Music styles, etc

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Re: Random Thread

Post by Frislander »

That Serbian one! :mrgreen: :cry:
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Re: Random Thread

Post by mèþru »

Why are the two Random threads now, and why does this one lack my most recent post?
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Re: Random Thread

Post by Salmoneus »

jmcd wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
jmcd wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:A huge part of how music sounds is down to instrumentation. Take a classical piece and play it with a mediaeval ensemble (shawms, crumhorns, tabors etc) and it'll sound mediaeval. Or mediaeval(ish), at least. Contariwise, when I was watching this year's Screenwipe, it took me a moment to realise that the classical piece they were playing in between the bits of Satie was actually a song by David Bowie, only reorchestrated.
On a smilar note, here's a traditional Gaelic song followed by an unrecognisable instrumental cover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv5ZxBSNjYU.


Which is more amusing because the "traditional" version is so, so Anglicised that it's hilarious. The harmony and the orchestration and the whole general style are classical music via early 20th century England music halls, with a bit of "what hippies in the sixties thought celtic music was like" thrown in. I suspect the melody has been rewritten from the original too, but that was probably done by an earlier generation.
Well I never! I can't seem to find a more traditional recording of the same to compare it with. Could you go into greater detail as to what makes the music, in particular the harmony, anglicised? The instrumentation I can half-hear (I hear marching band drumming which doesn't seem something that would have been found (at least not a great deal) in the Highlands prior to the mid 18th century at the earliest)

Indeed, the band, and most of its instruments, are alien to the region. Fiddle, harp and bagpipe are the traditional instruments.

But a bigger giveaway: there's harmony. Traditional Scottish songs (like English ones for the most part) were sung unaccompanied; if there was accompaniment, it would be in the form of extended drone notes. Furthermore, traditional Scottish music was mostly pentatonic, with some Hebridean music being only tetratonic (i.e. with four notes allowed in the scale, compared to our seven). And even if it was heptatonic, it was still modal in construction, rather than adopting the diatonic harmonies that came out of classical music: the harmonic progressions would all be very different, because the chords built on non-diatonic scales are different - and even many of the basic assumptions don't always hold true (a lot of old Scottish songs end on the dominant, for instance, rather than on the tonic). MacRae's version is at the other extreme, being densely harmonised - hear how that walking base keeps changing the chords, creating a sense of forward motion. More generally, it's hard to say exactly why as a layman, but it feels as though he uses a lot of typical decisions that would be made in English music of the late 19th or early 20th century. Replace the voice with, say, a clarinet, and you'd barely know that it was Scottish at all - it could fit in perfectly well with English music.

What MacRae is doing is taking traditional Scottish music that's been filtered somehow, probably via country dance bands, who apparently went around conforming songs to common-practice (much the way that modern pop singers 'update' old songs for modern audiences), and then performing it in the manner learnt from the English second folk revival movement.

However, the song itself I suspect isn't that old either, or else it's been modified heavily, because while it has a slight Scottish lilt it basically fits a common practice melodic pattern and rhythm, with its strong beat and its balanced pairs of phrases built up fractally to make the tune. Older tunes relied much more on more asymmetrical phrases repeated continuously, but with asymmetric variations to match the lyrics, and older-still music largely larged the explicit beat.

Anyway...
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/play/86382;jsessionid=75104903EC5DD089FF5FABDF5BFEBE63 - a recording of the same song in a somewhat more traditional style, from the same era. It's harmonised, and it's fundamentally common practice I think, but it's distinctly more alien, with a dulcimer accompaniement.

An example of an older style, one of the old waulking songs:
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/play/48447;jsessionid=75104903EC5DD089FF5FABDF5BFEBE63 - using an older singing method, in a call-and-response style. The strong rhythm is typical of waulking songs, and of labour songs more generally, but apparently it's debated whether this arose independently as a response to the needs of the labour (like the strong beat of rowing songs around the world), or whether it's imported from the outside world.

An even older style:
http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/play/14796 - a eulogy for Sir Donald MacDonald. A song from the 17th century, although in a conservative style.

And an older song still:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CEsqd5C_X5g#t=03m05s - Am Brón Binn, one of the old heroic ballads.
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Re: Music styles, etc

Post by mèþru »

From the other Random thread:
I wrote:I have a new blog post. Sometimes I wonder if I should just give up on blogging, given that I rarely post anything anyway.
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Re: Music styles, etc

Post by mèþru »

Oh its Music styles. That makes sense.
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Re: Random Thread

Post by Frislander »

Salmoneus wrote:But a bigger giveaway: there's harmony. Traditional Scottish songs (like English ones for the most part) were sung unaccompanied; if there was accompaniment, it would be in the form of extended drone notes. Furthermore, traditional Scottish music was mostly pentatonic, with some Hebridean music being only tetratonic (i.e. with four notes allowed in the scale, compared to our seven). And even if it was heptatonic, it was still modal in construction, rather than adopting the diatonic harmonies that came out of classical music: the harmonic progressions would all be very different, because the chords built on non-diatonic scales are different - and even many of the basic assumptions don't always hold true (a lot of old Scottish songs end on the dominant, for instance, rather than on the tonic).


See Dream Angus which, when I play it on my cello with a dronal D above it, sounds like something out of Mongolia/Tuva. It's also clearly in D, but ends on the dominant A, as you say.
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Re: Music styles, etc

Post by jmcd »

@Sal: Thanks for the info and song links. I'll have bookmarked that Tobar an Dualchais website.

@Frislander: That's interesting and gets me thinking about a similarity between Central Eurasian languages and Northern European languages:

vowel harmony: strictly from Finnish eastward; present also in Middle Norwegian and one vowel in Scots; visually in the spelling of Irish and Scottish Gaelic
also umlaut (related to vowel harmony)

Which brings us back to music:
Swedish fiddling has drone notes also I do believe.
Are there also drones in, say, Sami music?
Sami music does seem to be pentatonic.

But then again I could be just grasping at straws with this hypothesis.

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Re: Music styles, etc

Post by Salmoneus »

jmcd wrote:Are there also drones in, say, Sami music?
Sami music does seem to be pentatonic.

But then again I could be just grasping at straws with this hypothesis.


Surviving traditional Sami music is unaccompanied - just a solo singer, or in the past a solo melodic instrument. It's known that drums used to be used, but they were regarded as heretical and exterminated.

Grove says that drones are widespread throughout the world but not ubiquitous. It suggests the hypothesis that drones may have 'become established' in western asia early on and spread from there, but notes that there's no clear evidence for drones before their use in hellenistic music (but given how little evidence there is for anything before that, that's not too definitive). However, given the simplicity of the technique, and the fact that instruments appropriate to it can be very primitive (the European bumbass, widely used for droning, is barely more than a basic musical bow), it's presumably something that has arisen independently here and there. That said, it seems to have been widespread throughout the indo-european area, from the Hebrides to India.

Sami music is indeed pentatonic. However, everything is pentatonic. The pentatonic is so widespread that it's widely assumed to be genuinely primitive - in the sense either of it having developed incredibly early and spread everywhere, or else being inherent to human minds and/or physics and naturally rediscovered time and time again.
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Re: Music styles, etc

Post by alice »

Salmoneus wrote:Sami music is indeed pentatonic. However, everything is pentatonic. The pentatonic is so widespread that it's widely assumed to be genuinely primitive - in the sense either of it having developed incredibly early and spread everywhere, or else being inherent to human minds and/or physics and naturally rediscovered time and time again.


Braver persons than myself may wish at this point to draw parallels with similar "genuinely primitive" aspects of human language, such as the widespread occurrence of the five-vowel system.
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Re: Music styles

Post by Chuma »

Interesting question! Maybe another reason could be the "fall of the mainstream" - with the internet, and everyone listening to their own little genres, new styles can coexist with the old, and the music you hear on the radio doesn't change as quickly. Plus, we may just have more older people listening to popular music, whereas back in the mid-1900s it was more of a youth culture thing.

Or, for a more creative answer - maybe the awful noise only flourished because record companies pushed it. Now that our choices are more about personal choice and word of mouth, we've started listening to good music!

jmcd wrote:In the case of Autotune, the technology is simply a matter of disguise

Similarly, development in synthesizers - which has been quite noticeable since the 80s - is mostly about sounding like existing things, these days.

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Re: Music styles, etc

Post by Salmoneus »

Regarding how much re-arrangement changes the style of the piece: here's Beethoven played with one sort of ensemble from popular late 20th century music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6rBK0BqL2w
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Re: Music styles, etc

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Raphael wrote:Something random that I've been thinking about for a while:

Aren't we long overdue for a fundamentally new music style? I've got the impression that the major music styles on offer have basically stayed the same since the 1990s, except that Techno is less popular than it was back then. I mean, I'm a bald early middle aged guy now, and if I had started having kids at a fairly young age, I could have teenaged kids now - and yet today's teenagers seem to listen to the same basic music styles that people my age listened to when I was a teenager. (Though not myself - my music tastes were always a bit old fashioned for someone of my generation.) Shouldn't today's teenagers listen to something much more different, something that barely sounds like music to me?

Those kids these days, with their weird music that actually sounds like music, and not like unsufferable noise as it's supposed to!

T R A N S C E N D E N T A L B L A C K M E T A L

electronic music is p innovative but it's mostly about ephemeral microgenres, nothing with staying power. here's some stuff

kel valhaal - tense stage (same dude behind transcendental black metal, heavily influenced by minimalism. 2016)
kay faraday - yagokoro's miracle pill (chip surrealism?? 2016 probably)
2814 - 悲哀/Sorrow (vaporwave, 2015)
unison - lost generation (witch house, 2011)
dan deacon - snookered (maximalism?? 2009)
future islands - seasons ('80s-retro pop, 2014. these guys came out of the same scene as dan deacon in like 2005 but didn't get popular til a few years ago)
venetian snares - die winnipeg die die die fuckers die (breakcore, 2005)
cascade (hahaha oh man, remember homestuck? ~2014)
spag heddy - pink koeks (hahaha oh man, remember dubstep? ~2014)
downlink - activation (getter remix) (more dubstep, ~2015)
danger - 88:88 (proto-synthwave, 2007)
college - can you kiss me first (proto-synthwave? 2008)
master boot record - format.exe (unusually heavy synthwave, 2016)
air traffic controller - people watching (indie? 2015. i saw these guys live once by accident, they're a lot louder and a lot less unlistenable irl)

on reflection half of this is '80s nostalgia so

Salmoneus wrote:Regarding how much re-arrangement changes the style of the piece: here's Beethoven played with one sort of ensemble from popular late 20th century music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6rBK0BqL2w

see also: ulytau

also that one remix of that one track from tyrian. and another (original)
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Re: Music styles

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Chuma wrote: Plus, we may just have more older people listening to popular music, whereas back in the mid-1900s it was more of a youth culture thing.

Naaa, back then older and younger people both listened popular music, they just listened to different styles. The older generation saw that kind of music as the start of the world going to hell in a handbasket, while today they don't get as exercised about what the youngsters are listening to - which is what this thread is about. One thought is that so many things have already been tried out since the 1960s, that it's simply very difficult to upset then oldsters - they've seen Punk, Heavy Metal, Rap, HipHop, Disco, and Modern Talking; what could still shock them?

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Re: Music styles

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hwhatting wrote:what could still shock them?

Indeed. There's nothing my kids could listen to that would result in more than a passing shrug from me - in fact, most of the traditional "parents'll hate this" music is well stocked in my CD collection (the fact that I have physical CDs makes me old, of course :)).


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Re: Music styles

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jal wrote:the fact that I have physical CDs makes me old, of course :)


Hey! I'm a 17-year-old CD owner and proud of it!
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Re: Music styles

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jal wrote:
hwhatting wrote:what could still shock them?

Indeed. There's nothing my kids could listen to that would result in more than a passing shrug from me - in fact, most of the traditional "parents'll hate this" music is well stocked in my CD collection (the fact that I have physical CDs makes me old, of course :)).

Really? So how much National Socialist black metal and White Power rap is in your collection?

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Re: Music styles

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linguoboy wrote:
jal wrote:
hwhatting wrote:what could still shock them?

Indeed. There's nothing my kids could listen to that would result in more than a passing shrug from me - in fact, most of the traditional "parents'll hate this" music is well stocked in my CD collection (the fact that I have physical CDs makes me old, of course :)).

Really? So how much National Socialist black metal and White Power rap is in your collection?


Are they <i>musically</i> objectionable, though, or is it just the lyrics that you have a problem with? I mean, musicians can say or do all sorts of things that are offensive, but that doesn't make their music shocking. If [insert bland conventional musician here] decided to play guitar using the teeth of a woman he murdered as a plectrum, people would be shocked, and might not buy the album... but that wouldn't mean that they were musically shocking!
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Re: Music styles

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linguoboy wrote:Really? So how much National Socialist black metal and White Power rap is in your collection?

None. I was talking, in the spirit of the subject of this thread, about music styles. I didn't say my kids can't do anything to shock me (or infuriate me).


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Re: Music styles, etc

Post by mèþru »

My main problem with songs these days is the singing, or rather how people do some weird thing instead of it. (not sure how to describe it, but some of it is actual done with the mouth rather than with autotune)
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Re: Music styles, etc

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I like the vibe of folk punk. Too bad it's 90% Antifa anarchist garbage.

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Re: Music styles

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jal wrote:
hwhatting wrote:what could still shock them?

Indeed. There's nothing my kids could listen to that would result in more than a passing shrug from me - in fact, most of the traditional "parents'll hate this" music is well stocked in my CD collection (the fact that I have physical CDs makes me old, of course :)).


JAL

this is what my parents thought but they are also of the opinion that most electronic music isn't music

square waves are more ~shocking~ than serialism or free jazz. 2017
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Re: Music styles, etc

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Re: Music styles

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jal wrote:
hwhatting wrote:what could still shock them?

Indeed. There's nothing my kids could listen to that would result in more than a passing shrug from me - in fact, most of the traditional "parents'll hate this" music is well stocked in my CD collection (the fact that I have physical CDs makes me old, of course :)).


Peter Buck opined that "the purpose of rock and roll is to annoy parents". Even if you generalise from "rock and roll" to "popular music", it doesn't seem possible to "annoy" much nowadays, except with mere volume.
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Re: Music styles, etc

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احمکي ارش-ھجن wrote:https://www.maniacmusic.net/home/blog/6-new-music-genres-you-need-to-hear-coming-in-2016

Hahaha, what a bullshit. That's all so mainstreamy...


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Re: Music styles

Post by Pole, the »

alice wrote:Peter Buck opined that "the purpose of rock and roll is to annoy parents". Even if you generalise from "rock and roll" to "popular music", it doesn't seem possible to "annoy" much nowadays, except with mere volume.

So that is the sole purpose of dubstep?
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