music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:10 am

I had an interesting experience today, involving parallels between music theory, visual art theory, and film theory. Recently I hired a "professional organizer," a young woman named Beth who has worked in cinematography but has chosen to make a primary career out of helping people organize, downsize, pack and move. She is helping me unpack and set up a new apartment.

Although I chose her for her skills in organizing and planning, I got interested in picking her brain about visual art. I am trying to teach myself to create digital art, hoping to create abstracts in the vein of Jackson Pollock and beyond.

I showed her a few of my creations and asked for feedback. We also analyzed some photos we found on the web. I was struck by the first two concepts she explained -- struck by the parallels to how I think of music theory. These concepts were (1) understanding the way the eye is drawn to points within the visual composition, particularly what is noticed first and second, (2) the interplay between "affinity" and "contrast."

Here's how I think of music theory. I dislike much traditional theory, which I call "cataloging."

For instance, when students first learn tonal theory, they are taught what are essentially lists of concepts:

- a list of types of scales
- a list of tones within the scales
- a list of types of chords
- a list of chord functions

Then there are the forms:

- binary form
- rondo form
- sonata-allegro form

and on and on and on.

To my way of thinking this obscures things that are more fundamental.

A musical composition feels like it has

(1) some unifying idea or some way that things feel like they belong together -- what I call "integration" but I now realize exactly corresponds to Beth's mention of "affinity" in cinema

(2) some means of drawing contrasts, which I call "differentiation" but I now realize corresponds to Beth's use of the word "contrast"

(3) A single point of greatest intensity--the climax--and many phrases which have peaks of lower intensity -- this corresponds to the idea of looking at a picture and noticing what draws your attention first, second, third, and so on.

I think that all the phenomena cataloged by first-year tonal theory were invented by composers who were following these three principles. These scales, chords, and forms emerged as realizations of these principles, and I really think students should be given an appreciation of the principles as the primary goal, while understanding the way in which these forms fulfill these principles is secondary.

I don't find this in music theory books, yet here I find a cinema major, Beth, introducing me to these concepts as the first thing she mentions.

I wonder if there is something about cinema and visual art that makes it easier to see the forest and not get lost in cataloging the trees.Or maybe Beth is just one cinema major and just one way of looking at things that happens to resonate.

Anyway, it's interesting to see the parallels.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by John F » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:50 am

Courses in music theory can only teach what is teachable - techniques such as functional harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation. I once worked for the publisher of widely used theory textbooks by Walter Piston in all three of these. I've never seen a comparable theory textbook in "the forms," which are more history than theory, and more germane to analysis than to writing new music.

Your visual artist was dealing in analysis of existing works, not in the artistic creation of new works. Analyzing what has already been done can certainly increase a creative artist's resources, whether or not she/he applies them directly. (Sonata form is not a cookie cutter but a method of creating and resolving harmonic tension.) That's why it's the basis of basic music theory courses.

More generally, the analogy between visual art works, which are static and have no beginning or end, and music, which is dynamic through time, can only be metaphorical. There's no such thing as a climax in a painting or sculpture. As for ways in which things belong together in music, we all believe they exist but we are helpless to define them. How does the finale of the Eroica Symphony belong with the other three movements? Nobody can say. As for contrasts, there's a vast repertoire of music from Gregorian chant to John Cage in which contrast not only doesn't exist but is foreign to the genre.

As for film theory, such as it is, the analogy with music is less forced because both play out in time, partly because music has been applied to drama for centuries and indeed is often included in a movie, partly because some techniques of film such as montage and jump-cuts have long been employed in classical music (cf. "Rite of Spring"). But I don't see that this has a place in music theory as a codified body of technical knowledge that can be taught and the musically literate composer or musician or musicologist ought to know.
John Francis

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:49 am

John, we do see things differently as usual, but I always appreciate your consideration.

Understand that I don't claim to have an absolute perspective on these matters, but I have been having some lively dialogues, with very clear communication, about these ideas with several musicians as well as a fine arts photographer, in addition to the cinema major (and amateur pianist) Beth. I just don't "get out much" in the capacity of composer, but if I did, I am guessing that the majority of creative musicians I would encounter would see music similarly. So I stand by my ideas vigorously, but do recognize there is no single absolute perspective here.

You use the word "metaphor" as if it is disparaging? Whaa? Art is nothing BUT metaphor. The reason that great art moves us so much is that we experience it connecting to parts of life that are bigger than a bit of paint on a canvas or a set of mathematical pitch ratios.

You draw a distinction between analysis and creation that I just don't see. The creative process involves, necessarily, an analysis (whether formal or just intuitive) of what one has already done in order to guide one to the next step, next piece, or next artistic phase. What Beth and I were doing was simultaneously creating and analyzing.

I think it's quite clear that a climax in a musical piece is a kind of focal point. It's clearly analogous to focal points in visual art. Visual art is in fact spread over time -- the *experience* of viewing it is one that unfolds over time.

I can't believe you would say we are helpless to say how things belong together in music. Whaaa? There are countless ways to identify how things belong together. You are probably aware of the use of unifying motives, but you are referring more to the way that contrasting movements, which may have no motives in common, can feel harmonious. I find that the answer is often *balance*. A quite fascinating contrast to me is the first and second movements of Mozart's 20th piano concerto in D minor. The opening piano notes of the 2nd movement have a way of precisely puncturing and deflating, as if putting a tiny hole in a balloon with surgical precision, the storminess of the first movement. I don't have time to go into the details here, but it's easy to find ways that those opening notes mimic parts of the previous movement, leading to a sense they belong together, but also provide a contrasting element that feels completely different and refreshing compared to anything that came before.

The statement that "courses can only teach what is teachable" sounds like a meaningless tautology. The interesting question is how to teach creativity, and if you broaden your view of teaching to something more like *facilitating* then every aspect of creation can be guided and encouraged. A broad perspective, one that put the forest and trees in their proper places, is helpful.

Of course there is contrast in Gregorian chant. A chant is broken into phrases. Some of the phrases will feature scalar motion, while others will feature leaps. Some will move a lot in register, others will be static.

Mike

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:11 am

Two observations. First, as the holder of two music degrees, one specifically in music theory (at which I was not very good at the important level, which is why it is not a Ph.D.), I feel fairly qualified to state that "music theory" used as a term to represent the elements is about as valid as "dimensional analysis" in mathematics, which at the high school level only means realizing that a square whose area is 16 square units has a side with a length of four. There is serious and meaningful music theory, but it is rare. One could mention Schenker, Tovey, Charles Rosen, Schoenberg, oddly Brahms (whose little known Octaves and Fifths has never had an engraved edition, in spite of its importance) the main historical authors of counterpoint, figured bass, and free composition, plus here and there a handful of others, but it is not comparable to the plethora of output in literary or art criticism nor is it very weighted on the modern side as those pursuits are. (In plain English, Harold Bloom is still alive.) The main reason for the difference, with all respect to the "theorists" of other art forms, is that serious music theory is far more difficult,

Second, to paraphrase the best music theorist I have ever known, though his own output is slight for reasons I will not go into, each major Western art form follows its own "rules," for want of a better word. It is easy enough to say that Michelangelo, Shakespeare, and Beethoven are acmes of all time of the arts they practiced, but though they were all European, they lived in different times and in different mileux. In the end, there is little in common worth explication about what makes them all so great.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by John F » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:27 pm

ratsrcute wrote:John, we do see things differently as usual, but I always appreciate your consideration.

Understand that I don't claim to have an absolute perspective on these matters, but I have been having some lively dialogues, with very clear communication, about these ideas with several musicians as well as a fine arts photographer, in addition to the cinema major (and amateur pianist) Beth. I just don't "get out much" in the capacity of composer, but if I did, I am guessing that the majority of creative musicians I would encounter would see music similarly. So I stand by my ideas vigorously, but do recognize there is no single absolute perspective here.

You use the word "metaphor" as if it is disparaging? Whaa? Art is nothing BUT metaphor. The reason that great art moves us so much is that we experience it connecting to parts of life that are bigger than a bit of paint on a canvas or a set of mathematical pitch ratios.

You draw a distinction between analysis and creation that I just don't see. The creative process involves, necessarily, an analysis (whether formal or just intuitive) of what one has already done in order to guide one to the next step, next piece, or next artistic phase. What Beth and I were doing was simultaneously creating and analyzing.

I think it's quite clear that a climax in a musical piece is a kind of focal point. It's clearly analogous to focal points in visual art. Visual art is in fact spread over time -- the *experience* of viewing it is one that unfolds over time.

I can't believe you would say we are helpless to say how things belong together in music. Whaaa? There are countless ways to identify how things belong together. You are probably aware of the use of unifying motives, but you are referring more to the way that contrasting movements, which may have no motives in common, can feel harmonious. I find that the answer is often *balance*. A quite fascinating contrast to me is the first and second movements of Mozart's 20th piano concerto in D minor. The opening piano notes of the 2nd movement have a way of precisely puncturing and deflating, as if putting a tiny hole in a balloon with surgical precision, the storminess of the first movement. I don't have time to go into the details here, but it's easy to find ways that those opening notes mimic parts of the previous movement, leading to a sense they belong together, but also provide a contrasting element that feels completely different and refreshing compared to anything that came before.

The statement that "courses can only teach what is teachable" sounds like a meaningless tautology. The interesting question is how to teach creativity, and if you broaden your view of teaching to something more like *facilitating* then every aspect of creation can be guided and encouraged. A broad perspective, one that put the forest and trees in their proper places, is helpful.

Of course there is contrast in Gregorian chant. A chant is broken into phrases. Some of the phrases will feature scalar motion, while others will feature leaps. Some will move a lot in register, others will be static.
I use the term "metaphor" in the technical sense, to indicate a relationship between unlike things that is imaginative rather than real. In literature, to call something a metaphor is not disparaging in the least; metaphor is an essential element of it. But you haven't been talking about literature.

You say, "The creative process involves, necessarily, an analysis (whether formal or just intuitive) of what one has already done in order to guide one to the next step, next piece, or next artistic phase." Sorry, but though this may be true of you, there's no evidence that any of the famous composers ever worked in that way. Some who taught music theory may have done analysis of existing music for pedagogical purposes - Mozart taught his few pupils counterpoint and used Fux's "Gradus ad Parnassum" as a textbook - but not in the process of creating new music.

You say, "The statement that 'courses can only teach what is teachable' sounds like a meaningless tautology. The interesting question is how to teach creativity." A blatant contradiction which I guess you don't see. Courses are able to teach history, repertoire, technique, and any and all of these may be turned to creative purposes by composers who are so inclined. But creativity, the invention of something new, can't be taught - by definition.

You say, "A chant is broken into phrases. Some of the phrases will feature scalar motion, while others will feature leaps. Some will move a lot in register, others will be static." That's not contrast, it's merely the avoidance of monotony, which literally means singing the whole text on one note. The definition of contrast is "the state of being strikingly different from something else." Contrast is about black and white, not merely shades of gray.
John Francis

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:49 pm

John F --

Let's leave aside the word "analysis" (which I believe you brought into the discussion when you said Beth was conveying concepts useful for analyzing existing art) -- let's say we are talking about "pattern recognition."

If we look at an action painting by Jackson Pollock, we may see numerous similar elements, such as loops that are the same size, roughly the same shape, and same color. The eye (nervous system, actually) picks out these correlations. Furthermore we may see a larger shape into which these elements are arranged, such as a general darkening of color when moving from left to right. The nervous system finds this.

We may also find a focal point -- a place that draws the attention more strongly than other places, and on which the eye feels comfortable resting.

The ability to find a focal point is the pattern recognition ability of the nervous system. Beth was helping me to develop my pattern recognition ability-- in particular to sense the focal point and its relationship to objects around it -- by explaining the patterns that she saw present in my sketches.

We know that Beethoven sketched ideas and gave them a little time before picking the best one. What do you think was going on in his brain during that time? It's obvious that he was perceiving patterns in what he wrote, and giving them the test of time in order to get a deeper and more central perception of what he had written. What else could he be doing?

Some theory is useless for developing pattern-recognition ability. Cataloging chords and scales, for example. But talking about finding a focal point (i.e., climax) is very useful.

I'm the one who used the word "contrast," and I believe it's a fine word to describe the phenomena I'm talking about. The degree of perceived difference between things is always relative to the context. That's how human perception works. In a field of gray, a slightly whiter object will stand out enormously. Contrasts come in different degrees. I have no use for a concept "contrast" that is pegged to some arbitrary, absolute scale that has no regard for context.

It's like saying that an apple falling from a tree has no relevance to the moon orbiting the Earth because they are of such difference size. No, they are both an example of gravity at work.

Gregorian chant is interesting, in part, because successive phrases are contrasting in character. A Mozartian concerto is interesting, in part, because successive movements are contrasting in character. Same phenomenon.

The human nervous system tries to make sense of things by organizing them around a central point or perspective. This is a fundamental property of the nervous system. Thus we have protagonists in literature, focal points in art, and climaxes in music.

Regarding creativity, first let's recognize that the human brain is a creativity machine. In all human beings, creativity is at work from very early on. It's a spontaneous and natural function of humans.

Humans take in what is around them, then use their imagination to vary and recombine the elements. One obvious case is a learning language. At all stages of learning language, from the first words, through high school English classes, through a Ph.D. in creative writing, you could describe the process as "taking it what's around yourself, playing with the elements and sending them out."

There is also a sensing/evaluative function involved in creativity. The brain, whether at a conscious or unconscious level, is checking what comes out and testing its resonance.

Now I am not saying that anyone can be a poet. I'm simply identifying a common pattern... something that is true about the baby learning to talk, and the Ph.D. poet.

Have you ever taught creativity, John?

It can be facilitated in a couple ways.

One is recognize and encourage the natural function at work. If a student comes to me and is "down on themselves" about their abilities or their ideas, I can recognize where they are already doing things well, and point that out. I can shift their perspective from the idea that "I must learn something that I don't know now" to "I can recognize the creative spark that is already part of me."

Second, is to enhance their pattern recognition. This is their guide. You can't get from LA to New York without a map. That's how important maps are. The pattern recognition is their map that orients them and informs them about what they have done up to now, and suggests new directions.

Now, back to the word "analysis." You brought that word in, so if you mean something like academic theory, perhaps you misinterpreted what Beth and I were doing. We were observing patterns in what I created. It's that simple.

There's a link to more formal analysis, which is also a way of observing patterns. I find that all analytical activities provide some juice into my pattern recognition skills.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

diegobueno
Winds Specialist
Posts: 2470
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:26 pm
Contact:

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by diegobueno » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:11 am

ratsrcute wrote: Here's how I think of music theory. I dislike much traditional theory, which I call "cataloging."

To my way of thinking this obscures things that are more fundamental.
You certainly start the most interesting threads on this forum. I admire the way you grapple with big ideas, even if they escape your ability to articulate them. This is why I think you should spend more time, not less, learning music theory. The whole point of this "cataloging", as you call it, is to give you a conceptual toolbox that you can apply to your compositions, and a vocabulary you can use to conceptualize the materials you use and communicate your thoughts about them to others. If you don't know what major, minor, whole tone, octotonic, etc. scales are, there's no way you can talk about them except "you know, the thing that goes hmm hmm hmm hmm".

It might help you be less misunderstood when you post here on CMG (no guarantees, though).
ratsrcute wrote: A musical composition feels like it has

(1) some unifying idea or some way that things feel like they belong together ....
(2) some means of drawing contrasts
(3) A single point of greatest intensity--the climax--and many phrases which have peaks of lower intensity
Yes, that's musical form in a nutshell. You'll read about it in form and analysis soon enough. You have to figure out for yourself how it works in the music you write.

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:21 pm

diegobueno wrote:
ratsrcute wrote: Here's how I think of music theory. I dislike much traditional theory, which I call "cataloging."

To my way of thinking this obscures things that are more fundamental.
You certainly start the most interesting threads on this forum. I admire the way you grapple with big ideas, even if they escape your ability to articulate them. This is why I think you should spend more time, not less, learning music theory. The whole point of this "cataloging", as you call it, is to give you a conceptual toolbox that you can apply to your compositions, and a vocabulary you can use to conceptualize the materials you use and communicate your thoughts about them to others. If you don't know what major, minor, whole tone, octotonic, etc. scales are, there's no way you can talk about them except "you know, the thing that goes hmm hmm hmm hmm".

It might help you be less misunderstood when you post here on CMG (no guarantees, though).
I'm not sure which misunderstandings you are referring to. John F misunderstands me all the time, but he doesn't seem to be interested in abstract concepts at all, so I'm not expecting him to relate.

Note: it's always the "abstractions" I talk about that get people disagreeing, not the concrete phenomenak like scales.

jbuck919 has sometimes misunderstood initially, for instance recently thinking that I was critiquing Mozart himself when I was actually critiquing a performance of Mozart. That's easy to sort out.

I sounded like I was rejecting music theory when I wrote I "dislike" much of it, but the truth is that I have taken two years of academic tonal theory, and I have read several counterpoint books. I own a couple of Schenker books and wish to get into them.

But these books apply to specific styles, or at its broadest, common-practice tonality.

Now that I have made an initial foray into visual art, I continue to find that art theory books are qualitatively different from music theory books. For instance I'm reading a book about Gestalt theory as it applies to the visual arts. It's beautiful stuff. I love how generally it applies ... they are identifying perceptual principles that span all forms of art and design. I've never seen a music theory book like this. Is there anything? Is there music theory that identifies perceptual principles that span different stylistic periods?

I think such principles exist. As I said earlier, "affinity" and "contrast" seem to be fundamental to all styles of music.

Music theory is often focused on the patterns that provide unity. Is there any music theory that identifies the important contrasts between things? For instance, why does the middle movement of a Mozart piano concerto act as the perfect foil to the first movement? I think it must be possible to identify the specific ways in which things are different.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by John F » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:42 pm

<< why does the middle movement of a Mozart piano concerto act as the perfect foil to the first movement? >>

That was Mozart's secret, and nobody knows the answer. Not even Charles Rosen in "The Classical Style," which goes more deeply into its subject than any other book in English I know. Those movements relate only in their keys; the slow movement is usually in the dominant or the relative minor of the first movement's tonic. But that isn't what you're talking about.

Mozart sometimes substituted a new movement in an existing work. His 5th piano concerto has one finale composed in Salzburg, and another very different one that he wrote years later in Vienna to please the Viennese. His Paris Symphony (#31) has two different slow movements; perhaps he thought the original one didn't go over well enough with the Parisian audience so he composed another. Personally, I like the earlier versions of both movements; it isn't known which Mozart preferred, if he had a preference. Nothing in his many letters suggests anything of the kind you're looking for.

Later composers sought explicit unity by repeating themes from earlier movements in later ones - for example, Beethoven's 5th symphony repeats a bit of the scherzo in the finale, and the finale of the 9th quotes themes from all three of the other movements. But this was unusual even for Beethoven. And again, I doubt this is the kind of thing you're looking for.
John Francis

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:59 pm

John F wrote:<< why does the middle movement of a Mozart piano concerto act as the perfect foil to the first movement? >>

That was Mozart's secret, and nobody knows the answer. Not even Charles Rosen in "The Classical Style," which goes more deeply into its subject than any other book in English I know. Those movements relate only in their keys; the slow movement is usually in the dominant or the relative minor of the first movement's tonic. But that isn't what you're talking about.
First of all let's dispense with the idea that you can "know" in a certain way, or that there is "the answer." If we instead

(1) look at developing intuitive perception and intuition

(2) look for an understanding that may not be certain, yet is of practical significance in making music, whether performing Mozart and creating entirely new works that are not like Mozart at all

then there's no reason we cannot understand this--not a final understanding, not 100% understood, but certainly it's not true to say "no one knows the answer."

I have looked closely at the relationship of the motivic material of the first and second movements of Mozart's 21st piano concerto, and it's no mystery the ways in which they are similar and different. As I have said before, one key ingredient is about balance, the way that two elements can balance each other by being just the right degree of contrast. I don't claim to be producing an authoritative analysis, I am just saying that it's easy enough to find a "way in" to the task, and I have no doubt that numerous professional composers have a good understanding of it.

I have only been exposed to undergraduate-level theory (plus a little Schenker) but I haven't run into a theory of contrasts or balance. To me, the first few years of theory are largely about pointing to phenomena, like looking at a painting and pointing to the figure but ignoring the ground. I don't know if it gets better in the graduate years.

I read some excerpts of "The Classical Style" on Amazon, and it's going in the opposite direction that interests me. It's about identifying very specific details and drilling down into them.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by John F » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:44 pm

ratsrcute wrote:there's no reason we cannot understand this--not a final understanding, not 100% understood, but certainly it's not true to say "no one knows the answer."
No one has ever given an answer that adequately explains it, and the factual examples I gave you of Mozart's actual compositional practice are a strong indication that there is no answer - certainly no answer that can be generalized into an abstract theory about Mozart's music, let alone all music including your own. If as I believe there is no answer, then obviously it is true that no one can know it. If nonetheless you believe it's knowable, that's just an act of faith unless you actually provide examples.

If you're only interested in your own "intuitive perception and intuition," regardless of the facts, so be it - but then there's no basis for discussion, and I'll have no more to say. But if you really want an answer to how the movements in a Mozart composition relate to each other, you might put the question to Robert Levin, who not only teaches, writes about, and performs Mozart's music, but composes completions of Mozart's unfinished works and improvises keyboard fantasias that imitate Mozart's style with uncanny persuasiveness. If anybody knows Mozart's music from the inside, it's Bob. He's retired now but can doubtless be contacted c/o the Department of Music, Harvard University.
John Francis

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:49 am

John, you are the one defining "adequately," so it is you who has decided no one has given an adequate answer.

You are disparaging toward intuition. You just don't get it. Musicians work by intuition. I'd like to know if there is a single performing musician or active composer who is disparaging of intuition. Show me an example of one, I'll be shocked.

You seem to have some idea of what it means "to know" the answer to this question. It's hard to tell exactly what you expect, but you like concrete things, so I imagine you think that if there is an answer, it will be as concrete as listing key areas. Let me tell you something---there is no interesting phenomenon in music that can be understood concretely. Zero. You can't point to a single concrete thing that could be used to distinguish between a great piece and a computer-generated pastiche.

EDIT: just to clarify, obviously some concrete phenomena are important and some people are interested in them -- my main point was the last sentence--that there is no concrete theory or entity that distinguishes great music from something that could be computer-generated using that theory or idea.

I'm not just talking about composing... in performance, the qualities of a great performance are even less amenable to analysis.

So basically we have this fascinating phenomenon, "music" -- millions of people find classical musical fascinating and there is widespread agreement about the best composers and performers -- but no *concrete* way to understand the root of what makes it fascinating or what makes us agree.

It's obvious -- we must turn to intuition.

I can't imagine any musician disagreeing that intuition is central to all aspects of music making except maybe for Milton Babbitt, who is an extreme outlier toward the hyper-rational school.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:18 pm

Man, I sure wish I had enough patience to dive into this thread and actually take the time to type out my thoughts in a cohesive fashion. Alas... :mrgreen:

Carry on,

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:36 pm

IcedNote wrote:Man, I sure wish I had enough patience to dive into this thread and actually take the time to type out my thoughts in a cohesive fashion. Alas... :mrgreen:

Carry on,

-G
I'd be interested in your thoughts even if you can only type them in a non-cohesive fashion.

Mike

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:50 pm

I'll add one tangential thing:

As someone who did graduate work in music theory and is now a composer (well, for at least a little while longer :mrgreen: ), I"ll just say....

The more theory you know, the better. Seriously. It is absolutely vital in unlocking your musical imagination...or at least allows you to avoid reinventing the wheel. Hundreds of good composers--and dozens of great composers--have done wondrous work in exploring/exploiting the possibilities in musical form, scales, harmony, etc. (or as you like to call 'em, the boring bits). Use that to your advantage. First learn the vocabulary (e.g. scales) forward and backward. Then learn the literature forward and backward. Then put your own spin on it.

Example: How did Haydn and Mozart approach sonata form? How did Beethoven advance it? What the hell was Brahms doing with it in his symphonies? And how about Mahler? Prokofiev!? Following that thread will teach you more about composition than you can imagine. Hell, I don't write in sonata form, but I sure as hell get [read: steal] all sorts of ideas from those guys.

tl;dr -- Don't knock theory. :P

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:06 pm

OK...in an effort to not think about the election....

In short:

I think you're trying to identify (define?) the mystery of music...or, indeed, the mystery of beauty. Good luck with that. :mrgreen: (I know that's not helpful, but I couldn't resist.) But during this quest of yours to find why a second movement successfully "contrasts" the first, I'm afraid you'll just find what you're already looking for. (There's a word for this, but it's escaping me at the moment. If someone knows it, please share! It's driving me bonkers...) I mean, a phrase can contrast another phrase in an infinite amount of ways. Why is one better than the other? Well, you can cite style/tradition to say why some might work better than most. But to say why Contrasting Phrase 1a is better than Contrasting Phrase 1b? Well...taste.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:11 pm

Hi Garret -

I am sensitive to the fact you don't want to be drawn into a long discussion, but I wanted to clarify a couple things. I fundamentally agree with you! So hopefully you won't feel I am attacking or disagreeing with you and won't feel a need to respond at length.

I think that I have been misunderstood in this thread, which is partly my fault.

For example, I said that I "dislike much traditional theory" and knocked it by calling it "cataloging."

This was not the best way to put it. I'm not saying that it's useless! My disagreement has more to do with how it is presented and where the emphasis is put.

Also I tried to clarify later that I am only familiar with about three years of undergraduate theory, basically tonal harmony, counterpoint, and some Schenker, and I do not know what graduate students study. It might be that my interests would be fulfilled at the graduate level.

(Of course, in that case I would still wonder why stuff that I consider fundamental is not taught in the undergraduate years.)

My thoughts were kicked off by encountering some theory of visual art. In particular, Gestalt cognitive psychology of vision. What was remarkable was that the concepts described in my book on Gestalt were equally applicable to **any style** of art.

Right there is an interesting contrast with tonal harmony and counterpoint, which only analyzes and discusses tonality.

Also, I took a few "lessons" of sorts with Beth, the film major, and the lessons revolved around developing perception, the sort of "Gestalt" perception of something as a whole. Such as finding the focal point (or things that draw the eye strongly) and understanding how the visual composition is organized around it.

These were the first few lessons.

So here we have two things (1) abstract enough concepts that they apply to *any* style of art, (2) an emphasis on development of intuitive perception.

In undergraduate music theory we find, instead, a cataloging of concepts that are so concrete that they require little intuition to perceive and understand -- it's "left brained" to put it another way.

Another way in which I think I have been misunderstood is that people think I'm saying that concrete music theory is not *necessary*, when in fact I'm saying it's not *sufficient*. Sure it is important and necessary to understand concrete phenomena like chords and scales, but to actually make music with these things requires intuition.

For those who are interested in where all this abstract thinking gets me, I'm just finishing up a set of tonal pieces in the style of Bach inventions, which I undertook largely as a training exercise. I will post these shortly.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:35 pm

Oh about the question about how two Mozart movements contrast.

I tried to explain this a few posts back but it didn't seem that anyone noticed.

I don't think there is necessarily a single, final answer. I also don't mean to make an argument that a particular movement is the *best of all possible contrasting movements*.

I'm not after indisputable knowledge. "Cataloging" is indisputable. No one can disagree that a V-I cadence is present in a particular piece. No one can dispute how a sonata movement is organized.

But I don't agree with the idea that we take any questions that can't be answered indisputably and then assign them to some unknowable realm. John F dismissed the idea of studying contrasts by saying "it was my personal intuition," and I pointed out that good music (as opposed to computerized pastiche) is essentially NOTHING BUT a bunch of people's personal intuitions. You are calling it "taste" which is similar in the sense it assigns it to something that can't be analyzed.

I think that cognitive scientists who study music might be in a better position to investigate something like this ... that's a guess, though, and of course they usually study music at a pretty primitive level. But it's interesting that German cognitive scientists in the 1920's developed Gestalt as a theory of visual perception.

Mike

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by John F » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:30 am

I've dropped out of this but will answer since you specifically refer to me.
ratsrcute wrote:John F dismissed the idea of studying contrasts by saying "it was my personal intuition," and I pointed out that good music (as opposed to computerized pastiche) is essentially NOTHING BUT a bunch of people's personal intuitions. You are calling it "taste" which is similar in the sense it assigns it to something that can't be analyzed.
I don't know whose message this is supposed to relate to, but it's certainly not any of mine. In none of my messages can I find the expression "personal intuition," so I object to your putting it in quotation marks and attributing those words to me. "Studying contrasts" certainly is possible, show me the words in which you believe I dismissed it - but I don't see that it fits into whatever argument you're trying to make about music theory and other theories of art. My only mention of "contrast" was to correct your misuse of the word by providing a standard definition, with examples - nothing about "personal intuition." You're talking to yourself, then, not responding to what I actually say, and I've had enough of it.
John Francis

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:05 am

John F wrote:I've dropped out of this but will answer since you specifically refer to me.
ratsrcute wrote:John F dismissed the idea of studying contrasts by saying "it was my personal intuition," and I pointed out that good music (as opposed to computerized pastiche) is essentially NOTHING BUT a bunch of people's personal intuitions. You are calling it "taste" which is similar in the sense it assigns it to something that can't be analyzed.
I don't know whose message this is supposed to relate to, but it's certainly not any of mine. In none of my messages have I used the expression "personal intuition," so I object to your putting it in quotation marks and attributing those words to me. "Studying contrasts" certainly is possible, but I don't see that it fits into whatever argument you're making about music theory and other theories of art. My only mention of "contrast" was to correct your misuse of the word by providing a standard definition, with examples - nothing about "personal intuition." You're talking to yourself, then, not responding to what I actually say, and I've had enough of it.
I referred to intuition, never saying it was my own. After I wrote about a way of understanding contrast in Mozart, you wrote to me, "if you only want to refer to your own 'intuitive perception and intuition' .. ". so if your message wasn't supposed to be about understanding contrast, then you weren't reading MY message. You also projected the idea that it was "my own," so yes, you didn't use the word "personal" but it means the same thing, and you seem to emphasize the concept as you brought it into the discussion yourself.

I used the word "contrast" properly, and yes, Gregorian Chant has contrast.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:17 am

ratsrcute wrote:Also I tried to clarify later that I am only familiar with about three years of undergraduate theory, basically tonal harmony, counterpoint, and some Schenker, and I do not know what graduate students study. It might be that my interests would be fulfilled at the graduate level.

(Of course, in that case I would still wonder why stuff that I consider fundamental is not taught in the undergraduate years.)

My thoughts were kicked off by encountering some theory of visual art. In particular, Gestalt cognitive psychology of vision. What was remarkable was that the concepts described in my book on Gestalt were equally applicable to **any style** of art.

Right there is an interesting contrast with tonal harmony and counterpoint, which only analyzes and discusses tonality.

Also, I took a few "lessons" of sorts with Beth, the film major, and the lessons revolved around developing perception, the sort of "Gestalt" perception of something as a whole. Such as finding the focal point (or things that draw the eye strongly) and understanding how the visual composition is organized around it.
At the risk of being presumptuous, it reads as though you're falling into the "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" trap. An artist like Beth (presumably) knows all of the fundamentals and can catalog the hell out of colors, shapes, perspective, etc. So just because your first "lessons" with her aren't about those things doesn't mean that they shouldn't be the foundation of the study of art.

And yes, advanced study of music theory enters the deeper discussions of music that it seems you want to investigate. Hell...theorists wouldn't be drawn to the field if it was just about cataloging...and trust me, theorists can be pretty dull. :mrgreen: To give you an idea, my master's thesis in theory expanded Schenkerian analysis to be able to tackle the music of Prokofiev. That kind of stuff is fascinating (at least to me), and it allowed me to explore the "grey area" of musical syntax, etc. But, again, my work would have been utterly impossible without an expert understanding of tonal harmony.

Side note: I could probably guess which specific books on Schenkerian analysis you have, and I lovingly say that you won't learn anything but the most basic concepts of the theory without personally working through pieces with a mentor. :D

-G
Last edited by IcedNote on Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:20 am

ratsrcute wrote:I'm not after indisputable knowledge. "Cataloging" is indisputable. No one can disagree that a V-I cadence is present in a particular piece. No one can dispute how a sonata movement is organized.
You picked two terrible examples to illustrate your point! :shock:

1) Just look in various textbooks about labeling cadences V64 vs. I64.

2) I've been involved in very heated discussions (read: arguments) about where certain parts of a sonata form take place in any given piece. "The retransition clearly begins in m. 188 at the conclusion of the cadence." "No, you fool! It's m. 176 where the pedal begins!"

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by John F » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:08 pm

Also, sonata movements are organized in many different ways; the concept and formulation of what's now called sonata form or sonata-allegro form, a term unknown to Haydn and Mozart, didn't occur until the 19th century. Read Charles Rosen's book "Sonata Forms," whose title already announces that there isn't just one. As he says, "[It] is not a definite form like a minuet, a da capo aria, or a French overture; it is, like the fugue, a way of writing, a feeling for proportion, direction, and texture rather than a pattern."
John Francis

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:40 pm

John F wrote:Also, sonata movements are organized in many different ways; the concept and formulation of what's now called sonata form or sonata-allegro form, a term unknown to Haydn and Mozart, didn't occur until the 19th century. Read Charles Rosen's book "Sonata Forms," whose title already announces that there isn't just one. As he says, "[It] is not a definite form like a minuet, a da capo aria, or a French overture; it is, like the fugue, a way of writing, a feeling for proportion, direction, and texture rather than a pattern."
Seconded. It's quite a read; he's a wonderful writer.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:03 pm

IcedNote wrote:
At the risk of being presumptuous, it reads as though you're falling into the "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" trap. An artist like Beth (presumably) knows all of the fundamentals and can catalog the hell out of colors, shapes, perspective, etc. So just because your first "lessons" with her aren't about those things doesn't mean that they shouldn't be the foundation of the study of art.
The larger point I was making is not that cataloging is unnecessary, but that there's a distinction between introductory visual art theory and introductory music theory, which is not just my lessons with Beth but also my encounter with a couple different textbooks (one called "Design: the Search for Unity" by Larkin and the other called "The Visual Story" by Bruce Block).

What's remarkable is not that Beth didn't mention "catalogs" in the first lesson, but that she mentioned principles that span multiple styles very early on. This is very different than what I encountered in music theory.
And yes, advanced study of music theory enters the deeper discussions of music that it seems you want to investigate. Hell...theorists wouldn't be drawn to the field if it was just about cataloging...and trust me, theorists can be pretty dull. :mrgreen: To give you an idea, my master's thesis in theory expanded Schenkerian analysis to be able to tackle the music of Prokofiev. That kind of stuff is fascinating (at least to me), and it allowed me to explore the "grey area" of musical syntax, etc. But, again, my work would have been utterly impossible without an expert understanding of tonal harmony.
That sounds fascinating to me, too.

But it's not quite what I'm after, because it sounds like it's talking about a specific style.

Is there music theory that presents a theory of contrasts, and in a way that spans multiple styles? That, I think, would correspond more closely with the visual art theory I am encountering.
Side note: I could probably guess which specific books on Schenkerian analysis you have, and I lovingly say that you won't learn anything but the most basic concepts of the theory without personally working through pieces with a mentor. :D

-G
I agree with this, it amplifies my larger point.

Here I'll quote your other reply.

You picked two terrible examples to illustrate your point! :shock:

1) Just look in various textbooks about labeling cadences V64 vs. I64.

2) I've been involved in very heated discussions (read: arguments) about where certain parts of a sonata form take place in any given piece. "The retransition clearly begins in m. 188 at the conclusion of the cadence." "No, you fool! It's m. 176 where the pedal begins!"
To the extent that it's hard to pin down the phenomena in music, it amplifies my larger point. I'm making a distinction between what we could call "left-brained" knowledge, and "right-brained" knowledge.

A description of cadences is left-brained, in the sense it describes analytical patterns. These patterns are presented in a way that is not subjective and is independent of taste and so forth.

It's a good point you make that once you get into analysis of more complex pieces, the patterns you see aren't so objective. But what I'm observing is that introductory texts present these ideas as if they *are* objective. Consider a list of chapter titles in a tonal harmony book, for instance. It will list types of chords or musical forms which are initially defined in an objective way.

I'm ***NOT*** saying this is bad or unnecessary. However, it's curious to me that it's the **only** type of knowledge taught in introductory music theory.

This is the distinction with visual art theory.

Mike

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:14 am

ratsrcute wrote:Is there music theory that presents a theory of contrasts, and in a way that spans multiple styles? That, I think, would correspond more closely with the visual art theory I am encountering.
I think I've finally figured out why we're not even kind of meeting in the middle on this:

It reads as though you're looking for a theory of music that isn't argued in musical terms. I believe it's more instructive and enlightening to use musical language -- and the language of music -- to discover what makes music tick. I reckon you're eschewing those things in order to talk about music in larger, vaguer terms, namely contrast. While I believe it's absolutely essential to musical understanding to tackle the larger topics such as contrast, I think you can only have meaningful discussion about them via concrete terminology and ideas.

To put it another way, I think you're looking to engage in a discussion about music in which your companions don't have to be experts in music (hence avoiding concrete musical terms). And I think that's one of the reasons why you're drawn to the parallels with the visual arts. Now, to be sure, I am also intrigued by those parallels, and I think there's value there. But I'm not sure you're articulating that very well here, and perhaps that's why you're getting some push-back. I mean, hell, I can talk about contrast in modern architecture without knowing a damn thing about modern architecture, but I wouldn't dream of trying to engage an architecture forum with that as my lead-in. :mrgreen:

Anywho, as with many of your topics, while interesting, they're better discussed over a few beers. 8)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by John F » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:34 pm

For that matter, common talk of musical architecture is an impressive-sounding metaphor that doesn't help at all with the actual making and understanding of musical structures. Professional architects and critics of architecture have little or no real common ground with professional composers and their critics; their respective problems and solutions are fundamentally different.
John Francis

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:54 am

I think you are getting the idea I don't want to talk about specific musical items because I am not giving specific examples. But of course I want to analyze musical things.

I'm working on finishing up a set of eight "inventions" roughly in the style of Bach, which demonstrate how I put all these abstract ideas I've been talking about in practice. Let's put this discussion on hold, and I will post some audio files shortly so we have something more concrete to discuss.

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:57 am

ratsrcute wrote:I think you are getting the idea I don't want to talk about specific musical items because I am not giving specific examples.
And what better reason would we have? ;) Remember that Heinrich Schenker's magnum opus is called "Free Composition. Best of luck with your project (meant sincerely), but Shostakovich already did this with his excellent "take" on the WTC. Schenker might not recognize that as legitimate composition, but Schoenberg, another of the handful of great theorists (born of the necessity to make his living as a teacher), certainly would.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

diegobueno
Winds Specialist
Posts: 2470
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:26 pm
Contact:

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by diegobueno » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:40 pm

IcedNote wrote: It reads as though you're looking for a theory of music that isn't argued in musical terms. I believe it's more instructive and enlightening to use musical language -- and the language of music -- to discover what makes music tick. I reckon you're eschewing those things in order to talk about music in larger, vaguer terms, namely contrast. While I believe it's absolutely essential to musical understanding to tackle the larger topics such as contrast, I think you can only have meaningful discussion about them via concrete terminology and ideas.
-G
I have to say I agree with Garrett on this. You need to be able to articulate your ideas in concrete terms. This is especially true if you're going to try your hand at Baroque counterpoint. You'd better believe Bach had some very exacting instruction in theory in order to compose what he did. This is not to say that you can't have your art theory concepts as well.

You have to reach your Parnassus one gradus at a time.

I'm also thinking of Mendelssohn's famous quote “People usually complain that music is so ambiguous, and what they are supposed to think when they hear it is so unclear, while words are understood by everyone. But for me it is exactly the opposite...what the music I love expresses to me are thoughts not to indefinite for words, but rather too definite.”

IcedNote
Posts: 2963
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: NYC

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by IcedNote » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:11 pm

diegobueno wrote:I have to say I agree with Garrett on this.
I always knew I liked you -- a scholar and a gentleman. :D

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

ratsrcute
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:01 pm

Re: music theory; visual art theory; film theory

Post by ratsrcute » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:33 pm

diegobueno wrote:
IcedNote wrote: It reads as though you're looking for a theory of music that isn't argued in musical terms. I believe it's more instructive and enlightening to use musical language -- and the language of music -- to discover what makes music tick. I reckon you're eschewing those things in order to talk about music in larger, vaguer terms, namely contrast. While I believe it's absolutely essential to musical understanding to tackle the larger topics such as contrast, I think you can only have meaningful discussion about them via concrete terminology and ideas.
-G
I have to say I agree with Garrett on this. You need to be able to articulate your ideas in concrete terms.


But Garrett is 100% wrong is saying I don't want to use concrete terms. So I agree with you and Garrett that concrete terms are necessary.

I have been playing with theoretical ideas for generating music algorithmically for a long time. My algorithmic music is in modern styles, but I have done a lot of thought about how Bach might be understood in terms very different than tonal theory, terms that unite it with Schoenberg or other modern styles.

My mistake here is that I casually mentioned some abstract concepts without realizing that in my own mind these concepts are supported by numerous concrete examples, but that to other people here they would be inscrutable without giving those examples.
This is especially true if you're going to try your hand at Baroque counterpoint. You'd better believe Bach had some very exacting instruction in theory in order to compose what he did. This is not to say that you can't have your art theory concepts as well.
#1 I don't want to use "art theory concepts" to understand music. I want to use music theory to understand music. But there are some ideas in art theory that inspire me to look at music theory a different way.

#2 I suspect that what sets Bach apart is not "exacting" (i.e. concrete, detailed, cataloging, etc.) theory. After all, I can write (and have written to some degree) software to apply music theoretical principles in exacting detail. And I can tell you that the result, without a human ear to guide it, is pastiche.

I am writing an outline of examples to illustrate my point, but I'm not sure I'm going to go further on this thread, as it seems that people here are responding to me as if I have rejected music theory, so whatever I post may be interpreted as an attack on music theory. But if I finish up something I'll post it.

Mike

good audio cables, K Works Empowered Cord: http://brilliantzenaudio.com

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 21 guests