Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Call for Frying Pans

I found an interesting site created by an organologist, someone who studies the way instruments are made and how the structures allow their specific acoustical characteristics to exist. It's very intriguing to note that the very first 'electric' guitar came into existence in about 1890.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Notes about Notes!

The notes section of the class website has been updated. I'd also like to see some continued discussion on here about texture. How might various textures be used to created different moods and create/relieve musical tension?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Music in a Time of War

I found an article about some violins that survived [and helped people survive] the holocaust. In a world that is constantly torn by war, it's interesting to see the role music plays in bringing a sense of relief and comfort.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Portman's Store Adventure

Yesterday I went to Portman's to get manuscript paper after going to the dentist. While there, I tried to find a song that everyone played last year. Problem is, I don't remember the name of it. So I told my mom, who told one of the store clerks. They got one of their best guys in the music knowing category to help me. I played a little bit of the piece on one of the pianos and it turns out.. he doesn't know it! That was almost like, a turn-off on Portman's. I'm still trying to know what the song is. I know that Evan knows what it is (since he has the music) but I just haven't bugged him about it this year yet.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Website Updated

I do apologize for not updating the assignments section of the class website earlier. Next time something like that happens, somebody please email me or post something here to remind me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our Compositions

While on the bus today, I was thinking about class and discovered something. Many of us broke one of the main rules of being a successful composer! We did this by giving our original scores to Ms. Sanchez. How could we? And on our first project too...

Monday, September 8, 2008


In class today, I was actually thinking about what would happen if -gasp- I were the only one to join the blog! This not being the case anymore, I wonder if anyone else will be using it as the year goes on. I expected frobecca, of course.

So far, this blog seems to be about exploration of music and different types of music, and I thought I'd add my own knowledge.

In my composer profile thing (Very first paper we were handed) I put "hardcore techno" as my favorite genre of music. Now, I've given some to frobecca before, and she doesn't like it very much, because of the distorted, powerful bassline that I've become so addicted to.
It's a pretty niche subgenre, having started in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in roughly the early 90s, coming from the ashes of house music, coming from disco, which started the whole constant-bassline thing that is the core of "techno", as electronic music is so often generalized. The distortion was purely experimental, originally being the deeper power sounds on a Roland Juno synthesizer, and became less so after some positive feedback. As with most genres, it's nearly impossible to trace its creation back to one artist and one song.
Now, the gabber scene, as the genre is called (in Dutch, pronounced 'habber', with the "h" being gutteral; Dutch is so much fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HaXlUklK4c - Always Hardcore by Bodylotion

Artist Statement?

For those of you who are completely befuddled as to how to go about this project, try doing some reading here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

response to june's post

There are decent musicians that make to the top today but the music industry puts appearance before talent so that is usually not the case. The music industry is evil.

Schoenberg and serial music

Schoenberg being a lover of order in music (he used traditional forms) created a set of rules that composers could use. Also he was influenced by the socialist belief in absolute economic and social equality and gave the notes absolute equality or "socialism in music". Also I know this is annoying but Schoenberg's opera was published as Moses und Aron Schoenberg changed it because Moses und Aaron had 13 letters a number he feared deeply. (not kidding)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Atonal Music Vs. Serial Music

Adrianne brought a wonderful question to the forefront today, and not being satisfied with my answer, I decided to do some research to delve a little bit deeper into the topic. Both atonal music and serial music avoid having a traditional, single emphasized note, called the "tonic," which results in a similar type of music. The difference is solely in the construction of such pieces. Arnold Schoenberg was the inventor of serial music, which uses the twelve tone system. He preferred to call it "pantonal" because each note is given equal, democratic importance. It was quite egalitarian of him. There are very strict rules governing the twelve tone system including:

1. All twelve chromatic tones must be used equally
2. Melodies are built based on tone rows involving all twelve tones
3. The matrix may be used to find inversions and other versions of the original tone row, to provide variety.

Atonal music, by contrast, does not have to use all twelve chromatic notes or follow such a mathematical structure. The compositional process would then be much more intuitive.

If you haven't figured out yet, I'm fond of definitions, so here's one I found for Serial Music/ The Twelve Tone System:

Twelve Note Method / Dodecaphony :

"Serial music is constructed according to the principle, described independently by Hauer and Schönberg in the early 1920s, of 12-note composition. According to the Schönbergian principle, the 12 notes of the equal-tempered scale are arranged in a particular order, a series or row, that serves as the basis of the composition. Serial technique requires that the succession of notes be ordered as they are in the row, but simultaneities--chords--have no succession within them, so the principle of order relations does not apply to them. In Schönberg's Method of Composing with Twelve Notes Which are Related Only to One Another, the note-row may be used in its original form, or inverted, or retrograde, or retrograde inverted; in each of these forms it may be transposed to any pitch (each note-row may thus have forty-eight possible forms). All the music of the composition is constructed from this basic material; any particular note may be repeated, but the order must be maintained. Octave transpositions are permitted. Notes may occur in any voice, may be used either melodically (horizontally) or harmonically (vertically) but the entire sequence must be employed before the row may be repeated. The row is normally designed to avoid outlining the triads or patterns associated with tonality. Berg's Lulu (1937) and Schönberg's Moses und Aaron (1957), both written entirely in serial technique, are considered the two masterpieces of the serial repertoire. Both employ the same arduous vocal style as Wozzeck and are significant undertakings for performers and audience alike. Later developments of 12-note theory introduced the idea of using six-, four- or three-note segments of a row as compositional elements. As originally designed by Schönberg, the method was intended to preclude tonality, though later composers, notably Berg, found ways of using the technique in a tonal context - as indeed did Schönberg himself."

(taken from here )

And here's a definition I found for Atonality:

"(English, German, Spanish) music that avoids a key centre but is not constructed on serial principles, such works being written generally without a key signature."

(taken from here )

You can also visit this forum and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for more information on atonality.

I hope this properly answered your question. I know it more than answered mine!