Iíve been a working musician most of my life, recorded extensively, performed on three continents, and have worked with Grammy- and RMI-winning artists.
About a decade ago I began teaching music for a few colleges. As an extension of my classroom lectures, I began to visit libraries, schools, and other organizations, to speak about some of my favorite musical topics and these lectures have really caught on. The most satisfying aspect: attendees have told me that they listen to music differently now than before we met. My passion for the topics is obvious and contagious. These days, I Zoom, which has allowed me to expand my horizons. For instance, I just did my second lecture for the University of Limerick in Ireland.
The most popular presentation is ďThe Beatles - 50 Years LaterĒ.
This is not an Ďoverviewí of the Fab Four. Everyone knows who they were, that they wore long hair, came from Liverpool, etc. I donít need to go over common knowledge. What I try to achieve in this lecture is akin to what a master chef might aim for in a cooking class. Itís not about the big picture - instead, itís about that pinch of a spice that might otherwise go unnoticed, itís about the mostly subtle elements that make the recipe pop in your mouth. Itís about recognizing the details. I talk about instrumentation, chord movement, lyric depth, individual contributions; the spices in the recipes. That said, it's important to note that my presentations are geared to the layperson. You don't need musical knowledge to have a great time; only a love of music.
My background (until The Beatles showed up) is classical. Classical music is still (and always will be) part of my life. Hence, the following:
"Back to Bach" is a lecture about the daddy of modern music theory and construction, J.S. Bach. He wrote the book, both literally and figuratively, about how music works. We learn about some of his great works, the patterns of harmony he perfected, and by the end of this talk, will understand the complexity - and beauty - of the gems he gave the world.
"Learning Ludwig". The world recently celebrated the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birthday. In this talk, we explore the passion and emotion that was Ludwig, and what created the volatile genius he was. We dive into some of his great works, and taste some of HIS spices.
"The Three Bs". This phrase used to mean Bach, Beethoven and Berlioz. Then it became B, B and Brahms. I'VE made it more modern and with a wider scope. MY Three Bs is Bach, Beethoven and The Beatles. This is a series, one session per entity, and has caught on. I draw comparisons, and point out shared elements!
"Jazz - an American art" is about the history, evolution, styles and components of this art form that is truly American. Jazz was born here, but is also our gift to other countries. We'll explore the styles, personalities and geniuses encompassed in this wonderful music.
I also offer a series called ďHow Music WorksĒ and itís generic and wider in scope. Itís a mixture of music history, theory, evolution, milestones, styles. About 75% geared to classical music and 25% to jazz, itís got something for (almost) everyone. Iím a flexible speaker, and the focus of the individual sessions is somewhat directed by the crowdís interest. To a degree, we can go where that interest leads us.
Again, itís important to note that these presentations are designed for music fans with any level of background, from formally schooled players to those who know nothing about the inner workings of music. All you need is an interest in music and a desire to learn more.
If this is intriguing to you or your organization, please visit my website at www.barrybassist.com for more information and contact info, and letís talk.
Contact Barry Wiesenfeld
Location: Orange County, NY
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