Metal/rock: animals as leaders, buckethead, Joe satriani, Steve vai, rush, Metallica, linking park, incubus,
Acoustic: Andy McKee, don Ross, Justin king, Michael hedges, Preston reed, tommy Emmanuel, Trace Bundy
Electric/piano: tycho, bonobo, album leaf, eluvium, nine inch nails (ghost album)
Techno/dubstep: deadmou5, skrillex, Daft Punk
Alternative/indie: Bele Fleck and the Flecktones, Sigur Ros, Decemberists, ect
Soundtrack: death note, samurai champloo,
All these bands are either instrumental bands or bands that have done a few instrumental songs. I’m sure that there are many more, but these are the ones I’m aware of /own off the top of my head.
Most people think of classical music with a full orchestra when they think of instrumental music; Or some kind of cheap spa style cd from Walmart; Or maybe John Williams’ next movie soundtrack. That is not always the case. Either way, there is a very different mentality involved when listening to instrumental music.
Some use it as a kind of therapy. Listening to certain types of music are known to have effects on the psyche. That is why some mothers insist on playing Bach or Beethoven for their new born babies. Listening to instrumental music is the musical equivalent to reading a book instead of watching the movie. Reading a book is like watching a movie with your imagination, and you get to direct each scene with your mind’s eye. In the same way, listening to a song with no words other than the title of the song, leaves room for the listener to imagine the music video in their head. In doing so, you can vividly feel the emotion of the music. How each chord progression and melody has so much more purpose. Like each instrument has its own voice and is talking with the other instruments.
Often times, instrumental music finds itself in the background. Maybe to help you stay focused while studying, or in movies/tv shows it sets the mood for dialogue. Many people have been getting into soundtrack music from their favorite video game saga. Such as legend of Zelda or Mario, ect. Me and my brothers would always play lord of the rings soundtrack music while playing board games. (We are a family of nerds shaddapp)
As a early musician learning to play alto sax in 4th grade, I learned how to listen to music. Not just single out my individual part, but also listen to the musical piece as a whole. It helped shape the way I listen to music now. In college I was involved in a church band, and recently I am involved in making music in my own band. Because of my background in music, listening to instrumental music is more normal for me, however I notice it remains mostly ignored by most listeners in comparison to most other artists.
But the fact of the matter is that the era of rock music (guitar, bass, drums) is ending. More bands are becoming popular that feature less traditional instruments. Florence + the machine features a harp. Judah and the lion has a banjo and mandolin. Of Monters and Men uses a trumpet. Instruments normally only considered in instrumental music are now finding their way into more modern and radio friendly bands. Folk, blues, jazz, and funk are making their way into other modern forms.
I plan on doing some reviews over some local people who have done instrumental music, but I don’t want to use up most of my blog post talking about instrumental music in general when I could be talking about the person and specific music. So this is a preamble to instrumental posts yet to come. I will be referring back to this post later.
Feel free to mention some (if any) of your favorite instrumental songs/artists in the comments and what you like about them.