[PD] Hot inlet position

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Fri Aug 21 00:25:28 CEST 2009

On Thu, 20 Aug 2009, Matt Barber wrote:

>> And if "ideally" Pd should be just a "musical instrument" that you only
>> have to "tune and play", it's only to go with those musicians who ideally
>> should understand the breadth and depth of Pd's potential, but in practice
>> don't.
> Thanks so much for saying this.  Think of the kind of acquired skill
> one needs to expertly "tune and play," say, a violin, with mastery.

I said «that you only have to "tune and play"» meaning a system in which 
you don't get to do anything else than that.

There are other activities part of traditional music-making, namely: 
composing music, writing music, reading music, improvising music (in your 
head or live), following a conductor, being the conductor, mixing the 
music, recording the music, postproduction, copy, distribution, playing 
the record, remembering a tune, building the instruments, building any 
musical tool, ... What we're experiencing nowadays is that more activities 
can be reconfigured. Already the player-pianos played a score... or is it 
the score that played the piano? what is sure, is that there was no 
musician playing it live, and yet it was still music. Nowadays you can 
make all sorts of hybrids between all of the above. This causes our 
vocabulary (and assumptions about that vocabulary) to become quite 
inadequate. So, increasingly, to the question "is it a musical 
instrument?" there is hesitation: yes, no, uh, maybe, sort of, it depends 
what you mean by... etc.

> The problem is how the phrase "just a musical instrument" is used -- if 
> you can justify spending years learning scales so that you can play in 
> tune and develop technical facility, learning how sound works so you can 
> adjust the instrument, learning how music works so you can play it 
> intelligently, learning how others before you came to master their 
> instrument and how to develop critical opinions about their playing, 
> etc., certainly you can justify the same kind of intense work for any 
> "instrument" (electronic/acoustic/programmed/otherwise) if you care to 
> become competent.

Different instruments are easy or difficult not because of the instrument 
itself, but mostly because of the level skill that is expected for that 
instrument. Violin is hard because the standards are high. The standards 
are high because there is a lot of competition. There is a lot of 
competition because... etc. Same goes for non-instruments, actually. But 
if you have a violin, are looking to win a prize, and play 14 hours a day, 
you're not doing anything else. Therefore I can say "you're just playing 
an instrument". But even if you don't do it 14 hours a day, and we happen 
to be talking about music in general, and you don't compose your own score 
and record on your own, I can still say "you're just playing an 
instrument". And I can say that it means nothing bad, "no, no, you're 
playing just great", and then the person can still take it like this: "if 
he said it's just great, he means it's not any better than great... 


PS: Just intonation is just intonation.

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| Mathieu Bouchard - tél:+1.514.383.3801, Montréal, Québec

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