Alternative music theory ?

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Post by felixer » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:57 pm

peanut wrote: I'm still a little confused with this definition
a big part of any scientific paper is about definitions. very tricky and often confusing. and often meant that way :roll:
peanut wrote:sensory deprivation
has the effect of turning up the sensitivity of your sensory system, often leading to an internal feedback loop. which usually produces hallucinations. and this is what i think religion mostly is (besides a cheap con-trick to obtain money&power ... and an almost endless source of violence) so that father may have been right. now of what use this cruelty might be i cannot fathom ... but then, i never read that book ...

obviously one could argue that hallucinations are 'other worlds, just as valid as ours'. but since few have reported back with anything substantial i'm not getting into a discussion along those lines ... i think it is all 'in the head' and doesn't produce anything new. at best you may be able to know yourself better. quite a shock for most :hihi:
nothing to do with, say, shamanistic experiences or the dreamworld of the aboriginals: those are outside of your brain. and can be even more terrifying ... since it's often stranger then anybody can imagine ...
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:18 pm

felixer wrote:ah ... lawnmowing ...some folks start there, others end there ...

i wouldn't call vangelis naive, i think he's a walking cliché, a pastiche of cheap romantic 19th century sauce ... but to each his own. :mrgreen:
Well, when you come up with anything as good as China or Spiral, you will let us all know, I'm sure.
mozart may have been a kid and a bit childish but he was never naive. and neither was his dad who gave him rameau's book saying words to the effect of 'son, study this, this is the future' ... and right he was ...

mahler naive? now really, the man was a conservative, had a difficult life and his music reflects that: it always makes me sad ... but naive he was not.

i'm assuming you are quoting again ... you should mention the source ...
The internet.
most folk artists follow a tradition that is quite rigid. if they deviate someone might call 'm 'judas' ... as happened to bob dylan when he started using electric instruments.

naive i would call a lot of those 90ies japanese 'laptop-artists'. there i heard some fresh approaches.
john cage may have been naive. and he cultivated it ...
Yes, I have a feeling that much of Cage's more "normal-sounding" music was quite naive.
or do you mean naive=unschooled? def not, methinks ...
that's like saying that people who can't read or write are stupid ... and that folks who don't write books don't have a history ...
It is quite tiresome when one writes something which is the very model of clarity, and it is completely (and, one suspects, willingly) misread and misinterpreted.

Here is what I wrote:
Dr. Sketch n' Etch wrote:And, for clarification, the "naive" approach to composition is just writing down what you hear in your head, without any consideration of systems or theory.
This statement (notwithstanding its accuracy or veracity) makes no judgment about ones intelligence or schooling. It outlines an approach to composition which does not rely on or fall back on theoretical considerations, such as 12-tone technique, or modal chord scales, or cellular rhythms, etc.
oh and for composing and/or theory you don't need to be able to write. it can all be done in the head. like for playing chess you don't really need a board and pieces ...
Evidently, since many do it just that way.
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Post by strettara » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:59 am

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
felixer wrote:i wouldn't call vangelis naive, i think he's a walking cliché, a pastiche of cheap romantic 19th century sauce ... but to each his own. :mrgreen:
Well, when you come up with anything as good as China or Spiral, you will let us all know, I'm sure.
You know, I often find myself in agreement with what you say, but this is the worst of all possible arguments, primarily because it turns on its proponent. After all, how are you qualified to pronounce on Vangelis if you haven't come up with music as good as his yourself? It cuts both ways.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Dr. Sketch n' Etch wrote:And, for clarification, the "naive" approach to composition is just writing down what you hear in your head, without any consideration of systems or theory.
This statement (notwithstanding its accuracy or veracity) makes no judgment about ones intelligence or schooling. It outlines an approach to composition which does not rely on or fall back on theoretical considerations, such as 12-tone technique, or modal chord scales, or cellular rhythms, etc.
I suspect that for someone to be able to write down what he hears in his head, he would need to be quite well schooled in music theory.
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Post by ear ear » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:53 am

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:And, for clarification, the "naive" approach to composition is just writing down what you hear in your head, without any consideration of systems or theory.
And if you are just writing down what you hear in your head, with due consideration of systems or theory...?
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Post by felixer » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:15 am

felixer wrote:

i'm assuming you are quoting again ... you should mention the source ...
Dr. Sketch n' Etch wrote:The internet.
:lolspew: at the very least you could be a tad more precise ... nevermind ...

felixer wrote:or do you mean naive=unschooled? def not, methinks ...
that's like saying that people who can't read or write are stupid ... and that folks who don't write books don't have a history ...
Dr. Sketch n' Etch wrote:It is quite tiresome when one writes something which is the very model of clarity, and it is completely (and, one suspects, willingly) misread and misinterpreted.

Here is what I wrote:
Dr. Sketch n' Etch wrote:And, for clarification, the "naive" approach to composition is just writing down what you hear in your head, without any consideration of systems or theory.
This statement (notwithstanding its accuracy or veracity) makes no judgment about ones intelligence or schooling. It outlines an approach to composition which does not rely on or fall back on theoretical considerations, such as 12-tone technique, or modal chord scales, or cellular rhythms, etc.
and i (and others) argued this is a load of horsemanure. impossible ...
so i asked a counterquestion. which you fail/refuse to answer ... repeating a mistake doesn't make it right ...

if you listen to someone like vangelis it should become clear within a few bars that the guy is heavily borrowing from the classical/romantic idiom. i assume he is aware of that. no problem there, he should do exactly as he pleases ... but please do stop to try and 'prove' that what you like is 'good'. two completely different things ...

btw i thought you had left this thread?
me, i'm still hoping to hear (more) about some interesting stuff i don't know about ... that is what learning is about. not trying to reinforce the things you already know. and endlessly arguing that you are right when you are not. progress is impossible if you are not able to admit a mistake. if you want to evangelize about your hero's there is a separate set of threads for that ...

so please back to presenting interesting methods of composing and/or interesting music or composers 8-)
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:20 pm

felixer wrote:
Dr. Sketch n' Etch wrote:And, for clarification, the "naive" approach to composition is just writing down what you hear in your head, without any consideration of systems or theory.

This statement (notwithstanding its accuracy or veracity) makes no judgment about ones intelligence or schooling. It outlines an approach to composition which does not rely on or fall back on theoretical considerations, such as 12-tone technique, or modal chord scales, or cellular rhythms, etc.
and i (and others) argued this is a load of horsemanure. impossible ...
so i asked a counterquestion. which you fail/refuse to answer ... repeating a mistake doesn't make it right ...

if you listen to someone like vangelis it should become clear within a few bars that the guy is heavily borrowing from the classical/romantic idiom. i assume he is aware of that. no problem there, he should do exactly as he pleases ... but please do stop to try and 'prove' that what you like is 'good'. two completely different things ...
This is exactly the naive approach. Vangelis composes in this style because that is what he hears in his head. He essentially improvises completed work. Because he is (evidently) unfettered by systematic or theoretical considerations, he relies on what his ears and mind have assimilated from what he has heard. This is exactly the strategy of the naive composer. That is why so much "naive" music never strays from simple major or minor tonalities. Because it is essentially noodling-with-intent, and to delve into more unconventional or complicated tonal (or quasi-tonal) territory almost always requires consideration of some system or theory. In my experience, it is almost impossible to play "outside" in a convincing way without conscious application of some theory. Naive music almost never goes "outside".
btw i thought you had left this thread?
me, i'm still hoping to hear (more) about some interesting stuff i don't know about ... that is what learning is about. not trying to reinforce the things you already know. and endlessly arguing that you are right when you are not. progress is impossible if you are not able to admit a mistake. if you want to evangelize about your hero's there is a separate set of threads for that ...

so please back to presenting interesting methods of composing and/or interesting music or composers 8-)
Most of what I've written here in the last few days has been a response to your snarkiness. That's what happens, I'm afraid. I'm over it now.

My personal favorite "alternative" music theory isn't really all that "alternative." It's the creation of chord scales from non-diatonic modes. In my view, probably the best proponent of this approach is Olivier Messiaen. He invented (or, in some cases, borrowed) a pile of special modes which can only be transposed a few times -- his "modes of limited transposition" -- and used them extensively to provide the "quasi-tonal" harmonic foundation of his work. I have presented a few examples in other threads. My favorite mode is Mode 2, which is really just the diminished mode (W-H-W-H-W-H-W). If this mode is harmonized with chords of the 1-2-4-7 variety, it gives particularly pleasing progressions.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:04 pm

strettara wrote:You know, I often find myself in agreement with what you say, but this is the worst of all possible arguments, primarily because it turns on its proponent. After all, how are you qualified to pronounce on Vangelis if you haven't come up with music as good as his yourself? It cuts both ways.
Bull****. What's easy to do (for some) is to criticize someone who has literally devoted his entire 70+ year life to the production of music (very successfully, if that means anything... I believe it does) in two sentences as if that makes the critic the smartest guy in the room. I was responding to the turd of an argument I read.

If felixer were being completely honest to his opinions, here is what he would have said: "Dave Dixon, you're a complete idiot with terrible taste and no real knowledge of music. Fuck you!" At least, that's more or less how I have interpreted all of his comments so far.
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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:19 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:Yes, I have a feeling that much of Cage's more "normal-sounding" music was quite naive.
His prepared piano pieces are definitely worth looking into. Easy to the ear and yet very focused on rhythmic intricacies.
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Post by Nelson Baboon » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:01 pm

ok. I'm trying not to get into it with you, but sometimes, you know, I think you just say stuff that is really off.

I, you, whoever, can criticize anyone we want. It's totally fair. And you, certainly, have done this - not only to individual musicians, but to entire modes of making music. To do this isn't to declare that one is better (whatever the fuck that means), but simply to state that one doesn't like what they hear about that composer/musician.

I mean, fuck. I have totally hated EVERYTHING I've heard from Vangelis. I hate pretty much everything I hear from plenty of musicians. And love some of it. Isn't that my right? Fuck, man - I don't like, I mean, REALLY don't like, listening to Messiaen - does that mean that somehow I consider my own music 'better' than his? I don't even know what that means.

And in these contexts, you obviously are trying to say stuff that provokes people. (note that I'm not using the 't' word). You manipulate people into stating their opinions in very strong terms. You cast aspersions on the way people think about music, entire modes of making music, to the point of declaring that some stuff isn't music. But you get so agitated when someone declares their taste? Fuck that. I hate Vangelis. I hate Messiaen. I'll go even further. I enjoy my own music way more than I enjoy listening to theirs. Isn't that sort of what making music creatively is about? that you're making it for yourself - that you're making music that you enjoy, and trying to make music that really satisfies you?

That doesn't mean that you don't think that these people don't have amazing talent, or that others don't love their music way, way, way more than they enjoy your own, or that your own has any objective quality.

ah, fuck it. I don't want another of these battles with you. But sometimes I just lose it, you know?
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
strettara wrote:You know, I often find myself in agreement with what you say, but this is the worst of all possible arguments, primarily because it turns on its proponent. After all, how are you qualified to pronounce on Vangelis if you haven't come up with music as good as his yourself? It cuts both ways.
Bull****. What's easy to do (for some) is to criticize someone who has literally devoted his entire 70+ year life to the production of music (very successfully, if that means anything... I believe it does) in two sentences as if that makes the critic the smartest guy in the room. I was responding to the turd of an argument I read.

If felixer were being completely honest to his opinions, here is what he would have said: "Dave Dixon, you're a complete idiot with terrible taste and no real knowledge of music. Fuck you!" At least, that's more or less how I have interpreted all of his comments so far.

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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:58 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:ok. I'm trying not to get into it with you, but sometimes, you know, I think you just say stuff that is really off.

I, you, whoever, can criticize anyone we want. It's totally fair. And you, certainly, have done this - not only to individual musicians, but to entire modes of making music. To do this isn't to declare that one is better (whatever the fuck that means), but simply to state that one doesn't like what they hear about that composer/musician.

I mean, fuck. I have totally hated EVERYTHING I've heard from Vangelis. I hate pretty much everything I hear from plenty of musicians. And love some of it. Isn't that my right? Fuck, man - I don't like, I mean, REALLY don't like, listening to Messiaen - does that mean that somehow I consider my own music 'better' than his? I don't even know what that means.
And I totally respect your hatred of their music. That's totally not what I'm on about. It's the cavalier dismissal of something to score points in an argument that I hate.

I'm not a huge fan of Xenakis. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I hate his music, because I don't. In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to think of any music that I hate. There are things I admire about it, but I never have an urge to listen to it. There's some Vangelis I avoid (particularly much of the post-analog stuff) because I tend to agree a little too much with felixer's assessment about it, and I find it a little embarrassing. I don't particularly like early Messiaen. For me, he didn't hit his stride until the war, when he was in his thirties. I don't hate any of it. That's too strong a word.
And in these contexts, you obviously are trying to say stuff that provokes people. (note that I'm not using the 't' word). You manipulate people into stating their opinions in very strong terms. You cast aspersions on the way people think about music, entire modes of making music, to the point of declaring that some stuff isn't music. But you get so agitated when someone declares their taste? Fuck that. I hate Vangelis. I hate Messiaen. I'll go even further. I enjoy my own music way more than I enjoy listening to theirs. Isn't that sort of what making music creatively is about? that you're making it for yourself - that you're making music that you enjoy, and trying to make music that really satisfies you?
That's great. Opinions are worthless if they aren't strong (in my opinion). They don't have to be used as weapons of douchery, though. They can just be opinions. Everybody has different tastes. My best friend hates all the music I like, and never ceases to tell me about it. I make him listen to it anyway, because it's my car.
That doesn't mean that you don't think that these people don't have amazing talent, or that others don't love their music way, way, way more than they enjoy your own, or that your own has any objective quality.

ah, fuck it. I don't want another of these battles with you. But sometimes I just lose it, you know?
I'm a little surprised you weighed in, to be honest. However, I agree with all your points, so no battles today.
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Post by strettara » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:49 am

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
strettara wrote:You know, I often find myself in agreement with what you say, but this is the worst of all possible arguments, primarily because it turns on its proponent. After all, how are you qualified to pronounce on Vangelis if you haven't come up with music as good as his yourself? It cuts both ways.
Bull****. What's easy to do (for some) is to criticize someone who has literally devoted his entire 70+ year life to the production of music (very successfully, if that means anything... I believe it does) in two sentences as if that makes the critic the smartest guy in the room. I was responding to the turd of an argument I read.

If felixer were being completely honest to his opinions, here is what he would have said: "Dave Dixon, you're a complete idiot with terrible taste and no real knowledge of music. Fuck you!" At least, that's more or less how I have interpreted all of his comments so far.
Your point of view may well have substance, but you need to find a better way of arguing than simply dismissing everyone you disagree with. And since your and Felixer's credentials are pretty much identical (i.e. neither of you is a successful, nay! legendary composer of schmalzy electronic music), citing them as a criterion is hardly going to carry much weight. You need to work harder than that. Because what you present (Felixer's not as successful - has not made as "good" music - as Vangelis, therefore he has nothing to say) isn't even a "turd of an argument" - it's no argument at all. After all, Bach, Mozart, Boulez, Stockhausen - none of them were as succcessful as Miley Cyrus. Does that mean their opinions on her music, if they could express them, would have no weight?

But why am I typing all this when I know your reply will just be another "bullshit"? :doh:
Last edited by strettara on Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by felixer » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:07 am

i have already called you 'ignorant', but alright then, here it goes:
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:Dave Dixon, you're a complete idiot with terrible taste and no real knowledge of music. Fuck you!
quoted from the internet 8-)
happy now? usually i'm too polite to put things that way, but if you insist ...

anyway, that is not what this forum is about. move over to feacesbook and tweeter for that sort of drek ... could we please (pretty please with sugar&cream and the funny brown stuff on top) go back to the original intent? this thread was about presenting/exchanging/pointing-to ideas ...

anybody has a link to a good/in-depth interview with sachiko m.? and in english please :mrgreen: i'm curious to where she came from ...
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Post by rec.Koner » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:40 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:(Oh oh, here comes some controversy........)

I've read this entire thread, and I've gotta say, much of this thread is a classic example of what I call "reading too high."

What do I mean? The OP asked about music theory. People respond with lots of lofty-sounding comments about psychoacoustics, pitch physics, geometrical chords, etc.

The problem? I would guess that no one here has any idea how to apply a single idea from psychoacoustics or pitch physics to make better music.

What good is all that pseudo-academic gobbledygook if you can't listen to a few seconds of music and say which note is functioning as the root, or what quality seventh chord is being played, and how it wants to resolve? This maybe sounds a bit mundane next to "pitch physics" but these are the questions that matter in making actual music.
Well, when i was creating this thread, i had in mind such music/sound structures as Pierre Schaeffer and K. Stockhausen, so i was wondering if there is some serious music theory for music that some people don't even call a music .

Anyway, i'm kind of glad you're still participating here even if everyone feel insulted (and even i was at some point when i thought that you could be one of those people who would call most melodic works of AFX as "random").
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Post by Yeggman » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:50 pm

For what it's worth, I'm not insulted, just confused by what seems like everyone's constant willful misreading of each other :hmm:

rec.Koner wrote: Well, when i was creating this thread, i had in mind such music/sound structures as Pierre Schaeffer and K. Stockhausen, so i was wondering if there is some serious music theory for music that some people don't even call a music.
Since no one seems to have mentioned it, Pierre Schaeffer's book on musique concrete seems an obvious place to start:

In Search of a Concrete Music

"Pierre Schaeffer’s In Search of a Concrete Music (À la recherche d’une musique concrète) has long been considered a classic text in electroacoustic music and sound recording. Now Schaeffer’s pioneering work—at once a journal of his experiments in sound composition and a treatise on the raison d’être of “concrete music”—is available for the first time in English translation. Schaeffer’s theories have had a profound influence on composers working with technology. However, they extend beyond the confines of the studio and are applicable to many areas of contemporary musical thought, such as defining an ‘instrument’ and classifying sounds. Schaeffer has also become increasingly relevant to DJs and hip-hop producers as well as sound-based media artists. This unique book is essential for anyone interested in contemporary musicology or media history."



Also recommend R. Murray Schafer and his books "Ear cleaning: Notes for an experimental music course" (which will unfortunately be hard to find except in "The Thinking Ear", a collection of his writings on music education which is also difficult to get; "The Tuning of the World" (also called "The Soundscape"); "A Sound Education: 100 Exercises in Listening and Soundmaking", which you can currently download a PDF of from this location.

Also recommend "Deep Listening: A Composer's Sound Practice" by Pauline Oliveros. And of course any/all of Cage's writings/lectures/etc.

"Notations 21" compiled by Theresa Sauer is a great book, as is Cage's original "Notations" which you can download from archive.org here.. Treatise by Cornelius Cardew is music along the same lines - can't find it at the moment so here is the wiki article.. There's a wealth of scholarship about graphic notation in general, so if you're interested there's a lot of searching you can do!

Cornelius Cardew's "Stockhausen Serves Imperialism" is probably not that useful but still might be worth reading depending on your temperament :hihi:

Actually just in general, if you haven't spent time on UbuWeb, there's a wealth of interesting information in their Electronic Music Resources.

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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:30 pm

rec.Koner wrote:Anyway, i'm kind of glad you're still participating here even if everyone feel insulted (and even i was at some point when i thought that you could be one of those people who would call most melodic works of AFX as "random").
I like AFX. I listen to "Chosen Lords" quite regularly. And then my head spins around and I vomit green slime -- just kidding!
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Post by peanut » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:04 pm

Yeggman wrote:For what it's worth, I'm not insulted, just confused by what seems like everyone's constant willful misreading of each other :hmm:

rec.Koner wrote: Well, when i was creating this thread, i had in mind such music/sound structures as Pierre Schaeffer and K. Stockhausen, so i was wondering if there is some serious music theory for music that some people don't even call a music.
Since no one seems to have mentioned it, Pierre Schaeffer's book on musique concrete seems an obvious place to start:

In Search of a Concrete Music

"Pierre Schaeffer’s In Search of a Concrete Music (À la recherche d’une musique concrète) has long been considered a classic text in electroacoustic music and sound recording. Now Schaeffer’s pioneering work—at once a journal of his experiments in sound composition and a treatise on the raison d’être of “concrete music”—is available for the first time in English translation. Schaeffer’s theories have had a profound influence on composers working with technology. However, they extend beyond the confines of the studio and are applicable to many areas of contemporary musical thought, such as defining an ‘instrument’ and classifying sounds. Schaeffer has also become increasingly relevant to DJs and hip-hop producers as well as sound-based media artists. This unique book is essential for anyone interested in contemporary musicology or media history."



Also recommend R. Murray Schafer and his books "Ear cleaning: Notes for an experimental music course" (which will unfortunately be hard to find except in "The Thinking Ear", a collection of his writings on music education which is also difficult to get; "The Tuning of the World" (also called "The Soundscape"); "A Sound Education: 100 Exercises in Listening and Soundmaking", which you can currently download a PDF of from this location.

Also recommend "Deep Listening: A Composer's Sound Practice" by Pauline Oliveros. And of course any/all of Cage's writings/lectures/etc.

"Notations 21" compiled by Theresa Sauer is a great book, as is Cage's original "Notations" which you can download from archive.org here.. Treatise by Cornelius Cardew is music along the same lines - can't find it at the moment so here is the wiki article.. There's a wealth of scholarship about graphic notation in general, so if you're interested there's a lot of searching you can do!

Cornelius Cardew's "Stockhausen Serves Imperialism" is probably not that useful but still might be worth reading depending on your temperament :hihi:

Actually just in general, if you haven't spent time on UbuWeb, there's a wealth of interesting information in their Electronic Music Resources.
Thanks for these. Working my way through Messiaen's Technique of Musical Language, recommended by this thread. :yay:
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote: I like AFX. I listen to "Chosen Lords" quite regularly. And then my head spins around and I vomit green slime -- just kidding!
For me, Chosen Lords was one of the most influential albums, and really made me aware of modular synthesis. Haven't sat down for a listen in a while, so thanks for reminding me!

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Post by rec.Koner » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:23 pm

@Yeggman

Thanks for contribution, i totally forgot they were translated from french language.
Cage's more "normal-sounding" music was quite naive
Do you mean compositions like "Dream" and "In a Landscape"?
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Post by shreddoggie » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:10 pm

Fascinating thread that lived forever... at this point I am not following what it has to do with Alternative Music Theory.

Perhaps this has been discussed before (sorry no time or inclination to read the entire saga) but I wonder this: as I understand it, MUSIC THEORY is an attempt to create a system or rather systems by which to talk about, and presumably gain a deeper understanding of, music. I *believe* this encompasses everything from the nuts and bolts stuff such as the overtone series, to the far out touchy feely of La-La land cosmic metaphysical consciousness altering yadda-yadda.

I personally love it all quite simply because I love music. I started taking lessons in the 3rd grade (what is that? 8 years old) and have never stopped, including visits to conservatories in foreign countries, occasionally staying for years going into koo-koo land about baroque performance practices or (trying to understand) Ornette's theory of harmelodics, and plenty of krazee stuff in between. I actually love Rachmaninoff, Justin Timberlake, Lutoslawski, and Kenny G. It is all wonderful and fascinating to assume humility in the presence of someone who is a master of the sound they make all the way from commercial schlock to pure noise - bring it on. This voraciousness has included intercourse with many fun and scientific hoozits that go zoing and beep, and consequently to this rad site and all y'alls wonderful thoughts.

Based on this perspective, I gotta ask: alternative to what exactly? Isn't any so called alternative not an alternative at all but just another facet of the whole thing? I don't see how one way of looking at it is in opposition to another. Its kinda like saying Hindustani classical music is largely out of tune because the notes are often in the cracks on yer eboniez and ivoriez. It is not out of tune by any means. It is in tune with a system that explains it in a way that is appropriate. It is not alternative - it is a part of the grand spectrum of intonation and 8ve species.

Is it not all one? Is there some contention that something is right or established and that anything that is outside of that is alternative? I guess I just am not clear on how any of this is alternative: Messaien, Schoenberg, Cage, Concreté? All sounds extremely within the fold to me. The only truly alternative music I can think of that is anything other than naive sophomoric masturbating that doesn't have anything to do with any theory besides the ever popular 'just fuck off and be creative' approach, would be that of Harry Partch (true musical HERO) and I suppose there are some others in this camp - actual smartiez making a concerted effort to create something truly alternative... but still - isn't it no longer alternative once it is created and thus understood as part of music theory?

It feels like a circular proposition that is ultimately meaningless. No? Maybe its just that the use of 'alternative' is inappropriate - what we want to ask about are the theoretical underpinnings of musics from different eras and cultures, as well as less well regarded and less commonly practiced theories within our own realm, by which to expand our perspective, but I guess that is a pretty annoying thread title.. Carry on.

also: I used to have lots of students until I simply could not stand it anymore. I would tell them all, and I still insist on this: if you find ANY music you can't appreciate in some sincere way, you are not trying hard enough and you are not yet a true musician - get over yourself.
Hows that for a music theory?
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Post by peanut » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:40 am

shreddoggie wrote:Fascinating thread that lived forever... at this point I am not following what it has to do with Alternative Music Theory.

Perhaps this has been discussed before (sorry no time or inclination to read the entire saga) but I wonder this: as I understand it, MUSIC THEORY is an attempt to create a system or rather systems by which to talk about, and presumably gain a deeper understanding of, music. I *believe* this encompasses everything from the nuts and bolts stuff such as the overtone series, to the far out touchy feely of La-La land cosmic metaphysical consciousness altering yadda-yadda.

I personally love it all quite simply because I love music. I started taking lessons in the 3rd grade (what is that? 8 years old) and have never stopped, including visits to conservatories in foreign countries, occasionally staying for years going into koo-koo land about baroque performance practices or (trying to understand) Ornette's theory of harmelodics, and plenty of krazee stuff in between. I actually love Rachmaninoff, Justin Timberlake, Lutoslawski, and Kenny G. It is all wonderful and fascinating to assume humility in the presence of someone who is a master of the sound they make all the way from commercial schlock to pure noise - bring it on. This voraciousness has included intercourse with many fun and scientific hoozits that go zoing and beep, and consequently to this rad site and all y'alls wonderful thoughts.

Based on this perspective, I gotta ask: alternative to what exactly? Isn't any so called alternative not an alternative at all but just another facet of the whole thing? I don't see how one way of looking at it is in opposition to another. Its kinda like saying Hindustani classical music is largely out of tune because the notes are often in the cracks on yer eboniez and ivoriez. It is not out of tune by any means. It is in tune with a system that explains it in a way that is appropriate. It is not alternative - it is a part of the grand spectrum of intonation and 8ve species.

Is it not all one? Is there some contention that something is right or established and that anything that is outside of that is alternative? I guess I just am not clear on how any of this is alternative: Messaien, Schoenberg, Cage, Concreté? All sounds extremely within the fold to me. The only truly alternative music I can think of that is anything other than naive sophomoric masturbating that doesn't have anything to do with any theory besides the ever popular 'just fuck off and be creative' approach, would be that of Harry Partch (true musical HERO) and I suppose there are some others in this camp - actual smartiez making a concerted effort to create something truly alternative... but still - isn't it no longer alternative once it is created and thus understood as part of music theory?

It feels like a circular proposition that is ultimately meaningless. No? Maybe its just that the use of 'alternative' is inappropriate - what we want to ask about are the theoretical underpinnings of musics from different eras and cultures, as well as less well regarded and less commonly practiced theories within our own realm, by which to expand our perspective, but I guess that is a pretty annoying thread title.. Carry on.

also: I used to have lots of students until I simply could not stand it anymore. I would tell them all, and I still insist on this: if you find ANY music you can't appreciate in some sincere way, you are not trying hard enough and you are not yet a true musician - get over yourself.
Hows that for a music theory?
Yeah, I agree with you on all that. Especially the bit about recognizing, appreciating, and enjoying someone who has mastered their own particular sound, regardless of the type of music they play. The title to this thread, as far as I can tell, is kind of a misnomer. Alternative isn't the correct word, and I think the OP was looking to be pointed in various directions away from the common western music theory readily found in textbooks at the local branch of the library. I think in this sense the thread has been a success and a great list of resources.

To all...If there are some more out there and you can't be bothered to read the whole thread, just do a search on the thread for your recommendation to see if it's been mentioned.

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:08 pm

I just don't feel any obligation to like and actually enjoy commercial shlock. Must we, for instance, if we are film fans, enjoy every movie that has its own style? Perhaps I'm deficient in attitude, but I actually like some things, and dislike others.

I'd bet that most great musicians/composers have both likes and dislikes.

I never understood the op to be looking for more than music theory that did not take for granted the superiority of Western music, and use it as its basis. I inferred no implication that all music shouldn't be looked at as 'one' or however that quote went.

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Post by peanut » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:10 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:I just don't feel any obligation to like and actually enjoy commercial shlock. Must we, for instance, if we are film fans, enjoy every movie that has its own style? Perhaps I'm deficient in attitude, but I actually like some things, and dislike others.

I'd bet that most great musicians/composers have both likes and dislikes.

I never understood the op to be looking for more than music theory that did not take for granted the superiority of Western music, and use it as its basis. I inferred no implication that all music shouldn't be looked at as 'one' or however that quote went.
I think there's a pervasive attitude that all commercial, popular music is schlock, which I don't agree with. I think Justin Timberlake and Kenny G are good examples of artists who create music that can still be appreciated and enjoyed, even if it isn't pushing the frontier of "art", or meeting the standards of some other type of snobby, affected criteria. Which isn't the same thing as saying that everything is worthy of your time and appreciation. By all means, everyone should form an opinion and decide to avoid some music in favor of another kind.

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Post by rec.Koner » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:22 pm

@shreddoggie

Why do you so concentrated on thread's title? If it's inaccurate, then we should ask mods to change it to something that reflects contents more.

As for "alternative to what?" - people were saying countless time on this site - "european music school", i suppose.

And, of course, all that talk about music that doesnt rely on difference of note's pitch as much, rather using "texture", though you'd say each sound texture still has pitch, it's just you more often use rhythm, morphing and other means to develop it into composition and not just adding other pitches higher of lower.
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Post by Nelson Baboon » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:23 pm

no, not all popular music is bad, but obviously one not be a snob, or affected, to dislike the music of Kenny G, for instance. Ultimately I don't feel the obligation to force myself to like something that I recoil from over and over...

peanut wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:I just don't feel any obligation to like and actually enjoy commercial shlock. Must we, for instance, if we are film fans, enjoy every movie that has its own style? Perhaps I'm deficient in attitude, but I actually like some things, and dislike others.

I'd bet that most great musicians/composers have both likes and dislikes.

I never understood the op to be looking for more than music theory that did not take for granted the superiority of Western music, and use it as its basis. I inferred no implication that all music shouldn't be looked at as 'one' or however that quote went.
I think there's a pervasive attitude that all commercial, popular music is schlock, which I don't agree with. I think Justin Timberlake and Kenny G are good examples of artists who create music that can still be appreciated and enjoyed, even if it isn't pushing the frontier of "art", or meeting the standards of some other type of snobby, affected criteria. Which isn't the same thing as saying that everything is worthy of your time and appreciation. By all means, everyone should form an opinion and decide to avoid some music in favor of another kind.

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Post by peanut » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:03 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:no, not all popular music is bad, but obviously one not be a snob, or affected, to dislike the music of Kenny G, for instance. Ultimately I don't feel the obligation to force myself to like something that I recoil from over and over...
Yep, merely a matter of opinion. No artist deserves to be unanimously liked, save for Skrillex, of course! :hihi:

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Post by strettara » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:28 pm

shreddoggie wrote:Fascinating thread that lived forever... at this point I am not following what it has to do with Alternative Music Theory.

Perhaps this has been discussed before (sorry no time or inclination to read the entire saga) but I wonder this: as I understand it, MUSIC THEORY is an attempt to create a system or rather systems by which to talk about, and presumably gain a deeper understanding of, music. I *believe* this encompasses everything from the nuts and bolts stuff such as the overtone series, to the far out touchy feely of La-La land cosmic metaphysical consciousness altering yadda-yadda.

I personally love it all quite simply because I love music. I started taking lessons in the 3rd grade (what is that? 8 years old) and have never stopped, including visits to conservatories in foreign countries, occasionally staying for years going into koo-koo land about baroque performance practices or (trying to understand) Ornette's theory of harmelodics, and plenty of krazee stuff in between. I actually love Rachmaninoff, Justin Timberlake, Lutoslawski, and Kenny G. It is all wonderful and fascinating to assume humility in the presence of someone who is a master of the sound they make all the way from commercial schlock to pure noise - bring it on. This voraciousness has included intercourse with many fun and scientific hoozits that go zoing and beep, and consequently to this rad site and all y'alls wonderful thoughts.

Based on this perspective, I gotta ask: alternative to what exactly? Isn't any so called alternative not an alternative at all but just another facet of the whole thing? I don't see how one way of looking at it is in opposition to another. Its kinda like saying Hindustani classical music is largely out of tune because the notes are often in the cracks on yer eboniez and ivoriez. It is not out of tune by any means. It is in tune with a system that explains it in a way that is appropriate. It is not alternative - it is a part of the grand spectrum of intonation and 8ve species.

Is it not all one? Is there some contention that something is right or established and that anything that is outside of that is alternative? I guess I just am not clear on how any of this is alternative: Messaien, Schoenberg, Cage, Concreté? All sounds extremely within the fold to me. The only truly alternative music I can think of that is anything other than naive sophomoric masturbating that doesn't have anything to do with any theory besides the ever popular 'just fuck off and be creative' approach, would be that of Harry Partch (true musical HERO) and I suppose there are some others in this camp - actual smartiez making a concerted effort to create something truly alternative... but still - isn't it no longer alternative once it is created and thus understood as part of music theory?

It feels like a circular proposition that is ultimately meaningless. No? Maybe its just that the use of 'alternative' is inappropriate - what we want to ask about are the theoretical underpinnings of musics from different eras and cultures, as well as less well regarded and less commonly practiced theories within our own realm, by which to expand our perspective, but I guess that is a pretty annoying thread title.. Carry on.

also: I used to have lots of students until I simply could not stand it anymore. I would tell them all, and I still insist on this: if you find ANY music you can't appreciate in some sincere way, you are not trying hard enough and you are not yet a true musician - get over yourself.
Hows that for a music theory?
Pretty good sense all round.
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