Foro Flamenco
Posts Since Last Visit | Advanced Search | Home | Register | Login

Today's Posts | Inbox | Profile | Our Rules | Contact Admin | Log Out



Welcome to one of the most active flamenco sites on the Internet. Guests can read most posts but if you want to participate click here to register.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvira and Philip John Lee who went ahead of us too soon.
We receive 12,200 visitors a month from 200 countries and 1.7 million page impressions a year. To advertise on this site please contact us.





learning about music: "Just let them play" Victor Wooten   You are logged in as Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >>Discussions >>Off Topic >> Page: [1] 2    >   >>
Login
Message<< Newer Topic  Older Topic >>
 
aaron peacock

Posts: 135
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
From: Portugal

learning about music: "Just let... 



TL:DR;
You wouldn't tell a 3 year old "I'm sorry, you need to learn English Grammar, the alphabet, spelling, etc, before we can speak. "
You also wouldn't say "I'm sorry, 3 year old, you are a beginning speaker, and I know things that are beyond your 3 years of speaking comprehension, therefore we can't chat until you are 40" right?

_____________________________

List of Arts Where Experimentation is Dangerous:
1) Sword-Combat
2) Aerial Acrobatics
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2021 19:00:09
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12680
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to aaron peacock

It is nice in theory but at some point, a practical hands on concept needs to unlock some doors or the students stay perpetually “stuck” in a world where they think everything they do is “cool” and acceptable.

Here is a concept that she clearly learned from my same “teachers” and gives some excellent examples for applying the concept.



_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2021 19:11:01
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to aaron peacock

quote:

You wouldn't tell a 3 year old "I'm sorry, you need to learn English Grammar, the alphabet, spelling, etc, before we can speak. "
You also wouldn't say "I'm sorry, 3 year old, you are a beginning speaker, and I know things that are beyond your 3 years of speaking comprehension, therefore we can't chat until you are 40" right?


No, you wouldn't, but those children are hearing the way adults speak and copying it and adults do correct children when they are speaking. So when kids say "me want [something]" the adults will say "no, you say "I want [something]""

Relating this to flamenco, most of the people we listen to learned flamenco as kids in that same organic way kids learn language, by copying their family, friends, and then their teachers, and being encouraged, guided and, at times, corrected by them. They talk about being little sponges, soaking it all up. By the time they are teens and ready to do their own thing they have already absorbed the flamenco "language" and can "speak" it fluently.

When we come to flamenco later in life, as adults, we may already have experience of being highly creative in other fields, or in other types of music, and we want to be creative and express ourselves through flamenco. But it's a bit like trying to write poetry in a language we don't know yet. I think it's a dilemma that most of us face at some point or other. I couldn't tell you how many times I have sat in dance class and been told "no, that doesn't work". I don't have a definitive answer to this dilemma.

If we don't study and learn the toque that already exists, technique, compas, the form and styles of the different palos, the baile and the cante, how will we play and sound flamenco? If we play for baile and/or cante we need to know how to call the singer, accompany letras, play appropriate falsetas and close them properly, accompany the footwork etc. and all in a way that makes sense to the people we are playing with.

That's not the same as learning a book of grammar and vocab lists. I don't think anyone is advocating that in flamenco. You have to learn by doing it, and that means listening a lot, trying to learn as much as we can, finding good teachers, and being around people who are already good at it and who can give you feedback on what you are doing that works and what you are doing that doesn't.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 2 2021 19:46:53
 
chester

Posts: 812
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to aaron peacock

Mark has a good point.

Victor Wooten grew up in an extremely musical family and was "jamming" with his siblings since he was able to hold a toy guitar so he was able to absorb the language organically.

I find many adult learners' issue is that they don't spend enough time saying things like "me want [something]". Like the guy who wants to learn paco pieces but can't harmonize twinkle twinkle (no offense). That's like a three year old trying to write a novel in the style of Tolkien.

Also maybe related -- when adults learn a new language they're more likely to have an accent or miss small idiosyncratic details.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 3:04:36
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3072
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to aaron peacock

I think I understand the idea of all the musicians saying that music is a language but I don't really agree with that.

Language is used to communicate information. Both the sender and the receiver need to know and agree on the language in use and there can't be any room for subjectivity.

It's a cute analogy but I think it does more harm than good, a bit like the "I play what I feel" pentatonic box warriors.

_____________________________

"Ya no me conoce el sol, porque yo duermo de dia"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 12:26:49
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

I think I understand the idea of all the musicians saying that music is a language but I don't really agree with that.

Language is used to communicate information. Both the sender and the receiver need to know and agree on the language in use and there can't be any room for subjectivity.

I think I understand where Aaron may be coming from. Based on some of the recent discussions, that is very close to what he’s been getting told with respect to flamenco.

There’s no doubt that even once the forms are understood, the nuances of flamenco might take a lifetime for an adult student to master. But is it really necessary to make the cost of admission to participate in a musical form, any form, seem like such a Herculean task that a newcomer can be made to feel it’s insurmountable? We don’t do that to children when they’re learning to talk or walk.

I agree with Chester about the accent and idiosyncratic details. Such is life. I like Mark’s take on it quite a bit, too, very well said. Ah heck, everybody’s a winner, that video Ricardo posted was awesome, she is not only beautiful, but articulate, talented, and capable, as well.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 12:40:28
 
Piwin

Posts: 3164
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

and adults do correct children when they are speaking.


The first model of language acquisition was Skinner's operant conditioning. I mention it because it can bring some nuance to what "correction" can mean. For instance, if a baby says something but does not obtain the result he wants, there can be a form of "correction" there without anyone explicitly saying "that's wrong". If, say, he wants a ball that is in another room (so he can't even point to it), and the word he has for the ball is "blim", he probably won't get his ball just because his parents won't understand what he means. That would then induce the baby to correct the word, and over time finally reach the right word, i.e. the word that his parents understand, and therefore the word that gets him the result he wanted (to have the ball). So there's some nuance in what "correction" might mean. It's been a while but I think the one that people usually think of as "correction" would be Skinner's "positive punishment", and he has three others (punishment and reinforcement, both either positive or negative, but that's just off the top of my head, so best to double check).

Once you assume that this kind of conditioning exists, then there's very little reason to see any kind of hard dichotomy between the "immersion only" approach and the "explicit teaching" approach. In the end they both work through feedback loops*.

But Skinner's behaviorist model was rapidly called into question. Chomsky barged in in the late 50s and proposed that there was an innate component to language (as opposed to the "blank slate" approach of Skinner). It's no surprise that this happened shortly after major breakthroughs in genetics, with Watson and Crick having found the molecular structure of DNA just a few years earlier. Under Chomsky's theory of generative grammar, essentially the implication was that if you leave a group of children to their own devices, absent any kind of adult, they would still generate a language. There's good reason to believe that this is true. Worth noting is that it is 1. "a" language (so the language they would develop would have little to do with the language spoken by their parents) and 2. "children" plural (the few examples of single children left completely on their own never did develop a language, and for the most part lost the ability to learn a language even once they were integrated into society as adults).

Once you assume that what you want is for children to learn a specific language, and not just any language, then there's ample room for both Chomsky's generative grammar and Skinner's operant conditioning to play a role, side-by-side. (of course it's more complicated than that but essentially: Chomsky gets you to "a language"; Skinner gets you to "that specific language").

Perhaps more importantly is the question of what kind of areas does this actually apply to. Both Chomsky and Skinner were addressing language, as in the spoken word. There was very little doubt that writing was a completely separate area, and required a different kind of learning process than for the spoken word. If you locked a bunch of children in a room for 10 years with books, pens, and paper, they would most likely develop a spoken language of their own, but they would most likely not develop any kind of writing system, nor learn to read.

So if we really wanted to make a comparison between music and language, one question would have to be whether music is closer to language (spoken or signed), or to writing. What are we genetically programmed to do? Sing? Play musical instruments? Dunno. Children don't do pronunciation drills to learn how to pronounce the sounds of their language. But I don't know anyone who can do a picado right without having done drills. In that sense, instrumental music at least would seem closer to writing, where you learn techniques through repetition and explicit correction. At the same time, beyond the technical aspects of how to put letters down on paper, there is the much vaster area of how to write good prose/verse. And that comes through reading vast amounts of material. Through "immersion" as it were. Sheer imitation can also be a helpful tool. Sticking to English, one could cite for instance Jack London writing out much of Kipling's work by hand. Or Hunter Thompson writing down The Great Gatsby in full. The dull repetitive work that was the source of the previous heated debate with Aaron.

But I dunno. If we really push this comparison all the way through, one interesting implication for us who started flamenco as adults is this: you can probably reach a point where your writing is indistinguishable from a native. Whether you can reach a point where your speaking is indistinguishable from a native is up for debate. It's exceedingly rare. Joseph Conrad could write so well in English that he is now part of the classics of English literature. His contemporaries attest that he never lost his Polish accent though. So if flamenco guitar is like writing, you could potentially become so good as to be indistinguishable from the best native writers. If flamenco guitar is like the spoken language, trying to become indistinguishable from the best native speakers just might be a fool's errand.

edit: *this is also why in that other thread I mentioned the "input only" approach. It's fascinating to me because one could wonder whether there's any feedback loop there at all, making it distinct from any other language learning approach I know of. These are people who learn only by consuming content in the language they want to learn, and they don't try to produce anything in that language for quite a long time (sometimes waiting several years after starting to learn the language).

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 18:18:26
 
kitarist

Posts: 1178
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Piwin

Really enjoyed reading this, Piwin. What a great summary and thought-provoking analysis.

And, please, don't delete!

_____________________________

Konstantin
Foro cante accompaniment practice tracks (zip file)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 18:48:48
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Piwin

quote:

Sticking to English, one could cite for instance Jack London writing out much of Kipling's work by hand. Or Hunter Thompson writing down The Great Gatsby in full. The dull repetitive work that was the source of the previous heated debate with Aaron.

Excellent reply. Now please don’t go and delete it, lol.

I don’t think anyone would expect to learn how to create in any art form solely through osmosis. Besides the one half a kazillion guys riffing out their “Dad Blues” licks on YoutTube, most people serious about learning something accept that it will probably involve a fair measure of hard work.

Where I think it gets a little much is when a newcomer is told things like “Just play for baile for ten years, for cante ten more, and blah blah, and then maybe, just maybe, you can say you can play flamenco guitar” and a few other mainly discouraging canards. I also understand how someone may become frustrated and think they are being shut out by “gatekeepers” if they feel they are being told that they must achieve a high level of proficiency in an instrument before they can fully appreciate or understand an art form, let alone create in it. It’s simply not true, and no art would survive as culturally relevant if it were. I don’t think anybody involved in the discussions actually believes that or even wants to imply it, but I can see how the tone of some of the discussions could lead someone to interpret it that way.

At any rate, I’m glad Aaron continues to pose these questions. They’re thought-provoking, as are the ensuing discussions. It’s all good.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 18:55:58
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Really enjoyed reading this, Piwin. What a great summary and thought-provoking analysis.

And, please, don't delete!


Hahaha, you beat me to it!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 18:57:32
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

quote:

Where I think it gets a little much is when a newcomer is told things like “Just play for baile for ten years, for cante ten more, and blah blah, and then maybe, just maybe, you can say you can play flamenco guitar” and a few other mainly discouraging canards.

Attributed to none other than Sabicas.

quote:

I also understand how someone may become frustrated and think they are being shut out by “gatekeepers” if they feel they are being told that they must achieve a high level of proficiency in an instrument before they can fully appreciate or understand an art form, let alone create in it.

Has anyone actually said anything like this?

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 19:23:37
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

Attributed to none other than Sabicas.

Yeah, but that doesn’t mean he was right.*

quote:

Has anyone actually said anything like this?

Mark, you might want to keep reading. I addressed that in the following sentences of the same paragraph.

But without going back searching out explicit instances, I have gotten that impression from some of the discussions that have occurred on here over the years. But perhaps I’m putting words into mouths when I shouldn’t be. At any rate, I was talking about the perception of the tone of a discussion, rather than the response to explicit pronouncements.


* <edit> does anyone know the context of when he said this? I mean, was he sober? Or even serious? It sounds like the kind of flippant throw-away line one would expect from an arrogant star performer trying to rid himself of a tiresome line of questioning.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 19:26:46
 
Piwin

Posts: 3164
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

And, please, don't delete!


quote:

Now please don’t go and delete it, lol.




Still working my way through this whole writer's block thing. This stays up. For now...

quote:

Where I think it gets a little much is when a newcomer is told things like “Just play for baile for ten years, for cante ten more, and blah blah, and then maybe, just maybe, you can say you can play flamenco guitar” and a few other mainly discouraging canards


I get that. I grew up in the French public school system, where there was (is?) a deep-seated notion that you have to "deconstruct" kids to better build them back up. For instance, I remember in high school getting 19/20 on a paper. Since there were no corrections of any kind on my paper, I went up to the teacher after class and asked him why he hadn't given me 20/20. He replied "because perfection doesn't exist". In his deluded mind he probably thought I walked away motivated to try even harder to reach that impossible ideal of "perfection". But I just walked away thinking "well **** that guy".

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 20:21:16
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Piwin

quote:

I get that. I grew up in the French public school system,


I’m not trying to poke sticks or anything. I think it’s natural for the guitarists on the Foro to approach the art with an instrumentalist’s perspective, while I’m more an aficionado who just happens to play guitar. This might lead to a subtle shift in viewpoints but hopefully that doesn’t put me at odds.

But I have studied flamenco, both here and in Spain, and I know that doesn’t really mean anything, but I sometimes feel uncomfortable when I think it’s being implied that the depth of one’s appreciation of an art is inextricably tied to one’s ability to create it. That may be true, I have no way of knowing, but as I said earlier, no art can survive culturally based on that. Actually, if it were true, artists would simply starve, as there would be limited audience and patrons. But, maybe I’m tilting at windmills. I don’t know, I’m kind of regretting jumping in here. Maybe it’s time for a break.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 20:52:05
 
Piwin

Posts: 3164
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

quote:

I’m not trying to poke sticks or anything


I didn't think you were. On the tone thing, and people implying that appreciation of the art is tied to the ability to create it, I guess it'd be hard to put a finger on it, but by all means call me out on it if you ever catch me doing it. Coz that's certainly not something I want to be implying, at all!

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 21:19:57
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Piwin

I probably should have said poke sticks at anybody (instead of ‘or anything’) as I meant it in a more general sense. I didn’t intend to direct that at you, it was bad phrasing on my part.

P.S. I like your tag line about the perfection of a blank page. It can be taken so many ways...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 21:29:25
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12680
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

quote:

<edit> does anyone know the context of when he said this? I mean, was he sober? Or even serious? It sounds like the kind of flippant throw-away line one would expect from an arrogant star performer trying to rid himself of a tiresome line of questioning.


While I don’t know specifically where I read it, I know it was in regards to playing (composing?) decent solo guitar material. And I am pretty sure it was 20 years each, not 10. And of course it was an exaggeration while also being 100% true at the same time (meaning I was playing decent material while I was learning about flamenco in my 20-30’s, however, it wasn’t until my 40’s that I felt secure about what I was doing, so literally 20 years later ). The point being that a guitar player must learn about those genres of singing and dancing accompaniments in order to develop a broad enough vocabulary to say something artistically satisfying to aficionados and other artists that understood this art form already deeply.

Simply put, in some simple falsetas or basic compas expressions, a player reveals his or her level of training and ability in subtle details. There are occasional surprise exceptions where an impressive player has not trained much, but by imitating the well trained maestros has somehow extracted enough important elements to “fool” general audience that there had been years of training to back it up. The surprise is revealed in the moment of failure, unfortunately...usually playing for a singer or dancer in Juerga or rehearsal, or most embarrassingly, on stage.

So Sabicas is saying that a solo guitarist needs to experience that “failure” in order to express something well rounded, deep, and impactful. The exaggeration is about the fact yes, you could develop exceptional accompanying skills in a short time frame if you work with the right people and under the right conditions. That is why nick names like “Viejin” get applied to young artists. However I still feel there is even more to it all...perhaps the experiences of life itself are an important element also included in Sabicas’s words. And to be clear, he was certainly not the inventor of the statement. 22 years ago I got off stage with a cantaor from Madrid whom we just did a dance show. He seemed pleased with my playing but when one of his friends commented that I played well for a young guy he asked me to accompany his cante por malagueñas at the bar. I respectfully declined, having zero experience with the cante levante. He proceeded to sing it palo seco. Then he said, don’t worry, that in 10 years I would be a decent player.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 21:30:52
 
kitarist

Posts: 1178
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

quote:

* <edit> does anyone know the context of when he said this? I mean, was he sober? Or even serious? It sounds like the kind of flippant throw-away line one would expect from an arrogant star performer trying to rid himself of a tiresome line of questioning.


I don't know about this specifically, but this is exactly what it sounds like and I don't think it is meant to be taken literally (but OTOH it is not completely unreasonable). I am not putting Sabicas down BTW, I just recognize that same type of response in other big stars who are probably tired of being asked the same thing for the 4,000th time. On top of that there is an element of ego involved, depending on character (easy to give into believing you are the all-knowing idol the media has built you up as).

One example that came to mind immediately is Astor Piazzolla's oft-quoted 'description' of Argentine tango as 'vertical rape'; this seemingly will never die; the more clueless about tango a journalist is, the more likely this quote will pop up in their article. The phrase itself was likely uttered as a result of a combination of getting asked 'What is tango' thousands of times, his desire for a flamboyant/flippant answer, but also he is playing along (or maybe believed it himself) to the then-expected references to the supposed 'exotic' and 'dirty' and 'salacious' nature of the origin of Argentine tango - itself not a factual assessment but a symptom of the underlying racism and of disdain for the 'other' and the lower classes who created it.

With Sabicas at least there is truth to what he said.

_____________________________

Konstantin
Foro cante accompaniment practice tracks (zip file)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 21:37:42
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

However I still feel there is even more to it all...perhaps the experiences of life itself are an important element also included in Sabicas’s words. And to be clear, he was certainly not the inventor of the statement. 22 years ago I got off stage with a cantaor from Madrid whom we just did a dance show. He seemed pleased with my playing but when one of his friends commented that I played well for a young guy he asked me to accompany his cante por malagueñas at the bar. I respectfully declined, having zero experience with the cante levante. He proceeded to sing it palo seco. Then he said, don’t worry, that in 10 years I would be a decent player.


Thanks for that, Ricardo.

I don’t want to be too bold, but it seems to me that your humility in that instance may have shown a maturity beyond that of the cantaor. It was also pretty street-smart of you as it also seems like you might have been getting set up.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 21:39:34
 
aaron peacock

Posts: 135
Joined: Apr. 26 2020
From: Portugal

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

I think I understand the idea of all the musicians saying that music is a language but I don't really agree with that.

Language is used to communicate information. Both the sender and the receiver need to know and agree on the language in use and there can't be any room for subjectivity.

It's a cute analogy but I think it does more harm than good, a bit like the "I play what I feel" pentatonic box warriors.


I agree with you Sr. Martins,
I don't think "music is a language" is a suitable metaphor.
One needs to learn a language to react to the concepts.
If one reacted to the sound of the words alone, that might make for rather superficial conversations full of words like "smooth groove"

First of all, Music is a subset of the "campo harmonico" which contains all partials without discrete frequency, effectively the whitest noise possible, all holes/gaps filled. impossible. Musical systems being specific sets of partials at specific frequencies.
An octave is a physical doubling of frequency.
A harmonic series can be 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, and the sub-divisions between doublings quite obviously increase with time, etc.

"Music" as sound has an immediate reaction upon organisms that may or may not be suppressed, and this is somehow a function of it's meaning.
It's as if words sounded like they meant. The sound of a tigers growl has inherent meaning, however. A large bus approaching you at high velocity will communicate something concrete that words will seem silly dancing around. "watch.... out..." interpret, etc... there's lower-brain activity here. Sound communicates. Directly. Music communicates directly and it communicates the harmonic numerical structures it actually is.
Our auditory systems have specific tuned cellular structures for each band of frequencies, much as the bins of an FFT function.
A frequency component or partial in this bins range will make it ring and register on the auditory nerve.

Music being subjective... random question:
How do you feel about bird songs?

Our auditory system is low-level and directly wired.
Musical systems are equally immediately apprehended, albeit in other ways related to how our very cognitive processes are structured and their rhythm. We are literally entrained by music as a form of social biological programming.

I see "campo harmonico" as a biological pre-linguistic animal limbic system kind of thing, hard-wired to reflexive reactions we can consciously suppress, sometimes. (ask anyone who ever came from a bombed country) Some resources:
search "auditory brainstem response"
an interesting study on limbic system responses, traumas, tinnitus
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22440225/
Hemodynamic Responses to Speech and Music in Preverbal Infants
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3842366/

It's more primal than vision. It's with us in the womb
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_memory
it's one of the last systems functioning in comas and near-death.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200708105935.htm

However:

I see musical SYSTEMS as specific languages with grammars, and as such there is the discrete meaning you speak of. Flamenco folk will tend to have specific ideas about this, lol.
Closing is an understood concept, we wait for it, etc.

However, I'm not being so "loose". I literally speak of music as a system of communicating complex numerical data and imprinting it upon humans.
Emphasizing complex matrices of certain specific mathematical ratios is a very precise numerical communication that verbal language struggles to achieve as elegantly as music.

Temporally modulating combinations of partials and the derived relationships between them (harmonic ratios) and this is comprehended by the organism, whether they are aware of it's construction/content or not.

To become aware of how it's constructed, one becomes a more active listener and noticing more. "intervals" being a useful concept here, however mangled our numbering of them may be...

Becoming an active listener is something many musicians can speak of, and you can see great "ear" players being able to decode rapid passages of notes, etc.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201906/did-music-and-harmonic-sounds-shape-the-human-brain

Music theory, however, is basically subjective prose. You can't even do math on the various numerical systems inside, due to their inherently dishonest nature (diatonic vs chromatic intervals, sharps/flats and note names, etc...)
We use them to communicate, imperfect as they are.

Victor Wooten is correct in that many folks learn a musical system by listening to it and engaging it as a primary resource. (music being the primary resource, not literature about music.)
If you grow up with parents listening to Mozart, you will likely find it natural and obvious, vs Stockhausen, etc. (I know a guy who grew up with Stockhausen-listening parents who listened to Mozart in his later teens as an act of rebellion.)

In this sense, a child COULD present us with new music, but if it didn't somehow both subsume previous concepts while bringing it's new ones, we'd likely ignore them.

If they do succeed in "making sense" to us it's by being able to mimic and regurgitate what is heard.
Copying, but perhaps returning it deliberately modified to communicate something, possibly also combined with new ideas.

I'm also enjoying reading the wide range of discussion, so I'll butt out again and shut up and read more.

_____________________________

List of Arts Where Experimentation is Dangerous:
1) Sword-Combat
2) Aerial Acrobatics
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 21:59:51
 
chester

Posts: 812
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Piwin

quote:

Children don't do pronunciation drills to learn how to pronounce the sounds of their language.


What about babies babbling? Wouldn't you consider that "practice"?
What about the "speech therapy" industry? Isn't it similar to when you've learned a technique "wrong" and need to "relearn" it?

quote:

Language is used to communicate information. Both the sender and the receiver need to know and agree on the language in use and there can't be any room for subjectivity.

I'm not sure what you mean by "subjectivity" (the pronoun "I" is subjective). Do you mean ambiguity?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 23:43:34
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12680
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to aaron peacock

quote:

I'm pretty sure there are entire styles based upon parallel fifths,


Black Sabbath anyone?

Seriously, Victor is looking at breaking the obstacle of rhythm mainly...this is told by his examples and attitude. The thing is funny, guitar players get hung up on theory as if it is a separate entity from rhythm....as discussed in the past regarding scores and tabs, often scales and chords are cerebral nerd stuff, but rhythms are just “feelings”. So we see other wise competent intellectuals (studied classical musicians) failing at basic time keeping and such...a stigma is assigned and thus we need to avoid the whole idea of “reading music and thinking about theory”.

Perhaps I was lucky to have started with, forgot about, but later “remembered” the concept of reading rhythm on paper thanks to marching drums in junior high. Rhythm stuff is “simple math” but not always easy to execute. The “feel” can be learned on paper but it again requires a setting, a conducive environment. I was third chair in drum class and the teacher was pissed because myself and chair number 1 switched to guitar. Funny how both our timing skills went down the tubes right away. . Took years to get it back.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2021 23:43:51
 
Piwin

Posts: 3164
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to chester

quote:

What about babies babbling? Wouldn't you consider that "practice"?


I would. Maybe it's not the right word in English, but by "drill" I meant some kind of structured practice where you're focusing on a specific skill. To me babbling is more like noodling on the guitar. So it's not a babble-drill, but a babble-noodle. And if a babble-noodler battles a noodle-babbler, it's a babble-noodler-noodle-battler battle. And if a babble-noodler doodles, it's a babble-noodle-doodler. And if a babble-noo... ok focus... Right, I think it's largely unconscious on their part, and there's no real focus or structure to it. On the other hand, I don't think you get PdL's picado just by noodling, even if noodling is "practice" in a sense.

On a sidenote, after a certain point a baby's speech starts to resemble the language spoken around them, so they are indeed mimicking what they hear (and adults can tell whether a baby is babbling in their own language or not). The idea is that a baby can theoretically pronounce any sound that a human can produce, but they filter it down to what is actually used around them (to the point where we gradually lose the ability to produce or even hear sounds that are not used in our native language). On a sidenote within the sidenote, if you look at the chart of the international phonetic alphabet for consonants, you'll see some empty squares. The grey ones are sounds that are physically impossible to produce. But the white ones are sounds that are physically possible, yet have never been observed in any human language. Which raises an interesting (albeit futile) falling-tree-in-the-forest question: since nobody has those sounds in their mother tongue, and since we gradually lose the ability to discern sounds not in our mother tongue, if somebody started making one of those sounds, would anybody hear it?

quote:

What about the "speech therapy" industry?


I don't know much about that area. I guess they do use drills. My understanding is that with children it usually deals with pathologies that go beyond speech per se. For instance, when therapy is used to correct articulatory problems, that does correct speech impediments, but often what they're correcting goes beyond speech, like an inability to correctly use the mechanics needed to eat (e.g. some kids have a hard time with swallowing or stuff like that). And then of course it can be used in cases of things like Down's syndrome or the like. One of my siblings had to go to a speech therapist when she was young, but there too it was seen as related to her autism, and not just a matter of learning speech incorrectly.

So dunno. Perhaps in some cases it could be described as learning something wrong and having to relearn it. But I think it's usually medicalised and seen as a pathology/disability, in a way that nobody would describe, say, me having to go back and relearn how to do a picado after having spent years playing it wrong and sounding like crap. But I honestly don't know much about that area, nor about the criteria used to define what is a pathology and what is not.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 1:04:31
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3072
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to aaron peacock

Don't want to go deeper into the main subject because I think we can all agree that it depends on where exactly we trace the parallel of which aspect of music can or cannot be associated with language.

quote:

Music theory, however, is basically subjective prose. You can't even do math on the various numerical systems inside, due to their inherently dishonest nature (diatonic vs chromatic intervals, sharps/flats and note names, etc...)
We use them to communicate, imperfect as they are.


I think this is the exact opposite of what you're saying. Despite the unfortunate reality of us having a 12TET system and using all that baggage of sharps and flats, the math in music is the only "stable thing". Distances between pitches can be measured, no matter how you choose to name those distances and there's nothing wrong or imperfect about modulations or not even having a stable tonal center.

The confusion comes from wanting to force the analysis of any genre to comply with what is mainly tonal music from the common practice. If you do that, you'll end up with lots of asterisks and exceptions.

_____________________________

"Ya no me conoce el sol, porque yo duermo de dia"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 12:41:07
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

quote:

Attributed to none other than Sabicas.
Yeah, but that doesn’t mean he was right.*


as others have pointed out already, not literally exact, but containing a truth in that the cante and baile, and the experience gained, inform the solo guitar.

quote:

Mark, you might want to keep reading. I addressed that in the following sentences of the same paragraph.

I did.

I think what is bugging me about this is that if I point out that PDL did, in fact, record covers, or that other players used PDL falsetas, or that Sabicas said "blah blah whatever" then I get called condescending or an "armchair expert" or a "gatekeeper" or whatever, when I'm just pointing out observable things. How does that work? I have no idea. I was baffled then and I'm baffled now...

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 14:02:46
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1629
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Black Sabbath anyone?


Funny . Alfonso, the famoso NY guru de viruses, who happens to be a friend of my wife, has a flat in Cádiz. He wears a skull ring and loves heavy metal. When he and Ana come, we go out to eat together. When he came to my house to eat, I put on a cd of Black Sabbath at high volume as I opened the door ¡Que noche de risas, el tiene mucha gracia a pesar de ser de Burgos!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 15:48:00
 
RobF

Posts: 950
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

I think what is bugging me about this is that if I point out that PDL did, in fact, record covers, or that other players used PDL falsetas, or that Sabicas said "blah blah whatever" then I get called condescending or an "armchair expert" or a "gatekeeper" or whatever, when I'm just pointing out observable things. How does that work? I have no idea. I was baffled then and I'm baffled now...


Hi Mark,

I thought your comment at the beginning of this thread was thoughtful, balanced, and on target. I really liked it. Maybe Sabacas could’ve taken a lesson or two from you on diplomacy.

I think I may have a bit of a tainted view because when I started learning about Flamenco here in Canada, I met many very helpful people, most quite generous in their willingness to teach and others who were just happy to meet another kindred spirit. But there was also a percentage, a small one but still too high, IMO, who used their advanced knowledge to either “lord it over” or otherwise make me feel stupid and inadequate due to my lack of experience and knowledge. Maybe I was projecting or being hyper-sensitive, however, so I was pretty mindful not to take it too much to heart. After all, I really didn’t know much of anything so they weren’t far off in their assessment.

Then I went to Spain and studied it. There wasn’t a lot of condescension there, hardly any worth noting, mainly the odd dancer would act that way, but because I had already experienced it, it didn’t throw me and it was easy to ignore. Again, it’s not like they weren’t justified with their disdain, I was the guy in the back messing up the contra-tiempo in palmas. Also, the overwhelming majority of people were great. I met a lot of people who were at my level and we had a huge amount of fun, and I met quite a few local gitano players who were all extremely open, helpful, and friendly. Some have become close friends, I hope, lifelong. Same with the students, I made some great friends there that I still stay in touch with.

You get it in guitar making, too, even worse sometimes, not just by makers, but by ignorant customers who seem to think guitars are horses or something. Even though I was trained to make Flamenco guitars in Spain, and people there play them, I’ll still run into the odd guitarist or shop owner back here in Canada who will be more than happy to tell me just how “the guys in Spain” want it. Some of the stuff I hear is like, kinda crazy. It also seems to always, almost every stinking time, come from a person who’s never been there, and it’s too often said in a way to discount, or devalue, my work. Mainly in the hopes for a better deal. So, you need a thick skin.

Sometimes, it’s a maker who acts disdainful or superior. Sometimes they’re pretty good, most times, not so much. Besides initially wanting to haul off and slug them, I’ve learned to just look at their work, listen to their work, and then I know. I try to keep an open mind, however, and I’m open to learning from everyone. I don’t discount someone’s work just because I think they’re a dick. It’s a fallacy that only nice people make good guitars, IMO. Plus, I know what I’ve been told about my guitars by my customers, and by the true masters who’ve examined them, both here and in Spain, and by gitano players, so it’s all OK with me, it just shows me who to be careful around.

Still, most people are really great, the huge majority, but it only takes one to mess up your day, especially when you’re a sensitive artiste, such as myself.*

At any rate, I had no intent to make you feel uncomfortable, and I don’t think you’re any of those things, so I’m sorry about that. From what I’ve seen, you’ve always been sincere, thoughtful, and a straight-shooter, even when in disagreements. I have no quarrel, that’s for sure.


*This reminds of a story, if you have the time; it’s a long one though, maybe a little personal, so it can be skipped, if you don’t....


...the story...true...

A few years ago I was in Granada when one of those discouraging put-down events occurred. On this occasion, it really cut and I was quite bummed out about it.

To clear my head and try to feel better, I went for a long walk through the Realejo, then up to outside the Alhambra, hung around for a bit, soaking in the history and the view, and then took that long walk down the hill through the woods towards the Cuesta de Gomerez. It was a beautiful sunny day, but dark in the shade of the trees, and I sat for some time on one of the cement benches that are placed along the sides of the pathway and attempted to gather myself. It was peaceful and quiet, just the sound of the wind rustling leaves, and it helped. But I still couldn’t shake it, so I got up and continued down the hill, through the gateway from the woods, and back into the strong sunlight and the busy Cuesta.

About halfway down the Cuesta I turned right into a shop and there was Francisco Manuel Díaz sitting on a straight-backed chair in the middle of the small room, working on a guitar, with the recording of some cantaora blaring in the background. He knows me, because I visit every time I’m in town, so he didn’t say a word, just nodded, looked at me quizzically, then returned to his work. I hung around in the background, listening to the great music and checking out all his photos.

After a while, maybe ten minutes, maybe thirty, he stopped working, looked over at me, stood up, and grabbing the back of the chair he had been sitting in, motioned for me to sit down in it. He then walked to the other side of his counter, where his little workbench is, put aside the guitar he was working on, turned off the stereo, and came back carrying an identical straight backed chair, which he plopped down onto the floor in front of me, facing me. He then grabbed his personal guitar, which he keeps on display in front of his counter, sat down in the chair, and played. We still hadn’t exchanged a word.

He’s an accomplished Flamenco guitarist, the real deal, and it was great to listen to him. I think he could see the tension leaving my face and how it was relaxing me, bringing me back. He then stopped, handed me his guitar, and asked me what was on my mind. My Spanish is still not very good, but I told him about my discouragement, which was related to a guitar I had recently made. He nodded in understanding and sympathy and then we spent a fair amount of time huddled over my phone, going over pictures I had taken of the guitar, discussing where I felt I could improve and also areas he felt I could try alternate implementations. It was a good talk and, coupled with the grounding his playing had given me, I started to feel quite a lot better.

By then, we were relaxed and the conversation had become good-natured with lots of laughing. I pointed to a poster he had on the wall and mentioned I had just had lunch the day before in the home of one of the performers, who is also an excellent cook. He wanted to know what we had to eat and when I told him he smiled broadly and said “Ahhh, this is traditional Gitano fare!”

After a while, it was time to go. I thanked him and said I would never visit Granada without visiting him, and he agreed. As I was walking out the door he called out loudly, “Rob!”. I stopped, turned around, and he was standing there with his arms held out sideways and a look of mock hurt on his face. I looked at him quizzically and he said “¿Mi abrazo?”. I went back in and gave him a big hug, and then was on my way.

To me, that’s what it’s all about. Doesn’t have to be about Flamenco, but that’s it, right there.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 18:31:44
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

quote:

This reminds of a story, if you have the time; it’s a long one though, maybe a little personal, so it can be skipped, if you don’t....

I hope I always have time for stories like that (I did today)

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful words. I do my best. Often I don't do so well, and get caught up in the heat of the moment. But I keep trying.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 18:56:17
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3146
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

Rob,

Although your story was directed to Mark Indigo, I read it and found it both enjoyable and moving. As you noted at the end, "that's what it's all about."

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 19:21:25
 
Schieper

 

Posts: 159
Joined: Mar. 29 2017
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Piwin

Wow Piwin; what an eloquently formulated thought.

One thing "triggered" me:

quote:

Children don't do pronunciation drills to learn how to pronounce the sounds of their language.


From an AI perspective, I believe, learning does not need to take the form of a drill. If we look at "recomender-systems, (things that give you movies you might like based on past experiences and the experiences of other users) they just humm in the background, and slowly get better over time by trying.

I also like your split between "a language" and "the language" very inspiring.

Finally, if you take a "set theory" approach to your point
quote:

If we really push this comparison all the way through, one interesting implication for us who started flamenco as adults is this: you can probably reach a point where your writing is indistinguishable from a native


You have 2 sets; one set of music written by a native and one set of music written by a none-native. Now the question is if they are indistinguishable. In mathematical terms; are they equal. They are only equal of one and every element in each set are equal. Which, if they where, would be boring because then 2 people would have written the same music.

So what we actualy want to know. if a specific group of characteristics [lets call it QUALITY] of a piece of music that is written by a native, can be equal to that of a none native. Now; if this is possible, only depends on the definition of QUALITY. and thats a completely new can of worms :-)

Please take no offence. Half of the time I do not know what I am writing; the other half I do not understand :-)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 21:26:06
Page:   [1] 2    >   >>
All Forums >>Discussions >>Off Topic >> Page: [1] 2    >   >>
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software powered by ASP Playground Advanced Edition 2.0.5
Copyright © 2000 - 2003 ASPPlayground.NET

0.125 secs.