The End of Slavery

We Canadians love to see ourselves as the nicest people on Earth. We say sorry for holding the door open for too long, and we stop cars to let a squirrel cross the road. However, looking back on our history it is evident to see that we we’re not always the nation of the nice that we are now viewed as. As shown by an article on our history of slavery, you can easily see that although we eventually righted our ways, we we’re once just as corrupt as any other nation on this planet may have been. Looking further into this event, we we’re not even the ones that decided to end slavery. It was the slaves themselves who began to end the terrible oppression they were being put through.

“Enslaved Africans fought against being taken and held captive in Africa, fought against enslavement while in slave ships and during their confinement before sale and once they were sold. It was through these acts of resistance that some slave owners had to reconsider the slave system, the independence of Africans and why they would not accept this status. Their resistance brought into question the ways in which people thought about Africans—they were bright and capable and not content with slavery.” (BlackHistoryCanda, Abolition of Enslavement)

I decided to look into this article since it goes against everything that we believe in today. We are now a country that is proud to support multiculturalism, and we take pride in not judging people by the colour of their skin, or which place of the Earth they came from. I feel it is important for people to understand this part of our past since it shows that although we were never perfect, it also shows how far we’ve come as a nation. Relating to the question I posed in my previous post, this is a great example of us working towards a world that is better for everyone to live in, rather than just trying to improve our technologies so that we can get faster downloads and view cat videos in a higher resolution. Although this event does not include working towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle, which I outlined in my question, it does show that we have been able to work towards making our world a better and safer place to live in. With any luck, people can look back on our history of slavery and learn that it IS possible to make a significant change in our living conditions, even if you feel like you are given the same respect as a slave. Those slaves that were looked down upon ended up being the ones to make a truly drastic change Canada and North America.

This article also ties in with the PLO B1, which focuses on Candian society in terms of gender and ethnicity. African slavery plays a large role in this, since not only was it affecting how people of dark skin were being treated, it also affected how the rich could live their daily lives when they had the support of slaves to facilitate their living. The African slavery had a large impact on how Canadian society from years past is different from what it is like today.

Where are we going? Where have we been?

There’s no definite answer to the question. Everyone’s perspective will be different, as everyone will have different values and a different approach on life. However, in broad terms, I think it can be said that as humanity, our goal is always to progress and become better. We may not always have a clear goal of where we’re going, but we can always know that the goal is to make ourselves better. For instance, in the 1900’s humanities biggest step was to become an industrial civilization, and develop new technologies. In this time, we we’re going towards a new age with improved technologies to support ourselves. Hundreds of years ago we were progressing towards an age where we weren’t just fighting to survive, but instead we had time to think and invent. In our present time, at least some of us are trying to progress towards a new age where we rely less on resources that harm the world around us, since we’ve recognized that with the way things are going, we’re going to destroy ourselves in a short time span.

As to where we’ve been, really all you can say about us as a race is that we’ve been to times where we were far inferior. We were not always the big fish in the pond, dominating over every other species on the planet. Although we soon became that apex predator, we were still going through times where we were not as advanced as we were today. We had not crossed the seas to explore the world, we did not always have means of transportation over water and air, and we did not always have IPhone to google the answer to everything on the planet. We have, as a race, been through times in which we may not have been as advanced, but we still strived towards the goal of becoming a better species.

On the other hand, you could answer the question as an individual, rather than looking at the whole race. Personally, I think that I am going towards a goal of leading a healthy lifestyle, and being able to learn and discover as much as I can with the short period that I have to live. A human lifespan is incredibly small compared to how long the earth has been around, so we need to be able to make every minute of it count. This can include travelling the world, learning about new subjects, or even spending time with those that you hold close to yourself. I’m not quite sure what I want to do in my life just yet, but I know that every day I wake up, I’m always striving towards achieving as much as I can with how little time I am giving.

However, I’d still like to know what is why we keep progressing this manner. We could be working towards making the world a better place for all, but we’re still only trying to make ourselves better. we have started to work towards for ecofriendly technologies, but there’s still a long ways for us to go.

In dept post #4

During the past two weeks for in-depth, I have begun working on time signatures with my mentor. For those of you who don’t know, a time signature is two numbers placed at the beginning of a song, which indicate how many beats are placed in each bar. For example, in a 4/4 time signature, there are 4 beats per bar, and each quarter note is worth 1 beat. In 3/2 time, each half note is worth one beat, and there are 3 beats in a bar. It is important to choose the right one to fit your melody. Generally, 4/4 is the most common time signature since it is versatile and easy to read. ¾ is also very common, but, only works for certain melodies. A time signature such as 2/4 would only be common in songs such as marching songs. Time signatures such as 12/8 are hard to read, and therefore aren’t used all that often. However, they are still used in some odd songs that require the beats to be sub-divided be three (each single beat can be divided into 3 parts, rather than the stander 2 or 4). Upon asking whether it would be better to try to work in a 12/8, 3/4 or 4/4 time, my mentor said that 4/4 will generally be the best since it is versatile and easy to use. When asking why this would be ideal, he explained that the large majority of songs use this time signature since it allows you to play in either a swung or straight-eight rhythm without any difficulties, and because we listen to it so much, our braings will usually think up melody ideas in a 4/4 time signature anyways.

However, I must still learn how to use the other ones. To do this, we have taken songs that use some of the more complex time signatures, such as 12/8, and have begun to break them down into smaller pieces. For example, in a 12/8 song, you need to look at each note as being 3 beats. There are then 4 of these 3 beat notes, so instead of a standard quarter note being viewed as one beat, you must count one quarter note plus an eighth note. This can get complicated, but after working through it for a while, it becomes relatively easy.

We also began to work on a new technique for writing melodies. This involves taking the chord progressions from a previous song, and writing a new melody over top of it. Upon asking what the benefits of this were, my mentor answered that this is very helpful since the chord progressions will already be well laid out, and the rhythm section won’t be as hard to create. Instead, you only need to be coming up with a melody, rather than an entire song. Although I may tend to value originality in music, it seems that my mentor places some of his values in improving what has already been done. The way he sees it, there is no point in re-inventing the wheel. He explained that many artists take old songs and build off of them, since it allows them to focus more on aspects of the song such as the melody, and not have to spend too much time working on the rest of the song. Although I still wish to make original compositions, this does make sense to me.



In depth post 3: generating melodies

During the past two weeks, I have started to take the first step in creating a song: Writing out a melody. This has been harder than I expected, since although it is easy to create one in your head, it is much harder to get it down on paper, and even then I’m often not satisfied with it and will end up starting over again. To facilitate things, I worked with my mentor on ways to create a fluent melody with much more ease.

The way we ended up doing this was to go back to doing some more transcribing. This time, I didn’t have to write everything out, but rather just listen to a large variety of different melodies and pick out some key aspects that I liked. Afterwards, I would have a much larger arsenal of ideas that I could use to write out some melodies of my own. This process is very similar to what we did in the past, with writing out the melodies and chords from other songs to learn patterns and similarities.

The issue that I’m now faced with is that on one hand, I’m trying to start writing out some of my own melodies, but on the other I am also supposed to be working on transcribing melodies. All of this is also placed on top of playing music for jazz band, so I have ended up with a rather busy schedule. To work around this, I have developed a plan to alternate each day focusing on a different topic. This will mean that I can spend equal time on all the topics without having to be over-burdened every single day. I have also started to work on playing a bit more piano in order to facilitate some of the music creation, as the piano is much easier to use when it comes to composing a melody. Hopefully by the next blog post, I will be able to have recorded a melody that I can begin to build off of, rather than just creating half of one and then scrapping it to work on another. After this, I will be able to start working on building a chord structure and rhythm section.

Working with my mentor has been a bit difficult as of late. I was able to get in one session near the beginning of this blog post period, however he left on a three week vacation so I will not be able to meet until the end of the next blog post period. For now, I will just be working on my own little projects towards building a song, so that I have enough material when he comes back that we can have a solid working session. Until then, I will work on getting one of my own melodies recorded, as well as transcribing some of his assigned songs. Hopefully I will soon have a complete song beginning to form.