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[ARSCLIST] A reply to: Are we at the end of the road musically??

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andes, Donald" <Donald.Andes@xxxxxxxxxx>
> I'm sorry if I started an inappropriate thread here, but since I
> honestly feel my words were misinterpreted-interpreted, or at least my
> points were misunderstood I will simply clarify myself by responding
> this single time, and then drop this thread, which seems to have overly
> irritated at least one person.
I'll simplify this by including only the segments to which I am replying
followed by my reply...
> I do not attach commercial success to the point of initiating a musical
> style. But speaking of Charlie Christian, do you think he would have
> developed the same style of play without ever hearing the sound of or
> using an electric guitar?
1) The song/record that initiates a musical style is usually NOT a hit...
the contents are too unfamiliar for that.
2) Having heard both Christian and (T-Bone) Walker, much of what they
played could NOT have been played on an acoustic guitar. Although it's
unlikely they completely understood the process, they were using the
sonic fact that the speaker output could cause the string to continue
vibrating, thus producing a much longer "sustain!" This allowed them
to play "lines" like those played on a saxophone...
> Correct, yet incorrect. The origins of the vocal style of "rapping" have
> existed before hip hop, and sampling does co back to the fifties,
> however, what is deemed "Hip Hop" was originated at the point of DJ's
> sampling vinyl "live" by repeating duplicate sections of records, with
> rapping happing spontaneously over it. 
Rap/Hip Hop also introduced the use of a turntable as a musical instrument!
Manual manipulation of the TT ("scratching" et al) made it part of the
rhythm section. The interesting thing, though, is that the rhythm used
is that of "soul music" (aka "funk") or "disco." So, a new process to
create "used" sounds...
> I mentioned technology as being ONE of the main keys. Are you really
> disagreeing here? Do you honestly believe that technology DOESN'T play a
> major role? Even if it does nothing more to inspire and re-invigorate
> the creative mind?
Technology plays a major role when it allows something to occur (sonically)
that wouldn't have been possible before. One example I give above (the
electric guitar with its greater sustain)...another would be the invention
of the "Leslie" speaker for electric organs. We may, eventually, start
auditioning each variation of waveforms and see which ones qualify as
"music"...we already know that pure tones have little, if any,
musical quality...
> I really have difficulty understanding your argument here. This
> paragraph and the related examples, ONLY had to do with the creative
> process, and nothing to do with Technology. The Mondrian example shows
> that new developments sometimes evolve gradually and are sometimes
> difficult to see based on comparing it to the idea/work that happened
> just before it. The Pollack example shows how things happen through a
> disconnect-connect and are drastically different from their predecessor.
Except...that Pollock's art was so easily duplicated (the style, not his
works) that virtually anyone could do so...simply drip paint on a
surface! The question then becomes "To what extent did Pollack's
choices of what was dropped where, and how much" define his pictures
as "art" and many others as nothing more than "random drips?" And
how do we know this? This can imply "It's art because I SAY it's
art and I'm an artist!" Does/should this carry any weight?

> You are correct here, the notes are NOT all used up. I was
> oversimplifying. MOST of the notes are used up. To find new ground,
> you'd have to go beyond those how have already gone beyond. The mid
> 1900's was a time where musicians were looking to go to the outer
> extreme. Did they get there? Yes on some accounts, but good luck on
> finding anyone nowadays who will want to take that journey into the
> previously UNDISCOVERED realms of polyrhythms, atonality, and
> non-western scales looking for something new.
> You'd be much better off looking for the new territory that exists in
> computer music. You'd also be surround by lots of other computer
> musicians who would be looking to collaborate or exchange ideas, on how
> to use all of these new tools and truly discover something NEW as
> opposed to something "beyond"
> Even if you knew nothing about computer music, I believe finding someone
> who does and sharing your wealth of knowledge of theory, composition,
> music history, etc. would be much more mutually beneficial and  get you
> closer to the "outer edge" then posting a "guitarist wanted ad" to play
> "?????".
I recently read a book on acoustics and sound theory applied to music...
and discovered that much of what we percieve as "music" is actually
"hard wired" into our brains! The ear/brain combination can only
perceive a limited number of frequencies (actually, frequency
groups!) as separate notes...and whether we like or dislike
cominations of notes (aka "chords" or "dischords") is dependent
on the "beat notes" produced by the coexistence of the tones.
This may in and of itself limit what can be done in music...

> Just as well, I can't image a way that a computer by itself, even with
> advanced AI, would be able to repeatable produce something of value
> without a human involved.
This is why I suggested experimenting with waveforms, to see if humans
find the resultant sounds pleasurable, boring or unlistenable...
> I could care less about the programs or instruments as well, that's my
> point. I'm also not pulling my hair out looking for the next musical
> style/revolution/trend/whatever. Someone brought the question of "are we
> need the end" and I thought to add my 2 cents as to where one would look
> and why. The possibilities for computer music are vast, and using
> external controllers open up opportunities for performing live. There
> are also extended capabilities of linking performances to visuals which
> are "played" along with the music.
This was being done in the sixties and proved quite popular (possibly
with the aid of recreational substances?!)...

> You may disagree with my opinions, or reasoning. But I'll be keeping an
> eye on the young kids, with the ever powerful computers, and open source
> software that gets mod-ed BY musicians as well as programmers. They're
> the future in my book, for music and beyond.
Again...we can, at least in theory, create every audibly different
waveform...and try each to see the extent to which we humans enjoy
them (and maybe my cat, Ecru?). Having done so, we keep the ones
we like and try them over a range of fundamental frequencies (so
as to avoid 4000Hz bass viol tones, or bass piccolos...) and
see what we come up with. When Adolphe Sax invented his new
instrument about a century and a half ago, it sounded like nothing
extant...but, listeners enjoyed this new sound! There are a near-
imfinite (well, infinite, really) number of unheard waveforms...all
we need to do is try them out!

Steven C. Barr

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