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  • #91
    Probably this is a naive question, but why does it matter? "Experimental" in "experimental music" apparently means different things to different folks, but is that wrong? If you're trying to assign a simple term to what you do so you can differentiate your noises from somebody else's noises, then maybe you need a different label, because "experimental" is clearly overloaded.



    Oh look, I just invented the concept of "genre".
    Hurrr. Derp, derp, derp.

    Comment


    • #92
      well i hate to say that much of this discussion (as much of the over genrefication discussions in the late 90's early 00's were too) are basically about nailing out some sort of working definition in response to the fact that too many people have access to music creation stuffs (software / hardware) and this in turn create too much bloat as far as the number of people creating music goes.



      I for one think it's ok to say "hey look, you suck but keep trying and come back when you've really thought about what you're doing". But in working terms, I know people that suck, I'm sure people think i suck, but we're here, we're all posting and we're all trying to learn and keep advancing (when we have time). So the finger isn't pointed at anyone here, but you know the types.... the ones that don't know what they're doing, nor care, as long as there's an internet to go screaming about it on.



      I guess we're just trying to draw our line in the sand from them ..









      the defense rests your honor.
      Give me my moog, but **** off you american techno rockstar! people in countries I've never been to do it better than you!

      Computer Music Guide

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      • #93






        Quote Originally Posted by ElectricPuppy
        View Post

        Probably this is a naive question, but why does it matter? "Experimental" in "experimental music" apparently means different things to different folks, but is that wrong? If you're trying to assign a simple term to what you do so you can differentiate your noises from somebody else's noises, then maybe you need a different label, because "experimental" is clearly overloaded.



        Oh look, I just invented the concept of "genre".




        Actually a very good question. This will be likely a poor approximation of a good answer, but....one cannot simply change the language because a particular term or phrase is used differently by different people. Of course, you can avoid the term, entirely, but that doesn't really help in deciphering what it means in the context in which I asked the question. I think that a lot of people don't understand that the same word or phrase might have entirely different meanings depending on the context and usage, and part of the confusion is people not understanding that. 'Music' is also such a word, and you'll get the same kind of strong disagreements and confusion in a discussion about what music is. I do think that one of the mistakes that is made is taking a phrase like 'experimental music' and applying the words literally, not realizing that the phrase itself might have a slightly different meaning. Some people here do realize for instance, that the phrase is generally not referring to standard genres with a little bit of 'experimentation' here and there.



        But sure - I admit that to some degree I use the phrase because I can't think of something else sometimes. If people ask you 'what kind of music do you do', and you say, 'well, I really don't know what it is' they accuse you (well some of them do) of having an attitude, or being pretentious, etc. So, I'll say something like 'kind of experimental' or something vague like that - usually just to get them off my back. But sometimes I'll just say 'weird' or 'strange' and hope that I don't get attacked, etc.



        But historically, I think that the phrase has been used, and so it's interesting (to my nerdy self) to try to narrow down what it might mean in the context in which it is used (correctly).

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        • #94






          Quote Originally Posted by TIMKEYS
          View Post

          this is sarcastic , but experimental music = I have a keyboard and dont know how to play it, but I can make cool sounds.




          It may be sarcastic, but you make a good point. This is sort of what I'm getting at. Maybe I should have just made a joke, and it would have saved me a lot of typing.



          As I mentioned before, if the heading 'experimental music' subsumes EVERYTHING people do who cross the boundaries of conventional music, then it describes nothing. It becomes a useless term, since it also describes people who "experiment" in lieu of actually knowing what the hell they're doing.



          We can't call them all equal. Some are just club kids who like to make noise with keyboards.



          And they're free to do this. I think that the affordability of the technology is ultimately a good thing. But artistically, my only response to much of it is 'so what?'
          Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

          Comment


          • #95






            Quote Originally Posted by Metrosonus
            View Post

            But in working terms, I know people that suck, I'm sure people think i suck, but we're here, we're all posting and we're all trying to learn and keep advancing (when we have time). So the finger isn't pointed at anyone here, but you know the types.... the ones that don't know what they're doing, nor care, as long as there's an internet to go screaming about it on.



            I guess we're just trying to draw our line in the sand from them ..




            Yup.
            Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

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            • #96
              no. There is no valid point here at all. The notion of quality applies to all genres and forms of music. You could make a joke that rock music includes all music with some beginner playing an electric guitar, etc. There is nothing different here. You are taking your own definition, requirements, etc, and then arguing against it. I certainly haven't said or suggested that everything that falls outside a genre should be considered "experimental music", and I've certainly emphasized repeatedly that while there is a component that related to the process, there is also a component that is related to the result - that it doesn't make sense to call something "experimental music" if the result is simply conventional.



              but ultimately, like in all forms of art, it is really up to the observer to differentiate between crap and substance.



              I'm still not sure what your point is. Whether all experimental music that doesn't have a grounding in traditional theory is crap by definition, or that people who don't have this grounding are just incompetent, or what. Or whether you just hate 'experimental music', equate it to people who don't know what they are doing, etc - something that 'anyone can do'. And I've heard that latter one before, generally by people who churn out conformist crap.









              Quote Originally Posted by zoink
              View Post

              It may be sarcastic, but you make a good point. This is sort of what I'm getting at. Maybe I should have just made a joke, and it would have saved me a lot of typing.



              As I mentioned before, if the heading 'experimental music' subsumes EVERYTHING people do who cross the boundaries of conventional music, then it describes nothing. It becomes a useless term, since it also describes people who "experiment" in lieu of actually knowing what the hell they're doing.



              We can't call them all equal. Some are just club kids who like to make noise with keyboards.



              And they're free to do this. I think that the affordability of the technology is ultimately a good thing. But artistically, my only response to much of it is 'so what?'




              Comment


              • #97






                Quote Originally Posted by ElectricPuppy
                View Post

                Probably this is a naive question, but why does it matter? "Experimental" in "experimental music" apparently means different things to different folks, but is that wrong? If you're trying to assign a simple term to what you do so you can differentiate your noises from somebody else's noises, then maybe you need a different label, because "experimental" is clearly overloaded.



                Oh look, I just invented the concept of "genre".




                I think the meaning matters precisely *because* the term is now overloaded.



                On the one hand, you have people who come into it with real questions who are doing specific (or even nonspecific) things for a reason. The work is mindful and even 'informed' by past attempts and revisions. It's based on thought and reflection about what music might be. It might even go beyond what THEY THEMSELVES would call 'music', and be about the physics of sound, the subjectivity of hearing, etc.



                But on the other hand, you have people who do NONE of this. It's not just that they lack 'training' (the dreaded word). This is no crime. What they lack are skill and understanding. They haven't really thought about anything. They don't WANT to think about anything. They just want to plink around and call what they're doing "experimental."



                But again, I have to assert that 'experiment' is directed. It's conscious and intentional. The results may even be random and unforeseen (they often are), but the reasons for doing it are not.



                I work in the history of science, technology, and mathematics, and one example I can think of as an analogy would be the use of the word "medicine" in the late 19th century. Too many things were being called "medicine" back then, and a line had to be drawn.



                There were medical researchers who were taking medicine in a modern empirical direction (informed by whatever knowledge was available of biochemistry, for example).



                And then there were quacks who knew NOTHING of physiology or biochemistry.



                And ALL of it was being called 'medicine.'



                There's also no escaping that since the term 'experimental music' uses the word 'experiment' it almost has to be a more conscious, directed, and informed process than just noodling around with a set of broken bongos and a tire iron.
                Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

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                • #98
                  All GOOD experimental music was done by somebody who knew what they were doing, regardless of whether they had formal training in Western classical music or Western classical instrumental performance, or whether it's stuffed into a "safety container" like a Beach Boys song, or whether the music contains traditional elements like harmony, defined pitch, and rhythm. I think you would be hard-pressed to find "harmony" in the Steve Reich piece "It's Gonna Rain", which is based on a recording of a speech.



                  There ARE experimental musicians out there without traditional training, who probably did start out banging **************** together randomly, who TODAY most assuredly know EXACTLY that they are doing.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Yes - we agree that thought about what one is doing and skill is required. However where we disagree is that the this must be in the realm of traditional musical categories. I think that several people here have emphasized the first part, so I'm not sure why you continue to mention it.









                    Quote Originally Posted by zoink
                    View Post

                    I think the meaning matters precisely *because* the term is now overloaded.



                    On the one hand, you have people who come into it with real questions who are doing specific (or even nonspecific) things for a reason. The work is mindful and even 'informed' by past attempts and revisions. It's based on thought and reflection about what music might be. It might even go beyond what THEY THEMSELVES would call 'music', and be about the physics of sound, the subjectivity of hearing, etc.



                    But on the other hand, you have people who do NONE of this. It's not just that they lack 'training' (the dreaded word). This is no crime. What they lack are skill and understanding. They haven't really thought about anything. They don't WANT to think about anything. They just want to plink around and call what they're doing "experimental."



                    But again, I have to assert that 'experiment' is directed. It's conscious and intentional. The results may even be random and unforeseen (they often are), but the reasons for doing it are not.



                    I work in the history of science, technology, and mathematics, and one example I can think of as an analogy would be the use of the word "medicine" in the late 19th century. Too many things were being called "medicine" back then, and a line had to be drawn.



                    There were medical researchers who were taking medicine in a modern empirical direction (informed by whatever knowledge was available of biochemistry, for example).



                    And then there were quacks who knew NOTHING of physiology or biochemistry.



                    And ALL of it was being called 'medicine.'



                    There's also no escaping that since the term 'experimental music' uses the word 'experiment' it almost has to be a more conscious, directed, and informed process than just noodling around with a set of broken bongos and a tire iron.




                    Comment


                    • Personally, I could care less about "training." In some ways "training" can even impede free thought and experimentation, and can even be indoctrinating.



                      I care about the REASONS for experiment, what drives the artist to do it, what they're looking for, what they did and thought previously that made them want to do THIS now. I also care about skill, and a cognitive grasp of the variables you're playing with.



                      Have you ever watched someone tweak and experiment with a knobby synth in a music store? There are some who know exactly what they're adjusting. They can tailor a sound and really explore the bounds of the instrument.



                      And then there are people who just twist random knobs to see if anything new happens. I've seen plenty of that too.



                      It's difficult to hold the latter in very high regard musically or technically, or to call what they're doing a directed 'experiment.' You might get away with 'exploratory.'



                      But it is what it is. It may even be where lots of good artists get their start -- everybody has to start somewhere -- but later on they'll be the first to admit that it was all just amateurish noodling without a notion of what they were doing.



                      There's no good reason to exalt it with lofty terms like "experiment."
                      Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

                      Comment








                      • Quote Originally Posted by droolmaster0
                        View Post

                        Yes - we agree that thought about what one is doing and skill is required. However where we disagree is that the this must be in the realm of traditional musical categories. I think that several people here have emphasized the first part, so I'm not sure why you continue to mention it.






                        I said nothing about experimental music having to reside within traditional music categories.
                        Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

                        Comment








                        • Quote Originally Posted by girevik
                          View Post

                          All GOOD experimental music was done by somebody who knew what they were doing, regardless of whether they had formal training in Western classical music or Western classical instrumental performance, or whether it's stuffed into a "safety container" like a Beach Boys song, or whether the music contains traditional elements like harmony, defined pitch, and rhythm. I think you would be hard-pressed to find "harmony" in the Steve Reich piece "It's Gonna Rain", which is based on a recording of a speech.



                          There ARE experimental musicians out there without traditional training, who probably did start out banging **************** together randomly, who TODAY most assuredly know EXACTLY that they are doing.






                          Personally, I could care less about "training." In some ways "training" can even impede free thought and experimentation, and can even be indoctrinating.



                          I care about the REASONS for experiment, what drives the artist to do it, what they're looking for, what they did and thought previously that made them want to do THIS now. I also care about skill, and a cognitive grasp of the variables you're playing with.



                          Have you ever watched someone tweak and experiment with a knobby synth in a music store? There are some who know exactly what they're adjusting. They can tailor a sound and really explore the bounds of the instrument.



                          And then there are people who just twist random knobs to see if anything new happens. I've seen plenty of that too.



                          It's difficult to hold the latter in very high regard musically or technically, or to call what they're doing a directed 'experiment.' You might get away with 'exploratory.'



                          But it is what it is. It may even be where lots of good artists get their start -- everybody has to start somewhere -- but later on they'll be the first to admit that it was all just amateurish noodling without a notion of what they were doing.
                          Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

                          Comment








                          • Quote Originally Posted by zoink
                            View Post

                            I said nothing about experimental music having to reside within traditional music categories.




                            What I said was that you emphasized that one should have skill in these areas, not that the music itself must reside there.

                            Comment


                            • The original question was:



                              What does 'experimental' mean, in 'experimental music'?



                              Have we decided yet that it's become meaningless?



                              My VCAs go to 11

                              Comment








                              • Quote Originally Posted by droolmaster0
                                View Post

                                What I said was that you emphasized that one should have skill in these areas, not that the music itself must reside there.




                                What I said was that experimental music and conventional music often share certain features in common, and that experience and knowledge of these features would be a benefit in making experimental music. Like it or not, there IS a knowledge and skill crossover. It's not to say that lacking "training" prevents good experimental music from possibly happening. But it IS to say that there are features of sound, and even of composition, that are useful to know -- even if your goal is to 'break' the so-called rules.



                                An artist with a rich background and deep understanding of harmony will tend to also have a thorough grasp of discordance as well, and for that very reason. He'll be able to say something about what's happening physically with the sound itself, or in the experience of the listener, with the apparent clash of frequencies.



                                I maintain that knowing what a chord is -- and what frequencies do when they interfere with each other physically -- helps even if your intention is to play the first eight notes of the chromatic scale upward from middle C.



                                You're saying, "What does it matter if the listener likes it?"



                                And I'm saying, "Well your only metric is whether it's entertaining. I'm talking about experiments, and what they yield."
                                Kronos, Fant.G8, PC3X, K2500RS, A6, Q, M3-61, Fant.X7, Motif 8, EX5(x2), V-Synth, K2000(x2), D50, JD800, JD990, JP8080, XP30, MC909, MC505, JX-10, JX-305, TR-707, Juno 1, DR-202, Radias, Triton Pro, Wavest. SR, EMX1, ESX1, ER-1, EA-1, R3, Poly 800, RS7000, FS1R (x2), RM1X, AN200, DX200, QY70, QY100, K5000S, OB-12, Maschine,ASR10,ASR88,ASR-X Pro, EPS,Virus B, Equinox,E-Mu XL-7,MiniAK, Synthstation,X-Station, XioSynth,TG33,Venom,V50,UltraNova,Z1,Spark,Moog LP Stage II, JP8000,Tetra,Supernova 2.

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