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Re: About silence and breath


Kevin Austin wrote:

Thanks. From the example you provided, I'm not sure you are talking about "silence", rather about breath (among other things). I sing the solo. There would be times I stop my 'breathing out' (for articulation, emphasis, effect) but I don't think of 'breathing in' as the 'silence' is micro-articulating a gesture. On other occasions I use the silence to 'breath in' with the objective of articulating a larger [higher] structure. Depending upon the degree of sophistication you are aiming for, you may wish to listen to young children from different cultures singing either folk musics, composed musics (mostly pop), or spontaneous improvisations.
Silence is everything, that makes me laugh a lot! It has something to do with so many things... it's difficult to capture it.

When I started to look after what is a phrase I came to Rothstein's book "Rythm phrase in tonal music". When he cites previous definitions of what a phrase is, one of them is "something that enters in a single breath" (with my own words =p). That notion of phrase has a lot to do with the silences, using them as punctuation.

Given your example, as in the Bach Sonatas and Suites, consider that another root of silence is dance, and an almost equivalent might be stopping. There is probably a difference between 'stopping' to change the direction of a movement, and stopping for gestural articulation. Search Youtube for examples of waltz, tango, rag etc.

'Silence' in music (as noted by others) may be a perceptual phenomena, and not related to having 'no acoustical event'. The Mahler First Symphony begins from 'silence', and the silence is sustained (sic) behind the acoustical events of the introduction. As a perceptual event, I consider acoustical silence an implausibility. If you wish to model silence acoustically, it looks like this 00000000000, however if you wish to model silence in a 'musical' sense, you may wish to research [what I consider to be] the first step in auditory scene analysis, segmentation.

When you say segmentation you are refering to something like the grouping structure of Lerdhal and Jackendoff?
Please keep us informed on your progress.
Of course amigo!




Date:    Sat, 4 Jul 2009 12:11:48 -0300
From:    Pablo Hernan Rodriguez Zivic <elsonidoq@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: About Silence

Hello everyone!

My name is Pablo. I apologize in advance of my english =D.

I recently joined this mailing list because I'm doing some research
about music. My intention is to use computational/statistical models to
create music, and that models be driven by cognitive/musical claims (1).

Since the very beginning of my research I had trouble modeling silence.
The silence is not just another pitch which has the ability of not to
sound. I think that silence has to be treated apart from pitches, but I
don't know how.

So here comes my question: Do you know anything I can read to help me
out with this?

Thanks you all!


(1) If you are interested, you can hear an example here of what I've
already done: http://lafhis.dc.uba.ar/%7Epzivic/E.nar.mid

In that example, the piano is of Scott Joplin, and the solo is composed
by mi program.
The silences that you hear, are artificial, is just a simple rule that I
introduced, if the solo plays all the time it gets annoying