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Re: About silence and breath

Greetings All,
I have enjoyed this thread of discussion and while I may not be adding a great deal of substance to the discussion, I would like to make an observation. Kevin begins his response by qualifying his perspective as that of a composer, previously another responder elucidated the role of rests in demarcating phrases in traditional forms. This made me take a step back and say "what is the role of silence in music? depends on what you mean by music." This has obviously changed as music has changed and I can easily imagine a responder qualifying their remarks by asserting that they write music which is of X persuasion. This is all my way of saying that silence, rests, breaks, segmentation or what have you are part of a vernacular not a language. If this conversation were to poll millions of people across the world, the perspectives on what is meant by music and by silence.... that might be interesting and certainly there would be some common camps.

It seems to me that the first step in modeling silence is to define in what context. In classical forms, indeed one must consider the phrase and the manner in which it commonly (even statistically) functioned. To this end I might point out the work of the composer Clarence Barlow in his program Autobusk and in the interest of disclosure he is also one of my teachers.


On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 10:30 AM, Kevin Austin <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Responding as a composer, not a scientist, in this context I have used the word "segmentation" to mean to determine where something 'begins' and 'ends', possibly a very low level (fundamental) process, and this (in my use) is perceptual. Segmentation therefor occurs at many levels, largely dependent upon the perceptual / cognitive processes of the individual.



On 2009, Jul 5, at 11:21 AM, Pablo Hernan Rodriguez Zivic wrote:

When you say segmentation you are refering to something like the grouping structure of Lerdhal and Jackendoff?

'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.