Monday, May 4, 2009

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] oral traditions and the new media

> Roger Malina wrote:

> I think the tying of "orality' as having an equivalent in digital culture
> of "one of a kind" personal production ( as is the case in the in
> the "make" digital communities )
> versus scored/standard programs is a useful expansion
Bob Gluck and Roger Malina are right as long as music traditions (sores) can
refer to a canon and a largely standardized oral transmission of decoding

Perhaps I was unclear in my former posting (to which they obliquely refer).
So let me just comment that the statement

oral traditions are communicated from person to person rather than
> through "scores" and this is certainly the case for experimental musical
> instruments (Malina)

obviously presumes that scores are somehow always the conventional and
standardized objects they have become in western classical and academic
music. But that is a rather ideological definition of what scores can be and
how they are used.

In 20th and 21st century experimental art music, one-of-a-kind scores are
actually very frequent - in fact: the main difference between a pro
performer of this "experimental music" and those of classical music (even if
they play the same old cello) is the ability and willingness to spend a
significant amount of time on learning a new score convention and new ways
of playing this instrument (and/or relating to other media/performers) that
are very often unique to one particular work only and may never create a
standard of any kind.

This is exactly why it has become increasingly necessary for many composers
to encapsulate the conventional role of oral transmission into the scores
themselves - and, most recently, to simulate this role in interactive
software: thereby establishing a somewhat "digital orality", if you will
(the point of my previous posting).

So the distinction between experimental electronic music and experimental
composition seems to me to be a fairly spurious one - if there is a divide
in the role and use of orality it seems to be that between (mostly
North-American) academic composition and (American and European)
experimental music of all kinds (electronic or not).

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