What is drone?

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KL1982
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Re: What is drone?

Post by KL1982 » Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:47 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:43 pm
Is it possible that person A listens to a piece and says that it's a drone, and person B listens to it and says, say, "well, i don't hear that as a drone".

Is one of them right and the other wrong?
Yes - both are possible, and both positions could be either correct or wrong, depending on what definition of drone is being used (if any). And, as you point out, also due to the subjective nature of perception.

Aren't most debates phenomenological, as opposed to concrete?




Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:43 pm
Let's take another 2 people. To avoid confusion, let's assign them different letters. Let's say we have person X and person Y. Person X is into genres, and perceives drone as a genre, and person Y is not only ignorant of the 10 billion current genres, but doesn't give a shit about them. Person X waxes on about how a piece doesn't fit the genre for various technical reasons (maybe it uses a Behringer synth), but person Y says - "sure it's a drone. That's how I hear it".
Is one of them right and the other wrong?
As above i.e both positions can/could be correct.

Isn't it more a matter of degree, as opposed to exclusivity i.e I could look at a green wooden thing with leaves and call it 'tree', whereas a botanist could call it Fraxinus Excelsior; both are correct (one is simply more specific than the other).

To the botanist, 'Fraxinus Excelsior' may be more useful to/for their purposes, whereas to the layman, 'tree' is more than adequate.



Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:43 pm
One can come up with all sorts of examples
Isn't that part of the fun?!

One could also come up with all sorts of examples of musical ideas, and refer to these as their 'output'...


Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:43 pm
and i think that ultimately, unless one is totally out of the loop as far as the terms (my Aunt WWWWWWW for instance, doesn't listen to music at all, and thought that drone music connoted only the sounds of insects, and large ones at that), it's really just subjective experience, and comes down to a more advanced (to many, simplistic) conception of music.
Wasn't 'tree' also simply subjective experience until we, as a species, agreed upon defining characteristics/qualities/sub-categorisations etc?

We didn't need to expand our definition/define with greater accuracy - nor do we need to now.

But couldn't we say that for some, greater accuracy leads to greater understanding/clarity - and less potential for misunderstanding when communicating to others who also understand the terms/labels/semiotic associations?


Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:43 pm
I think that the example was to have the same Beatles song play repeatedly, and that this would possibly be a drone after a bit. Of course it wouldn't. Unless the listener began hallucinating from the repetition of the song for days while sleep deprived, it would continue to sound like a Beatles song, which is very far from what the language would generally refer to as a drone.
Do you have data to affirm your assertion RE this not being the case?

I intentionally mentioned semantic satiation in the example as semantic satiation suggests the example may/could be perceived as drone (as with mantra etc) i.e semantic satiation acts as proof that a thing-in-itself (in this instance, a word - or rather, the aural realisation of a word) can/often does lose its intrinsic meaning upon constant repetition - with this suggesting the possibility that other aurally-repetitive events may produce the same result.

The question I was proposing was 'what is the durational/structural limit (if any) at which an aural event will, upon repetition, be perceived as a single auditory stream?'

And secondarily relating to the duration/ratio of these events.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by Grumble » Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:52 pm

dooj88 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:04 pm
Grumble wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:42 pm
Just curious why the thread starter writes: ‘What is drone?’ And not ‘What is a drone?’ :roll:
'a drone' implies singularity, where just drone, as in referring to a style, is not. plus, one might think of those buzzing whirlygigs.
Does not compute :-O
(English is not my native language...)

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Re: What is drone?

Post by luketeaford » Sat Dec 26, 2020 4:02 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:52 pm
dooj88 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:04 pm
Grumble wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:42 pm
Just curious why the thread starter writes: ‘What is drone?’ And not ‘What is a drone?’ :roll:
'a drone' implies singularity, where just drone, as in referring to a style, is not. plus, one might think of those buzzing whirlygigs.
Does not compute :-O
(English is not my native language...)
I think what dooj88 is getting at is you wouldn't say "What is a jazz?" or "What is a metal?" and drone is a similar style/genre in this context?

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Re: What is drone?

Post by s.pwyll » Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:47 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:52 pm
dooj88 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:04 pm
Grumble wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:42 pm
Just curious why the thread starter writes: ‘What is drone?’ And not ‘What is a drone?’ :roll:
'a drone' implies singularity, where just drone, as in referring to a style, is not. plus, one might think of those buzzing whirlygigs.
Does not compute :-O
(English is not my native language...)
"What is a human?" is a different question than "What does it mean to be human?"
"What makes you happy?" is a different question than "What is happiness?"
"What is a drone?" is a different question than "What is drone?"

In all those cases the first question asks for an example or definition of an individual thing within a category of things while the second question asks for a definition of the category itself. Additionally, in English "a drone" can refer to a number of completely unrelated objects while "drone" refers exclusively to something within the sonic realm.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by dubonaire » Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:26 pm

I don't know how many of you have been in the Australian bush but when you have the didgeridoo makes perfect sense, although it's worth mentioning that when used ceremonially rhythmic clack sticks are used. In summer the landscape shimmers in the heat, the odor of the plants is strong, the cicadas are ceaseless and the experience is uniquely psychedelic and quite unsettling.

I don't think Nelson's aunt is wide of the mark, and I think one reason drone sounds big is because when it is done in say Abul Mogard style I find it very much evokes the Humean sublime.

Tibetan music is quite drony as well. The music is likened to the experiences heard when dying, or when very deep into an LSD trip.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:50 am

Nelson Baboon wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:13 pm
thelowerrhythm wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:06 pm
.....So many things to soak in.
what, you're in the bath tub?
No, but do baths drone?
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Re: What is drone?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:53 am

Grumble wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:42 pm
Just curious why the thread starter writes: ‘What is drone?’ And not ‘What is a drone?’ :roll:
Because I was thinking of drone as a thing, rather than a thing. :guinness:

(realistically though it was just because I left the "a" out)
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Re: What is drone?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:01 am

KL1982 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:47 pm

The question I was proposing was 'what is the durational/structural limit (if any) at which an aural event will, upon repetition, be perceived as a single auditory stream?'
^This. Worded perfectly / what I was getting at in part of the OP. Where is the line drawn? Because I want to play around with that space.
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Re: What is drone?

Post by strettara » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:37 am

dubonaire wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:26 pm
I don't know how many of you have been in the Australian bush but when you have the didgeridoo makes perfect sense, although it's worth mentioning that when used ceremonially rhythmic clack sticks are used. In summer the landscape shimmers in the heat, the odor of the plants is strong, the cicadas are ceaseless and the experience is uniquely psychedelic and quite unsettling.

I don't think Nelson's aunt is wide of the mark, and I think one reason drone sounds big is because when it is done in say Abul Mogard style I find it very much evokes the Humean sublime.

Tibetan music is quite drony as well. The music is likened to the experiences heard when dying, or when very deep into an LSD trip.
The bullroarer would be another indigenous drone instrument.
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Re: What is drone?

Post by dubonaire » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:53 am

That strikes me as being rhythmic, but drones can be rhythmic.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by KL1982 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:30 am

thelowerrhythm wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:01 am
Where is the line drawn?
My honest answer is 'I don't know'. This 'line' hasn't been defined (I mean in terms of psychology/neuroscience/mathematics etc).


thelowerrhythm wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:01 am
Because I want to play around with that space.


Possibly an interesting way/ways of approaching this would (could) be:

1) How long does a sound have to be (i.e duration) in order to be perceived as 'sustained' (and is this a relative measurement, as opposed to actual)?

Writing a set of works exclusively focusing on playing/experimenting with the decay portion of sounds certainly wouldn't be a waste of time.



2) How does the decay portion of a sound affect perception of 'sustained' i.e a low bass note on a piano played with the pedal down will sustain - but also gradually decay: would this note be perceived as 'a note becoming quieter', or 'drone', and if it wouldn't be perceived as 'drone', what are the limits RE decay for a sound to be perceived as 'drone'?



3) Does the sustained element have to be the prominent voice/aspect of a work in order for the work to be perceived as 'drone'?

Take, for example, the latter section from Richard Strauss' Death and Transfiguration -

I've timestamped it to just before the entry of the C pedal note (this is interesting in itself i.e is the Classical concept of a pedal tone 'drone'); would this section be perceived as 'drone' music?

I'd say 'probably not', as the primary focus isn't the drone per se (i.e the drone/pedal is acting as an accomp to the melody).



4) Is there a line between ostinato and drone? E.g -

Can an ostinato become drone (i.e if you programmed the sequencer to play the Ligeti work/sped it up to 200BPM/set the clock division to semiquavers, would the bass ostinato now also be drone i.e would the bassline be perceived as a single sound)?

Again, this could be fine pickings i.e a set of very fast ostinato works as drone/quasi-drone.



Whilst points 3 and 4 are possibly obvious, they could give a useful means of deepening an understanding of what a definition of 'drone' may be/look like.



Related to point 4: maybe also look in the opposite direction i.e at what point does a series of repeated sounds (e.g drum hits) become perceived as a single sound (e.g a drum roll). There could be good pickings in here RE drone (i.e rolls, tremolando etc).

-Edit to add- the above point (i.e rolls/tremolando) could be worth a close look. What I mean is:

Is the perception of a drum roll as a 'single sound' a product of:

1) When a hit enters in relation to the decay of the previous hit
2) When a hit enters in relation to the loudest point of the previous hit
3) When a hit enters in terms of the ratio of the total duration of a single hit
4) All of the above
Etc.

And is this scalable to other instruments i.e if you repeat a piano note on the decay portion of the previous/same note in the same manner as when a drum hit enters during a roll (in relation to the decay portion of the previous hit), would the listener perceive the piano voice as 'one single sound'?

There's probably a good research paper in that. Certainly a good album.
Last edited by KL1982 on Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by listentoaheartbeat » Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:49 am

thelowerrhythm wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:14 pm
I'm truly interested in where the cutting edge is between drone and non-drone
I believe you’ll enjoy the following read:

http://deeptimechicago.org/wp-content/u ... ngness.pdf

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Re: What is drone?

Post by skulptr » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:43 am

For me strettara nailed it and also (unintentionally?) exposed one of the issues with spoken/written verbal language in general: while we are able to talk to each other, discuss and reason about concepts thanks to words (eg. we all here understand the general area we are talking about when we say/write "drone"), words fail to truly define a concept on the personal level (eg. my personal concept of drone is not exactly yours). This then leads to fuzzy borders (as opposed to the clear cut line thelowerrhythm is asking about) which is (in my opinion) also were most of the interesting/truly creative stuff happens (that is: fuzzy borders are a good thing).

KL1982's contributions clearly indicate that there are many ways of going about defining drone with none of them being really definitive (which doesn't mean that it cannot be interesting to explore these of course). The problem is that verbal language is not sufficiently "advanced" (or: too generic) to come to a definition of what is essentially a concept/construct written/created in an entirely different (non-verbal) language (and one that is much more linked to emotion which is inherently a very personal thing).

That is: the only way one can truly attempt to define drone is through drone... ;)

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Re: What is drone?

Post by KL1982 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:39 pm

skulptr wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:43 am
KL1982's contributions clearly indicate that there are many ways of going about defining drone with none of them being really definitive (which doesn't mean that it cannot be interesting to explore these of course). The problem is that verbal language is not sufficiently "advanced" (or: too generic) to come to a definition of what is essentially a concept/construct written/created in an entirely different (non-verbal) language (and one that is much more linked to emotion which is inherently a very personal thing).

That is: the only way one can truly attempt to define drone is through drone... ;)
Not necessarily. If there is a formal process involved, there can be a concrete definition (in much the same sense that 'Sonata', 'Minuet', 'Pitch', 'Square Wave' can be formally defined).

We can break down each part of the definition and think on/work through the process, formally.

For example, if we work on 'drone' defined as 'sustained tone', or 'continuous note of low pitch', we can then start playing with the boundaries i.e:

1) Is there a required duration for a sound to be perceived as 'sustained'?
2) Does this vary with age?
3) How does the decay portion of a sound affect the perception of 'sustained'?
4) Are there limits/boundaries RE decay that would alter perception of a note from 'sustained' to 'fading out'?
5) Can a sound appear continuous without actually being continuous (i.e a drum roll)?
5b) What 'is' continuous?
6) What are the limits/boundaries RE perception of aural continuity?
7) If the sustained tone is to be 'of low pitch': how low is 'low'?
8) Is 'low' relative - or rather, could the perception of 'low' be relative (i.e A440 could be the lowest note in a piece using only the upper register, or it could be the highest note in a piece using only the low register)?
9) Does a drone piece have to consist only of sustained tones?
10) If 'no': do the sustained tones have to be the musical focus?
11) If the sustained tones have to be the focus, is there a ratio of continuous material/duration for a piece to be perceived as drone?
12) A sonata can be defined as a sonata without having heard 'sonata' (i.e someone could identify a sonata upon 1st listen purely due to the formal structure); could this be said of drone?

etc etc

All very worthwhile questions for the OP, given his curiosity (i.e couldn't we say of many things 'I'll know it when I see/hear it'? But I do agree in principle (i.e defining every word of a poem doesn't equate to understanding the poem), I'm simply attempting to stimulate interest/research for the OP).

If one of the above stimulates creative ideas, great. If not, no harm done.



RE point 3/something the OP may find interesting: @thelowerrhythm a research project I worked on a number of years back involved perception of continuity/dynamics. It was the attempt to answer some questions relating to the nature of decay/perception of decay (it involved sensory deprivation i.e no stimulus aside from the intended stimulus).

In short: imagine hearing a sustained sine tone for 8 hours, with the volume automated to fade to silence after 1 hour (i.e 7-hour fade-out), with 2 hours of silence thereafter.

The question was whether a test subject would perceive the sound as becoming softer, or whether the change was such that there was no perceptual awareness of change (test subjects weren't told the tone would fade out).

The results aren't yet published, but you may find some of the experiences interesting:

A number of people believed they were still hearing/could still hear the tone long after it had stopped (i.e residual aural perception).
A number of people believed the sound was altering (both in terms of timbre and pitch) when it was static.
One person, realising they could no longer hear a tone, rather than thinking the tone had faded, believed they had developed literal deafness to pitch, and began panicking/shouting/asking to leave (they thought that part of their 'brain had broken').



Off-topic, but something you may find interesting, given your writing thus far: maybe have a look at Johns Hopkins research into psychedelics. They developed a 'psilocybin playlist' (see here - https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/ar ... n-playlist )

I'm mentioning it as it is tangentially related to sensory deprivation (have a read up on source-monitoring errors). In a sensorially-deprived environment, we can perceive things that aren't there (our brains are trying to 'fill out the gaps' RE sensory input). You'll find sensationalised media articles RE people hallucinating after 15 minutes, but if interested, I'd suggest avoiding this and looking back at the early McGill research (which also has a bad press i.e subproject MKULTRA)

I personally haven't taken psilocybin/psychedelics etc, but I did once spend 52 days in sensory deprivation (I had to sign waivers due to the nature of the research i.e the product of long-term sensory deprivation is negative (I mean in a neurological sense), hence many territories class it as torture).

If you have the opportunity, I'd recommend trying 24 hrs in sensory deprivation hearing only white noise (you probably know white noise contains all frequencies - hence military use it RE interrogation/captured soldiers: the primary reason for usage aside from psychological discomfort is its masking effect i.e conversations outside the room can't be heard, neither can the pitch of vehicles, or birds, or anything else that could give aural clues as to location etc).


Is white noise the 'ultimate' drone music?


Interesting anecdote: there's a certain group of Tibetan monks who practice overtone singing that, when you are relatively advanced, they will take you to a certain waterfall to sing - reason being the noise of the waterfall swallows the low fundamental, and all that can be heard are the high overtones i.e the 'spectral voice' soaring above the noise of the waterfall.

Maybe all overtone singers should sing near a waterfall?

Maybe certain drone music pieces could be written to be heard specifically in this manner?

This could be interesting in terms of bringing into question the fundamental nature of the music i.e what is heard only makes sense when certain parts are masked in a certain way - at which point the true nature of the aural experience is revealed.



Perhaps also have a look at vowels/consonants (i.e consonants are interrupted sounds (rhythmic/percussive white noise), whereas vowels are uninterrputed/continuous sounds (continuous tones)). This is interesting i.e vowels as 'free of noise', consisting of pitch/harmonic overtones (hence certain ancient cultures/languages considered vowels sacred/would avoid writing them down (old stories of ancient Egyptian priests evoking the deities by chanting certain vowel sounds in succession/certain order))

Take the word 'tune' - it could be mapped as:

white noise - pitched - white noise

(e.g 'tch' 'ooh' 'n')

Could this be paralleled in a piece of music? Theoretically all words could be structured in this manner, and a drone album could be created consisting of this principle i.e the album itself could spell out a phrase by having tracks consisting of drones/white noise (or rather, some form of noise). Novel, of course, but could be good fun for exploration.


Is drone music the closest we can/could get to sacred nature of sound i.e a parallel to the purity of the vowel?


All best

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Re: What is drone?

Post by dubonaire » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:30 pm

thelowerrhythm wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:01 am
KL1982 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:47 pm

The question I was proposing was 'what is the durational/structural limit (if any) at which an aural event will, upon repetition, be perceived as a single auditory stream?'
^This. Worded perfectly / what I was getting at in part of the OP. Where is the line drawn? Because I want to play around with that space.
Wolfgang Voigt plays around in that space.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by Grumble » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:21 pm

For me a good drone holds a surprise, there is tension and an expectation to the unknown.
So white, pink, blue or what ever color noise could be called a drone, but there is nothing in it to hold my attention, what a good drone can!

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Re: What is drone?

Post by scuto » Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:37 pm

starthief wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:27 pm
stepvhen wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:05 pm
9 times out of 10 drone music is big, or gives the idea of big-ness. Big, long, fat, slow, lumbering. I wouldn't call a drone track nimble or lithe, or floaty. Thats of course not the only feature, but if its the defining feature, it'd be a good candidate for saying "yeah thats drone music".
Interesting observation. I immediately wanted to find a counterexample, but I think you're onto something there.

I've done some where I kept everything in a restricted part of the spectrum, no bass or "weight" and yet it still feels big in other dimensions.
I also had my good-natured, contrarian side try to think of examples, Sachiko M's sine wave pieces being one (and possibly other onkyokei http://japanimprov.com/ /lowercase works). However, even those sine wave pieces have a kind of big-ness to them in how powerful such a high-pitched, barely varying tone can be.

starthief wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:27 pm
Flounderguts wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:13 pm
That is if you consider music to have a sound floor, the lowest part of the floor is silence, or lack of music. Rests, in the terminology of legit composition. Drone music is the idea of *raising* the sound floor, so that the lowest part is the drone, or one of the drone layers. That way, when changes are made, they stand out in contrast to the new color, or new floor that you have made, rather than in contrast to *no sound*
I like that idea.
I found this compelling as well. I had never thought of it like this before, but on a gut level I really relate to it. One reason why my output is largely in the realm of drone is to bypass all that overthinking that catches me up day-to-day to get to the intuitive, gut-level expression/response.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by skulptr » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:48 pm

KL1982 wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:39 pm
Not necessarily. If there is a formal process involved, there can be a concrete definition (in much the same sense that 'Sonata', 'Minuet', 'Pitch', 'Square Wave' can be formally defined).
I respectfully disagree. :mrgreen:

A "Sonata" is not as concretely defined as you seem to imply and its definition evolved through (musical) history so if you want to talk sonatas then you would also need to immediately state which period (in musical history) you are referring to as to further clarify exactly what you mean by sonata (in a particular historical context).

A "Minuet" describes both the dance and the music accompanying the dance and so, again, you would need to add further context for somebody else to truly understand what you are referring to.

But yes, "pitch" and "square wave" are much easier to define but then both are also much easier/simpler concepts than minuet and sonata which are themselves also much simpler concepts than a concept defining an entire genre (such as "drone").

That is: the more complex (or: higher-order) a particular concept becomes, the more difficult it becomes to truly formally define it. And in the end, given that we cannot apply something like the scientific method to these concepts (with its accompanying experiments that anybody - with the right equipment - can try out to verify/falsify a particular claim), what you end up with will inevitably be an arbitrary definition that is agreed upon only by a smaller/larger group of people (without any fundamental "truth" as would be implied by continued application of the scientific method).

But: no matter how small or large the group of people who agree on a particular definition, if I disagree and label something "drone" that is not drone according to that group's definition then who has the authority to deem my classification "false"?

Absolutely nobody.

Having said that, I fully agree with KL1982 though that questions like the 12 listed in his last post can nevertheless be very interesting questions to explore to those who want to dive deeper into what makes drone drone for him/her. I personally, however, don't believe you'll ever arrive at answers to those questions that will apply to or be valid for everybody.

Disclaimer: my response(s) should be read in the light of me being a philosophical scepticist with nihilistic tendencies. The following is a light introduction to that topic (and a fitting follow-up to listentoaheartbeat's link): https://iep.utm.edu/nihilism/#:~:text=N ... %20destroy.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:09 pm

Honestly I've gotten so much out of this thread already that I'm having a hard time formulating responses. Preparing for a four class term (I'm a teacher) isn't helping. Thanks to everyone though. Again.
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Re: What is drone?

Post by HenryBurlingame » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:16 pm

KL1982 wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:39 pm

Perhaps also have a look at vowels/consonants (i.e consonants are interrupted sounds (rhythmic/percussive white noise), whereas vowels are uninterrputed/continuous sounds (continuous tones)). This is interesting i.e vowels as 'free of noise', consisting of pitch/harmonic overtones (hence certain ancient cultures/languages considered vowels sacred/would avoid writing them down (old stories of ancient Egyptian priests evoking the deities by chanting certain vowel sounds in succession/certain order))

Take the word 'tune' - it could be mapped as:

white noise - pitched - white noise

(e.g 'tch' 'ooh' 'n')

Could this be paralleled in a piece of music? Theoretically all words could be structured in this manner, and a drone album could be created consisting of this principle i.e the album itself could spell out a phrase by having tracks consisting of drones/white noise (or rather, some form of noise). Novel, of course, but could be good fun for exploration.


Is drone music the closest we can/could get to sacred nature of sound i.e a parallel to the purity of the vowel?


All best
This is interesting to read as I have been structuring all of my drone pieces lately with the main dynamic being the difference between noise sections and "pure" sections.
FS: Mutable Rings: viewtopic.php?f=74&t=238432

KL1982
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Re: What is drone?

Post by KL1982 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:34 pm

skulptr - excuse my delay in getting back to you - busy times (PS happy new year)

skulptr wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:48 pm
I respectfully disagree. :mrgreen:

A "Sonata" is not as concretely defined as you seem to imply and its definition evolved through (musical) history so if you want to talk sonatas then you would also need to immediately state which period (in musical history) you are referring to as to further clarify exactly what you mean by sonata (in a particular historical context).

A "Minuet" describes both the dance and the music accompanying the dance and so, again, you would need to add further context for somebody else to truly understand what you are referring to.

Yes, I'd say you are absolutely correct on both counts. This is more accurate than what I wrote.



(Isn't it all (to a point) Wittgenstein's beetle?! Or could we all make Ayn Rand proud?!)


In any instance, hopefully the content herein provides some useful ideas for the OP (PS I'd quote a list of books relating to sonata form, but doing so isn't necessary/I understand and fully appreciate your point(s)).

All best/regards

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Re: What is drone?

Post by skulptr » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:28 pm

KL1982 wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:34 pm
skulptr - excuse my delay in getting back to you - busy times (PS happy new year)
No problem (and happy new year to you too), I wasn't specifically waiting for a reply, there is (a lot) more to life than this forum after all.

And yes, I think the OP has a lot of ideas he can explore...all the way from very practical ideas/experiments to reasoning about or playing with the relationship (real or imaginary) between drone, philosophy, language and the nature & vastness of the universe.

And that is before even beginning to think about how drone might resonate with us on a more primal level. Imagine how our ancient forefathers must have felt when experiencing a powerful thunderstorm for example. How strongly, if at all, are those primal feelings still present within us? And, if still present, can we trigger them or somehow tap into them with/through drone?

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Re: What is drone?

Post by studio460 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:26 pm

I asked this question in the original thread: "Definition of drone."

I'll use my own personal version here:

• Non-chromatic.
• No specific time-signature.

Of course, drones may be many things to many people. This is my own personal definition. I use this rather severe definition because every time I add a keyboarded-synth to my drone-pieces, it turns into something completely different. Like something attempting to be music or like a soundtrack.
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Re: What is drone?

Post by scuto » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:15 am

studio460 wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:26 pm
I asked this question in the original thread: "Definition of drone."

I'll use my own personal version here:

• Non-chromatic.
• No specific time-signature.

Of course, drones may be many things to many people. This is my own personal definition. I use this rather severe definition because every time I add a keyboarded-synth to my drone-pieces, it turns into something completely different. Like something attempting to be music or like a soundtrack.
I'm a fan of these two qualifications. "Free time" and non-melodic (I know, not exactly what you wrote!) make sense to me. I like how tonal drones can be, while still not prescribing specific melodies for the listener. In fact, an ideal for me would be tonalities which hint or gesture at melody, but depending on where in the spectrum the listener focuses has an effect on what melodic-like things they hear.

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Re: What is drone?

Post by KSS » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:59 am

Having just come from the earliest memory of musical fascination thread, my reply here is colored by the natural sounds evoked for me by that thread.

All of these are drone to me.
Cicadas.
Treefrogs <--if and when there are enough of them. Compared to bullfrogs which do not meet drone level, but that may only have to do with my experience of never having heard enough of them to reach the drone I've heard from treefrogs. Likewise enough crickets move into drone from what fewer of them sound like.
The sound of the water passing by the hull of a boat or small ship. Including a competition shell. wide range of drone among these. Add power and it becomes an added element of drone.
A washing machine spin cycle. Or a clothes dryer.
The sound of a railcar, and the modern -smoother- drone of an electric bus or subway.
My grandfather's harmonica. At times.
The sound of my -then- mate's violin. And the similar drone of a cello.
An orchestra tuning up.
A re-winding audio reel, casette, or video tape.
Wind in the sails.
Wind of a storm, or desert or seashore. <--Or 70's concert opener ;)
Rain when it grows beyond drops to 'sheets'
Wind in the needles of a large conifer -and the others nearby in a forest- when sitting up high among its branches. Acompanied by the nearly impoerceptible doppler from the physical sway of the three.
The flutter of a flag.
Or the end of an LP record when it doesn't auto-shutoff. shhhhhhh-clik-shhhhhhhh-clik..
An unanswered wall phone.
And more obviously sirens of various types

and many more, but this is enough to show that for me it's not necessarily long, and can involve repetition within a greater or lesser lack of repetition. Like the treefrogs, or cicadas. And not necessarily big either. But at least one aspect or element is generally perceived as without* time constraint

*These nearly? all have a finite existence. But within their existence, some aspect or element encompasses the entire existence. It may vary over that existence, and may repeat in easily or difficult to discern manner. But -for me- there is a 'constant' to any drone on some level

Man does not need to be involved in the making of drone, only needed for experiencing it in many cases.

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