Three records to start


suppose you are a beginner in music listening and want to obtain the maximum result as soon as possible.

It does not really matter the genre you are interested in: drop anything and just listen until you enjoy every single note of these three records.

1) James Brown - Live at home with his bad self 2019 mix (Augusta 1969)

2) Glenn Gould - Bach Goldberg variations 1955

3) La Salle Quartet - Arnold Schoenberg Transfigured Night, Op.4, String Trio, Op.45 DG 1984

It is really easy to understand:
music in my mind has three dimensions

1) circular
2) horizontal
3) vertical

and the three records are an example of these spaces in a sort of cleaner/more specialized form.

If your brain is used to manage these, it can better appreciate any musical piece that usually develops in these dimensions with different proportions.
Figure them as fat, protein, carbs. Every dish is made up of a combination of them and it is extreme to consider a recipe with just one (!), but of course there are regimes that prefer different proportions (you can call them musical genres).

In particular:

1) that specific album by James Brown is the last partially previously unrealesed recording with Maceo Parker, before he fired the band and recorded Sex machine, a fake live album that contains half of the material here remastered and that is considered a classic. Three drums, a funky bass, Jimmy Nolen's chicken scratch guitar: if you are weak in groove listening, you will be bored by this record. If you don't find this try any compilation or live from 1968-1971 period (for example Sex Machine 1970, Love Power Peace live at Olympia Paris 1971,  70's Funk Classics Polydor 1995, The Singles, Volume V: 1967–1969 Hip-O Select, The Singles, Volume VI: 1969–1970 Hip-O Select, Funk Power: 1970: A Brand New Thang, Foundations Of Funk - A Brand New Bag: 1964-1969).

2) Glenn Gould "liquid/swinging" interpretation of Goldberg variations (the 1955 one, not the 1981) enhances the superposition of melodies structure of the music, loosening the chordal recognition. More emphasis on counterpoint, less on harmony. A vertical listener could be bored by this record.

3) Verklarte Nacht is an example of post-romantic Wagnerian harmony. A good recognition of vertical superposition of sounds is crucial in enjoying this musical piece.

As a bonus String trio Op.45 is a mature example of 12-tone music. My personal idea is that if you are a weak vertical listener 12-tone music is almost white noise, despite most of the theory behind reflects an horizontal thinking. Probably you should be well versed in both and this could explain why 20th century classical music is so neglected: you should be both an pre-classical renaissance listener and a late romantic one (!).

Every genre of music lives in a combination of these three elements. If you are well versed in distinguish them, you can listen to anything with no effort.

I am doing this routine (2 hours and half) once a week and it really works, you really need to listen to anything else to be able to grasp any music at first sight.