Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place

Subject: Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 09:59:00 EDT

There is no reason the computer can't do this kind of expression, but most computer musicians don't study phrasing, dynamics, inflection, pitch bending, etc. the way instrumentalists do.

I remember what a revelation it was to me at age 21 when my flute teacher, Eugene Foster of the Utah Symphony, began to teach me how to count measures and phrase in a way he said he learned from Marcel Tabuteau. For some people (like me) just the syllables used for counting, or which beat is counted as '1', make the difference between being able to play Mozart - or not.

My ears have never been the same since. I'm NOT saying I do this in computer music! I don't play the flute any more, anyway.

I'm only saying that there is a method to it, so it should be possible.


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Wentk <>
Sent: Sep 16, 2005 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place

At 01:50 16/09/2005, you wrote:
>I'm just trying to make the point that software has many possibilities
>and that an almost infinite range of sound can be created from any
>given software. Although, as somebody mentioned, you may get that
>"Sound Forge" sound in your music, think about a cellist... Having to
>deal with that "cello sound" in all of their composition. That's not a
>very good comparison

No it's not, because one of the characteristics of acoustic instruments is
one that I haven't seen commented on much - an ability to foreground
performance nuances at the expense of timbre.

There seems to be a process with acoustic instruments where the timbre
becomes irrelevant once the instrument has been identified. When you listen
to a piano piece you're not constantly thinking 'That's a piano note - and
that's another one - and that's a piano chord - and that's an arpeggio...'
And so it is for all acoustic instrument instruments. What seems to happen
instead is that the performance nuances come to the fore. So your
experience becomes focussed on the nuances and that indefinable thing
called 'expression'.

I'm increasingly starting to wonder if timbral musics are a dead end.
Timbre on its own doesn't seem enough to make up for this kind of gestural
nuance, no matter how interesting the timbre may be, or how carefully
nuanced it is in its own right.


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