Dm chord is played by itself, followed by the melody note, A, by itself, with the word 'Thy'.

O ][ Christmas Tree! O ][ Christmas Tree! Thy ][

----][F----F----C----][F----F----Dm ----][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; O ][

C----C----C----][C7----F --------][

Christmas Tree! O ][ Christmas Tree! Thy ][

F----F----C----][F----F----Dm----][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; Not ][

C----C----C----][C7----F----F----][

only green when ][ summer glows, But ][

F----C7----C7----][C7----C7----C7----][

in the win-ter ][ when it snows. O ][

C7----C7----C7----][C7----F--------][

Christmas Tree! O ][ Christmas Tree! Thy ][

F----F----C----][F----F----Dm----][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er.

C----C----C----][C7—-F—-

Don’t the seventh chords give a glorious sound to the fifth and sixth lines of this carol? All the chords that you will find in books of beginner piano music can be played easily by learning a set of simple patterns! There is no need to memorize dozens of individual chords or read complicated sheet music scores. However, for all but the simplest songs, it is a great advantage to be able to read music notes so that you can accurately read the tune and rhythm of the melody from sheet music.

Playing piano chords and learning to read music notes can be done with ease by using the correct techniques. Then you can progress to playing your favorite popular piano music with your own unique accompaniments — with ease!

Role of Music in Human Life

Music is passion

Music is energy

Music is joy

Music is creativity

Music is eternal

Music is love

Music is soul

Music is life

Music is one of the greatest creations of human kind in the course of history. It is creativity in a pure and undiluted form and format. Music plays a vital role in our daily life. It is a way of expressing our feelings and emotions. Music is a way to escape life, which gives us relief in pain and helps us to reduce the stress of the daily routine. It helps us to calm down, an even excites us in the moment of joy. Moreover, it enriches the mind and gives us self confidence.

Music surrounds our lives at different moments of lives, whether we hear it on the radio, on television, from our car and home stereos. Different kinds of music are appropriate for different occasions. We come across it in the mellifluous tunes of a classical concert or in the devotional strains of a bhajan, the wedding band, or the reaper in the fields breaking into song to express the joys of life. Even warbling in the bathroom gives us a happy start to the day. Music has a very powerful therapeutic effect on the human psyche. It has always been part of our association with specific emotions, and those emotions themselves have given rise to great music.

The origins of Indian music can be traced back to the chanting of the Sama Veda nearly 4,000 years ago. The primacy of the voice, and the association of musical sound with prayer, were thus established early in the history of Indian music. Today, music is available for us in different forms and the choice for music varies from person to person just as the reading choices vary from one another. There is folk music, classical music, devotional music, instrumental, jazz, rock music, pop music, hindi movie songs and many more.

In the modern world, Music has gained an honourable designation of ‘HEALING WITHOUT MEDICINE’. Doctors feel that music therapy has been helping them in treating many people with problems like dementia, dyslexia depression and trauma.” Many children with learning disability and poor co-ordination have been able to learn, and respond to set pieces of music. Many people with genetic disability have found a new light in the form of music.

Dance critic Ashish Khokar cites an experiment as proof: “Music is produced from sound, and sound affects our sense perception in many ways. Even fish in an aquarium were once made to listen to different kinds of music and it was found that their movements corresponded with the beat of the music. Mind you, fish do not hear, they only felt the vibrations of the sound through water. So you can imagine what a profound effect sound and music might have on the human mind.”

Anand Avinash, founder of the Neuro Linguistic Consciousness workshop who has researched music therapy says,”the mystics and saints from ancient to modern times have shown how music can kindle the higher centers of the mind and enhance quality of life.” Mantras, or chants used in the West, repeated monotonously, help the mind to achieve a sense of balance. A combination of the sounds in Sanskrit mantras produce certain positive vibrations and elevate the mind to a higher lever of consciousness.

We all know that meditation cleanses the system of its negative energies and vibrations. And music is a powerful aid to meditation. In many meditation workshops, music is used to make people more aware of their moods and feelings. People are made to lie down and empty their minds and then listen to the music which is systematically changed so that they can fit through different emotions and state of consciousness.

Many people also believe that any music you respond to positively will work for you, regardless of its content. Thus, even pop music might work wonders for you.

Music affects all of us in some way or the other. It also is the most common interest of many people. People who love music, listen to it while traveling, reading, meditation, walking, some even have soft music while working in their busy routine. It helps them to relax and escape from the stress of our day-to-day lives. It can transport us to another time or place and it is a great feeling of seeing or doing or experiencing something different. People have special music corner for themselves and some people give importance to listening in silence and some people love to read with light music and even some people love listening to music before sleeping. Many people love listening to music in bathroom because they feel it is one of the few rooms in the home where privacy is routinely respected. Some people also love to sing in the bathroom and are called ‘bathroom singers’. Music has now become a part of our life as it serves different purposes for each one of us.

  • It serves as an entertainment tool. For instance, in an occasion or event, music plays a vital role that makes the event to be lively for the people. Similarly, it creates cordial relationship among the people.
  • Moreover, it serves as a tool for corrective measure. Music tell the people on the habit that is uncultured so that such behavior can be for better. Furthermore, it is an agent that is used to educate people. Music can easily convey message to the friends and enemies.
  • It serves as tool for settling dispute between two or more people. It often helps to put an end to disagreements after listening to related meaningful songs. Music is played for the group to show harmony among them.
  • Music also serves as a source of income to human life. It is a profession of particular classes of people like lyricist, playback singers, music directors, musicians, musical instrument players, djs etc.
  • Lastly, music serves as a message or symbol that indicates the occurrence that is going on in a particular place or event. For instance, If bad occurrence happen in a particular place the type of music played their will show the audience or listens what happened in that event. The type of music played will justify to the listeners what actually going on there.