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Author Topic: Out of measures?  (Read 2622 times)

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Offline Mark Cordova

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Out of measures?
« on: Jan 23, 2004, 07:27:21 PM »
No way Bro. Look at the Blind man reel. It starts out as drowsy Maggie. I believe that every conceivable measure in the world has already been written for violin. The rest of us just get to reuse old ones ;)  
« Last Edit: Jan 27, 2004, 03:33:23 PM by Mark Cordova »

Offline Floyd

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Out of measures?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 23, 2004, 07:57:11 PM »
I believe that every conceivable measure in the world has already been written for violin. The rest of us just get to reuse old ones ;)  

Hmmm
Not sure if I agree with this.
 :bworm:if we say a standard measure is a sequence of 8 notes which may be chosen from 12 there are 12^8 = 249,981,696 possible standard measures. Now take the number of different rythms than can be applied to a measure (which i haven't the time to enumerate but it is more than 10) and multiply that by the above number.  so ya get more than 2,499,816,960 - thats 2 and a half trillion possible first bars. If you printed them out at a reasonable size on standard paper and stacked the sheets up the pile would be over 4 miles high. And just think the first bar of this tune sounds kinda like one of them - so start looking and let me know when you find it.

A pretty good fiddler playing a 4 notes a second would take about 6 1/2 years playing steady 8 hours a day to get through all those possibilities -Longer if he decided to stop and eat and satisfy other physical needs.  And you can't say "But all the good ones are taken" cause you didn't hear them all yet. ;D




Offline Jack002

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Out of measures?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 23, 2004, 08:07:45 PM »
Heh, I love it when a mathemetician comes in and tidys up some wives tails. Its great! ;)  Great thread, Floyd! I'd be interested in hearing some of these 2.5 trillion combinations, I bet many/most sound really bad! ;)

[edit]
Floyd, let me see, If I had 8 notes and a range of 12 notes to play them in, then thats 12^8 combinations, or 429,981,696, but thats just for 12 notes in one octave? What about maybe a 2nd octave? What would be a reasonable range of hi to lo? If it was 2 octaves, then 24^8 or 110,075,314,176, and thats still with no combinations of timing or notes. There's 8 1/8 notes, then 7 and a 1/4, then 6 and 2/4s etc in all their possible orders, then dotted, rests, grace notes, man, I bet its like a GOOGEL of combinations! ;)

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.large.numbers.html

Jack
« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2004, 08:46:53 PM by Jack002 »

Offline Floyd

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Out of measures?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 23, 2004, 08:14:22 PM »
Most of the ones I play are pretty bad.

Offline Martin

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Out of measures?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 25, 2004, 12:12:04 AM »
I think Jack covered what I was wondering, Floyd, why only 12 notes? On my fiddle there are loads!

More seriously, I think 17 notes make sense as the possible field, starting with bottom G (don't know any tunes that go below this), one note per finger or open string, and finishing with high B, I know plenty of tunes that use this note, though maybe not to start on. Of course this is ignoring accidentals, and I know plenty of tunes with those, but not in the first bar.

So I think 17^8 would be reasonable. I think you can also ignore rhythm, as AAAA or A3A or A2 A2 or AA3 or A4 etc can all be counted as the same thing.

I think that's why I like polkas, there's only 17^4 possible opening bars there. Kinda cramps the field really!

Now here's a challenge, can we name 17 existing tunes, one for each of the 17 possible initial finger positions on the fiddle. The note must be the first note of the first full bar.

Maybe we could start a new thread for this challenge, and put the ABCs there to prove they are real tunes?

Offline Floyd

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Out of measures?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 26, 2004, 01:59:45 PM »
I think Jack covered what I was wondering, Floyd, why only 12 notes? On my fiddle there are loads!

I used 12 notes because I considered notes seperated by an octave to be the same note. And I agree with you that the rythms that you metioned can be considered equilevent but there are others that have to be considered such as adding triplets and replacing an 8th note with 2 different 16th notes.  There is alot of different ways to look at this but I think anyway you go about it you will find that there are measures out there that have never been played.  I also think alot of bars can only be played as a first bar and others will only work as an 8th bar etc.
    I was thinking about this yesterday and wondered if i could think of 2 traditional fiddle tunes that have the same first bar and the only 2 I could think of were "Big John MacNeil" and "The Ship Inn Reel" - do you know any others.

Offline simon

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Out of measures?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 27, 2004, 01:12:28 PM »
The Reel with the Burl
Drowsy Maggie
Toward a Cliff the Blind Man Walks
and the second part of Maudabawn Chapel

Offline Mark Cordova

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Re:Out of measures?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 27, 2004, 03:40:31 PM »
I've been had! Oh what pain this is to be spun around until I'm dizzy with possibilities. Perhaps I can find redemption.  :smile2: :smile2: :smile2:

Jack has very kindly provided us with some qbasic code that generates random measures to create a short tune. Have you heard it? NASTY!!!!!
Seems to me that the good measures have been taken already.  ::)

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Offline Jack002

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Re:Out of measures?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 27, 2004, 09:01:29 PM »
Its no worse than a chicken pecking on a piano with feed on the keys?!? ;)

Makes me wonder tho, WHAT makes a good measure good? Is there a way to write some rules about it? I'd like to know, cause I then I can revisit the basic program and see if the 'rules' hold up. ;)

Jack

Offline Martin

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Re:Out of measures?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 27, 2004, 09:47:41 PM »
Intervals, patterns, timing, key notes, and occasionally breaking the rules.

Many Irish, Scottish and English tunes (my area of growing familiarity) employ similar pattern of runs, arpeggios up and down, pivot notes (returning to the same note with different notes in between) etc, so it's not too hard to write something that looks and plays a bit Irish, English etc. but to have a hook, something that catches the ear and makes it memorable and enjoyable, takes something beyond these standard tools.

For example, in the tune Yesterday's Stroll, the start took me by suprise. G'C'G takes us up an octave in 3 notes, where I was expecting G'C'E. I would probably have written the second, and it would still work as an opening, but the first option makes it special.

Add to this that the tune has to actually be playable. Jumping from bottom G to top B can be written on a stave but it's a damn to play. Tunes easy to play on a fiddle can be hard on a flute and vice versa, because of the break between strings or octaves. e.g. jumping from f to B to E is reasonable on a flute or whistle, very hard to pull off cleanly on a fiddle (playing in 1st position only). This, plus the lack of notes below D on a wooden flute show that some tunes are fiddle tunes, some are flute tunes.

Timing: There's a tune, The Gay Ladies' Polka, that starts with 4 consecutive notes the same. Sounds dull? Yet it works because of the timing g g g2 g2. I'll find it and ABC it for you soon, I think you'll like it.

Key notes: A lot of tunes (maybe all tunes) hang on the skeleton of the key notes, usually the 1st and 4th note in each bar of a jig, or the 1st and 5th in a reel. You could just play these notes ignoring all others, and people could recognise the tune. The other notes are fillers and of less importance. When learning a tune, listen for the key notes and get them down, then get the fillers. If you can't recall the fillers, you can have a fair stab at them from knowing the rules, and come up with a variation on the original tune.

My 2c. 8-)
« Last Edit: Jan 28, 2004, 02:25:20 PM by Martin »

Offline Floyd

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Re:Out of measures?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 28, 2004, 02:01:00 AM »
Good answer Martin - thanks for taking the time.

Offline Jack002

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Re:Out of measures?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 28, 2004, 02:51:35 PM »
Sure, I'll just incorporate all that into my program and get back to you. ::) No, its really interesting. If I knew "a formula" or a set of them, then I could write songs (or have the computer make em) all day long. That's neat to think about. ;)

Jack

Offline Mark Cordova

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Re:Out of measures?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 28, 2004, 03:55:29 PM »
Yep Jack, it is. I'm thinking about it myself.

 




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