A place for teachers to discuss issues to do with teaching
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By Carl
#29016
One of the things I like about these kinds of discussions is that it deepens my understanding of music. I am fascinated by the interaction of modern music theory and west African music. Each tells me a lot about the other...

I would be interested to get a consensus from this group on which terms would be useful. Especially considering that we are writing text about a complicated temporal activity!

Who is it that said "writing about music is like dancing about architecture"... possibly Martin Mull??

C
By bkidd
#29018
Who is it that said "writing about music is like dancing about architecture"... possibly Martin Mull??
Is this how interpretive dance was born? :)
User avatar
By e2c
#29019
You folks might want to look into some work by contemporary composers, like jazz/classical composer- saxophonist Anthony Braxton.

His scores are incredibly complex and normally written using notation that he has developed.

One example of sound classifications (not notes, types of sounds) from one of his scores -

Image

More here: http://www.criticalimprov.com/article/v ... le/462/992

You also might want to check into Ornette Coleman's work...

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


- Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio
User avatar
By Carl
#29027
e2c wrote:You also might want to check into Ornette Coleman's work...
I've heard of the "harmolodic" or whatever his technique is called. However I've never heard a good description of it....

C
By djembeweaver
#29030
e2c wrote:Or (in other words), maybe you'll need to create your own terminology
Humpty Dumpty took the book and looked at it carefully. 'That seems to be done right —' he began.

'You're holding it upside down!' Alice interrupted.

'To be sure I was!' Humpty Dumpty said gaily as she turned it round for him. 'I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that seems to be done right — though I haven't time to look it over thoroughly just now — and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents —'

'Certainly,' said Alice.

'And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'
User avatar
By michi
#29033
djembeweaver wrote:Humpty Dumpty took the book and looked at it carefully.
You have a point there Jon! :D

Michi.
By djembeweaver
#29044
Did I kill this thread with allegory?

It's just that e2c's remarks reminded me very much of this sequence from Alice Through the Looking Glass. I simply meant to point out that if you make up too many terms you run the risk of making communication more, rather than less, difficult.

Speaking for myself, Anthony Braxton's system looks horrifically over-complicated.

Personally i don't think that microtiming needs notating - a Viennese waltz is swung in a particular way but this is not represented in the score because all the musicians know that that's how a Viennese waltz is played.

Anyway, we seemed to agree on 'Pulse' and 'subpulse'...there's glory for you!

We also agreed that as 'polyrhythm' and 'polymeter' are used differently by different authors (and across different disciplines) they are too confusing to try to define. There are various types of polyrhythm and the exact type can be specified in the relevant post.

That's progress isn't it?

Jon
By bkidd
#29047
Did I kill this thread with allegory?
Hopefully note, but it was a good allegory.
I simply meant to point out that if you make up too many terms you run the risk of making communication more, rather than less, difficult.
Agreed, which is also why I'm not in favor of making new terms.
Anyway, we seemed to agree on 'Pulse' and 'subpulse'...there's glory for you!

We also agreed that as 'polyrhythm' and 'polymeter' are used differently by different authors (and across different disciplines) they are too confusing to try to define. There are various types of polyrhythm and the exact type can be specified in the relevant post.

That's progress isn't it?
Yep, I think we've actually accomplished what Jürgen challenged us to do, which was to explore some of the terms and come to some agreement. Maybe he should chime in though.

Best,
-Brian
User avatar
By e2c
#29050
There are very good reasons for Indian and Iranian classical music using oral systems... one is that written notation would be far too complex.

Just sayin'... (for myself - I don't find Western terminology to be of much use when it comes to djembe/dunun music, and would rather learn by watching/listening, but clearly, that doesn't work for everyone.)
By bkidd
#29051
My understanding of this recent part of the thread was that we were coming up terms we agree upon to facilitate discussions on the forum for people who like to talk about music with a particular framework. It may not be for everyone, but it's helpful for the people who are interested in doing so.

Best,
-Brian
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#29052
sometimes the discussions here loose focus. I like josh's term "thread hijack" much for this (actually, my call for definitions already was). often, this results in loose ends. of course it's a forum, and the loose discussion keeps things vivid and colourful. as for coming to terms with terms, focus is crucial I think.

It seems that three of us (or two and a half, since Brian didn't want to give away the beat) agreed on the terms cycle, pulse, and subpulse. I think that is what is all we need for like 90% of the discussions on the forum. But is it enough for three people to agree on that for the whole forum? and what about the idea of "immortalizing on the glossary"? Can someone of you native speakers try a definition for those terms that we could agree on, if only tentatively, and put in the glossary? Brian already did this with Carl adding a clarification. So Brian, could you try to update the definitions? and can we do that with microtiming as well, perhaps in Rainer Polaks words? and who can do the glossary? Michi perhaps?

Polyrhythm, polymeter, and cross-rhythm seem to be to used in too many different ways to agree on right now. I would like to stream with the actual debate in ethnomusicology rather than stick to classical terminology. those ethnomusicologists are the experts when it comes to theory of african music, so I tend to trust them when it comes to terms and definitions. but then, there is not much for me to dispense with since I have no training in classical music; moreover, those ethnomusicologists do not agree yet on some crucial terminology. I hope I can do some reading in the next couple of months and find some fresh insight (would be fun to share readings). I would report on that here on the forum. what about a fresh start with a new thread that is dedicated to terminology on djembe music so that everybody can see from the name of the thread what it is about. perhaps, brian, you could start by posting those definitions on that thread?
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By michi
#29053
djembefeeling wrote:It seems that three of us (or two and a half, since Brian didn't want to give away the beat) agreed on the terms cycle, pulse, and subpulse.
I can live with those terms. Allow me to use "micro-pulse" instead of sub-pulse if you want to make me really happy ;)
and who can do the glossary? Michi perhaps?
I don't have access to that part of the site. We'll need James for that, as far as I know.
those ethnomusicologists are the experts when it comes to theory of african music, so I tend to trust them when it comes to terms and definitions.
I probably have a little less faith than you do there. There seem to be plenty of inconsistencies among musicologists too. Ultimately, to me, I don't get hung up too much on notation. I'm at odds with it most of the time anyway. I can read and write notation if I have to, but I much prefer to just listen and play it back :) It's similar with terminology: rather than saying "the first micro-pulse after the beat", I much prefer telling people "play this" :)

Cheers,

Michi.
By djembeweaver
#29054
sometimes the discussions here loose focus. I like josh's term "thread hijack" much for this (actually, my call for definitions already was). often, this results in loose ends. of course it's a forum, and the loose discussion keeps things vivid and colourful. as for coming to terms with terms, focus is crucial I think
Oh come on Jurgen...off-topic is where the interesting stuff is often found.

Point taken though: I will try to be more focused and less whimsical in the future!

Jon