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Music creativity – how you can create something fresh by using “contrast” and “connection”

August 24, 2012

You can be creative and create new and something  and interesting by combining existing things in fresh  and unusual ways.

The secret is to have both contrast and connection – surprising connections!

This is a great example I will share with my son in our next creativity session.

Two things that contrast and that should not go together are the old-fashioned and square nature of the Barber Shop Quartet (sorry to all the Barber Shop Quartet fans out there – both of you J) and the laid-back looseness of Reggae.

Here is a great example of how Jimmy Fallon’s TV show brought together these two very different genres and yet “it works” (in my opinion) – the harmonies work well and the Barbershop jackets in Jamaican colours seem to work too.

What do you think?

Another great  and unusual creative combination is combining the reggae Dub style with Pink Floyd with a musical offering called “Dub Side of the Moon” – once again it seems to work. Of course they have some fun with the Pink Floyd use of alarm sound effects. It’s worth listening until the song eventually kicks it a couple of minutes in.

I always reckon the sign of a great song is that it can survive being done in a different genre – the melody and chords are so strong they still sound good in another style.

The last example I’ll share is a mix between reggae and Led Zeppelin in a project called Dread Zeppelin. The group had an Elvis singer thrown into the mix too. Both names Dub Side of the Moon and Dread Zeppelin sound great and are clever plays on words. There is a connection between the contrasts!


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