Author Topic: what is "square" when we talk about music  (Read 8535 times)

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Michel.R.E

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Re: what is "square" when we talk about music
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2013, 10:02:58 AM »
Thank-you so much Matthew. I very much enjoyed that. It was fun to read. We can learn from it. The author writes very well. Where did you find it? Huh? (surprise!)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 10:05:06 AM by Michel.R.E »
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

altasilvapuer

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Re: what is "square" when we talk about music
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2013, 06:20:27 AM »
I follow the writer Patrick Rothfuss both at his blog (http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/) and on his Facebook.  This was posted to the latter.  As a rabbit-hole aside, if any of you read fantasy novels, I highly recommend Rothfuss; The Name of Wind and The Wise Man's Fear were both astounding.  I like following his blog not only because of his books, but also because from time to time he shares nuggets like that on the nature of writing - they're scattered all over the place.  Some are immensely useful to a composer, some are quite heartening after a rough day, and some are just plain amusing and fun.  It is good to laugh.

Fun case in point: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2013/07/an-update-and-a-story/
[Check out the story part at the end.  Quick catch-up: Oot is his son, if any hadn't so deduced.]

-Matthew

Michel.R.E

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Re: what is "square" when we talk about music
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2013, 06:57:10 AM »
you HAVE to love the "Joss Whedon is my master now" T-shirt! ;D
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Michel.R.E

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Re: what is "square" when we talk about music
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2013, 06:33:18 AM »
Returning briefly to this topic:

An excellent example of "square not being square" would be Ravel's Bolero.

It's a repeated phrase, with the same harmony throughout the entire piece (until the sudden modulation in the penultimate repetition).

BUT!

Listen carefully to the music. The bass is regular, square, repetitive. But that languid melody? It gives you the impression of being square, but.. is it really? Do important moments in the phrase always land on "beat 1"? Are the internal phrases of equal length? is the melodic rhythm always regular and repetitive? The answer, of course, is "no".

The regularity of the accompaniment is balanced by the fluidity of the melodic material. Concentrate on the accompaniment and you can revel in the almost-mechanical, hypnotic regularity of it. Concentrate on the melody and you are lost in its languid nature, its fluidity, and its almost improvisational nature.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Michel.R.E

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Re: what is "square" when we talk about music
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2013, 08:00:26 AM »
here is the main theme (first two pages of the score).

since Bolero is still under copyright in the US (though not in Canada nor parts of the EU) I can only post a short excerpt as an educational tool, which I believe falls under the fair use category.



[attachment older than 180 days]
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

RJB54

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Re: what is "square" when we talk about music
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2013, 09:35:29 AM »
For me the largest aspect of 'squareness' is the ubiquitous emphasis on phrases and subphrases in multiples of 4 bars. In the baroque period and into the classical period it was common (or at least not unusual) to have phrases of 3 bars, 5 bars, etc., but by the early romantic period multiples of 4 became the universal standard.

One of the things I like about 20th century music, reguardless of particular style, was the return to frequently using asymmetrical phrase lengths which in my opinion often adds to the expressiveness of the music.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
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