Mike Overly's 12 Tone Music News

The Latest Guitar and Bass News from around the World Wide Web . . .
June 20, 2019
In This Issue

Virtually every known musical system is based on a discrete set of pitches rather than on a continuous spectrum of frequencies.

This seemingly innate development of structure from a continuum echoed the statistical mechanics framework that describes how physical systems undergo phase transitions.

Minimizing the free energy of a thermodynamic system requires balancing energy minimization and entropy maximization. A similar tension can explain the structure of musical systems.

Sound entropy-the number of available tones-should be maximized to increase the number of ways notes can be arranged. But dissonance, the perception of roughness or harshness when two of the tones are played together, should be minimized to ensure that combinations of notes are aurally pleasing.

In a thermodynamic system, the optimal balance between energy and entropy depends on temperature. At low temperatures, energetic interactions dominate and order emerges; increasing the temperature favors entropy and causes a transition from order to disorder.

A similar transition for pitches by varying an effective temperature, T, that indicates the degree of importance placed on sound entropy relative to dissonance.

At low T, minimizing dissonance took precedence, and the musical system emerged with only one note. At high T, sound entropy dominated, so the entire continuous spectrum of tones remains available.

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From the moment in December 1927 when Epaminondas "Epi" Stathopoulo officially changed the name of his musical instrument manufacturing company from the House of Stathopoulo to the Epiphone Banjo Corporation the company seemed motivated to outdo their main rival, Gibson. Almost from the very beginning of Epiphone's guitar production efforts in 1928, there was a synergy between the two brands-somewhat adversarial at first, but also with considerable admiration on both sides.  
The Precision Bass, first produced in October 1951, is such a special instrument. If Clarence Leo Fender were to be remembered for nothing else, surely it would be the Precision-an instrument - indeed a whole new kind of instrument - that simply didn't exist before he invented it, that would forever ensure his place in history. For while all the other great Fender products of the decade certainly affected music, the Precision Bass profoundly affected music.

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Russian guitarist Valeria Galimova plays Quatre Pièces Brèves by Frank Martin (1890-1974). If you're interested about the history of this piece check out Hans Jonkers article summing up the Segovia interaction and eventual publication of the work and its variants. Still one of my favourite pieces, such a mix of the serialism of the day but with Martin's lyricism. Great musical language abut a focus on melody and motivic unity.  
10 Ways to Get in and out of Trouble

One of the most rewarding ways to express yourself as a guitarist is by performing a solo 6-string arrangement. In the jazz tradition, playing solo guitar is viewed as a mandatory skill. Once you acquire the chops to do this, you'll also have the ability to outline the harmony in groups that lack a pianist. In my experience, having a few arrangements together-as well as being able to come up with some on the spot-has been a huge help.
Since the late '40s, Fender has launched many of the world's most revolutionary instruments and amplifiers, earning the California company a well-deserved reputation as a titan of the industry. Fender's legacy has persevered for decades, and judging by its current lineup of guitars and amps, that won't be changing anytime soon. Yet for all of Fender's many successes and innovations, there remain plenty of products that simply never caught on with players.
Giovanni Bottesini was a strange chap by the standards of the classical music fraternity of his day. While at least three hundred years' worth of composition for the violin and viola existed, no composer had bothered to write music specifically for the double bass to any significant degree. Some of this was due to the fact that people were still arguing about the number of strings the instrument should have, and also because in those days people were about a foot shorter than they are today and less able to lug the thing around.   

Order Guitar EncycloMedia or Bass EncycloMedia 
through June 27, 2019  to receive FREE SHIPPING!
Available only from the 12tonemusic.com online store.
No coupon code needed. Domestic orders only. Money back guarantee.
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  www.guitartruth.com and www.basstruth.com are subsidiaries of   
12 Tone Music Publishing, LLC.