Saturday, June 20, 2020

some links for the weekend with a bit of a PCA/OPC and/or Reformed theme

It would seem that some folks of the OPC and PCA wanted to give three magazines worth of ammunition to The Wartburg Watch readership by way of comments online ... Ed Stetzer has caught wind of it--Aimee Byrd and Beth Moore have shared how complementarians have talked about them behind closed doors (even if the closed doors in question turn out to be cyberspace ones).

The Romantic era seeds from which Crescendo Rock grew--Leonard B. Meyer's observations on statistical accumulation and rejection of tonal syntactics in Romanticism and how we can hear that end point in, say, U2 songs

or "Leonard B. Meyer on the Romantic era shift from syntactic to statistical climax in music, in other words, crescendo rock is late, late Romanticism in pop"

Years ago I wrote about a piece at Slate in which an author inveighed against "crescendo rock". Carl Wilson vented some spleen about The National in particular and "crescendo rock" in general. What I wrote was over here but I'll quote a brief passage from the Slate piece to give an example of Wilson's invective against crescendo rock.

local news links: King County labor expels Seattle Police Union, details lacking in SPD evacuation of East Precinct (i.e. who, if anyone, ordered it?), one dead and one wounded in CHOP/CHAZ

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Ethan Hein has a post on learning to improvise in different modes using only the white keys, which got me thinking about the "white key" fugal tradition in Russian music

Ethan Hein's got a new post about learning how to improvise to music that's written only using the white piano keys.  The list is broad-ranging in terms of style and fun for highlighting which white keys only modes are involved in which songs over which to jam.

"Army of Me" would have been great for locrian but, ahem, obviously not in white keys only.  Yes, I just tipped off readers that I'm a fan of Bjork, at least her work up through Vespertine anyway.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Ethan Hein discusses "Fugue as sample flip"--explanations of sampling techniques remind me that "looping" might fit Schenkerian "knupftechnik", and other ways in which the compositional techniques across hip hop and fugal writing may potentially overlap, with a pitch for the idea that a fugal language can be built from Stevie Wonder songs

In the video that Deb links to, DJ Dahi says that three are three main techniques you can use to flip a sample: looping it, chopping it, and reversing it.
  • Looping is the simplest of the three techniques, but its musical significance is deeper than you might think. In his must-read book Making Beats, Joe Schloss points out that looping a sample juxtaposes the sampled material with itself by connecting the end of a phrase with its beginning. In so doing, “looping automatically recasts any musical material it touches, insofar as the end of a phrase is repeatedly juxtaposed with its beginning in a way that was not intended by the original musician. After only a few repetitions, this juxtaposition… begins to take on an air of inevitability. It begins to gather a compositional weight that far exceeds its original significance” (p. 137). Looping can take an idea that was meant to be linear and turn it into something circular, and that act can have political valence.
  • Chopping means splitting a sample into segments (e.g. individual drum hits or notes) and then recombining the segments out of order, and/or removing some of them. Audio Two’s “Top Billin'” beat is a chop of the “Impeach the President” drums. Pete Rock created the beat in “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” by chopping the drum intro to James Brown’s “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud).”
  • Reversing is the least common technique of the three, but when it appears, it’s conspicuous. The best example I can think of is the chorus to “Work It” by Missy Elliott. She follows the line “Put my thang down, flip it and reverse it” with that same line backwards, repeated twice.
Now what's intriguing about this is that coming at things from the perspective of being a classical guitarist who studied what could be called Eurological compositional techniques each of these techniques arguably has correspondences with gestural transformation in what's colloquially known as classical music.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Somebody at The Future Symphony Institute got Taruskin's latest, which is totally worth reading

I finished it within weeks of getting it back in April.  Taruskin's always worth reading.I hope whoever at FSI that's about to read the book enjoys it as much as I did.  Be ready for Taruskin to heap lavish but deserved praise on Leonard B. Meyer. :)  Also, it's got one of the most passionate recent defenses of Haydn I've read in a while and since I adore the music of Haydn I'll never complain about that.