Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?
 

Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    16:49 on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

[travel2165] Scotch now needs to quote me where I said that there was indeed actual "diatonic business" going on in the flute recording.

For future reference: If at some point I ask what was all that third-person business, the above is an example of what I mean. Below is what I meant by “all that ‘diatonic’ business:

Because of the intervallic structure of the tones, it might sound like modern diatonic tonality to some.

Re:

You will have to demonstrate that much more clearly to me. What exactly is "this"? And which particular Indonesian modes are you talking about? All of them?

Indonesia is a big country: I said “Javanese and Balinese”. In Java especially, pelog xylophone-like instruments are tuned approximately to the diatonic scale, and pelog hemitonic pentatonic scales are culled from there as subsets, you might say. This is in contradistinction to the slendro xylophone-like instruments tuned approximately to the anhemitonic pentatonic scale.

Now consider the major (tertian) triad: Various theorists, Rameau and Schenker among them, have supposed it to derive from the harmonic series, but that doesn’t explain the minor triad, a fortiori the diminished triad. The best explanation for the latter two is probably the one sanctified by actual practice. They are analogous to the major triad as a subset of the diatonic scale. In other words, we find the major triad within the diatonic scale and move it about, and in this way come across the minor triad and the diminished triad.

Just so, three anhemitonic pentatonic scales can be found within the diatonic scale. Moving these about we come across four analogous hemitonic scales. (In Pentatonic Scales for the Jazz-Rock Keyboardist by Jeffrey Phillips Burns, these are called “Mixolydian pentatonic”, “Lydian pentatonic”, “Ionian pentatonic”, and “Locrian pentatonic”.) If centers for the C, D, E, G, A anhemitonic pentatonic are C and A, the analogous centers for the pelog scale called Selisir in Bali, E, F, G, B, C, would be E and C.











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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    18:23 on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

"It’s difficult for me to see how that got to be the main question."

Well, it was important for me, that should be enough reason to ask, don`t you think so?

In any case, it should not be so much surprising, considering how far and long we have been drifting from the original subject.

But I think it's time to say this:

I appreciate these drifts that bring in new ideas and opportunities to learn new things, but I do not like the general tone of some your answers, such as mentioning the many times you were forced by my questions to repeat a concept. It is not what I consider to be a polite reply. And I always try to be polite, even in my deep ignorance.

If you are a teacher or professor (you sound like such when explaining some things), it would be a prudent idea to wonder if your students always understand your explanations at their first try. It could be that they are not the only to blame.

But I do not want to enter any fight, so for my part I consider this subject debated enough and I will stop checking it from mow on.

I thank you for your efforts.


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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    12:07 on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

travel2165
(260 points)

I wrote:

"Because of the intervallic structure of the tones, it might sound like modern diatonic tonality to some."

If careful readers parse this sentence ("to some") and the following sentence, they would realize that I was making the point that the tones did NOT imply a diatonic tonality. But, alas, some of our readers are not careful and like to jump to conclusions without reading and understanding all the words.

Scotch wrote:

"Indonesia is a big country: I said “Javanese and Balinese”. In Java especially, pelog xylophone-like instruments are tuned approximately to the diatonic scale, and pelog hemitonic pentatonic scales are culled from there as subsets, you might say. This is in contradistinction to the slendro xylophone-like instruments tuned approximately to the anhemitonic pentatonic scale."

I have been studying and performing Javanese and Balinese gamelan music intensively for over 40 years. So you really do need to answer my very specific question about the tonal centers in both Javanese and Balinese pelog "scales." You wrote that they are "analogous" to tonal centers in their Western pentatonic counterparts. I want to know how they are analogous. Sources will be appreciated.


<Added>

Scotch wrote:

"In Java especially, pelog xylophone-like instruments are tuned approximately to the diatonic scale...."

I'll have to show this to the Javanese gamelan tuners I know when they are making and/or tuning their instruments (which are mostly bronze and not wood). They will be quite amazed to learn that they are using the diatonic scale as an approximation.

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    14:47 on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

If careful readers parse this sentence ("to some") and the following sentence, they would realize that I was making the point that the tones did NOT imply a diatonic tonality.

If "careful readers parse the following sentence", What was all that diatonic business?, “they would realize that I was” asking why the hell you brought it up then. Never mind. Let it remain a mystery.

I have been studying and performing Javanese and Balinese gamelan music intensively for over 40 years. So you really do need to answer my very specific question about the tonal centers in both Javanese and Balinese pelog "scales." You wrote that they are "analogous" to tonal centers in their Western pentatonic counterparts. I want to know how they are analogous. Sources will be appreciated.

In the first place, I don’t need to do anything.

In the second place, if you’ve been studying this music for forty years, you’ve studied it for approximately thirty-nine and one-half years longer than I ever did (longer ago than I care to admit), so if you’ve got something you're dying to say about it, however much of a tangent it puts us on, have at it; don’t expect me to teach you.

In the third place, I think I did very specifically, clearly, and carefully, explain what I mean by analogous scales and analogous tonal centers. If there’s something in that explanation you don’t follow, why don’t you specifically say what it is?

I certainly don’t insist there’s necessarily any causal or other than fortuitous relation between the centers favored by modern Western music (by which I really mean in this case pop music of the rock era and folk music of the last few centuries) and the centers favored by any other culture, I just thought it any interesting concurrence--and to be perfectly frank, this is the bit about which my memory is most vague.

I'll have to show this to the Javanese gamelan tuners I know when they are making and/or tuning their instruments (which are mostly bronze and not wood). They will be quite amazed to learn that they are using the diatonic scale as an approximation.

The seven-note scale from which the pelog scales are taken are approximate to the diatonic scale, whether or not this is the intention of your friends. Many ethnomusicologists when describing instruments such as the gender don’t even bother to say “xylophone-like; they simply say “xylophone”. Then there is the theory that the African xylophone actually derives from Indonesia—which is not to suggest that I subscribe to it.





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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    14:56 on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

Since any stray remark here will evidently be voraciously seized upon and used against me in a court of law, I'd better pre-emptively correct a few typos. It's just too damn bad this site won't let me edit my postings.

"I just thought it any interesting concurrence..." should be "I just thought it an interesting concurrence...."

"The seven-note scale from which the pelog scales are taken are approximate to the diatonic scale..." should be "The seven-note scale from which the pelog scales are taken is approximate to the diatonic scale...."

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    15:27 on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

[jose-luis] Well, it was important for me, that should be enough reason to ask, don`t you think so?

Enough reason to ask, not enough reason to suggest the argument hinges on it.

In any case, it should not be so much surprising, considering how far and long we have been drifting from the original subject.

I'd been trying hard to steer us back--and then I foolishly brought up Java and Bali.

I do not like the general tone of some your answers, such as mentioning the many times you were forced by my questions to repeat a concept.

Not by your "questions", by your flat-out contradictions, ignoring flat-out the ideas to which they ought to have been, in any rational discourse, in reply.

And I always try to be polite, even in my deep ignorance.

You mean you regularly sprinkle your postings with fawning non-sequiturs? I don't think that's quite the same thing.

If you are a teacher or professor (you sound like such when explaining some things), it would be a prudent idea to wonder if your students always understand your explanations at their first try.

Nobody understands everything I say at first try (and neither do I understand everything everyone else says at first try), and when they ask for amplification I'm generally happy to provide it. That's a different thing entirely.

Note, by the way, that not wanting to fight is different from wanting to have the last word.

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    15:46 on Thursday, July 09, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

travel2165
(260 points)

You're just digging your hole deeper and deeper, attributing ideas and interpretations to "ethnomusicologists" without saying who they might be. As I said earlier, gamelan makers and musicians would raise their eyebrows in wry amusement at your vague (and still unsourced and unsubstantiated) interpretations of their music.

Absolutely nothing you have written here convinces me that you have the slightest idea about music practices in Java and Bali -- other than what you might remember from some stuffy reference books written by who-knows-whom.

But it's at least entertaining, so please keep it coming.

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    16:13 on Thursday, July 09, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

binx
(183 points)

Scotch sure sound a LOT like another poster on this forum. Do you happen to have an evil twin Scotch?

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    17:11 on Thursday, July 09, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

travel2165
(260 points)

Among many other generalizations, Scotch wrote:

Many ethnomusicologists when describing instruments such as the gender don’t even bother to say “xylophone-like; they simply say “xylophone”.

Perhaps several generations ago that might have been the case. Today virtually all trained ethnomusicologists writing about the subject properly call the gender a metallophone. With your knowledge of Greek music theory, surely you recall that xylo- means "wood." There is one solitary wood idiophone in a concert (rather than dance) gamelan, and that is the gambang.

<Added>

Deeper and deeper...

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    01:15 on Friday, July 10, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

I'm sorry, but this all strikes me as very desperate, pathetic, and sad--to say nothing of extremely childish. The one definite thing we can say about someone who has studied Javanese and Balinese music for "over forty years" is that such a person ought to be over forty years old, and we should thus expect him to behave as if he were over forty years old, rather than, say, three years old.

It seems to me a fair assumption that you have tacitly conceded the original argument and that you have nothing whatsoever to say about anything else, whether relevant to that original argument or not (nothing to say about Javanese and Balinese music, for example, despite your claim to expertise), and so I'll leave you to continue to babble to yourself. Knock yourself out.

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Re: Which is the oldest musical instrument in human mankind?    12:26 on Friday, July 10, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

travel2165
(260 points)

So when I point out errors in your interpretations and generalizations, you have nothing to say except that I'm acting immaturely? You don't even correct your errors? You don't provide a single reliable source? You just quit?

That's priceless!

You can believe your world music mythologies. But don't expect to spread your sadly dated myths here and not be called on them. Stick with other instrument forums where nobody challenges you.

Facts: 1
Scotch: 0

   





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