Biography of the author Joe Craig
It seems like so many years ago now that I picked up a friends guitar and tried to work out melodies written by John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney, I might have been eight or nine. I still love those melodies, especially now that I can actually play them. Its always good to see younger players doing the same thing today, there is just so much joy to be had for so many in making music and sharing it with those we love. Having an early interest and knack for numbers as a kid, when I finally got to "music school" in my early 20's and learned of the common aspects between "math and music", I unknowingly continued and evolved what was an early love of numbers into what would became a lifelong journey into the world of music. Over the years, my main interest became the theory of music, but what is music theory without its history, or its players, composers, instrument builders, or the societies in which they lived and created all of the lovely music itself?
Luckily, my main topic of study is music theory, and like the numbers and mathematics I loved early on, music theory also has a "perfect closure" aspect to it that allows one to "proof" their theoretical musings. Within this closure lives nearly all of the actual music of the European and American traditions that we have record of. So, while I was unbelievably lucky to be able to study with numerous Ph.D.s of music at college and gain a real sense of the topic, thanks to this perfect closure of music theory I realized I could pursue by my own energies beyond the scope and level of an undergraduate curriculum. Knowing that if my "theories" did not perfectly balance like a mathematical equation, then I had committed an error somewhere along the way. This ability to "self check", long after a formal collegiate bachelors degree and teacher certification, ended my "formal" training. Henceforth, I would take my discoveries back to my professors and see what they had to say and perhaps needless to say, that this self driven discovery process of ones own education is perhaps the most exciting of all.
So often in my pursuits, to thoroughly understand music theory, I would need to know some rather basic principles of things that were somehow not part of the theory books I had. For a most recent example, I felt I needed to know all about the piano. Just how is a piano tuned? And why is it tuned that way? Has it always been tuned this way? Who invented it? What instruments did it evolve from? Who are the recognized masters of piano performance? Composition? Hmm see what I mean, there is often way more to the theory than just the numbers! And what took years in the past to track down is now all located on the information superhighway, that tube type structure where the information lives, ( sorry just kidding, its an Alaskan joke. ) But in truth, if we are discussing pianos, and wonder who invented this thing, tis hard to believe that today we can be just a few clicks away from getting a few facts, leads and a direction to pursue that can last as long as we have the juice to keep it going, if we stay curious and hungry to learn. And to think that this research ability can apply to all of our interests, concerns and questions, and includes the foremost scholars in every topical area we have with us today, plus so many from the past! No wonder young learners feel overwhelmed sometimes.
Today I love to play my guitar with friends and perform the American jazz songs from the American popular songbook. To write folk melodies and songs with poetry, often with a mixing of the new "world beat" flavors. To pursue a more "classical" approach in composing "modern" sounding pieces of music for various instruments. In writing modern jazz pieces that look to extend existing boundaries of harmony and form. To write educational texts and participate in discussions about music theory with interested scholars, to teach directly with new learners of all ages, to help them bring forth the joy of music from within their own hearts on the instruments they choose, and help them to prepare themselves to share their music and stories with those they love. Author and musician Joe Craig backing musical performing artist Yngvil Guttu, summer 2007 in Anchorage, Alaska.
A.A.S from Paul Smiths College, Paul Smiths, N.Y 1975
B.A. from S.U.N.Y at Plattsburgh, N.Y. 1982
Teacher Certification, U.A.A Anchorage, Alaska. 1987.
Continuing education of 18 upper level hours of independent study coursework at U.A.A. at Anchorage, under Dr. George Belden, as proscribed by the State of Alaska for renewal of teaching certificate every five years. These "projects" have included; a study of the melodies and musical forms of Beethoven's string quartets, a crack at Wagner's opera "Tristan and Isolde" and the "Tristan" chord and smaller educational writing projects.
Other books by Joe Craig:
Tonal Resources for the Creative Musician. 1995
Essentials Of Modern Guitar. 1998
Chord Melody Guide For Solo Jazz Guitar, Volumes One and Two. 2001
Teachers Guide to The Tonal Resources Text. 2002
Introduction to Music Theory. 2007
Take Note. Pocket sized scratch pad for composers. 2007
Audio recordings by Joe Craig:
"Depths of Passion." A collection of modern, poetic interpretations of classic jazz standards.
"The Karma Helix Project." Seven original compositions attempting to aurally represent the spiritual and philosophical properties of the seven chakra energy centers within our bodies.
I always welcome positive and educational correspondence with all who are so inclined. Please write to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Craig / 1110 West 6th Ave / Anchorage,