View Poll Results: Is Experimental Music With Unforseen Outcome Composed Music With Form?

Voters
11. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, more or less without form

    2 18.18%
  • No, not at all

    3 27.27%
  • It can be without form, depends on the piece itself

    4 36.36%
  • Unsure/don't know enough

    1 9.09%
  • Who cares

    1 9.09%
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 47

Thread: Is Experimental Music With Unforseen Outcome Composed Music With Form?

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Is Experimental Music With Unforseen Outcome Composed Music With Form?

    According to John Cage, "an experimental action is one where the outcome of which is not foreseen" and musically he composed pieces of music involving works with unpredictable action. In short, he incorporated aleatoricism. Semantics aside, this simply means involving chance as part of the musical outcome during performance.

    But does this mean the piece is essentially without musical form? I am not interested in the merits of whether piece A is weak because it does not have form per se, but I am confused whether aleatoricisim can sometimes mean that piece A is a musical work without musical form?

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,928
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm not sure I understand the poll. It doesn't seem to allow for unforeseen form.

    Take as an example some music composed for video games. Some of it changes its -- energy, let's say -- based on what is happening in the game, getting louder or more intense as action heats up, or more atmospheric during exploration phases. While this isn't exactly aleatoric, it is very well planned, and why would this not be its own form? Going a step further, why would aleatoric music not be its own form?

    All music is unforeseen the first time one hears it. Is it then formless until memorized? Of course, some pieces are more predictable than others, but much of the fascination comes with deviating from the expected form. I don't see experimental music as being that much different. It just may have a lot more deviations than the norm. On the other hand, most music is experimental. Otherwise composers would write the same concerto over and over.

    I'm rambling. Interesting question though.

  3. Likes Mahlerian, N/A, arpeggio and 2 others liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Ⓡ ☺ Ⓛ
    Posts
    4,322
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default

    The form is defined by how the chance events are permitted in the piece, thus it does have form, albeit not classical form. I'm not sure that this type of form appeals to me, as I think a piece should be the same each time it is performed—given the freedom of interpretation. Otherwise, I might end up liking it when it turns out one way and not liking it when it's different. Doesn't that go against the fundamental premise of serious music having a written form that ensures that it does always turn out the same way?

  5. Likes arpeggio, violadude, Ingélou and 1 others liked this post
  6. #4
    nathanb
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brotagonist View Post
    The form is defined by how the chance events are permitted in the piece, thus it does have form, albeit not classical form.
    Exactly. There is really no such thing as total chance in music. There are pieces of music that may effectively be played an infinite number of ways, but these ways must still adhere to the rules and form of the piece. As someone who is currently writing chance music on and off, I can personally tell you that it requires some very rigorous thoughts regarding how you want the music to sound. Almost moreso, even, than perfectly controlled music; if I'm basing outcomes on chance, I have to account for types of outcomes I want to avoid beforehand by altering the various formulas.

  7. Likes brotagonist, arpeggio, Ingélou and 2 others liked this post
  8. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Straya mate
    Posts
    9,268
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yet here are two types of aleatory: one involving chance operations to determine how the music is written on paper, the other involving chance operations/improvisation to determine how the music is performed within the parameters that has been set.

    This is an example of the latter:



    The composer has basically come up with a certain order for each of the four pieces and given a few directions to the performer. This accounts for the form. There are other pieces, such as Tarantos by Leo Brouwer where each section is composed, but eh composer determines the order of the sections:




    The form here is determined by the performer.

    I would be interested to know a little more about the first type of aleatoric music I mentioned because I haven't come up with an answer for that yet....

  9. Likes Mahlerian, arpeggio, Ingélou and 1 others liked this post
  10. #6
    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Salted Lakers City, UT
    Posts
    7,739
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    43

    Default

    Everyone has form... I think that your question is asking more whether experimental music is part of formalism.

    My question.... what is experimental music? I don't even know what that really means.

    Beethoven string quartets are experimental for example.

    Every single composition is an experiment. The composer does what he or she plays around with. Thus experiment.

    So my question to you is what is non-experimental music?
    "if a horse could sing in a monotone, the horse would sound like Carly Simon, only a horse wouldn't rhyme 'yacht', 'apricot', and 'gavotte'. Is that some kind of joke?"
    --Robert Christgau
    "there's a fine line between having an open mind and having your whole brain fall out"
    --Anonymous

    アルバート セブン

  11. Likes ComposerOfAvantGarde, arpeggio liked this post
  12. #7
    nathanb
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    I would be interested to know a little more about the first type of aleatoric music I mentioned because I haven't come up with an answer for that yet....
    Perhaps the most fascinating instance of this "performance-focused" aleatory is Cardew's Treatise. One could argue for an absence of form, in an entirely out-of-context argument, but I find it nigh inconceivable, after being a little more informed, that Cardew had no personal ideas about how he might interpret his graphic score, regardless of the fact that he did not hand over any interpretive instructions in the score. When I start picking up my guitar a little more often again (or piano), I'm hoping to make that score a priority, in terms of honing my intuitive/improvisational skills in a direction away from simple scales and chord progressions...

    Of course, for the "composition-focused" aleatory, it hardly gets better than John Cage. Cage did some great thinks with the performance side too, but you have to hear one of the large scale number pieces (say, 60+) to feel the method really shine.

  13. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert7 View Post
    Everyone has form... I think that your question is asking more whether experimental music is part of formalism.

    My question.... what is experimental music? I don't even know what that really means.

    Beethoven string quartets are experimental for example.

    Every single composition is an experiment. The composer does what he or she plays around with. Thus experiment.

    So my question to you is what is non-experimental music?
    I don't want to get into a long discussion about terminology as it then derails the thread. Let's just say non-experimental music has form in the sense that we would ordinarily understand the term "form". So all I'm asking is whether Cage's aleatoric music (or any other composers') have "form" in the sense as normally understood in say Classical, Baroque, Romanticism. If it does not, or if is a very different type of "form", that's what I would like to know. Or at least broad descriptions about "formless aleatoric music" or otherwise.

  14. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Or maybe put another way. We are normally comfortable about the saying Classical Rondo has form. Are we comfortable with saying aleatory has form, under what conditions? Or what?

  15. #10
    nathanb
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    I don't want to get into a long discussion about terminology as it then derails the thread. Let's just say non-experimental music has form in the sense that we would ordinarily understand the term "form". So all I'm asking is whether Cage's aleatoric music (or any other composers') have "form" in the sense as normally understood in say Classical, Baroque, Romanticism. If it does not, or if is a very different type of "form", that's what I would like to know. Or at least broad descriptions about "formless aleatoric music" or otherwise.
    Most musics, ranging from Baroque vs. Classical to Romantic vs. Modern to Metal vs. Hip-Hop, have different concepts of form. Aleatoric music doesn't fit in any more or less than the rest of them

  16. #11
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    19,995
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    What this poll is about is a mystery to me. But some will be amused to know that Mozart composed aleatoric music and even devised a dice game to write it.

    http://sunsite.univie.ac.at/Mozart/dice/


  17. Likes arpeggio, Ingélou, ptr and 1 others liked this post
  18. #12
    nathanb
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    Or maybe put another way. We are normally comfortable about the saying Classical Rondo has form. Are we comfortable with saying aleatory has form, under what conditions? Or what?
    That might be because a Rondo *is* a form. Aleatory is no more a form than a melody, a frequency, a table, or a bag of oranges.

  19. Likes ComposerOfAvantGarde, arpeggio, ptr and 1 others liked this post
  20. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanb View Post
    That might be because a Rondo *is* a form. Aleatory is no more a form than a melody, a frequency, a table, or a bag of oranges.
    Yes, I took an obvious example - Rondo is a form ("the sky is blue" ). But does music involving chance have form? (Not aleatory itself per se.)

  21. #14
    nathanb
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    Yes, I took an obvious example - Rondo is a form ("the sky is blue" ). But does music involving chance have form? (Not aleatory itself per se.)
    Yes. The schemes can get pretty complex, but in some of my simplest sketches, I try to maintain a sense of form by organizing little cells piano pieces into overlapping arches of fast-slow-fast, soft-loud-soft, etc. After all, it is usually these things (crescendos, accelerandos, cadences, etc) that make our music seem to "work". Now, admittedly, I try to do some Feldmanish things by overlapping these schemes on weird time schedules so nothing ever seems too predictable, but the tiny fragments I've realized in audio seem to work to my liking.

  22. Likes arpeggio, Ingélou, ptr and 1 others liked this post
  23. #15
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    19,995
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Mozart's game composes aleatoric music strictly within a menuet form. Maybe good, maybe bad, but strictly in form.


  24. Likes Ingélou, Weston liked this post
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. When Does A Newly Composed Music Become Old?
    By ArtMusic in forum Classical Music Discussion Polls
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: Jan-28-2015, 11:02
  2. What Is the Purpose of Experimental Music?
    By mmsbls in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: Oct-07-2013, 16:32
  3. HELP!!! experimental clarinet music used in many documentaries!
    By christrom in forum Solved Cases (archive)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Apr-24-2013, 18:13
  4. Do You Like Contemporary/Experimental Music...
    By wisetankian in forum Community Forum
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: Oct-22-2009, 12:52

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •