Do Sony Walkmans Change With Burn-In

Do Sony Walkmans Change Sound After Burn-In

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • No

    Votes: 10 71.4%

  • Total voters
    14
Status
Not open for further replies.
post-15498169
Post #32 of 44

dazzerfong

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
1,271
Reaction score
509
Location
Sydney
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Location
Sydney
Posts
1,271
Likes
509
The one extreme is the believer of personal perception without question; I hear it therefore it’s true. The other swing determines all perception somewhat false or questionable. We may never have ever gain the answer to our quest to understand the placebo and the expectation bias?
That's why there is a process to 'end' it once and for all. It's called the scientific method. First, you notice there's an anomaly. Then, you confirm the anomaly (not by calling the wife, but via a minimal bias test). After that, and only after that, do you try to explain or theorise the anomaly.

My problem with some folks is that they end at the first one.

Brain burn-in is fine - that's up to the individual. But what you were trying to demonstrate is not brain burn-in, so it's really a non-sequitur.

I honestly have no idea how this thread got derailed so off-course....................
 
     Share This Post       
post-15498695
Post #33 of 44

castleofargh

Sound Science Forum Moderator
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
8,952
Reaction score
4,292
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Posts
8,952
Likes
4,292
The one extreme is the believer of personal perception without question; I hear it therefore it’s true. The other swing determines all perception somewhat false or questionable. We may never have ever gain the answer to our quest to understand the placebo and the expectation bias?
alright, I can spin this back into the topic. cool.
"I hear it therefore it's true", is a fallacy. If you simply approach that with science as an hypothesis and test it, you'll come up with many experiments that disprove it. It becomes as readily obvious as with the belief that if I remember something a certain way, then it happened exactly that way. Both are complete fallacies.
So when someone comes claiming that he knows burn in happened because he knows those 2 ideas to be true for him, we can't help but roll our eyes.

"The other swing determines all perception somewhat false or questionable.", now this is a fact. Any sensor has a limited range and limited accuracy. Therefore anything captured with one is going to be inaccurate in some ways. Then we add another problem on top of that, our impression is but an interpretation of the data we got from our sensors. in some ways that could help minimize some inaccuracies, but it could also be a new cause of inaccuracies. it's been demonstrated that one sense could affect how we'd interpret the data from another(and nowadays we're not with good old 5 senses model, we count more). Even worst, our own preconceptions can affect the interpretation of it. Such a reality cannot be ignored because we like trusting ourselves better.

You present 2 ideas but really we have one fallacy and one fact. No controversy here.



Instead of this, why not simply consider the odds of something happening? Let's match our confidence with the odds of it happening instead of using our own ego as a measure of confidence.

The odds that I'm hearing a difference in a given blind test in which I'm correct 20 times out of 20 trials are pretty big. The odds that I got that result out of luck aren't zero, but if I make a statement about hearing something under those very specific conditions, few people will find reason to argue. At best a few would like to see me replicate the test a few more times, or may have some question about how the test itself was conducted, or would want to check the tracks. All questions aimed at increasing the odds that our conclusion is correct.
Now consider the odds that you're remembering precisely how your DAP was sounding under uncontrolled conditions before it got played for 200 hours. And then that you can now accurately compare that memory to your current experience of the DAP. The first part without anymore information on the nature of change in sound, has odds so low that science would typically refuse to call such experience conclusive. The second involves the chances that our memory of sound remains perfect over time. We have research warning about memory in general and we even have some specifically about auditory memory. They're not suggesting that you should be confident. They really don't. As a cherry on top we have expectation bias, new toy effect, and of course the fact that in the end even if there is an audible change and it is as you describe it, you have done nothing to demonstrate that burn in is the cause of it.
the odds of that giant mess ending with you correct on all accounts is not good.
that guy gets statistics.

Now if the DAP happened to have an increase of the sound at 2kHz by 50dB over those 200 hours of burn in, the odds of you noticing and remembering that change accurately enough to feel a difference would now be massive. Almost nobody would see a reason to challenge your statement that you heard a clear difference. If on day one the DAP played Despacito and 200 hours later the same file sounded like Baby Shark and we had evidence of that, Again I think most people would trust that your statement of the 2 sounding audibly different, is accurate. when someone says that a HD800 doesn't sound like a Porta Pro, you don't see us raging that those statements can't be trusted. because we have more than enough evidence suggesting that anybody with somewhat working ears will tell them apart.
To change our mind when checking how much confidence we can put in your feedback, we need evidence of something. That means controlled listening test or objective measurements showing change and strongly suggesting audibility of such a change. I think it's all very logical.
And to push this idea one step further. If tomorrow we get strong evidence that the sound of at least one Sony DAP changes significantly and audibly over time(recording at both times under same conditions would show that well enough), I would still treat people claiming audible change over 200hours on that DAP with high skepticism. This resonates with what @dazzerfong mentioned. seeking validation is not how a seeker of truth should proceed. and it's not how science works.





About the rest of your post, which is again off topic so I'll be shorter(for once^_^). Some things makes us feel better so we do them. most of what you discuss has no reason to be if you simply draw a clear line between objective reality and personal impressions/beliefs.
If someone is happier after 200 hours "knowing" from marketing that his Sony DAP has nominal capacitor waka waka bombastic discharge curve. Good for him. If another guy doesn't give a F, good for him too. What matters to them is what makes each of them happy in their own personal experiences. This is entertainment after all.
Now what about reality? If I take a Sony DAP, record the sound, use it for 200 hours and record the sound under similar conditions, the sound will have changed in an audible way for me, or it won't. It will have higher fidelity, or it won't. What I or other people decide to believe and why, is irrelevant to the real DAP in the real world.

We have the group who sincerely does not believe anyone has sound quality memory
That's not what any of us said.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: taffy2207
post-15498943
Post #34 of 44

gregorio

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
4,033
Reaction score
2,053
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Posts
4,033
Likes
2,053
Understanding perception, or at least finding out about our ideas of perception is fascinating. Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud both kind-of share the right and left pillars of modern day psychology knowledge and respect.
Regardless of how Jung or Freud are regarded today, I'm not sure psychology is the right place to be looking, unless you're looking for why some people have completely irrational beliefs and argue them so vociferously, even when presented with obvious facts! Psychology is a very broad field which has difficulty fully explaining even how we perceive the real world around us, let alone our particular situation, which is effectively: Listening to an aural illusion (an audio recording) of a thoroughly abstract entity (music).

As music is essentially the manipulation of aural expectation biases, the place I'd look would be those responsible for manipulating aural expectation biases (composers) and where I'd start would be the "Ars Nova" movement. Literally meaning "new art" (or style), it was a quite sudden and shocking departure from the previous style, as it incorporated polyphony (chords/harmonic progressions) which allowed a far greater range of musical expressiveness (aural biases manipulation). It was intended to be performed by specialists for connoisseurs and was actually offensive to most of those who weren't, but it formed the fundamental basis of all the western music that followed. Machaut (1300-1377) is a defining composer of "Ars Nova". From there on to Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Debussy, Schoenberg, Cage and Stockhausen. Even by the time of Palestrina (~200 years after Machaut) the complexity of aural manipulation was impressive and a good understanding of Bach (another ~100 years later) is only really covered today in Degree or higher courses, even though it's ~300 years ago! The last 3 mentioned are interesting because they didn't just bend the rules and advance the manipulation of aural expectation biases but threw the rules out the window and completely broke them (or tried to!). Obviously, there are numerous other notable/great composers between these few but these are arguably the most important/pivotal/influential.

Of course, all this can be solved by applying the scientific method such as DBT et al., but since you folks refuse to do it, without testing, well..........
Who says we refuse to do it? I've repeatedly measured numerous bits of kit over long periods, from first use to about 20 years in some cases. Both solid state and electro-mechanical (my monitors). Every piece of solid state device I've ever measured has always measured identically (or at least to within a margin of error which was inaudible), up until the time it failed. The difference between brand new and 20 year old monitors was so tiny as to also be within a margin of error (and could be nothing at all, just down to a different measurement mic). Of course, I can't extrapolate that to every piece of consumer kit ever sold, even though various colleagues have similar measurement observations to mine, but I would need some reliable evidence and a rational explanation of how/why burn-in should occur (to audible levels), neither of which I recall ever seeing. Is this not applying the scientific method?

G
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-15499031
Post #35 of 44

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
18,465
Reaction score
10,410
Location
.
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Location
.
Posts
18,465
Likes
10,410
Regardless of how Jung or Freud are regarded today, I'm not sure psychology is the right place to be looking, unless you're looking for why some people have completely irrational beliefs and argue them so vociferously, even when presented with obvious facts! Psychology is a very broad field which has difficulty fully explaining even how we perceive the real world around us, let alone our particular situation, which is effectively: Listening to an aural illusion (an audio recording) of a thoroughly abstract entity (music).

As music is essentially the manipulation of aural expectation biases, the place I'd look would be those responsible for manipulating aural expectation biases (composers) and where I'd start would be the "Ars Nova" movement. Literally meaning "new art" (or style), it was a quite sudden and shocking departure from the previous style, as it incorporated polyphony (chords/harmonic progressions) which allowed a far greater range of musical expressiveness (aural biases manipulation). It was intended to be performed by specialists for connoisseurs and was actually offensive to most of those who weren't, but it formed the fundamental basis of all the western music that followed. Machaut (1300-1377) is a defining composer of "Ars Nova". From there on to Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Debussy, Schoenberg, Cage and Stockhausen. Even by the time of Palestrina (~200 years after Machaut) the complexity of aural manipulation was impressive and a good understanding of Bach (another ~100 years later) is only really covered today in Degree or higher courses, even though it's ~300 years ago! The last 3 mentioned are interesting because they didn't just bend the rules and advance the manipulation of aural expectation biases but threw the rules out the window and completely broke them (or tried to!). Obviously, there are numerous other notable/great composers between these few but these are arguably the most important/pivotal/influential.



Who says we refuse to do it? I've repeatedly measured numerous bits of kit over long periods, from first use to about 20 years in some cases. Both solid state and electro-mechanical (my monitors). Every piece of solid state device I've ever measured has always measured identically (or at least to within a margin of error which was inaudible), up until the time it failed. The difference between brand new and 20 year old monitors was so tiny as to also be within a margin of error (and could be nothing at all, just down to a different measurement mic). Of course, I can't extrapolate that to every piece of consumer kit ever sold, even though various colleagues have similar measurement observations to mine, but I would need some reliable evidence and a rational explanation of how/why burn-in should occur (to audible levels), neither of which I recall ever seeing. Is this not applying the scientific method?

G
Speaking of new and offensive, Varese was given the job of making music for the Philips Corp. installment at the 1958 Worlds Fair. With 400 speakers it was maybe to have sound reduced to basic perception of sound? Maybe a little like Music Concrete? So they built the building, which was strange enough, then installed the 400 speakers, then played the piece of music for unsuspecting guests! I mean the building looks inviting? But I’ve read different reviews of the public’s reaction. Of course this is early, early stereo; which the public had never experienced maybe. But you can surely guess they hadn’t heard 400 speakers, nor recorded sounds put together in such a way. I need to research this past event more but I’m pretty sure it had some volume to it; 400 speakers and all? The story goes that many ran out in terror. Most maybe didn’t get it? Though in the world of experimental music, it’s historic.







From a Wikipedia page:


CFEA5E1D-5003-4829-8FDE-A741075319BB.jpeg


The Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair 1958



Poème électronique (English Translation: "Electronic Poem") is an 8-minute piece of electronic music by composer Edgard Varèse, written for the Philips Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. The Philips corporation commissioned Le Corbusier to design the pavilion, which was intended as a showcase of their engineering progress. Le Corbusier came up with the title Poème électronique, saying he wanted to create a "poem in a bottle". Varèse composed the piece with the intention of creating a liberation between sounds and as a result uses noises not usually considered "musical" throughout the piece.

Spatialization Edit
Varèse designed a very complex spatialization scheme which was synchronized to the film. Prefiguring the acousmonium style of sound projection, hundreds of speakers were controlled by sound projectionists with a series of rotary telephone dials. Each dial could turn on five speakers at a time out of a bank of 12. Many estimates of the pavilion's sound system go as high as 450 speakers, but based on the limitations of the switching system and the number of projectionists used, an estimate of 350 seems more reasonable.
The speakers were fixed to the interior walls of the pavilion, which were then coated in asbestos. The resulting appearance was of a series of bumps. The asbestos hardened the walls, creating a cavernous acoustic space.
The spatialization scheme exploited the unique physical layout of the pavilion. The speakers stretched up to the apex of Le Corbusier's points, and Varèse made great use of the possibilities, sending the sound up and down the walls.[1]


Recording Edit
The piece was originally recorded on three separate monaural tapes, two of which were in turn recorded onto a stereo tape with panning effects. The stereo tape and the remaining monaural tape were finally combined onto 35-mm perforated tape in order to synchronize the tape with the film and lighting changes.



The sequence of sounds in Varèse's composition:
0" 1. a. Low bell tolls. "Wood blocks." Sirens. Fast taps lead to high, piercing sounds. 2-second pause.
43" b. "Bongo" tones and higher grating noises. Sirens. Short "squawks." Three-tone group stated three times.
1'11" c. Low sustained tones with grating noises. Sirens. Short "squawks." Three-tone group. 2-second pause.
1'40" d. Short "squawks." High "chirps." Variety of "shots," "honks," "machine noises." Sirens. Taps lead to
2'36" 2. a. Low bell tolls. Sustained electronic tones. Repeated "bongo" tones. High and sustained electronic tones. Low tone, crescendo. Rhythmic noises lead to
3'41" b. Voice, "Oh-gah." 4-second pause. Voice continues softly.
4'17" c. Suddenly loud. Rhythmic percussive sounds joined by voice. Low "animal noises," scraping, shuffling, hollow vocal sounds. Decrescendo into 7-second pause.
5'47" d. Sustained electronic tones, crescendo and decrecendo. Rhythmic percussive sounds. Higher sustained electronic tones, crescendo. "Airplane rumble," "chimes," jangling.
6'47" e. "Female voice. Male chorus. Electronic noises, organ. High taps. Swooping organ sound. Three-note group stated twice. Rumble, sirens, crescendo (8 minutes and 5 seconds)."[3
http://www.furious.com/perfect/ohm/varese.html
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-15499430
Post #36 of 44

dazzerfong

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
1,271
Reaction score
509
Location
Sydney
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Location
Sydney
Posts
1,271
Likes
509
Who says we refuse to do it? I've repeatedly measured numerous bits of kit over long periods, from first use to about 20 years in some cases. Both solid state and electro-mechanical (my monitors). Every piece of solid state device I've ever measured has always measured identically (or at least to within a margin of error which was inaudible), up until the time it failed. The difference between brand new and 20 year old monitors was so tiny as to also be within a margin of error (and could be nothing at all, just down to a different measurement mic). Of course, I can't extrapolate that to every piece of consumer kit ever sold, even though various colleagues have similar measurement observations to mine, but I would need some reliable evidence and a rational explanation of how/why burn-in should occur (to audible levels), neither of which I recall ever seeing. Is this not applying the scientific method?

G
Obviously not you, I'm talking about the ones with fingers in their ears.......
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: gregorio
post-15499440
Post #37 of 44

gregorio

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
4,033
Reaction score
2,053
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Posts
4,033
Likes
2,053
Speaking of new and offensive, Varese was given the job of making music for the Philips Corp.
At the risk of going even further off-topic :) I'm well aware of Varese, certainly a pioneer and one of the members of the group of C20th experimental (avant-garde) composers that includes Cage and Stockhausen and was a major influence on both of them. Varese can't really be categorised as a musique concrete composer, which is based on the principle of recording real (concrete, in French) sounds to tape, say of nature and machines, and then manipulating them with tape techniques, changing the pitch/speed, splicing and looping for example. Varese was more of a pioneer in electronic music although did sometimes use musique concrete techniques. The C20th experimental composers created music which essentially asked the question: "What is music?" and therefore incorporated other questions such as "What do we perceive as music?", "What is art?" and various other intellectual/philosophical questions, hence why I mentioned arguably the two most famous C20th experimental composers but there were many.

Most of these composers' music could be offensive, due to the very questions they were asking with it. Some/Many were offended by it not meeting their tonal, polyphonic expectation of all music, therefore not appreciating it as music and were upset not to perceive music when attending a music performance. The offence caused by Varese was relatively minor compared to other examples though. The most famous of which would probably be the premiere of the Rite of Spring in 1913 (in Paris) which reportedly caused an actual riot, the audience physically fighting each other. Tsk, French hooligans! You listening castle? :)

A good definition of tonality is "the arrangement of pitches and/or chords of a musical work in a hierarchy of perceived relations, stabilities, attractions and directionality.", (IE. Expectation biases) and by the 1600s - 1700s this "hierarchy" had already evolved into being very complex. The C20th avant-garde composers threw out tonality in it's entirety but interestingly it usually didn't work, the brain will simply make up some tonal relationships where there specifically/deliberately aren't any. It wasn't really until Russolo and others (such as Varese) stopped using traditional musical instruments to perform pieces of music that atonality was realised in practice (could be perceived as atonal).

G
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Redcarmoose
post-15499492
Post #38 of 44

bigshot

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
21,200
Reaction score
3,379
Location
Hollywood USA
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Location
Hollywood USA
Posts
21,200
Likes
3,379
Website
www.facebook.com
I've been at classical concerts where they'd have Brahms or Beethoven in the first half and Varese or Cage afterwards and a lot of the audience ran out of the theater at intermission. It might not have very much to do with the number of speakers.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: Redcarmoose
post-15499791
Post #39 of 44

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
18,465
Reaction score
10,410
Location
.
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Location
.
Posts
18,465
Likes
10,410

At the extreme of human expression and “art” could be the most offensive example of “behavior” used as communication of style and coolness. This form of out-do-man-ship is still in use today and appears to create even more value regardless of how garish it all is.

People on stage biting live birds, gyrations of hips, breathing fire......the list of antics is long and would make Barnum and Bailey proud. Yet somehow this offensiveness shows little regard for mainsteam acceptance or approval? It’s the rebellious nature which could actually be pinned on Stockhausen, Cage and the likes of Varèse. And while there must be sincere intellectual attitudes at hand, I can’t help but think of a little showmanship and showboating at heart.
 
     Share This Post       
post-15500429
Post #40 of 44

gregorio

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
4,033
Reaction score
2,053
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Posts
4,033
Likes
2,053
I've been at classical concerts where they'd have Brahms or Beethoven in the first half and Varese or Cage afterwards and a lot of the audience ran out of the theater at intermission.
Not uncommon. The same would probably have happened at an Ars Nova performance 700 years ago, except that as far as I/we know, the repertoire was exclusively Ars Nova and the invited audience had a good idea what they were letting themselves in for. We also have to consider that audience "expectation" evolves, Beethoven's 9th Symphony is about as institutionalised as it gets, there's hardly a more quintessential piece of classical music in existence but that's just according to today's (and a century or so's) "expectations". In it's day (1824) it was shocking/revolutionary, some did not even recognise it as music, Ruskin famously commented that it "sounds to me like the upsetting of bags of nails, with here and there an also dropped hammer. ", while some other critics believed that the "wild frenzy" was due to Beethoven's deafness or a madness caused by his deafness!

Today, Ars Nova music sounds pretty boring and it's almost impossible to appreciate how revolutionary and offensive it was. The only clues we have is that the Roman Catholic church (which was all powerful at the time) was so outraged that it eventually made certain aspects of Ars Nova illegal to compose or perform, on pain of death.

At the extreme of human expression and “art” could be the most offensive example of “behavior” used as communication of style and coolness. This form of out-do-man-ship is still in use today and appears to create even more value regardless of how garish it all is.
People on stage biting live birds, gyrations of hips, breathing fire......the list of antics is long and would make Barnum and Bailey proud. Yet somehow this offensiveness shows little regard for mainsteam acceptance or approval? It’s the rebellious nature which could actually be pinned on Stockhausen, Cage and the likes of Varèse.
Although closely related, I think we have to separate outrageous behaviour of performers from offensiveness of the composition itself. The earliest example of outrageous performer behaviour I can think of is Paganini, who at the end of a performance emulated the "braying of a donkey" on his violin, an insult aimed at the noisy, unappreciative audience. Audiences at the time were accustomed to being respected and took none to kindly to being insulted by a lowly musician. Pretty tame by today's standards but 200 years ago the audience were so outraged they rushed the stage and Paganini had to run for his life to avoid being lynched! Far more recently, we have the famous hip girations of Elvis, the antics of The Who, the irreverence of the Sex Pistols (both their behaviour and their music), Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the Beastie Boys and numerous other examples.

The big thing with Rock and Roll was that for the first time a music genre was specifically aimed at a much younger audience, which resulted in the "rise of the teenagers", who in the 1950's had started to become, for the first time, a large and potentially powerful commercial and cultural demographic. Although rebelliousness had been a part of western music evolution for centuries, the "rebelliousness of adolescence" was reflected in the music and often deliberately avoided "mainstream [older generation, "the establishment"] acceptance or approval" purely for it's own sake, rather than as a (realised) consequence of musical innovation.

The music of Hendrix is an excellent example. Many at the time could not appreciate it as music, thinking instead it was just noise. In fact he had to come to Britain for recognition, after years of trying in the US. Of course later, he was widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever to have lived, but that was later. He's also an excellent example because he brings us full circle. The opening of Purple Haze is a tritone, a known and usually avoided "unstable" polyphonic device in Ars Nova (and even earlier), that was eventually outlawed by the church for several centuries. Later, in the Romantic Period, it's use became fairly common, although only in specific circumstances but it was used far more freely by the early C20th modernisists.

What I find interesting is that the general public has such an archaic understanding of music theory/harmony. Of course, most have heard of it but don't know what it is but even those (of the general public) who do know what it is, appear stuck at a surprising point in time. This is probably due to the way music theory/harmony is taught in school and the fact that Rock and other popular genres (though not all sub-genres) employ incredibly simplistic harmony and harmonic structures. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another area where the general understanding of something (where there is some) stops at a point reached by 1400's! Of course, music theory and harmony itself did not stop in the 1400s, in fact, that's just the start of it.

It might seem that there's a massive gulf between the music of say Debussy and Varese but really it's just a fairly small step. Although it might sound fairly conventional and pleasant enough, Debussy (and the other impressionists) had pushed the rules of harmony right up to their breaking point and even, for very brief moments, just beyond. So, the next step was inevitable and is far more like "the straw that broke the camel's back" than the huge gulf that it appears. To many, it might seem that Cage, Varese, Stockhausen, et al., got completely lost in some drug fuelled madness of mathematics, cutting-edge philosophy, technological toys and acoustic experiments that had little or nothing at all to do with actual music. But, that's not what really happened, it just appears that way because they effectively see Debussy et al., as more closely related to C15th composers than to the composers of just a couple of decades later, due to the fact that they don't appreciate 400 years of development of music theory/harmony and exactly how complex it had become. Asking a degree music student to harmonically analyse a piece by Debussy (et al.) is actually akin to a "trick question"! Good fun to watch them try though :)

G
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-15500625
Post #41 of 44

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
18,465
Reaction score
10,410
Location
.
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Location
.
Posts
18,465
Likes
10,410
Not uncommon. The same would probably have happened at an Ars Nova performance 700 years ago, except that as far as I/we know, the repertoire was exclusively Ars Nova and the invited audience had a good idea what they were letting themselves in for. We also have to consider that audience "expectation" evolves, Beethoven's 9th Symphony is about as institutionalised as it gets, there's hardly a more quintessential piece of classical music in existence but that's just according to today's (and a century or so's) "expectations". In it's day (1824) it was shocking/revolutionary, some did not even recognise it as music, Ruskin famously commented that it "sounds to me like the upsetting of bags of nails, with here and there an also dropped hammer. ", while some other critics believed that the "wild frenzy" was due to Beethoven's deafness or a madness caused by his deafness!

Today, Ars Nova music sounds pretty boring and it's almost impossible to appreciate how revolutionary and offensive it was. The only clues we have is that the Roman Catholic church (which was all powerful at the time) was so outraged that it eventually made certain aspects of Ars Nova illegal to compose or perform, on pain of death.



Although closely related, I think we have to separate outrageous behaviour of performers from offensiveness of the composition itself. The earliest example of outrageous performer behaviour I can think of is Paganini, who at the end of a performance emulated the "braying of a donkey" on his violin, an insult aimed at the noisy, unappreciative audience. Audiences at the time were accustomed to being respected and took none to kindly to being insulted by a lowly musician. Pretty tame by today's standards but 200 years ago the audience were so outraged they rushed the stage and Paganini had to run for his life to avoid being lynched! Far more recently, we have the famous hip girations of Elvis, the antics of The Who, the irreverence of the Sex Pistols (both their behaviour and their music), Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the Beastie Boys and numerous other examples.

The big thing with Rock and Roll was that for the first time a music genre was specifically aimed at a much younger audience, which resulted in the "rise of the teenagers", who in the 1950's had started to become, for the first time, a large and potentially powerful commercial and cultural demographic. Although rebelliousness had been a part of western music evolution for centuries, the "rebelliousness of adolescence" was reflected in the music and often deliberately avoided "mainstream [older generation, "the establishment"] acceptance or approval" purely for it's own sake, rather than as a (realised) consequence of musical innovation.

The music of Hendrix is an excellent example. Many at the time could not appreciate it as music, thinking instead it was just noise. In fact he had to come to Britain for recognition, after years of trying in the US. Of course later, he was widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists ever to have lived, but that was later. He's also an excellent example because he brings us full circle. The opening of Purple Haze is a tritone, a known and usually avoided "unstable" polyphonic device in Ars Nova (and even earlier), that was eventually outlawed by the church for several centuries. Later, in the Romantic Period, it's use became fairly common, although only in specific circumstances but it was used far more freely by the early C20th modernisists.

What I find interesting is that the general public has such an archaic understanding of music theory/harmony. Of course, most have heard of it but don't know what it is but even those (of the general public) who do know what it is, appear stuck at a surprising point in time. This is probably due to the way music theory/harmony is taught in school and the fact that Rock and other popular genres (though not all sub-genres) employ incredibly simplistic harmony and harmonic structures. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another area where the general understanding of something (where there is some) stops at a point reached by 1400's! Of course, music theory and harmony itself did not stop in the 1400s, in fact, that's just the start of it.

It might seem that there's a massive gulf between the music of say Debussy and Varese but really it's just a fairly small step. Although it’s might sound fairly conventional and pleasant enough, Debussy (and the other impressionists) had pushed the rules of harmony right up to their breaking point and even, for very brief moments, just beyond. So, the next step was inevitable and is far more like "the straw that broke the camel's back" than the huge gulf that it appears. To many, it might seem that Cage, Varese, Stockhausen, et al., got completely lost in some drug fuelled madness of mathematics, cutting-edge philosophy, technological toys and acoustic experiments that had little or nothing at all to do with actual music. But, that's not what really happened, it just appears that way because they effectively see Debussy et al., as more closely related to C15th composers than to the composers of just a couple of decades later, due to the fact that they don't appreciate 400 years of development of music theory/harmony and exactly how complex it had become. Asking a degree music student to harmonically analyse a piece by Debussy (et al.) is actually akin to a "trick question"! Good fun to watch them try though :)

G


Alejandro Jodorowsky's Fando y Lis did cause a riot and Jodorowsky had to run for his life. It was said the part showing the graveyard was the most troublesome for the crowd upon first showing. In 1968 the Acapulco Film Festival was maybe filled with many Catholic Church goers who believed graveyards are sacred and not a place for avant-garde wildness.

Obviously this trailer shows no graveyard, as it was almost certainly cut from the film showing as at that time. Upon being interviewed, it was stated the piano burning was placed in among the ruins to show even if jazz musicians think they are cool, they are still building (music) on-top of old civilizations. The burning piano must represent Dali and his statement that we are all burning pianos and will also at some point exist no more.

Many in the edgy Europe underground found Stockhausen to be the perfect backdrop for the new fad of LSD exploration.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymnen
National Anthem
Hymnen actually has a German title which translates directly as national anthems; as part of the underlying score was found recorded national anthems, sounding like they were recorded off the radio, then mixed with music concrete and electronic elements. Julian Cope actually refers to the piece of music as the center influence for all of Krautrock, amazingly enough.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krautrocksampler



How experimental music scientist Pierre Henry could put such a song together stands out among the many electronic and electronic serialism composers? Surly Arnold Schoenberg would have never found anything like this music? But here it is.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Henry

AC67FC1B-1545-48E3-BAE3-93E1309809E6.jpeg

Of course Pierre Henry did an interpretive piece of “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” which I will not post here due to it being a musical recording I find rather unsettling. It simply goes to show how far modern classical experiments would go.

Still it has to be Terry Riley mentioned of course. Attending a rare piano only concert at UCLA.......... a complete 360 degree return to politeness and conservative musical form, yet still abstract. The audience did not smoke, shout or yell. No one removed clothing or perched onto shoulders.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Rainbow_in_Curved_Air

The one album that inspired Tubular Bells amazingly enough.


Much like Tony Conrad.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Conrad


Back onto the off topic topic, probably this list simply shows that creativity is always new. That it somehow can’t reflect back but has to cut a new path, be it wrong, in bad taste, or criminal, it’s going to exist even if met with emotional rebuttal as to it being art, being music or even being allowed to exist in public.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: old tech
post-15500795
Post #42 of 44

bigshot

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
21,200
Reaction score
3,379
Location
Hollywood USA
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Location
Hollywood USA
Posts
21,200
Likes
3,379
Website
www.facebook.com
Anyone else notice this forum has started to smell like pachouli and clove cigarettes?
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: taffy2207
post-15501252
Post #43 of 44

taffy2207

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
8,252
Reaction score
4,815
Location
Bae Caerdydd
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Location
Bae Caerdydd
Posts
8,252
Likes
4,815
Anyone else notice this forum has started to smell like pachouli and clove cigarettes?
If only Kurt was alive, He could have done a follow up for the Middle Classes :cry:
 
     Share This Post       
post-15503722
Post #44 of 44

gregorio

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
4,033
Reaction score
2,053
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Posts
4,033
Likes
2,053
[1] Hymnen actually has a German title which translates directly as national anthems; as part of the underlying score was found recorded national anthems, sounding like they were recorded off the radio, then mixed with music concrete and electronic elements.
[2] How experimental music scientist Pierre Henry could put such a song together stands out among the many electronic and electronic serialism composers? Surly Arnold Schoenberg would have never found anything like this music? But here it is.
[3] Still it has to be Terry Riley mentioned of course. Attending a rare piano only concert at UCLA.......... a complete 360 degree return to politeness and conservative musical form, yet still abstract.
[4] Back onto the off topic topic, probably this list simply shows that creativity is always new. That it somehow can’t reflect back but has to cut a new path,
1. Which fundamentally was an old idea. Probably the most widely known example is Tchaikovsky's quoting of the Marsailles in his 1812 Overture but more pertinent would be Charles Ives "Fourth of July", where he quotes a number of different well known tunes overlapping, which was inspired by a 4th July parade when Ives could hear several different marching bands at the same time. It's extremely dissonant for it's time and a very avant-guarde composition even before there was avant-garde composition, because it was composed in 1912! Nearly a decade before Schoenberg even laid down the rules of serialism. Although not widely known or appreciated by the public, this piece is pretty much required study for all composers and Stockhausen would definitely have been aware of it. Here's a link to Bernstein's recording of it: Fourth of July - Ives

2. That's of course an impossible question to answer. But a couple of points to consider: Schoenberg (and the other 2nd Viennese School members) didn't really experiment with new sounds, they used pretty standard classical music ensembles/orchestras, what they did experiment with was harmony and melody, through the serialist device of the 12 tone-row. In respect of this (harmonic and melodic contruction), Henry is incredibly simplistic, more C15th than C20th! But even this avant-garde 12 tone-row isn't "out of the blue", 12 tone rows can be found in several pieces by Mozart, a few others and even in a piece by Bach! Of course, Henry's use of electronics would have been a bit of a surprise to Schoenberg in the early 1920s :)

3. There are many that should have been mentioned, Messiaen definitely should, but I was keeping the list to a minimum. Riley was one of the "minimalist" composers, Reich and Glass arguably being the most well known proponents. Minimalism has it's roots in certain baroque musical forms and again tends towards simple harmony, although perhaps surprisingly, it can in sense fall within "serialism" or at least, within what serialism became (Milton Babbit, is an important figure in this regard). And, if we're going to mention Henry, who is fusing certain contemporary music ideas with more popular music genres, I'd personally put Zappa at the top of that list.

4. I'd actually say somewhat the opposite! :) That list does not show that creativity is always new IMHO, I've given examples above of how musical creativity always reflects back, although is does "cut a new path"; either by introducing some new ideas (along with "reflected back" ideas) or just combining "reflected back" ideas in different/new ways.

G
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
Status
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top