Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

The question has come up many times here as to what is music.

Isn't that questioned answered by what you compose?

Isn't what you write a reflection of what you believe music is

and/or should be. Or are you merely imitating the efforts and

precedents established by others. This is not to suggest that

imitation and following an established form is a bad thing.

Compared to the number of composers, revolutionary innovators

are few and far between from an historical perspective.

Regardless, there are certain elements of sound and sounds that

seem to separate music from 'noise', and acceptance can be

both individual and regional.

Is there any one common characteristic, across the globe, that

qualifies and separates music from noise?

Views: 8317

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Dave, thought you might enjoy this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm7u25wRiV8

“ . . . we might start to converse, instead of lecture. Actually listen, without the obligatory rhythm of rebuttal, correction, or contradiction? Ambitious? Sure, I'm a dreamer.”

 

It’s very easy to filter out from the conversation what is unreasonable and hostile from what has appeal and value. Having done that, one can ignore the former and respond to the latter. The above statement from Kristofer has some merit, I believe. It does at least raise the issue of how a conversation about music, or anything else, might proceed. Of course, there is no such thing as lecture, in brief exchanges such as these. Even if there were, one could simply pick out and respond to what one likes, and leave the rest. Intelligent discussion cannot easily proceed without some rebuttals (replies) or some contradiction (disagreement, however mild).

 

The suggestion, “we might start to converse” is the best phrase from Kristofer’s last post, imo. Schoenberg says, in his major work on composition, we begin with the “phrase.”  So let’s begin with this phrase, “we might start to converse.”

 

Would you like to start to “converse,” or to “discuss” music here?  Let’s do that. And we can all “listen,” too, just as you wisely suggest. If you don’t want to start just now, perhaps someone else can. Gregorio and Ingo said some good things back around pages 4 and 5 of this thread. I’ll quote Gregorio, below:



gregorio X said:

Ingo, thank you for your thoughts.

you mention -

  "The "personalized ecstasy" that I so casually threw out would be individual and real time,  compositions that instantly respond to mood changes and interests, kind of sci-fi at this point. Dishonest? Yes, and crazy too, but also commercially irresistible, a definite future possibility for the direction of music. "

I think AI could provide useful experiments for a composer's toolbox.  You mention ", a definite future possibility for the direction of music. "… I would  say it a bit differently.  …  possibility for One of the many  directions of music. 

"I don't know how much AI is used in commercial music at this point, maybe you could explain that to us.   I meant in general, the threat that AI poses to society.  Steven Hawking has said: "I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."   

commercial music … I mean relatedly that these days there is much copying and pasting -  and auto tune ---etc.  (not so much playing these days)

"Would you prefer a computer program to speak your words for you?"  Well that is one threat of AI I think.  As an artist you always have the choice of how to pursue your art, what tools to use and what ideals to follow.  My musical production and communication in general would be very handicapped without the computer, but I'll bet some composers avoid its use entirely, so the question is, "Where do we draw the line?"

Draw the line?

paraphrasing Stravinsky:

Once one has decided on their imposed limitations as a composer, they are set free.

re: the value  of silence ( as mentioned by Fredrick, and Serenity quoting Debussy)

Mozart said:

paraphrasing .. "notes are silver, rests are golden".


 

Cy said,

The melody is pleasant.  Would you like Cy to research additional works ....

Hello, Cy.

The tone of your last post may have been a bit saracastic. But I would like to take you up on your offer to "research additional works."  Can you find a link to a work that has an outstanding melody, that illustrates in your view, the highest and best aesthetic achievement that can be found in "music?"

Cyberkook, I'm pretty sure you are stopisticated enough to know about 'all caps' usage on the internet.

So you want to be heard and you demand attention.... as do most children with low self esteem.

I'm all for having fun with a subject and having a loose conversation, but you are merely hi jacking the

main thread to no positive end. Not just you, but others as well. I too have been guilty of this,but only after the

thread seems to have lost steam or the originator seems to have abandoned his post.

There is a difference between someone having fun and someone being a 'Punk'.

If you don't think that the main theme of this post warrants a discussion, then what the

F-ck are you doing here? I'll tell you... you are being a punk.

I don't care if it's high brow or low brow, it's still punk.

I brought up the original question(s) to discuss them, and would like to continue that

discussion in a civil and constructive way, with others who may have a GENUINE interest.

Again I ask, why the F are you here on this thread? 

If you need attention so badly, why not run down the street naked, singing Tiny Tim's

version of 'Tiptoe through the Tulips'. Or are you, like so many others, just afraid to

expose yourself.      Move up or move on  ( kinda like sh!t or get off the pot)  RS  (righteously superior) :>}

Butt Dave, then I would ignore-ant of what was going on with the thread

that I started. Too bad there's not some kind of cyber-bug spray I could use

to kill the pests that invade these things; and besides, I might lose points towards

my CYBERCOP merit badge. You wouldn't want that would you?

Kris, wow... you're like a backstabbing vulture. Lying in wait to pounce upon a prey.

Break given you said. I knew better.

I have no interest in being some 'king of the hill' here. It's all yours.

I know the difference between ladder climbers and those who have

seen the view frm the top.  Keep climbing, maybe some day you''ll

get there. Punks are a dime a dozen.

Do birds sing? Of course, though their song is simple and proscribed by genetics. Do they learn to sing? Probably not, as each species' song is instinctive. Do they make music? Mynas and parrots learn to mimic songs, but they cannot make original music, a feat peculiar to the human species. So what is music? It is the communication of feelings through designed sound with or without words. But what is this designed sound? We use notes which are sustained tones at specific frequencies. The frequencies are in the audible range of the electromagnetic spectrum roughly 20 to 20,000 hertz which is about the range of a piano plus an extra octave on top and bottom.

In western music a tone can be long or short but must not waver in frequency. The range is divided into 10 octaves where an octave note has a frequency which is double the octave note below. An octave is divided into 6 whole tones or 12 half tones. A half tone is about the smallest increment that the brain can discern. (Try humming a quarter tone scale.) A scale is an 8 tone melody which includes the third, fifth, and octave whose frequencies are a quarter and a half of the octave respectively. The wave fronts of the third, fifth, and octave can combine to produce harmony. Combinations of tones whose frequencies are closer together, minor second or major second, produces wave fronts which cancel each other and are perceived as dissonant. Combinations of harmonic or dissonant wave fronts can produce emotion in the listener. These wave fronts with articulation, dynamics, and rhythms combine to produce what we perceive as music.

Why do we have an emotional response to combinations of wave fronts? The human voice can communicate with words and emotions. Say the words, “I don't know.” The word “I” will be at the pitch of you natural voice. The word “don't “ will be a fifth higher, and the word “know” will be near the original pitch. You are singing as you speak. If you want to convey no emotion you must speak in monotone. When Sargent Friday says “Just the facts ma'am.” He is speaking in monotone and is saying, tell me what you saw without being emotional. Now say something emphatically. You will be speaking each word with accent and putting space between the words. You are speaking in staccato. Now say something soothing or calming. You are running the words together or speaking in legato. Similarly, dynamics and articulation are the same for language and music. You can tell if someone is lying by listening for extra emotion. The same electrical impulses that move a polygraph needle, raise or lower our voice to convey emotion or in response to emotion.

Is music evolutionary or designed? The average voice is pitched to middle C, men at G below middle C and women at G above middle C. Suppose our voices were pitched randomly throughout the audible spectrum. There would be voices as low as a lions or as high as a blue bird. Could we sing together in a choir in perfect thirds and fifths? Luckily human voices can range from two octaves below middle C to two octaves above middle C, the middle of the audible range.

We might expect the plot of population vs. voice frequency to be a bell curve centered at middle C. This would produce a choir with extra sound at middle C and tapering off at lower and higher frequencies. Instead we have two overlapping bell curves, one for men and one for women, which produces strong sound spread over three octaves. There is no other species whose voices are so separated by gender. If one were to design a species whose members could sing together one could do no better than this.

Is there a survival advantage to singing and music? I can think of none. What general goes to war with an army of singers or flutists. Bag pipers, maybe. They would scare me.

Your perceived rage is your's alone. I was laughing too.

Your pscho-ploys are hollow. Looking back, it seems you got sooo upset

with the challenge for position that OO gave you a while back, you ducked out

and left the forum.  Sure, blame it on Gav.

Stop lying, you care very much about being top dog here, your posts scream that.

OO is your nemesis, like Holmes and Moriarity. It's classic.

I really have no interest in bickering with egotists and haters.

Have you ever explored the word grace? It's a very interesting concept,

quite possibly beyond your intellectual grasp.
 
Kristofer Kerchiefklutsch Emerig said:

Relax. All of your gratuitous cursing is causing me to faint and clutch my kerchief, as CYBERCOP says. Man I love that phrase.

I don't care about your hill. If you don't, quit clawing at the earth so desperately as you slide off. I'm only laughing at your absolute rage over.silly shit that really shouldn't matter to a man of your elevated years and self-proclaimed wisdom. Get off the internet, not for my good, but yours.



roger stancill said:

Kris, wow... you're like a backstabbing vulture. Lying in wait to pounce upon a prey.

Break given you said. I knew better.

I have no interest in being some 'king of the hill' here. It's all yours.

I know the difference between ladder climbers and those who have

seen the view frm the top.  Keep climbing, maybe some day you''ll

get there. Punks are a dime a dozen.

Lawrence, 

Interesting about the farther separation of vocal range for men and women..

You mention:

  "Is there a survival advantage to singing and music? I can think of none. …  Bag pipers, maybe."

probably not:

Hey there Lawrence, good to hear from you , and thanks for the constructive input.

You offer up some curious and interesting stats and data.

When I mentioned 'bugs of the night' it wasn't a reference to all the sounds and songs

of nature. I think all 'creatures' are inately endowed with 'automatic' attributes.

Have you ever done meditation? Do you realize that you are a conscious being/entity

vitually alone in this vast universe? Can you 'grok' that? Can you face that reality? 

If you reach that point of stillness and listen, you will hear the same symphony ...

like the 'bugs of the night'. It's amazing and requires no drugs   lol

Nature is in full harmony and balance, all we need to do is tune in.
 
Lawrence Aurich said:

Do birds sing? Of course, though their song is simple and proscribed by genetics. Do they learn to sing? Probably not, as each species' song is instinctive. Do they make music? Mynas and parrots learn to mimic songs, but they cannot make original music, a feat peculiar to the human species. So what is music? It is the communication of feelings through designed sound with or without words. But what is this designed sound? We use notes which are sustained tones at specific frequencies. The frequencies are in the audible range of the electromagnetic spectrum roughly 20 to 20,000 hertz which is about the range of a piano plus an extra octave on top and bottom.

In western music a tone can be long or short but must not waver in frequency. The range is divided into 10 octaves where an octave note has a frequency which is double the octave note below. An octave is divided into 6 whole tones or 12 half tones. A half tone is about the smallest increment that the brain can discern. (Try humming a quarter tone scale.) A scale is an 8 tone melody which includes the third, fifth, and octave whose frequencies are a quarter and a half of the octave respectively. The wave fronts of the third, fifth, and octave can combine to produce harmony. Combinations of tones whose frequencies are closer together, minor second or major second, produces wave fronts which cancel each other and are perceived as dissonant. Combinations of harmonic or dissonant wave fronts can produce emotion in the listener. These wave fronts with articulation, dynamics, and rhythms combine to produce what we perceive as music.

Why do we have an emotional response to combinations of wave fronts? The human voice can communicate with words and emotions. Say the words, “I don't know.” The word “I” will be at the pitch of you natural voice. The word “don't “ will be a fifth higher, and the word “know” will be near the original pitch. You are singing as you speak. If you want to convey no emotion you must speak in monotone. When Sargent Friday says “Just the facts ma'am.” He is speaking in monotone and is saying, tell me what you saw without being emotional. Now say something emphatically. You will be speaking each word with accent and putting space between the words. You are speaking in staccato. Now say something soothing or calming. You are running the words together or speaking in legato. Similarly, dynamics and articulation are the same for language and music. You can tell if someone is lying by listening for extra emotion. The same electrical impulses that move a polygraph needle, raise or lower our voice to convey emotion or in response to emotion.

Is music evolutionary or designed? The average voice is pitched to middle C, men at G below middle C and women at G above middle C. Suppose our voices were pitched randomly throughout the audible spectrum. There would be voices as low as a lions or as high as a blue bird. Could we sing together in a choir in perfect thirds and fifths? Luckily human voices can range from two octaves below middle C to two octaves above middle C, the middle of the audible range.

We might expect the plot of population vs. voice frequency to be a bell curve centered at middle C. This would produce a choir with extra sound at middle C and tapering off at lower and higher frequencies. Instead we have two overlapping bell curves, one for men and one for women, which produces strong sound spread over three octaves. There is no other species whose voices are so separated by gender. If one were to design a species whose members could sing together one could do no better than this.

Is there a survival advantage to singing and music? I can think of none. What general goes to war with an army of singers or flutists. Bag pipers, maybe. They would scare me.

Drama Queen dude, what you don't seems to grasp is that I have absolutely

no interest in superiority. That is the perspective of lesser minds.

Can you even fathom that? Dualism and this constant duelism. Such a bore!


 
Kristofer Kerchiefklutsch Emerig said:

Ja doch, Herr Zinos.



Fredrick zinos said:

So bald alt und doch so spät klug

Kristofer Emerig said:

Righteously Superior. Man if that doesn't say it all..
Didn't the Fool in Lear admonish against a man growing old, before he grows wise? Time's running out for you.


roger stancill said:

Cyberkook, I'm pretty sure you are stopisticated enough to know about 'all caps' usage on the internet.

So you want to be heard and you demand attention.... as do most children with low self esteem.

I'm all for having fun with a subject and having a loose conversation, but you are merely hi jacking the

main thread to no positive end. Not just you, but others as well. I too have been guilty of this,but only after the

thread seems to have lost steam or the originator seems to have abandoned his post.

There is a difference between someone having fun and someone being a 'Punk'.

If you don't think that the main theme of this post warrants a discussion, then what the

F-ck are you doing here? I'll tell you... you are being a punk.

I don't care if it's high brow or low brow, it's still punk.

I brought up the original question(s) to discuss them, and would like to continue that

discussion in a civil and constructive way, with others who may have a GENUINE interest.

Again I ask, why the F are you here on this thread? 

If you need attention so badly, why not run down the street naked, singing Tiny Tim's

version of 'Tiptoe through the Tulips'. Or are you, like so many others, just afraid to

expose yourself.      Move up or move on  ( kinda like sh!t or get off the pot)  RS  (righteously superior) :>}

Fred, I scrolled back and yet somehow missed and can't find your definition.

Could you restate it?

It's interesting that you would call some modern music ugly.

Maybe some music can be beautiful and some ugly, but still  be considered

to be music.

You have to admit, if you are honest, that not all babies are beautiful

but they are all human.      er ugh                     RS

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2020   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service