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How Do Cultures Create Good Music Without Reading Music?




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#21 Wu Li Heron

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Posted October 08 2016 - 09:05 AM

A cuneiform tablet discovered in Mesopotamia and dated a century after the invention of writing contains a rant of someone complaining that the new invention has made their children lazy and they no longer bother to memorize everything. The Iliad and Odessey contain some ten or twenty thousand lines of poetry the bards memorized and I'm sure they would wonder how we can make such complex music with such poor memories.



#22 Motion

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Posted October 21 2016 - 09:32 PM

I was glad to see the reference to Haitian drumming. It comes from the spirit, the soul and builds. Haitian culture is quite interesting to me.
 

To me that type of drumming is some of the best drumming you can find. I don't practice the religion of Vodu but I can appreciate the people's drumming skills.


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#23 fourth wise man

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Posted October 22 2016 - 01:27 AM

Speaking of Vodun, here's something to check out...

Vodun - "Mawu" official video- https://youtu.be/uFlPd7ERiVQ
Riff Rock Records

#24 Motion

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Posted October 22 2016 - 11:12 AM

Ever heard the saying, "play it by ear?"

Ok but when you get a group of musicians together who can only play by ear how do they play together so that the music sounds organized and not "off sounding"? How do they organize their playing together is what my question is more about.



#25 guerillabedlam

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Posted October 22 2016 - 11:48 AM

Yeah, the question in the thread title is kind of like asking "how did people communicate before they had the internet"

  

No, that's not a comparable analogy, obviously there were plenty of communicative technologies prior to the internet.

This is a better analogy...

How did people learn languages before books were invented.


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#26 guerillabedlam

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Posted October 22 2016 - 11:56 AM

Ok but when you get a group of musicians together who can only play by ear how do they play together so that the music sounds organized and not "off sounding"? How do they organize their playing together is what my question is more about.

There is what's called "call and response" utilized in alot of Western Music, which is good for genres like the Blues. This can often be seen with two guitarist, one will solo for a few bars then another guitarist will "respond" to them and solo for a few bars, creates this kind of "dialogue" between the musicians which alludes to the Music as a language concept put forth in the video Reverand JC posted.

That might provide some insight into such phenomena, however with the guitars example, obviously there is usually still a very structured supporting rhythm section which is playing calculated enough in a way that we can define such music as blues.

Edited by guerillabedlam, October 22 2016 - 12:22 PM.

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#27 fourth wise man

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Posted December 13 2016 - 04:04 PM

Ok but when you get a group of musicians together who can only play by ear how do they play together so that the music sounds organized and not "off sounding"? How do they organize their playing together is what my question is more about.

hopefully they tune together first, lol

then show one another what they are into, so they can compare notes.

it's not that hard, as long as nobody has an ego problem. 

that happened to me when I was 16. tried playing guitar along with a "friend", it was impossible. I had a 100 watt tube amp, he had his uncle's old band amp. Multiple cabs, lots of power. Drowned me out completely.

couldn't even hear myself, and his tuning method (LOL) was nothing like mine. totally fucked up times.



#28 10onpump7

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Posted January 03 2017 - 01:18 PM

the heart pounds out a tempo. the mind fills the gaps. boom, music. Scores are for chumps.


-Hireath-


#29 penguinsfan13

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Posted January 03 2017 - 03:34 PM

the heart pounds out a tempo. the mind fills the gaps. boom, music. Scores are for chumps.

first thought is this is a stupid ignorant comment....

 

second thought is (oh yeah i remember all those arguments i had with my friend who talked about how complex his music was and how punk is 3 chords, and i would argue, yeah but the three chords sound better than all the work your complex writing has brought to music)

i think there is a spot for both but for this thread your answer works pretty fucking perfectly.


doo be doo be doo, beware of the penguins.


#30 Wu Li Heron

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Posted January 03 2017 - 05:37 PM

Mathematics, language, and aesthetic appreciation have all been traced to the same parts of the brain involved in vision. One third of the brain is dedicated to vision alone with the back of your head containing countless heuristic algorithms used for pattern matching. A bird can make music because its all based on pattern matching and we can make more complex music because our larger brains can generate more complex patterns and then compare them. Birds raised to learn another related bird's songs will still sing it with the accent of their parents. Part of a human individual's ability to make more complex music is how much memory they possess and, for example, Mozart was the first modern musician who had the equivalent of a photographic memory for music. He could write down any score he heard without making a single mistake. 


Edited by Wu Li Heron, January 03 2017 - 05:39 PM.


#31 10onpump7

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Posted January 04 2017 - 05:34 AM

first thought is this is a stupid ignorant comment....

 

second thought is (oh yeah i remember all those arguments i had with my friend who talked about how complex his music was and how punk is 3 chords, and i would argue, yeah but the three chords sound better than all the work your complex writing has brought to music)

i think there is a spot for both but for this thread your answer works pretty fucking perfectly.

 

Considering people prefer music with a tempo ranging from 70 to 100 bpm it isnt ignorant at all. a resting heart rate beats the ideal tempo to base a song from. in fact its where music originated, way before there where language, music was a way of communicating. i dont know if you are trying to be condescending or not, and dont really care. but if you are denying that music come from the heart. you are just plain wrong.


Edited by 10onpump7, January 04 2017 - 05:36 AM.

-Hireath-


#32 penguinsfan13

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Posted January 04 2017 - 09:46 AM

Considering people prefer music with a tempo ranging from 70 to 100 bpm it isnt ignorant at all. a resting heart rate beats the ideal tempo to base a song from. in fact its where music originated, way before there where language, music was a way of communicating. i dont know if you are trying to be condescending or not, and dont really care. but if you are denying that music come from the heart. you are just plain wrong.

clearly you missed what i said


doo be doo be doo, beware of the penguins.





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