• well that depends on what kind of music we write and what medium music goes through, and what we all considered perfect. I think music that is to precise is not perfect but robotic, on the same hand, I dont have to worry about that since I consider myself a concert composers so my music is only as perfect as the performer I can get to play my music.
  • Well said Tyler. Thank you for your insight.
  • Agreed with Tyler but perfection is impossible. What is perfection to one person is flawed to another. Even a composer can disagree with a performers 'perfect' rendition of his piece. Even if a piece is written for tape the only perfect performance will be that on the composers own speakers as each system is slightly different and even if it is only performed on those speakers some people might think it is a work of perfection while others will hate it. Perfect is the best kind of goal, one that seems achievable but you can never meet.
  • Thanks Matthew. I guess I was more looking at the electronic side of things. I like your compositions by the the way!
  • I struggle with the same question. I write solely in midi, therefore I can align the notes up and craft the velocities exactly as I think they should be. I worry though that it can be, as Tyler stated, "robotic". However, I finally came to the conclusion that performers train meticulously to be able to reproduce a composers idea. Therefore, I consider my little midi notes to be the performance I want the listener to here initially. If by some stroke of luck they were to be performed by live people, then it is out of my hands. Also, when you look at any score each note has been put there on purpose by the composer, so if the performer sees a quarter note followed by an eighth note rest, followed by another quarter note, etc.....that performer is under the assumption that this is the intention of the composer and I will play it as such. So I guess long story short, I say go for as much perfection in your compositions as you desire.
  • Bill, glad you like my stuff!

    By electronics do you mean as Ryan said midi or electronics as in electro-acoustic tape music? To me it is impossible for midi to be perfect because it uses samples which no matter how good are not a live instrument. To me the small blemishes in sound and performance add to it not to mention the inaudible frequencies which are cut out through digital recording which I believe have subconscious effects on the listener in a concert hall.
    Is you mean electronics in the sense of tape music or even pop music with syncths etc then that will never be how the writer heard it. Each speaker is different and so only the one that it was written for will sound 'perfect'.
    If on the other have you mean perfect rhythm as the composer intended then the only way to get some complicated rhythms is through midi software but like I said its the small blemishes that make music perfect.
    Think of a sine wave, the purest form of sound tune it to an A (440 hz or 442hz depending on your local tuning system) and compare that to the same note on a violin, cello, piano, trumpet etc etc. Which sounds perfect? Technically it should be the sine wave but to me the instrument is better because of the overtones which are cut out form the sine wave.
  • There is not such animal as "perfect" music.
  • Well said. No offense taken by any means. I know the word "perfect" is too powerful to use lightly for us mere humans, who can't possibly fathom the concept. When I export a piece of music from my heart to soundwaves, to me thats "perfect". But then again thats a personal experience. In regards to time in music, it is safe to say that music is reaching a level of perfection. I am a keyboard player and am exposed to sequencers and sequenced music quite a bit. If there is a musical passage where an arpeggio is sequenced in a loop, it is safe to say the note duration within that time ,is perfect in consistency. I guess when I posted this, I was coming from a keyboardist's point of view. I thank you all for your intrest and time to voice your opinions in this subject.
  • There are qualitative aspects to this thread that would probably take pages to tease out. I don’t have pages, but here goes.

    First of all, a computer – no mater how powerful – is basically a machine. The protocols – the “meaning” - of composition do not change according to which machines are employed to assist in the compositional process. Composition is an act of will. Computers, software, pianos, orchestras, women (!) are all subservient to the composer’s intellect.

    Secondly, I haven’t read all the responses in detail, but has anyone considered the implications of the term “precision”? Composition is about as complex as any art can ever get, and a huge portion of the composer’s labour is spent in guiding the minutiae of the work along an extremely precise track. Yet this “precision” is really no more than a metaphorical hair shirt which the individual composer fabricates - and then decides when and when not to wear.

    Thirdly: “perfect”! Most everyone is aware of the glaring dissonances one encounters in the fugues of JSB. The *integrity* (“perfection” is too strong a term) of the contrapuntal argument overrides the consideration of harmonic “precision”, which, by comparison, is a superficial one. In other words, great music, like life, is a trade off.
  • In terms of software, there is the problem of a too perfect reproduction, which is very often not what the composer intended. So the programmers have put algorithms in software like Finale that will "unfaithfully" reproduce a composer's work according to set rules, which appear to have a slight randomness/musicality to them. - Live music certainly appears to have more than a slight randomness to it, which is endearing to most listeners.

    Lately, I have been considering returning to digital art, that is, to use Finale and GPO, etc. I have listened to others do their best to make a digital orchestra not sound like one. The work involved seems labor intensive. There is indeed a lot of imperfection desired in music imagined for human players.

    Those who compose for the digital media itself are more free to leave rules aside, while obeying only the rules of the software program. There are limits to creativity if we use set software programs that we did not design. I don't know if that is imperfect, right there.

    It doesn't matter what anyone thinks. Someone will always try to write the best music possible to imagine. peace
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