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Creating a New Musical Style - your way
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kijjaz



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:46 am    Post subject: Creating a New Musical Style - your way
Subject description: What do you do to create a new style?
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I know creating a new style / "new music" is controversial. But I wanna hear more from different people on this topic. Let's explore this idea:

- What mindset do you think one should have to create a new style?
- How does a new style emerge & accepted by the crowds?
- How can we really create something that's really new in music and that people actually feel that it's really a new thing?

Or you can add some other ideas. Just for fun & to explore the universe of music & art ^_^.
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Winstontaneous



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Creating a New Musical Style - your way
Subject description: What do you do to create a new style?
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kijjaz wrote:
I know creating a new style / "new music" is controversial. But I wanna hear more from different people on this topic. Let's explore this idea:

- What mindset do you think one should have to create a new style?
- How does a new style emerge & accepted by the crowds?
- How can we really create something that's really new in music and that people actually feel that it's really a new thing?

Or you can add some other ideas. Just for fun & to explore the universe of music & art ^_^.

IMO musical styles are always part of larger cultural movements. Usually a style will have a beat, a way of dancing, haircut/dress code, unique gathering place, harmonic vocabulary, and mind-altering substance associated with it.

Don't have time for details now but this applies to any pop music movement I can think of from the last 50 years, whether Britpop, psychedelic rock, 70s glam, stoner/doom, hip-hop, Tropicalia, shoegaze, rave, grunge, reggae, punk, 80s buttrock/hair metal, contemporary Nashville country, ambient, techno, house, dubstep...

One of the reasons I've always loved David Bowie is that he's really aware of how these broader cultural factors play into the creation of new music.

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Muied Lumens
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't really pay attention much to genres any more (although I must say that I find "Fidget House" very funny! in name only, mind you, I don't think I have heard any...) - I think these days, new genres are more the result of clever journalism or maybe something even more conspiratory, and I have no time for it all really.

On the other hand, creating something freshly original is always fun, and the only way I know how to do that is by attempting to express myself without any restriction laid upon myself, just letting the inner muse speak freely. It is in fact what I aspire to as an artist. Whatever happens after that is out of my hands.

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A E J O T Z



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

New or slightly new? Most of what's "new" is just tweaked old stuff. I find the Wikipedia list of electronic music genres frighteningly hilarious. Its sheer size is self-parody.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_electronic_music_genres

I think new=original but in most cases "new" means new combinations of old ideas. Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially if you want to be popular. From Steve Miller to Lady Gaga, rearranging old ideas can be very lucrative. And if you want to start the next big "new" thing, its a much safer way to go.

Original doesn't necessarily mean "good." I have more ideas than I have time to execute, so I try to pre-edit out some of the useless baloney even before I start. If I had more time I'd just play everything that comes to mind and edit later. I've done that in the past when I had more time. For example, I have written literally hundreds of rock-ish songs, but I have written only a small number that I now think are particularly good.

You can only be original from your own context. I have the problem of having listened to more examples of more kinds of music than most people. So when a musical line occurs to me, if it sounds familiar, I'm inclined to reject it as "having been done." If I accidentally use a line that has been used elsewhere, who cares? I don't. But I used to.

I have been a pro singer-guitarist and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of singing and I'm tired of guitars but I'm even more tired of show-business. My favorite part of making music is creating, so that's all I do now. I noodle things as they come to mind. I very seldom have a recorder on because recording adds stress and detracts from the spontaneous flow. (I should probably just leave the recorder on until I forget it's there.)

And I only play my synths because they provide endless new sounds and because I'm not very good on keys. On a keyboard I don't have all the mental "ruts" I have from playing guitar for 40 years. I've been "discovering" keys off and on since 1983. If I ever get proficient on keys I'll have to swap them for a theremin, or something.

But for now the "rules" of playing keys are irrelevant to me because I don't even know the rules, and I don't want to.

Blah blah blah, get to the point you rambling old fool.

Here's how to make new music: play.

And I mean "play" like a little kid with a new toy. Forget trying to make a new thing and just play. Stop working at it and play. Play like nobody's listening. Play like every sound and every note is yours to play with. Play like you have no goals, no rules, no time limit. Play like you're only playing to amuse yourself.

Unless you want to be rich and famous. In that case you need to mash Country and Hip-hop together and create a "new" thing.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting answers from all posters so far...

If your interest is making music that is popular, then do what the Marx Brothers did. They performed all of the bits in their movies before live audiences over and over again. They noticed what got laughs and what didn't. They, of course, repeated what got laughs. Their movies were all hits.

So, play for live audiences and pay attention to what they like. You may end up not with a new style, but with a good copy of what the audience already likes. That's entertainment - the entertainment business.

My motivation isn't to become popular, but to enjoy myself though the process of discovery and growth. I think I have my own style, but nobody has discovered it because I'm not in the entertainment business, and I don't care to describe it. Since my music is not commercial, no professional critics or academics have seen the value in describing it.

At recent electro-music events I have noticed an electro-music ethos; not so much an electro-music style. (electro-music includes all music played by active members of this community). I think the electro-music ethos is more important than any individual style. Something special is happening when musicians will travel from all over the planet at considerable expense to play for kindred spirits for no monetary remuneration. There is not an attempt to scoff at the commercialization of music, but rather to ignore it as irrelevant.

At a discussion at electro-music 2011, a point of discussion was raised, "If you give away your music on the internet, then you are saying it is worthless." That is indeed the pop music, or commercial music ethos of the money-based society in which we live. Everything has a price and the price is the indication of it's value. A new attitude, or maybe an ancient attitude is, "I give my music freely. Like the music of the forest or the swamp, it costs nothing. Yet, it is of great value nevertheless, like the essence of my soul."

At electro-music events, and on the events on radio.electro-music.com, I hear great music - priceless.

Ethos over style...

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome A E J O T Z

and nice to see a Kiijaz post! Smile

I find this subject very interesting, in a philosophical way. As I see it, all music comes from a context. Hence, it's not really possible to make new music without connection to previous music. On the other hand, all new music must be different to previous music, otherwise it wouldn't be new music!

Don't know how that helps, but that's music! Smile

/Stefan

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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Every time someone creates a new piece of music, the potential is there to create a new musical style.


Perhaps it happens because the creator of that music is part of a community of like-minded music makers. In this case, the new style tends to be named after that community, such as the "Motown sound" or "Manchester sound" or "Seattle grunge sound" or "downtown NYC no-wave".

Or perhaps it happens because of a more random event. A well-known example is this recording:



...which decades later was rediscovered by someone who took the drum break from this song and created a new musical style with just that drum break.

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emdot_ambient



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Call me old and cynical but I'm pretty much convinced*** that musicology has basically done it all*. As soon as "music" in the academic scene embraced everything from pure noise to a composition made of nothing but rests, that's about it for new.

*As far as new popular music styles go, I don't think we'll ever get anything really radically new until we abandon the blues/rock/chant/rhythm paradigms that have ruled pop music since the beginning of the 19th century. And for that, you need truly new culture in which to grow and breed new forms.

Within our current culture, again purly IMHO, pretty much all that's left is shake-n-bake. As in, take a bunch of different styles/genres from various times and cultures, shake 'em all up, and try to bake 'em into something workable. To my ears that very seldom sounds like a truly new musical form, but does sometimes produce an element of newness (espeically to ears that haven't searched the world's history of music). But this has been going on for over 50 years now. So, even this isn't really new.

All that said, I don't think inventing a styles is really all that important or what an artist should necessarily be doing**. It's far more important to do what you feel inside you, or rather, taking the culture you experience around you and externalizing it, reflected through your experience, interpretation, and criticism.

**Even though some of my favorite artists would (or would have) disagree(d) with that...like Eno or someone like Conrad Schnitzer. Then again, they were fortunate enough to have come of age in a time when there were still new possibilities brought on by changing technology and culture.

***Everything above is false, though I never lie.

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A E J O T Z



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I want to add one more thing.

I told my wife I wanted to make new music and she asked, "hasn't everything already been done?"

The answer is no. With a mere twelve notes per octave available in the standard "European" musical scale we still have infinite possibilites.

Just as no two snowflakes, two blades of grass or two grains of sand are exactly alike, there will always be new tunes to be played.

(I find this truth most striking in very simple yet profoundly evocative melody lines. A favorite example is "Walking in the Air" from the film "The Snowman." The tune is childishly simple yet rich, powerfully moving and unique. And it's a very recent composition - 1982.)

Now add to this endless melodic possibility the fact that that we in this community use instruments that are capable of an endless variety of sounds. What a fantastic time to be a musician!

And how wonderful that we have electro-music.com where we can share our music and our thoughts about it. People with our shared interest would not be easy to find without the miracle of the internet.

I'll try to shut up now.

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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I really like and agree with what Mosc has to say here. I think we are doing exploration at those electro-music festivals. Sometimes it is expansion of relatively familiar territory, and sometimes it is deeper. I always feel like a good new composition or impovisation is discovery, more than it is invention. We are exploring deep space.

emdot_ambient wrote:
Call me old and cynical but I'm pretty much convinced*** that musicology has basically done it all*. As soon as "music" in the academic scene embraced everything from pure noise to a composition made of nothing but rests, that's about it for new.

Old and cynical! (Sorry, couldn't resist Twisted Evil )

Pure noise and all rests are actually pretty close - little structured information content. Even if they were at opposite ends of a descriptive continuum, descriptions are only that. If there were a comprehensive theory that covered all music, it would no more subsume all music than a comprehensive theory of physics would eliminate the benefits and novel experiences of exploration of deep space. Musicology is a shadow. Rules are generators, but they are not the myriad things generated when artfully applied.
Quote:

*As far as new popular music styles go, I don't think we'll ever get anything really radically new until we abandon the blues/rock/chant/rhythm paradigms that have ruled pop music since the beginning of the 19th century. And for that, you need truly new culture in which to grow and breed new forms.

Some of my more novel electro compositions derive from listening to people complain about old crap at a festival, and then using that old crap as the basis of a new composition. Last year I heard somebody say, "I don't care if I never hear a 12 bar blues again," so the next piece I composed for summer solstice 2010 started out with the 12 equally tempered notes as blues harmonica samples that I detuned, beat against each other, processed in various ways to get my electro "bed of lettuce," and then finger picked heavily processed blues guitar synth over top of it. Was it blues? Was it electro?

Was it a synthesis of existing stuff? Sure. You always reuse some vocabulary and syntax and semantics and discourse when making a statement, whether the statement itself has much to say that is old or new. If you have to invent a new language every time you want to say something new, you are going to wind up saying very little.

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Don't mistake getting a little jaded for lack of anything fresh to say.

As for styles, I don't really care. I'm only in it for the fun.

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emdot_ambient



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Acoustic Interloper wrote:
Last year I heard somebody say, "I don't care if I never hear a 12 bar blues again,"

That was me. Or it could have been me. I don't really care if I ever hear a 12 bar blues again.

Acoustic Interloper wrote:
... so the next piece I composed for summer solstice 2010 started out with the 12 equally tempered notes as blues harmonica samples that I detuned, beat against each other, processed in various ways to get my electro "bed of lettuce," and then finger picked heavily processed blues guitar synth over top of it. Was it blues? Was it electro?

No, but it doesn't sound as if it was anything particularly new.
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adobe



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You guys make music with standards and formulas?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's all the same old immortal electrons and protons (remember, the amount of matter/energy in the universe does not change), being endlessly recycled in different combinations. But at any given moment, there has never been exactly THIS combination of quantum particles at THIS point in time in THIS universe. So at the quantum level, there's a new combination every nanosecond. The same is true for the entire body of music of all kinds produced by our species.

And no, I use no rules or formulas - just whatever feels and sounds right.
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A E J O T Z



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I consider many musical rules; I just don't necessarily adhere to them. It's easy to break rules and it's easy to ignore rules. I try to please my own ears, which usually results in a "music-law" compromise of some kind.

Also, when I discuss creativity I use expressions that may not accurately describe the processes I use when noodling. "Half of what I say is meaningless" and all that rot.

Bottom line: you like my noise or not.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

adobe wrote:
You guys make music with standards and formulas?


Yeah. Whatcha gonna do 'bout it?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

GovernorSilver wrote:
adobe wrote:
You guys make music with standards and formulas?


Yeah. Whatcha gonna do 'bout it?


Easy there, big fella. Let's not escalate things. Smile

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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
GovernorSilver wrote:
adobe wrote:
You guys make music with standards and formulas?


Yeah. Whatcha gonna do 'bout it?


Easy there, big fella. Let's not escalate things. Smile


I tried to say that with a Brooklyn accent but it somehow didn't come through. Oh well. Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

GovernorSilver wrote:
mosc wrote:
GovernorSilver wrote:
adobe wrote:
You guys make music with standards and formulas?


Yeah. Whatcha gonna do 'bout it?


Easy there, big fella. Let's not escalate things. Smile


I tried to say that with a Brooklyn accent but it somehow didn't come through. Oh well. Smile


It came through just fine. Smile

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: new style Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i think its down to expanding what you like
the more you love what there is to love about any other styl (including pop/country/rock) the more complex your own music becomes because your references are complex

next its down to redoing stuff over so it developes its own character

well ...

hopefully!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A E J O T Z wrote:
With a mere twelve notes per octave available in the standard "European" musical scale we still have infinite possibilites.

Just as no two snowflakes, two blades of grass or two grains of sand are exactly alike, there will always be new tunes to be played.


Good to see those two sentences right next to each other! I once wrote a piece called Snowflakes with 31 notes per octave.

Gordon.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yikes! Sometimes 12 is too many for me!

Some asian scales are interesting. I love Ravi Shankar's music, although I really can't keep track of things in my head.

I saw Ravi perform and swap licks with John McLaughlin and Yehudi Menuhin! That was some amazing flying fingers; all 30 of them.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

emdot_ambient wrote:
Call me old and cynical but I'm pretty much convinced*** that musicology has basically done it all*. As soon as "music" in the academic scene embraced everything from pure noise to a composition made of nothing but rests, that's about it for new.


I don't think that exploring/defining the outer limits of a system, is in itself enough to spoil things (i.e. it doesn't make it impossible to find worthwhile nice surprises closer to home). It just means that the things still left to be discovered aren't as much of a shock as, say, first hearing the RCA synthesiser in the 1950s.

In my early days making tracker music on the Amiga I thought I was mostly doing my own thing, but as I started to approach a tolerable level of composing skill, it became clear that rather than having a style of my own, I had basically been failing to imitate Jarre. Since then I've picked up a totally insane combination of influences from Tangerine Dream (and the many bands containing Mark Shreeve who does the analog sequencer thing brilliantly), to Steve Reich, to Giacinto Scelsi (not electronic at all). And now I even listen to some early music on Radio 3, and am currently trying to learn counterpoint from a book, which is painfully slow but it has started paying off even after just the first species. study

So I've come to think that, if you want to develop a new style of music, it can be helpful if you like some different kinds of music that are hard to reconcile with each other. Combining existing styles gives you some kind of broad goal that's a bit less scary than starting with a new blank sheet of paper. But it still forces you to do some real work, in the course of which you need to be open to finding broken ideas that you might fix, and accidental discoveries that do turn out to be quite new.

Also, I find that having diverse influences means I can be composing very different stuff from one month to the next as the different styles fight it out in my head! Although the idea of having a personal style that you know and control completely, may be tempting, I think for a lot of us the most productive thing we can do is learn to live with it being slightly beyond our control. Cool

Gordon

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A E J O T Z wrote:
Yikes! Sometimes 12 is too many for me!


In that project, I reckon I didn't even use half of the 31 available - they were just there in case I needed them.

A E J O T Z wrote:
I saw Ravi perform and swap licks with John McLaughlin and Yehudi Menuhin! That was some amazing flying fingers; all 30 of them.


Laughing Even more amazing that the 30 fingers were attached to a mere 6 hands! I'm currently working on some programmed digital organ stuff (31-note tuning again, as it happens) that has no regard for the wonky fingers of a mortal humanoid...

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: Creating a New Musical Style - your way
Subject description: What do you do to create a new style?
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Winstontaneous wrote:

IMO musical styles are always part of larger cultural movements. Usually a style will have a beat, a way of dancing, haircut/dress code, unique gathering place, harmonic vocabulary, and mind-altering substance associated with it.


This is a good point. It appears that much artistic expression is associated with some artistic or cultural movement. This is really why I started this web site, to develop a community, dare I say a movement, where a new kind of music can evolve. After a few years, I don't think electro-music has a particular style, but I observe a distinct ethos in this community. I'm starting to think that this ethos, yet to be described, transcends style. Style is exclusive, ethos is inclusive; at least ours is.

I think I'm being redundant.

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