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Alex Ford

Music 1040
Concert Report #1
California Guitar Trio: At The Grand Theatre
Yamanashi Blues Jazz/contemporary
The main melody of this tune was arpeggiated with many disjunct lines in descending
order. The second verse was short, ascending phrase adding interest. The bridge had
intense jumps displaying the overall large contour found throughout the piece.
Rhythmic dexterity was displayed as the meter changed many times mostly sounding
like a quick simple (5/4) meter. The mainline had a compound meter of (6/8) and
switched to a syncopated (5/4) displaying polyrhythm. Additive triple and compound
meter resulted in the quick, driving (5/4). A truly impressive beat to follow.
Blues harmonies were heard as exciting lowered thirds and sixths added dissonance to
an easy to listen to consonant piece. The entirety of the song was in the blues scale with
blues improvisation.
Yamanashi Blues is in verse and chorus form. There are two improvisation sections
after the verse section. One chorus, one verse, and an improve section repeated twice.
There were many variations of texture found in this piece. Considering this group is an
acoustic guitar trio with no voices the texture is already rather transparent with the most
full texture being every guitar playing different simultaneous riffs. There was
Monophony at the solo sections, Homophony in the verse and Homorhythm in the
buildup to the mainline.
The song expresses an upbeat and classy style only even jazz harmonics can produce.
With dynamics rising in the highlights emphasizing excitement then quieting with every
Sometimes the three guitars would sound like one as they implement a technique called
circulation where every guitar rotates who plays a note in sequence. With such an
experienced classical background the trios timbre sounds like a harpsichord every now
and then.
I think Yamanashi Blues adds an intriguing spin to contemporary jazz as just one
instrument is played rather than having many wind sections, and many instruments used
for backup rhythm; it is all one instrument. Unlike regular jazz ensembles with many
instruments and an array of timbre colors there are just guitars. This idea of having just
one type of instrument producing such complex pieces can widen the perspective on what
can be played with singular particular instruments.

Alex Ford
Music 1040
Concert Report #1
Cherry Trees new acoustic, contemporary
This melody displayed conjunct movements in the main lines. All other backup,
countermelodies were more spaced out and disjunct. During the main phrase the range
tended to stay in a medium range and all other parts were larger. Phrases tended to go
upward as the contour continued forward to the next.
The rhythm stayed mainly consistent with a compound meter (4/8)+(3/8) resulting in a
pulsing (7/8) This piece did not have as much syncopation as many others at the
This piece had many complex harmonies resulting in minor and major stresses. With
dissonance that increased as the song became increasingly less transparent. You can really
hear the classical chord changes as they weave in and out of dissonance and consonance.
This piece is mostly minor.
It was very difficult to place what form this song would take. It does have a recurring
mainline but with so many different verses it cant be binary or ternary. So I can simply
state that it is verse and chorus.
The texture that kept coming up was homophony. It sometimes incorporated
homorhythm but rarely as backup voices were prominent. It remained rather full
throughout the piece creating more complex dissonances reminiscent of the composer
Philip Glass.
The expression represented heavier dissonances that entranced me even though it is a
rather exigent song. The increasing of dynamics from soft to loud would keep you on
edge but with beautiful riffs it really did remind me of wind through frantic blooming
cherry tress.
I have already discussed that, being a classically trained group, they sounded many times
like a harpsichord. Staccato riffs made this sound more frequent exemplifying their
unique group timbre.
Overall cherry trees is a song that makes you think about lovely cherry trees but in a
whole different light then most would expect. It is urgent and kind of dissonant but,
surprisingly, there is a beauty in that. This concept of finding beauty within dissonance
opens most peoples minds to the concept of what can be beautiful.