Re: art music/pop music

Subject: Re: art music/pop music
Date: Wed May 19 2004 - 09:59:54 EDT

Quoting Kevin Austin <>:

> And, IMV, the impact of ea (in the broadest sense) is present in all
> of these. The capturing and crystallization of sound changed the
> dynamic of what music "is". The 'music' moved from being "the
> performance of the piece" to some form of "object" -- much as the
> 'writing down' of Beowulf or Le Cid created an 'ur' version against
> which others could be compared.

In an essay Henry Cowell suggests something similar. I.e., that the
transcription of folk music in a sense destroys it, Heisenberg-like. The kind
of local variation, imprecise tonality and rhythms that exist in a strictly
aural tradition get lost when the notes and rhythm were locked in place on
paper, so that, Cowell says, a lot of the "authentic" folk music recorded in
the 40s and 50s is not so authentic.

Similarly, the scale frequencies of gamelon music varies from locale to locale.
The tuning of the instruments in a given gamelon orchestra are
self-referential. So while the same scale names are used in different regions,
they don't sound quite the same. You can't mix the instruments of different
gamelon orchestras.

--David Mooney

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