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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Polyphony - less expression?
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:

Hmm, I'd think it would require a lot of actuators & mechanics & stuff ...


Well, I was counting the pedals as a part of the guitar. Perhaps that´s cheating, but I´ve had some nice noodles going on by placing the guitar close to the speaker and tuning the pedals. I also placed coins between the strings to tune the harmonies; good fun.

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

g2ian wrote:
I wonder how an orchestra would sound if all the members played like soloists?


I think you are implying a link that isn´t there. A "solist" is a function within a piece, not a way of playing nesicarily, there´s no reason why he or she couldn´t play chords, just like a large orchestra will have many monophonic instruments such as a the coper section.

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ian-s



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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
I think you are implying a link that isn´t there. A "solist" is a function within a piece, not a way of playing nesicarily, there´s no reason why he or she couldn´t play chords, just like a large orchestra will have many monophonic instruments such as a the coper section.


No, I meant “soloist”. I was trying to point out that with greater polyphony, the need or even desirability of expressive articulation of individual voices is diminished. This may be why Jazz musicians take turns to solo.
Yes you can play a solo on a polyphonic instrument but it is not the same as six (for example) individuals playing a 'solo' at the same time.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quite right, I think there is a link between orchestras and sonological "clouds" where the meaning of one voice is less important then the overall sound. The envelope and pitch might still be very relevant but modulation probably not.

Good point, I think we can say this phenomenon mainly affects small ensembles or their electronic equivalent. I do however think that most electronic music falls in that category, particularly the more popular styles.

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dmosc



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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

some really great points in here and in interresting read. I'm sorry I didn't discover it earlier!

I love this quote from chuck:

Quote:
Many people I know and work with claim that all forms of electronic music are non-expressive. Do you believe that? If you do, imagine that producing music electronically is a very new element of music history. We have a lot to learn about this medium in order to be expressive, and many people have a lot to learn about listening to order to hear it.


Also, g2ian's point is very in tune with choral music, particularly accapella where the "instrument" is 24 sets of vocal chords, not 24 instruments. My choral director from my alma matter (Bucknell University) was very accomplished and was offered a job at a much more prestegious music school than bucknell but turned it down. He says the reason was their chorus sounded like 24 individuals and he'd rather have 24 less talented singers who would listen to eachother and sing togeather. The human voice especially blends well.

I am reminded of another point from this forum that the "monophonic" sounds we all talk about are not usually simple 1 frequency waves. "polyphony" is already in every sound we hear to one extent or another.

I think there is a point that multiple dynamic voices can start to loose expression. The human brain seems to be limited in being able to detect only a handful of dynamic sounds at the same time. This is another problem I sometimes have with electronic music as things that are technically possible and technically interresting are often above the human level to process.
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