Homogenous music is a piece of music that is all played on the same instrument. So music that is made by guitar trio, string quartets and choirs are all homogenous pieces of music. An example of a guitar trio could be:
This is a guitar trio including, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia and Al DiMeola called Friday night in San Francisco. This album sold over 2million copies and it was a top selling album. All three artists were big guitarist but McLaughlin was big in the prog and jazz scene, DeLucia was big in Flamenco and classical where as Di Meola was big in the latin scene. I don’t think they expected to get 2million sales from this record because its really aimed at virtuoso guitarist because of the technicality. Because its just three guitars it makes the album seem pretty authentic and is pleasant to listen to even though the album also sounds quite aggressive. But due to the acoustic guitars it makes it feel calming. I think these are probably the main reasons why the album sold so many copies. Because it wasn’t just virtuoso guitarist who were buying this. People were buying it because of how nice it sounded and calm. An advantage of being a guitar trio is that the tones of the instruments blend really well because its all the same instrument. Another reason other than it being nice to listen to for it selling a lot of copies is that each artist each had their own audience. This trio brought all three of their audiences together which was another reason why the album sold. But i think even with all three of their audiences Buying the album, they wouldn’t have been able to get to 2 million. I think the main reason is that it appealed to a wider audience of people and not just the artists audiences and virtuoso guitarists. Another audience this album appealed to was people who were into metal, because of all the fast technical guitar. The whole album is basically a metal shedding album but stripped back and played on acoustic guitars.
Another example of an homogenous piece of music is:
This is Pat Matheny, this example is the opposite of the previous example. It is classed as noise music and it is a completely different way of making a homogenous piece of music. This piece uses overdubbed distorted guitars to create noise. Compared to the other example, the guitars sound jarring and it isn’t very easy to listen to due to it just being more noise. This album would have a way smaller audience than the previous example because it isn’t easy listening, it wouldn’t appeal to many people for the technicality and also the sound of the track is very in your face. The track is loud and wouldn’t be suitable for background music.
Here is another example of an homogenous piece of music:
This is Take 6 which is a homogenous piece just using the voice. This tonality sounds are blended beautifully with gospel styled singing. Because the singing is calm and the voices blend it makes the music really easy to listen to. It sounds so harmonic because they are all using their voice so they blend so well.
Here is another example but using a string quartet:
This is Anton Webern and this piece is played entirely on Strings. Because it’s just a string quartet, it makes the whole piece sound peaceful. This compositions format is in tone row, which means than each note can only be played once while using the chromatic scale. So the notes will all be different for each 12 notes played. Because its played on strings it sounds quite peaceful and easy listening. But i think if it would be played on more than one type of instrument or with a a band it wouldn’t sound good at all!
I’ll now be writing about Non-homogenous (played on different instruments) pieces of music now. Now here is a good example:
This is Frank Zappa with the song ‘Hot Rats’ this is a good example of non-homogenous music because he is blending amazing sounds together from different instruments. When you listen to the tack it is really hard to pick out what instruments are playing and being used. Because this album was recorded in 1969 it sounds amazing for the time. It was recorded on a 16 track recorder and used over 50 overdubs in the recording. This makes the texture of the songs very think with music. Its really hard to pick out instruments because of the amount of texture the instruments give off. This is an unusual mixture of instruments such as guitar, drums, bass, vocals, piano, organ, violin, flute and mariba as well as more instruments like brass and percussive instruments.
There are more classic mixtures of instruments in bands that class as non-homogenous. These include trio’s (Guitar, bass and drums, with one member singing) such as Rush. Standard rock bands include lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, vocals and drums but some rock bands also include keyboards and strings. Where as genres like soul and funk have more brass included. But The variety of music with different instruments is so broad it would be hard to name all the instruments used in every single non-homogenous song/artist.
Trio bands (guitar, bass, drums and vocals) like Nirvana and Rush are good examples of trios. Even though these bands are trios the still manage to fill out the sound of their music. These trios don’t need an extra person to sing, play lead or rhythm guitar. This is because they usually play a variation of rhythm and lead guitar at the same time. They can include guitar riffs and melodies and interpret them into their rhythm guitar playing too. Also the guitar can have solos during the songs and still have a full texture because of the drums and bass playing. This is Rush:
I chose this example because i feel that this song played live goes to show how full their songs sound even though its only a three piece band. To get a more filled sound the guitar doesn’t only play chords, he will play a mixture or riffs, chords and chords with the notes picked individually and even includes solos in their songs. The bass doesn’t only play the root notes of the chords, but it plays the riffs and other notes in between changing chords. Both guitar and bass together playing these makes a massive sound. The drums play technical rhythms and the drum beat is always changing and including drum fills and power. This makes rush’s songs sound even more powerful. This is why they’re called a power trio, because they don’t need an extra guitar to make their songs sound powerful. Also the bass player plays keys either with his hands, but also plays keys with his feet if he is playing bass and singing at the same time.
A standard rock band will include two guitarists both lead and rhythm, a bassist, drummer and a singer. This is different to a power trio because this band will have the option to have one guitar play the chords and or the rhythm and for the lead to play a guitar melody, harmonies and solos as well.