Alternative music theory ?

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ear ear
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Post by ear ear » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:34 am

Isn't it worth considering 'why' as well as 'what' in relation to alternative music theory? There's an interesting article on gay culture in the arts in the Guardian today (namechecks Tcherepnin senior, incidentally), but isn't this more generally a question of transcendence being central to artistic creativity? Attali also uses the term 'multiple belongings' in Noise. See Jewish artistic culture in prewar Vienna, or gay culture, or more generally exile -- see Samuel Beckett... To what extent does our 'modern interconnected world' give rise to multiple belongings? What about urban feelings of disconnectedness or loneliness in the midst of the crowd? Sitting on the ferry back to the mainland from Barra on a Sunday evening and listening to people talking as they travel back to their 'work-centred lives' after a weekend 'back home' (?), feelings of multiple belongings seem obvious...
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:58 pm

ear ear wrote:Isn't it worth considering 'why' as well as 'what' in relation to alternative music theory? There's an interesting article on gay culture in the arts in the Guardian today (namechecks Tcherepnin senior, incidentally), but isn't this more generally a question of transcendence being central to artistic creativity? Attali also uses the term 'multiple belongings' in Noise. See Jewish artistic culture in prewar Vienna, or gay culture, or more generally exile -- see Samuel Beckett... To what extent does our 'modern interconnected world' give rise to multiple belongings? What about urban feelings of disconnectedness or loneliness in the midst of the crowd? Sitting on the ferry back to the mainland from Barra on a Sunday evening and listening to people talking as they travel back to their 'work-centred lives' after a weekend 'back home' (?), feelings of multiple belongings seem obvious...
Interesting perspective. On a parallel note, I spent some time yesterday reading about Nietzsche's theory of the ubermensch, and I believe that some of the transformations involved in that operation (transforming from burden-carrying camel to autonomous lion to creative child) must also apply to the life of a creative artist. Perhaps that is why so many creative people rub up against the mores of society: because they are in the process of becoming (self-defining) lions on their way to becoming children.
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:08 pm

felixer wrote:
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote: While we're wasting time pretending to know about alternative music theory
no, you are pretending. having never written anything that was performed by others, nor produced any music yourself, you have no idea what composing is about. so shut the fuck up :smack:
This is one of the worst posts I have ever read on this forum. I'll ban you if I see you treating other people like this again.

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Post by ear ear » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:43 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:[...]Nietzsche's theory of the ubermensch[...]
I don't know a great deal about Nietzsche. Am I wrong in forming the initial impression that this idea seems like a somewhat dated product of the Romantic era and Hegel? I wonder how Bach fits with the idea of an ubermensch, or Tim Berners-Lee, or Leonhard Euler, or...?
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:13 pm

ear ear wrote:
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:[...]Nietzsche's theory of the ubermensch[...]
I don't know a great deal about Nietzsche. Am I wrong in forming the initial impression that this idea seems like a somewhat dated product of the Romantic era and Hegel? I wonder how Bach fits with the idea of an ubermensch, or Tim Berners-Lee, or Leonhard Euler, or...?
I don't know that much about Nietzsche either, I've just read two or three of his books. He was a very interesting (and very wise) guy. From what I can gather, the key to the ubermensch idea is sloughing off the expectations and rules of society to become a fully autonomous human being. Of course, this idea got a lot of Nietzsche followers into some trouble, but I think there are many great artists who have essentially turned their backs on society and forged their own paths.
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Post by dubonaire » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:02 pm

Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
ear ear wrote:
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:[...]Nietzsche's theory of the ubermensch[...]
I don't know a great deal about Nietzsche. Am I wrong in forming the initial impression that this idea seems like a somewhat dated product of the Romantic era and Hegel? I wonder how Bach fits with the idea of an ubermensch, or Tim Berners-Lee, or Leonhard Euler, or...?
I don't know that much about Nietzsche either, I've just read two or three of his books. He was a very interesting (and very wise) guy. From what I can gather, the key to the ubermensch idea is sloughing off the expectations and rules of society to become a fully autonomous human being. Of course, this idea got a lot of Nietzsche followers into some trouble, but I think there are many great artists who have essentially turned their backs on society and forged their own paths.
Yep agree with you about the idea of the ubermensch relating to the artist. Nietzsche was after all foremost an artist. What the people who got into trouble missed is that Nietzsche was fiercely against any form of enslavement. However it is also up to the individual to realise that they are free.

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Post by Yeggman » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:47 pm

Nietzsche, incidentally, was a composer of music. So this is all coming around again...

http://www.openculture.com/2015/03/hear-classical-music-composed-by-friedrich-nietzsche.html

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Post by rec.Koner » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:47 am

Site with Michael Koenig Gottfried's articles is down for me (blocks my country or something), so here we go with back-up. Archive contains following PDFs:

Music and Number (1958)
The Construction of Sound (1963)
Complex Sounds (1965)
The Second Phase of Electronic Music (1965)
Notes on the Computer in Music (1967)
The Use of Computer Programmes in Creating Music (1967)
Remarks on Compositional Theory (1968)
Programmed Music - From the Composer's Viewpoint (1968)
Analytical Descriptions (1971)
Construction and Working Method of the Utrecht University Studio (1972)
Experiences with Programmed Music (1975)
Programmed Musik. Personal Experiences and Work (1975)
Composition Processes (1978)
Some Observations on the Impact of Technology on Musik (1982)
The Aesthetic Integration of Computer-Composed Scores (1983)
Programmed Music (1985)
Sonology in Utrecht. Albumblätter (1986)
Working with "Project 1". My Experiences with Computer Composition (1990)
Layers and Variants (1997)
Attachments
koenigprojectnl.zip
(10.2 MiB) Downloaded 22 times
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Post by wiggy81 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:03 pm

Nice thread! Thanks for the Joseph Schillinger info. I took a look at his The Mathematical Basis Of The Arts. And my first thought was "If the book goes as in-depth as the contents page is promising this is going to be epic".

https://archive.org/details/TheMathemat ... linger1943

That is the archive.org link for the book for the interested. Will have to figure out some way to remove that annoying watermarking goggle and the university decided to vomit all over the scan though. grr.. irritates me when they do that with the scans.

The opening paragraph has one of the best hooks for a music/art theory book I have ever seen. The guy (or his editor) really knew how to structure a manuscript.

If art implies selectivity, skill and organization, ascertainable principles must
underly it. Once such principles are discovered and formulated, works of art
may be produced by scientific synthesis. There is a common misunderstanding
about the freedom of an artist as it relates to self-expression. No artist is really
free. He is subjected to the influences of his immediate surroundings in the
manner of execution , and confined to the material media at his hand . If an artist
were truly free, he would speak his own individual language. In reality, he
speaks only the language of his immediate geographical and historical boundaries.

There is no artist known who, being born in Paris, can express himself spontane-
ously in the medium of Chinese 4th century a.d., nor is there any composer,
born and reared in Vienna, who possesses an inborn mastery of the Javanese
gamelan.

The key to real freedom and emancipation from local dependence is through
scientific method. Authors, painters and composers have exercised their imagi-
nations from time immemorial. And yet can any of their most daring dreams
compare with what science offers us today? Man has always flown in his dreams;
nevertheless, these never satisfied his urge for "real" flight. Since antiquity, a
number of myths has persisted of man's attempts to fly by means of artificial
wings. Such flights have always failed. Let this be a lesson to artists. We
cannot liberate ourselves by imitating a bird. The real way to freedom lies in
the discovery and mastery of. the principles of flight. Creation directly from
principles, and not through the imitation of appearances, is the real way to free-
dom for an artist. Originality is the product of knowledge, not guesswork.
Scientific method in the arts provides an inconceivable number of ideas, technical
ease, perfection, and, ultimately, a feeling of real freedom, satisfaction and
accomplishment.
When reading this I visualised the author doing a mic drop lol.

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Post by felixer » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:14 am

ear ear wrote:'modern interconnected world'
can we please stop this 'postmodern' horse-maneur? the world is more divided then ever before. many countries i cannot go to anymore :waah:
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Post by ear ear » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:53 am

felixer wrote:
ear ear wrote:'modern interconnected world'
can we please stop this 'postmodern' horse-maneur? the world is more divided then ever before. many countries i cannot go to anymore :waah:
Before the C18th the majority of people lived on the land, but from then onwards large numbers of people moved to find work. This is one of the main factors in any definition of what is meant by 'the modern world'. Hence 'multiple belongings'. I don't know why you're bringing post-modernism into the discussion -- and I suspect you don't either.

You think that the world is more divided than ever before because there are many countries you can't go to anymore? Perhaps you're suffering from delusions of grandeur.
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Post by felixer » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:39 pm

ear ear wrote:
felixer wrote:
ear ear wrote:'modern interconnected world'
can we please stop this 'postmodern' horse-maneur? the world is more divided then ever before. many countries i cannot go to anymore :waah:
Before the C18th the majority of people lived on the land, but from then onwards large numbers of people moved to find work. This is one of the main factors in any definition of what is meant by 'the modern world'. Hence 'multiple belongings'. I don't know why you're bringing post-modernism into the discussion -- and I suspect you don't either.

You think that the world is more divided than ever before because there are many countries you can't go to anymore? Perhaps you're suffering from delusions of grandeur.
fuck you! you know damn well what i mean. or you have been living under a rock for the past 20 years. i suspect your sort of arrogance has ruined this world. you think you know it all? then go to syria, lybia, irak or iran. all countries deliberatly destroyed by the west. honestly, i can't blame 'm for shooting/bombing every westerner they see ...
what delusions of grandeur? moi? it was the western financiers who are desperatly looking for 'new markets' (the 'neo-liberals' or 'neocons') who wanted this. and they are using the western arrogance ('we know what is right for you') to get it.
Last edited by felixer on Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by sduck » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:36 pm

You already got warned once in this thread. And I've received numerous complaints privately about your posts. Are you trying to get banned?
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:00 am

sduck wrote:You already got warned once in this thread. And I've received numerous complaints privately about your posts. Are you trying to get banned?
It's strange, because I was just in Germany and everyone I met was incredibly polite. I had a lot of interesting conversations with Germans on politics and other potentially contentious subjects, and they were all conducted with the utmost conviviality and good will.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, but all those countries mentioned by felixer in his last post were ruined by one thing, and it starts with "I" and has five letters. I'll let you guess what it is. I know tons of people from Iran, and they are all absolutely lovely (and virtually all a-religious and happy as clams to be living in the liberal West, and none of them will be returning to Iran to live).
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Post by rec.Koner » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:02 am

Doctor never replied me in other thread, so i'd better repost it here.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote: He wrote a neat little book called "Simple Composition" which covers 12-tone techniques in gory detail. I'm not sure that I will be able to compose atonal music after working through the book, but I am quite sure that I won't be able to if I don't work through the book (or do something similar).
This sounds honest enough.

When i created this thread named silly "alternative music theory", i was curious if there is a huge theory written specifically for making stuff like XX Century's Musique Concrete, Electro-Acoustic stuff etc. You know, records from 1940-1970 (i m not good with dates but hope you get what i mean) that still manage to sound pretty different from nowodays' usual tweaking of modulars or max/msp, i got a thought that there should be some theory behind the curtains, though in my thread i specified that i thought that it had to be more about composition of elements and tech/physical stuff rather than "western school" harmony besides pitches etc. (timbres > frequency?)

p.s.
personally, besides lazyness, another reason while i havent dived into theory is because i just couldnt "burn" in my mind which note is what (i wish i could, then i would be able to compose in my mind first and on paper second). Always hated notes, especially cause i started with tabs for guitar, yeah i m silly :(

p.s.s.
also, though, for example, i consider some music being pretty much a music but some may disagree (later KK Null stuff etc.), yet anyway i was pointing at stuff like Lt Caramel, Luc Ferrari, Pierre Schaeffer, Michael Chion etc. as musicians with some "additional" theory that roots on basic music theory and goes further to sound design.

More melodic composers who worked with synths or computers etc like Barry Schrader, Paul Lansky or Michael McNabb are also interesting though they never went to extremes.
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Post by felixer » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:33 am

rec.Koner wrote:tabs for guitar
tabs is a notational system but it isn't anything equivelant to notes. it describes where to put your finger. it doesn't indicate a pitch. like 'claviscibar' for keyboards.
change the tuning on your guitar and everything will sound different :lol:
the classical system of 'notes on staves' is the only universal system around, although it is footed heavily in tonal/pre 20th century music.
you can write something in that language and every trained musician from berlin to new york to tokio will be able to read it. that is quite remarkable.
i'm not a fan (as it is so based on tonal music) but there you go ...
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Post by rec.Koner » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:17 pm

Makes sense, though why you decided to comment on it? It was just small detail, and not meat of post.

GuitarPro was pretty useful for me though as it was basically midi tabs.
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:18 pm

Hey rec.Koner, I'm happy to reply, but I don't know what the question is.

I don't believe that there is any hard theory behind avant-garde music, other than 12-tone theory. A lot of this music was created and then some personal theories were advanced after the fact.

I've been reading a lot of Boulez, and he had a very active correspondence with John Cage in which he outlines many of his "discoveries" (although a lot of it is in language too vague to be of much use from a theoretical standpoint). There are some very interesting essays where he explains some of his procedures, for instance, around his 3rd piano sonata, which is constructed aleatorically from a collection of cells. The performer has to paste the cells on a big piece of cardboard and then perform them in whatever order he chooses.

I'm also reading a couple of books by George Perle where he explains the 12-tone music of the 2nd Viennese School. It's all pretty mathematical.

I think there is a big missing chunk of theory that could be really helpful for synthesis. For example, there hasn't been much written about FM. I believe that FM (the modulation of one waveform with another waveform of a different frequency) could form the basis of a whole new kind of composition, and because the frequencies could all be fixed, the formal possibilities are pretty endless. The various ratios could be treated in much the same manner that the 12-tonalists treat pitch. This is actually something that I plan to spend a great deal of time on when I have some free time.

In short, I believe that one has to arrive at ones own formal principles when composing with new tools like this.
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Post by rec.Koner » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:34 pm

Oh, i see.

So, what about works by Schaeffer, Stockhausen etc.? Do they go purely into technical sound design instead? (Though in case with Stockhausen - more into compositional structurising?)
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Post by felixer » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:48 pm

rec.Koner wrote:So, what about works by Schaeffer, Stockhausen etc.? Do they go purely into technical sound design instead? (Though in case with Stockhausen - more into compositional structurising?)
stockhausen is all about theory. 12tone rows, mostly. also his sounddesign was based on that. anyway with his first few electronic compositions. but as he noticed this didn't work out the way he envisaged he became more practical. but even 'gesang der jünglinge' (using a voice) was an incredible amount of work. more then anybody nowadays would do ...
kontakte also. months&months of editing/copying. there he used the phenomenon that any rhythm/melody, played fast enough (sped up many times), gives a tonecolour.
it was the early days. much of what we take as granted now wasn't around. technology wise and knowledge wise.
it is his concept that any sound you use should he exclusive to that composition. so easiest to derive sounds from the notes you write.
no soundliberary for him 8-)
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Post by rec.Koner » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:13 pm

And are there music theory studies on gamelan? I mean, John Cage and many others loved it and got inspired. For i mean precisely, composing approach to it alongside with rhythm and harmonies (as i heard the thing with gamelan and similar instruments is how they are both tonal and "drummy" at same time)...


Sorry if i go in circles about circles. I'm just curious even if i'm far away.
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Post by wiggy81 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:05 pm

rec.Koner wrote:And are there music theory studies on gamelan? I mean, John Cage and many others loved it and got inspired. For i mean precisely, composing approach to it alongside with rhythm and harmonies (as i heard the thing with gamelan and similar instruments is how they are both tonal and "drummy" at same time)...


Sorry if i go in circles about circles. I'm just curious even if i'm far away.
Guide to Sundanese music : a practical introduction to gamelan saléndro by Simon Cook.

https://archive.org/details/GuideToSundaneseMusic

I didn't have great hopes for this book but the more I read the more it became apparent how wrong I was initially. Very nice book.

If you have $44.00 burning a hole in your pocket, then there was a series of articles in the second volume of Leonardo music journal about the contemporary gamelan and how composers used it with an orchestra. The articles are good because well its a Leonardo journal so its really well illustrated and you can see examples of the notation used and explanations of how the new pieces were composed, how they integrated with the rest of the instruments.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/i267383

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Post by rec.Koner » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:32 am

Interesting, thanks.

As i always said - when i heard balinese gamelan for the first time, i was basically "oh my god! autechre is simple hip-hop comparing to it!"

p.s. from such journals i also expect something like academic writing on Buchla with diagrams :hihi: In aspects of like what Barry Schrader was doing with pitch, space and time

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Post by felixer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:48 am

rec.Koner wrote:And are there music theory studies on gamelan?
loads! i went to conservatory/uni in holland and because of their colonial past (def a black page) there is a lot of interest in that. prob in english too ...
it is quite easy as they have a notational system. great fun to be part of such a 'clockwork'!
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Re: Alternative music theory ?

Post by rec.Koner » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:05 am

Glad to see this thread is still here.

Any new ideas? (books, articles, videos etc. to be mentioned) :)

p.s.
As stated earlier, not really "alternative", but also perhaps "different / expanding".
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