"In "Chacona, Lamento, Walking Blues," the second chapter of my new book Listen to This, I tell of a story of pattern recognition—simple repeating figures that can be found in the music of many centuries and many genres. While I don't believe in the idea of music as a "universal language"—try telling that to a tired mom who is being forced to listen to her teenager's hip-hop, or, for that matter, the teenager who has to sit through his grandmother's Mozart records—there is, in fact, much common ground in the world's musical cultures, strands of DNA that appear everywhere. I'll focus on two such figures: a dance form called the chaconne and a pair of bass lines associated with lament. We'll go from Renaissance madrigals to Led Zeppelin, by way of Monteverdi, Purcell, and Bach, whose great Chaconne for solo violin is at the heart of the chapter. It's a story both of radical transformation and of surprising continuity."
Here's the Spotify playlist for all the music that was mentioned in this chapter: Alex Ross' Listen To This: Chapter 2 (27 tracks, total time: 2 hours) And by chance I revisited the playlist for The Rest Is Noise yesterday, here's the post, and the playlist: Alex Ross' 20th Century Limited.
I will make Spotify playlists for other chapters as well. Thanks to the new playlist folders feature, it's easy to put all the Alex Ross playlists in one place. Looking forward to getting the book soon.