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The Art of Music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matt Till, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I am an art major... and I hate it. At first it was helping to understand art that I didn't get, but now... it making me hate art... why? Because I want to be a music major, but it's too late. This is another rant for another day... that's already been done no doubt... anyway...

    Music is an artform, we all know this, yes? But one thing I've been taking from my music classes is learning to apply concepts and techinques into my playing. Some of it has become quite engrained, so I can't remeber it all but the first thing that struck me...

    Contrast. In a piece of traditional art, I'll speak in black and white (photo, drawing, painting) you learn the brightest white will be sitting next to the darkest dark. If you have paper white, but it's surrounded by grey tones, it will not be as strong as when you have paper white next to the blackest possible black.

    Now turning this into musical whatnot, silence vs. absolute chaotic noise. If you were to have a musical spike (guitar/bass/drums) and they all spiked, but something was still ringing out... it wouldn't seem that powerful. BUT, if you were to either have the band tighten up and have the spike be crystal clear and everybody is silent, or go into the studio and delete any noise (or as I like to call it, the Disturbed approach) Regardless, these tight pockets of air make the piece movie and have more tonal interest.

    This also works out with overall dynamics: The reason people like Ansel Adams photos (sorry, photo major) aside from subject matter, is tonal diversity. In black and white, he captures every possible tone of grey, black, and white possible. So it makes for a very rich photograph.

    And in music, if we have everything from screaming to whispering (instrumentally or vocally) it makes each part seem more important. Also in tonality. Nobody wants to listen to something that is all lows, or all highs, or all mids. A low fi sound is like a poorly developed photo.

    And I'm just talking in black and white, when you get into colors, you can talk about "coloring your sound" blah blah... but I feel I've ranted enough... or is it too much... I'm not quite sure.

    Any other contributions? Art Majors? Art fans? What are some other means that we connect the traditional art realm to our aural art form?
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Purposeful "mistakes." If you knowingly add, or keep, small mistakes or incongruities, your image will be far more interesting than a perfect one. If there's a painting where everything is completely perfectly measured and in order, what's to keep them from walking away? How are they involved in the piece? While there's many ways to keep them interested, adding small "mistakes" like a single shadow going the wrong way, a line going the wrong way perspectivally, etc. will keep someone looking at your painting longer, so long as it's not a blatantly obvious and uninteresting mistake. Make it subtle, something just a little "not right," and people often stand in front of it longer, just trying to figure out what it is about the piece that strikes them as odd.

    The musical counterpart of this would be a form of dissonance; a chord played every now and then that has a note flattened or sharpened when it shouldn't be, or perhaps playing with an instrument just slightly out of tune. Pearl Jam has a song (maybe Immortality? I don't remember) where the end solo is played with a guitar that's just a little out of tune, and it adds a human quality and keeps you listening.
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Good one!
  4. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    I think this is what draws me into music played with tones other than the 12 standard most use (Multitonal is the term, I believe?). There is a certain dissonance to it that you don't really understand until you are told that the instrument is not using standard tunings. It's, to quote a great mind (some may disagree ;)), "beauty in dissonance."