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Re: Living on a rock
Dave Stagner wrote:
> On Tue, 2 Jul 1996, Francis Leach wrote:
> > > >Actually, that makes me wonder. I don't know much about Chinese
> > > >traditions. Does anyone know if there are any looping parallels
> > > >the way there are with other musics about the world?
> > writer...I've tried to find tradional (classical-Chinese such as
> > chinese opera, etc.) Chinese midi files on the Internet. Does anyone
> > know a web site where this is possible?
> Neither Chinese classical nor Chinese folk music are "loopy" musics,
> the way, say, Balinese music is. They're basically just-intonated
> pentatonic scale melodies, played with instruments that slur pitch.
> In this sense, they're more akin to the pentatonic folk music of
> various Celtic traditions. A Scots border song like "Matty Groves"
> has a similar structure.
> Instrumentally, both classical and folk Chinese music are
> percussion-heavy, and the percussion instruments tend toward tuned
> cymbals, which restate melodies along with the stringed instruments.
> The National Traditional Orchestra of China is currently touring the
> US. If you get a chance to see them, don't miss it. It's quite an
> experience, very different from a European orchestra.
> On the other hand, don't waste a lot of time looking to Chinese music
> to inspire your loops. It may inspire melodic structures, or
> different ways to attack notes, but it doesn't have much useful
> repetitive content for looping.
> By "beauty," I mean that which seems complete.
> Obversely, that the incomplete, or the mutilated, is the ugly.
> Venus De Milo.
> To a child she is ugly. /* email@example.com */
> -Charles Fort
Thanks for your letter, Charles Fort! I'm not "wasting time", as you
called it, to look for midi files from China that produce something
exactly or approximately like the classical music of China.
I'm a composer using midi looping software that I wrote myself, and also
was the consultant on a privately written piece of software made solely
to loop with midi (the writer of the source code has been a very fine
programmer working in that capacity for the IBM Corporation). By using
my midi looping software, I wrote an Asian sounding (pentatonic) piece
last year which was performed in a college concert to approximately 150
people, with a dancer dancing to it on stage. It was well received, and
I'm so grateful to find this news group as my greatest pleasure if
programming midi music (which of course, must have constraints in it's
random feature, such as the pentatonic scale, for instance is a
constraint . . . without such constraints (pure randomness) the music
becomes boring.) Such music needs a balance between random features and
"pattern". It is looping which makes the pattern aspect, actual both the
patterned and the random aspect, possible!