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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?

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Z-man, funky groove goin' on here .... umm diggin' it
 
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've been thinking about this ever since you challenged me to come up with a definition of music.  To your point,  modern music often dwells on dissonance, anger, chaos, which is still music, but too much emphasis on the darker emotions.  Is there a parallel in nature?  I guess there is anger in a tornado or hurricane.  But I don't think there is such negative emotion in the animal kingdom.  Animals fight for food, territory or mating rights, all natural behaviors necessary for survival.  Probably the only animal capable of real evil is man.
 
Fredrick zinos said:


The reason I like the definition I gave is that it takes into account the notion that the sounds of nature can be very beautiful and not be music, while the sounds of "modern' music can be ugly and can be music.  

This whole thread has become vaporwave. Previous screams, utterances, yodels and monastic chants by posters are being distorted and sped up to produce a whole new timbre of thread. 

"The problem with the whole proposition here (and Roger is welcome to cuss me out again for my dissent) is that this notion of defining music is quite juvenile. It's a rumination fit for fifteen year olds and chronic pot smokers. Describing music is much more fruitful ..."

That seems unnecessarily disdainful.  I am not sure why we should see "defining" a thing as "juvenile," and "describing" a thing as "more fruitful."  If the ancient Greeks are any guide for clarity, it would appear that BOTH defining and describing are essential skills.  This would be the case for any adult thinker contemplating the more complex aspects of aesthetic, ethical, material and metaphysical reality.

Why the false dichotomy?  Why assert "we must describe" as opposed to "we may define," when clearly both definition and description are useful for a full rational discussion?

In any case, I think that Roger is largely agreeing about the importance of description, by suggesting it is the description of the individual efforts of composers in the present time which helps us to define what music is.  Others can correct me, if they think that is not what Roger is suggesting. But he does appear to be opposed to an excessive emphasis on the purely abstract processs of definition.  He does seem to oppose "conceptual definition" apart from the personal experience of composing and listening to music.

Bingo OO, and thank you for the articulation. Someone finally 'gets' to

the heart of it. You must have actually read the post and ... thought about it.

Well stated.

Hi Lawrence, I tend to agree with Mr. Z on this point. The notion of

'the wrath of the gods' seems to be more the projected emotions of

earlier peoples and tribes.     i.e. the personification of nature.

Today we can read about things like weather manipulation and

harmonic resonance devices and even bombs placed at fault lines.

The missing trillions didn't go towards band instruments for high schools :>/

Yet you have to admit that it is still a curious thing that there actually are

songbirds. My dog even starts to sing, in his own way, when I play one

particular piece on the piano. Mucho amusing. A little more practice and

we might just go on tour.                         RS   (Reality Speculator)
 
Lawrence Aurich said:

Fred,

     I've been thinking about this ever since you challenged me to come up with a definition of music.  To your point,  modern music often dwells on dissonance, anger, chaos, which is still music, but too much emphasis on the darker emotions.  Is there a parallel in nature?  I guess there is anger in a tornado or hurricane.  But I don't think there is such negative emotion in the animal kingdom.  Animals fight for food, territory or mating rights, all natural behaviors necessary for survival.  Probably the only animal capable of real evil is man.
 
Fredrick zinos said:


The reason I like the definition I gave is that it takes into account the notion that the sounds of nature can be very beautiful and not be music, while the sounds of "modern' music can be ugly and can be music.  

"The missing trillions didn't go towards band instruments for high schools,"

you say, but if I type my words                       in this way, so that there is

a kind of gap in the middle                                  of the page, this could, or

might, possibly allow for                                         a new definition of music

that could help us                                                     create a veritable revol-

ution in dough                                                             nut hole fabrication for

the entire                                                                        universe. It's possible.

For those looking for the link, it's Threnody/ Hiroshima.

Fred, this may just be a viable example regarding noise vs. music.

My first impression when it started was 'fingernails on the chalkboard'

which, to the best of my knowledge, is a universal dread, across the board (ok bad pun)

Would you, or anyone, consider this piece to be music if it wasn't

linked to and predisposed to specific imagery? (would you buy the album

and actually listen to it without the knowledge of the intended imagery)?

Granted, the imagery was only 'suggested' in this video.

By pre- linking imagination to sounds, we get into an entirely different

equation. Music becomes a support mechanism to a movie, a video

or even a still painting. But that is also an aspect of the query here.

I'm trying to avoid 'personal taste' in this discussion because it seems that

that is where the bickering starts and the discussion unravels.

It seems that modern music has found a good friend in a chemistry with

the visual arts. But, doe's it then lose it's individual identity as music?

ps- just musing here Fred, but also wondering about the direction of music

and why anyone should/would bother to write something new. What's wrong

with what we already have to listen to?

Are we just feeding an appetite that will get flushed down the toilet the next day,

are we serving commercialism, or are we perfecting and expressing an art form? 

RS     (Rationally Searching)


 
Fredrick zinos said:

yes all human babies are human babies. But they may not have anything else in common. yes some music strives to be beautiful and some does not, The opening (and all of) Threnety for the victims of Heroshima for example.  It is grotesque but very effective and it conveys a sense of horror that seems to me to be unparalleled. Hard to image that image could be conjured with any other musical language. It is consciously created  and thus may be called music. The sounds of nature may be exquisitely beautiful but are not consciously created in the sense we normally understand "conscious" and may be characterized as not music in the same sense as the Pendereski  piece.

Be patient, it's happening.     Slowly,  the public is waking up to the theft and deception.

There are finally signs that the old paradigm is crumbling. Very few have a clue, but that

will soon change. I think you know what I am saying.

And yet,

I had a feeling that this would be the part of my comment that you would latch on to.

I don't know about a new definition for music, but definitely a new definition for global

harmony. The 'stuff' is hitting the fan, all while most people don't even know what

fiat currency even is.               RS



Serenity Laine said:

"The missing trillions didn't go towards band instruments for high schools,"

you say, but if I type my words                       in this way, so that there is

a kind of gap in the middle                                  of the page, this could, or

might, possibly allow for                                         a new definition of music

that could help us                                                     create a veritable revol-

ution in dough                                                             nut hole fabrication for

the entire                                                                        universe. It's possible.

I was just joking around.  But I was talking about "a new definition of music," so it seemed relevant to the discussion.  Paradigms are crumbling all the time, of course, in the arts, in aesthetics and in philosophy.

You had said,

"The missing trillions didn't go towards band instruments for high schools."

Perhaps not, but several billions are being wasted on military bands as it is.  This excerpt from the Marx Brothers Film Duck Soup, illustrates the larger social and cultural problem:

[Please forgive the caps, which are in the source material].

Minister:  YOUR EXCELLENCY, OUR MEN ARE BEING BADLY BEATEN IN OPEN WARFARE.  I SUGGEST WE DIG TRENCHES.

General:  DIG TRENCHES? WITH OUR MEN BEING KILLED OFF LIKE FLIES THERE ISN'T TIME TO DIG TRENCHES.

Groucho:  WE'LL BUY THEM READY-MADE. HERE, [hands him money] GET SOME TRENCHES.

Minister: YES, SIR.

Groucho:  WAIT A MINUTE; GET 'EM THIS HIGH [points at his waist] AND OUR SOLDIERS WON'T NEED ANY PANTS.

Minister: YES, SIR.

Groucho:  WAIT A MINUTE.  GET 'EM THIS HIGH [points above his head] AND WE WON'T NEED ANY SOLDIERS.

Minister:  YES, SIR.

Now this sums up the problem with (1) our definition of music, (2) our overspending on military bands, along with an overemphasis on "patriotic performances," and (3) our overspending on the military. Possible solutions: If music can be defined, so that it excludes all "patriotic compositions," that will translate into fewer wars.  And if military conflicts can be defined, so that soldiers never need be present (inside or out of trenches), that would also be a great benefit.  If conflicts can be defined, so that targets, enemies and warfare itself are not involved, that will mean less "patriotic music," and less nationalism, hence better music all around (or at least one might hope so).

On the issue of fiat currency, I don't see how that's at all related to any discussion of music. Frankly I am surprised that any one would bring up the issue of "fiat currency" on a "Composers' Forum."  Certainly there must be a monetary or financial forum where such an issue would be more relevant.  I wouldn't want to touch that subject with a ten foot pole around here.

roger stancill said:

Be patient, it's happening.     Slowly,  the public is waking up to the theft and deception.

There are finally signs that the old paradigm is crumbling. Very few have a clue, but that

will soon change. I think you know what I am saying.

And yet,

I had a feeling that this would be the part of my comment that you would latch on to.

I don't know about a new definition for music, but definitely a new definition for global

harmony. The 'stuff' is hitting the fan, all while most people don't even know what

fiat currency even is.               RS



Serenity Laine said:

"The missing trillions didn't go towards band instruments for high schools,"

you say, but if I type my words                       in this way, so that there is

a kind of gap in the middle                                  of the page, this could, or

might, possibly allow for                                         a new definition of music

that could help us                                                     create a veritable revol-

ution in dough                                                             nut hole fabrication for

the entire                                                                        universe. It's possible.

Ondib, you question my side interest in mentioning a major flaw in the

world that affects everything... including music and the arts, but don't miss a

beat when it comes to what I consider a skewed over- hyped denunciation

of a ready military. The world has not yet reached the point where everyone

has attained a state of consciousness and grace, that would allow for no military.

This is just a fact of present day life. At present, eliminating a solid military would be suicide.

I did not say a word about 'military' bands, in fact I said 'high school bands'.

Why did you attempt,once again, to spin it to your preferred version?

And, once again, Patriotism is NOT militarism. Love of country does NOT

mean that you advocate that all other countries must be eliminated by force.

Military aggression for power and control is not the interest of the general public.

You love your family, do you want to eliminate all of the other families on your block?

Of course not. But history has proven that there is another 'class' of people that aren't

so nice. This ZIT is now coming to a head. 'Fiat currency' is 100 thousand times more

the real issue than some military band trying to carry a tune simply because they like

music and need a job. Let's drop it and get back to the focus of the main idea of the thread.

How about some input from you on the question, 'can we separate music from noise'? 

Is this also subjective?    or... Is it relative to context?  Will intellectualism pervert music,

and mislead the people that listen to it?  Personally, I think it is a valid question.

Rap, as a modern music genre, has a lot of followers. This unquestionably has influenced

society as did the 'british invasion' in the '60's. For better or worse?

We may be witnessing just a little bit of wandering here and there, away from a conversation about music and composition.

"'Fiat currency' is 100 thousand times more the real issue than some military band trying to carry a tune ...."

That may or may not be.  But the discussion of both high school bands and military bands does seem more in line with the general purpose of this forum.  Both types of bands produce music, and for reasons, and in ways, that can be interpreted and discussed with reference to composing.   Even the conversation about militarism, patriotism or nationalism, WITHIN music, does appear relevant to a composers' forum.  Music may be peaceful or may be militaristic, or many other things.  But I don't see how music can be monetarist or fiscal, in its "fiduciary style."  Maybe the last meeting of the Federal Reserve Board needs to be set to music, as part of a larger opera, entitled Die Fiat-Währungerdämmerung.  (Translation).

In spite of such scenarios, it's hard to imagine exactly how one can discuss fiat currency, monetarist economic policy, or fiscal decision making, within the confines of a Composers' Forum at this time in history.  I mean in this moment.  It may be especially hard to do so, in our particular epoch, or in 2016, during this month, or on this day of the week, given the current socio-cultural realities, and given the make up and distinct divisions that exist between the disciplines RIGHT NOW, in this time and place, at this very instant. (Please glance at your watch, and at the whole of the known universe immediately afterwards, and decide whether you agree with this assessment).

Talking about the candidates for office, the political parties, the election, and so on (however much I might agree or disagree with Mr. Kerchiefklutsch in his recent analysis) also seems even more beyond the periphery of this particular thread, the general topic and the current purpose of the forum itself.  Don't you agree? That's just my sense of things, as they exist in the present era, during the present century, at this juncture, markable with a point on a Minkowskian representation of that portion of space-time which I happen to inhabit.

Perhaps you will also agree with the following:  Such marks can just as easily be made within a Boulezian conceptualization of various forms of time, inside of a piece of music, that distinguishes between smooth and discrete surfaces of space and time, as recorded in a composition. To me this seems likely.  I think the exploration of those notions may be more fruitful, both for the discussion of composition in general, and the definition of music itself, in particular. 

 

 

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