zompist bboard

a congress of convoluted conworldery
It is currently Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:11 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Printing press?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:39 am 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:07 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Lodi, Lombardy
Hi everyone!

I don't know if this issue has already been addressed in the past, but here is my question: what do we know about the invention of the printing press in Almea (or just Ereláe)? As in, where it was first conceived, and when, and how it spread and changed the cultural landscape? I think it would also be interesting to see how "unusual" scripts like the Jippirasti alphabet would have to adapt to the movable type setup.

_________________
"O Tite tute Tati tibi tanta tyranne tulisti..."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Printing press?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:18 pm 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10452
Location: In the den
I think the Almeopedia article addresses your questions... if not, feel free to ask more specific questions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Printing press?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:41 pm 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:07 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Lodi, Lombardy
Wow, I don't know how I could have missed that article! Thank you for linking it to me.

Here are a few more specific questions, out of personal curiosity, which might make for a nice thinking exercise:

>Did the invention of the printing press shine some more light on previous civilizations' (Cuezi?) cultural outcome and if so, how did it affect the present culture and literature?
>Is there even such thing as a class of intellectuals, like Renaissance Humanists, whom the printing press might help connecting, i.e. allowing the friendly (or not?) exchange of literature, ideas, opinions etc.? Are intellectuals exchanging ideas (and languages) across national borders? Did they cherry-pick a common "excellent" language, like Renaissance Latin?
>When can writers in Almea hope to start living off of their "royalties" alone? Is it a slow process much like in Europe, where intellectuals still had to rely on noblemen to grant them money for their artistic achievements, and it took nearly three centuries to even conceive the idea of copyright?
>How is the popularity of books affecting the spoken languages themselves? I am thinking of Luther's Bible fixing the standard "German" over the various dialects among the laymen, while Italy lagged behind due to the Council of Trent asserting the supremacy of the Vulgate, with the result that Italian was only currently spoken by the lower classes after 1940 ca. and artistic/scientific literacy is still embarrassingly low to the present day.
>Now that books can spread easily, how is the difference between written language and spoken language changing? And back to intellectuals, how did they choose their writing register before printing vs. how do they now? (Did/do they choose one of the dialects, or mix some/all of them together, or create their own written "dialect"...)
>Any such thing as philosophy (ethics, aesthetics, gnosiology, theology), advanced mathematics, or basic fields of science (empiricism) growing thanks to the printing press? And the diffusion of printed canons of figurative art (cfr. Palladio) in Xurno and elsewhere, or technological manuals (agriculture, crafting, machinery and industry, war strategy)? How about theatrical works? Or even books about magic? How are the official religions reacting to this kind of information traveling at book-speed throughout the continent?
>What's the story with the birth of modern punctuation, cfr. Manuzio in Venice? Did a similar concept already exist in manuscripts, and then had to be adapted to the movable type?
>Does music printing exist, cfr. Petrucci in Venice? If not, is it ever going to?

Again, some of these questions might have already been answered elsewhere, so I apologize in advance!

_________________
"O Tite tute Tati tibi tanta tyranne tulisti..."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Printing press?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:34 pm 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10452
Location: In the den
Yæd wrote:
>Did the invention of the printing press shine some more light on previous civilizations' (Cuezi?) cultural outcome and if so, how did it affect the present culture and literature?


I'm not sure I follow you here. Unless you mean, did it expand knowledge of these civilizations? Certainly, that's a major effect of printing.

Quote:
>Is there even such thing as a class of intellectuals, like Renaissance Humanists, whom the printing press might help connecting, i.e. allowing the friendly (or not?) exchange of literature, ideas, opinions etc.? Are intellectuals exchanging ideas (and languages) across national borders? Did they cherry-pick a common "excellent" language, like Renaissance Latin?


Yes, there's a culture of scientific inquiry in Eretald (and some of the nations to the south). You can get a glimpse of it from some Almeopedia articles: Bidbo Chunio, Äron Nošcerey, Noe Calseoma. Also look at the later links on the technology page.

A few centuries ago, scientific works would have been printed in Cadhinor; now it's more likely to be Verdurian, Flaidish, or Kebreni-- translations of important works come quickly. It's not uncommon for Kebreni and Flaidish scientists to use Verdurian.

As a general note, Eretald is intended to have a culture similar to Europe circa 1800-- thus, early modern rather than medieval. It's right at the point where science and technology are starting to heat up and transform society.

Quote:
>When can writers in Almea hope to start living off of their "royalties" alone? Is it a slow process much like in Europe, where intellectuals still had to rely on noblemen to grant them money for their artistic achievements, and it took nearly three centuries to even conceive the idea of copyright?


Depends on what you're writing. A popular novelist or dramatist could live on royalties. There are newspapers and universities which employ writers. There are also of course writers and scholars who depend on patronage or day jobs.

Quote:
>How is the popularity of books affecting the spoken languages themselves? I am thinking of Luther's Bible fixing the standard "German" over the various dialects among the laymen, while Italy lagged behind due to the Council of Trent asserting the supremacy of the Vulgate, with the result that Italian was only currently spoken by the lower classes after 1940 ca. and artistic/scientific literacy is still embarrassingly low to the present day.


Certainly it helps cement the standard languages. There is a dialect continuum from Barakhinei to Verdurian to Ismain... but books almost never appear in nonstandard form, so writing reinforces the standard languages. (Note that Eretald is still mostly rural, so these unwritten dialects are in no danger of disappearing.)

Quote:
>Now that books can spread easily, how is the difference between written language and spoken language changing? And back to intellectuals, how did they choose their writing register before printing vs. how do they now? (Did/do they choose one of the dialects, or mix some/all of them together, or create their own written "dialect"...)


The standard languages are all the speech of major cities, so there's little confusion. Only a few cities like Zhesifo have much power to resist standardization.

There are fights of course over the lexicon, over spelling, and some points of grammar. Flaids don't object to Verdurian borrowings, but Kebreni do. Elena's spelling reform encountered great resistance (but that was 200 years ago and has died down). There are attempts to make Verdurian work more like Cadhinor.

Quote:
>Any such thing as philosophy (ethics, aesthetics, gnosiology, theology), advanced mathematics, or basic fields of science (empiricism) growing thanks to the printing press? And the diffusion of printed canons of figurative art (cfr. Palladio) in Xurno and elsewhere, or technological manuals (agriculture, crafting, machinery and industry, war strategy)? How about theatrical works? Or even books about magic? How are the official religions reacting to this kind of information traveling at book-speed throughout the continent?


As noted above, scholars rely on printing to disseminate ideas. It's hard to have real scientific progress without printing. If I ever finish Diary of the Prose Wars, you'll see how a modernizing society confronts the problem of new scholarship and whether it can get on board.

Many of the earliest adopters of the printing press were religious institutions. It's great for spreading scripture, sermons, inspirational works. Xurnese Revaudo wouldn't have spread so fast without silkscreen printing. There are of course religious conservatives who don't like anything new, but science on Almea hasn't advanced to the point where religions feel threatened.

Quote:
>What's the story with the birth of modern punctuation, cfr. Manuzio in Venice? Did a similar concept already exist in manuscripts, and then had to be adapted to the movable type?
>Does music printing exist, cfr. Petrucci in Venice? If not, is it ever going to?


I haven't worked out details, but printing would have required standardization of punctuation, as well as weeding out a plethora of confusing manuscript abbreviations. Hand-written MSS allow a lot more individual and institutional variation.

There is surely some form of music notation. I think I said somewhere (but I can't find it now) that the Cadhinorians could record their music, so the Verdurians, unlike Europeans, can enjoy 2000-year-old music.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Printing press?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:49 pm 
Sanno
Sanno
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:00 pm
Posts: 16392
Location: One of the dark places of the world
zompist wrote:
Yæd wrote:

There is surely some form of music notation. I think I said somewhere (but I can't find it now) that the Cadhinorians could record their music, so the Verdurians, unlike Europeans, can enjoy 2000-year-old music.


Pedantry: Europeans can enjoy 4000-year-old music, and certainly 2000-2500-year-old music. Assuming by 'record' you mean 'notate', rather than literally 'preserve physical recording'. But magic, so maybe you mean it literally?

_________________
Blog: http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/

But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Printing press?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:48 pm 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10452
Location: In the den
Salmoneus wrote:
zompist wrote:
Yæd wrote:

There is surely some form of music notation. I think I said somewhere (but I can't find it now) that the Cadhinorians could record their music, so the Verdurians, unlike Europeans, can enjoy 2000-year-old music.


Pedantry: Europeans can enjoy 4000-year-old music, and certainly 2000-2500-year-old music. Assuming by 'record' you mean 'notate', rather than literally 'preserve physical recording'. But magic, so maybe you mean it literally?


I meant literally, but I may not be well informed. :) Looking at Wikipedia, it seems we do know something about ancient Greek musical notation. But there are few songs preserved, apparently. So far as I know, you can't go to the music store and buy a shelfful of CDs of ancient Greek music.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Printing press?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:12 pm 
Sanno
Sanno
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:00 pm
Posts: 16392
Location: One of the dark places of the world
Long answer:


Indeed. There are several obstacles to music preservation:
a) the first period needs to have a notational system
b) the first period needs to make use of their notational system to create many documents notating music
c) those documents have to survive relatively intact to the second period
d) the first period needs to have had a body of written musical theory to enable the notation to be read
e) those deocuments have to survive relatively intact to the second period.

a) is actually the easiest part of this! We know the Greeks had a substantial system of notation, and we've also found notation systems from ancient mesopotamia, turkey, iirc egypt and persia, I think also India.
b) is a huge problem, however. Most music in most cultures is learnt through listening, taught either in a folk context or from master to apprentice. There are relatively few pre-modern contexts where there is any reason to write down music. And most of those contexts lend themselves to ephemera. For instance, we know Greek plays had music, but hardly any of it has been notated. This is probably because, if there was notation at all, it would have been in the form of notes written up for the performers, cast away after the performance (particularly a problem for the ancient mediterranean - widespread use of tablets meant almost total destruction of ephemeral documents). Similarly, a musically-literate person might have jotted down a tune for his own amusement, or to send to a friend who hadn't heard the performance, but this sort of document would be unlikely to survive (and would give only a quick tune, not an entire piece of music).

[Imagine that 19th century music was never mass-printed by Simrock, but propagated only by hand-written scores transcribed for the use of particular orchestras. How much of that music would then even have survived 100 years, let along 1000?]

And then you have c) - time takes a big toll on things. Not just the ephemera, but even the more formal stuff. In particular, for the fall of the classical era you have two enormous literary harrowings: the active cultural genocide against the pagans, and the passive failure to transcribe uninteresting rotting old scrolls into fashionable new codexes. We know we lost... well, virtually everything ever written in the classical world, and no doubt much more that we have never even heard the names of. The things that survived were either extremely lucky or else, more likely, were extremely numerous. Without a tradition of musical mass-propagation, music would be among the first things lost.

d) is easier than you might think - we do have musical theory from several ancient cultures. The problem is, lacking a continuous musical tradition linking us, it's hard for any theoretical account lacking modern objective acoustic knowledge to supply enough background knowledge to make that theory unambiguous. So a culture might write a document telling you that 'X' means the interval between the fourth and the sixth string... OK, so how is your instrument strung? How is it tuned? Is it always tuned the same way, or do some forms of music let the performer tune certain strings slightly flat or sharp? It's amazing how little can be notated even when we use standard notation. For example, a certain era of baroque music used almost continual syncopation - but none of it is notated. They didn't see it as a difference in note length, they just saw it as... well, 'swing', just a normal part of a performer's artistic style, the same way we don't notate every slight variation in volume...


-------------------------------------

I wonder whether an organised state religion (widespread authoritative system of rituals, I should say) is necessary for mass-production of music to get going? A lot of the music we know about is in some way religious - religions often wanted their music standardised (across time and space) and promulgated in a way that contrasted with the exclusivity of private entertainment (if you're a theatre owner whose plays are performed with some great music, what's your motivation for writing that music down and giving it away so that your rivals can replicate your own success?). So religions created a need for many copies of music to be spread over a large area, in a format that was amenable to comparison between times (private entertainment asks is this the most fashionable way to play this music? - religion asks is this the correct, tradition-sanctioned way to play this music?). So, similarly, in the middle ages there was probably vastly more popular music than there was religious music... but acres of religious music has survived, while hardly any pop music has. [the lyrics have done a much better job of surviving than the music]


-------

Short answer:

You CAN go to the store and buy a shelffull of CDs of ancient greek (well, greek+roman) music. It just has to be a small shelf, and you need to have a high tolerance for repetition... only a dozen or so pieces have survived. There's a bunch of stuff by Mesomedes - a poet and composer so famous that Nero built a statue to his memory a century after his death - and a couple of pieces possibly by Euripides himself, most famously an extensive fragment from the Oresteia. [The music would originally have been written by Euripides, but the surviving fragment showing musical notation is from two centuries later, so it's always possible it's a newer tune to the the old words]

_________________
Blog: http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/

But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Printing press?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:39 pm 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 10452
Location: In the den
That's good information, thanks.

For Eretald, I think the difference is that there was an organized paganism, with a great interest in standardizing rites. So at least religious music was notated in sufficient quantities to be preserved.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group