The transformation of music genre from ancient times to modern times
The above quoted lines of Miles Davis may very well be said to form the entire lacuna of not only the life but also of the artwork of Jordan Rudess. The genre of music has been used by the human beings since the ancient times as a medium through which they could pass their leisure time in a much more effective manner and it is a reflection of this particular fact that the machinery of music since the traditional times had formed an integral part of the lives of the human beings (Vail 2014). Thus, it was seen that during the ancient times various bards used to take the help of diverse kinds of instruments to narrate the heroic deeds of the warriors. However, in the present times the genre of music has undergone much transformation and in addition to this modern music rather than narrating the deeds of valor and deeds of heroic acts concerns itself more with the portray of the emotions of the human heart (Scotto 2017). It is a reflection of this particular fact that not only diverse genres of music has gained popularity in the recent times but at the same time the medium as well as the instruments which are being used for the creation of music and the portray of the emotions of the human heart has also undergone a pronounced transformation (Axford 2015). One of the best known musicians of the modern era who is known for his verbose use of the various modern instruments for the creation of music is Jordan Rudess. This essay will analyze the contribution of Jordan Rudess towards the cannon of modern music and also the manner in which he has influenced the modern day keyboard players.
Jordan Charles Rudes or more commonly called by his alias name of Jordan Rudess was born on November 4, 1956 and is widely known all over the world as one of the stalwarts of the modern cannon of music industry (Jordan Rudess 2018). He is commonly known as an “American virtuoso keyboardist” and one of the major proponents of the modern day “progressive rock music” (Jordan Rudess 2018). It is significant to note that from a very early age Rudess received training in classical piano and this is one of the major reasons for the thorough technical grasp which is being reflected in his major musical composition (Axford 2015). However, he was soon influenced by the progressive rock music which was gaining much popularity in the later part of the 20th century (Dream Theater 2018). He started his rock music career with individual solo albums and various concerts and was soon able to gain the attention of some of the major rock music bands of the 20th century like Dream Theatre, The Dixie Dregs and others (Jordan Rudess 2018). It is significant to note that during the 1990s he joined “The Dixie Dregs” and a powerful musical duo with the famous drummer of this group Rod Morgenstein (Dream Theater 2018). Rudess claim to fame for this band came during a technical glitch when the other musical instruments of the band failed and Rudess along with Rod Morgenstein was able to continue the concert (Jordan Rudess 2018). This lead to formation of the success musical association between the two which ultimately culminated in the composition of several albums through the association of both of them that was called by the name of “Rudess/Morgenstein Project” or RMP (Jordan Rudess 2018). However, soon he soon moved on to the famous musical band “The Dream Theatre” and this lead to the monumental rise in his professional career. It is significant to note that his association with this particular rock band propelled his career to much greater heights and lead to the creation of some of the most memorable musical compositions like “1999's Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory”, “2002's Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2003's Train of Thought, 2005's Octavarium, 2007's Systematic Chaos, 2009's Black Clouds & Silver Linings, 2011's A Dramatic Turn of Events, 2013's Dream Theater, 2016's The Astonishing” and others (Jordan Rudess 2018). More importantly than these, the association with “The Dream Theater” band provided the opportunity to Jordan Rudess to experiment with rock music and also the keyboard which formed an essential entity of the band (Dream Theater 2018).
Jordan Rudess - A stalwart of modern music industry
One of the major influences of Jordan Rudess on the modern progressive music is perhaps in the field of the use of technology for the composition of music (Dream Theater 2018). It is significant to note that from a very early time Rudess have been experimenting with various new forms of technologies as well as new diversified kinds of keyboards for the composition of his music. As a matter of fact it is this innovative use of the instrument of keyboard, synthesizers and others that have not only propelled him to the pinnacle of the music industry but at the same time has contributed in a significant manner towards his association with “The Dream Theatre” and other top musical bands (Hollebeek, Malthouse and Block 2016). It is a reflection of this particular fact that the “Keyboard Magazine” in the year 1994 voted him as the “Best New Talent” and in the year 2011 the magazine “MusicRadar” voted him as “the best keyboardist of all time” (Jordan Rudess 2018). Furthermore, the magazine even went on to the extent of saying that “Jordan isn't just a musician. He's a magician!” (Dream Theater 2018). In addition to this, many experts are of the viewpoint that Rudess is one of the major reasons for not only the revival of the genre of progressive rock metal music but also the immense popularity which it has gained in the recent times.
The influence of Rudess is not only limited to the use of the keyboard instrument for the composition of rock music. As a matter he takes the help of various kinds of instruments for the composition of music with some of the most common ones being the synthesizers, Radial Key-Largo, MIDI connectivity, PA connectivity and others (Jordan Rudess 2018). As a matter of fact during the various stage concerts for “The Dream Theatre” and also for the diverse individual performances he takes the help of a special kind of keyboard which instead of being a conglomeration of various different instruments takes the help of a complex mechanism wherein all the diverse sounds that he needs for the performance is being stored in a single one and much facilitates the performance (Hollebeek, Malthouse and Block 2016). As a matter of fact the instruments which he usually uses for the various stage performances is being specially made by the company “Wizdom Music & moForte” that is being owned by Rudess himself (Jordan Rudess 2018). In many ways, Rudess can be said to be an original innovator and instead of just exploring the traditional bounds of the keyboard he goes beyond it and takes the help of recent technology as well as innovations for the composition of sounds which is being highly favored by the rock music lovers (Dream Theater 2018).
Jordan Rudess - A technical virtuoso
Judess is not just one of the best keyboard players of the present generation but as a matter of fact his contribution towards the genre of music is also evident in the manner in which he has influenced the current keyboard players (Vail 2014). In his own words he says that “I’m not an old-fashioned musician so much anymore” and this fact is evident in his entire illustrious musical career and also the manner in which he not only uses the instrument of keyboard but also the classical piano music for the creation of his progressive rock music (Jordan Rudess 2018). His influence is clearly detected in the musical works of some of the major rock music bands of the recent years like “HIM”, “Apocalyptica”, “Rammstein”, “Killswitch Engage”, “Disturbed” and others. Furthermore, it is significant to note that the influence of Rudess is not only limited to the keyboard rather it is seen that in the recent times there are various musicians who have started to experiment with the piano as well following the trend started by Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater 2018). Therefore, it would be apt to say that Jordan Rudess’s musical work has not only contributed in a significant manner towards the popularity gained by the progressive rock band but at the same time has lead the various keyboard players to experiment with the instrument and also to take the help of the recent innovations and technology for the composition of music.
To conclude, the genre of music is a very dynamic and it is generally that it keeps on changing depending on the changing needs and the requirements of the people. It is a reflection of this particular fact that the musical compositions of one generation are starkly different from the musical compositions of the other generations. In this particular context, the name of Jordan Rudess is one of the most important ones on the score of the contribution which he has made towards the genre of progressive rock music in the recent times. He is generally considered to be not only one of the best keyboard players but at the same time one of the original innovators of the genre of music. Furthermore, it is generally seen that the majority of his musical compositions take the help of various diverse technologies as well as innovations that are available and this particular fact has contributed in a significant manner towards the popularity gained by him in the genre of music and also the influence that he wields.
Axford, E.C., 2015. Music Apps for Musicians and Music Teachers. Rowman & Littlefield.
Dream Theater. 2018. Jordan Rudess - Dream Theater. [online] Available at: https://dreamtheater.net/band/jordan-rudess/ [Accessed 2 Aug. 2018].
Hollebeek, L.D., Malthouse, E.C. and Block, M.P., 2016. Sounds of music: exploring consumers’ musical engagement. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 33(6), pp.417-427.
Jordan Rudess. 2018. Jordan Rudess - Official Website. [online] Available at: https://www.jordanrudess.com/ [Accessed 2 Aug. 2018].
Scotto, C., 2017. The Structural Role of Distortion in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Music Theory Spectrum, 38(2), pp.178-199.
Vail, M., 2014. The synthesizer: a comprehensive guide to understanding, programming, playing, and recording the ultimate electronic music instrument. Oxford University Press.