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Re: Living on a rock

On Tue, 2 Jul 1996, Francis Leach wrote:

> > >Actually, that makes me wonder. I don't know much about Chinese music
> > >traditions. Does anyone know if there are any looping parallels 
>there, in
> > >the way there are with other musics about the world?

> writer...I've tried to find tradional (classical-Chinese such as ancient 
> 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.       /* dstagner@icarus.net */
   -Charles Fort