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The End of Common Practice
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:46 pm    Post subject: The End of Common Practice
Subject description: recommended reading!
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The End of Common Practice

Initially, the effect of equal temperament on Western music was probably beneficial. Composers obtained the ability to modulate freely and to build complex chromatic harmonies that had been impossible under the meantone system. As a result, abstract instrumental music flourished as never before, yielding what is generally considered the "golden age" of Western music. Like a plant stimulated by chemical fertilizers and growth hormones, music based on equal temperament grew rapidly and luxuriously for a short period—then collapsed. If equal temperament played a prominent role in stimulating the growth of harmonic music in the common-practice era, it played an equally large part in its rapid demise as a vital compositional style. Twelve-tone equal temperament is a limited and closed system. Once you have modulated around the so-called circle of fifths, through its twelve major and twelve minor keys, and once you have stacked up every combination of tones that can reasonably be considered a chord, there is nowhere left to go in search of new resources.

This is essentially where Western composers found themselves at the beginning of the twentieth century. Everything that could be done with the equally tempered scale and the principles of tonal harmony had been tried, and the system was breaking down. This situation led many composers to the erroneous conclusion that consonance, tonality, and even pitch had been exhausted as organizing principles. What was really exhausted was merely the very limited resources of the tempered scale. By substituting twelve equally spaced tones for a vast universe of subtle intervallic relationships, the composers and theorists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries effectively painted Western music into a corner from which it has not, as yet, extricated itself. Twentieth century composers have tried in vain to invent or discover new organizing principles as powerful as the common-practice tonal system. Instead, they have created a variety of essentially arbitrary systems, which, although they may seem reasonable in the minds of their creators, fail to take into account the capabilities and limitations of the human auditory system. These systems have resulted in music that the great majority of the population find incomprehensible and unlistenable.


arrow http://www.justintonation.net/primer2.html

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I would say that social function, particularly religious function, rather than temperament is the cause of the demise of Western art music. It's no accident that jazz caught fire right around the time that the German art music tradition was turning inward somewhat autistically. Art music embraced the ideal of objects for aesthetic contemplation, but I really believe that music dies when it divorces itself from human connection.

By "religious function" I include both Apollonian (meditative, "spiritual seeking") and Dionysian (cathartic, wild) types. Danceclubs, though commercialized and somewhat debased, serve a valid spiritual function. Not surprisingly this is where electronic music is not just "practiced" but ALIVE.

If justly-tuned music sticks to the art music model of works of art existing to explicate their own organizing principles (and these 2 paragraphs show no indication of escaping this model), it will wither and die just as quickly as the 12-tone avant-garde decried here.

James

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:

If justly-tuned music sticks to the art music model of works of art existing to explicate their own organizing principles (and these 2 paragraphs show no indication of escaping this model), it will wither and die just as quickly as the 12-tone avant-garde decried here.

James, never mind "wither", JI afaik has never blossomed, sofar (except inside small "inner circles").

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's almost 100 years after Schönberg invented his new system and over 50 years that serialism was presented. It's always been only around 3% of the population that would listen to "art music", which I would define as: music that doesn't serve a different aspect of life, it's just music. Music you have to put some energy of your own in to appreciate it.

Using music as a catalysator for social (dance hall, club, peer group) or economic (choose who you want to bash) reasons is alright, don't get me wrong, and I listen to it all the time. But at least my world would be much poorer if there wasn't "pure" music, and I'm not only talking about Bach but about the 20th century composers as well.

1) Contemporary Music is only not understood by people who expect 19th century music when they go to a concert.

2) There's a lot of really bad 20th century music because time hasn't yet had the time to choose.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sebber wrote:
There's a lot of really bad 20th century music because time hasn't yet had the time to choose.

would you mind to elaborate on that Question I don't get it Shocked

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What I'm trying to say is:
when we would be living in Mozart's time and would go to a concert we would hear not only Mozart's music but that of his lesser colleagues, too. Time (I say time, it's actually a very complex socio-musical process) filters the good from the bad and when we go to a classical concert today we hear a "best of 1770s" program.
When I go to a classical contemporary concert today I'm happy when one of the pieces is good, because there's no "filter" yet and most of the music will be forgotten soon. Most premieres don't make it to another performance, only about 20% are played twice. An opera composed today is considered a huge success when it's staged in five different houses.
If I go to a contemporary concert and expect to hear a masterpiece that moves me like a Mahler symphony does I will most likely (99%) be disappointed. Instead the mindset should be: give them a chance and if I'm lucky I'll hear something I've never heard and maybe it even fits my taste.
Same thing with newcomer pop-bands, experimental music, art in general btw.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

now I see, thanks Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:
I would say that social function, particularly religious function, rather than temperament is the cause of the demise of Western art music. It's no accident that jazz caught fire right around the time that the German art music tradition was turning inward somewhat autistically. Art music embraced the ideal of objects for aesthetic contemplation, but I really believe that music dies when it divorces itself from human connection.

By "religious function" I include both Apollonian (meditative, "spiritual seeking") and Dionysian (cathartic, wild) types. Danceclubs, though commercialized and somewhat debased, serve a valid spiritual function. Not surprisingly this is where electronic music is not just "practiced" but ALIVE.


Great points.

It strikes me that all the context for music mentioned or implied here (churches, Jazz clubs (early on that basically meant brothels..), nightclubs, etc) are all places where music is just one element of a gathering. They may have led to great artistic acomplishments, from Bach to Duke Ellington to Aphex Twin but people atended them for more then just the music, people go places to share their religion, get drunk, dance or pick up other singles; in a way it could be argued that there was a market for this music because it was/is functional within a larger context. To a greater or lesser extend they were/are all "comercialised", much like modern dance clubs. Whatever one's religion, it's hard to deny that churches in the age of Bach were profitable institutions on a finantial level.

While I'm very sceptical about the benefits of the modern tuning and tonal system I don't think the "demise of western art music" can be blamed entirely on this. I don't realy think it has completely falen either. We have to admit that social contexts have changed. Churches aren't as imortant as they once were (socially, I mean!), chamber ensembles have fallen out of fashion. We now have nightclubs but "nightclub art" isn't realy recognised as "art" by "high culture" yet. Still, there are other fields that are thriving and not so surprisingly yet again it's thriving in a context where music is a part of a larger social situation. I think some of the most interesting and creative sound design can be found in television comercials and radio leaders

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It might be unfashionable but I'm playing in chamber music ensembles all the time. And the people who come to the concerts go there for the music solely. There's not much else to see than musicians on a stage anyway, and drinks are not allowed. And no, most of them don't go there to show their bling and are bored while the music's playing.
There are more concerts and more composers today than in any other period. That said, I guess the majority of people today has much more spare time on their hands that 100 years ago.
What made me write, though, is the lack of knowledge the original quoted writer shows. The claim, that only in 20th century music not directly audible principles are used shows a, sorry, complete lack of music historical knowledge. He should have taken a look at the ars nova-disputes in the medival, and who can really follow all voices of a 5-voiced, three themed fugue? And he doesn't give a reason, why changing the pitch of the European twelve octave system would change anything. First of all: why stick to 12 tones anyway? Secondly he/she must have never heard of the 16th tone carillon piano and all the 20th century music that deals with quarter/eigth/third(?) tones. The music he's trying to attack is just the music that tries to solve the problem.
That constant bashing of contemporary music is just as plain studid as saying laptop music is no art (obvious attempt at getting the community here on my side Laughing ).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sebber wrote:
It might be unfashionable but I'm playing in chamber music ensembles all the time. And the people who come to the concerts go there for the music solely. There's not much else to see than musicians on a stage anyway, and drinks are not allowed.


Perhaps there is no need but I'd like to say that I'd be greatly in favour of returning to a chamber ensemble fashion, I was just observing general trents.

Fortunately the general situation isn't that bad; of cource chamber music is still performed and composed and I think that in some cities something quite close to the Jazz-club idea is actually becoming quite fashionable, at least around here.

Another interesting development is that dance-culture is spawning plenty of "listening" events and composers

Anyway, i agree that the quoted author is apparently bending facts to suits his needs. I suspect he's quite aware of what's going on with alternative tunings and tonal systems but we have to admit those things are quite rare and fringe. To me it's a bit exagerated to say the posibilities of the current system have been exhausted as well...

One factor not mentioned yet is the link between mass production of instruments and the onmipresence of the equal tempred 12 tone system.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Quote:
By substituting twelve equally spaced tones for a vast universe of subtle intervallic relationships, the composers and theorists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries effectively painted Western music into a corner from which it has not, as yet, extricated itself. Twentieth century composers have tried in vain to invent or discover new organizing principles as powerful as the common-practice tonal system. Instead, they have created a variety of essentially arbitrary systems, which, although they may seem reasonable in the minds of their creators, fail to take into account the capabilities and limitations of the human auditory system. These systems have resulted in music that the great majority of the population find incomprehensible and unlistenable.


not totally arbitrary

12-tone equal temperament is a system based on the natural overtone series that distributes the comma in an arbitrary fashion -- that is, the comma is distributed equally throughout the circle of fifths such that every interval is a little out of tune while still being useful. Other temperaments distribute the comma unequally which makes the intervals in some keys more perfectly in tune at the expense of intervals in other keys that will be way out of tune.

One of the reasons that the 12-note system has been so successful (whether or not equal-tempered) is that the intervals closely correspond to the intervals that occur in nature.

Any tuning system can create esoteric music

Music that is overly-complex for "general audiences" can be produced with any tuning system.

Tuning systems that are "invented" (i.e., dividing the octave into 14 equal steps) will be farther removed from the natural overtones and will sound different (meaning exotic or unusual). In some cases the tuning system may be very removed from the natural overtone series and the experience of the listener.

An issue with equal-temperament is that all the triads have a similar flavor and one must stack the chord up to 7ths, 9ths and beyond or include non-harmonic tones to add "spice". With non-equal temperament, the triads have different flavors (some 'bland', some 'hot') and opens color possibilities for simple harmonies.

Personally, I don't feel that 12-tone tuning is a lost cause. Technology creates possibilities that are largely untapped. Keyboard folks in general just hit the notes and depend on the piano or organ tuner to make sure they are in tune. The local Rogers rep told me that the multi-temperament feature on their digital organs is one of the least used features. Ah, having multi-temperaments opens a lot of doors...

my listeners hear multiple temperaments without knowing it!

The various temperaments on the digital organ at my church are useful. For example, to accompany chant (when in C) I use Kirnberger temperament that tunes C, F, and G triads to be beatless. The dry and plaintive sound of the beatless intervals give an austere sound to the chant. For hymns I vary the Temperament depending on the key of the hymns and where I want the beatless or strident intervals. Often in the climactic parts, I want more strident intervals. The beatless or almost-beatless intervals give the reeds an ear-bending sound! That early music comes alive with historic temperaments is no secret. Indeed, I use non-equal temperaments all the time -- not just once in a while. (of course, most of the people there are unaware of tuning and temperament issues however they like what they hear Smile )

a MIDI plug-in that I'd wish I had (or could write)

The K2600 (and I am sure other synths) allow user-settable (global)temperaments. However (sniff sniff) it isn't adjustable via MIDI. I believe that you can program a patch to map pitches however you want -- though I haven't explored that (yet).

Most electronic music (including my own) is biased towards 12-note equal tempered tuning and I feel that there is much that can be done with alternative tunings that can produce interesting and accessible music.

My "dream" midi function would contain a user-settable table that would specify a discreet pitch adjustment for each note of the scale, the function would extract the root note from the note-in data (using the Hindemith or some other method) and merge polyphonic aftertouch messages into the data stream that correspond to the pitch corrections for each note. In turn, the MIDI patch would make fine pitch-adjustments with that polyphonic a.t. data. Thus, the notes would tune themselves dynamically to the root in real time. Since the corrections would be user-settable, any subtle and drastic pitch translations would be possible.

(note: this is probably already possible and already been done... if you have info on it please fill me in, thanks!)

It doesn't have to be drastic

Tuning can be modified in manners so subtle that it escapes the casual listener yet gives a "sound" to the music, and can be "mangled", too.

The 12-note scale will likely be with is for a long time because of its closeness to the naturally occurring 5th. However, technology allows flexibility that has not been readily available in the past.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:

Tuning systems that are "invented" (i.e., dividing the octave into 14 equal steps) will be farther removed from the natural overtones and will sound different (meaning exotic or unusual).

right, listen to gamelan music from Indonesia
kkissinger wrote:
My "dream" midi function...

arrow http://www.hermode.de/
hermode (adaptive) tuning is implemented on a few hardware and softsynths
(I do not know if it is your "dream" midi function)
there are also retuning applications:
arrow http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/scala/ (free for PC and Mac)
arrow http://www.nonoctave.com/tuning/LilMissScaleOven/ (commercial, Mac OSX only)

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:

My "dream" midi function would contain a user-settable table that would specify a discreet pitch adjustment for each note of the scale, the function would extract the root note from the note-in data (using the Hindemith or some other method) and merge polyphonic aftertouch messages into the data stream that correspond to the pitch corrections for each note. In turn, the MIDI patch would make fine pitch-adjustments with that polyphonic a.t. data. Thus, the notes would tune themselves dynamically to the root in real time. Since the corrections would be user-settable, any subtle and drastic pitch translations would be possible.


Hell, Yeah!

It's stuff like this that have made me advocate polyphonic aftertouch for years now.

It's possible, technologically, and within the reach of a dedicated developer on modern audio coding systems. The sad thing is that hardware manifacturers don't realise the importance of polyphonic aftertouch as a channel for adressing individual notes as they are sounding.

I would be very interested in reading some more about how you pick and use various tuning systems depending on the occasion. Often when I read people advocating this stuff it's on a theoretical level while you seem to make a very pratical and active use of it. Would you perchance have any links to texts on this?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

It's stuff like this that have made me advocate polyphonic aftertouch for years now.

poly AT is way cool but for retuning you need positive/negative values so the favored controller is pitch bend.

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That quote is taken from "The Just Intonation Primer" (see link) so his point of view is that 12 tone equal tempered tuning was adopted "strictly as a matter of expediency".
sebber wrote:

What made me write, though, is the lack of knowledge the original quoted writer shows. The claim, that only in 20th century music not directly audible principles are used shows a, sorry, complete lack of music historical knowledge.

I don't think he's saying what you are saying
sebber wrote:
he/she must have never heard of the 16th tone carillon piano and all the 20th century music that deals with quarter/eigth/third(?) tones. The music he's trying to attack is just the music that tries to solve the problem.

I am quite sure he would dismiss "quarter/eigth/third(?) tones" as part of those "arbitrary systems" he mentions, not considering them as solutions to 12 tone equal "ill-tempered" tuning. Cool
btw, people has fought for centuries about musical tuning. I do not want to start a "religious" war about any of them Peace Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject: Re: The End of Common Practice
Subject description: recommended reading!
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seraph wrote:
Quote:
The End of Common Practice

Initially, the effect of equal temperament on Western music was probably beneficial. Composers obtained the ability to modulate freely and to build complex chromatic harmonies that had been impossible under the meantone system. As a result, abstract instrumental music flourished as never before, yielding what is generally considered the "golden age" of Western music. Like a plant stimulated by chemical fertilizers and growth hormones, music based on equal temperament grew rapidly and luxuriously for a short period—then collapsed. If equal temperament played a prominent role in stimulating the growth of harmonic music in the common-practice era, it played an equally large part in its rapid demise as a vital compositional style. Twelve-tone equal temperament is a limited and closed system. Once you have modulated around the so-called circle of fifths, through its twelve major and twelve minor keys, and once you have stacked up every combination of tones that can reasonably be considered a chord, there is nowhere left to go in search of new resources.

This is essentially where Western composers found themselves at the beginning of the twentieth century. Everything that could be done with the equally tempered scale and the principles of tonal harmony had been tried, and the system was breaking down. This situation led many composers to the erroneous conclusion that consonance, tonality, and even pitch had been exhausted as organizing principles. What was really exhausted was merely the very limited resources of the tempered scale. By substituting twelve equally spaced tones for a vast universe of subtle intervallic relationships, the composers and theorists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries effectively painted Western music into a corner from which it has not, as yet, extricated itself. Twentieth century composers have tried in vain to invent or discover new organizing principles as powerful as the common-practice tonal system. Instead, they have created a variety of essentially arbitrary systems, which, although they may seem reasonable in the minds of their creators, fail to take into account the capabilities and limitations of the human auditory system. These systems have resulted in music that the great majority of the population find incomprehensible and unlistenable.


arrow http://www.justintonation.net/primer2.html



The musical issues raised are interesting and at times quite entertaining, but the reasoning ( or at least the carnivorous salesman side of this ) is unsound.

Some of the basic arguments are faulty. So this is yet again a discussion of aestethics and a critique of the naugthy noisemakers of the 20th century.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Kassen wrote:

It's stuff like this that have made me advocate polyphonic aftertouch for years now.

poly AT is way cool but for retuning you need positive/negative values so the favored controller is pitch bend.


Of course, poly AT came to mind because it can address individual notes on the same MIDI channel.

Actually, with only positive values, you could establish the middle value (i.e., 64) as the "on key" value and send messages on either side of 64 for flat or sharp. Of course, the receiving patch would have to be pitched to compensate.

I actually tried this on my VZ1 -- since it didn't recognize poly AT I used velocity instead. The VZ1 didn't work so well because the detuning resolution was a whopping 25 cents!

The K2600's keyboard doesn't transmit poly AT however the synth recognizes poly AT. In reality, any message that is note-specific would work for this application.

Thank you for the links... I'm going to check them out.

I'm also going to look at functions within Cubase SX3 -- there are many algorithmic functions for MIDI processing that I have yet to explore (the SX3 package has many functions and would take a LOT of time to master them all). Also, in KCS Omega (I still have it and a few spare Atari computers) there are some very advanced logical functions -- again, many of which I haven't really utilized.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
I would be very interested in reading some more about how you pick and use various tuning systems depending on the occasion. Often when I read people advocating this stuff it's on a theoretical level while you seem to make a very pratical and active use of it. Would you perchance have any links to texts on this?


Well, I am sure there are texts on these topics however I am not familiar with any that address practical music-making -- as you mentioned, it may be easier to discuss the technical specs of tuning systems than to discuss their musical applications.

So, most of what I've learned has been from my own practice with the different Temperaments.

Here a few high-level observations:

Pythagorean

Is good for open-fifth harmonies -- trumpet calls with open fourths or fifths are effective. The thirds are rather "blah", though... neither fish nor fowl. Thus, I don't favor Pythagorean most of the time.

Meantone

... is a Temperament of choice for pre-baroque keyboard music and most hymns. Most major and minor keys work well however beware of any harmonies that include both F# and A# together! These so-called "Goat tones" are great if you want them -- however, you may not like them if you inadvertently modulate into a key that uses them!

Kirnberger

Is especially plaintive for C, F, and G triads. It works well in most keys when playing in the registers lower than the 4' register. Kirnberger can sound harsh when using mutations (i.e. 2 2/3, 1 1/3, etc) and mixtures. It is best for "mellow" registrations. The most strident intervals in this tuning have a nice sound -- definite beats however not "sour" as are the most strident intervals in meantone.

Werkmeister I and III

WM I favors the key of F, WM III favors G. There are no strident intervals and these tunings approach equal temperament. Often I just select WM I for hymns that are in F and WM III for hymns in G.

Young I and II

These are "slightly" unequal -- not too far removed from equal temperament. I have used Young I to add a little "character" to hymns in the flat keys (i.e., A-flat, E-flat, and B-flat). I read that Young tuning is similar to Volotti.

Equal-tempered

Usually the best choice for highly chromatic music (19th and 20th century) and when combining with other sound modules that are in equal temperament. This tuning has a "warm" sound probably because all the intervals are detuned a little bit.

Well, I know these capsule descriptions are not very scientific. The fun thing about any multi-temperament keyboard instrument is that one can do a/b comparisons.

Of course, to play a real pipe organ would be nice however I would miss having all those temperaments at my disposal.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: The End of Common Practice
Subject description: recommended reading!
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elektro80 wrote:

The musical issues raised are interesting and at times quite entertaining, but the reasoning ( or at least the carnivorous salesman side of this ) is unsound.

Some of the basic arguments are faulty. So this is yet again a discussion of aestethics and a critique of the naugthy noisemakers of the 20th century.

Stein, I own that book and have read it carefully.
When he says: "Twentieth century composers have tried in vain to invent or discover new organizing principles as powerful as the common-practice tonal system." he is not saying, imho, that all "art music" of XXth century is meaningless but that after the "golden age" of common-practice (XVIIIth and XIXth centuries) there have not been new organizing principles as powerful as previous ones. Sebber is right, we (so to speak) will have to wait a couple of centuries to see what music will survive the test of time. Right now we can only guess what will be remembered. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm, that argument still seems faulty. However, please consider the:

Quote:
we .. will have to wait a couple of centuries to see what music will survive the test of time. Right now we can only guess what will be remembered


Is it a valid assumption that what survives the "test of time" will be the essential and good stuff? There is still a context to most art anyway and when the context is removed does this change vital characteristics or even the content of the artwork?
If we truly demand of art that it has to have a timeless component ( as in.. the artwork is still popular or accepted as a prized item after X number of years ) aren´t we then also reinventing it and ignoring its context and meaning/impact?

Recommended reading: John Hospers book - "Meaning and Truth in the Arts" - ISBN 0-8078-4008-4 .


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: The End of Common Practice
Subject description: recommended reading!
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Quote:
Instead, they have created a variety of essentially arbitrary systems, which, although they may seem reasonable in the minds of their creators, fail to take into account the capabilities and limitations of the human auditory system.


C'mon, that's not nice, is it? And proof enough of the writers standpoint. I wouldn't hae attacked him like this, though, if he's here on the forum. Laughing

kkissinger, how you work with different intonations is great. I've got an old K1000 and I love to play Bach with an organ sound in different intonations. Suddenly the music warbles everywhere. I have a hard time imagining that Bach didn't compose with the beating (Differenz-Ton in German, don't know the English word).

I disagree with the old "our system reflects the overtones"-theory. And if only for anti-eurocentristic reasons Laughing . But seriously: I don't think that theory can still be a valid theory today. Three reasons for this:
1) a scale built on overtones sounds really different than what we try to sell as the "based on the overtones but with a comma" scale,
2) why 12 tones?
3) is an order based on the colour of the wood of mallets less natural?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: The End of Common Practice
Subject description: recommended reading!
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sebber wrote:
Quote:
Instead, they have created a variety of essentially arbitrary systems, which, although they may seem reasonable in the minds of their creators, fail to take into account the capabilities and limitations of the human auditory system.


C'mon, that's not nice, is it? And proof enough of the writers standpoint.


Yes indeed, it is a good indication of what a significant part of his argument really is about.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:

Well, I am sure there are texts on these topics however I am not familiar with any that address practical music-making -- as you mentioned, it may be easier to discuss the technical specs of tuning systems than to discuss their musical applications.


Yes, exactly!

I found this holds true for many topics in musical technology; there's very little on the emotional perception of tone or even on how to use techniques on a compositional level and plenty to be found on the math and physics of it all.

Thanks for your notes!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

Is it a valid assumption that what survives the "test of time" will be the essential and good stuff? There is still a context to most art anyway and when the context is removed does this change vital characteristics or even the content of the artwork?
If we truly demand of art that it has to have a timeless component ( as in.. the artwork is still popular or accepted as a prized item after X number of years ) aren´t we then also reinventing it and ignoring its context and meaning/impact?


That's a uncomfortably good question.

You can seriously doubt wether the same process that filtered the "classics" is stil available as well.

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