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Music vs. sound? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 2nd April 2010
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless View Post
If nothing else it will give you a vocabulary of terms and ideas beyond merely "sound vs. music".
I didn't use my whole vocabulary in my original post. Not even close.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless View Post
Having recently gone off the deep end and purchased a 4-boat Buchla 200e (with an armada of other supporting equipment), I have to say that I have a whole new appreciation for electronic music, and no less appreciation for Bach. In fact, even more!
New Jersey is a little far from North Carolina, but if I make it to Asheville for Moogfest (that is, assuming they actually hold it and I don't have a schedule conflict), I may just look you up. I'd love to get my hands on a Buchla for a while...
Old 2nd April 2010
  #63
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i'm sure many of you are aware of this book.. you should read it if you haven't... kind of dry in places but has some real meat to it in places and lot's of fascinating things to think about.

Amazon.com: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (9780452288522): Daniel J. Levitin: Books

i tend to think that as humans we respond more to sound than we do to notes... and that's nothing new...

wendy carlos may have brought synths into the mainstream but Morton Subotnik's "silver apples of the moon" and "the wild bull" was realized before carlo's bach interpretations (i think) and why is it any less valid as a piece of music because it doesn't fit bach's "ideal"? "the wild bull" is amazing! so, in that sense we haven't "lost something" and we haven't moved away from bach's "ideal"... consider it a simultaneous evolution.

when you hear a baby cry (especially if it is your baby), or if you hear someone shriek in pain or laugh hysterically or moan in pleasure.. something creeping by your tent in the middle of the night while you try to slumber...

pure sound.. much more emotional than any note that can be played..

notes are overrated and music as we know it makes for only a fraction of musical history.. human beings were making music in all kinds of ways before anyone knew what a 'note' was.

so, if you think of it like that... then all this stuff about 'notes' is still quite new.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #64
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henryrobinett's Avatar
I am really, REALLY not interested in that book. But I know it's popular and really cool and stuff . . .
Old 2nd April 2010
  #65
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Music vs. Sound

Most big innovators in jazz were very much coming out of a tradition (listen to some Miles records from the forties through to the eighties). Also, even in the musically revolutionary twentieth century, many of the composers who made the biggest break with classical or romantic tradition ( e.g. Schoenberg, Bartok, Webern) were very much connected to and rooted in the past.

There's an undertone sometimes in these discussions that seems to say "Well, music has explored harmony and melody, and timbre is what's happening now, and that other stuff is not so important anymore" I don't agree. I'm with Henry about not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. As far as I can tell, great music (of all kinds) has always come out of artists deeply interacting with tradition and the past, as they work in the present and look to the future. I don't see anything that would make this less true now.

Best,

John
Old 2nd April 2010
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I am really, REALLY not interested in that book. But I know it's popular and really cool and stuff . . .
lol and stuff.

it is kind of dry and boring in places but makes some really great points and has a lot of great info about the brain which i found interesting. i don't consider it to be "a bible" or anything like that..

seems anyone w/strong opinions in this thread might find it worth reading so i find it funny that you are "really REALLY not interested in it".

i admit i had to plow through it at times and can see how just on a simple level of "what do i want to read if i want to read a book" that for most people it isn't going to be at the top of the list.. i guess i have more free time than i care to admit.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBadJohn View Post
I'm with Henry about not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
there is no baby.. there is no bath water.. if you think its music then it is..

there's plenty of room in the musical conversation for everything.. noise, drones, bleeps and bloops, charlie parker, solos, j-pop, bach etc.. bring it on .. all of it...
Old 2nd April 2010
  #68
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Derp's Avatar
Thanks for linking that! I read his interview in Tape Op and thought it was interesting. Looking forward to reading more.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #69
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Lol. Well this is a subject I feel I know a lot about and just don't I need any help with it. I know it sound hopelessly arrogant, but oh well. Plus I don't put a lot of stock in the "brain". I think people have got it all backwards, but I don't want to get in an argument about the brain.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #70
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crufty's Avatar
re the classical masters, i like to think beethoven would have been a junglist on the side.

in the grander scheme of music vs sound:

sound is produced by the natural world
music is produced by man--by intelligence, a sign of civilization. Music is an invitation to genius and a seat at the circle of enlightenment, available to anyone with ears. Surely as a species we are judged, if there be any to judge, by our ability to produce high art. To do so requires study so that students may leap from the shoulders of past masters, without having to relearn the old craft.

This could be the one knock of dance music--it's an alchemists secret, to some degree. Everyone has to figure out for themselves the lessons, perhaps a few covens keep the oral tradition alive, but for the most part--the compositional formula of past records are lost in the sands of time.

Harmony and melody are instinctual to everyone--listen to children, how they speak, how they move, they appreciate only harmony and melody: discordant unpleasant tones are fear and to be avoided. These early lessons are not reinforced however, as our surroundings drive out those instincts, to be replaced with behaviors more suitable for our modern traditions.

Electronic music is a reflection of this infancy: the point is to drive, not necessarily to sublime. The grand masters of old have crowded the stage, leaving the basement open for any generation ready to take it....
Old 2nd April 2010
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Lol. Well this is a subject I feel I know a lot about and just don't I need any help with it. I know it sound hopelessly arrogant, but oh well. Plus I don't put a lot of stock in the "brain". I think people have got it all backwards, but I don't want to get in an argument about the brain.
that's pretty funny. (i'm laughing with you btw) if not a lot of stock in the brain then where is it?

do you "feel" you know a lot about this subject or do you know a lot about it?

i dabble.. i like the sci fi.. i like the philosophical questions. i like the brain.. i think the brain is where it's at.. i think therefore you are. i am.. whatever.

backwards? you mean that what? music comes from the 'heart' or 'soul' or something? all that stuff is in the brain somewhere.. our memories.. experiences.. who we are. yada yada yada... it's all in the brain and in our genes.. our DNA... and it gets rolled out in various ways and we express ourselves in one way or another.. some are more articulate w/their expression or relatable or whatever.. then we get into "taste" what is art and subjective things that no one can decide but oneself.

i think it's all more or less irrelevant really.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #72
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Hm. I think the brain is the nerve center of the body that is the conduit for sensory and body functions. The mind is elsewhere . . . Doctors see a reaction in the brain to thought and actions, but those are only symptoms of actual thought, emotional, dream activity that impresses themselves on the neural fibers, or whatever. Folks get confused when looking for causes they see symptoms. The mind is elsewhere. They still haven't found the motion picture screen on any cell walls, yet they've cut it up 20 ways from Sunday. The brain is not the seat of consciousness. But I'm not going to debate this.

Yes, I think I know they subject of creativity pretty well. But who the hell am I? But I just don't feel the need for other "expert" opinions on the subject. I like my own ideas. They're real to me. I'm not searching. Does that make sense.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Hm. I think the brain is the nerve center of the body that is the conduit for sensory and body functions. The mind is elsewhere . . . Doctors see a reaction in the brain to thought and actions, but those are only symptoms of actual thought, emotional, dream activity that impresses themselves on the neural fibers, or whatever. Folks get confused when looking for causes they see symptoms. The mind is elsewhere. They still haven't found the motion picture screen on any cell walls, yet they've cut it up 20 ways from Sunday. The brain is not the seat of consciousness. But I'm not going to debate this.
yes. the more we learn the more we know that we don't know ****. actually, in that book he talks about that very thing.. is the brain generating.. or reacting? and he certainly gets into all the things that we don't know. the brain is fascinating. there's a lot of brain info in the kurzweil books (the singularity is near). crazy studies going on. i like the info but some of his ideas i can "take it or leave it".

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Yes, I think I know they subject of creativity pretty well. But who the hell am I? But I just don't feel the need for other "expert" opinions on the subject. I like my own ideas. They're real to me. I'm not searching. Does that make sense.
totally. 100% makes sense and i can relate.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #74
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Excellent!
Old 2nd April 2010
  #75
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"sound is produced by the natural world
music is produced by man--by intelligence, a sign of civilization. Music is an invitation to genius and a seat at the circle of enlightenment, available to anyone with ears....."


DISAGREE. I teach my college students that music is a way of interpreting reality (usually sound). Sound is a physical process, music is the human observation...it is not reflective of how it was created.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I don't put a whole lot of stock in "experts."
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Plus I don't put a lot of stock in the "brain".
But you still make those two a prerequisite for someone to be a good musician in your view - with the emphasis you put on knowing theory...
Old 2nd April 2010
  #77
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
They still haven't found the motion picture screen on any cell walls
They don't find pictures, music and movies on harddisks either - just a bunch of meaningless ones and zeros.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ark View Post
I didn't use my whole vocabulary in my original post. Not even close.
I made a typo...I meant "a whole new vocabulary". I can see that what I wrote sounded very condescending. Apologies.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #79
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crufty's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicksibicky View Post
I teach my college students that music is a way of interpreting reality (usually sound). Sound is a physical process, music is the human observation...it is not reflective of how it was created.
I think we are on the same train.

The key point is beethoven's Chorale, even if it is an observation of nature, isn't going to spontaneously occur on the winds of a cliff overlooking a seashore. It is man made, and requires a whole society to support its creation. Additionally, I would also argue higher art requires study to create, as it is analysis that leads to understanding of natural observation (bird song = monophonic notes) that opens the path to new ideas that are a step above simple melody (triads/chords) etc.

The real tragedy is this knowledge is fragile: easily lost! One only has to look at sculpture to see the rise and fall of skill. A true tragedy, as once lost, I'm not sure society is ever at a place where it can reposition the skill back to its previous heights.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #80
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synthoid's Avatar
 

As much as I love jazz, it seems to me that many jazz recordings neglect the "sound" and even the arrangement dimensions of music in favor of a near-exclusive emphasis on harmony and melody / improvised line. Nothing wrong with that, all music makes choices of where to place emphasis. But some really great composition has been done that emphasizes sound over the other elements. John Cage comes to mind.

(Some great Jazz recordings have placed a big emphasis on sound and arrangement too; Sketches of Spain is a good example.)

Electronic music almost has no choice but to place a heavy emphasis on sound. After all, the thing that distinguishes it is that it uses electronic sounds. But it's not easy to put together electronic sounds that are really good arrangement elements, and so if you set about to do it seriously, there's necessarily a lot of work on the sounds. IMO.

-synthoid
Old 2nd April 2010
  #81
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This is a big non-abstract issue for me because I'm trying to decide should I get my young kids (4 & 6) formal music lessons or not. Right now my strategy is to just play a lot of good music and go the osmosis route but I know it is easier (for the physical brain) to learn a language when you are younger and if they do end up wanting to pursue a carrer in music I don't want them at a disadvantage. OTH I don't want them stuck playing Greensleves and get turned off to music. Realization: I need to find a School of Rock type teacher! Of course wasnt "CC Deville" from Poison trained by Itzhak Perlman?
Old 2nd April 2010
  #82
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
But you still make those two a prerequisite for someone to be a good musician in your view - with the emphasis you put on knowing theory...
When did I ever speak of theory? But yes, I think a person needs to know the subject he's creating in and on.

And no, neither of those two things -- EXPERTS? I don't put stock in experts. And the BRAIN. No stock in that either. I don't put either of them as being prerequisites. OK, you have to HAVE a brain to get the fingers going where they need to go. For the life of me I don't know where experts fits in to any of this.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignatius View Post
there is no baby.. there is no bath water.. if you think its music then it is..

there's plenty of room in the musical conversation for everything.. noise, drones, bleeps and bloops, charlie parker, solos, j-pop, bach etc.. bring it on .. all of it...
For the purposes of this discussion, my analogy was that the baby was everything valuable learned and accomplished in music so far that we should keep, and the bathwater was everything from the past that will ultimately be discarded. I wanted to say that we should be careful about what we jettison from the past. I agree with you about room for everything.

Best,
John
Old 2nd April 2010
  #84
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicksibicky View Post
"sound is produced by the natural world
music is produced by man--by intelligence, a sign of civilization. Music is an invitation to genius and a seat at the circle of enlightenment, available to anyone with ears....."


DISAGREE. I teach my college students that music is a way of interpreting reality (usually sound). Sound is a physical process, music is the human observation...it is not reflective of how it was created.
DISAGREE. I teach my college kids differently. LOL! Music is completely dependent upon being CREATED. It's a cause point. That's what makes it art. It's also a communication. Since it is communication of artistic things, that means it must be a creation and a creative endeavor.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #85
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
They don't find pictures, music and movies on harddisks either - just a bunch of meaningless ones and zeros.
Good point. There you go. And that must mean SOMEONE is doing the observing and the creating.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #86
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremlin moon View Post
This is a big non-abstract issue for me because I'm trying to decide should I get my young kids (4 & 6) formal music lessons or not. Right now my strategy is to just play a lot of good music and go the osmosis route but I know it is easier (for the physical brain) to learn a language when you are younger and if they do end up wanting to pursue a carrer in music I don't want them at a disadvantage. OTH I don't want them stuck playing Greensleves and get turned off to music. Realization: I need to find a School of Rock type teacher! Of course wasnt "CC Deville" from Poison trained by Itzhak Perlman?
i had music lessons when i was 6. hated them. gave up. came back to music at the age of about 12.

my sister in-law is a top-level guitar player and she also teaches kids. she seriously knows her stuff and she told me on this subject that it takes a 9 year old a day to pick up what a 6 year old learns in a month.

i have a kid myself (nearly 3) and another coming in may.
i my son loves instruments and has a whole bunch of them including a violin, fife, recorder, keyboard, harmonica, ukulele, xylophone etc. he also can play on 'daddy's big pianos' when he wants (he likes the kurz the best). my philosophy is to just treat instruments like toys, let the boy discover them himself, don't coach him and let him play with them when he's interested in doing so. which is quite often. ( woke up today to the sound of him playing his violin. ouch )
Old 2nd April 2010
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid View Post
As much as I love jazz, it seems to me that many jazz recordings neglect the "sound" and even the arrangement dimensions of music in favor of a near-exclusive emphasis on harmony and melody / improvised line. Nothing wrong with that, all music makes choices of where to place emphasis.
True. But the art of jazz is in the musicians hands and breath. So most producers and engineers err on the side of keeping it that way. So they try to CAPTURE the sound of the the acoustic bass and drums, horns and piano and often place them in a sound field that reflects the stage layout.

Most jazz musicians don't have the capital to spend on great gobs of gear. Plus the environment is pretty damned conservative when it comes to accepting the new, even though they NOW admire all the innovators. I remember years ago playing Donna Lee, Oleo and the like with moderate distortion, delay, chorus and you'd have thought I set an old lady's hair on fire. It's an uphill battle. It's a big risk offending the small audience you have with the prospect of not picking up anything much new.

Gigs are small, budgets are beyond tight. Audiences are tiny. It's an ART form done for the love of the art. Certainly not for making money.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #88
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremlin moon View Post
This is a big non-abstract issue for me because I'm trying to decide should I get my young kids (4 & 6) formal music lessons or not. Right now my strategy is to just play a lot of good music and go the osmosis route but I know it is easier (for the physical brain) to learn a language when you are younger and if they do end up wanting to pursue a carrer in music I don't want them at a disadvantage. OTH I don't want them stuck playing Greensleves and get turned off to music. Realization: I need to find a School of Rock type teacher! Of course wasnt "CC Deville" from Poison trained by Itzhak Perlman?
I don't think that matters. I think the worst thing would be a school of rock type teacher. Teach him Greensleeves! Get him exposed to different kinds of music that require a different skills set. Romance For Guitar. I haven't found anyone who doesn't love playing that. The best thing you can do, from my perspective is to get him/her trained by a great and qualified musician, regardless of rock -- preferable not, so he understands what it takes to be an Itzak! I hate to say it but rock is so limited as a musical study. If he decides to go a different route in music he's already crippled.
Old 2nd April 2010
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBadJohn View Post
For the purposes of this discussion, my analogy was that the baby was everything valuable learned and accomplished in music so far that we should keep, and the bathwater was everything from the past that will ultimately be discarded. I wanted to say that we should be careful about what we jettison from the past. I agree with you about room for everything.

Best,
John
Agreed 100%!
Old 2nd April 2010
  #90
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synthoid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
TSo they try to CAPTURE the sound of the the acoustic bass and drums, horns and piano and often place them in a sound field that reflects the stage layout.
right, that's what I was thinking of. The studio is an opportunity to create a different kind of arrangement and soundscape, and it seems to me that it wouldn't detract at all from the music if done properly. You hear it done sometimes, but not so often.

-synthoid
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