How can we define music?

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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Replies

  • Just my personal philosophy - if you are not pushing boundaries, you are pushing up daises.

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

    qualifies and separates music from noise?

     They are both made up of frequencies and are a result of the same physics and so, in that sense there is no separation. The rest is semantics and where you draw the distinction. I'm with Gav, no sense in sitting still - where did that attitude ever get our species?

  • Another fun thread, isn't it?

    /brings more popcorn

  • Mike, so do frequencies become 'music' when we take control of

    the physics and package it to our liking, and give it form?

    Afterall, music is a man-made contrivance and commodity.

    I know this seems a bit sophomoric, even elementary, and

    maybe there is no solid definition of understanding to be discussed.

    But look at what music does to and for culture, and look at what

    culture does to music. It obviously plays a huge role in our everyday

    lives. Not only composers and song writers who shape the frequencies

    and invent the forms, but it influences and is apart of what shapes the

    listeners lives as well.

    Even the Earth resonates at a certain frequency (and some say that is now changing)

    and frequencies can both lift you up and bring you down. ( both audible and inaudible)

    Thanks for your comment Bob.  Sure, appreciation and interpretation is an individual

    preference, thats what feeds diversity and gives life to the business, so to speak.

    In a more general way, I am interested in where music is headed  and why.

    ps; this 'class' is elective, not mandatory, and popcorn is BYO                                    RS


     
    Mike Hewer said:

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

    qualifies and separates music from noise?

     They are both made up of frequencies and are a result of the same physics and so, in that sense there is no separation. The rest is semantics and where you draw the distinction. I'm with Gav, no sense in sitting still - where did that attitude ever get our species?

    How can we define music?
    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 o…
  • Roger: "In a more general way, I am interested in where music is headed  and why."

    European classical music stopped heading in a general direction as the turn of the last century.

    Since then, a great many branches splintered off..

    It has been going on this way since.   Popularity of different styles have ebbed and flowed...   Some in the  70's (for instance) proclaimed a return to melody as the new emerging model....  

    To me as a composer, all the pieces that have deeply moved me have come from many styles.

    Utilization of all music that has inspired me has been an idea that is at least an undercurrent in my sense of composition... 

    It seems to me that others who are doing this as well, will always have a very personal way of doing it.

    It is that 'personal way' that interests me.  

    On a more general note: "Where is it headed?"

    everything that has been before leading to, morphing into  everything that will be.

    My apologies if that sounds obvious, glib, crass, or too grand to be helpful.

    I don't think they'll be an obvious coming together about a certain way to proceed, (though fads i suspect will continue to come and go).  

    Many tributaries streaming into the future... As composers, our access to our deep and colorful past has never been so 'right on our doorstep'.  

    What marks a piece for me is it's ability to speak to my interior world - something very elusive to define, and so individual... 

    At its best, It seems to me that music is evolving to be that ever more a personal, as we plumb the depths of who we are musically - (the most mysterious of all art forms).

    regards,

    painfully obvious gregorio.

     ps.. Dave's advice no doubt will be seen as prescient ...  tiger by the tail stuff..   oh hell.  he's right. 

    time for another cup of strong coffee.  :)

  • On the question of where music is headed, here is a likely direction, (technology strikes again).


  • Ingo, thanks for sharing this. It is fascinating.

    Cyber-bach is in the works.  A I could replace

    composers? ha ha  well, maybe.

    It's interesting that 'style' can be replicated from a few

    other pieces by a particular artist, and actually fool the

    ear of a lisrener.         RS

  • Greg-o, this is along the lines of what I was hoping to read.

     -your thoughts on the subect, in spite of all the lauded quotes

    that are out there.

    If I read it right, you would compare the course of , let's say

    'the evolution of music', to a tree that rises and branches out

    as opposed to multiple streams and rivers flowing towards

    one melting pot or 'ocean'. (even tho' you used tributaries as the term).

    Sometimes, when creativity and the search for a new sound hits a log jam,

    it goes 'retro', possibly looking for a stronger branch to built from.

    Ingo's short video blows that concept out of the water.       cheers      RS
     
    gregorio X said:

    Roger: "In a more general way, I am interested in where music is headed  and why."

    European classical music stopped heading in a general direction as the turn of the last century.

    Since then, a great many branches splintered off..

    It has been going on this way since.   Popularity of different styles have ebbed and flowed...   Some in the  70's (for instance) proclaimed a return to melody as the new emerging model....  

    To me as a composer, all the pieces that have deeply moved me have come from many styles.

    Utilization of all music that has inspired me has been an idea that is at least an undercurrent in my sense of composition... 

    It seems to me that others who are doing this as well, will always have a very personal way of doing it.

    It is that 'personal way' that interests me.  

    On a more general note: "Where is it headed?"

    everything that has been before leading to, morphing into  everything that will be.

    My apologies if that sounds obvious, glib, crass, or too grand to be helpful.

    I don't think they'll be an obvious coming together about a certain way to proceed, (though fads i suspect will continue to come and go).  

    Many tributaries streaming into the future... As composers, our access to our deep and colorful past has never been so 'right on our doorstep'.  

    What marks a piece for me is it's ability to speak to my interior world - something very elusive to define, and so individual... 

    At its best, It seems to me that music is evolving to be that ever more a personal, as we plumb the depths of who we are musically - (the most mysterious of all art forms).

    regards,

    painfully obvious gregorio.

     ps.. Dave's advice no doubt will be seen as prescient ...  tiger by the tail stuff..   oh hell.  he's right. 

    time for another cup of strong coffee.  :)

    How can we define music?
    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 o…
  • Roger, you mention 

    "Ingo's short video blows that concept out of the water."

    well.. it blew something...

    sure i love HAL ...  it is good for imitating..

    Mr. Cope said that the 'style' of a composition  IS what 2 pieces of a composer have in common.. (humph, there it is. puzzle solved)

    Well, he shows how it runs - not like a 'shovel' but  like a 'car' (he says).. 

    The excerpt played seems to be taken from the keyboard concerto (d minor) and the double violin concerto in A minor - Bach.   The sequenced used is quite common...

    Funny thing is he says, paraphrasing - "I got to a point where i could tell the difference between c and c#"... "

    Stuck.  We all get stuck.. One must push thru - or - write a program to make the decisions for you :)

    For those who seek imitation, i suppose it would be time to put down their pencil..  just sit back and enjoy the ride... (?)

    here's a quote from a friend of picasso

    "One must not imitate what one wants to create"  G. Braque

    "

  • Anyone see the film "Her"?  

    Similar idea: Finds a soul mate in a computer program…  

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