Songs and Music

5 Musicians Who Had Other Occupations Before Becoming Famous

When we think of musicians, we never imagine that they have done anything else. Music is, after all, a passion. It is what everyone would want to be doing if they had the talent for it. This article will take a look at those musicians who did have another career before becoming the musician that we know them as today.

 

James Blunt

James Blunt’s hit “You’re Beautiful” in 2005 saw him accelerate to the top of the charts. He has not always been a musician, though, as he used to be an officer in the British Army Life Guards and served in Kosovo during the conflict of 1999. His previous occupation might be explained by the fact that he was born into a military family. At the University of Bristol, he studied sociology and aerospace manufacturing engineering. His music career is what has made him rich and famous as he now has a net worth of around $18 million, after topping the charts in the UK and the US and selling more than four million copies worldwide of his 2005 hit.

 

Noel Gallagher

Noel Gallagher of Oasis fame first worked as a construction worker for his dad. Then, as his way into music, he was a roadie for the Inspirational Carpets. Noel’s 1994 debut album Definitely Maybe was a commercial success. His second album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? released the following year would then reach the top of the album charts in a multitude of countries. For the hat trick, his third studio album Be Here Now became 1997’s fastest-selling album in the history of the UK charts. It was not certain where the band was initially heading, given their first album title, but when they were together they ended up achieving great things. Noel currently feels happy with the freedom of writing solo songs.

 

Keith Richards

Keith Richards is known the world over as the English musician, singer, and songwriter, who co-founded the Rolling Stones. During the 1960 and 1970s, he was frequently referred to as Keith Richard. As a teenager, he worked as a ball boy for a tennis club. He has gone on to have a musical career spanning 45 years, and a very successful one, too. The band Rolling Stones was named, according to Keith, during a phone call that was made to Jazz News. When the journalist asked band member Brian Jones for the name of the band, he happened to be looking at a Muddy Waters LP that was lying on the floor where one of the tracks was entitled “Rollin’ Stone”. So, there we have it, that was how the band was named. A band name that now rolls off the tongue in every continent.

 

Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger interestingly started off selling ice creams and then was a porter in a mental hospital. Whether this prepared him for a life in rock is debatable. He was also one of the founding members of the Rolling Stones, of course, and also still performing. He has been ranked the 8th richest rock star and worth a staggering $360 million. This compares to Keith Richards’ $500 million. The pair went to school together, so it pays to meet up with some useful friends early on.

 

Rod Stewart

Maggie may wonder what Rod did before he became a famous rock star. The answer is, he was a gravedigger in London’s Highgate Cemetry. He also spent time as a professional footballer playing for Brentford Football Club. Born Roderick David Stewart, Rod is now a Sir and has a CBE to his name. Although born in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. He continues to perform hits such as “Sailing”, and has recently bought his wife a boat for her birthday.

So, five very successful musicians who started in an occupation many of us may still have. Excepting perhaps the one Rod Stewart had that would always seem to be a dead-end job.

Songs and Music

The Art of Classical Music: Music that Stands the Test of Time

Classical music is a broad term used to describe the music of the western art music tradition, including both “art music”, a broad term used to describe the music of the western art music tradition, including both classical music proper (e.g., symphonies, concertos, chamber music, etc.), and genres that are closely related to it by ideology, aesthetics, and performance (e.g., romantic, modern classical, neo-classical, etc.). It is a broad genre of music that originated in Europe during the Baroque period and is typically performed using orchestras and bands featuring string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.

Today, classical music is often divided into “Western” and “Eastern” classical music, with the former referring to the music made by people of European descent, as well as folk and popular music from other parts of the world, and the latter referring to the music of Asian cultures, including music from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, and the Philippines.

Although we think of classical music as being the oldest type of music (and it is), the term itself is relatively new. To distinguish what we call “traditional” or “classical” music from popular music, the term was first used in 1852. It derives from the concept of “classis” – the Latin word for the social classes of the ancient Roman Empire.

The terms “classical music” and “serious music” are generally synonymous, although some use the former term more broadly than the latter. It can also be used to describe music that is associated with the religious sphere and which, in turn, gives it a sense of importance.

The Composers

The founding fathers of classical music are considered to be the great composers of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras. While there were earlier innovators of music, such as the Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez and the Medieval composers Guillaume Dufay and Pérotin, it is generally accepted that the Baroque era (1600–1750) started the classical music tradition.

While most of us are familiar with the great composers who are commonly taught in music school—Handel, Bach, Bartók, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and the like—the majority of the field’s composers are less well-known. For example, Otto von Walsegg, John Blow, William Boyce, and Henry Purcell are some of the influential composers but are lesser-known to people.

Classical vs. Modern – which is better?

This might look like a debate about classical music versus modern music, but it is not. It is about a debate that is raging for decades, and for so long, it is almost impossible to say who is right and who is wrong. But we will not take a side in the debate, and we will try to keep an open mind and look at both sides to see what is going on.

Which is better? More sophisticated? More enjoyable? More important? But why? What makes classical music so special?

Some may disagree about it, but for many people, the answer is obvious: classical is better. More than just a taste for the classic, it’s a cultural choice.

It’s a well-known fact that classical music is more complex than modern music. The most complex classical music can get Johann Sebastian Bach and his musical “Fugues.” Fugues are musical pieces that are part of a larger composition, usually a larger musical piece. All fugues were thus far written are based on the same theme, and each iteration gets more and more complex and difficult and requires a great deal more skill to play than the previous iteration. However, the most complex modern music is that written by the band Radiohead.

The differences between classical music and modern music are some of the oldest arguments in the history of music. Some people say that it is all about the quality of the music and that modern music just doesn’t stack up to the classics. Others think that classical music is too simplistic for the modern world. Still, others think that the differences are more about the instrumentation and presentation.

Should you start listening to classical music?

Classical music has been proven to improve both mental and physical health, but can it improve your intelligence? A study from 2008 found that listening to classical pieces can help boost our problem-solving skills. A group of volunteers was given a set of puzzles to solve. When asked to solve the puzzles, some of the group were playing Mozart in the background. The group that listened to Mozart was consistently more successful at solving the puzzles than those who didn’t. But at the end of the day, it is still one’s preferences that matter.

Songs and Music

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Life and Unpredictable Music

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of music’s greatest, most prolific composers. Born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1756, he composed more than 600 works, including more than 600 symphonies, concertos, operas, and chamber music, before his death at age 35.

Perhaps no other composer has influenced the way music is written and perceived as much as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Not only did he write some of the most recognizable tunes in history, but he also wrote the first operas in history. Although he only lived until he was 35 years old, he managed to compose more than 600 pieces of music.

If you have heard of Mozart, you would probably picture him as a tiny little boy playing with wooden toys. But his father gave him chores like learning to play the clavier and practicing the violin. He was only five when his father, Leopold Mozart, started making him play for his musical friends.

Even though Mozart is well-loved today, it wasn’t always like that. During his life, his father tried to make Wolfgang an established musician, which meant being a freelance musician.  This required Wolfgang to travel around Europe and compose a lot of music.  The problem was that not many people loved Mozart’s music.  In fact, for many years, his music was forgotten and considered unimportant.  It wasn’t until a hundred years later when people started to realize how great Mozart’s music was.

“Never Boring” Music

The music of Mozart is unmistakable. From the “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” to the “Jupiter Symphony,” each piece is like a puzzle piece that fits with the others. If you think of his music as a whole, you can see how each part is not only an integral part of the whole but also an individual piece of art, which can stand alone as well.

The late great conductor Herbert von Karajan once said that Mozart’s music “is never boring because the composer gives you surprises in every bar.” Von Karajan has a point: in a Mozart symphony, you never know what’s coming next. The unpredictable nature of Mozart’s music may account for its popularity with the public, but it has also posed a challenge to musicologists. Indeed, it is a well-known fact among musicologists that no one has ever been able to understand a single note of a Mozart symphony.

The Mozart’s Effect

Music has long been a tool for study, and yet its role in academic success has been largely understudied. But a handful of recent studies have shown that listening to classical music can improve memory and focus and thus may help students improve their grades. “Listening to Mozart has a beneficial effect on attention and working memory,” says Dr. Naila Rabbani, an expert in music and cognitive psychology. “So if they listen to Mozart before they go into an exam, they should perform better.”

While you might not think of classical music when you think of a study aid, many studies have shown that classical music can boost cognitive skills.  For example, researchers in Sweden had volunteers listen to a Mozart piano sonata before they took a test that measured their spatial ability to rotate objects in their mind’s eye.  Those who listened to Mozart scored much higher than those who listened to a relaxation tape.

What is this famous composition that was said to have the “Mozart Effect”?

Well, it is called the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488. Mozart wrote this piece at the age of 16 and is his earliest known piano concerto, composed in 1767. Despite being young at the time, the piece is filled with mature musical ideas, and it goes beyond just being another boring, simple piano concerto. However, he never heard his Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 performed live.

The composer only gave the inaugural performance himself. At the same time, the manuscript sat unrevised in a drawer for several decades, and neither Mozart’s son nor his pupil Franz Xaver Süssmayr nor Beethoven made any changes to the composition. Therefore, Mozart’s autograph score of the concerto became the final version, and it is this score that is seen by performers today.

Does listening to classical music like Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 make us more intelligent?

The Piano Concerto No. 23, along with its famous, haunting final cadenza, is widely believed to make you smarter. Some have claimed that it is an effective mind aid, while others disagree with this claim. Whether a piece of music makes you smarter is mostly dependent on the complexity of the piece. More complex music tends to have more notes, different rhythms and scales, and more variance in volume and tempo and is more likely to be listened to regularly.

Main, Songs and Music

The Songs that have Money in Their Title

Money, Money, Money

ABBA could not have said it any more times when they wrote their song Money, Money, Money. Although, by its lyrics ‘I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay,’ does not suggest that money comes easily to anyone. In the 1970s, ABBA were one of Sweden’s highest exports, second only to car producer Volvo. They are still selling one million records per year. Mia Segolsson, their manager at Polar Music, has said that ABBA has been estimated to have sold something like 385 million records. There is certainly money to be made from the record industry. Particularly by artists who write their own songs. The ABBA songs were written by the two Bs in ABBA. That is, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. The group’s name is an acronym for all their names. Benny plays piano and Björn the guitar. Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad were singers in the group. The group was formed in Stockholm in 1972 and remains one of music’s success stories.

Money Make Her Smile

Money surely makes everyone smile. This was a hit for Bruno Mars. His real name is Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez. His nickname of Bruno was given to him by his dad, who named him after professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino. At just 4 years old, he would impersonate Elvis Presley. Michael Jackson was an influence, too. He is a multi-talented artist in that he does not just sing but also plays keyboard, bass, guitar, and drums. If you can do all of this then surely success must be assured. For a start, you do not have to pay so many other band members to create your music. Bruno has had numerous number ones and is very popular among younger fans.

Money For Nothing

This was a hit for the rock band Dire Straits, whose lead guitarist was Mark Freuder Knopfler OBE. As a songwriter, composer of film scores, guitarist, and record producer, Mark Knopfler is thought to have a net worth of $95 million. Diversification in music may well be the answer to greater riches. He went solo in 1987, after leaving the band, to then reunite with them in 1991. The band broke up again in 1995. Originally left-handed, Mark plays his guitar right-handed. This apparently helps him bend evenly together 2 strings by 2-3 semitones. He has played on more than 130 guitars, including a 1961 Fender Stat.

Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)

Pop duo The Pet Shop Boys sang this one. Initially, the group had called themselves West End, perhaps explaining their hit West End Girls, but they would later come up with Pet Shop Boys as their name, after some friends who worked in a pet shop in Ealing, West London. Favorite instruments, or synthesizers, used by the group were the EMU Emulator, Emulator II, and Emulator II+. All Emulators, really. It was the strings on the Emulator II that featured on many of their early hits. Still together, Neil Tennant sings while Chris Lowe plays the keyboard. To date, they have sold over 100 million records since the 80s. In the Guinness Book of Records for 1999, they were listed as the UK’s most successful duo in music history.

Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?

I think this still counts. A dime is a ten-cent coin and one-tenth of a US dollar. This denomination of coin dates to 1792. The song has been sung by Christmas legend Bing Crosby and covered by George Michael in 1999. It was originally written in 1932 for the musical Americana. It became something of a soundtrack to the Great Depression. The song is sung from the point of view of a beggar who has not been treated well by the system. I know, perhaps I should not have ended with a song so depressing.

This is just to name a few money-related songs but there is something in most of their titles that relates to the success that their artists and composers have had.