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Thread: What about writing?

  1. #1
    chewing bubble gum Chim_Chim's Avatar
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    What about writing?

    To Improvise seems to be the idea of creating something RIGHT NOW on the spot with whatever skills and knowledge you may have at hand to work with.
    That seems like so much unnecessary pressure to put on beginners

    What about the topic of writing?
    Of not being on the spot or under pressure to perform something right now,
    but instead taking however long you need to piece something together right?

    Why isn't this topic discussed more and does anyone have any ideas
    how to approach this or go about the writing process?

    Obviously you would need to learn to walk before you could ever learn to run.
    So to learn to improvise you would need to start very slowly and remain patient with yourself.

    So wouldn't writing be like learning to crawl first before you ever even attempt to walk(slow improvisation)? Or run (fast improvisation)?

    Don't you have to learn to write phrases before you can learn to write melodies and flesh them out into full songs?

    Wouldn't that make more sense then just saying HERE, HERE'S A SCALE, NOW IMPROVSE SOMETHING FRESH?

    So how do you get the ball rolling? And then how do you develop your ideas further and flesh them out into a full song?

    Wouldn't writing influence your improv just as much as your improv would influence your writing?

    Are students only getting half the picture?
    Or is this just the price of being self taught and learning from the internet for free?

    It's all a bit overwhelming and frustrating. Especially if you're broke and lazy.

    I'm going back to bed.

    [I'LL check back in at some point to see what happened here]
    Some days I seem to do OK. Other days I feel like just shoving an M-80 right up my guitar's butt.

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Writing -- how about a song. That will include a melody, a chord progression for movement and harmony and then rhythm so the people can dance or at least move their heads and pat their feet in unison .

    Where to start. I start with the story. Why not start with the melody? You can it's your song. But follow my logic and then you decide where you would like to start. Does not matter what comes first the important thing is that all the following steps must be in place before your finished writing.

    I like a four line verse. Rhyme or not up to you. I like three verses and one chorus. OK pull a story together and put it into verse format. Now the following works with how to pull a song together or how to pull a lick together. It's all based upon the melody line and the chord line sharing like notes. When that happens you harmonize - sound good. So.......

    Pick a key. Yep, makes it a bunch easier if you have a key in mind. Which one? How about the one you sing in. Or how about the key the vocalist you are expecting to use likes to sing in. No vocalist in mind, C major is about as generic as you can get -- for us guitar or piano guys. Try C, now if you are writing for horns, or woodwinds that's another story.

    Pick a cookie cutter chord progression. Your choice. The major I IV V7 I has been used in a zillion songs. Let's use that one.

    OK write out your first verse. Remember it's a four line verse. So our first draft could be like this.

    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday dear _________.
    Happy Birthday to you.

    Start with the I tonic chord and then somewhere near the end of the first line bring in the IV chord. Continue with the IV into the second line and somewhere near the end of the second line bring in the V7 chord and then quickly end the second line with a return to the I tonic chord. Do the same with line number 3 and 4. You have two V-I cadences per verse.

    (I) Happy Birthday to (IV) you.
    Happy Birthday (V7) to (I) you.
    (I) Happy Birthday dear ( IV) _________.
    Happy Birth (V7) day to (I) you.

    Now move the chords around to where they match up with the lyric words of your verse. Remember we said bring in the IV chord somewhere near the end of the first line. Match that IV chord to a word. Continue matching lyric words with where the chord change. I like to use my rhythm 6 string for matching chords and lyrics. Strum the progression and recite the words moving the chords around till both chords and words fit together.

    OK you now have a first draft of your first verse's - lyrics and chords. Your chord progression now moves the story along in the verse. Started at rest with the I tonic chord then the IV chord brought in some tension and the V7 chord let the story reach a climax and then you quickly brought the story back to rest with the return of the I tonic chord. Hint - your V7 chord being a climax chord does the story reach a climax as you introduce the V7 chord?

    Time for the melody. To have the melody and the chord progression harmonize they should share like notes. Drum Roll........... You already have the chord progression and lyrics in place. Why not draw your melody from the chord's notes. I use the chords pentatonic myself. Five notes are enough for a first draft of the melody. You can flesh it out later. Here I move to the keyboard for the melody notes. Much easier to compose on the keyboard. Does not have to be an expensive keyboard. Something like this will be fine. https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/im...LqVSL-Z3NPRLn_ I know, I know.... Back to the melody. Which pentatonic notes? The ones that sound best with the lyrics. Work in phrases three or four words then the notes that sound good with those words. Of course write it down as you go.

    One last thing on notes. You have the lyrics in place. melody notes follow the lyric word - one melody note per lyric word. Two syllable words get two notes, i.e. Hap-py and Birth-day would get two notes each to and you get only one note each.

    That pretty well takes care of your first verse. Do the same thing for the other verses and chorus. Remember it's a first draft. Use the same chord progression and melody for the other verses and what the heck do the same thing for the chorus.

    You need a story, a key, a chord progression, then draw your melody notes from the chord's tones. The rhythm comes from one note per lyric word and how fast you want the tempo to be. Now if this was an instrumental and you did not have the lyrics to help with the tempo or note duration what to do? Well a string of notes is noise, however if the notes follow the way we talk - phrases with pauses our ears like this. So incorporate that into your instrumentals. And remember harmony happens when the melody and the chords share like notes. That works for a lick or a song. Same principle.

    OK you have just written a lead sheet. Treble clef, chords and lyrics. You still need a bass clef. Give the lead sheet to your bassist and let him come up with the bass line that fits this song. Chord tones work best. Roots, fives, eights and the correct three and seven have written a lot of bass lines.

    Now go get a beverage of your choice and congratulate your self on your first draft.

    This will help if you decide to write the melody first - and have to come up with the chords that will harmonize that melody. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrDh0OFDCAk

    Here is a free E-Book on how to write melodies. http://www.archive.org/details/exerc...melo01goetgoog Read the first 30 pages for the main points. Four note phrases - three close notes then a leap of at least a 3rd plus pauses leaving space for the melody to breath.

    Here is a video on using pentatonic notes for generic licks to improvise fills with. I think this is more in line with what you are asking about. Might get some ideas from this. http://scottsbasslessons.com/using-pentatonic-scales-3

    Some great hints on this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0iZ1j00wSU


    Have fun.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-21-2012 at 04:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    To Improvise seems to be the idea of creating something RIGHT NOW on the spot with whatever skills and knowledge you may have at hand to work with.
    That seems like so much unnecessary pressure to put on beginners
    I agree. However, a lot of the time, it's the beginners themselves who want to run before they can walk - their heroes tend to be flashy lead guitarists, not rhythm guitarists or singers or bassists (all of which are more important for beginner guitarists to learn from than lead players).
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    What about the topic of writing?
    Of not being on the spot or under pressure to perform something right now,
    but instead taking however long you need to piece something together right?

    Why isn't this topic discussed more and does anyone have any ideas
    how to approach this or go about the writing process?
    It's really the same advice as for improvisation, IMO. You need to learn the ropes, the common practices, the tricks of the trade - and you do that by listening and copying.
    The difference with learning composition is you're not only studying melody and chord changes, but also structure and form. A budding composer needs to take the music apart at a deeper level than a budding improviser does. The improviser develops what is already there; the composer has to build from scratch.

    Aside from that, the processes are pretty much identical. You experiment, you noodle, you listen for the happy accident, you reach for theory when you run out of ideas or lose your way...
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    Don't you have to learn to write phrases before you can learn to write melodies and flesh them out into full songs?
    Yes, IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    So how do you get the ball rolling? And then how do you develop your ideas further and flesh them out into a full song?
    Composition is generally a lot more structured and repetitive than improvisation. It's cleaner and tidier.
    Improvisation can be hit and miss: if this phrase doesn't quite work, maybe the next one will - the process of invention (in real time) is more important than the end result.
    For a composition, of course, that won't do. The end result is the thing.
    You need to take all the phrases that don't quite work and either throw them out or lick them into shape.
    But once you have a few well-polished phrases, you may not need much else. While improvisation needs to be constantly inventive, moment to moment, composition can use just a few well-honed elements, repeated and arranged into a clear structural form.
    At the same time, as a whole, it needs to be good enough to stand repetition, to be listened to and enjoyed many times.

    This all means that FORM becomes very important. A hook melodic phrase is all very well (and can make a song), but the structure around it is crucial. How long does the verse need to be? How long can we wait for a chorus? Should we start with a chorus (for maximum impact)? Is the song going to need a bridge in the middle, or is it interesting enough without one? Or would a bridge make it too complicated? Would a change of key be a good idea?
    The more you listen to good songs, the more this kind of thing becomes intuitive: you absorb the common ways of doing things, and start to feel what's right when you write your own songs.

    (A good tip is: if in doubt, keep it simple. If you're half-way through a song and stuck, wondering where it could go next, consider the possibility that it's already finished.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    Wouldn't writing influence your improv just as much as your improv would influence your writing?
    Sure. They're the same thing, at root, as I say. The only difference is how you develop them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    Are students only getting half the picture?
    I wouldn't know. I do know that in conventional music teaching, composition and improvisation alike are part of the picture almost from the start. In early grades, students have short phrases given to them (1 or 2 bars) and are expected to be able to complete them with an answering phrase: invented and appropriate.
    This is a good way into developing composition skills, as a kind of call-and-response. IOW, you don't start from scratch (too scary!) but you're given a clue, like a comment in a conversation that you can make a response to.
    Call-and-response is also fundamental to blues and jazz improvisation, of course. Improvisation doesn't spring from nowhere, it begins as embellishment of what's given (melody and chords).
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    Or is this just the price of being self taught and learning from the internet for free?
    I reckon that's up to you. The internet is a great resource, but it has no structure, no guidance. You can learn quite well from it, but you need to have a direction, to know what you're looking for. And you need to be critical, often more critical than beginners know how to be. Who do you trust? Who has the right info?
    It's like being in a library with no filing system, books all over the floor everywhere. 1000s of bad books are mixed up with a handful of good ones. How do you know which is which?

    Sometimes it's best just to get out of there...

    Find your favourite CD, put it on and just listen. Listen real close. All the secrets you need are in that music - not in books, not on DVDs, not on the web. If you listen close enough and long enough - and to enough music of different kinds (as long as you like it all) - all will be revealed.
    Steal stuff, copy stuff. That's how all the most successful composers started. The best composers just steal the most stuff; they're totally unafraid. Everything goes into the pot. By the time it comes out the other kind, no one will recognise where it all came from.

    The only good reason to use the internet is to find music to listen to. Don't use it to read stuff, that's a waste of time. Get off this site, and go to youtube! Find something you like, and work it out!

  4. #4
    chewing bubble gum Chim_Chim's Avatar
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    Wow that was great. Thanks to both of you for the elaborate answers.
    I think I will have to steal alot,lol. I should have become a kleptomaniac
    years ago. If I only knew.
    Some days I seem to do OK. Other days I feel like just shoving an M-80 right up my guitar's butt.

  5. #5
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim View Post
    Wow that was great. Thanks to both of you for the elaborate answers.
    I think I will have to steal alot,lol. I should have become a kleptomaniac
    years ago. If I only knew.
    Yes, like I say, the more you steal, the better. If you only steal from one or two heroes, you'll sound too much like them. Your influences will be too obvious. You won't sound "original".
    The trick is to steal a little from a lot of different people (the more different the better, and the more obscure the better). Worked for Dylan and the Beatles, to name just two...
    It takes an open (and hungry) mind, and just make sure you steal what you like. IOW, don't be clinical about it, just follow your instinct. It's a matter of hearing something and thinking "I gotta have that!" It might be a 5-second lick in a 3-minute song. You don't need the rest of the song.

    When Dylan was asked who his influences were, he just said "Open your eyes and ears and you're influenced." IOW, it can come from anywhere and everywhere, you don't have to go looking. The important thing is to not close yourself off.

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    I heard birds composing away and singing their songs of joy... some so inspiring that I rush to the gtr and find that the bird was in perfect intervals and perfect tuning to a 440 tuning... which is outright amazing...

    When I ponder this, I wonder those that settled on 440 listened to some birds and took the standard, or perchance the birds and some of nature has adapted or tuned to years of exposure to man's tuning? hmmmmm

    Inspiration comes from virtually everywhere and as JonR mentions... and Dylan... open your eyes and ears... or in Biblical 101.. for those with eyes to see and ears to hear....

    There is a universal music of the sphere's in a sense.. a musical harmony , system and balance to creation and nature. I wonder music as an art takes / steals much from it.
    Last edited by Seraphine; 01-23-2012 at 01:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    I heard birds composing away and singing their songs of joy... some so inspiring that I rush to the gtr and find that the bird was in perfect intervals and perfect tuning to a 440 tuning...
    I find that very hard to believe. I think you're romanticizing (how do you know they're songs of "joy" in the first place?).
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    When I ponder this, I wonder those that settled on 440 listened to some birds and took the standard, or perchance the birds and some of nature has adapted or tuned to years of exposure to man's tuning? hmmmmm
    Well, if they really were tuned to 440 (and I'd need more evidence than your anecdotal report), it will be the latter. That standard has changed over time, and was only settled on fairly recently, probably because it's a good round number. Many birds do, of course, mimic sounds in their environment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A440_(pitch_standard)
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    There is a universal music of the sphere's in a sense.. a musical harmony , system and balance to creation and nature.
    No there isn't. That was part of Greek philosophy, but has no scientific basis in reality. (And of course, in using the word "creation" you're bringing religion into it, which doesn't help.)
    I mean, there is clearly a kind of "balance" in nature, ecologically speaking, but there is nothing "musical" about it.
    At the same time, there are physical laws of sound underlying music (the harmonic series, overtones and frequency ratio), but no connection with other laws of nature AFAIK.

    That doesn't mean, of course, that musicians can't be inspired by the beauty of nature! We can imagine what we like. Some classical composers were certainly inspired by birdsong, and one or two even tried to incorporate it (eg Messiaen).
    http://www.oliviermessiaen.org/birdsongs.html
    But very few birds sing with steady pitches that we could identify as musical notes. (Some do - not many.)

  8. #8
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    Hello Jon

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    I find that very hard to believe. I think you're romanticizing (how do you know they're songs of "joy" in the first place?).
    Is this a trick question? Though one may wonder a Carrion Crow singing joyfully in challenge or scavenge... But some people hate the Coo of Pigeons and bait and poison them, which in turn poisons the Carrion Crow scavenging on them... a Requiem in this case, more so then a Song of Joy.

    Consider it poetic Jon!
    Well, if they really were tuned to 440 (and I'd need more evidence than your anecdotal report), it will be the latter. That standard has changed over time, and was only settled on fairly recently, probably because it's a good round number. Many birds do, of course, mimic sounds in their environment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A440_(pitch_standard)
    Indeed.. We have the Lyrebird in Australia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyrebird

    Notable for superb mimicking of most any sounds.. I'm not sure if it was in fact a Lyrebird I was listening to with it's gtr like perfect intervals.. ? I was fortunate enough to rush right to my gtr and copy it's line instantly.

    a three note line G-F-D
    G=4th string 5th fret
    F=2nd string 6th fret
    D=3rd string 7th fret

    It would be interesting to see in physical and organic nature, what vibrates at 440 and therefore any relative frequencies or "intervals".

    Consider it curiosity Jon!

    No there isn't. That was part of Greek philosophy, but has no scientific basis in reality. (And of course, in using the word "creation" you're bringing religion into it, which doesn't help.)
    I should have formatted "in a sense" in BOLD as I hoped that would have prevented a literal interpretation.

    Creation wasn't meant in religious terms. Man isn't the only "creating" species.. and in fact man ONLY co-creates with and through what's already created. Life and existence of everything itself is creative and creating.

    I mean, there is clearly a kind of "balance" in nature, ecologically speaking, but there is nothing "musical" about it.
    At the same time, there are physical laws of sound underlying music (the harmonic series, overtones and frequency ratio), but no connection with other laws of nature AFAIK.
    Harmony, system and balance
    Mathematics, geometry and MUSIC

    These are not only man-made constructs, they are found in nature and "creation" itself, without man's participation. Just listening to the cadence of various species... night critters... birds etc reveals rhythms and timing and intervals, on and on...

    I don't know if you ever lived on / by a river, creek, brook... But the term Babbling Brook is a very real experience. I've listened to some for quite awhile, having lived right on the border of a mountain "river" babbling away.. They TALK in a sense.. they SING... no.. no... it's not romanticizing! It's an actual experience or "phenomena".

    When thousands upon thousands of crickets click away in unison and perfect timing as efficient as any drummer? That's not music? ...but when some two legged kids "play" precisely the same thing it is? Sure people can be "inspired" by birdsongs and crickets, but kids playing the same "music" doesn't make it MORE music than the original.

    That doesn't mean, of course, that musicians can't be inspired by the beauty of nature! We can imagine what we like. Some classical composers were certainly inspired by birdsong, and one or two even tried to incorporate it (eg Messiaen).
    http://www.oliviermessiaen.org/birdsongs.html
    But very few birds sing with steady pitches that we could identify as musical notes. (Some do - not many.)
    Ever wonder that Whales in fact sing? They can and do also sing in frequencies below the range of the human ear. There's a whole planet of "sound" beyond.. above and below the range of human hearing. I guess some people consider the rhythm of waves on a beach "music" .. I play G-F-D repeatedly and it's music... a bird does the precise same thing and it's not?

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    As Jon notes there isn't anything inherently special about the A=440Hz standard - it's an arbitrary choice made for the purpose of standardization, somewhat analagous to the 120V/60Hz AC standard for electricity in the US (or whatever it may be in your country) - and not only have various standards have existed over the years, it also isn't used by everyone today (many prominent orchestras tune to A=442 or 443 for example).

    And of course, we're just talking about conventional 12TET Western music here...other musical traditions like those from India, China, etc. have their own tuning schemes, as do some experimental/avant garde musicians etc.
    Last edited by walternewton; 01-24-2012 at 02:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    As Jon notes there isn't anything inherently special about the A=440Hz standard - it's an arbitrary choice made for the purpose of standardization, somewhat analagous to the 120V/60Hz AC standard for electricity in the US (or whatever it may be in your country) - and not only have various standards have existed over the years, it also isn't used by everyone today (many prominent orchestras tune to A=442 or 443 for example).

    And of course, we're just talking about conventional 12TET Western music here...other musical traditions like those from India, China, etc. have their own tuning schemes, as do some experimental/avant garde musicians etc.
    True true... and I'm copesetic with your view..

    I mentioned 440 because that bird was in tune with my gtr ( 440 tuning )... I do ponder that with so much "western music" as you stated it, playing around the world, that an affect / effect ripples through nature.... Just the Bass and music "vibrating" the physical world for so many years might matter... Resonance and other factors might well be manifesting something, or other....

    Many things may seem arbitrary yet are based on very real matter. Man-made measures of time and space are based on nature and the physical world and properties, something quite objective and not so arbitrary as many assume? Everything is relative is virtually an Axiom, yet doesn't mean everything is subjective. There is still the objective.

    Though 440 seems arbitrary in music, the laws involved are not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Just the Bass and music "vibrating" the physical world for so many years might matter... Resonance and other factors might well be manifesting something, or other....
    Well, most anything "might" be true...but to quote Carl Sagan (paraphrasing ideas going back at least to Laplace), "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

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    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    Well, most anything "might" be true...but to quote Carl Sagan (paraphrasing ideas going back at least to Laplace), "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".
    Yea Sagan, the man who said millions and millions of stars in the Galaxy? Eventually he said Billions and Billions... I'm still not impressed with him.

  13. #13
    chewing bubble gum Chim_Chim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Yes, like I say, the more you steal, the better. If you only steal from one or two heroes, you'll sound too much like them. Your influences will be too obvious. You won't sound "original".
    The trick is to steal a little from a lot of different people (the more different the better, and the more obscure the better). Worked for Dylan and the Beatles, to name just two...
    It takes an open (and hungry) mind, and just make sure you steal what you like. IOW, don't be clinical about it, just follow your instinct. It's a matter of hearing something and thinking "I gotta have that!" It might be a 5-second lick in a 3-minute song. You don't need the rest of the song.

    When Dylan was asked who his influences were, he just said "Open your eyes and ears and you're influenced." IOW, it can come from anywhere and everywhere, you don't have to go looking. The important thing is to not close yourself off.

    Very helpful posts, thanks man.
    Some days I seem to do OK. Other days I feel like just shoving an M-80 right up my guitar's butt.

  14. #14
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Is this a trick question?
    Nope.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post

    Though one may wonder a Carrion Crow singing joyfully in challenge or scavenge
    Well, yes. Birdsong has various purposes. One of them may be simple joy (at being alive or whatever). We don't know that, and it seems an unwarranted bit of anthropomorphism. Wishful thinking, IOW.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    ... But some people hate the Coo of Pigeons and bait and poison them, which in turn poisons the Carrion Crow scavenging on them... a Requiem in this case, more so then a Song of Joy.
    yawn...
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Consider it poetic Jon!
    Right.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post

    I'm not sure if it was in fact a Lyrebird I was listening to with it's gtr like perfect intervals.. ? I was fortunate enough to rush right to my gtr and copy it's line instantly.

    a three note line G-F-D
    G=4th string 5th fret
    F=2nd string 6th fret
    D=3rd string 7th fret

    It would be interesting to see in physical and organic nature, what vibrates at 440 and therefore any relative frequencies or "intervals".

    Consider it curiosity Jon!
    Good! But you would need to record that call to be sure about those pitches and frequencies. As I said, some birds obviously do sing with pitched notes and, as such, many will sound like our 12-tone intervals.
    There are relatively simple frequency ratios between G F and D (or at least in non-equal temperament there are), which might be enough to explain why the bird sang those notes; if it did. Its vocal apparatus might be well set-up to achieve pitches in that relationship.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Creation wasn't meant in religious terms. Man isn't the only "creating" species.. and in fact man ONLY co-creates with and through what's already created. Life and existence of everything itself is creative and creating.
    Now you're being poetic again . So much so that the word loses all meaning.
    I'm not anti-poetry, btw. Just anti-vagueness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Harmony, system and balance
    Mathematics, geometry and MUSIC

    These are not only man-made constructs, they are found in nature and "creation" itself, without man's participation.
    Really? I see those as concepts we humans apply to nature. We are pattern-seeking animals after all, and although patterns and order do exist in nature, if they don't exist we're happy to invent them. All those words describe not things in nature itself, but stuff we construct out of nature, or as ways of attempting to explain nature.
    There are "laws of nature", to be sure, but they are beneath the concepts you're talking about.

    And you're still using "creation" in its religious sense, because it implies a "creator". There is no such creator in nature. (We are as sure of that as we can be.)
    I'll accept that stuff comes about through various natural processes, which I guess you can think of as "becoming created". But it's still a misleading - and highly contentious - use of the word.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Just listening to the cadence of various species... night critters... birds etc reveals rhythms and timing and intervals, on and on...
    Only in your imagination.
    Try recording it, and then try notating it, see how far you get...
    There are rhythms, yes, at least repetitions of various kinds (the most basic kind of rhythm). But for anything closer to music, you're going to have to edit natural sounds in some fundamental way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    I don't know if you ever lived on / by a river, creek, brook... But the term Babbling Brook is a very real experience. I've listened to some for quite awhile, having lived right on the border of a mountain "river" babbling away.. They TALK in a sense.. they SING... no.. no... it's not romanticizing! It's an actual experience or "phenomena".
    [Sigh] Of course it's romanticizing! Nothing wrong with that, but IMO you should try to differentiate between what you're hearing, and your response to it.

    Personally, I find that kind of anthropomorphising of nature tedious and lazy. Nature is indeed amazing in all kinds of ways; truly awesome (in the old, proper meaning of the word). Reducing it to human notions like "harmony", "music", "singing", whatever, is just cheapening it. Making it cute and safe. (Which is a quite natural human instinct, don't get me wrong. Nature is scary, and seeing all those romantic "systems" in it makes it safe. That's why people invented God, to make themselves feel safe.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    When thousands upon thousands of crickets click away in unison and perfect timing as efficient as any drummer? That's not music? ...
    Nope.
    The waves beat on the shore in an equally repetitive fashion.
    Just because a sound is attractive and repetitive doesn't make it "music". (although it's a start, I'll grant you )
    When you hear a cricket making a differentiated rhythmic pattern, beats of different lengths, within a meter of some kind, then we can talk about music.
    AFAIK, evolution hasn't yet made it advantageous for them to do so. Simple repetition of the same noise works just fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    but when some two legged kids "play" precisely the same thing it is?
    No, not necessarily. A kid can bang a tin with a spoon, repetively. Maybe he/she just wants your attention.
    A human being can bang their head against a wall repetitively. Is that music?
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Sure people can be "inspired" by birdsongs and crickets, but kids playing the same "music" doesn't make it MORE music than the original.
    True. I wasn't saying any different. The difference is creative intention.
    We can't really know if a cricket has a creative intention in making its sound. It seems a bizarre hypothesis to suggest that, given the size of their brains, and the availability of other hypotheses.
    Humans might make repetitive sounds for various reasons, as I said. Not all of them will be "music".
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    Ever wonder that Whales in fact sing?
    Whale "song" is indeed a fascinating phenomenon. Whether or not it's "music" is kind of beside the point. It's communication of some kind, that seems obvious. AFAIK, nobody knows why the communication needs to be modulated in that way, using pitched sounds that resemble human voices or musical sounds in some ways.
    We find it appealing (again) through a natural anthropomorphism. We liken it to various kinds of human vocal sounds, which of course we use ourselves for communication; and it's that process of attempting to understand it (as a pseudo-human calling) that gives rise to our fascination - because, while sounding mournful in an attractive, apparently intelligent way, it's impossible to understand. So it retains a seductive mystery.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    There's a whole planet of "sound" beyond.. above and below the range of human hearing.
    Sure. None of that is "music". Musical pitches exist in a quite narrow range, much smaller than our own (limited) range. We hear frequencies up to 20KHz; only those up to around 4KHz count as "notes".
    Of course, higher frequencies play a part in music, as overtones and timbre - but that's incidental.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphine View Post
    I guess some people consider the rhythm of waves on a beach "music" .. I play G-F-D repeatedly and it's music... a bird does the precise same thing and it's not?
    It's music if you say it is. If you copy it and make it music.
    If a bird is coloured red and blue, that's not "art". If you copy those colours by putting them on a painting, it becomes art.
    A bird's colours may be "beautiful" - that's a human judgement according to cultural aesthetic criteria, or to some emotional feeling about nature. That's not why the bird has those colours. Even if helps them attract a mate, we can only say the colours are thereby "attractive" in bird terms. We don't know (and frankly don't care, because we can't possibly know) what sensation the female bird gets from seeing them. I suppose we can be pretty sure the female bird is not making what we would call artistic judgements; the response would be an instintive one, like the way we feel when we see food when we're hungry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Personally, I find that kind of anthropomorphising of nature tedious and lazy. Nature is indeed amazing in all kinds of ways; truly awesome (in the old, proper meaning of the word). Reducing it to human notions like "harmony", "music", "singing", whatever, is just cheapening it. Making it cute and safe. (Which is a quite natural human instinct, don't get me wrong. Nature is scary, and seeing all those romantic "systems" in it makes it safe. That's why people invented God, to make themselves feel safe.)
    Valley's deep and the mountain's so high....

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