Sax and violins - idiomatic synthesis

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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Post by spinach_pizza » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:43 am

Thanks, infrablue!

I look forward to hearing the Pines of Mars.

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Post by Beermaster » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:00 am

Infrablue - stunning demo with the string emulation, you're totally on my wavelength regarding using modulars to create expressive music !

As a sax player I messed with the early Akai EWI and WX7 but sadly didn't have joy at that time as the only synths you could use with MIDI at that time were all sample based and just sounded terrible - the exceptions then being really expensive synths like th Oberheim Xpander and matrix 12

Always wanted a lyricon and still eager to get a good one for my system !

Beer.

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Post by mousegarden » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:31 am

CJ Miller wrote:
In popular/casual listening, this can cause a huge disconnect where people have no pre-existing cultural context by which to appreciate electronic music which has not been deliberately and self-consciously "humanized" by use of these idioms. If the listener cannot quickly discern that it is music made by and for people, which was subject to normal rules of physical sound production, that these musics are quickly ignored. Most listeners will not bother to analyze electronic musics for any underlying structure if they cannot "identify" with it first. For instance, many people in musical discussions here give primacy to how an important piece of music is remembered over time. This presents a dilemma with regards to musical innovation, because if people cannot be bothered to analyze complex or unexpected musics, they will have little capacity for remembering such musics. This results in a situation where the cultural canon always favors the familiar, with anything beyond the obvious being relegated to elitist or outsider status.

Yet, paradoxically, the tools and the ideas for opening musical experience have become far more democratized and commonplace!
Music always has an emotional impact, no matter how abstract or how much it lies outside familiar cultural references. Also, being "moved" isn't restricted to just the happy/sad major minor concepts of popular music. Abstract electronic music of the most extreme nature can be deeply emotional, but you may not be able to express exactly why. Also, sounds made by familiar instruments, acoustic sounds, are somehow seen to be more involving, or emotional, and come with centuries off familiarity, which I found mundane, and boring as a child. I can remember being bored with the sounds of acoustic instruments when I was about seven years old, they had become so much part of the wallpaper and every time I heard an electronic sound or a sound that was unfamiliar it was a revelation. I became fascinated by anything that was differnt, especially electronically generated sound, as there didn't seem to be any limit to what that sound could be, unlike the sounds of acoustic instruments which are fixed to a certain timbre.
After this I was seen as strange by most people, they couldn't see how somone could get so emotionally involved with what they considered to be totally abstract dissonance.

MouseGarden.

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Post by doctorvague » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:53 am

Turning to the listener for a moment, of course it's regional and cultural, but just talking about western society for a moment, listeners have a good idea what a sax, trumpet, violin, nylon strung guitar, etc sound like. I find it interesting to use those listener touchstones by evoking a nylon string guitar for instance but then stretching that outside of what the sound of the "real" instrument is and riding that fine line. In other words fucking with the listener, but not completely shattering their expectations either (trumpet turns into a screaming ring-modulated banshee being strangled) just gently taking them outside of their preconceptions.

Sorry I'm not a college-thesis type poster just an old musician. Probably no business posting in this thread actually.

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Post by Infrablue » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:13 pm

doctorvague wrote:Turning to the listener for a moment, of course it's regional and cultural, but just talking about western society for a moment, listeners have a good idea what a sax, trumpet, violin, nylon strung guitar, etc sound like. I find it interesting to use those listener touchstones by evoking a nylon string guitar for instance but then stretching that outside of what the sound of the "real" instrument is and riding that fine line. In other words fucking with the listener, but not completely shattering their expectations either (trumpet turns into a screaming ring-modulated banshee being strangled) just gently taking them outside of their preconceptions.

Sorry I'm not a college-thesis type poster just an old musician. Probably no business posting in this thread actually.
It's a good point Doctor. Even pushing limits of expectation is better done tastefully. Restraint is tough to master.
New Breath Control Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTiWw4rL ... bAqEVbUEOE
Lifeform Blues (wind synth/EVI at about 4:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VpSFhVa1I
My demo of the Steiner 24 Stage Vactrol Phase Shifter/String Filter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1-A_dYY6Y
Site for my classical/modular/wind synth project:http://thepinesofmars.com/


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Post by Infrablue » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:44 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:Looks like the dark side has won!
It's a good point Nelson. I mean, I'm guessing at what you meant. But it's a good point. So what tips do you have for avoiding the appearance of any genre. Just some solid, formulaic tips that'll work in every instance would be great.
New Breath Control Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTiWw4rL ... bAqEVbUEOE
Lifeform Blues (wind synth/EVI at about 4:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VpSFhVa1I
My demo of the Steiner 24 Stage Vactrol Phase Shifter/String Filter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1-A_dYY6Y
Site for my classical/modular/wind synth project:http://thepinesofmars.com/


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Post by TheBradster » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:48 pm

Nelson, it doesn't seem like you to give up so easily. :jedi:

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Post by Infrablue » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:09 pm

Infrablue wrote:
doctorvague wrote:Turning to the listener for a moment, of course it's regional and cultural, but just talking about western society for a moment, listeners have a good idea what a sax, trumpet, violin, nylon strung guitar, etc sound like. I find it interesting to use those listener touchstones by evoking a nylon string guitar for instance but then stretching that outside of what the sound of the "real" instrument is and riding that fine line. In other words fucking with the listener, but not completely shattering their expectations either (trumpet turns into a screaming ring-modulated banshee being strangled) just gently taking them outside of their preconceptions.

Sorry I'm not a college-thesis type poster just an old musician. Probably no business posting in this thread actually.
It's a good point Doctor. Even pushing limits of expectation is better done tastefully. Restraint is tough to master.
And I'd add... there are also times emulation isn't even what one is after, but similarity of musical effect, or relation of the effect certain types of instruments normally have, but with tonalities no where near usual instruments.

I also find it fascinating how nice "failed" attempts at emulation turn out to be especially nice. The organ stops on a pipe organ were intended to be emulations of orchestral instruments/sections. We could perhaps say they "failed" at excellent emulation, but succeeded well at bringing a big, interesting classical sound that was similar or related. And now we think of all that as being as a bunch of very classic organ sounds. And we even now try to emulate these emulations on a synth or computer.

So an emulation of an emulation.

And the roto-vibe guitar pedal was to be a portable emulation of a leslie-speaker which was originally intended to emulate a chorus of orchestral instruments kind of in it's roots... or a bigger organ sound. And now the roto-vibe is it's own thing, it's own sound. So it's all an interesting evolution.

And my point is, I guess, failing to perfectly emulate sure brings some unattended new sounds not present before.

It reminds me of how at times, a given prog rock group would reach a point where they were able to substitute live, a "real" acoustic orchestra for their normally used synth emulations... and how, while it could be a pretty cool thing, it made me miss the synth arrangement and made the songs less interesting. (And I love orchestral concerts and classical music.)
New Breath Control Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTiWw4rL ... bAqEVbUEOE
Lifeform Blues (wind synth/EVI at about 4:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VpSFhVa1I
My demo of the Steiner 24 Stage Vactrol Phase Shifter/String Filter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1-A_dYY6Y
Site for my classical/modular/wind synth project:http://thepinesofmars.com/

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:17 pm

TheBradster wrote:Nelson, it doesn't seem like you to give up so easily. :jedi:
it's just not worth it.

I'll only mention that paults is somewhat known for his attitudes about music. I believe that he was the one who coined the pejorative 'bug music' years ago.

The programmer of most of his patch examples is one Kenneth Elhardt, a rather notorious character on analog heaven, who has extremely conservative views about music and how synthesizers should be used.

People want precise rules about how one should learn, and how one should make music. They want to go about things, including how they think about music, in a very different manner than I do. I just don't think that my input will go anywhere in this thread.

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Post by Infrablue » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:25 pm

Infrablue wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:That's likely a joke, so I will not respond seriously.
Yeah it was a joke, :).

I think I saw on another thread where you were going on about tips and genres and I liked what you had to say, even though you were seen as less than helpful there.

I just had to take a dig at you since I figured your dark side comment probably meant my general support of restraint, which left me feeling a little stupid and sub-rockstar.
Last edited by Infrablue on Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
New Breath Control Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTiWw4rL ... bAqEVbUEOE
Lifeform Blues (wind synth/EVI at about 4:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VpSFhVa1I
My demo of the Steiner 24 Stage Vactrol Phase Shifter/String Filter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1-A_dYY6Y
Site for my classical/modular/wind synth project:http://thepinesofmars.com/

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:30 pm

I guess I'm not sure exactly what the question is.

"formulaic tips for avoiding the appearance of any genre....that'll work in every instance"

What is the real question? I've always railed against these formulas, so I suppose I am still taking the question as a joke.

Can you maybe put it another way?
Infrablue wrote:
Infrablue wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:Looks like the dark side has won!
It's a good point Nelson. I mean, I'm guessing at what you meant. But it's a good point. So what tips do you have for avoiding the appearance of any genre. Just some solid, formulaic tips that'll work in every instance would be great.
Yeah it was a joke, :).

I think I saw on another thread where you were going on about tips and genres and I liked what you had to say, even though you were seen as less than helpful there.

I just had to take a dig at you since I figured your dark side comment probably meant my general support of restraint, which left me feeling a little stupid and sub-rockstar.

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Post by Infrablue » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:39 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:I guess I'm not sure exactly what the question is.

"formulaic tips for avoiding the appearance of any genre....that'll work in every instance"

What is the real question? I've always railed against these formulas, so I suppose I am still taking the question as a joke.

Can you maybe put it another way?
Infrablue wrote:
Infrablue wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:Looks like the dark side has won!
It's a good point Nelson. I mean, I'm guessing at what you meant. But it's a good point. So what tips do you have for avoiding the appearance of any genre. Just some solid, formulaic tips that'll work in every instance would be great.
Yeah it was a joke, :).

I think I saw on another thread where you were going on about tips and genres and I liked what you had to say, even though you were seen as less than helpful there.

I just had to take a dig at you since I figured your dark side comment probably meant my general support of restraint, which left me feeling a little stupid and sub-rockstar.
Yes sorry.. to be clear... it's a joke. Supportive though of what you said on another thread... something about how general tips would pin someone into a genre rather than foster originality.
New Breath Control Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTiWw4rL ... bAqEVbUEOE
Lifeform Blues (wind synth/EVI at about 4:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VpSFhVa1I
My demo of the Steiner 24 Stage Vactrol Phase Shifter/String Filter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1-A_dYY6Y
Site for my classical/modular/wind synth project:http://thepinesofmars.com/

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Post by Infrablue » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:54 pm

But if we are going to talk about noise and bugs and western music, I will say one thing I love about Tomita stuff is often the stuff that most offended some. I loved when non tonal stuff and noisy stuff would creep in or even fully take over. I loved how it added something interesting to some solid classic work, and even how some instruments had a very firm noise component.

I also love very harmonic, melodic synth forms with a background atmosphere of noise or effects in varying dynamics and complexity of noise.

And tying into emulation... I love how Tomita's emulation often is just emulation of classical styles of expression, but on fully alien instruments and set in an alien environment of subtle to dramatic noise. Makes for a good voyage.
New Breath Control Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTiWw4rL ... bAqEVbUEOE
Lifeform Blues (wind synth/EVI at about 4:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VpSFhVa1I
My demo of the Steiner 24 Stage Vactrol Phase Shifter/String Filter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1-A_dYY6Y
Site for my classical/modular/wind synth project:http://thepinesofmars.com/

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Post by mousegarden » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:35 pm

Try listening to Classical Chinese opera, thin, high, no bass, incomprehensible to most Westerners. And then play some electronica to a tribe in South America, they will feel the same.
We are so arrogant here in the West, like the whole world has our values.

MouseGarden.

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Post by TheBradster » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:00 pm

Infrablue wrote:But if we are going to talk about noise and bugs and western music, I will say one thing I love about Tomita stuff is often the stuff that most offended some. I loved when non tonal stuff and noisy stuff would creep in or even fully take over. I loved how it added something interesting to some solid classic work, and even how some instruments had a very firm noise component.

I also love very harmonic, melodic synth forms with a background atmosphere of noise or effects in varying dynamics and complexity of noise.

And tying into emulation... I love how Tomita's emulation often is just emulation of classical styles of expression, but on fully alien instruments and set in an alien environment of subtle to dramatic noise. Makes for a good voyage.
+1. Contrast (for example atonal or dissonant elements in tonal music) is often what makes things interesting.

I was initially curious as to how various people used their systems to produce sound. There are those who believe that synths should not be used imitatively, and there are those who do nothing but imitate existing instruments. I would guess most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

Having an awareness of various musical/instrumental idioms, in my view, can only lead to a better understanding of how one's own instrument may be used. This doesn't mean everyone has to produce their music with perfect facsimiles of period instruments, nobody is forcing anyone to "master" any specific sound or technique. But it's pretty standard practice for artists to look around, find something they like, and try to imitate or recreate the thing for themselves. I love is finding inspiration in strange places, where I might not expect to find anything. Nobody has mentioned imitating natural or nonmusical sounds here yet, but of course there are loads of precedents here. At the moment I'm trying to figure out how to emulate the sound of a tin can being kicked on an asphalt surface. So there's the imitative part.

There are all kinds of musical idioms, and while I can see the value in working within a very specific tradition, be it choral music or EDM, I can also see the value in trying to get off the beaten path and coming up with something new. History, however, that which has gone before, does not go away. Context is a bitch.

When I went to art school (BFA in sculpture, look where it got me) I was very skeptical of being stripped of my originality. I was afraid that somehow I would emerge more trained but less creative. Of course this was utter nonsense. While I had to accept that I wasn't quite so "unique" in my own talents as I hoped I was, and while there were many people who were formally better draughtsmen, painters, or sculptors than I would ever be, these facts did not diminish me in any way. I was richer for having been exposed to ideas that I would have otherwise never come across.

Some would argue that any training is a form of indoctrination. I just don't buy this anymore. If you learn an instrument and get sick of playing a certain kind of music, or playing in a certain style, then use your skills to find new way of working. This may often be achieved by exploring unfamiliar genres or even other forms of art. Originality is often a byproduct, not always an end in and unto itself.
mousegarden wrote:Try listening to Classical Chinese opera, thin, high, no bass, incomprehensible to most Westerners. And then play some electronica to a tribe in South America, they will feel the same.
We are so arrogant here in the West, like the whole world has our values.

MouseGarden.
+1 on that Mousegarden!

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Post by CJ Miller » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:33 pm

mousegarden wrote:We are so arrogant here in the West, like the whole world has our values
The paradox is that the philosophy of "The West" is supposedly individualism! Yet, most of these people are not equipped for it. Arguing or comparing values becomes impossible with people who decide that their biases are universal values.
Infrablue wrote:
doctorvague wrote:Turning to the listener for a moment, of course it's regional and cultural, but just talking about western society for a moment, listeners have a good idea what a sax, trumpet, violin, nylon strung guitar, etc sound like. I find it interesting to use those listener touchstones by evoking a nylon string guitar for instance but then stretching that outside of what the sound of the "real" instrument is and riding that fine line. In other words fucking with the listener, but not completely shattering their expectations either (trumpet turns into a screaming ring-modulated banshee being strangled) just gently taking them outside of their preconceptions.
It's a good point Doctor. Even pushing limits of expectation is better done tastefully. Restraint is tough to master.
That's all fine - but we would need to assume that there are listener expectations, and that we know what they may be. Perhaps I have simply never been a part of any specific region or culture.
Infrablue wrote: So what tips do you have for avoiding the appearance of any genre. Just some solid, formulaic tips that'll work in every instance would be great.
That's what I call "composition". :hihi: The formula is just whatever processes one uses to realize their musics. These processes need not originate in or refer to any other musics. Mind you, I have only ever been labeled "a musician" by other people - but I have always considered myself something more akin to a sculptor. So, to me, it's like asking "What does a sculpture look like?" Not everybody subscribes to a stylistic school which informs their choices. And not everybody even has a goal which could be described as "expressive".

What I suppose links the individual and the social is the communication of ideas and values. But I do not encounter this so often as I would like.

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:40 pm

reticent to get involved in this, but....

what is contrast, exactly? Well, it's obvious what it is in a very general sense, and without ANY at all, you pretty much have noise in the bad sense.

But it can exist on all sorts of levels. tonality versus atonality - sure. But obviously contrast can exist with totally atonal music. And to a great degree it is subjective to the listener, and even the creator (I was tempted to use a capital 'C'). An 'uneducated' listener might listen to Merzbow and hear no essential contrast, and announce that it all sounds the same. Similarly for some Xenakis.

Is contrast that evolves slowly over time the 'same thing' as contrast that happens abruptly. Obviously in some sense it is, but in another it isn't. Contrast, ultimately, is something that we judge.

Training is also something that is a bit hard to define. Does it need always be 'formal' training? Can it come from listening to various ideas, etc? Can it come from practice and thought?

I suppose that to some degree, the canned response that people have is that you have to learn a discipline in order to 'break the rules', but I've never heard a good argument for that.

What I say is usually interpreted as NB is 'against' training, or that he is 'against' genres. Not a bit. But I don't think that there are any rules about these things if you really can think for yourself. That perhaps is the part that needs the most training, but mine was in philosophy. So, I suppose that one might give me as a counterexample....

What I don't like is when people use their own anecdotal experience, their own very different tastes and skills, and confidently state what rules that others should follow. The path just isn't the same for everyone.

And also, as I stated earlier in this thread - just because a certain path might be beneficial doesn't mean that it is the most beneficial. I know people who have had no formal musical training at all, including never having played a 'real instrument'. On some level, I could suggest that learning this technical skill would help in finding other ways and sounds with which to improvise. But on another, I might say that focused efforts to improve what they are doing, continuing along the same path, would be more beneficial.....
TheBradster wrote:
Infrablue wrote:But if we are going to talk about noise and bugs and western music, I will say one thing I love about Tomita stuff is often the stuff that most offended some. I loved when non tonal stuff and noisy stuff would creep in or even fully take over. I loved how it added something interesting to some solid classic work, and even how some instruments had a very firm noise component.

I also love very harmonic, melodic synth forms with a background atmosphere of noise or effects in varying dynamics and complexity of noise.

And tying into emulation... I love how Tomita's emulation often is just emulation of classical styles of expression, but on fully alien instruments and set in an alien environment of subtle to dramatic noise. Makes for a good voyage.
+1. Contrast (for example atonal or dissonant elements in tonal music) is often what makes things interesting.

I was initially curious as to how various people used their systems to produce sound. There are those who believe that synths should not be used imitatively, and there are those who do nothing but imitate existing instruments. I would guess most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

Having an awareness of various musical/instrumental idioms, in my view, can only lead to a better understanding of how one's own instrument may be used. This doesn't mean everyone has to produce their music with perfect facsimiles of period instruments, nobody is forcing anyone to "master" any specific sound or technique. But it's pretty standard practice for artists to look around, find something they like, and try to imitate or recreate the thing for themselves. I love is finding inspiration in strange places, where I might not expect to find anything. Nobody has mentioned imitating natural or nonmusical sounds here yet, but of course there are loads of precedents here. At the moment I'm trying to figure out how to emulate the sound of a tin can being kicked on an asphalt surface. So there's the imitative part.

There are all kinds of musical idioms, and while I can see the value in working within a very specific tradition, be it choral music or EDM, I can also see the value in trying to get off the beaten path and coming up with something new. History, however, that which has gone before, does not go away. Context is a bitch.

When I went to art school (BFA in sculpture, look where it got me) I was very skeptical of being stripped of my originality. I was afraid that somehow I would emerge more trained but less creative. Of course this was utter nonsense. While I had to accept that I wasn't quite so "unique" in my own talents as I hoped I was, and while there were many people who were formally better draughtsmen, painters, or sculptors than I would ever be, these facts did not diminish me in any way. I was richer for having been exposed to ideas that I would have otherwise never come across.

Some would argue that any training is a form of indoctrination. I just don't buy this anymore. If you learn an instrument and get sick of playing a certain kind of music, or playing in a certain style, then use your skills to find new way of working. This may often be achieved by exploring unfamiliar genres or even other forms of art. Originality is often a byproduct, not always an end in and unto itself.
mousegarden wrote:Try listening to Classical Chinese opera, thin, high, no bass, incomprehensible to most Westerners. And then play some electronica to a tribe in South America, they will feel the same.
We are so arrogant here in the West, like the whole world has our values.

MouseGarden.
+1 on that Mousegarden!

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Infrablue
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Post by Infrablue » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:41 pm

mousegarden wrote:Try listening to Classical Chinese opera, thin, high, no bass, incomprehensible to most Westerners. And then play some electronica to a tribe in South America, they will feel the same.
We are so arrogant here in the West, like the whole world has our values.

MouseGarden.
I don't see how it makes me arrogant when it's the Eastern musicians who are always playing incorrect scales and accidentally playing between real notes.
New Breath Control Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTiWw4rL ... bAqEVbUEOE
Lifeform Blues (wind synth/EVI at about 4:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4VpSFhVa1I
My demo of the Steiner 24 Stage Vactrol Phase Shifter/String Filter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh1-A_dYY6Y
Site for my classical/modular/wind synth project:http://thepinesofmars.com/

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Post by Beermaster » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:52 pm

Infrablue wrote:
mousegarden wrote:Try listening to Classical Chinese opera, thin, high, no bass, incomprehensible to most Westerners. And then play some electronica to a tribe in South America, they will feel the same.
We are so arrogant here in the West, like the whole world has our values.

MouseGarden.
I don't see how it makes me arrogant when it's the Eastern musicians who are always playing incorrect scales and accidentally playing between real notes.
Ha ha ! bang on ! :hihi:

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Post by TheBradster » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:52 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:reticent to get involved in this, but....
Ah, go on. :mrgreen:
Nelson Baboon wrote:what is contrast, exactly? Well, it's obvious what it is in a very general sense, and without ANY at all, you pretty much have noise in the bad sense.

But it can exist on all sorts of levels. tonality versus atonality - sure. But obviously contrast can exist with totally atonal music. And to a great degree it is subjective to the listener, and even the creator (I was tempted to use a capital 'C'). An 'uneducated' listener might listen to Merzbow and hear no essential contrast, and announce that it all sounds the same. Similarly for some Xenakis.
Yes, contrast in all forms. As used by composers and performers since time immemorial. Xenaxis used it, even if untrained ears cannot discern it.
Nelson Baboon wrote:Is contrast that evolves slowly over time the 'same thing' as contrast that happens abruptly. Obviously in some sense it is, but in another it isn't. Contrast, ultimately, is something that we judge.
Sure, but as far as composing, performing or otherwise creating music goes, it's still contrast.
Nelson Baboon wrote:Training is also something that is a bit hard to define. Does it need always be 'formal' training? Can it come from listening to various ideas, etc? Can it come from practice and thought?
I don't think of so-called "formal" training (however you care to define that) in and of itself as either a good or a bad thing. It is clearly not for everybody.
Nelson Baboon wrote:I suppose that to some degree, the canned response that people have is that you have to learn a discipline in order to 'break the rules', but I've never heard a good argument for that.

What I say is usually interpreted as NB is 'against' training, or that he is 'against' genres. Not a bit. But I don't think that there are any rules about these things if you really can think for yourself. That perhaps is the part that needs the most training, but mine was in philosophy. So, I suppose that one might give me as a counterexample....
I have always sought out teachers when I have studied music - I was never forced to take lessons, I wanted to take them! I've studied piano and guitar and I've also done lots of reading and listening. I would be interested to hear about your musical background (you referred to having music lessons) - what you liked/disliked, positive and negative experiences - I'd really like to hear your take on that. I was also kind of hoping you'd chime in on this thread with some comments on non-idiomatic violin/mandolin (cello) playing. :bananaguitar:
Nelson Baboon wrote:What I don't like is when people use their own anecdotal experience, their own very different tastes and skills, and confidently state what rules that others should follow. The path just isn't the same for everyone.

And also, as I stated earlier in this thread - just because a certain path might be beneficial doesn't mean that it is the most beneficial. I know people who have had no formal musical training at all, including never having played a 'real instrument'. On some level, I could suggest that learning this technical skill would help in finding other ways and sounds with which to improvise. But on another, I might say that focused efforts to improve what they are doing, continuing along the same path, would be more beneficial…..
I am sorry if you found my comments pedantic, that was not my intention. I can of course only speak for myself. I don't really feel like anyone has been "lording it over" anyone else in this thread, but hey, I'm new here. I have noticed how conscientious you are in how you present your ideas - that is, clearly stating what works for you, and nobody else. But what I happen to like about MW (speaking for myself) is all the anecdotal experiences and ideas that are here, not because anyone is telling me what to do, but because there are lots of like-minded people here with lots of ideas. This gives me new ideas and keeps me engaged in making music. :bacon: Why are you here? :hihi: :bacon:

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CJ Miller
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Post by CJ Miller » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:59 pm

Infrablue wrote:I don't see how it makes me arrogant when it's the Eastern musicians who are always playing incorrect scales and accidentally playing between real notes.
What people may be playing does not make you arrogant. But what counts as incorrect or accidental depends entirely upon what an artists goals are. Perhaps their goals do not involve appealing to your sense of formalism or aesthetics? If you are saying that you know how other people should or should not play (or are likewise fronting for somebody else doing so), then I would dismiss this as an arrogant claim. Not that you "are" an arrogant person. But I would just generally say that it is arrogant for anybody to presume what an artist should do, or how they should do it, when the former is ignorant of the goals of the latter.

How is "correcting" the music of other cultures any less bigoted than insisting that others' views are incorrect unless formulated in your preferred language?
CJ Miller wrote:Arguing or comparing values becomes impossible with people who decide that their biases are universal values.
I could just as easily say that musicians who focus on notes and scales are merely fixated on certain arbitrary frequency relationships! You might be comfortably convinced as to how universal or absolute you think they are, but if you don't provide any compelling argument, why should anyone defer to your opinion?

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Nelson Baboon
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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:59 pm

TheBradster wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:reticent to get involved in this, but....
Ah, go on. :mrgreen:
Nelson Baboon wrote:what is contrast, exactly? Well, it's obvious what it is in a very general sense, and without ANY at all, you pretty much have noise in the bad sense.

But it can exist on all sorts of levels. tonality versus atonality - sure. But obviously contrast can exist with totally atonal music. And to a great degree it is subjective to the listener, and even the creator (I was tempted to use a capital 'C'). An 'uneducated' listener might listen to Merzbow and hear no essential contrast, and announce that it all sounds the same. Similarly for some Xenakis.
Yes, contrast in all forms. As used by composers and performers since time immemorial. Xenaxis used it, even if untrained ears cannot discern it.
Where did I suggest that composers don't use it. If not, why mention this? Sarcasm. I don't get it (sorry).

Nelson Baboon wrote:Is contrast that evolves slowly over time the 'same thing' as contrast that happens abruptly. Obviously in some sense it is, but in another it isn't. Contrast, ultimately, is something that we judge.
Sure, but as far as composing, performing or otherwise creating music goes, it's still contrast.
The point isn't that it somehow isn't contrast (not at all) but that we use the same term to define what really are very different things when considered in a different context. The way we use categories often tricks us.
Nelson Baboon wrote:Training is also something that is a bit hard to define. Does it need always be 'formal' training? Can it come from listening to various ideas, etc? Can it come from practice and thought?
I don't think of so-called "formal" training (however you care to define that) in and of itself as either a good or a bad thing. It is clearly not for everybody.
clearly we agree on that.
Nelson Baboon wrote:I suppose that to some degree, the canned response that people have is that you have to learn a discipline in order to 'break the rules', but I've never heard a good argument for that.

What I say is usually interpreted as NB is 'against' training, or that he is 'against' genres. Not a bit. But I don't think that there are any rules about these things if you really can think for yourself. That perhaps is the part that needs the most training, but mine was in philosophy. So, I suppose that one might give me as a counterexample....
I have always sought out teachers when I have studied music - I was never forced to take lessons, I wanted to take them! I've studied piano and guitar and I've also done lots of reading and listening. I would be interested to hear about your musical background (you referred to having music lessons) - what you liked/disliked, positive and negative experiences - I'd really like to hear your take on that. I was also kind of hoping you'd chime in on this thread with some comments on non-idiomatic violin/mandolin (cello) playing. :bananaguitar:
Has my first (or whatever it was) post been deleted?
Nelson Baboon wrote:What I don't like is when people use their own anecdotal experience, their own very different tastes and skills, and confidently state what rules that others should follow. The path just isn't the same for everyone.
And also, as I stated earlier in this thread - just because a certain path might be beneficial doesn't mean that it is the most beneficial. I know people who have had no formal musical training at all, including never having played a 'real instrument'. On some level, I could suggest that learning this technical skill would help in finding other ways and sounds with which to improvise. But on another, I might say that focused efforts to improve what they are doing, continuing along the same path, would be more beneficial…..
I am sorry if you found my comments pedantic, that was not my intention. I can of course only speak for myself. I don't really feel like anyone has been "lording it over" anyone else in this thread, but hey, I'm new here. I have noticed how conscientious you are in how you present your ideas - that is, clearly stating what works for you, and nobody else. But what I happen to like about MW (speaking for myself) is all the anecdotal experiences and ideas that are here, not because anyone is telling me what to do, but because there are lots of like-minded people here with lots of ideas. This gives me new ideas and keeps me engaged in making music. :bacon: Why are you here? :hihi: :bacon:
Pedantic? No, I'm the pedantic one, according to some.

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TheBradster
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Post by TheBradster » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:17 pm

I went to the Chinese Opera once, and a large part of the audience could barely contain themselves laughing.

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