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 Forum index » Discussion » Diversity in electro-music
Do you think or do you feel music?
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phoenix



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:50 am    Post subject:  Do you think or do you feel music?
Subject description: Is music to you psychologically deterministical or indeterministical explainable?
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Why music?

We all hear using ears. What we make with music is quite different for each one of us:

Determinism:

Music is logically explainable and this explanation is the same if it is read tomorrow again.
Some people in this page seem to discuss about deterministic music, i.e. music whose structure is clearly logical. Clavia sounds for example can be copied 100%.
Some people think that neurologically, music can be understood (There exists a language with words or algebra 4/4, C-Dur, LFO), so it is a cerebral discussable scientifical and talkable thing for ears. This is deterministically 100%, too.

Indeterminism:
But on the other hand, not everything thinkable is deterministic: You have feelings which tell you everything is well although you can not prove logically why. This is called indeterministic. We love music, it lets us feel good and bad.

Are you rather deterministically or indeterministically communicator of music?
If you are not communicating using music, is there any sense behind determinism?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In my case, I think that making (composing) music is mostly done by the seat of the pants, but the implementation (sequencing, recording) of it usually requires a rather deterministic process of programming and tweaking. Although the composing may not be very planned, there's usually something to convey. That 'message' may not always be apparent before the composition is done, whereby it is revealed to the composer... (still speaking for myself) In the end the message may be very vague, and in any case it is up to the listener to interpret it.

phoenix wrote:

Some people think that neurologically, music can be understood (There exists a language with words or algebra 4/4, C-Dur, LFO), so it is a cerebral discussable scientifical and talkable thing for ears. This is deterministically 100%, too.

I do not believe that to be the case. Inasmuch as there is a formal language, I believe that it can be unique to a given piece. In this view the 4/4, C-Dur, LFO etc. are merely the heartbeat, breath and syllables that can give rise to language.

You may be interested in the thread Semantics in Instrumental Music? In that thread elektro80 says:
elektro80 wrote:
Music, at least how I see, does not allow for an encoding - decoding sequence that allows the listener to see in detail exactly what the composer intends.

- which is a brilliantly simple way of expressing something which I believe too. This indicates that the determinism or message you put into the music is in no way guaranteed to be understood by the listener. However, I like music that have some mystery to it, so that's fine by me Smile

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

We have some related threads here already: Very Happy

Noise, tonality and whatever?

L'art pour l'art

A discussion of the symphonic poem

Man vs. Machine or ManMachine?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I definitely feel music. smokris definitely thinks it. It's pretty interesting when we try to work together. Not that I think he doesn't feel it at all, obviously he does or he wouldn't like it so much. And I am working on getting better at 'thinking' music, since I think being able to do both gives you real creative freedom.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like music to have both determined and indetermined parts.
For example, when I'm working on an idea I like to be able to click "save" and come back to what I was doing without any doubt that it will be the same. And yet this tends to drag an initially inspired idea down into a over-produced quagmire if you let it go on for too long. So it needs to be tempered with some very "live" or "improvised" parts which are captured as they happen and cannot be repeated. This is of course a generalization, and some pieces won't work if they are not pushed to one or the other extreme.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm a little confused...
By introducing the terms 'determinism' and 'indeterminism' the discussion tends to a philosophic direction, where the formulating of 'determinism' points toward a linguistic direction...

I would tend to the opinion of Uncle Krunkus.

BTW music and ears are not that related to each other, because one can think music, at least, I can... Never use my ears during this process, while my feet are tapping the floor thinking the beat Very Happy

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
I'm a little confused...
By introducing the terms 'determinism' and 'indeterminism' the discussion tends to a philosophic direction, where the formulating of 'determinism' points toward a linguistic direction...


My point exactly, and I guess that is why Dr.Justice quoted me from that other thread.



Wout Blommers wrote:
BTW music and ears are not that related to each other, because one can think music, at least, I can...


I think that is quite common, at least I know that I can think music and I find that quite liberating.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great how you all react on my questions! Thanks for that and all your tips to other discussions!

When humans stopped to be monkeys, they started to make music and they started to speak. It seems to be a special part of human thinking to have emotions (Indeterministic) and logical thinking (determinism).

Babys who start to speak do it by copying sounds and reproducing them. Some might want to understand it, others might want to feel it. In the movie "Rain Man", Dustin Hoffman plays a man whose thinking is quite deterministic- this is called an authistic disease in medicine. He can talk very deterministic, but only in very extreme situations, he reacts emotionally.
There seem to be musicians which are technically brilliant but do not want or are not able to feel what they are playing for emotionally.
On the other hand, there seem to be musicians which do not know anything about musical structure but use sound all day to show their feeling or even get into special feelings- and this can not be the full J.Bach , because he invented a whole language we still use to write down emotions or logical ideas.

I think that in pop,
Björk is a musician which is rather emotional (indeterministic). I love her but many things of her I do not like, because she does not explain them although I hear that they are good, full of emotion.
Beatles are emotional as well as explainable: Lots of tracks creatively produced, Paul McCartney even opened a school now
Britney Spears is quite deterministic in her first CD because she can dance and sing while her producers know exactly how that can be sold musically. In later CDs, she might get more personal and emotional, less deterministic, with the risk to get less money Smile

I have tried my hole life now to understand music and have not found the final cause for me why I do it. On the other hand, there are feelings which tell me all day that emotions in music are fine or nasty to hear and to play. But emotions, of course, do not help me to talk about the things I am working on. You could hear my music, but without me trying to speek and insert determinism to explain my emotions (which are indeterminated), you will not see my inner motions.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I feel what I think I am playing. Since I compose, this shouldn't be a hard one to grok.

Even when I am thinking about the music, it affects me emotionally. Playing Mussorgsky or Debussy makes my skin crawl when I'm playing it, it's just so intense I get the shivers playing it. My own music is composed based on emotions, so it's like painting.

One song I can't play and not get all sniffly at the same time... Spring can really hang you up the most...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I strongly suggest to skip the determinism-indeterminism discussion here, specially if the term 'emotions' is coupled to it. Emotions are mostly deterministic too (Well, only not when you hear the answer: "Just because I feel this way..." Smile Indeterminism implies a (complete) free will or chance or even chaos...

Correct me if I'm wrong.
Anyway, are we talking 'emotions' in music now?

Wout
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:
I feel what I think I am playing. Since I compose, this shouldn't be a hard one to grok.


At last! There are way to few Heinlein references these days.

Grok comes from Robert Heinlein´s book "A Stranger in A Strange Land" - published in 1961.

From the book:

Quote:
'Grok' means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed - to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science - and it means as little to us (because we are from Earth) as color means to a blind man.



As such, this is close to the creative flow state that both composers and musicians will often find themselves.





.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
I strongly suggest to skip the determinism-indeterminism discussion here, specially if the term 'emotions' is coupled to it. Emotions are mostly deterministic too (Well, only not when you hear the answer: "Just because I feel this way..." Smile Indeterminism implies a (complete) free will or chance or even chaos...


I agree.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
I strongly suggest to skip the determinism-indeterminism discussion here, specially if the term 'emotions' is coupled to it. Emotions are mostly deterministic too (Well, only not when you hear the answer: "Just because I feel this way..." Smile Indeterminism implies a (complete) free will or chance or even chaos...


At the risk of going exactly where you want us not to go; do I understand correctly that you feel that this determinism-indeterminism duality means true "free will" also means "not caring"? I find that a very interesting thought, kinda like a logical extension of "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose".

Personally I find the whole determinism-indeterminism debate for real-world situations about as meaningful as a debate about the existence of (a) God because I don't think either can be conclusively proven by empirical means.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There are music for feel, and music for think, and both.

There are days that you are more sensitive and there are days that your mind needs work.

Also you can feel the thought that the music has caused. And you can think the feelings that the music has caused.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
... determinism-indeterminism duality means true "free will" also means "not caring"? ...
I never wrote these things, Kassen, but I believe 'determinism-indeterminism' are wrongly used in this context. Both are build around the term 'free will', not around 'thinking, caring, emotions, and-so-on'. The first denies the role of the free will, where the other gives it the highest priority.

If you know another definition of both, please enlight me...

Wout

PS
A composition in a deterministic point of view is that piece of music the composer had to come up with, regarding his education, his youth, the food he ate, which discussion forum he is subscribed to, and-so-on, where all these things are not trace-able in the indeterministic view.

But what has empirism to do with it?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I almost derive the terms "technician" vs. "artist" from that. I know a lot of good musical technicians. Not a composing bone in their body, but they can play like a demon. And I know artists who are wonderful composers but not wonderful players. I do know some who are both. I won't say if I hate them or not.

I've had the conversation with technical players, do they feel their music, they invariably reply "yes, of course". So do artists, but I get into more conversations about what they are feeling. So I don't know how deterministic or indeterministic this is. I can only equate "feeling" music to "deriving emotion from music", because this is how I think.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:
... So I don't know how deterministic or indeterministic this is. ...
In my opinion totally nothing...
That's why I opose these terms.

Wout

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
EdisonRex wrote:
... So I don't know how deterministic or indeterministic this is. ...
In my opinion totally nothing...
That's why opose these terms.

Wout


I guess I am agreeing with you.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Haha this conversation is so electro-music... we're nerds.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:
So I don't know how deterministic or indeterministic this is.


OK determinism, Indeterminism might be words which are used much more philosophically than I want to ask. I am asking 'empirically' because of a weird situation that I had: My brain has been operated last year (My name Phoenix is getting more and more realistic- if you want the deterministic answer why, let us meat and drink some beer) and my possibilities to concentrate on logical thinking (determinism) is currently quite low. So I started to concentrate on my feelings and just listen to music without knowing any of its meanings. It is currently hard for me to understand what is being said even if they sing loudly because a part of my brain which only we intelligent apes have (not the ones we see in a zoo) has been switched off by my neurosurgeon.

The weird thing is: I start to like quite different music than I liked before. Before, I was in my eyes a rather deterministic looking guy. Since my impossibility to understand music logically, I start to love music which only talks to me by using feelings . As you can see, I CAN still speak and understand what you discuss- it is much harder for me if I do not see it but only hear it. I find this fascinating- music is currently starting to be much more lovable by just feeling it, without trying to understand it.

Is it not funny that emotion and logical tinking might be something to decide on- but, on the other hand, a certain gometrical structure of your brain does decide for you.
After my operations, I was not sure about my future, so psychologically, I tended to indeterminism, too. Maybe that is another cause for me to concentrate on feelings rather than on explanations. I do not know how long I will live- and I am not looking for a deterministic explanation.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bbinkovitz wrote:
Haha this conversation is so electro-music... we're nerds.



Shocked Laughing


Quite right, but we won´t reveal the fact that a simple discussion of Worcestershire sauce will render pretty much the same result.. possibly with the only difference that someone would decide on namedropping Goethe early on in the exchange of ideas. Worcestershire sauce is one uppity little bugger.

Shocked


Oh shit... we are nerds.. Shocked

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

phoenix wrote:
EdisonRex wrote:
So I don't know how deterministic or indeterministic this is.


OK determinism, Indeterminism might be words which are used much more philosophically than I want to ask. I am asking 'empirically' because of a weird situation that I had: My brain has been operated last year (My name Phoenix is getting more and more realistic- if you want the deterministic answer why, let us meat and drink some beer) and my possibilities to concentrate on logical thinking (determinism) is currently quite low. So I started to concentrate on my feelings and just listen to music without knowing any of its meanings. It is currently hard for me to understand what is being said even if they sing loudly because a part of my brain which only we intelligent apes have (not the ones we see in a zoo) has been switched off by my neurosurgeon.

The weird thing is: I start to like quite different music than I liked before. Before, I was in my eyes a rather deterministic looking guy. Since my impossibility to understand music logically, I start to love music which only talks to me by using feelings . As you can see, I CAN still speak and understand what you discuss- it is much harder for me if I do not see it but only hear it. I find this fascinating- music is currently starting to be much more lovable by just feeling it, without trying to understand it.

Is it not funny that emotion and logical tinking might be something to decide on- but, on the other hand, a certain gometrical structure of your brain does decide for you.
After my operations, I was not sure about my future, so psychologically, I tended to indeterminism, too. Maybe that is another cause for me to concentrate on feelings rather than on explanations. I do not know how long I will live- and I am not looking for a deterministic explanation.


This gives me a lot of understanding. Idea Shocked Wow.

I do not know which part of your brain they worked on. I will guess that it was frontal, as our emotions and creative thinking are there. But most brain surgery affects multiple areas, as the neuron paths are disrupted and this is a big trauma for the computer that is our brain and it manifests itself in behaviour changes.

That said, people use music in different ways. It's not a simple story. Music is part of humanity in much the way that sex is, as far as I can tell. Most people have some appreciation, many people have aptitude, and some people have brilliance. And everyone has a different opinion. It is very subjective, and it is part of our social culture to classify ourselves via our musical tastes. That, and having multiple musical tastes implies wider education and worldliness.

I'll need to think about all of this some more.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: To Tobias Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Now your are much clearer Smile

The operation, that's determinism in its pure form. I think you had a choice out of two: an operation or something else, which was perhaps much worst. Your will wasn't capable to change this all.

After the operation you are able to accept the change in your mind, which is indeterministic as hell Smile You are willing to accept it, by using your free will.

I know it's all very micro level philosophy, just concentrated on one human being and on that level the free will is much more powerful.

Determinism and all are much more used in historical thinking (e.g. Marxism is very deterministic) then in the medical science or psychologic points of view.

Still, to me there is still no connection to music itself.

Wout
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
I never wrote these things, Kassen,


Oh, sorry, I thought you did and I found it quite a interesting and radical idea, especially;
Quote:

Indeterminism implies a (complete) free will or chance or even chaos...


I'm getting the impression there you see "free will" as something outside of the scope of cause and effect. In my experience, if something "causes" me to do something that shows and is because of me caring, hence that rather odd jump.

Empiricism has everything to do with it, as I see it. As I see it it's fundamentally impossible to test conclusively whether any one event is deterministic or in-deterministic. Hence, those terms as applied to the real world are about as meaningful to me as questions about God (so potentially quite relevant but also fundamentally unanswerable and in the scope of religion) . You can hold, as you said you did, that (most) emotions are deterministic, somebody else might disagree and hold them to be based on such complicated processes that we can't meaningfully make that claim. One person might hold that "free will" is a "higher" concept outside of that sphere, perhaps like a "soul", another could see both as part of a larger deterministic process. likely many pick something else altogether.

I attempted to side-step that and took your interpretation of the "free" bit to mean "free of outside influence" which is how I liked it to "not caring" (on a admittedly exaggeratedly practical level ) and link that in turn to ms Joplin.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you altogether but seeing it that way suddenly makes a lot of practical sense to me either way, so thanks :¬). (I also get a lot of joy from mis-reading signs....)

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