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Re: [AUDITORY] Note durations in music ][
Kevin, I have two comments. First, and this is something the 1960s
music-information theorists (e.g., Moles) have recognized: "events" (call
them notes or anything else) happen when something abruptly (within
limits) changes: my definition of change is in the modulation domain (AM
and/or FM). This makes the duration dimension pretty second-order, as Dick
Warner also noted.
Second, yes, there are rhythm theories and I want to single out the pretty
interesting treatise on rhythm by a Mozarteum theory professor, Friedrich
Neumann: "Die Zeitgestalt, eine Lehre vom musikalischen Rhythmus" (1959,
two slim volumes). This theory takes rhythm far beyond meter/taps and
defines it in terms of the "event's" function in the flow of the musical
piece in time and across spectral space. I highly recommend it even for
readers of not more than basic German because everything is illustrated
and the second volume contains only examples.
On 6/20/13 11:12 AM, "Kevin Austin" <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>I still remain confounded partly by the question, as I perceive it as
>I do not hear music / melody as being 'notes in a line', and cannot
>abstract melody as a sequence of durations of notes in a piece. I hear
>this as being at a sub-vocabulary level. In written language, something
>similar to working out the frequency and order of circles, three-quarter
>circles and semicircles, to quarter-circles in letters in a printed text.
>The letters o, pdbqg, c, e, s, m, n, r, j etc, using this shape in
>progressively incomplete form.
>The tune Happy Birthday, played staccato or legato, will have the same
>identity. As an instrumental performer, I played this as long-short long,
>but in singing with untrained people, the rhythm is short-short long. In
>the short-short-long version, the rhythmic isomorphic nature to the Star
>Spangled Banner is lost. [I have a conflated version of Happy Birthday
>for anyone interested.].
>I am not an ethnomusicologist.
>In the example:
>Malladi brothers - Guru Poornima - 2 July 2012
>starting around 5:25 in order to meet the criteria of the request, for
>me, the duration of the 'notes' [sic] is entirely hierarchical. At this
>point in the piece, the very short notes of the performers are ornamental
>to the principal note.
>Observe the audience at around 7'10, and the singers throughout placing
>the 'rhythm' within the broader underlying cycle.
>I seem to understand [after about 9'15], that the shorter notes are
>structural at the end of the song. Starting in the second song, c 10'00,
>there appear to be multiple interpretations of the structure of the
>underlying cycle [watch the performers and audience members' hands].
>I think these [kritis] are both by one of the most famous Carnatic
>It is noted by western music theorists that there is no large body of
>theoretical writing on the subject of "rhythm" [sic] in western music.
>Even the touchstone of intelligent research, Wikipedia, does not seem to
>be able to unshackle itself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythm
>conflating rhythm with pulse, beat and meter. The ancient Cooper & Meyer,
>"The Rhythmic Structure of Music", University of Chicago, 1960, ISBN
>0-226-11522-4, seems from another century.
>On 2013, Jun 16, at 1:00 AM, Kevin Austin <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Having pondered the question and the responses for a few days, I still
>>am not clear on the core issue. For me this is partly tied up with the
>>lack of definitions of the term "note". In my classes I try to avoid the
>>word without specific context to delimit the meaning.
>> There are two [or more] possible interpretations here:
>>  onset time to onset time
>>  duration of the sounding element
>> [2a] adding the duration of any non-sounding element[s] -- rests
>> There is not a great deal of solo monophonic music in the classical
>>western music repertoire compared with the quantity of music that has
>>more than one pitch sounding at one time.
>> Within the solo monophonic repertoire, composed music which is beyond
>>being a very simple tune, eg God Save the Queen played on a flute, is
>>very often working to create the illusion of more than one pitch at a
>>time. To see this in a very simple / complex example, take the Bach
>>Prelude in C Major from book One of the Well-Tempered Clavier. It can be
>>played with one finger. It can also be heard as a five-voice homophonic
>> Since the well-known repertoire is so small, it is likely a matter of
>>going to some much more relatively obscure sources, such as Johann Quantz
>> or other solo études. Being technical studies, they may not contain the
>>kind of information that you are looking for.
>> Another approach is to take the instrument in the context of being a
>>soloist in an ensemble. Depending upon the degree of precision you need,
>>determining the start of the onset can also be a problem, the sound of a
>>flute or trumpet for example having elements in common with determining
>>the start-time of a c-v syllable such as "too".
>> Can you provide a little more precision.
>> On 6/13/13, "Patel, Aniruddh D." <a.patel@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> Dear list,
>>> I¹m trying to find papers which report measurements of two aspects of
>>>note duration in solo instrumental monophonic music (e.g., recordings
>>>of solo violin, cello, trumpet, clarinet, flute, etc. not piano,
>>>guitar, or other instruments that can play multiple notes
>>> 1. The average duration of notes in a piece
>>> 2. A histogram of note durations in the piece
>>> Thus for example this solo cello prelude by JS Bach last about 4
>>>minutes and contains N notes (anybody know?), so the average note
>>>duration in this piece is about N/240 notes/sec.
>>> If one could measure the duration of each note in this recording, then
>>>one could plot the histogram of note durations in the piece.
>>> Is anyone aware of such data for any solo monophonic instrument?
>>>Musical style doesn¹t matter (can be classical, folk, etc.).
>>> Ani Patel
>>> Aniruddh D. Patel
>>> Associate Professor
>>> Dept. of Psychology
>>> Tufts University
>>> 490 Boston Ave.
>>> Medford, MA 02115