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Any methods on cleaning the subjectivity palette for your music?


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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, xox said:
19 hours ago, thawkins said:

Like when theory says all your notes have to be on the same scale, but you ignore it when your chords with off notes sound better to you.

do you have an example of this?

Literally composed to specifically break the most fundamental rules of counterpoint as a reaction against the dogmatic adherance to theory in academic music at the time.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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Anyhow, we all need to step up our game, this is how you do a real music theory debate thread:

 

https://www.researchgate.net/post/What-is-the-axiomatic-basis-for-music-theory

 

Quote
We can agree that we have at concert pitch the set A1 = 55 Hz, A2 = 110, A3 = 220, A4 = 440.
We don't say that A4 is exp 440 or log 440.  We have p = f but it is also clear that each higher note doubles the frequency of the note before, and each lower note halves the frequency.  So we have a tower of octaves with powers of 2 going up and in effect square roots of 2 going down.  Log 2 it turns is counted in 1 and 0, like a binary code.
Now it is not true that any log can replace log 2 because in fact there is only 1 point in log 2 f that is actually true to p = f.  The log curve and the line have only 1 point in common and that point is the octave where they intersect.  This is true because log 0 = 1 and log 1 = 2, which we treat like 0 and 1.  That is, we have only two values: 2 to power 0 is 1 and 2 to power 1 is 2.  Those are the only point that are defined and the only points we need.
Now suppose we have a chromatic or harmonic circle (5ths).  Then there is a spiral above the circle that is formed if we allow the pitch to continue rising. The circle is the closed form of the spiral.
The way that this happens is described in mathematics like a spiral staircase, where you are walking up the steps and there is always another person above you at the same octave position.  This makes the spiral continuous and the octave is the winding number that counts how many time the spiral has made one full revolution.
The octave is precise to a point and that makes the pitch values and the pitch value intervals continuous.
The point is very important because in mathematics frequency is not continuous.  This means that if we say " A1 = 55 Hz, A2 = 110, A3 = 220, A4 = 440" is the definition of pitch we have a trivial function and a connected space where arithmetic is just real number arithmetic which includes fractions and integers.
It sounds like "trivial" and "simply connected' are good things but they lead to paradox, while in mathematics "nontrivial" and "disconnected" are good things.
You guys are the ones who can recognize that there are different languages on the guitar.  That is why I am saying that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is in the language of Open D.  I know that like I know french when I hear it.  You cannot play it in Open G.
Now you cannot tell how a guitar is tuned by listening, but if you use the Key of C in Open G it is absolutely clearly different than Open D.   This sounds like nonsense to you because its a foreign language you don't understand.   I have been writting tablature for 40 years.  I have a library of at least 10, 000 tabs and in many cases I have tablature in a dozen different tuning key combinations.   I have transcribed every Joplin rag for guitar, every Beatles tune, and almost the entire "Motion Picture Moods" by Rappe.
I tell you what.  Why don't you send me some piano music that you think cannot be played on guitar.  Obviously I can't match the velocity of anything beyond Andante and need something reasonably cantabile.  I send you the tab.  You can see if its a language that way.
Regarding the tonnetz, which means a tone net (like a piece of graph paper ruled by pitch values), what is important is that the alternative to the doughnut is a sphere.   A sphere makes sense, torus does not.  These are the only possibilities according to Mobius. I think you can see the sphere shrinks down to a point (the fundamental) but Euler's tone net can never reduce to a point.  The idea music is trivial, connected, simple is a mathematically incorrect idea based on a powerful illusion.  There is no pitch that does not have a state of system attached to it.  The system defines the tonality and not the pitch.

 

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41 minutes ago, TubularCorporation said:

Literally composed to specifically break the most fundamental rules of counterpoint as a reaction against the dogmatic adherance to theory in academic music at the time.

if that’s was really his goal, it’s the wrong reason for composing music imo

Sounds good to me tho

21 minutes ago, TubularCorporation said:

Anyhow, we all need to step up our game, this is how you do a real music theory debate thread:

 

https://www.researchgate.net/post/What-is-the-axiomatic-basis-for-music-theory

 

 

Not impressed tbh! 🙂

what impresses me is the final product; don’t care how someone made a piece of music, known theory or not, intuition or not, analog or digital, dawless or not… music is the only thing that matters

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17 hours ago, xox said:

i would probably have at least something to say against the theory if i ever heard a piece of music made buy someone who doesn't know the theory that i think is superior to music made buy those who knew it

 

uh

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3 hours ago, TubularCorporation said:

Anyhow, we all need to step up our game, this is how you do a real music theory debate thread:

 

https://www.researchgate.net/post/What-is-the-axiomatic-basis-for-music-theory

 

 

This guy is out of his mind, haha! "To say the axioms do not apply is to claim music is a unique invention of man beyond mathematics.  Nonsense!"

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On 5/22/2021 at 5:21 AM, Jed said:

statement like "Don't tune your kicks so that you can change the frequency they play, because a kick doesn't have a tone"

that kick situation is a mess, people follow the advice blindly, successfulish musician shits on but but is also wrong because of course kicks have tone, bleh

Similarly this thread is a mess because we all have different ideas of what theory

On 5/22/2021 at 4:10 AM, Alcofribas said:

I definitely see nothing to object to her, I agree with this. 

but I wonder - is it more likely someone can do something new with tape or an old akai if they approach the setup theoretically?

i think you’re getting at this idea that technology allows people to mess about without theory and do cool shit but what they can do is limited by the tech, right?

I think this actually relates to what that old man said in himelsteins post, I think solely going off instinct and intuition can result in falling into a groove that's cut by everything you've heard in the past, so approaching something in a theoretical way can help break out of this.

On the other hand I couldn't disagree more with "People working intuitively can't transcend genre/tradition/convention". Examples that disprove this are everywhere in my opinion, so I'm not sure what you are on (about).

Sure you need to know the rules to know *when* you are breaking them, but it seems a bit stupid to learn the rules just so you can deliberately break them to say hey look I'm different, it should all be done for a purpose that's above simply following or breaking rules.

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There was a "most people..." at the start of that quote. 😎

If I rephrase to "Most people working purely intuitively will repeat what's already been done" do you still disagree? 

I've enjoyed how some of my favourite genres have been refined over the years. But there's an interesting nuance between refinement and invention. The former is a matter of having good taste, honing your craft and focusing on the best parts of what's already been done. You keep the good bits and toss out the bad bits through trial and error. Needs "a good ear" more than anything else. That's how genre/tradition music evolves, in a linear fashion. While invention is more interruptive and angular - something so new comes along that you can throw away a large chunk of what's been done before. 

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3 hours ago, psn said:

There was a "most people..." at the start of that quote. 😎

If I rephrase to "Most people working purely intuitively will repeat what's already been done" do you still disagree? 

I've enjoyed how some of my favourite genres have been refined over the years. But there's an interesting nuance between refinement and invention. The former is a matter of having good taste, honing your craft and focusing on the best parts of what's already been done. You keep the good bits and toss out the bad bits through trial and error. Needs "a good ear" more than anything else. That's how genre/tradition music evolves, in a linear fashion. While invention is more interruptive and angular - something so new comes along that you can throw away a large chunk of what's been done before. 

Yep I agree then, but I'd argue that those same people wouldn't be the ones coming up with super innovative stuff that's actually entertaining / good quality by using theory to be innovative anyway. At least in my experience using theory to innovate has ended up turning into complete wank garbage and my most entertaining new stuff has come from working completely intuitively.

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What a load of bollocks. Just hammer out smashing tunes and avoid sounding like shit. 

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On 5/22/2021 at 12:31 AM, ghsotword said:

 

Music theory doesn't really say that all your notes have to be on the same scale. Theory tutorials for beginners might say something like that but that's just oversimplification of theory that's done with the aim of making it easier to digest. 
Music theory has concepts e.g. passing notes, chromatic harmony, borrowed chords and modulations for describing the off notes. I'm sure whatever you come up with by moving the notes by 2 semitones, theory actually already has names and concepts to describe it. 

Well yes, I said music theory is a broad concept! Scales are basic stuff - if you want your track to sound "in tune" with itself, you remove all the notes that are not on your chosen scale, and then the result will sound according the classical harmonic norms. I think this qualifies as an application of music theory in composing. It's still music theory even if it's not using advanced concepts.

I guess what I wanted to say that if you manage to learn all of music theory somehow (including all the non-western, non-classical theories), then in the end you still have to go with your gut feeling and pick the concepts that you care about when making a particular track. I.e. theory can help you but intuition has to come first to show the way.

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13 hours ago, psn said:

There was a "most people..." at the start of that quote. 😎

If I rephrase to "Most people working purely intuitively will repeat what's already been done" do you still disagree? 

I've enjoyed how some of my favourite genres have been refined over the years. But there's an interesting nuance between refinement and invention. The former is a matter of having good taste, honing your craft and focusing on the best parts of what's already been done. You keep the good bits and toss out the bad bits through trial and error. Needs "a good ear" more than anything else. That's how genre/tradition music evolves, in a linear fashion. While invention is more interruptive and angular - something so new comes along that you can throw away a large chunk of what's been done before. 

Weird thing about refinement and invention is that if you look at how new genres evolve, I don't think there is any clearly identifiable crossover point when genre A becomes B. It's just some organic process, where people work and are influenced by each other's work and what generally goes on in the world. Occasionally there is some new technology that helps, but it's not like a new genre drops newly formed.

Like for example Kraftwerk went and built their own sequencers and made groundbreaking work, but if you listen to their stuff and what else was around during that time, it's suddenly not so alien and new at all. Before they had fancy gear, they tried their best with regular amps and instruments. Their stuff becomes special and distinctive over time as Kraftwerk refines their sound, but that process happens over the course of literal decades.

Also I wouldn't say you can throw away old stuff the moment something new comes. The booming retro analog synth market would want a word with you. 🙂 Same thing with old music, there's plenty of stuff to listen to and get inspired.

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18 hours ago, thawkins said:

Weird thing about refinement and invention is that if you look at how new genres evolve, I don't think there is any clearly identifiable crossover point when genre A becomes B. It's just some organic process, where people work and are influenced by each other's work and what generally goes on in the world. Occasionally there is some new technology that helps, but it's not like a new genre drops newly formed.

When the electric guitar and electric bass were widely released, Jazz Fusion appeared w/ Bitches Brew pretty quickly after the technology was introduced. Some technology advancements can make some pretty profound changes to the music scene pretty quickly.

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3 hours ago, Jed said:

When the electric guitar and electric bass were widely released, Jazz Fusion appeared w/ Bitches Brew pretty quickly after the technology was introduced. Some technology advancements can make some pretty profound changes to the music scene pretty quickly.

The pianoforte

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Thu Zaw said:

The pianoforte

 

What, harpsichords weren't good enough?

Edited by Jed
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On 5/24/2021 at 4:07 PM, Jed said:

When the electric guitar and electric bass were widely released, Jazz Fusion appeared w/ Bitches Brew pretty quickly after the technology was introduced. Some technology advancements can make some pretty profound changes to the music scene pretty quickly.

Right, but Bitches Brew was recorded 2nd half of 1969. There were some artists using electric guitars and basses way before that: for example the wiki page for electric blues sets it to late 1930s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_blues).

I agree that Bitches Brew is a groundbreaking album in many ways, but if you think how it was recorded - a bunch of established and really good musicians coming together to jam out and record these tracks - then it also depends as much on 10-20 years of practice and people getting used to electric and amplified guitars/basses.

I mean my point is that from a bird's eye view it looks like bam! Fender Jazz Bass is released and you have Bitches Brew and jazz fusion in a few years. Then you look at the wiki page and see it's released 10 years before. Then you look at Fender Precision and it was released in 1951. And these are mass production releases - just like with gear today, pro musicians get their hands on stuff early.

The more closely you look both in terms of gear technology and music genre evolution, the fuzzier and more difficult it gets to really draw a sharp line and say "here, this was the point where stuff changed drastically".

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Electric guitars, basses and pianos were pretty well established by then, yeah. But the electronic treatment of the signals with fuzz pedals, wha wha, delay, envelope followers, ring modulators, etc, was right at the cutting edge. 

Jimi Hendrix had opened a huge sonic field, and Miles Davis saw new opportunities to merge that sound with jazz. Plus James Brown's funk, of course.

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This kind of reminds me of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_man_theory. In this thread it's maybe more like Great Man/Gear Theory. 🙂

Like sure Hendrix used pedals and he did it well. Was he the only one to do that at that time? Probably not, because he did not exist in a vacuum and had his influences and contemporary artists that he was inspired and influenced by. Home recording basically did not exist back then so all we know is the stuff someone could afford to record in a studio and that was good enough for some record company dude to be actually released.

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Of course there were other influential guitarists using pedals - Clapton, Zappa, etc.

In the case of Davis's jazz rock fusion I'm pretty sure Hendrix was the most important one, though. They even had recording sessions booked together, which fell through last minute.

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36 minutes ago, psn said:

Of course there were other influential guitarists using pedals - Clapton, Zappa, etc.

In the case of Davis's jazz rock fusion I'm pretty sure Hendrix was the most important one, though. They even had recording sessions booked together, which fell through last minute.

Yeah, it’s too bad, those would have probably been awesome 

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On 5/27/2021 at 9:46 AM, thawkins said:

This kind of reminds me of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_man_theory. In this thread it's maybe more like Great Man/Gear Theory. 🙂

I was thinking about bringing up Great Man Theory earlier, but then I decided to take a break instead so thanks for doing it.

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Posted (edited)

It's kind of funny people bring up Miles Davis, because as much as I love a lot of his music he was notoriously skeptical about musical trends and tended to be a few years behind the curve on them.  Part of the reason his music sounds so unique is that he would generally do things like adopting rock instrumentation AFTER ithad already been done for a few years, after it was no longer a novelty but before it became completely codified and safe.

 

Artists who end up being seen as innovators are often actually the ones who are smart enough to neither worry about being on the cutting edge of musical fashion nor completely ignore it.  They're the ones who keep an eye on fashion and eventually assimilate the stuff that's worth assimilating.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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