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Band-In-A-Box melody study proposal How many of the group have, or will purchase BIAB

#1 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:31 PM

We have been discussing in various threads here, the idea that we should start posting some sound files to use as a background for melodies, that all who visit here can download and listen to, and write their own melodies to. to enhance the learning here.

Band-In-A-Box is currently $129 for the basic version. It comes with all you need to do what we're talking about here. You can quickly enter chords, choose a style, and immediately "create" a basic track. You can also add an audio track, of either a vocal or an instrument to create your melodies. You can also enter the melodies on a staff. That gets a littl emore complicated, but it's not rocket science.

So, how many here already have BIAB, or, are willing to purchsae it, in order to proceed with more in depth analysis and creation of chord progressions, and melodies?

Thanks, all.
Eric
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#2 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:35 PM

Why would we need BIAB to participate?

All we need is the audio it produces, surely?
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#3 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:42 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 28 August 2011 - 06:35 PM, said:

All we need is the audio it produces, surely?

Yes, this is what I think, also.

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:37 AM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 28 August 2011 - 06:42 PM, said:

View PostAlistair S, on 28 August 2011 - 06:35 PM, said:

All we need is the audio it produces, surely?

Yes, this is what I think, also.


Agreed, you wouldn't need BIAB. I think BIAB would greatly enhance your learning experience, and you would learn a new "tool" to use in your songwriting.
But you wouldn't have to have it. I was thinking "in a perfect world" everyone would have BIAB :).
I have a dream ..... :)
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#5 User is offline   ed_shaw Icon

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:23 PM

Hello:
I am new to this forum and am interested in a study group on working with backing tracks, computer assisted (like BIB) or otherwise. Since I am using BIB for everything I am doing now, it would make sense to talk about Cakewalk, and BIB.
Problem with that is not to discourage people who did not want to get into BIB. Probably the main reason I like BIB is the fact that it provides that consistent click track. I lay the backing track into a track in Garage Band. From that time on, there is a reference that doesn't change. I can send that track across the internet for collaboration (if I wanted to) and it would come back in perfect time. Just like the big boys do.
I worked on a project today. One guitar track had all kinds of holes in it where I had copied, pasted, and deleted data. I wanted to use it but was not sure if I could. Indeed, I muted the other tracks, sent it to the compiler (share to i-tunes.) When it was done, I dragged it out of the folder and put it into a new timeline, and just like that it was in perfect time to the original backing track and all the bits and pieces had been tied together into a solid track. Of course it was, what else could it have done?

Anyway, not to be long and drawn out, if folks want to concentrate on these issues, I would be interested.
I make original melodies based on classic backings and distribute them to lyricists and performers who want original material that they own. They have to add the words, but it is not that hard. Mine are not so-called "performance" or karaoke tracks, but creative tools.

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:33 AM

View Posted_shaw, on 04 October 2011 - 10:23 PM, said:

Probably the main reason I like BIB is the fact that it provides that consistent click track.


Every DAW on the market has a metronome/click track function :)
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Posted 05 October 2011 - 02:55 PM

I like this idea. You could just post a chord progression and have folks create melodies off of them their own way. Band in a box or otherwise. Fun would be seeing what folks come up with and whatnot. No?

Studies in rhythm around a chord progression could be very interesting as well.

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 07:32 PM

What's a DAW, Mark?

What I am getting at is that the consistency of a comp. generated track allows the editor to copy and paste sections from the track, let's say a repeating chorus, and be sure that a section taken from one part of the track and pasted into another is going to fit perfectly. The obvious drawback is that such consistency can easily turn boring. A live drummer and bass can change all that. Nevertheless, within it's limitations, computer generated is a great tool for the solitary demo track composer.

Scotto, I had a four bar intro the other day that was CCGC.
By mistake, I played a CCFC lead over it. The effect was really cool. I would never have had the talent to do something like that on purpose.
Sure, Scotto, it would be very interesting to see what people are doing. I post my tracks to a lot of places, but really like Soundcloud.com. It accepts AIFF and WAV, so the quality is better than MP3.

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:35 PM

Quote

Scotto, I had a four bar intro the other day that was CCGC.
By mistake, I played a CCFC lead over it. The effect was really cool. I would never have had the talent to do something like that on purpose.



That's a Bob Ross Happy little accident... and it COUNTS!

#10 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:04 AM

View PostScotto, on 05 October 2011 - 01:55 PM, said:

I like this idea. You could just post a chord progression and have folks create melodies off of them their own way. Band in a box or otherwise. Fun would be seeing what folks come up with and whatnot. No?

Studies in rhythm around a chord progression could be very interesting as well.

:)

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:31 AM

View Posted_shaw, on 06 October 2011 - 12:32 PM, said:

It accepts AIFF and WAV, so the quality is better than MP3.


At the risk of getting off-topic (and hoping not to invoke a debate, since there is none to have ;)) I just thought it might be helpful to address this.

Yes, AIFF and WAV are "better" quality than MP3. The thing to take into account here though, is that, in the vast majority of cases, only the most discerning of listeners, playing their recordings through the most refined and expensive equipment, would generally hear any difference at all between a well-encoded MP3 and the WAV file it was sourced from.

When uploading songs with the hope that as many people as possible might listen to and appreciate them, it is generally best to use MP3 format. It is quicker, simpler and (for many folk in some countries) cheaper to listen to.

Normal transmission will now resume. ;)

#12 User is offline   Bruce N Icon

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:30 AM

View PostSimple Simon, on 06 October 2011 - 02:31 AM, said:

View Posted_shaw, on 06 October 2011 - 12:32 PM, said:

It accepts AIFF and WAV, so the quality is better than MP3.


At the risk of getting off-topic (and hoping not to invoke a debate, since there is none to have ;)) I just thought it might be helpful to address this.


Too late, speaking only for myself, no I'm not the most discerning person around, and no I don't have the most refined and expensive equipment available, but I do definitely hear the difference between top encoded MP3's and the sourced .WAV file of them.

But as you stated, sometimes quality has to be sacrificed for convenience.
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Posted 06 October 2011 - 06:05 AM

Oh, boy, I did it, didn't I.
MP3's are fine, on line or otherwise. They save bandwidth, are easily attached to emails, and upload easily. A load of MP3's fit on an i-pod, and the idea of a third compression track was so incredibly brilliant as to qualify as the eighth wonder. Distrortion sometimes attributed to the MP3 is format is actually the result of demonic forces that come out of the ground wherever laptops are present.



View PostBruce N, on 06 October 2011 - 01:30 AM, said:

View PostSimple Simon, on 06 October 2011 - 02:31 AM, said:

View Posted_shaw, on 06 October 2011 - 12:32 PM, said:

It accepts AIFF and WAV, so the quality is better than MP3.


At the risk of getting off-topic (and hoping not to invoke a debate, since there is none to have ;)) I just thought it might be helpful to address this.


Too late, speaking only for myself, no I'm not the most discerning person around, and no I don't have the most refined and expensive equipment available, but I do definitely hear the difference between top encoded MP3's and the sourced .WAV file of them.

But as you stated, sometimes quality has to be sacrificed for convenience.


#14 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:25 PM

In regard to the MP3 quality issue. It is really irrelevant in a way. Let me explain.
I can send an MP3 so someone to overdub their guitar track, or whativer in reference to. Their guitar track can be recorded in any format that their software suports, usually WAV, but any high quality format usually.
So the MP3 is merely used as a timing reference. I have the original, high quality files in my DAW software, and when I receive the overdub track, that was recorded in reference to the MP3 timing, it will fit right in to my project.
So the MP3 is not the final product. Merely a timing, overdub tool.
For that, it is ideal to reduce file size when working over the internet.
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#15 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:34 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 06 October 2011 - 01:04 AM, said:

View PostScotto, on 05 October 2011 - 01:55 PM, said:

I like this idea. You could just post a chord progression and have folks create melodies off of them their own way. Band in a box or otherwise. Fun would be seeing what folks come up with and whatnot. No?

Studies in rhythm around a chord progression could be very interesting as well.

:)


I like the idea, as well. In the past I've found such projects problematical. I don't think they have any chance of succeeding unless they are "managed" by one person. Someone has to drive it, and make the decisions.
I would like to shoot for finishing with an actual song, with lyrics, at the end of the project.
I had one fairly successful project like that here on Muse 4 or 5 years ago. I can post the resulting song, if anyone is interested.

Lots of people can be involved, but someone has to make the calls on who's lyrics or music is used in the final song.
It just can't be run by "everyone".
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#16 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:39 PM

View Posted_shaw, on 04 October 2011 - 08:23 PM, said:

Hello:
I am new to this forum and am interested in a study group on working with backing tracks, computer assisted (like BIB) or otherwise. Since I am using BIB for everything I am doing now, it would make sense to talk about Cakewalk, and BIB.
Problem with that is not to discourage people who did not want to get into BIB. Probably the main reason I like BIB is the fact that it provides that consistent click track. I lay the backing track into a track in Garage Band. From that time on, there is a reference that doesn't change. I can send that track across the internet for collaboration (if I wanted to) and it would come back in perfect time. Just like the big boys do.
I worked on a project today. One guitar track had all kinds of holes in it where I had copied, pasted, and deleted data. I wanted to use it but was not sure if I could. Indeed, I muted the other tracks, sent it to the compiler (share to i-tunes.) When it was done, I dragged it out of the folder and put it into a new timeline, and just like that it was in perfect time to the original backing track and all the bits and pieces had been tied together into a solid track. Of course it was, what else could it have done?

Anyway, not to be long and drawn out, if folks want to concentrate on these issues, I would be interested.
I make original melodies based on classic backings and distribute them to lyricists and performers who want original material that they own. They have to add the words, but it is not that hard. Mine are not so-called "performance" or karaoke tracks, but creative tools.


See my other post on this.
Basically, I like the idea of such a project. I think it has to be driven or managed by one person.
Someone has to make the decisions on what music and lyrics are used.

I don't like the idea of not having a long term goal, a quantifiable goal for such endeavors.
I think that if we do such a project, we should agree that at the end of the project we will have a completed song, and a recording of that song, with a vocal, to post here.
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#17 User is offline   ed_shaw Icon

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:38 PM

Would you picture participants all working on the same .band file? That could make it easier. On the other hand, with some restrictions, mainly style, it would not be out
of the question to modify the original .band.
I'm finding myself separating the tracks, lately.
Simplicity would say, make the .band file, distribute it as an AIFF or MP3, and see what happens.

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 04:12 PM

Hi Yukon,
I have to disagree wholeheartedly with your wanting to use BIAB in order to study melody.
There are so many great melodies floating around the musical universe :rolleyes:
that we don’t need a piece of digital software made up only of bits and bytes in order to appreciate the essence of what is melodic.

Heck, all you have to do is to observe a sunrise or sunset, the birth of a child, the smell of white jasmine, sitting in front of a sparkling fireplace, watching snow fall on a pitch black night and hearing nothing at all except the sound of your breath and the beat of your heart.

Melody, is about emotion. It is about passion. It is about spiritual revelation.

Simple familiar melodies like Amazing Grace, Let It Be, Air on the G-string can be used to sight examples of such.

Bring in the band, :) but please leave the box outside. :angry:
imho, we study and analyze music way too much when we should just be listening and hearing what it is telling our souls. :wub:
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#19 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 07:25 PM

View PostDannyDep, on 07 November 2011 - 03:12 PM, said:

Hi Yukon,
I have to disagree wholeheartedly with your wanting to use BIAB in order to study melody.
There are so many great melodies floating around the musical universe :rolleyes:
that we don’t need a piece of digital software made up only of bits and bytes in order to appreciate the essence of what is melodic.

Heck, all you have to do is to observe a sunrise or sunset, the birth of a child, the smell of white jasmine, sitting in front of a sparkling fireplace, watching snow fall on a pitch black night and hearing nothing at all except the sound of your breath and the beat of your heart.

Melody, is about emotion. It is about passion. It is about spiritual revelation.

Simple familiar melodies like Amazing Grace, Let It Be, Air on the G-string can be used to sight examples of such.

Bring in the band, :) but please leave the box outside. :angry:
imho, we study and analyze music way too much when we should just be listening and hearing what it is telling our souls. :wub:


To follow your reasoning, why should we even have music notation? It's just a waste of time compared to a sunset, right? Why should we have anything at all written down about music. Any boks on composition, or textbooks for students? Who needs them. Just hand the students same white jasmine, and lead them to a fireplace. Nothing else is needed.

We weren't discussing the inspiration behind melody, by the way, but the organization of phrased and harmony, which have been part of music for centuries.

My main comment on your post would be to say, hey, just get the hell out of this thread and go live a happy life. No one asked you anyway.

Go start your own forum, and use your own theories on music theory and study. I can't wait to hear all of the timeless melodies you will create and bless the human race with. Let us mere mortals just sit back and be amazed at the genius of your works. Please post a few soon somewhere, and don't deprive us any longer of the genius you so obviouly have.

Until we hear such works we will have to be content with the likes of Mozart, Bach, Berlin and Gershwin.

Gershwin, by the way, composed the score for Porgy and Bess using a mathematical system of composition written by Schillinger. I forget what the formula for Jasine or Sunset was in that system, perhaps E-mc squared.
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#20 User is offline   DannyDep Icon

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:51 PM

Ouch!! :o Calm down Yukon.
I didn’t make any disparaging remarks towards you personally.

I just happen to disagree with the effectiveness of a product like BIAB for helping someone to create melodies.
In a world where software (not only that which is used for music) and theories like Kurzweil’s Singularity keep wanting to merge man and machine I like to keep things in favor of the human race. And I’d like to remain human for a long long time. This is my point of contention.

I never mentioned anything at all about my own works or that they were superior or inferior to anyone else’s.

I really don’t think that you are doing this community any good by personally criticizing a member about their ideas.
Let all of the viewpoints be displayed and let the folks decide for themselves.

I must admit that it is interesting to hear that Gershwin wrote Porgy and Bess by using a mathematical system.
I just wonder how many other melodies have been written throughout the ages without using such mathematical systems.

Or we could discuss the fact that music runs under the confines of pure mathematics.
But to appreciate a good melody one has to use his or her heart and soul and not their brain.
Imho, what makes a good melody is how much emotion you can derive from it.

Otherwise we are all just protons, neutrons, and electrons with no free will to make decisions and choose what we like and what we don’t like.

And I can see that trying to present a perspective that does not agree with yours is foolish on my part.
You can be certain that I will comply with your request in not commenting on any of your topics or remarks in the future.
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#21 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:32 AM

Oh, dear, it's getting a bit warm in here!

Yukon, I think you've gone a bit over the top here. Danny need not start his own forum to be welcome. All Musers are invited to comment anywhere on this board by the owner of the Forum, who be Jodi.

If you read Danny's posts again, you might find that he interpreted the use of BIAB a bit differently than what this thread proposed. I do believe Danny is thinking the melodies suggested for study would be computer generated by BIAB, as opposed to being created by a real person, and merely using BIAB to record them. I don't think Danny realized no one is talking about studying a melody created by a software machine. Taken this way, Danny's thoughts on inspiration make much more sense.

Danny, even if I'm misunderstanding the point in your posts, you're certainly welcome to post your thoughts.

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:11 AM

View PostYukon, on 10 November 2011 - 12:25 PM, said:

To follow your reasoning, why should we even have music notation? It's just a waste of time compared to a sunset, right? Why should we have anything at all written down about music. Any boks on composition, or textbooks for students? Who needs them. Just hand the students same white jasmine, and lead them to a fireplace. Nothing else is needed.
Of course, for millennia, nothing else was needed. And in many (most?) civilisations still today, nothing else is needed. Let's not slip into musical hegemony here.

Quote

My main comment on your post would be to say, hey, just get the hell out of this thread and go live a happy life. No one asked you anyway.
My goodness!Posted Image

Surely we can share alternative perspectives on music in open and well-intentioned ways without the risk of rancour? Otherwise, what's the point?




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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:49 AM

View PostYukon, on 28 August 2011 - 04:31 PM, said:

We have been discussing in various threads here, the idea that we should start posting some sound files to use as a background for melodies, that all who visit here can download and listen to, and write their own melodies to. to enhance the learning here.

Band-In-A-Box is currently $129 for the basic version. It comes with all you need to do what we're talking about here. You can quickly enter chords, choose a style, and immediately "create" a basic track. You can also add an audio track, of either a vocal or an instrument to create your melodies. You can also enter the melodies on a staff. That gets a littl emore complicated, but it's not rocket science.

So, how many here already have BIAB, or, are willing to purchsae it, in order to proceed with more in depth analysis and creation of chord progressions, and melodies?

Thanks, all.
Eric


IMHO BIB is a good program. A friend of mine has it. IMO It's a really good tool for songwriting and getting ideas down. It's got a couple of problems though for those who are submitting their stuff to labels, publishers and libraries etc.

1) BIB, it seems, is a dirty word to the pros. They won't touch anything they think was produced with it. (of course if you use just snatches of it, mixed w/ original performances you might trick them).
2) Unless you buy the $700 edition, the quality is 128kbps mp3. That means that if you use the tracks in your DAW and then mix them down to another mp3, you'll get even more audio degredation. And you can't make a CD that'll satisfy even a semi-audiophile.

But if you're a hobbyist, or want a songwriting tool, I think BIB is great. Pretty impressive actually. And they keep making it better.

Peace,

Ian
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#24 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:55 AM

View PostDannyDep, on 09 November 2011 - 09:51 PM, said:

Ouch!! :o Calm down Yukon.
I didn’t make any disparaging remarks towards you personally.

I just happen to disagree with the effectiveness of a product like BIAB for helping someone to create melodies.
In a world where software (not only that which is used for music) and theories like Kurzweil’s Singularity keep wanting to merge man and machine I like to keep things in favor of the human race. And I’d like to remain human for a long long time. This is my point of contention.

I never mentioned anything at all about my own works or that they were superior or inferior to anyone else’s.

I really don’t think that you are doing this community any good by personally criticizing a member about their ideas.
Let all of the viewpoints be displayed and let the folks decide for themselves.

I must admit that it is interesting to hear that Gershwin wrote Porgy and Bess by using a mathematical system.
I just wonder how many other melodies have been written throughout the ages without using such mathematical systems.

Or we could discuss the fact that music runs under the confines of pure mathematics.
But to appreciate a good melody one has to use his or her heart and soul and not their brain.
Imho, what makes a good melody is how much emotion you can derive from it.

Otherwise we are all just protons, neutrons, and electrons with no free will to make decisions and choose what we like and what we don’t like.

And I can see that trying to present a perspective that does not agree with yours is foolish on my part.
You can be certain that I will comply with your request in not commenting on any of your topics or remarks in the future.


I apologize.
I just didn't think your post moved the ball forward very much.
I noticed for a long time that there are 2 basic schools of thought in music, and about art in general
Some think that there can be no objective analysis done. Others think that objective study can yield worthwhile results.

Both schools, the subjective, and the objective have important things to say. I tend toward the objective, obviously.

I would appreciate hearing what method you would propose for some sort of group study of melody writing.
What sort of structure, or procedures would you recommend?

Eric
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#25 User is offline   Lazz Icon

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:13 PM

DannyDep said:

Ouch!! :o Calm down Yukon.
I didn’t make any disparaging remarks towards you personally.

I have to say, Danny, that I was surprised to find your post somewhat intemperate and ill-informed enough for me to read it as disparagement, dismissal and contempt for the intent of Yukon’s contributions in this tributary of the board.

This is, after all, ostensibly and allegedly a songwriters’ website – and yet remains steadfastly poverty-stricken in conversation or sharing about purely musical approaches or aspects to song. I have always found that fact rather shocking and sad. Salley, I believe, has felt similarly, and initiated this little dedicated corner in consequence. A little corner which remained revealingly starved of attention until Yukon decided to do an enormous amount of work in attempting to be heuristically useful and constructive.

Quite predictably, from my jaundiced and cynical perspective, traffic faded once again due to the traditional lack of interest – which I am certain was a huge disappointment for the uncomplaining Eric – until Danny, late to the party, bruises in to state unequivocally that it is all a pile of worthless old bollocks anyway.

Not at all helpful.
Given the circumstances as I see ‘em, I feel that Yukon’s response was impressively moderate as well as perfectly understandable. I would have been profoundly pissed-off, myself.

DannyDep said:

I just happen to disagree with the effectiveness of a product like BIAB for helping someone to create melodies.

Your disagreement has no foundation.
BIAB was conceived and designed for jazz players as a practice tool which, being digital in construction, offered advantages over the more established music-minus-one or Jamie Aebersold disc catalogues. As such, as a tool for improvisers, aiding the creation of melody is its prime originating purpose.

Ian Ferrin said:

BIB, it seems, is a dirty word to the pros….. But if you're a hobbyist, ….

The acronym is BIAB, not BIB. And if we wished to consider the late Michael Brecker, for example, to have been a professional musician (and in my opinion you’d have to pretty dumb to think otherwise) – or, indeed, Chris Potter or Wayne Shorter, amongst those still living – then it is clearly very far from being a dirty word to ‘the pros’. Indeed, there is not one single pro player of my knowledge – and I’m not talking rock or folk or country, but real jobbing pros who make real music in real time for a living – who does not own the package and use it productively. These are most definitely not hobbyists.

DannyDep said:

imho, we study and analyze music way too much

I find that assertion also to be ridiculous.
We (here at the Muse) self-evidently study and analyse music way too little.

There is, of course, no obligation for any hobbyist to make any compensatory effort in that direction, but to be so closed-mindedly destructive about someone else’s humble attempts to share and encourage a positive learning process towards better musicianship is beyond my comprehension.
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#26 User is offline   Ian Ferrin Icon

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:10 PM

Ian Ferrin said:

BIB, it seems, is a dirty word to the pros…..


Lazz said:

And if we wished to consider... Indeed, there is not one single pro player.... real jobbing pros who make real music in real time for a living – who does not own the package

I admit I may have over-generalized from too limited knowledge!

Sorry,

Ian
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#27 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:55 PM

View PostIan Ferrin, on 11 November 2011 - 01:10 PM, said:

Ian Ferrin said:

BIB, it seems, is a dirty word to the pros…..


Lazz said:

And if we wished to consider... Indeed, there is not one single pro player.... real jobbing pros who make real music in real time for a living – who does not own the package

I admit I may have over-generalized from too limited knowledge!

Sorry,

Ian


Thanks for the post, Ian.
I agree that BIAB (not BIB) has a poor reputation among publishers and others who accept submissions of songs. This is understandable. BIAB will never replace a good demo done by good, real, live musicians.
And, BIAB in unskilled hands can sound pretty funny.
In more skilled hands, with better than the default sound sources, BIAB can actually be pretty good. It can put down a good basic track, and then you can overdub real musicians to improve the sound.
I think publishers who reject BIAB submissions may be hurting themselves. A good song is a good song. Even when presented via a BIAB track.
Also, there are PLENTY of bad demos submitted every day to publishers that have nothing to do with BIAB. Real musicians can be bad also.

Another point, for many would be songwriters, the expense of $200 to $800 for a demo is prohibitive. If they can learn to use BIAB they can produce a demo for basically nothing, if they don't have to pay a singer.
And that demo would be better than many demos played by real live musicians that are not very good.

Like a previous post by someone, I saw Tom Scott at an AES show playing his sax to a background provided by BIAB.
So many pros use BIAB. BIAB is really like a swiss army knife musically. Is it the best knife for all applications? No. But it covers most of the bases pretty well.
You can type in chord progressions, and edit them, quickly and easily. It will create intros and ending for you. Tou can add an audio track of a vocal, or an instrument. You can enter and edit melodies in piano roll style, or traditional notation style.

Eric
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#28 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 04:01 PM

[quote name='Yukon' date='11 November 2011 - 02:55 PM' timestamp='1321044931' post='560991']

View PostIan Ferrin, on 11 November 2011 - 01:10 PM, said:

Ian Ferrin said:

BIB, it seems, is a dirty word to the pros…..


Lazz said:

And if we wished to consider... Indeed, there is not one single pro player.... real jobbing pros who make real music in real time for a living – who does not own the package


More points :). If you work entirely in BIAB your points are well taken.
What some do is export a midi file and import it into a DAW applications like Pro Tools, or Sonar.
Then one can use use top of the line softsynths and add midi and audio tracks as needed. Then one can mix down in 24 bit quality to the audio file type of your choice, and easily burn a CD of the song.
Eric
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#29 User is offline   Ian Ferrin Icon

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 12:42 AM

Yukon said:

More points :). If you work entirely in BIAB your points are well taken.
What some do is export a midi file and import it into a DAW applications like Pro Tools, or Sonar.
Then one can use use top of the line softsynths and add midi and audio tracks as needed. Then one can mix down in 24 bit quality to the audio file type of your choice, and easily burn a CD of the song.
Eric

I agree it's a good program. I'm thinking of getting it. $670 isn't cheap though and I'm starting to submit again. A library (actually THE (only) library) where I have some stuff placed says don't bother submitting anything with BIAB tracks. If they suspect you used it, they'll reject your tune. But for a lot of my stuff that's just posted for critique and possible self release in the future, BIAB would be great.

Peace,

Ian
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Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:16 PM

View PostIan Ferrin, on 11 November 2011 - 11:42 PM, said:

Yukon said:

More points :). If you work entirely in BIAB your points are well taken.
What some do is export a midi file and import it into a DAW applications like Pro Tools, or Sonar.
Then one can use use top of the line softsynths and add midi and audio tracks as needed. Then one can mix down in 24 bit quality to the audio file type of your choice, and easily burn a CD of the song.
Eric

I agree it's a good program. I'm thinking of getting it. $670 isn't cheap though and I'm starting to submit again. A library (actually THE (only) library) where I have some stuff placed says don't bother submitting anything with BIAB tracks. If they suspect you used it, they'll reject your tune. But for a lot of my stuff that's just posted for critique and possible self release in the future, BIAB would be great.

Peace,

Ian


You might consider a lesser version of BIAB. I'm not sure just how good the RealTracks part is. Plus, you can always upgrade to the higher version.
To be fair, I haven't used RealTracks at all. The way I improve the quality of BIAB tracks is to export MIDI files and import them into Sonar. Then I can use pro level sound sources and tools, and add more audio or MIDI tracks.

I can't change the world, although it would be a better place if I could :), but I find it disappointing that a site would reject BIAB tracks.
I fully understand the issues with BIAB tracks, but as I've said in other posts here, a songwriter struggling to get something going who can't afford to spend a couple of hundred or more dollars for every demo BIAB is a good option. I am confident that I could judge a great song from a BIAB demo with no problem. It is a form of professional snoberry to reject BIAB demos. There are plenty of bad demos out there that don't use BIAB also.

If I had the resources, and time, I might start a song submission site just for BIAB submissions. There may be some great songwriters that are being ignored by the "pros".

Eric
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#31 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:30 PM

It may be down to the nature of what these places see as "sellable".

Often, I suspect that the product isn't a song - it's a recording for movie/TV/advertising, etc.

I'm not sure there is much (if any) of a market for songs without having the necessary personal contacts (with artists) or performing yourself and having a following. I'd be delighted to be shown that I am wrong, by the way.

As far as this thread is concerned, it strikes me that, after all has been said and done, a lot more has been said than done. Realistically, is anyone going to produce anything? There is no reason why anyone should - I'm just asking. If not, it seems to me that we could try just putting up some music and asking people to create melodies independently - then reveal them and see how alike, different they are (which could initiate an interesting discussion as to why).
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Posted 12 November 2011 - 03:52 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 12 November 2011 - 01:30 PM, said:

It may be down to the nature of what these places see as "sellable".

Often, I suspect that the product isn't a song - it's a recording for movie/TV/advertising, etc.

I'm not sure there is much (if any) of a market for songs without having the necessary personal contacts (with artists) or performing yourself and having a following. I'd be delighted to be shown that I am wrong, by the way.

As far as this thread is concerned, it strikes me that, after all has been said and done, a lot more has been said than done. Realistically, is anyone going to produce anything? There is no reason why anyone should - I'm just asking. If not, it seems to me that we could try just putting up some music and asking people to create melodies independently - then reveal them and see how alike, different they are (which could initiate an interesting discussion as to why).


You're right, if they are looking to sell the submission, BIAB is out.
Also, you are right about more said that done :).
I think I was driving the issue. It came to a point where I wasn't sure it was worth the time and effort to proceed.

We have only a few people interested, and not total agreement among those few even on how to proceed.

I've run into this on several music sites over the years. There just aren't that many people serious about objective study of songwriting. And many of those that say they are serious end up being missing in action, so to speak.

I'm not directing that remark at anyone in particular, I think I'm just stating the facts as I see them.

I'll give it some more thought. My idea to proceed, would be to pick out a particular type of song. Explain that type of song. Then start writing melodies to that defined song form. We might also agree on some lyrics, and then write a melody to those lyrics using the song form.

I think for any such project to be successful and useful to writers, it would have to be run by one person, who would make most of the decisions.
I would like to have a goal of actually producing complete songs by evreyone before we moved on to another song form. We could record those songs in BIAB quickly, and inexpensively. Of course, each individual could produce their own song, but if they can't, I would do a BIAB version for them, with a vocal.

I'll think about it.
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Posted 12 November 2011 - 04:41 PM

OK, Eric, it's your baby.

I would suggest making it as simple as possible, though. One thought would be to create (BIAB?) some backing music. Let people create melodies (they could just sing them , or use an instrument to demonstrate the melody). Maybe choose one, which could feed into a "Match the Melody" contest in which people create lyrics for the melody (haven't had one of those for a while!).

Alternatively, we could just discuss the process of melody creation.

Of course, that would be about creating a melody over a progression. It wouldn't demonstrate how to create a melody and then find the backing for it.

Just thinking out loud ...
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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:48 PM

Eric, you are most welcome, and encouraged, to continue your posts on melody studies, in whatever fashion you choose.

Of course, I love the idea of backing tracks that people could add their melodies to, as Alistair mentioned. However, whatever direction you choose to go in will be of interest to a number of us (including me :) ).

In the past, I've asked a few people if they were willing to provide backing tracks of chord progressions in song form for this purpose. Unfortunately, it's not something I can do (yet :rolleyes: ), or it would have been done a long time ago.

For the record, anyone who would like to do so, let me know, or go ahead and post them.

I may have already said this, but I think SoundCloud would be the place to post any backing tracks. Tags can be easily placed in the sound file marking the intro, chorus, verse, bridge, outro, etc. I don't know if a file can be downloaded from SoundCloud, so it may also be posted on Sound Click, or emailed.

I already know it's harder than it sounds to do. Whether the sound file comes from chords generated by BIAB, or is a recording of a live person strumming a guitar, It would be cool to get something up, and start working out the kinks (like should there be a click track, or whatever).

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 06:17 PM

Both of your ideas have merit.
I would like a little more structure, For this reason.
I think if there is not a lot of sturcture things could quickly become just a discussion about writing melody. And less the actual writing of the melodies.

If we all are trying to be songwriters. Which I am assuming. I think starting with a well-known song form would be good. We would actually be writing songs in a form that you hear on the radio, or on albums. So we would be getting acquianted more with the commercial world of songwriting. Again, I'm assuming we would all like to have a song on the radio.

Also, with a song structure, the chord progressions could be heard in the context of a song, which I think is important.

I also like the idea of lyrics because that puts some bounds on the melodies. Makes one think more about how lyrics fit to melody in the context of a song.
I am not against just melodies being posted, but I think at the end of a "lesson" it would be nice if we ended up with a song or songs.

We may be able to ask some lyricists on the board if they will write something, or permit us to use some lyrics they write.

I can record any songs that are completed. I can't spend a lot of money on it, but I can get something decent pretty cheaply.

Let's start with one song.
I'll work on that, and post some "rules" for how we'll proceed along with a detailed explanation of the first song form we'll deal with.
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Posted 12 November 2011 - 06:35 PM

I'm a little confused, Eric, but happy to go along with the process and let my confusion clear as I do so.

To me, I start with either a lyric, a chord progression or a melody (or a part of one of those). I then develop the other parts from that start point.

What do you see the process starting with?

If you want a lyric, I could knock one out. Would it need to fit any given framework or would the music conform to the lyric?

Ditto with a chord progression.

Ditto with a melody.

I could start with a completed song and people could develop new melodies for it.

This is where I get confused...
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Posted 12 November 2011 - 11:46 PM

As usual for me, I found an odd little piece of this conversation most interesting. That is that Gershwin used mathematics in his compositions. When I talk with fellow musicians, there seems to be a deep appreciation for the mathematics of music. I can't remember the formula, but I think one half-step down a string is cutting that string by 1/19th or 1/18th. I'll have to get a tape measure out and measure some guitar frets, again. Years ago, a band teacher and I made chimes out of old sprinkler pipes and we could have used the formula then.

I find that paying attention to the mathematics of chords and of chord progressions, often alters a melody for the better or enlightens a sound that I only half understood before I examined its relationship to other notes. In the song, "I'm Wearing the Willow for You" which I posted recently, I jump from a B to an E three times in the main verse and the chord is Em. But the last time through I miss the E and hit a D changing the chord to Bdim, giving me a much more satisfying resolution to the root C. If I had hit E four times or D four times, it would be a much inferior song. I think that kind of attention needs to be paid to producing good music. That is much more important than the comments I read about drum tracks.

I remember a comment on this site where someone was asking about a chord progression and I realized that if he understood the mathematical relationship of notes, he would not have had the confusion, and it appeared likely that he was going to choose an inferior path to what he could have done.

Writing good music is both an inspiration and a tradesman like understanding of the fundamentals of music. As the French say, "Viva, 'em both!"

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:00 AM

View PostKenneth Bradshaw, on 12 November 2011 - 10:46 PM, said:

As usual for me, I found an odd little piece of this conversation most interesting. That is that Gershwin used mathematics in his compositions. When I talk with fellow musicians, there seems to be a deep appreciation for the mathematics of music. I can't remember the formula, but I think one half-step down a string is cutting that string by 1/19th or 1/18th. I'll have to get a tape measure out and measure some guitar frets, again. Years ago, a band teacher and I made chimes out of old sprinkler pipes and we could have used the formula then.

I find that paying attention to the mathematics of chords and of chord progressions, often alters a melody for the better or enlightens a sound that I only half understood before I examined its relationship to other notes. In the song, "I'm Wearing the Willow for You" which I posted recently, I jump from a B to an E three times in the main verse and the chord is Em. But the last time through I miss the E and hit a D changing the chord to Bdim, giving me a much more satisfying resolution to the root C. If I had hit E four times or D four times, it would be a much inferior song. I think that kind of attention needs to be paid to producing good music. That is much more important than the comments I read about drum tracks.

I remember a comment on this site where someone was asking about a chord progression and I realized that if he understood the mathematical relationship of notes, he would not have had the confusion, and it appeared likely that he was going to choose an inferior path to what he could have done.

Writing good music is both an inspiration and a tradesman like understanding of the fundamentals of music. As the French say, "Viva, 'em both!"


Music, like most everything physical, is all about math. I think the string ratios you talk about came from Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher. You are correct, that the math of the lengths of the strings define the notes and overtones of the sounds.
The mathematical system Gershwein used, not from the beginning, but late in his sadly short life, was called The Schillinger System. It is a large two volume set of books that has theories that explain and create rhythms, harmonies and melodies. Glen Miller and Gershwein were both students of Shillinger. In the movie, The Glenn Miller story, there is a brief appearance of Schillinger as a character. It is said that Miller composed Moonlight Seranade as an exercise while studying with Shillinger.
Schillinger talks in his book about working with Gershwin, particularly on the score for Porgy and Bess. I believe he even mentions that one of the melodies in Porgy and Bess was a certain geometeric transposition of the original theme.

In regard to chord progressions as you mention, Schillinger had methods for progressions and the voicing for the progressions that followed "natural laws" of physics.

I've been surprised that no one has "computerized" the Schillinger system in this day and age of advanced computers. One could write a suite of programs that would use Schillinger's methods for creating melodies, harmonies and rhythms. He also had orchestration as part of his theory.

It was a very complete system.

The only way I can explain the lack of interest in Schillinger is the sort of anti science bias among many, if not most composers and arrangers. Although they all use various matematical techniques when they arrange and voice compositions, they do not want to turn some of the "inspiration" over to computer. Even though it would always be up to the human to decide on which transformation of a melody, or which voicings to use.

You could easily pick and choose from Schillinger's techniques to assist in just melody writing, or just chord voicing etc..

I, in particular, think Shcillinger's melodic techniques could be very helpful It is said that Gershwin came to Schillinger because he felt that "the well was dry" for him. That he needed some sort of new inspiration to create new and interesting music.

Eric
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Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:16 AM

View PostAlistair S, on 12 November 2011 - 05:35 PM, said:

I'm a little confused, Eric, but happy to go along with the process and let my confusion clear as I do so.

To me, I start with either a lyric, a chord progression or a melody (or a part of one of those). I then develop the other parts from that start point.

What do you see the process starting with?

If you want a lyric, I could knock one out. Would it need to fit any given framework or would the music conform to the lyric?

Ditto with a chord progression.

Ditto with a melody.

I could start with a completed song and people could develop new melodies for it.

This is where I get confused...


Thanks, Alistar. Yes, writing a lyric could be very helpful.
I often start with a title, or a lyric fragment. Other times, just from the pure melody standpoint.
I am aware of the structures of songs, so that often starts to drive the development of the song.

Here is the basic outline of my prposed method.

1. I would like to start with a song form. I would define that form in some detail.
2. I would then post an example, with a chord progression. I think it is important to view the chord progression in relation to the form. I think those 2 factors are important. Once we proceeded to the final songs, all would be encouraged to use their own progressions if desired. They would still need to conform to the song form though.
3. Members of the group would be asked to compase a melody to the example, and post it on Soundcloud if possible for all to hear.
4. After a week or so, perhaps, of discussing how we composed our melodies, I would want to proceed to actually writing a song, in the form discussed.
5. This is where your lyric could be helpful. Again, I would define the parameters that your lyrics would need to fit to "work" with the form.
6. Each of us could then retire to our corners :), and compose a melody to the lyric, within the form that we had been using and discussing. As mentioned abouve, at this stage you could use your own chord progression, as long as it conformed to the song form.
7. At the end of this process, the group could vote on which song was the best, but all songs could be posted on Soundcloud for the group.
8. I could assist members in getting a recording of their song, that would be at least acceptable.
9. Go to step 1, change form, and repeat.

That is a rough outline, subject to change.
To me it is critical to control the songs with a form, while learning. Otherwise, we'd all be on different pages, and things would just descend into 10 different opinions and ideas and disagreements. I would ask all members to suspend judgement during the process. Not merely attack the method. If the method is not acceptable, I would respectfully ask those that disagrree with the method not participate.
If you read Paul Hindemith's book on composition, he starts out with all sorts of very strict rules on what notes you can use and where.
Then, over time, he allows more freedom, until all notes at all times are allowed.
I think it is good to use "training wheels" when learning just about anything.
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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:24 AM

View PostYukon, on 12 November 2011 - 11:16 PM, said:

3. Members of the group would be asked to compase a melody to the example, and post it on Soundcloud if possible for all to hear.
4. After a week or so, perhaps, of discussing how we composed our melodies, I would want to proceed to actually writing a song, in the form discussed.
5. This is where your lyric could be helpful. Again, I would define the parameters that your lyrics would need to fit to "work" with the form.
6. Each of us could then retire to our corners :), and compose a melody to the lyric, within the form that we had been using and discussing. As mentioned abouve, at this stage you could use your own chord progression, as long as it conformed to the song form.

I'm not clear about the melody creation... Are you thinking we would be composing a melody before we had the lyrics, and then adjusting it, or composing a new one, once we had the lyrics?

We might want to consider keeping the same chord progression throughout the exercise for all the participants. It seems that might keep things simpler. Generating a chord progression could even be a separate exercise. Just a thought. I'm game either way. :)

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:42 AM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 13 November 2011 - 01:24 AM, said:

View PostYukon, on 12 November 2011 - 11:16 PM, said:

3. Members of the group would be asked to compase a melody to the example, and post it on Soundcloud if possible for all to hear.
4. After a week or so, perhaps, of discussing how we composed our melodies, I would want to proceed to actually writing a song, in the form discussed.
5. This is where your lyric could be helpful. Again, I would define the parameters that your lyrics would need to fit to "work" with the form.
6. Each of us could then retire to our corners :), and compose a melody to the lyric, within the form that we had been using and discussing. As mentioned abouve, at this stage you could use your own chord progression, as long as it conformed to the song form.

I'm not clear about the melody creation... Are you thinking we would be composing a melody before we had the lyrics, and then adjusting it, or composing a new one, once we had the lyrics?

We might want to consider keeping the same chord progression throughout the exercise for all the participants. It seems that might keep things simpler. Generating a chord progression could even be a separate exercise. Just a thought. I'm game either way. :)


Yes, we would be composing a melody before we had the lyrics. The idea would be that the initial phase would be to compose melodies, within the song form designated, with all members using the same chord progression provided. This is the week period I mention. All melodies in that period would be written to the same chord progression.

No lyrics are necessary at that point. The lyrics come into play in what I see as a sort of "final exam", which would be to create your own chord progression, and write a melody using the lyrics provided, all within the confines of the designated song form.
If a memaber wishes to use the same original chord progression for their melody, that is up to them. I thought allowing more freedom at that point would help members write better songs, and be more creative.

Allowing more freedom in composing the final songs is something that some more advanced members might want to take advantage of. If any member is uncomfortable with creating their own, new chord progression, using the same progression would be fine.
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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:38 AM

View PostDannyDep, on 08 November 2011 - 09:12 AM, said:

imho, we study and analyze music way too much when we should just be listening and hearing what it is telling our souls. :wub:


I hear you, Danny, but I think there is a bit of room for both the left and the right brain... and I often feel that the very best music represents such a balance. When I listen to the artists/composers I most admire - Mozart, Methany, Bach, Loussier, McLaughlin, Davis, Fagin, Corea, heck, even Santana - I hear and feel this balance.

What I'm feeling/hearing/reading here, though, seems to me to be very much weighted towards the left-brain... the analytical... the academic Perhaps that's why, as Alistair noted, "a lot more has been said than done" around here. We can talk about music as much as we like, but in my experience, the production of the best music is inevitably accompanied by the fewest words. Which is probably why I should simply shut up and go play my guitar. ;)




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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:03 AM

View PostYukon, on 13 November 2011 - 01:00 AM, said:

It is said that Miller composed Moonlight Seranade as an exercise while studying with Shillinger.


Thank you for this info. I will look up Schillinger. I remember him in the movie.

As an aside, I used to get in trouble with the director of the Music Masters, a band I used to play with. (A take-off on the name of Harry James' band, the Music Makers.) I kept playing Moonlight Sonata with sticks instead of brushes. But the song is so beautiful with a light, steady rhythm on a ride cymbal. Ken

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:56 PM

I know pretty much zip about Schillinger apart from legends.

I know he was dead before I was even born, that his students held him in enormously high regard even though he was an arrogant git, that he accredited teachers in his style of pedagogy, and that Schillinger House (established post-mortem) evolved into Berklee College.

I am told that he taught one-on-one, with the intention that his methods of understanding be directed towards the accomplishment of the student’s own goals (which is how come Ira Gershwin was able to insist that ‘Porgy and Bess’ was “all George” and not Schillinger) and I am told that his ‘system’ (used to be known as “THE system”) was about tools, not rules.

I am told it is a total mistake to think of it as a method of composing by mathematical formulae.

I am told that his death was sudden and unexpected and left others to cobble together his approach to theory from individuated notes in the hands of maybe one or two students. You can buy the resulting two volume “Schillinger System of Musical Composition” from Amazon for $365. The introduction is written by Jeremy Arden, a modern British composer who used to teach at Morley College (maybe still does) and who I believe still offers a 6 week Schillinger course at the University of Hertfordshire. His PhD thesis may offer an easier way of grabbing purchase on the ideas and their application.

http://januszpodrazi...Schillinger.pdf
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The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 05:26 PM

View PostLazz, on 14 November 2011 - 12:56 PM, said:

I know pretty much zip about Schillinger apart from legends.

I know he was dead before I was even born, that his students held him in enormously high regard even though he was an arrogant git, that he accredited teachers in his style of pedagogy, and that Schillinger House (established post-mortem) evolved into Berklee College.

I am told that he taught one-on-one, with the intention that his methods of understanding be directed towards the accomplishment of the student’s own goals (which is how come Ira Gershwin was able to insist that ‘Porgy and Bess’ was “all George” and not Schillinger) and I am told that his ‘system’ (used to be known as “THE system”) was about tools, not rules.

I am told it is a total mistake to think of it as a method of composing by mathematical formulae.

I am told that his death was sudden and unexpected and left others to cobble together his approach to theory from individuated notes in the hands of maybe one or two students. You can buy the resulting two volume “Schillinger System of Musical Composition” from Amazon for $365. The introduction is written by Jeremy Arden, a modern British composer who used to teach at Morley College (maybe still does) and who I believe still offers a 6 week Schillinger course at the University of Hertfordshire. His PhD thesis may offer an easier way of grabbing purchase on the ideas and their application.

http://januszpodrazi...Schillinger.pdf


A few points. I hadn't heard the Ira Gershwin quote. And, by the way, I agree with Ira. It is about tools not rules.
I had also forgotten that Berklee had evolved from Schillinger. Thanks for that info.

The system is about tools not rules. He provides ways to apply mathematics to every part of composition. Rhythm, melody, harmony (voicings), and orchestrations. It is totally up to the composer how he wishes to apply these tools. It is "possible" to write a set of mathematical formulas that will result in a composition. But I would say it is about tools. Composers already use a lot of "tricks" or "methods" when they compose. Things like drop2 or drop 4 voicing. And how composers will start with a motif, and play with many variations of it, and expansions until they find one they like. Schillinger's methods were just more defined than most.

I have a song I wrote, with apologies to Schillinger :), many years back, in which I used an example from the Schillinger book examples. It was primarily a voicing example in the book. It had a melody in the sense that the top voice forms a melody you can discern. I can post it here if anyone would like to hear it.

Thanks for the info on Jeremy Arden. It seems to me that the Schillinger tools would be ideal for developing a set of computer programs to perform the various methods from the book.

The books, I might add, seem pretty fully formed and complete. And much of it is written in the first person. Like it is Schillinger himself writing.
Just wanted to make the point that the ideas developed in the book are not sort of half-baked. They are explained in precise detail. And examples are given of their application.

Thank you for the informative post.
Eric
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Posted 14 November 2011 - 05:34 PM

View PostKenneth Bradshaw, on 14 November 2011 - 10:03 AM, said:

View PostYukon, on 13 November 2011 - 01:00 AM, said:

It is said that Miller composed Moonlight Seranade as an exercise while studying with Shillinger.


Thank you for this info. I will look up Schillinger. I remember him in the movie.

As an aside, I used to get in trouble with the director of the Music Masters, a band I used to play with. (A take-off on the name of Harry James' band, the Music Makers.) I kept playing Moonlight Sonata with sticks instead of brushes. But the song is so beautiful with a light, steady rhythm on a ride cymbal. Ken


I think you meant Moonlight Serenade, not Moonlight Sonata. :)
And I have to agree with the director, brushes would be preferred :).
Eric
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Posted 14 November 2011 - 05:49 PM

View PostSimple Simon, on 14 November 2011 - 02:38 AM, said:

View PostDannyDep, on 08 November 2011 - 09:12 AM, said:

imho, we study and analyze music way too much when we should just be listening and hearing what it is telling our souls. :wub:


I hear you, Danny, but I think there is a bit of room for both the left and the right brain... and I often feel that the very best music represents such a balance. When I listen to the artists/composers I most admire - Mozart, Methany, Bach, Loussier, McLaughlin, Davis, Fagin, Corea, heck, even Santana - I hear and feel this balance.

What I'm feeling/hearing/reading here, though, seems to me to be very much weighted towards the left-brain... the analytical... the academic Perhaps that's why, as Alistair noted, "a lot more has been said than done" around here. We can talk about music as much as we like, but in my experience, the production of the best music is inevitably accompanied by the fewest words. Which is probably why I should simply shut up and go play my guitar. ;)


Let me be clear on my opinion of this left brain/right brain discussion.
I don't think you can "teach" the right brain stuff. Do you? How do you teach sunset appreication? How do you impart a "mindset" into another mind. I would love to "learn" Paul McCartney's right brain methods. I think the wonder and mystery of creation, in any field, is not teachable. Perhaps it can be coached, and you may be able to help someone get in touch with that, or use it more, but I think it primarily remains something beyond objective analysis.

The left brain stuff can be taught. And in my opinion, there is much to be learned there that can improve songwriting.

Here is a point I like to make about objective analysis of music. Each time a composer writes a song, isn't he or she showing us part of what they think about how to write a song? They have complete freedeom to write any way they like. They don't have to conform to a common song form, but they almost always do, don't they? Isn't that giving us some insight into their opinion of form in a song?

Pop songs in particular, largely conform to 5 or 6 major forms. Is there some all powerful force dictating that songs be written in those forms? No, obvously. The writers make those choices when they write.

Also, when a songwriter chooses to make the melody to the 2nd verse the same as the melody in the first verse, doesn't this give us more insight into the writer's opinion on songwriting? Again, no one if forcing such conformity. The writer obviously thinks having the melody the same in the second verse contributes to the effectiveness of the song.

We can go round and round on this left brain/right brain discussion.

Here is my bottom line. If you don't want to do any left brain work on songwriting, then don't. Isn't that simple. And if you are not going to participate in left brain stuff, why drop by here to just criticize those of us who are wanting to study the left brain stuff?

If you want to ignore the left brain stuff, go into a forum that talks about sunsets and fireplsces, and leave us here to voluntarily pursue our left brain work.
This is not directed at you, Simon. You do mention that both left brain and right brain stuff are useful. I just wanted to make a more general statement about what, at least I, am doing here.

I think we risk the old "too much talking about it nad not doing it" problem. We can discuss endlessly about which brain side if the most important, or we can roll up our sleeves and start to do some hopefully constructive work on songwriting.

Thanks for the thoughtful post, Simon.
Eric
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Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:58 PM

Yukon said:

Thanks for the info on Jeremy Arden. It seems to me that the Schillinger tools would be ideal for developing a set of computer programs to perform the various methods from the book.

Thanks Eric, but hardly informative from me - as I said, I know pretty much doodley-squat about the guy other than what others who know far better have told me.

While Berk & Lee took over the premises and concept of a music college, I don't think the modern Berklee has much relation to Schillinger's system anymore. I don't think many are really interested. (As I don't think many here are really much interested in developing any kind of theoretical understandings.) And, I must admit, while ever curious, I have never found a need to explore the geezer myself while still getting heaps of good juice instead from other later dudes like Dick Grove and David Baker and Don Sebesky. As a lyricist and singer (and self-taught tyro arranger) they give me heaps to chew on for quite a while yet, I reckon.

This sort of stuff, for example, I find a bit unnecessarily off-putting and obscure, and possibly part of the reason people have such odd dispositions towards his stuff. It's all a bit a-musically nerd-like.
But never mind.

I have also been told that, if we consider a 12-inch ruler to be mathematical, then we can think of his system as mathematical, but otherwise 'mathematical' is a misnomer. Nonetheless, I do know there are at least a couple of attempts to develop his ideas for computer programs - I can search out the references if you're interested.

I would be interested in hearing your Schillinger piece.

Anecdotally and by the way, it was the uncle of a bass-clarinet-playing friend of mine who, dumping his pay-load into the English Channel while fleeing an aborted WWII mission, provoked that final downward glissando which marked the coda for Glen Miller, composer of Moonlight Serenade.

Official history calls it a mystery, but we know what happened.
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The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:31 PM

It would not be a good idea to submit a demo that had a prominent BIAB track to a producer, unless it was just the drum track. Hell, there are gold records with drum machine tracks on them. If you include rap and hip hop, America's largest sellers, there are synthetic tracks everywhere.
The song so fabulous the composer just has to get it into the ears of the executive is the exception. Executives have ears that can hear through all the effects and devices. If it's hot, they might well recognize it, after it has been screened. Let's face it, the contract performer is normally going to get the nod.

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:01 PM

View PostYukon, on 15 November 2011 - 10:49 AM, said:

I don't think you can "teach" the right brain stuff. Do you?
That's a really interesting question. I'm not sure that the "right brain stuff" can be "taught" in the traditional logical/sequential sense of the word, but I do feel that since most "good" music represents a balance of sorts between the right and left brains, it is impossible to teach it effectively by merely addressing the left brain in isolation. . Unfortunately, I feel, this is how most people are taught music though, which is why so many formally trained people can't play anything without a music sheet in front of them.

I recall going to jazz classes many years ago that were run by a very left-brained person, and his approach to teaching reflected this. Effectively, he simply focussed on what scales and notes were "supposed" to accompany given chords and keys. I went for about half a dozen lessons, during which time I heard almost no improvement whatsoever in the playing of the other students on the course. Oh sure, they could play the right notes for the chords, but the playing was stilted and unmusical to my ears. On the other hand, I have had the good fortune to have jammed with some great musicians over the years, and I have learnt more about music from those experiences than I ever have from any music "teacher" or book. Again, I'm not saying I learnt nothing at all from the formal lessons, and I'm not saying they were a waste of time. It's more that they had little value to me in isolation.


The right brain learns more kinesthetically (through action/sensory experience). The left brain learns more verbally (through the spoken or written word). And this is where I feel this thread has so far been a bit unbalanced.

If I'm reading a book about music or composition, I like to do so with a keyboard (or guitar at a pinch) on hand. I want to keep trying out and listening to the various ideas being discussed. Ideally, I feel, such books would be more effective if they were accompanied by a CD with examples provided (perhaps this sort of thing will become a more common a feature with e-books). Similarly, I can't help but feel that this thread might make better progress if a few audio examples were posted from time to time to help elucidate the ideas being presented. Your offer of posting your Schillinger piece might be a good way to start. :)

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