[PD] "computer music" WAS: Re: Pd at a livecoding event on the BBC

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 22 03:56:23 CEST 2009

--- On Mon, 9/21/09, Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca> wrote:

> From: Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca>
> Subject: [PD] "computer music" WAS: Re: Pd at a livecoding event on the BBC
> To: pd-list at iem.at
> Date: Monday, September 21, 2009, 10:52 PM
> On Tue, 8 Sep 2009, Fernando Gadea wrote:
> > So they say that good piano players play with the
> whole body (same for guitar or any physical instrument, I
> guess).
> Is it because it makes the music any better, or because
> what musicians are after is not just the music but also the
> dance that a musician makes with the instrument?

Hm...you're obviously starting with a definition of music that precludes 
whatever you mean by "the dance that a musician makes," but I don't know 
why you think that's the case.  I think there's a 
pedagogical value in thinking of music as a kind of self-contained 
entity that's distinct from gesture and theatre and programs, but 
outside of teaching it usually ends up sounding like a self-serving 
idealogy that reinforces what one is already interested in and dismisses 
what one wishes to ignore.

For example, try complementing a composer by referring to their piece 
in literary terms: allusions to the canon, narrative plot devices, 
characterization, etc.  Often I think you will find quite a (hopefully 
polite and probably quite subtle) dance, the upshot of which will be a) 
that the composer's intentions were not programmatic, and b) there are 
deeper, more substantial things happening that don't depend on 
*extra* musical considerations.

But where does the "the music" begin and "the dance" end?  
And wherever it is for you, what stops you from making an even sharper, 
more restrictive separation than that one?



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