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The definiton of music

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Yes: Rhythm and melody. (and that's not 'rhythm/melody as perceived by the listener', so people calling Hendrix 'noise' were just lacking education)

Overruled I disagree.

I think the ONLY criteria for a sound or group of sounds to be music is that it is perceived by the listener to be musical.

Mind you, as I get older, I lose my faith in other people's perception of what is musical.

Allow me to re-phrase this:

It's only music if I say it is.

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I think the ONLY criteria for a sound or group of sounds to be music is that it is perceived by the listener to be musical.

Aesthetically pleasing sound does not always amount to music, no matter how much the listener would like it to. By definition, if there's rhythm/melody, it's music, and if not, not. (sometimes harmony is thrown in there too, but it's always been argued to just be another melody)

People's minds are more open in modern times to acceptance of all kinds of different sounds, and that's awesome... but if something that isn't music by the original definition needs a name, you don't redefine the term "music" to allow the new sound, you make a new definition for the new sound.

Besides, the old definition is pretty broad. All you really need, technically, is two amplitude peaks, or two different harmonics. If you find some sound that doesn't meet that minimal a criteria and feel the need to call it music..... uhm... you might be an arty-farty wanker ;D

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I seem to remember something about a "repetitive beat" beaing used when the government wrote up the criminal justice act in the UK (The act brought in to stop raves and basically took away a lot of civil liberties), although this may just refer to dance music.

I disagree about music having to have a melody... what about drumming?

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Ah, but you see, you're missing something crucial in my definition.

We were talking about what makes music, but this has been confused with quantifying the 'minimum' requirement for something to be musical. This is a pointless exercise. There is no minimum requirement. Music is art, and art doesn't work like that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cage#World.27s_slowest.2C_longest_concert

My definition:

It's only music if I say it is.

Is meant as a alternate wording of:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

My definition of course also allows for the exclusion of stuff that I don't like.  ;D

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... but if something that isn't music by the original definition needs a name, you don't redefine the term "music" to allow the new sound, you make a new definition for the new sound.

...

the original is greek, and applied to all the arts...

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Ah, but you see, you're missing something crucial in my definition.

We were talking about what makes music, but this has been confused with quantifying the 'minimum' requirement for something to be musical. This is a pointless exercise. There is no minimum requirement. Music is art, and art doesn't work like that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cage#World.27s_slowest.2C_longest_concert

My definition:

It's only music if I say it is.

Is meant as a alternate wording of:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

My definition of course also allows for the exclusion of stuff that I don't like.  ;D

Which I suppose is where wrong music comes in! My friend has some wrong music that has no structure at all, just a series (and a parallell :D) of f*ck*d up noises. Not traditional music, but still has artistic merit. Not always particularly pleasurable, more of an experience, sometimes as traumatic as a nasty bout of diahorrea, but somehow quite satisfying at the same.

My definition of music would be similar to yours... A series of sounds which is listened to for it's artistic merit (not necessarily enjoyable).. but then gain, where would poetry fit in.

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This is a pointless exercise. There is no minimum requirement.

You're wrong. The minimum requirement is rhythm and/or melody (that's OR, goblinz ;) )

Music is art, and art doesn't work like that.

Sure it does. It's right there in your dictionary. Don't like the definition? Make a new word. This one's taken.

Cage was a wanker. Yeh, I said it.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Like I said, just because one likes it, does not make it music, no matter how much they want it to

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just a series (and a parallell :D) of f*ck*d up noises. Not traditional music, but still has artistic merit

Exactly. Just because it's not music doesn't take anything away from it. Except that you can't apply that name to it unless it has rhythm / melody.

My definition of music would be similar to yours... A series of sounds which is listened to for it's artistic merit (not necessarily enjoyable).. but then gain, where would poetry fit in.

By your definition the wind in the trees and a passing train could be music. I love that shit. I will take my headphones off to listen to the 1000s of parrots down the road from my house just to lap up the cacophany. But it's not music.

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You're wrong. The minimum requirement is rhythm and/or melody (that's OR, goblinz ;) )

Nope, you're wrong, but that said, both of these are a minimum requirement if you wish to sell records.  ;D

Sure it does. It's right there in your dictionary. Don't like the definition? Make a new word. This one's taken.

Words change their meanings all the time.

Examples:

current

cookie

crash

finger  (a personal favourite - ever seen a film called "hot fuzz"?) :P

ice

And by the way: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/music

6. any sweet, pleasing, or harmonious sounds or sound: the music of the waves.

Cage was a wanker. Yeh, I said it.

Cage was an artist. It is the duty of the artist to try new things, even if stryd_one doesn't understand why.

Like I said, just because one likes it, does not make it music, no matter how much they want it to

This is a direct contradiction to me. I'm saying that the final judgement for what is music is reserved for every single being or entity which hears the sound. I'm saying that I can no sooner judge for you what is music, than you can judge for me, or that I could judge for some as yet undiscovered gaseous entity of unimaginable power. This is why I see it as a pointless exercise. Of course, since this is a discussion on artistic form, use of terms like right, wrong, minimum etc (ie, absolutes) are really the only pointless element.

The element of final judgement also allows for the cranky old man sitting on his porch screaming at "you freakin kids" to "turn off that noise". He is right in his judgement that he is not hearing music, and the freakin kids are right in their own judgement that it is music.

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Nope, you're wrong

Err you gonna back that up? I got like a billion dictionaries and music theory books backing up my statement :)

Words change their meanings all the time.

Examples:

current

cookie

crash

finger  (a personal favourite - ever seen a film called "hot fuzz"?) :P

ice

Ahh they aren't *changed*, they are *added* meanings. They'd be a different number in the dicionary, like

ice

1. Frozen water

2. An evil drug

And by the way: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/music

6. any sweet, pleasing, or harmonious sounds or sound: the music of the waves.

Pfff what dicionary is that? In "the music of the waves", the word 'music' is a metaphor. Note to self: Don't buy that dictionary.

Cage was an artist. It is the duty of the artist to try new things, even if stryd_one doesn't understand why.

No, I understand why - he was too busy being a scholar and forgot to make good tunes instead of wasting time being a poser. I do lots of cage-like experiments, it's totally a cool thing to do.... but I don't go releasing them and making a big song and dance about it cause I'm not a wanker like that.

(heh pardon the pun)

This is a direct contradiction to me. I'm saying that the final judgement for what is music is reserved for every single being or entity which hears the sound.

I know what you're saying but you're just wrong. If I step in dogpoo on a foot path, just because I think it's chocolate, doesn't make it chocolate.

since this is a discussion on artistic form

Nothing to do with art, this is about the science of language... specifically, it's about a definition of a word. I think that's the problem here, it's got nothing to do with artistic value. Even crap music is still music.

The element of final judgement also allows for the cranky old man sitting on his porch screaming at "you freakin kids" to "turn off that noise". He is right in his judgement that he is not hearing music, and the freakin kids are right in their own judgement that it is music.

No, that's the problem... just because the old man doesn't like it, doesn't stop it from being music. The old man is wrong like you. It's still music, it's just music he thinks is crap.

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Err you gonna back that up? I got like a billion dictionaries and music theory books backing up my statement :)

How about 3 years of tertiary study? Not just owning books? Anyway, I don't want to get into that shit. It takes no qualification to judge what music is, and I'm not going to be brow-beaten into submission here, it is a discussion, not a street fight. Try not to get all "ghetto rulez" on me. I'm not interested in who's books are bigger and tougher than who's... :P

Ahh they aren't *changed*, they are *added* meanings. They'd be a different number in the dicionary, like

ice

1. Frozen water

2. An evil drug

So what, are you saying that the only meaning that is true is the first one in each entry? Or that there is inherently some sort of heirarchy given to different meanings? The numbers used in this instance are not to denote heirarchy, but should be treated as dot-points.

Pfff what dicionary is that? In "the music of the waves", the word 'music' is a metaphor. Note to self: Don't buy that dictionary.

Well spotted, in this instance, the term is used in a poetic or metaphoric way. See also "music of the spheres", "cosmic ballet" etc. This actually means that it is not a definition of the artform, but of the metaphorical use of the word. My bad, didn't read it carefully enough (pre-coffee)  ::) - I certainly wouldn't avoid buying a dictionary just because I didn't agree with one of the definitions inside. ;)

OK then, let's go with the first definition from the same entry:

1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.

Sound in time is a good cross-point here, as to me, it means at least two sounds, either co-existing in the same time, or realised in two or more discrete points in time (you might call this "rhythm and melody").  ;D

I'll certainly conceed that one sound on its own should not be considered music, nor should a truck full of violins, or a recording of background noise.

All said, I can agree with this definition, as:

it gives no specific weighting to any of the four elements mentioned, (particularly, is doesn't isolate two of the four and hold them in higher regard than the other two);

it mentions the fact that music is an art form, and that it expresses ideas and emotions. (these are, to me, at least if not more important than the elements involved) this definition emphasises the expression, the artistic intention.

No, I understand why - he was too busy being a scholar and forgot to make good tunes instead of wasting time being a poser. I do lots of cage-like experiments, it's totally a cool thing to do.... but I don't go releasing them and making a big song and dance about it cause I'm not a wanker like that.

Now you're just being a turd. Most of what Cage was about was finding new methods of composition. He invented the 'prepared piano' because he had a gig to do where he wanted a percussion group, but only had a small space with a grand piano he couldn't remove. Rather than giving up on the gig, or writing music for an instrument he didn't want, he modified the instrument. In a different century (or later the same century), he probably would have been a midiboxer.  ;D

Then, late in his career, he writes one piece, consisting of three movements, in each the instruction "tacet" (without speaking/sounding) is given. This piece is unfortunately SO revolutionary that it completely eclipses everything else he did, so now no-one even remembers his other work, he's just 'the guy who copped out and wrote play nothing on the page'.

Is this any less a compostion than a jazz chart consisting only of chord names, with the melody and chord voicing to be improvised as wanted?

Or an 'adagio' as originally intended, where the performers were to play at whatever tempo or tempi they feel, and to shift the tempo and rhythm to personal musical taste? - Unfortunately the term 'adagio' has since been taken by its literal translated meaning simply- 'slowly'...

I know what you're saying but you're just wrong. If I step in dogpoo on a foot path, just because I think it's chocolate, doesn't make it chocolate.

This is irrelevant. And in any case, it wasn't my dog, cause I always take bags with me.  :)

If you find a discarded photograph in the street, is that art?

If you later attend a gallery opening and find the same photograph for sale, is it now art? Is the one you found earlier, now art?

Edit: removed irrelevant anecdote.

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Err you gonna back that up? I got like a billion dictionaries and music theory books backing up my statement :)

...

does a degree in music count?

from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music):

  "Music is an art form in which the medium is sound organized in time."

this is in line with most music theory texts i've read.

btw, Messiaen annotated bird song in his music, i don't like it much, but it's music

(hey i feel much smarter today)

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University degrees just mean you can recite spoonfed information, that's not what I'm talking about. University is for rich sheeple. Just because I'm poor doesn't mean I haven't learned just as much and just as valid information as someone who wanted to support a recognised accreditation and had the cash to pay for it. I chose to learn about my music from scholars like you guys (yes, I do have some formal education), as well as religious scholars, native tribal musicians, phsychologists, etc etc etc.... not just a pile of books. Sorry boys, but uni student elitism won't fly here. My education is as valid as yours, despite what your universities convinced you of. Don't be bothered by that, it's their job to sucker people, that's how they make their money. You're not the first and won't be the last.

When I say back it up I'm just referring to the fact that you made an empty "you're wrong". It's not a competition I'm trying to start, I'd just like to hear something with some substance. You've got a brain otherwise I wouldn't be having this chat with you. Share it dude :)

As for added vs changed meanings, no I didn't imply any precedence of one definition over the other, but I did say that I'm yet to see a need to classify anything as music which doesn't meet the original definition. As such, any such addition would be redundant. The reason I'd avoid that dictionary is that they clearly don't understand the subject they're documenting. OK, maybe they did the edits pre-coffee too ;)

1.  an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.

That's inaccurate too - there's plenty of music out there that doesn't express ideas and emotions (see your Top 10 chart hehehe) Sure they can invoke emotion, but lots of sound arranged in time can do that, which is not music (birdsong, waves, etc). It's not bad though.... Like you said:

Sound in time is a good cross-point here, as to me, it means at least two sounds, either co-existing in the same time, or realised in two or more discrete points in time (you might call this "rhythm and melody").

Bingo. perhaps if it said "sounds" it would be a bit closer. And color should be dropped, that's part of harmony.

As for cage yeh, I don't find a piece that's instructed not to be played "revolutionary" I call that artsy fartsy bullshit. It's arguably (lets not) still music or whatever, but just my own opinion is that it's a crock. Likewise doing stupid things like songs played so slow that you only get a few notes out before you die. What the hell. He's missed the point, and so have his fanboys. We all bitch about music with far less substance every day (see your Top 10 chart), and yet cage is one to be idolised? I think not. This is what too much school will do to you man.

  "Music is an art form in which the medium is sound organized in time."

Like I said to tilt in the chat, this is like the square vs rectangle thing. A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square. Music is sonic art, sure; but just because it's sonic art, does not make it music. I think this point is where we differ on this matter.

And ahh... All sound is organised in time. Without the time dimension, it's just air pressure, and it's static, so you couldn't hear it.

Annyway let's get to the point: Is there a need to alter the defining characteristics of music, rhythm/melody/(harmony)? Is there something you'd call music, which doesn't have three amplitude peaks or two frequencies? I think the definition we have now is just fine. It even encompasses the 'art for the sake of art/science/study' bollocks I despise so strongly.

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...Sorry boys, but uni student elitism won't fly here...

...My education is as valid as yours, despite what your universities convinced you of...

...When I say back it up I'm just referring to the fact that you made an empty "you're wrong"...

well, I'm sorry, but I think you started this..

You're wrong. The minimum requirement is rhythm and/or melody (that's OR, goblinz ;) )

This is not about university student elitism. I went to university to study digital systems design and implementation, not music. After I left the course (see avatar tag line), I took (read as, sneaked into) music lectures. When it came time to do presentations/assignments/exams, the lecturer realised that I wasn't enrolled, and that I was taking the lectures without paying, but also without any promise of a qualification. Wheras many lecturers probably would've called security at this point and removed me from campus, I had fortunately struck a friendship with the guy, and he realised that my motives were altruistic, not malicious, and allowed me to stay for another several semesters, also advising me as to other classes I might like (which he also took, or in which the other lecturers were like-minded), and allowing me to join the experimental ensemble, in which I performed for around 4 years.

So no, I don't have a 'qualification' in music. But I still have several years of study for the sake of learning, not for the sake of a pretty certificate.

That's inaccurate too - there's plenty of music out there that doesn't express ideas and emotions (see your Top 10 chart hehehe) Sure they can invoke emotion, but lots of sound arranged in time can do that, which is not music (birdsong, waves, etc)...

Hmmmm.. so, are you saying perhaps, that certain top 10 charting tracks heard on radio and TV doesn't seem (to you) (and also to me...  :P) to fit a standard definition of "music". I'm sure you would conceed that the same tracks are considered "music" to those who actually go out there and buy these shitty records. This is starting to sound a little like the "eye of the beholder" definition to me...  :)

Bingo. perhaps if it said "sounds" it would be a bit closer. And color should be dropped, that's part of harmony.

"Sound" and "sounds" should be taken as the same thing in this definition. "sound" without pluralisation can (and probably should) be taken as a plural. So to me, it does say "sounds". Sort of.

Secondly, I think "color" in this definition is meant to mean "timbre", so it should stay. Music will often be percieved differently if played by a different intrument.

As for cage yeh, I don't find a piece that's instructed not to be played "revolutionary" I call that artsy fartsy bullshit. It's arguably (lets not) still music or whatever, but just my own opinion is that it's a crock. Likewise doing stupid things like songs played so slow that you only get a few notes out before you die. What the hell. He's missed the point, and so have his fanboys. We all bitch about music with far less substance every day (see your Top 10 chart), and yet cage is one to be idolised? I think not. This is what too much school will do to you man.

You don't have to like cage. You don't have to get cage. You also don't have to hate on him. See also Battles.

Like I said to tilt in the chat, this is like the square vs rectangle thing. A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square. Music is sonic art, sure; but just because it's sonic art, does not make it music. I think this point is where we differ on this matter.

Yes, this is precisely where we differ. It's ok though, we're allowed to differ. In fact, the very fact that we differ fits neatly into my early definition.  ::)

And ahh... All sound is organised in time. Without the time dimension, it's just air pressure, and it's static, so you couldn't hear it.

No, sound exists in time. Sound is not by definition 'organised' (I'm sure many of us are kooky enough to recognise that, and that we make these sounds both voluntarily and involuntarily all the time ;D). It's the organisation which makes it an artform, not the simple fact that it exists. A musical score makes no sound of it's own (unless you scrunch it up and throw it in the bin), but it is still organised. Edit: Even if that 'organisation' simply consists of a page divided into three sections, each saying 'play nothing'.

As an interesting by-the-by, the cage piece to me loses its musicality if ever it is recorded. It still serves its purpose when performed in concert, but as a recorded piece it is virtually pointless.

Annyway let's get to the point: Is there a need to alter the defining characteristics of music, rhythm/melody/(harmony)? Is there something you'd call music, which doesn't have three amplitude peaks or two frequencies? I think the definition we have now is just fine. It even encompasses the 'art for the sake of art/science/study' bollocks I despise so strongly.

Agreed, sort of.

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bugfight.jpg

Beware the mighty guru curse! ;D

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well, I'm sorry, but I think you started this..

When I said you were wrong I said why.  You didn't, you just said I was wrong. So no, I didn't start that.

This is not about university student elitism.

Oh please, it totally is - you both piped up with "I have university training" as a response to me asking for supporting statements. Where you learned information from, does not equate to the information you learned there. You both said it because you thought it carried some weight - it was elitism. Like I said - that's the universities' job, that's how they make their money. You're not the first.......

Hmmmm.. so, are you saying perhaps, that certain top 10 charting tracks heard on radio and TV doesn't seem (to you) (and also to me...  :P) to fit a standard definition of "music".

Hahhaha... Nah, I'm not saying that the chart songs aren't music. They clearly are music, hence, that definition was inaccurate... and it's not standard, the standard definition is the one I'm arguing for. The whole thing about expressing ideas etc is some newfangled thing, it's unnecessary, and excludes some forms of music from being defined as music. Although in the case of the charts maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing ;D

"Sound" and "sounds" should be taken as the same thing

We aren't talking about sheep here ;) "Sounds" implies separation between two entities, "sound" does not. "sound" could be a sine wave... hard to organise it...

Secondly, I think "color" in this definition is meant to mean "timbre"

Totally, that's my point - timbre is harmonic content, so it doesn't need to stay in the definition, if you've got harmony in there. Also, you can have timbre/colour in a single note, and that ain't music...

You don't have to like cage. You don't have to get cage. You also don't have to hate on him.

I don't like much of his work, but I do get it, and that's why I do hate on him and his type. Why is it that people love to accuse me of not understanding something when in fact I just don't agree with them? (you can find a few similar attempts like this on these forums alone)  Because if I don't understand, then that makes me mistaken. Nice try ;) But I understand it completely, and I still think it's missing the point.

Sure, I don't *have* to hate on him, but just so you know, I could feel the Cage reference coming before you posted it, and avoided mentioning it - it's not like I went out of my way to hate on him.... but yeh, he chose to act like a poser, I choose to hate on him for it. You can choose to hate on me for that if you like, you won't be the first :)

Yes, this is precisely where we differ. It's ok though, we're allowed to differ. In fact, the very fact that we differ fits neatly into my early definition.  ::)

Yeh, and neatly into my "an individual's ego doesn't define our language" analysis of that definition ;) Just because I say it's chocolate, doesn't change the sad fact that there's shit on my shoe. Just because you say it's music, doesn't make it music.

No, sound exists in time. Sound is not by definition 'organised'

True! But you can't organise a single entity, you need more than one sound... Which is pretty much gonna land you in either rhythm or melody or harmony land.

. It's the organisation which makes it an artform, not the simple fact that it exists. A musical score makes no sound of it's own (unless you scrunch it up and throw it in the bin), but it is still organised.

Totally dude... But my point is that organising sound does not necessarily equate to making music.

(I'm sure many of us are kooky enough to recognise that, and that we make these sounds both voluntarily and involuntarily all the time ;D)

LMAO! That's funny, because I was going to use a 'musical' kind of fart I did today as an example :D

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University degrees just mean you can recite spoonfed information, that's not what I'm talking about. University is for rich sheeple. Just because I'm poor doesn't mean I haven't learned just as much and just as valid information as someone who wanted to support a recognised accreditation and had the cash to pay for it. I chose to learn about my music from scholars like you guys (yes, I do have some formal education), as well as religious scholars, native tribal musicians, phsychologists, etc etc etc.... not just a pile of books. Sorry boys, but uni student elitism won't fly here. My education is as valid as yours, despite what your universities convinced you of. Don't be bothered by that, it's their job to sucker people, that's how they make their money. You're not the first and won't be the last.

i didn't mention my degree to diminish anyone who doesn't have one (though you seem to want to do so to anyone who does), only to support the fact that i have read many music theory texts.  while most of them didn't bother to specifically touch on the definition, the ones that did agree with the previously linked definition and none agreed with your "original" definition

Oh please, it totally is - you both piped up with "I have university training" as a response to me asking for supporting statements. Where you learned information from, does not equate to the information you learned there. You both said it because you thought it carried some weight - it was elitism. Like I said - that's the universities' job, that's how they make their money. You're not the first.......

was this your reason for claiming the following?

I got like a billion dictionaries and music theory books backing up my statement

while it is noble to take responsibility for you own education (something i also do), there is nothing noble in denegrating all universities and all people who attend them without even attending one

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bugfight.jpg

Beware the mighty guru curse! ;D

aha! that's why i felt smarter yesterday!

it's true: more posts makes you smarter.

now i just have be careful to avoid the effects of the curse...

*whack*

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Ok, sooo..... whats next? The abortion debate?  ;)

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Also, I wonder if this is off-topic enough to be moved yet?   ;D

See also, maybe we need to make a new forum section, for philisophical rantings...  :P

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i didn't mention my degree to diminish anyone who doesn't have one...only to support the fact that i have read many music theory texts.

Then your university training is completely fucking irrelevant, unless you're on an ego trip, which you were. Quote the texts! Where you read them, has nothing to do with this conversation.

while most of them didn't bother to specifically touch on the definition, the ones that did agree with the previously linked definition and none agreed with your "original" definition

Again... quote the books!

(though you seem to want to do so to anyone who does)

That's bullshit - I was diminishing those who think that university training equates to anything but the place you sat for four years or so. I see plenty of total monkeys pay and blag their way through uni, and come out the end with a degree and yet they still can't even spell, let alone understand what they've been taught. They can recite it like hell though!

You've been there, you've seen it yourself. Sad truth is that a university education doesn't mean shit in and of itself. It's what you do while you're there that counts, and that's what matters to me. If you learned something useful at uni, then share that - but I couldn't give a rat's arse if you learned it from uni or if a hobo told you. If it's correct, it's correct.

"I went to university" is an answer to the question "where did you go to school?"; "I have a degree" is an answer to the question "what tertiary qualification do you have?"... neither have anything to do with the definition of music. You both mentioned it to try and beef up your comments without providing any actual data. Sure, you didn't intentionally diminish anyone I'm sure (I give you the benefit of the question on that because I know you and it's not your style) but what you did do, was to arbitrarily augment anyone with a degree - and that's equivalent to arbitrarily diminishing anyone without one.

was this your reason for claiming the following?

No, I mentioned that because it was clear that we'd both been reading our theory books and uni texts and dictionaries and such, and I was hoping you guys would share some of what you'd read, just as I had.

I just wanted something of substance, not "duhhh. I've been to school. A good one, and everything!"

PS : See, sometimes nested quotes make sense :)

while it is noble to take responsibility for you own education (something i also do), there is nothing noble in denegrating all universities and all people who attend them without even attending one

Your logic is flawed. Should a judge have to commit murder before sentencing a murderer? Rape before sentencing a rapist? Then what's wrong with dissing a university without going to one?

Besides, that's not what I was doing, as I pointed out above. I was dissing the 'university is the trump card' attitude. University doesn't mean jack. Some cool shit you learned while you were there is great - share that.

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...oh lord, now I have to reply to tilt ;D

and yes, I realised that this thread is a billion light years off topic and will be splitting it off first. :)

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Anyhow, we're getting caught up a bit in the semantics of the language, and the tertiary education thing.

What matters to me is that we're discussing it. And the emotion displayed here is testament to the fact that there are many different definitions, depending on the person.

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comparing knowledge sources is irrelevant.

Then why mention the source of the knowledge at all? Hell, it makes no difference to me if it's something from a book or something you figured out all by yourself! You're a smart guy, I'd dare to say you're a genius (not knowing your IQ but hazarding a guess), isn't that enough? just share the info!

This is not about knowledge. This is not about defining and re-defining words.

It is to me... I dunno where you changed topics! :D

Seriously, if we're not trying to hash out a meaningful definition of music, then I don't know here this conversation is leading to?

Saying "you're wrong" even if you try to justify it, is an attempt to score points, and to end the discussion.

No it's not, it's just calling it as I see it. I could be wrong, about saying you're wrong, and in fact I'd be just as happy if that were the case. It's just discussion.

Maybe this is too much info, but I started thinking about this topic while dropping the kids off at the pool the other day, a few days before this thread came up.... and after some time mulling it over, I decided that I couldn't quite nail it down...and my legs were getting numb. LOL.

Point is, I just think it's a really interesting subject, to define something so extremely flexible, but I do believe it's possible without leaving it to an arbitrary decision made by the listener, and if anyone can do it, it's us. Forgive me if I get too enthusiastic about the conversation along the way :) But the end goal for me is not to score points or even be correct - it's just the end goal, which is that elusive definition.

Why do this? It's not about who's right or wrong, the point is that we are discussing it, and the great news is that we are discussing an artform.

Exactly! Does it matter if you were wrong? or if I was? No, the point is: What's music?

Artforms tend to have blurry edges, so tend to be re-defined from one generation to the next,

Well, I think that a wise enough definition, such as that which highly intelligent people like you, BF and I could refine, might not need to be re-defined quite so often. I think that having such a definition is beneficial to the community as a whole, and the real reason I'm having this conversation, is that I find the process of refining the definition, and reaching the final definition itself, interesting on a personal level... Don't you?! Maybe I'm just a geek......... No, dammit, you're as geeky as me. You like it. Admit it, you like it. Don'tcha? Eh? Eh? ;D

so this discussion (sit down everyone) could go on for centuries (and indeed, it probably has) ;)

LOL!

I still think the definition holds, but unfortunately in the case of most charting music:

...

ROFL!!! We definitely agree on one thing about music :)

the word 'sound' is almost lie the container.

Yeh, but in the context you quoted from that dictionary, it's referring to the objects within the container, in which case it oughtta be plural. I'll let that one be anyway, as it was always a minor nitpick to me.

Yes, timbre is harmonic content. No, this does not mean the same thing as 'harmony'. the two words are related, but not synonymous.

I understand the meanings of both words but I do feel that they're often synonymous. Perhaps I spend too much time making additive patches where I use controllers to introduce harmonics which produce a harmony... But I can easily demonstrate that they are in fact the same thing by doing so.

This kind of thing is where a really accurate definition becomes tricky. In the past, we might have needed a second guitar to play a harmony - now, we have effects units which can introduce harmonics to a single guitar's output and make it sound like two guitars, with one playing a harmony of the first guitar's melody. Not to mention the audiofuckery that goes with tools like kyma/capybara. Are they harmonics, or harmony? Or perhaps, the similarity between the terms (and their sources) is more than just coincidence, and they really are the same thing....

A snare drum has harmonic content, but unless you're Terry Bozzio, it does not form part of the melody or harmony (generally)

Just totally off topic, I always do this. I'd like to find the guy that termed drums as unpitched percussion one day in a dark alley, I swear ;D

If timbre were encapulated within harmony, then we wouldn't need multiple instruments

That's the thing - we don't! Admittedly, the time we have had such instruments available in the real world (as opposed to theory and one or two cool university funded labs) is only a decade or so, but it is possible to play a harmony from a singular instrument....

That's a shame, cause it makes you look a wee bit immature. I don't really mind if you hate Cage and wanna smash every record he ever makes. To be honest, it is purely your business. I was just hoping you could avoid shitting on my taste in a public forum, any further.

Hey, you call not liking him immature, I call liking him being a fanboy sucka. Tomato, tomato, potato, potato, that joke is lost in text.... ;D

Keep in mind that when you boost Cage, you're also shitting on my taste. Regardless, I didn't mean to shit on your taste any more than you meant to shit on mine... that's never gonna go down well. Sorry dude. Let's leave Cage well alone shall we? :)

All I'm saying with the 'eye of the beholder' analogy is that it's not about meeting certain guidelines, it's about whether it conveys something of what the composer's intention was.

That's the sonic art vs music thing again.... You, as a composer, can deliver a certain feeling through sonic media, without making music. I can play you singular patches that do just that - make you feel the sadness or joy or whatever that I intended to deliver.... But holding a single key doesn't necessarily equate to music...

Saying that music has to have certain sonic elements above all others is akin to saying a painting isn't a painting unless it has the colour red in it, and some vertical brushstrokes. Horizontal brushstrokes and other colours are ok, but they aren't neccessary.

And that's exactly why I'm having this discussion with you - such a restrictive definition would be a total crock of shit. I like to think that the brainpower involved here could do a little better, and make a definition which is not restrictive or exclusive, while still being definitive enough not to allow any old sound to be called music.

I can agree with this to an extent, but I would say that organising the sound is a vital aspect to the definition of music. I guess I'm saying that all music has organised sound (the switcheroo). I mean, organising sound is also something that the iTunes program does, but that is not composition, it is just organising sounds.

Totally totally agree. Now we're on the same wavelength! :D

Edits are due to my browser starting to wig out at the enormity of this post, or something.

It's SMF's way of saying "Shutup, you guys, you talk too much. Go make some music...whatever the hell that is." ;D

Edit: I am a typo monster

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I don t think you guys are going offtopic at all, maybe just add something to the title of the thread, this is getting pointlessly interesting.

I see plenty of total monkeys pay and blag their way through uni, and come out the end with a degree and yet they still can't even spell, let alone understand what they've been taught

...and funny

highly intelligent people like you, BF

i think there is an error there: you have not mentioned me ;)

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