Wednesday, December 17, 2008


To further expand on my previous post, this post will deal with what I am beginning to think of as Post-Chordalism. Or Post-Chordal music. It's all based in how you think of it.
The key basis to the idea is the removal of a structure mediated by chord progression. This is something played around with in free jazz. I don't feel it's been played around with, (at least not enough) In music where guitars are the primary focus.

I admit that the guitar is so wonderfully suited to chords that not taking advantage of that would have been obtuse. Of course that was going to be a focus of the way guitar is played. I'm only sad that has been the only focus. The riff based construction sometimes used in maths rock is a nice step in the correct direction. Using the guitar in a similar way as an instrument which can only play a singular note at a time, though restricting in certain ways, opens up so many possibilities. It is interesting even as a simple exercise. It's like trying to play without a high E string. The sound is different, but it challenges you to play within a truncated range. This challenge changes your music, often for the better.

I don't suggest that Post-chordal music would have no chords, I simply suggest that the usage of chords would be less frequent, and at the whim of the guitarist. In the early stages I imagine this would sound like free jazz played on the guitar, but whence the techniques prominent in maths rock, such as finger tapping, enter the arena, something entirely different will emerge.

The Point here is that the Post isn't a complete leaving behind of, but a de-emphasising of. In many a song the chord progression is the key sign of structure other than "verse chorus bridge" Though I'm not yet sure about which vestiges of structure to keep and which to get rid of, I do think that chord progressions are on their way out.

I would most like an ensemble sized group, with a bandleader within. The bandleader would give signal, be it musical (some riff perhaps) or other wise which tells the rest of the band to switch their tone completely. whatever had been worked on is left behind and something new is created. The only structure is the way in which the bandleader decides to line up the changes. Some riff can be the focus of a block of the song, but everyone does as they will in that space, playing off of each other, until signalled into another switch.

That's the basic Idea. The amount of music that could come of it is magnificent. There is a nigh infinite realm of possibility in just that idea. If someone manages to start such a Post-Chordal, or Free-rock Or whatever the hell else you want to call it, band, ensemble or so on, I'd be thrilled.

In fact that would make things easier for me. It's never the first guy who does it who makes the biggest waves. Take Ornnette Coleman's adoption of Free Jazz and then John Coltrane's (Coltrane was second, and far bigger)/

So please borrow my idea. Perhaps better musicians than me can take it and do something with it.

So this idea is yours to anyone who finds it. Credit me or don't, but make great music either way.

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