Strange numbers
January 20, 2022

Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms people have sent him. His Sungazer bandmate, drummer Shawn Crowder plays those strange polyrhythms and then they rank them together. Very nerdy stuff, but still plenty of fun.

YouTube music theorist 12tone analyses the rhythm and emphasis in James Brown's 'I Feel Good'. It's actually a reaction to another YouTube music theorist's video, Adam Neely's video on the same song. 12tone points out how analysis gets in the way of imagination.

Yet another amazing video by the music theorist Adam Neely with answers to several questions, including the one on the Stromae's new song 'Santé'. Neely explains what Stromae did with this song's rhythm to make it special. Educational and fun, as always.

"Sometimes even when things go right, you feel drained and empty, and that's ok. I had a great show at LPR with my band, but in the week that followed I didn't feel great" - music theorist and band-leader Adam Neely announces his latest video, about the feeling of emptiness after the show.

I feel theoretic
November 24, 2021

Adam Neely: Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle

What is the proper scansion for James Brown's 'I Feel Good'? - it is the question that nobody asked and the one Adam Neely in answering in his latest video 'Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle'. Neely points out that the meaning changes depending on where in the sentence we put the emphasis on.

"Many instruments have defined many musical movements over the years, but there's one that's played a pivotal role in almost every one: The human voice" - 12tone introduces his latest video. "The way a singer uses their voice is one of the clearest ways of shaping a musical identity. Despite its clear significance, though, or perhaps because of it, the voice is notoriously hard to analyze" - the music theorist tries anyway.

Going easy on theory
October 31, 2021

Adam Neely: Is Adele's latest single microtonal?

A few interesting questions answered by the music theorist Adam Neely in his latest video post:

Is Adele’s Easy on me microtonal?

Who is the better bass player, Homer Simpson or Adam Neely?

How to prioritize creativity over theory?

What’s a spread triad?

The music theorist talks about working on music that explores human perception of time through irregular grooves in his latest video. Neely explains that "because they're grooves you're meant to feel them, to embody them, to move to them. With everything groove-related, when you overthink them, ever regular grooves you're kind of missing the point". It all started two decades ago with the song 'Soil' by System of a Down.

Great in school
September 29, 2021

Adam Neely: Patterns do matter!

The great music theorist is in a great mood in his latest video, where he answers several questions, including his thoughts on the phrase “music isn’t like how it used to be?”, do certain keys have “better” bass?, details on the new album by his band Sungazer, thoughts on Bach vs Mozart and similar great trivia.

Adam reethmy
September 26, 2021

Adam Neely: The psychology of extreme rhythms

YouTube music theorist talks about rhythmic thresholds in his latest video - the slowest and fastest music we're capable of processing. The slowest music we can process, Neely argues, is 33 bpm, with the fastest being at 100 milliseconds. The rhythm that feels the most natural, or "the indifference interval" is at 100 bpm. Neely also tried this borderline rhythms with the audience of his band Sungazer.

Music theory YouTuber Adam Neely and recorder player Sarah Jeffery go back centuries to explore medieval music in her latest video. They try and prove that the early classical music wasn't really that simple, dealing with "rhythmic math FUN with polyrhythms, polypulses, and medieval music!".

180 seconds of fame
September 21, 2021

Ted Gioia: Are three-minute songs bad for music?

In the latest installment in a series of unscripted videos in which Ted Gioia addresses key matters related to music and society, the music writer discusses the record industry's longstanding preference for three-minute songs, and explores the impact of this on our experiences of music.

Geeez!!! - music theorist Adam Neely goes sooo far with fixing some well-known songs with autotune, you can't even call it sarcasm, the word just isn't strong enough. So, the songs fixed are Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love', Frank Sinatra's 'Fly Me To The Moon', Aretha Franklin's 'Respect', Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', and Bill Withers' 'Ain’t No Sunshine'. The point: perfection destroys expression. A monster of a video!

The YouTube music theorist delivers yet another funny and clever educational video, this time about bass, the instrument he himself plays (and believes it to be the superior one). Neely tries to explain why you can't really play melodies on bass. He also translates "hmmm" into notes. Funny stuff!

The tone of the beast
August 03, 2021

Adam Neely: The great myth of the Medieval tritone ban

A great new video by the music theorist about the myth of the Medieval tritone being banned by the Catholic church. Adam Neely explains the tritone, how the myth was born, and why it is so damn persistent.

A great video by music theorist 12tone where he analyses a month-old video by another music theorist, Rick Beato who did a livestream called 'Why Today's Music Is So BORING. The Regression of Musical Innovation'. Beato attempted to argue that modern music was no longer doing interesting things. 12tone argues Beato's wrong. 12Tones' argument is also beautifully illustrated.

Science is golden
July 07, 2021

Adem Neely goes into beautiful chords

Music theorist Adam Neely makes music theory seem so simple and easy to understand, in general, and in his newest video as well. He talks about, and plays beautiful chords, and also talks about why deadlines are good for creativity, as well as why he thinks of himself as a musician, rather than as a YouTuber.

An elephant in a music book
July 05, 2021

Essay: How Indian notes interrelate to cries of animals

Music historian Katherine Schofield writes a short essay for the Grin, marrying her knowledge of Indian classical music and art, about how each swara or Indian note, seven in all, interrelate to cries of animals. Sur is a musical sound made up of swaras.

YouTube music theorist Rick Beato goes back into Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Mendes' 'Never Gonna Let You Go', the song he believes is "the most complex pop song of all time". Beato first tried to play it four decades ago and still doesn't know it by heart.

Music theorist Rick Beato discusses the overuse and impact of auto-tune in modern music, which he believes is being overused. He starts with famous Cher and Lenny Kravitz, to end with Maroon 5 and T-Pain. His argument is that auto-tune is making the vocalists sound like computers.

The new episode of Sound Field explores the current debate in classical music of how much recordings should be edited. It explores why do classic musicians edit at all, how it differs from pop music, how it affects musicians, and what the future brings.

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely goes into "the long shadow of Western European aesthetics in the modern global musical ecosystem". Why? "Tik Tok has recently imploded over a young singer who sang harmony to Matt Maltese’s 'As the World Caves in'".

TikToker @mancypodcast shares a short theory about how punk rock may be responsible for a major shift in accent in America. It happened when American punk bands were copying the sound of British punk bands, who were copying the sound of American punk bands. He calls the accent the California lilt.

The cilinder story
June 06, 2021

Lovely video: The history of recorded sound

The British Library has released a lovely animated video explaining the 100+ years of recorded sound. Narrated by author, singer-songwriter and broadcaster Cerys Matthews (from the band Catatonia), this animation goes from Thomas Edison's invention to digital sound. It's a short one - 3 minutes in duration.

The great YouTube music theorist Adam Neely tries to explain the Neapolitan chord, and goes on to argue why it's high time for that specific chord progression to come back. Man, he talks about classical music, and still makes it just so exciting, again! Some other fun stuff too in the video...

Music theorist Rick Beato is a big fan of Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb', which was a strong point in his growing up, so he takes it to analyse it. He also emphasizes the David Gilmour - Roger Waters relationship and how it affects both the song and Pink Floyd in general.

YouTube music theorist Rick Beato shared a new video where he tried to explain the regression of musical innovation. He goes back decades to look at the pop music of the 1960s and the 1960s like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Earth, Wind & Fire, and compares it to Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, Jonas Bros., etc. Why is this happening?

Standing progression
May 16, 2021

Podcast: The most famous chord progressions

An easy-to-listen-to and funny podcast on Stitcher about a few specific chord progressions that show up again and again in popular music. Music journalist Jennifer Gersten and comedic musician Benny Davis discuss 'The Ice Cream Changes' progression, which originated in the 1930s, and has been used by Led Zeppelin, Bonnie Taylor, Everly Brothers and many more. The 4-chord progression is the most famous of them all, used by artists ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Lady Gaga, and from Bob Marley to Blink-182. Listen to the discussion below.

The next level
May 14, 2021

Adam Neely: How to get good at music

The awesome YouTube musicologist Adam Neely listened to songs of nine artists, offering advice on how to make the music better, through changes in mix, places of emphasys, and even how musicians should treat their bodies while playing. And a general advice he gave - it's just music, don't take it to seriously.

Everything's better than silence
April 27, 2021

A small music theory video: Lo-fi hip-hop

YouTuber Sabrina explores why lo-fi hip-hop has become the poster child for study music and if it even works. She also tries to teach a machine to generate lo-fi music.

1 2