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Noise, tonality and whatever?
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:09 am    Post subject: Noise, tonality and whatever? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Ha ha... Laughing



Interesting how the noise word is in used here. Is this the way we should describe music that is not created with discrete notes? We need a better word. I don't think, for example, that much of my music is noise, but rather music that is harmonically expanded in continus time. The word noise implies unpleasantness. There are, however, people who like the term noise to describe their music. Maybe we should start another topic...


Good point. new thread starts here..

Noise is kinda a recent popular term for music that contains a different tonaity than what is thought to be inside of the traditional tonal/harmonic/song style of modern music. One interesting point is that a lot of older avantgarde music which most people these days would say conform to nice pleasant harmonic melodic and tonal rules in fact did sound like noise when it was performed for the first time. Which should prove that the standard set of "rules" can be messed with in order to expand the same "rules". -And that our perception of music in fact can be changed over time.

A digression: One issue I often raise when I discuss modern music and the use of state of the art tech in music is that a lot of old acoustic analog instruments were in fact extremely high tech back then and in many ways still are. Instruments like church organs are in fact mechanical analog synths. The way a lot of .. like orchestral music.. old stuff.. was written.. and how the art of arrangement and orchestration evolved shows that composers did have a kinda of synthesist´s view on how to make those awesome sounds. One might ask if there are lessons to learn here.

Carlo made some cool posts about interesing sites, and he found the long lost Solomon papers. the Solomon papers have been dismissed by some as anal stuff.. rooted in traditional destructive evil ways.. and supposedly the Solomon papers are terrorist stuff aimed at killing invention in music.

I do not subcribe to that one.
What stuff like Solomon papers offers is a way to think about how we do our craft and a nice inspiration for exploring new directions in music.. but what do I know.. Very Happy

You guys? Any Thoughts?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://www.obsolete.com/120_years/machines/futurist/
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Luigi Russolo wrote:
"Ancient life was all silence. In the 19 century, with the invention of the machine, noise was born Today, noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibilities of men"

Luigi Russolo 1913


Luigi Russolo was ahead of his time (btw he was Italian Very Happy )

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Luigi Russolo (1885-1947)

Luigi Russolo was born in Portogruaro (Veneto) in 1885. His father was the local cathedral organist and director of the Schola Cantorum at Latisana. While his two elder brothers graduated from the Milan conservatory, Russolo, after joining his family in Milan in 1901, chose to pursue painting.

In 1909 he showed a group of etchings at the Famiglia Artistica in Milan, where he met Boccioni and Carrà. His Divisionist period works were influenced by Previati and particularly by Boccioni in style and subject matter. The following year, after his encounter with Marinetti, Russolo signed both the Manifesto of Futurist Painters and the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting. Afterwards, he participated in all Futurist soirées and exhibitions. His mature Futurist canvases, while open to Cubist influence, drew primarily on the examples of Anton Giulio Bragaglia's photo-dynamism and Etienne-Jules Marey's chrono-photography.

On 11 March 1913, Russolo issued his manifesto L'arte dei rumori (The Art of Noises), dedicated to fellow Futurist composer Francesco Balilla Pratella. Expanded into book form in 1916, it theorized the inclusion of incidental noise into musical composition. With Ugo Piatti, he later invented the intonarumori, noise-emitting machines that allowed the modification of tone and pitch. In 1913-14, Russolo conducted his first Futurist concerts with numerous intonarumori. Audiences in Milan, Genoa and London reacted with enthusiasm or open hostility. Russolo started to contribute to the magazine Lacerba, where in 1914 he published his Grafia enarmonica per gl'intonarumori (Enharmonic Notation for Futurist Intonarumori), which introduced a new and influential form of musical notation.

With the outbreak of the war, Russolo volunteered, like many of his Futurist friends, in the Lombard Volunteer Cyclists Battalion. After being seriously wounded in December 1917, he spent eighteen months in various hospitals. In 1921 Russolo held three concerts in Paris with an orchestra of twenty-seven intonarumori. The performances were greatly acclaimed by Stravinsky, Diaghilev (who had already applauded him in Milan in 1915), Ravel and Mondrian, who devoted a long article to the intonarumori in De Stijl.

Due to his opposition to Fascism, Russolo spent most of his time between 1927 and 1932 in Paris. Beginning in 1922, he invented a series of rumorarmoni, a kind of harmonium which allowed for the extension of tone and pitch by the simple shift of one register. In 1925 he patented the "enharmonic bow" and later the "enharmonic piano." Russolo appeared in three short Futurist films (now lost), for which he also composed the music. He held his last concert in 1929, presented by Edgard Varèse, at the opening of a Futurist show in Paris at the Galerie 23.

In 1931 he moved to Tarragona in Spain, where he studied occult philosophy and then in 1933 returned to Italy, settling in Cerro di Laveno on Lake Maggiore. Russolo published his philosophical investigations Al di là della materia (Beyond Matter) in 1938. In 1941-42, he took up painting again in a realist style that he called "classic-modern". Russolo died at Cerro di Lavenio in 1947.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://csunix1.lvc.edu/~snyder/em/russolo.html
Luigi Russolo and the Italian Futurists  
The Art of Noise
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://www.futurism.org.uk/futurism.htm
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In the middle of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II (now Piazza della Repubblica), the Caffè delle Giubbe Rosse (Cafè of the Red Coats) was the haunt of writers and artists residing in Florence during the period prior to the Great War. Originally an antique wine shop, two German beer makers, the Reininghaus brothers, established this spot as the meeting place for the Florentine German community.
In 1909, at the same time Marinetti's Futurist Manifest was published, a Florentian group had formed around Prezzolini's "La Voce"; The adhesion of the Florentian Group to the Futuristic Movement dates from that moment; and the Caffè delle Giubbe Rosse became its official "office".
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The art of noises was born in Italy...no wonder we are natural NOISICIANS Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Excellent! Very Happy

Italy rules!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Following the links of Russolo is very interesting. I wasn't aware of any of this Futurist stuff. Thanks, Carlo, for posting this. Are there any recordings of this music? I read on one of the links that all of the instruments Russolo built didn't survive WW2. That's a shame.

To me the word noise has evolved into meaninglessness. Sometimes I myself use the term to describe unwanted sound artifacts in my recording or synthesis equipment. I use the term "white noise" to describe a module on my analog synthesizer that produces a wide bandwidth hiss. There is "noise" music which has lots of broadband sounds that with lots of non-harmonic components. I enjoy "noise" music. It doesn't sound unpleasant to me, but beautiful.

When I heard someone say, "Oh, that's just a bunch of noise.", I think the statement is an indictment of the listener, not the musician. I guess that like beauty, noise is in the mind of the beholder.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
noise is in the mind of the beholder.

I would prefer "noise is in the ear of the listener" Shocked Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I often use noise as a description of a set of audio events that are incomprehensible and/or annoying. A lot of the "noise music" does not fit this at all. You guys remember those old Donald Duck comics where Barks is making fun of opera?? He describes opera as a noisy incomprehensible mess. Great fun. ( Of course.. this is also a way to mess with the middle class and their perception of art. )

The futurists are very well known here in Europe. one might want to throw in the dadaists.. related to the futurists.. etc etc. But it is pretty important to mention modernity and the modernist movement also in this context. The main thing is that noise suddenly stopped being noise.. The protests and wild performances of the futurists went away and suddenly we had a lot of serious composers working with sound in a new way. Then radio happened big time and the world got both bigger and smaller at the same time.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
one might want to throw in the dadaists..


I thought about it but dadaists were mostly poets and/or painters, no musicians were involved with this movement
DADA MUSIC HAS YET TO COME Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have some performances on mp3 and mpeg somewhere. Old stuff Very Happy

Anyway, I still think we live in a world where the modernist movement is still valid and the neofuturists should show up any day now. The illusion of postmodernism is just a feature of the nature of modernity.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I often use noise as a description of a set of audio events that are incomprehensible and/or annoying.


A friend of mine once told me that he had a middle-eastern roommate (I will not say which country) and for him, not being used to western music and/or equal temperament, all western music sounded equal. maybe that guy is not representative of the average middle-eastern population or maybe the guy was partly deaf but the reason I am telling this story is that very often the unknown, the incomprehensible, sounds like noise.

Below I gathered a few links regarding various temperaments:

http://sonic-arts.org/dict/eqtemp.htm
http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/scales.html
http://www.ericweisstein.com/encyclopedias/music/EqualTemperament.html
http://www.ma.utexas.edu/users/miker/tuning/tuning.html
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/doc/rap31.html
http://www.indiana.edu/~emusic/hertz.htm
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

More on the same (see previous post):
elektro80 wrote:

I often use noise as a description of a set of audio events that are incomprehensible and/or annoying.


Once I was visiting the American South West (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado). I had rented a car. I entered the so called Navajo Nation and I started receiving the broadcasts of Indian Stations on the car radio. Their music all sounded the same to me Shocked Very Happy
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http://www.americanwest.com/pages/indians.htm

Native American-like PVC Flute
http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/naflute.html

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
very often the unknown, the incomprehensible, sounds like noise.


Right, my point exactly. The interesting thing is that what makes a piece of music incomprehensible might just as well be structure and melodic twists a bit outside of convention. What I mean with conventional in this context is what people are used to hearing, not what composers in general do. These are different matters altogether. Which should imply that "noise" might very well be a matter of perception.

Another conclusion might be that we have a huge potential in exploring "things that do not compute" within music theory and music history. In fact, I guess finding areas or developing areas in music that are slightly "uncomputeable" might be worthile.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
The interesting thing is that what makes a piece of music incompehensible might just as well be structure and melodic twists a bit outside of convention. What I mean with convential in this context is what people are used to hearing, not what composers in general do.

This reminds me of something related. I am reading "The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses" by William Horatio Bates.
He says something like: when the eye looks at unknown objects there may be a perceptional error (visual noise?) and that explains the usual fatigue visiting museums looking at pictures or other objects.
Isn't it an interesting remark? Very Happy
LOOKING (or listening) AT THE UNKNOWN IS ALWAYS TIRING (not always we are patient enough!)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yup.. true. Actually I wrote a piece of music once which picks up on this effect.. well.. my idea was exploring if memory will play you a trick or two.. The piece is called "Blinded By Memory" and is basically about if the perception of structures, events and microdetail will be perceived differently by the audience based on previous experiences. I got the idea based on a visual experience. The full title is "Blinded by Memory - The City That Never Was".



Shocked I suddenly realized using a concept like this for a piece of music is pretty geeky. Hmm.. seems like I have misplaced my pocket protector somewhere...
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

Shocked I suddenly realized using a concept like this for a piece of music is pretty geeky. Hmm.. seems like I have misplaced my pocket protector somewhere...

Check it out:
http://www.pocketprotectors.com/
http://www.geekboys.com/geekWear.asp
http://www.ieee.org/organizations/history_center/pocketprotector.html
The Myth of the Pocket Protector wrote:
The media image of techies as geeks is inaccurate, trite, and a threat to America's digital work force, says technology commentator Richard Hart.
"We're not all propeller-heads," said Hart, a physicist by training and the Emmy-award-winning co-host of the weekly TV show CNET Central. "Why do practitioners of technology have to be different than practitioners of other professions?" 

My guess is that the first pocket protector was originally a tissue. It, like many other inventions, was the result of human ingenuity and common sense.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What can I say.. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
What can I say.. Very Happy

I left you speechless, my dear Master Surfer Shocked Very Happy Exclamation
............once in a while Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

More often than you think, dear Carlo Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Cool
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, well, well... This discussion has got some noise. I mean, pocket protector stuff is not obviously related to the primary topic here. At first it appears to be noise to the topic of what is the meaning of the noise. But , it is nice, pleasant, amusing, and positive in effect. It is a perfect commentary, through analogy, on the topic. So it is not noise. Or at least it depends on the observer.

That said, and getting back to music and sound, there are sounds that are that are very much noise, in the traditional sense of the word, maybe even to futurists. These are sounds that are physically painful and/or are dangerous to our sense of hearing, most probably because of excessive loudness or persistance.

We all try to avoid these sounds, don't we?

Is this something we can all call noise?

Maybe not. I've met people who are oblivious to loud sound. Often, they are drunk. What about deaf people, how do they define noise?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good question. I have no idea. But the concept of noise should be familiar, but it would probably not be understandable in audio terms.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
What about deaf people, how do they define noise?


I would define it an "unpleasant vibration"
(even if deaf people do not hear noise they feel its vibration)
Jeremy Greenberg wrote:

Q: Do deaf people hear anything at all? If their world is silent, how do they dance?
A: Very few deaf people are completely deaf. Most have residual hearing so they can hear some music with or without hearing aids. Many deaf people have low frequency hearing, so they are able to hear the bass sounds of music, which enables them to keep the beat. Some deaf people respond to music by feeling the vibration.


http://www.youth.hear-it.org/page.dsp?page=1234

how about that? Shocked Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:03 am    Post subject: This thread refuses to die Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This thread refuses to die



Quote:
AFTER THE WAR


“Composing has become too difficult, devilishly difficult,” the Devil tells Leverkühn in “Doktor Faustus.” It was partly in reaction to the easy triumphalism of the victory years that composers turned against any hint of a public, affirmative, tonally based style. The rapidity with which twelve-tone and serialist modes of composition took hold in the late 1940's has a great deal to do with a deepening sense of horror at the larger consequences of the war, particularly the Holocaust. No single tyrant had been conquered, as Schoenberg weakly implied in his “Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte”; sensations of universal guilt and existential despair helped push music toward an esthetic of purposeful difficulty.


One of the musical sages of the postwar era was the philosopher and critic Theodor W. Adorno, who, as it happens, had advised Mann on musical aspects of “Doktor Faustus” and helped shape the portrait of anguished compositional complexity contained in that book. It was Adorno who most notably articulated the idea that music must isolate itself completely from a culture capable of mass destruction. Bourgeois mass culture, he notoriously argued, had become a mirror image of the Nazi engine of mass destruction. This was a far-fetched notion, but it caught the fancy of many European composers of the time, particularly in Germany.


http://www.therestisnoise.com/2004/09/world_war_ii_mu.html

read the whole thing...


like:

Quote:
A less talented exponent of multi-textured disaster music was Krzysztof Penderecki, who released a “Dies Irae” subtitled “Auschwitz Oratorio” after making a name for himself with the “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima.” There is an unfortunate tendency for composers seeking ultimate gravity to adorn their work with the inexpressible. Penderecki's vocabulary of air-raid sirens, eerie choral chanting and aleatoric orchestral free-for-alls fulfilled its destiny as a cliché of horror film scores almost overnight.   



http://www.therestisnoise.com/2004/09/world_war_ii_mu.html

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like the electrical definition which implies noise as random interference. Calling somebody's music noise to me is a pretty hefty insult.

I guess I could see a slightly positive version of it as a discriptor of any audio that is new. "what is that noise?" as upposed to "what is that sound?" would imply something jarring and out of place but not nessisarily bad.

Pretty much what I'm saying is noise is more accidental and unintended. Your first creation might be "a noise" but as you use it, it becomes "a sound". Noise is more specific than sound. It implies the "jarring and out of place" bit
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