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Last post Mon, Jan 15 2018 by agitato, 99 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Dec 22 2017 21:59
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 264

Originally Posted by: Kai Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: agitato Go to Quoted Post

btw being a physicist, I thought I might add a bit of math info regarding the number of possible melodies, which some here might already know about.

Even if we take a diatonic scale with an 8-note melody or theme, choosen out of 12 chromatic notes with no repetitions, the number of possible combinations are 12!/(12-8)! = 19 million. (the ! refers to the factorial function)

That means even without note repetitions there are 19 million possible diatonic melodies. But of course most of these will not sound pleasant. But even if 1/100th of these are good, we have 200,000 melodies. Now imagine if we add 7 note or 6 note or 5 note melodies, allso variations in rhythm.

There is much room for new music!

Anand

anand, being a physicist myself I have to correct you there : the minimal number of 8-note melodies is 12^8 (taking a melody as an ordered set with repetitions - see guy’s first masterpiece ), which is already nearly half a billion. as you point out this does not take into account that notes can have different lengths … as well as different velocities, being played with different articulations, dynamics, vibrato—and changing some of these additional properties you can easily mess up any good melody.

so the odds to find a good melody by chance should be far less than hitting the jackpot. but the amazing examples in this thread (which I enjoyed very much!) show that music is not math and that all these extremely talented people here definitively know what they are doing .

Hi Kai

I had stated that my calculation assumed no repetitions. You are right that it is 12^8 (or roughly 1 billion) with repetitions, which makes sense. But I like to exclude repetitions since a melody like  C C C C C C C C is obviously not interesting. And this is for only one note length and I never intended to include any variations in expression and articulation or dynamics. One could go crazy with this calculation and I am not that interested. This was just for a rough idea. 

I did not intend to suggest that music is math (oh please, lets not get side tracked here!) but posted that with the idea that someone might be curious about the number of combinations possible. 

The traditions of classical music composition have found ways to teach us how to narrow down this amazingly complex "landscape" of tonal possibilities into beautiful melodies without ever knowing math. It is fascinating to me that a computer algorithm that churns out melodies will probably take a million years to write a melody like Tchaikovsky or Mozart that can move us emotionally. How does the human brain achieve it? Fascinating.

Cheers

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Fri, Dec 22 2017 22:40
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Windsor, Ontario, Posts 192
Re: Passages,

Thank you Paul, William, and Anand for your kind words. It slipped my mind to mention, it's actually alto clarinet, along with harp and accordion...making it even more unique instrumentation, as the alto rarely is heard in this context.

Yes, Jos, Becky and I played the piece live with harpist, Erica Goodman, and then changed in to our wedding outfits, and the stage went from a concert stage to a wedding chapel :) I agree that the musical mood of the piece doesn't necessarily match the joy of a wedding, but I wanted to write something richly romantic and dramatic.

Cheers!
Dave
www.Acclarion.ca - accordion and clarinet duo

www.MaestrosCorner.com - music for orchestra and chamber ensembles

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for media
Posted on Fri, Dec 22 2017 23:27
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 979

Congratulations to everyone participating in this (great thread Bill), and thanks for the kind words Anand and good work too. Since people started posting what they refer to as their good stuff, I thought I'd put up something I wrote in this century. It has been interesting for me to monitor people's musical backgrounds and interests through this exercise. It seems that most listen to film music primarily (a lot of music offered here screams this), and less to the classical tradition (by 'classical' I mean anything 800-1950 A.D.). I'd just like to say guys, that as much as I too love film music and I marvel at the great tracks this genre's masters have offered us, the real wealth lies in the other direction. If you wish to enrich your musical vocabulary significantly and listen to the best melodies that have ever been conceived, take a break from film for a while, shift the balance a bit. Just a suggestion.

https://soundcloud.com/errikos-vaios/wings

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Fri, Dec 22 2017 23:46
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 264

Originally Posted by: Errikos Go to Quoted Post

Congratulations to everyone participating in this (great thread Bill), and thanks for the kind words Anand and good work too. Since people started posting what they refer to as their good stuff, I thought I'd put up something I wrote in this century. It has been interesting for me to monitor people's musical backgrounds and interests through this exercise. It seems that most listen to film music primarily (a lot of music offered here screams this), and less to the classical tradition (by 'classical' I mean anything 800-1950 A.D.). I'd just like to say guys, that as much as I too love film music and I marvel at the great tracks this genre's masters have offered us, the real wealth lies in the other direction. If you wish to enrich your musical vocabulary significantly and listen to the best melodies that have ever been conceived, take a break from film for a while, shift the balance a bit. Just a suggestion.

https://soundcloud.com/errikos-vaios/wings

What a stunning piece and performance. I'll keep it as my goal to transcribe this piece as an exercise.

I can't express how thankful I am to this forum....to be able to hear amazing music like this and to actually communicate with the composers.

Anand

PS btw I focus mostly on classical music while listening, much less on film.

Anand Kumar
Posted on Sat, Dec 23 2017 00:06
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 979

"But I like to exclude repetitions since a melody like  C C C C C C C C is obviously not interesting." 

Tell this to Terry Riley by the way 

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Sat, Dec 23 2017 00:49
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 4838

Thanks a lot Guy I appreciate it!   Your brilliant composition and performance are an inspiration. 

Also, the pieces by Jos, Paul and Anand are very fine.  Not to mention the others here - all very interesting and worthwhile music.  Errikos, that is a great song.  I need to listen more - complex and fascinating work.

 

Hey!  This thread has become friendly and cordial !  What's up with that?  I'm getting nervous.

Posted on Sat, Dec 23 2017 11:20
by Kai
Joined on Sun, Dec 29 2002, Graz, Austria, Posts 118

Originally Posted by: agitato Go to Quoted Post

Hi Kai

I had stated that my calculation assumed no repetitions. You are right that it is 12^8 (or roughly 1 billion) with repetitions, which makes sense. But I like to exclude repetitions since a melody like  C C C C C C C C is obviously not interesting. And this is for only one note length and I never intended to include any variations in expression and articulation or dynamics. One could go crazy with this calculation and I am not that interested. This was just for a rough idea. 

I did not intend to suggest that music is math (oh please, lets not get side tracked here!) but posted that with the idea that someone might be curious about the number of combinations possible. 

The traditions of classical music composition have found ways to teach us how to narrow down this amazingly complex "landscape" of tonal possibilities into beautiful melodies without ever knowing math. It is fascinating to me that a computer algorithm that churns out melodies will probably take a million years to write a melody like Tchaikovsky or Mozart that can move us emotionally. How does the human brain achieve it? Fascinating.

Cheers

Anand

 

hi anand,

so sorry, i missed that you made this assumption. in this case my point is not about the math, but rather about the assumption itself, because you should have a hard time naming a famous melody without a single note repetition.

my post wasn’t entirely serious and i did not want to turn this into a nerdy discussion about math , i was just surprised to read such a post on this forum. 

my main concern is your assumption that every 100th melody is “good” (which is surely hard to define in first place). i would guess that out of the nearly uncountably many (landscape is a good picture), the percentage of melodies that a large number of people agrees on to be “good” is FAR smaller. otherwise we would hear many more of them … and that’s why the exquisite examples in this thread are so special.

i fully agree with your statement about classical music, but i am not sure about the million years. neural networks are making tremendous progress. recently the same architecture of the “alphago” software that had previously beaten the world champion in the game of go taught itself in less than a day how to play chess (and other games) and plays now better than specialized chess software (despite decades of development of the latter). the “deepdream” networks can already “imitate” famous painters and the results are quite stunning (although a bit creepy). so i wouldn’t be surprised if a neural network would learn how to copy a certain style and “compose” e.g. “tchaikovsky-esque” music in the next decade. coming up with really new ideas is surely much harder, but who knows, maybe a neural network can one day even learn what makes a melody great and implicitly apply this complex recipe (which likely won’t consist of a few simple rules) to come up with new ones …

cheers

kai

Posted on Sat, Dec 23 2017 12:38
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 152

I made this melody almost 20 years ago. I was inspired by a little baby of very good friends of mine. I can't say it is my best melody, but it is a piece that makes the public totally silent in a recital, I experienced several times.

For a little one, a tender one

Posted on Sat, Dec 23 2017 21:30
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 264

Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post

Hey!  This thread has become friendly and cordial !  What's up with that?  I'm getting nervous.

Yeah, I think we have what call in physics, an 'unstable equilibrium' in this forum ;)

Anand Kumar
Posted on Sun, Dec 24 2017 05:23
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1887

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

I made this melody almost 20 years ago. I was inspired by a little baby of very good friends of mine. I can't say it is my best melody, but it is a piece that makes the public totally silent in a recital, I experienced several times.

For a little one, a tender one

 

Really beautiful! What makes it work so well is the interpretation is just right. 

 

ps William, your pm box is full.

Posted on Sun, Dec 24 2017 21:30
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 152

Originally Posted by: Guy Bacos Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

I made this melody almost 20 years ago. I was inspired by a little baby of very good friends of mine. I can't say it is my best melody, but it is a piece that makes the public totally silent in a recital, I experienced several times.

For a little one, a tender one

 

Really beautiful! What makes it work so well is the interpretation is just right. 

 

 

Thanks Guy, for your friendly words. What you say about the interpretation of the music is among others what I like so much in your work with samples. Every tone has something to say (unless it has to be just 'empty' tones, what also is possible of course).

Posted on Sun, Dec 24 2017 22:35
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 264

Originally Posted by: Guy Bacos Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

I made this melody almost 20 years ago. I was inspired by a little baby of very good friends of mine. I can't say it is my best melody, but it is a piece that makes the public totally silent in a recital, I experienced several times.

For a little one, a tender one

 

Really beautiful! What makes it work so well is the interpretation is just right. 

Absolutely, this is a beautiful melody and played so nicely. No wonder the audience becomes quiet lisening to this..there seems to be a stillness in the piece despite all the movement.

I like the use of back and forth Lydian and Minor scales, that what makes this unique I think.

This is Chopin inspired i am sure ;)

Cheers

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Sun, Dec 24 2017 22:36
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 264

Originally Posted by: agitato Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: Guy Bacos Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: MMKA Go to Quoted Post

I made this melody almost 20 years ago. I was inspired by a little baby of very good friends of mine. I can't say it is my best melody, but it is a piece that makes the public totally silent in a recital, I experienced several times.

For a little one, a tender one

 

Really beautiful! What makes it work so well is the interpretation is just right. 

Absolutely, this is a beautiful melody and played so nicely. No wonder the audience becomes quiet lisening to this..there seems to be a stillness in the piece despite all the movement.

I like the use of back and forth Lydian and Minor (Aeolian) scales, that what makes this melody unique... I think.

This is Chopin inspired i am sure ;)

Cheers

 

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 03:15
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 7

Hello William,

Well, I just want to start out by saying that I am a little nervous about posting what I think is my best melody.  But I think I have a good reason to be nervous.  You see, I have never had any formal education in music - in other words, I can't read or write music notation.  I truly wish I had had the discipline to stick with it so many years ago.  But I love good music, good musicians, and especially a good melody.

When I first heard what VSL could sound like, I was smitten, to say the least.  I had many ideas I wanted to get recorded but the sounds of the orchestra I just could not reproduce with the equipment I had.  I was a drummer in a rock band since 1976 but my secret love of classical and film music I kept hidden from my friends and band members. Pretty silly of me. I listened more to the local classical station than the rock music.

Anyway I hope you enjoy this piece.  As I already mentioned, I am quite new at composing and truthfully, I do not know if it is even "good" - The eye of the beholder and all that !

Thanks,

John M - You may have to cut and paste the link.

http://www.broadjam.com/songs/johnminardi/the-life-gift

Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 03:37
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 4838

John, that sounds really good - I like the definition of the melodic lines and instruments.  I listened to some of the other tracks there - better than a lot of composers out there so you have nothing to be nervous about!    

Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 03:50
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 4838

mmka that is a real melody!  That is what is hardest to do - something totally simple but good.   One could have a horrible melody, with the same simplicity.  So what makes yours  good?  Impossible to formulate. 

Maybe my favorite melody of all time is Shenandoah.  It is one of the most beautiful -  I have a performance by Robert Shaw Chorale that is the most expressive performance...  and it is just a few notes, nothing complex, no great development, no symphonic structure - just a few notes.  That is an amazing thing to create something like that.  And no one even knows who composed that one.

Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 11:31
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 253

John M nice melody. 

William I agree Shenandoah is a wonderful melody. I wonder if the heart wrenching quality is also felt by Europeans? For me, part of the effect of Shenandoah lies in the civil war connotations. The sadness for all of the lives lost, military and civilian, during the civil war. And the sadness felt when leaving home. 

I also wonder if fans of EDM, heavy metal, hip hop and gangster rap can hear the beauty in a simple yet powerful melody. Shennandoah also makes me sad for all of those folks.

Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 18:22
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 7

Hello William,

Your responce brought me to tears.  No one has ever given me a compliment like that and it means a lot to me.  I listen to the great composers as much as possible and I am just awed by what I hear. I know there are a lot of good musicians out there who toiled very hard to obtain a good education in music composition.  I cannot say I am on par with them and then look at myself in the mirror - but I do greatly appreciate your compliment.           

Working with the VSL has given me a great appreciation for the musicians in the orchestra.

I believe that if the music comes from the heart of the one who composes it and makes it come to life, it will affect others in a pleasing way - not everyone of course, but thats OK.  I am glad you enjoyed the music.

Thanks again William and lets keep in touch.

 

John Minardi

Paul McGraw - Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed it.  Take care.

Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 23:10
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 264

Originally Posted by: Paul McGraw Go to Quoted Post

I also wonder if fans of EDM, heavy metal, hip hop and gangster rap can hear the beauty in a simple yet powerful melody. Shennandoah also makes me sad for all of those folks.

I am no fan of those genres you mention but  with all due respect, I must admit that I felt your comment was condescending.

Maybe I misunderstood your post, but who are we to judge other forms of music?  I personally mostly listen to classical music but does everything have to be classical music? There has been a lot of great music out there in the 20th century that is not clasical music and sweet melodies. Take Jazz for example. It is more complex than what many classical composers can dream up, and it doesnt always have sweet melodies.  

Why should we feel sad for people wo listen to Jazz, Rock or Reggae or Hip hop or Rap music? Who are we to judge those who listen to anything else but classical as lower or unfortunate people?

Sorry to distract, but this comment upset me and I felt that I should express it. No one can define the boundaries of music which is like an ocean.

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Tue, Dec 26 2017 23:10
by MMKA
Joined on Tue, May 22 2012, Posts 152

Thanks, Anand and William, for your attention to the little piece and what you said about it. 

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