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#363648 - 09/04/05 04:40 AM Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
So it turns out that if someone says that classical music is beautiful and heavenly, they aren't expressing their opinion...that person is stating a fact. I have to give a little background info before I explain.

A few years ago I heard about a phenomenon called "The Divine Proportion", also known as the Golden Section, the Golden Ratio, Phi, and a few others. For those who are new to this ratio, it is 1.61803399:1 and is everpresent in nature. This is the number of female bees to every male bee you will find in any hive in the world. The number of petals in relation to the number of leaves on a flower. It is the basis on which a person's beauty is measured - the closer one's face fits this ratio, the more attractive they are. The list goes on, but I want to get to the point.

Turns out, classical music is littered with this ratio. One of the most fascinating examples I discovered is in Mozart's first sonata. His first movement is 100 measures. The exposition is 38 measures. The recapitulation and development section contains 62 measures. In a 100-measure movement, you cannot attain a closer ratio to the Divine Proportion. Apparently other composers such as Beethoven and Dvorak also toyed with this ratio as well. This floored me upon discovery and I wanted to share it with those who were unaware of its presence. Personally, I can't wait to stop those who try to convince me of Green Day's superiority to Mozart or Beethoven in their tracks by busting out this little nugget of information.

http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/24551

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#363649 - 09/04/05 04:49 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Ronel Augustyn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 527
Loc: Bloemfontein,SA
Did you know that the golden ratio is actually taken out of Fibonacci's number-series thingy?

Wow, this is really cool, coz a few years back I did a little research on Fibonacci and his golden ratio - for a maths project, no less!

Damn, if I only knew it then...

This is really cool, thanx, pianoforte!
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#363650 - 09/04/05 09:38 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
Cool, I still dont think its adaquate to call classical music superior though.

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#363651 - 09/04/05 09:56 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
from the article:


A clear answer to Putz's question required looking at more than one sonata. So Putz examined 29 movements from Mozart's piano sonatas-the ones that consist of two distinct sections. Then he plotted the number of measures in the development and recapitulation versus the total number of measures in each movement, which is the right side of the golden--section equality as given earlier. The results reveal a stunningly straight line-so straight that its correlation coefficient equals 0.99, or nearly the 1.00 of a perfectly straight line. Moreover, the distribution of the ratios of the number of measures in the development and recapitulation to the total number of measures in each movement lies tightly packed and virtually on top of the golden ratio.

Although those results might seem like solid evidence that Mozart did use the golden ratio when he divided the sections of his piano sonatas, Putz knew that another comparison must be made. If Mozart used the golden section, then the other ratio from the golden--section equality--in this case, the ratio of the number of measures in an exposition to those in the recapitulation and development--should also equal the golden ratio. A plot of those measurements also produces a very straight line, but one with a lower correlation coefficient of 0.938, which Putz interpreted as "somewhat less goodness of fit." In addition, the distribution of the ratios of the number of measures in the expositions to those in the recapitulation and development peaks near the golden ratio of 0.618, but it also covers a considerable spread, ranging from 0.534 to 0.833.

The results from the two analyses seemingly conflict. The first analysis suggests that Mozart probably did use the golden section, but the variability in the ratios from the second analysis suggests that he did not use the golden section. That disagreement, however, did not surprise Putz, who wrote that the mathematics behind the golden section predict that "what we have observed in these data is true for all data...." That is, the ratio of the longer segment to the overall length is always closer to the golden ratio than is the ratio of the shorter segment to the longer one. As such, Putz concentrated on the distribution of the latter ratio as constrained by sonata form, and the spread in the distribution of ratios from that analysis suggests that Mozart did not apply the golden section to his piano sonatas.

In the end, we may never know if Mozart composed his sonatas, even in part, from equations. "We must remember," Putz writes, "that these sonatas are the work of a genius, and one who loved to play with numbers. Mozart may have known of the golden section and used it." Nevertheless, Putz thinks that the considerable variation in the data "suggests otherwise." In any case, Mozart did create divine divisions in his piano sonatas-making the interplay of sections shine like sunlight. Yet he apparently timed those divisions with his mind--not with math, or at least not with the golden section.
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#363652 - 09/04/05 11:13 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
interesting. didn't know 'golden ratio' is applied to music, although it's widely applied in photography and cinemetography? can you apply it to music beside Mozart?

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#363653 - 09/04/05 11:29 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
tetrahedr0n Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 19
 Quote:
Did you know that the golden ratio is actually taken out of Fibonacci's number-series thingy?
The ratio of consecutive Fibonacci numbers keeps getting closer to the Golden Ratio, or, in math-speak

lim (x->infinity) F_x/F_(x-1) = (1+\sqrt5)/2

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#363654 - 09/04/05 01:51 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BruceD Offline
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Loc: Victoria, BC
I think it takes more than a piece's structure conforming to the proportions of the Golden Ratio to "prove" that classical music is superior to any other form of music.

Regards,
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#363655 - 09/04/05 01:54 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
WCSMinorCircuit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
Personally, I can't wait to stop those who try to convince me of Green Day's superiority to Mozart or Beethoven in their tracks by busting out this little nugget of information. [/b]
Haha, I was playing Good Riddance on the guitar when I read this.

I heard about this equation in Mozart and other composers a few months ago. It makes sense. It's odd though, because I'm sure other composers didn't know anything about this but they subconsciously followed it. It would be interesting to check my favorite pieces of all time and see how close they come to this ratio.

 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
I think it takes more than a piece's structure conforming to the proportions of the Golden Ratio to "prove" that classical music is superior to any other form of music.

Regards, [/b]
Agreed. Music is far more complex than even this "Golden Ratio" can be. And it's very opinionated as to what music genre/style is superior to another.
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#363656 - 09/04/05 02:09 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
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Loc: Oakland
In every piece of music I've seen, even Green Day's, in every 100 bars, the first 32 bars maintains a ratio of 32 to 68 with the rest of those 100 bars.

There are lots of things you can prove mathematically. This isn't one of them.
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#363657 - 09/04/05 02:32 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
kcoul058 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 972
Loc: UBC, Vancouver, Canada
I'm surprised noone has mentionned Bartok so far - he used the series, ratio and other natural mathematical elements far far more than any other composer in history... there's a great book on the subject but the name evades me at the moment.

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#363658 - 09/04/05 03:17 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Skriabin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/05
Posts: 551
Loc: li, new york
I find so often that,
The rock music I used to listen to, Led Zeppelin, The beatles.

They dont have that same effect that classical does

Led zeppelin wrote songs
Chopin wrote beautiful Masterpieces.

The time, and effort that goes into classical burns any other type of music. Back when I played bass guitar I could learn probebly every Led Zeppelin song in a day. I could learn a Scriabin pieces in maybe a week or two.

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#363659 - 09/04/05 03:53 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
I think it takes more than a piece's structure conforming to the proportions of the Golden Ratio to "prove" that classical music is superior to any other form of music. [/b]
Well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. :p I'm sure there's those out there that believe that Roseanne is better-looking than Anna Kournikova. But the fact is, Anna's face fits the Golden Ratio much closer than Roseanne's. Looks are based purely on math. Someone may be exclusively attracted to obese women, for whatever reason (perhaps they enjoy the feel of love handles, for example). Same thing with music. There's people out there that believe rap is superior to classical music. Even though that nature dictates that classical music is beautiful, there are those out there may claim rap is superior because it gets them "amped up for da club" so they may "get their sip on". So I suppose it all depends on what you seek in music. You seek beauty, listen to Mozart. You seek bass, listen to Ludacris.

In hindsight, I should have entitled the thread "Proof that music is inherently more beautiful than any other genre". ;\)

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#363660 - 09/04/05 05:16 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
virtuoso_735 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 996
Loc: California
I believe classical music to be superior to all other musics. I tend to think of other musics as savage musics with only a beat and a simple melody line. NOt complex enough for my taste. It's only MHO though.
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#363661 - 09/04/05 05:50 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
demosthenes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 61
Loc: New England
In my opinion, Britney Spears is the greatest musician ever to walk the earth.
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#363662 - 09/04/05 06:21 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
Britney Spear's baby is the next newborn mozart, just watch.

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#363663 - 09/04/05 06:21 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
There's people out there that believe rap is superior to classical music.
Your over-simplified rage at all things modern is, quite frankly, astounding. You know, I've never met a person who claimed "rap is superior to [insert genre here]." I only hear that from people I like to call "Classicists". People are, as you say, most certainly entitled to their own opinions, which, according to you, are inherently wrong if they disagree with whatever whimsical proof you can produce.
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#363664 - 09/04/05 06:45 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Once again I find myself in agreement with Bruce although I would go further and question whether the existence of a pattern has anything to do with musical quality in general.

I feel beauty and goodness in art are extremely complicated intuitive characteristics, far too deep and convoluted to be summarised in simple numerical and statistical properties of the music.

Once a mass of data reaches a certain heft it is possible to find all sorts of orders and patterns within it. This discovery, according to what I have read, goes back at least a century to the mathematician Frank Ramsay.

Also, there is the fact that much music considered good, particularly romantic music, does not depend on form for its effect but on the semantic, intuitive qualities in isolated segments - a particular turn of melody, a certain rhythm or a poignant harmony.

Classical music may well be superior to other idioms in the eyes of many, but I find it difficult to reason that this would be the case because of a very simple numerical property.
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#363665 - 09/04/05 07:37 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
But the fact is, Anna's face fits the Golden Ratio much closer than Roseanne's.
Perhaps, but Roseanne's body fits it better than Anna's.
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#363666 - 09/04/05 10:26 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
 Quote:
But the fact is, Anna's face fits the Golden Ratio much closer than Roseanne's.
Perhaps, but Roseanne's body fits it better than Anna's. [/b]
LOL!! Very funny, but very excellent point.

There's nothing substantial in this thread supporting classical music's superiority based on the ratio. If there is in fact occurances of this ratio in classical music that DO indeed account for its appeal, then I would put any amount of money on the fact that other styles of appealing music would also turn up occurances of the ratio, including rock. (keep in mind, that sentence started with a really big IF)

And to assert that its better because it takes longer to learn just makes no sense at all. It would be REALLY hard to learn to play chopsticks at 10 times the tempo you normally hear it, does that mean that would be a superior musical experience?
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#363667 - 09/04/05 11:39 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:
Your over-simplified rage at all things modern is, quite frankly, astounding. You know, I've never met a person who claimed "rap is superior to [insert genre here]."

People are, as you say, most certainly entitled to their own opinions, which, according to you, are inherently wrong if they disagree with whatever whimsical proof you can produce. [/b]
1. I never equated rap with "all things modern". I love techno, rock, punk, and yes, even some rap. There goes that. And if you've never met a person that DOES claim rap's superiority, you need to get out more. I suggest you start with a few Philly alleyways.

2. Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions. However, we are discussing facts. Facts, by definition, are correct. Now, you can dispute that the sky is blue. But you can't disagree with its color. Know why? Cause it's a fact.

3. I didn't produce this proof. Nature did, and scientists discovered it. I just passed along the information.

From BDB:[/b]
Perhaps (Anna's face fits Phi better than Roseanne's), but Roseanne's body fits it better than Anna's.

Untrue, which brings me to another appearance of Phi. The ratio of your height to fingertip to fingertip (when arms are spread) plays a role in your attractiveness. How? The closer it is to the Divine Proportion.

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#363668 - 09/04/05 11:47 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1257
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
This is among the craziest things I've ever heard. And regardless of Mozarts supposed adherence to some mathematical formula, his music bores me.

I expect if you looked for many other patterns in music you could find them too.
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#363669 - 09/05/05 12:14 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
His music can bore you all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that dozens of his works adhere to the number that makes the world go round. And you're right, listen to most rock songs and you'll see a pattern of the exact riff being used throughout the song, and with punk the same pattern exists in almost every song! They all say cops suck and booze rules.

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#363670 - 09/05/05 01:31 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Whatever... can anyone say "arrogance"?

I was once waiting for my Chinese take out and a customer walks in, sees my music books (I was on my way home from my lesson) and states, without provocation, "You know... jazz is most superior to classical music."

The guy was a jerk. I never once asked him for his opinion, and here he was pronouncing judgements!!!

No. no. no. Music does not need judgements. Whatever genre it is, it is legitimate.

It's like the coin saying "You know... heads is better than tails."

Yeeeaaaah. Like the coin would be anything without either of them!! Get real.

It's fine for heads to say "Heads are better than tails." and for tails to say "Tails are better than heads." But for the coin, heads and tails are the best!!
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#363671 - 09/05/05 01:56 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
An interesting take. I agree with you that music doesn't need judgements. All genres of music has value to someone, somewhere. All I'm saying is that even if I believed Mozart is trash, I couldn't deny that it is beautiful due to its consistency with the Universe's definition of beauty. I'm not trying to invalidate every other genre, just demonstrate how it is the only one that literally has natural beauty running through its very notes.

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#363672 - 09/05/05 02:06 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
The Universe's definition of beauty?
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#363673 - 09/05/05 02:07 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
derekrs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 115
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
1. I never equated rap with "all things modern". I love techno, rock, punk, and yes, even some rap. There goes that. And if you've never met a person that DOES claim rap's superiority, you need to get out more. I suggest you start with a few Philly alleyways.

2. Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions. However, we are discussing facts. Facts, by definition, are correct. Now, you can dispute that the sky is blue. But you can't disagree with its color. Know why? Cause it's a fact.

3. I didn't produce this proof. Nature did, and scientists discovered it. I just passed along the information.

[/QB]
1. I don't have much to say on your first point.

2. Facts may be correct, but the conclusions that come from them are not necessarily correct. There may be many instances of that Golden Ratio in music, but as someone said earlier, with a large enough sample size you can find many patterns. Even if this isn't the case, to equate a ratio with beauty may not be correct. what makes something beautiful (or ugly) seems a bit too subjective to equate entirely on one criterion being the Golden Ratio.

3. Yes, you didn't not produce this proof, but after reading the article, i would argue that this isn't even proof in the first place. In the investigation described in the article it appears that only Mozart is investigated. What about the other classical composers? It also appears that only piano sonatas were looked at. What about piano concertos, or other types of pieces? The article also does not seem to equate the occurance of the golden ratio with superiority or beauty of the music as you did. Even the person who did the study, Putz, acknowledges the "considerable variation in tha data" so this seems far from an absolute proof. This may be considered evidence, but even so, a large variation in the data (from not a very good sample in my opinion) doesn't make this very good evidence. One might be able to draw a correlation to this and Mozart's music, but even so, only his piano sonatas as it seems that was all that was examined.

On another note, i want to disagree with your comment that the sky being blue is a fact. The sky is only sometimes blue. During a sunset for example it goes that beautiful combination of oranges and reds as well as some other colours. At night the sky is quite black.


Perhaps better evidence for Classical music being superior is the fact that it is still being played today and has been listened to longer than the musicans of todays rock, rap, techno, pop, etc music have been alive. I am sure people can agree that if something has been listened to for over 200 years, it at least can't be bad and must be good in some respects.

To look at one study that even then only looked at one composer and only one type of music and call that proof doesn't seem right. The article itself didn't even call it proof. I am not saying your hypothesis that classical music is superior to every other genre, but i wouldn't call this proof...perhaps support for the hypothesis, which can be used with other evidence to eventually form a proof.
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#363674 - 09/05/05 02:19 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
The Universe's definition of beauty? [/b]
Yep. The same ratio of genders that bees use in their hives to maintain balance, is the same EXACT ratio that human faces use to attain attractiveness. That ain't a coincidence. I suppose you could attribute this definition to God, Mother Nature, the Universe or whatever your religion dictates...but humankind sure as hell didn't come up with this number.

Derekrs:

I understand your perspective and appreciate the way you disagreed with me. I did however use the sky being blue as an example. I could have easily used the grass being green instead, but that only stands true while it is alive and well (and it hasn't been painted :p ). Also, I want you to know that I used that one article as an example. When I decided to post my findings with such a controversial subject headline, I knew I would face public outcry and dissent. I googled "divine proportion Mozart" right quick so I would have an article to back my bold statements with.

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#363675 - 09/05/05 02:20 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
oops.

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#363676 - 09/05/05 02:58 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
I suggest you start with a few Philly alleyways.
This coming from someone who lives in California...or at least claims to. And where do you suppose it is that I live? I assume you've probably checked my profile, and were commenting based on that. I'd also have to presume you've lived in Philadelphia for a number of years to make that sort of comment...or are you again speaking outside your experience?

 Quote:
Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions. However, we are discussing facts. Facts, by definition, are correct. Now, you can dispute that the sky is blue. But you can't disagree with its color. Know why? Cause it's a fact.
You are equating a fact to a theory. The "golden number" is a number. This is a fact. In many cases, classical music closely correlates to it. This is also a fact. Beyond that, you are interpolating. Please, do try not to confuse that, won't you?

 Quote:
I didn't produce this proof. Nature did, and scientists discovered it. I just passed along the information.
You passed along an opinion, not a proof.

Bernard-[/b] Thank you. Those were beautiful words. \:\)

 Quote:
I agree with you that music doesn't need judgements.
Yet, you judge....

 Quote:
All I'm saying is that even if I believed Mozart is trash, I couldn't deny that it is beautiful due to its consistency with the Universe's definition of beauty.
This is an opinion, not a fact.

 Quote:
The Universe's definition of beauty?
Exactly....
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#363677 - 09/05/05 04:42 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
You're done. Your disrespectful and clumsy ways of twisting my words and misinterpreting my statements have worn me out. I do not feel I need to prove my home state to someone who claims to have memorized the 3rd movement of the "Moonlight" sonata in four days without a piano.

On a sidenote for the moderators, is there an ignore feature or a way of blocking members from posting on threads I've started? I'd like to continue this discussion with coherent posters.

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#363678 - 09/05/05 08:30 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Ronel Augustyn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/05
Posts: 527
Loc: Bloemfontein,SA
 Quote:
Originally posted by demosthenes:
In my opinion, Britney Spears is the greatest musician ever to walk the earth. [/b]
Does she ever just "walk" as you put it???
;\) :p
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#363679 - 09/05/05 11:05 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Herr_Gnome Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 83
Loc: Houston, TX
Anyone who's taken a couple semesters of calculus knows that the most common number in nature is e. I say we make all our music based off that number since apparently, this is how one gets beauty. (silly me, I thought it had to do with good melodies, harmonies, clever use of form and motives etc. Boy do I feel dumb.)

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#363680 - 09/05/05 12:38 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Herr_Gnome:
Anyone who's taken a couple semesters of calculus knows that the most common number in nature is e. I say we make all our music based off that number since apparently, this is how one gets beauty. (silly me, I thought it had to do with good melodies, harmonies, clever use of form and motives etc. Boy do I feel dumb.) [/b]
No need to be sarcastic, I see where you're coming from. Those qualities you mention are definitely vital to a good piece of music. The problem is that those qualities can be found in pretty much every good piece of music for every genre. Classical's the only one that ups the ante by lacing the Golden Ratio into its DNA, hence its beauty. (The most common number may be e, but the most beautiful is Phi).

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#363681 - 09/05/05 01:15 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BDB Offline
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Classical music does not have DNA; the Golden Ratio does not crop up anywhere in it; the assumption that it does comes from only one crudely devised example using a gross approximation; the assumption that other music does not is stated without examination, let alone proof; the Golden Ratio is only part of one now-declined culture's "standard" of beauty, and only for visual beauty at that.

The most common number in nature is zero, followed by one. If you restrict yourself to the irrational numbers, after square and other roots comes ? (pi) as the most common.
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#363682 - 09/05/05 01:33 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
Classical music does not have DNA; the Golden Ratio does not crop up anywhere in it; the assumption that it does comes from only one crudely devised example using a gross approximation; the assumption that other music does not is stated without examination, let alone proof; the Golden Ratio is only part of one now-declined culture's "standard" of beauty, and only for visual beauty at that.[/b]
Tell you what, we'll have a contest. I'll come up with as many books, magazine articles, and scientific journals citing the appearance of the Golden Ratio in classical music's DNA (that's a metaphor by the way) and you do the same for every other genre. We'll see who comes out on top.

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#363683 - 09/05/05 01:47 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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I have a better idea. Come up with one article that explains how the exact Golden Ratio could appear in any way in any music. No approximations, it has to be the exact ratio. You can even write one yourself.
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#363684 - 09/05/05 02:37 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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I outlined a great example in my first post. I suppose I could do some google work and fill up 10 pages worth of links backing me up, but I don't think Frank would appreciate that too much. ;\)

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#363685 - 09/05/05 02:47 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BDB Offline
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No, you didn't. I said "No approximations." It has to be exact. Not even to 10,000 decimal places. Exact.

Just explain it. One explanation, not a page of google search results. It's math. If it's there, it should be easy to explain.

Many years ago, someone around here wrote about a pile of crutches near a religious shrine, and said someone had written a sign and placed it nearby: "One artificial leg would be sufficient." The same principle goes here.
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#363686 - 09/05/05 03:16 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
No, you didn't. I said "No approximations." It has to be exact. Not even to 10,000 decimal places. Exact.

Just explain it. One explanation, not a page of google search results. It's math. If it's there, it should be easy to explain.[/b]
Why does it have to be exact? Jenny McCarthy's face doesn't fit the Golden Ratio exactly. That doesn't mean she isn't absolutely hot, it just means she isn't mathematically perfect looking. Same thing with music. Mozart's first sonata isn't PERFECT, it's just extremely beautiful. And I'm not sure what you mean about math being easy to explain...but there's a reason people spend years studying calculus.

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#363687 - 09/05/05 04:06 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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I know how we can solve this. You can list the most beautiful pieces which are based off the Golden Ratio(which is a visual thing, not an aural idea.) The rest of us can then show you there are pieces just as beautiful without it.

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#363688 - 09/05/05 04:25 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:


2. Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions. However, we are discussing facts. Facts, by definition, are correct. Now, you can dispute that the sky is blue. But you can't disagree with its color. Know why? Cause it's a fact.


[/b]
We are NOT discussing facts...we are discussing inferences, it is key to know the difference.

Your divine ratio theory about music is NOT a fact. A fact is something that be verified as true or false...they are not open to argument.

for example "it is raining outside" is a statement of fact. If it is actually raining outside, somebody can go outside and verify for a fact that it is raining.

The sky is blue is a fact, somebody can look outside and verify that the sky is blue.
----

Now an inference is an opinion that goes beyond what was actually observed. For example

FACT:[/b] the population of the Springfield metropolitan area recorded in the 2000 census was 325,721.

INFERENCE:[/b] Springfield is growing rapidly

FACT:[/b] On August 9, 2002 Judy Smith lived with 2 dogs

INFERENCE:[/b] Judy Smith likes Dogs

See the difference. One is indisputable and the other is not...is it a fact Judy likes dogs?...no, maybe she was babysitting for some dogs for a friend and really hates them. Maybe she just got some dogs and is realizing she doesn't like them too much we don't know...we are infering she likes them.

-----

Now, about the divine ratio theory. I don't know much at all about it, I can only trust the numbers you came up with are true and verifiable. Say they are...and most these things...including Mozart and Beethoven come closer to the divine ratio theory, it does not make their superiority in beauty a fact.

Assuming your correct with your numbers and they are verifiable...

FACT:[/b] Classical music is closer to the divine ratio theory then other types of music.

INFERENCE[/b] Classical music is therefore more beautiful then other types of music.


It is an INFERENCE to conclude that therefore the music is more beautiful, why? because it goes beyond the fact, it is not black and white, if it were we would not be having this discussion.

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#363689 - 09/05/05 04:31 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Herr_Gnome:
...the Golden Ratio(which is a visual thing, not an aural idea.)[/b]
The ratio of female bees to male bees in a hive (a.k.a. the Divine Proportion) isn't purely a visual phenomenon, as the bees don't balance the hive based on sight. The only way to solve this is to agree to disagree, apparently.

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#363690 - 09/05/05 04:47 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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 Quote:
Originally posted by snap_apple:

Your divine ratio theory about music is NOT a fact. A fact is something that be verified as true or false...they are not open to argument.

Assuming your correct. Then it is a FACT that classical music is closer to the divine ratio theory, that would be indisputable if the numbers work out.

However...it is an INFERENCE to conclude that therefore the music is more beautiful.

Why? because it goes beyond the fact, it is not black and white, if it were we would not be having this discussion. [/b]
Well, there are disputed facts and then there are undisputed facts. It is a fact that humans evolved from apes over millions of years, but there will be plenty of people who will tell you that God created the Universe in 7 days 5,000 years ago. So evolution is a disputed fact. By the same token, it is a fact that the measures of the first movement of Mozart's first sonata perfectly fits Phi when you compare the defined sections. 62/38 = Phi. Fact. Our definition of facial beauty is determined by Phi. Fact. Our measurement of beauty = Mozart's first sonata, first movement structure. Fact. And all three of those facts have been vehemently disputed by pretty much everyone who has contributed to this thread, and all of which I will defend with equal intensity...Fact. :p

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#363691 - 09/05/05 05:07 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BDB Offline
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 Quote:
62/38 = Phi.
No, it doesn't. Fact. You know what else? 62 and 38 are not Fibonacci numbers. Fact. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a bonacci.
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#363692 - 09/05/05 05:38 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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Oh you want to take it personal now, eh? We could do that. But I'd rather just take care of your argument really quick, here. In a 100 measure movement, you can't get a closer division to Phi than 62 and 38. Kind of like how you can't get a closer rational number division to Pi than 22 and 7. And yes, I know 62 and 38 are not Fibonacci numbers. However, the Divine Proportion exists anyway. The original sequence is merely a means to an end.

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#363693 - 09/05/05 05:52 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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 Quote:
Kind of like how you can't get a closer rational number division to Pi than 22 and 7.
I can. If you can't, you should go back and take high school math.
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#363694 - 09/05/05 07:29 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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Wow, you are THICK. I stated before that in a ONE HUNDRED MEASURE movement, it is IMPOSSIBLE to attain a closer division of measures to Phi than 62 and 38. Now if you can do the same thing for Pi with numbers 100 and below, do it. I await anxiously. OR, you can end this pi**ing contest right now by agreeing to disagree, like I suggested it earlier. It boils down to one truth: I believe that I have proved that Mozart's music is beautiful, you believe that I haven't. That's all there is to it. I won't try to convince you otherwise, and you for damn sure won't convince me.

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#363695 - 09/05/05 08:00 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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So you believe that if anybody writes 100 bars of music and divides it into a section 62 bars long and another section 38 bars long it is necessarily beautiful, no matter what the notes are in the bars? All you have proved to me that you don't know much about math, English, logic, statistics, or esthetics, among other things.
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#363696 - 09/05/05 08:25 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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Great, then there's nothing more to say. Good talkin' to ya!

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#363697 - 09/05/05 08:26 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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Are you saying that there is no evidence that can convince you that you have not proved Mozart's sonatas (since the study only looked at sonatas) are beautiful due to the occurance of the Golden ratio? This is of course assuming you are incorrect. You may very well be correct, but I don't think the evidence you presented is enough.

I'm going say that I do not believe you have proved your theory at least beyond a reasonable doubt, so i'll take what i think should be the default postition being skepticism or disbelief. I think what you have is more evidence or support, and if combined with other evidence, may be enough to have proof.

You should at least be open to the possibility that you are wrong. Any good scientist trying to prove a theory should be open to that possibility and not dismiss any evidence that they don't like. Science comes up with an explaination of some facts, and with evidence believes the explaination to be correct, but when new evidence comes, or the current evidence is proved to be invalid, science is willing to change its position.

The fact that you are not convinced by what some people have been posting, i can understand. I don't think that it was convincing either since it seemed like it was just ideas rather than actual evidence. I think this casts doubt, which is why i disagree with your position, because there are other possible explainations. These can be tested and proved either correct (which helps to disprove your theory), or incorrect (which adds support to your theory).

On another note, someone mentioned that humans evolved from apes using it as an example of evolution being a disputed fact. I will not get into an argument or debate over evolution. However, evolution says that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor, not that humans evolved from the present day ape. This seems to be a common misconception. Ape-like perhaps, but certainly not from what we now consider an ape.

pi~355/113~3.14159292 to prove to BDB that i took high school math and beyond. Mind you i just use the pi button on the calculator. Much easier.
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#363698 - 09/05/05 08:31 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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Actually, I just meant that BDB was never going to convince me as by his previous arguments showed me that he doesn't have what it takes. I may be able to be swayed by someone who presents valid arguments and shows me considerable evidence that beauty is not defined by Phi, however.

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#363699 - 09/05/05 08:33 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
derekrs Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
So you believe that if anybody writes 100 bars of music and divides it into a section 62 bars long and another section 38 bars long it is necessarily beautiful, no matter what the notes are in the bars? All you have proved to me that you don't know much about math, English, logic, statistics, or esthetics, among other things. [/b]
In his defence:

His math seems fine, as does his English. I could understand what he wrote. Logic may be a bit off, but that doesn't change the evidence. Statistics could be improved though...i'll give you that. I won't comment on esthetics since that seems too subjective.

As for your coment of having random notes in the 100 bars, i think it is reasonable to assume that his theory was to be applied to music and not a collection of random noise. This leads to another debate of when noise becomes music, but that is another story.
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#363700 - 09/05/05 08:40 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
derekrs Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
Actually, I just meant that BDB was never going to convince me as by his previous arguments showed me that he doesn't have what it takes. I may be able to be swayed by someone who presents valid arguments and shows me considerable evidence that beauty is not defined by Phi, however. [/b]
Yay...! \:\)
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#363701 - 09/05/05 08:51 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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I said music, not random noise. Given that you have taken it upon yourself to be a judge of logic and English usage, why do you assume things that he has not said, and not accept things that I explicitly said?
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#363702 - 09/05/05 09:13 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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How can a face fit a ratio???
Maybe there are 1.61803399 pimples for every freckle...
I think that's as far as I'll go.
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#363703 - 09/05/05 09:16 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
derekrs Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
I said music, not random noise. Given that you have taken it upon yourself to be a judge of logic and English usage, why do you assume things that he has not said, and not accept things that I explicitly said? [/b]
1. Yes, you said music, but you also said, "...no matter what the notes are in the bars." Since it didn't matter what the notes were i think i can put in random notes and still meet your criteria.

2. I simply made an opinion that disagreed wtih yours. You also made some comments on his english, etc.

3. I think my assumption is fairly reasonable.
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#363704 - 09/05/05 09:19 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
derekrs Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by boomerpizza:
How can a face fit a ratio???
Maybe there are 1.61803399 pimples for every freckle...
I think that's as far as I'll go. [/b]
That could be a lot of pimples for some people i know. :-)
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#363705 - 09/05/05 09:32 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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This article answers your question quite nicely, bommerpizza.

http://www.medhunters.com/articles/geometryOfHumanAnatomy.html

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#363706 - 09/05/05 09:42 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
BDB Offline
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So you assumed that he meant to choose numerals between 1 and 100, even though he he didn't say so, and you assumed that I meant random notes which are not musical, even though I said it was not. To me, that shows bias.

Well, as fascinating as this exercise in folly has been, I have other things to do. It's always fun to see people use science to make fools of themselves, but it's time to move on.
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#363707 - 09/05/05 09:55 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
snap_apple Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
Well, there are disputed facts and then there are undisputed facts. It is a fact that humans evolved from apes over millions of years, but there will be plenty of people who will tell you that God created the Universe in 7 days 5,000 years ago. So evolution is a disputed fact.
[/b]


No...there are no disputed facts, a fact is a verifiable observed event; a descriptive statement which is true.

Evolution is not a fact, it is a theory or a conclusion which stems from a number of verifiable facts. The facts are what back up the theory, the theory goes beyond the fact.

 Quote:
By the same token, it is a fact that the measures of the first movement of Mozart's first sonata perfectly fits Phi when you compare the defined sections. 62/38 = Phi. Fact.
[/b]

That would be a fact.

 Quote:
Our definition of facial beauty is determined by Phi. Fact.
[/b]

That is not a fact. My definition of facial beauty is not determined by Phi. Therefore the "Our" part of your sentence is not true. People dispute over what is attractive and what is attractive changes over time. Ever look at your parents year book...notice the change in style and taste and opinion on what is beautiful. Figure, skin color, facial features, etc, the taste in all of those change over time and through out culture.

What is beautiful in one culture is found absolutey repulsive in another.

True story: Leonardo DiCaprio and Gisele Bundchen (both considerd extremely beautiful) were vacationing deep in South America recently. Leo's an enviornmental freak and they were doing research deep in the rainforest away from anything remotely developed. They stayed with a tribe and it was reported that they actually found the two ugly, freakish, and strange. And trust me, these native South Americans would not be considered attractive by American tastes.

So you see it really boils down to taste, which is typically defined by time and the culture. Similar to music and what is considered good.


 Quote:

Our measurement of beauty = Mozart's first sonata, first movement structure. Fact.
[/b]

That isn't a fact...it doesn't make sense. Are you stating that we are defining beauty by it's structure? I'm not. It's not my definition therefore the "Our" in your statement is false. I believe, like with facial beauty, that there is much more to attraction then proportion. Facial features, skin tone, facial expressions...and that's just physical. The deeper meaning of beauty, the real meaning, lies beneath the skin, beneath the proportion..Just like in music.


 Quote:

And all three of those facts have been vehemently disputed by pretty much everyone who has contributed to this thread, and all of which I will defend with equal intensity...Fact. :p
[/b]

Only one was a fact the rest are you opinions based off that fact. The only fact was that the measures of the first movement of Mozart's first sonata perfectly fits Phi when you compare the defined sections. 62/38 = Phi. Everything else you have said is an opinion you came to from that one fact.

We are trying to tell you that the Divine Ratio theory is nice and all, but it does not prove beauty.

And good luck trying to convince somebody based on math and logic that something is beautiful because is beauty is far more complicated and far too personal to be universally proven. That mystery and unprovability is what makes it so magical.

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#363708 - 09/06/05 12:18 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by snap_apple:
That is not a fact. My definition of facial beauty is not determined by Phi. Therefore the "Our" part of your sentence is not true. People dispute over what is attractive and what is attractive changes over time.

Figure, skin color, facial features, etc, the taste in all of those change over time and through out culture.

What is beautiful in one culture is found absolutey repulsive in another.

Are you stating that we are defining beauty by it's structure? I'm not. It's not my definition therefore the "Our" in your statement is false. I believe, like with facial beauty, that there is much more to attraction then proportion. Facial features, skin tone, facial expressions...and that's just physical. The deeper meaning of beauty, the real meaning, lies beneath the skin, beneath the proportion..Just like in music.

And good luck trying to convince somebody based on math and logic that something is beautiful because is beauty is far more complicated and far too personal to be universally proven. That mystery and unprovability is what makes it so magical. [/b]
When I say "our", I mean Americans. Yes, there are many factors to OVERALL beauty, but as far as facial features go there's only one. I think we all know what that one is by now. ;\) And yes, not all cultures have the same definitions of beauty. You go to a remote village in South America that is completely out of touch with the world, unaware of any current events and you may find a few villagers that think a model is ugly. But there's a reason those two have been on the cover of every publication in the civilized world.

I believe one of my main obstacles in trying to persuade others of my stance on this is that everyone wants to believe that human beings are much more complicated than they actually are. You want to believe that you are attracted to someone because they "stir something deep in your soul", or "connect with you on a spiritual level". But really when you put ego aside, humans are just like any other animal. Men are attracted to women with curvaceous hips because it signifies the ability to bear children. We're attracted to long hair because it signifies a healthy specimen. Large breasts for the ability to care for our young. Women are attracted to men with big muscles and broad shoulders because it demonstrates the ability to protect her and their offspring. I'm speaking generally now, you'll always find that anomaly of women that are turned out by scrawny bald men with high voices, and men that like bald 400-pound women. But it's all biological when you get right down to brass tacks. Again, we're talking PHYSICAL beauty now. Physical beauty is to sonata structure as inner beauty is to compelling melodies and captivating rhythms.

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#363709 - 09/06/05 12:20 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
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How hilarious is this: When I finished writing my last post, the new FOX show "Prison Break" came on, and I hear this guy yell, "Tell me where I can find Fibonacci." He's a regular on the show I guess, heh.

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#363710 - 09/06/05 12:29 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
virtuoso418 Offline
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 Quote:
True story: Leonardo DiCaprio and Gisele Bundchen (both considerd extremely beautiful) were vacationing deep in South America recently. Leo's an enviornmental freak and they were doing research deep in the rainforest away from anything remotely developed. They stayed with a tribe and it was reported that they actually found the two ugly, freakish, and strange. And trust me, these native South Americans would not be considered attractive by American tastes
From the perspective of a closed society, anything that differs within their culture projects scorn or negative feedback. Earlier tribes rejected other tribe's rituals and vice versa. But does that mean that one is right and one is wrong? The justification of a tribe and its opinion doesnt account for the subjectivity of beauty. It also certainly does not exemplify humanity's instinct of beauty either. The example of the tribe is too narrow. The fact that these tribal people see those movie stars in a ugly or strange way doesn't mean they aren't beautiful and, it doesnt mean that they are.

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#363711 - 09/06/05 12:31 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
virtuoso418 Offline
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Wow, it just finished nearly two and a half hrs ago over here. Anways, enjoy the show im heading to bed.

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#363712 - 09/06/05 02:21 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
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 Quote:
On another note, someone mentioned that humans evolved from apes using it as an example of evolution being a disputed fact.
It was Mr. Pianoforte himself. Of course, he also considers this a fact:

 Quote:
I do not feel I need to prove my home state to someone who claims to have memorized the 3rd movement of the "Moonlight" sonata in four days without a piano.
...which of course, it is not.

 Quote:
When I decided to post my findings with such a controversial subject headline, I knew I would face public outcry and dissent.
And yet, with all that time to consider your retorts, you have failed to accurately and/or maturely address most of the retorts in the forum. (And then you resort to berating the forum member with an opposing viewpoint...)

 Quote:
i think it is reasonable to assume that his theory was to be applied to music and not a collection of random noise.
This may be true, derekrs, but you must remember that once we walk down that path, we fall to presumption, and opinion. If you say that Mr. Pianoforte's theory is only true when you regard music, and not a perfectly assembled collection of noise, what you are doing is saying that "the beautiful object is beautiful because it is already beautiful". We must avoid this sort of trouble. If the contention is that a 100 bar phrase, perfectly broken to fit the "Divine Ratio", is beautiful, then we must purposely allow any and every random combination of notes in that phrase. ;\)

 Quote:
To me, that shows bias.
There is bias latent throughout this entire discussion. That is the trouble with scientific arguments among artists...and many seem to take it personally when you point out evidence of bias. There are many scientists in this forum, from what I've gathered, but it seems many have chosen to stay out of this thread. I think I'm beginning to see why. ;\)

 Quote:
People dispute over what is attractive and what is attractive changes over time. Ever look at your parents year book...
Forget the yearbook...take a look at sculptures of mythological goddesses back in "BC" era. (You can observe this particularly well among the Arabian and Eastern religions.) Notice what "beautiful" was back then? I daresay, most definitely not "beautiful" by today's standards. Then look at Renaissance art...those women would NEVER get a Playboy centerfold, let alone a modeling contract. The only conformity may be men, whose chiseled features have always been desired, it would seem. (However, the "body hair" dispute remains...)

 Quote:
The deeper meaning of beauty, the real meaning, lies beneath the skin, beneath the proportion..
This is my standard as well...whether or not the inner qualities shine through a person, and whether or not those inner qualities are inherently desirable (to me).

 Quote:
Everything else you have said is an opinion you came to from that one fact.
Yes, I've already tried explaining this to him as well. He does not seem particularly interested in listening to reason, though.

 Quote:
When I say "our", I mean Americans.
*points to self* American. Now, "our" is still a false statement.

 Quote:
Yes, there are many factors to OVERALL beauty, but as far as facial features go there's only one. I think we all know what that one is by now.
If it is only one, it is one that has yet to be stated, because factually-speaking, the "Golden Ratio" theory cannot be singular or unanimous, as evidenced by more than one other poster.

 Quote:
You go to a remote village in South America that is completely out of touch with the world, unaware of any current events and you may find a few villagers that think a model is ugly. But there's a reason those two have been on the cover of every publication in the civilized world.
A few? Try the whole village.... And the answer to why she is on the cover of every magazine is because that is what the mass media tells society is beatiful. "Sex sells" is a marketing mantra that runs the current advertising world. Sex doesn't necessarily have anything to do with beauty. Beauty doesn't necessarily have anything to do with mass media-produced images.

 Quote:
I believe one of my main obstacles in trying to persuade others of my stance on this is that everyone wants to believe that human beings are much more complicated than they actually are.
No, your main obstacle has been your failure to understand the definition of a "fact", and your continued presentation of your personal opinion as a fact. I am not the only person who has said this. I think nearly every other poster has said this. Apparently, it hasn't sunk in yet.

I think we're all very interested in what you have to say, but your lack of facts, and your continued use of opinion instead, is really destroying any scientific argument you may want to create for your position. I'm more than willing to listen to facts, but, as snap_apple has said, you have only presented one: the ratio of Mozart's sonata and its close approximation to the "Golden Ratio".

 Quote:
But it's all biological when you get right down to brass tacks.
Ever hear of the "Bio-Psycho-Social" model? "It" is NEVER about just one of the three.
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#363713 - 09/06/05 04:10 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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Dude, I'm not gonna do the whole itemized list of comebacks with you anymore. However, if anybody else has anything else they'd like to contribue they're more than welcome. Now...pretty please, with a cherry on top, take a hike while I patiently await the ignore function?

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#363714 - 09/06/05 04:21 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
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Half of them don't speak to you, so relax...or actually read the ones that do, and think of a well-educated response (instead of the typical "ignore function" propaganda). ;\)
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#363715 - 09/06/05 07:35 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
-Frycek Online   confused
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"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion."
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#363716 - 09/06/05 12:56 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:
(instead of the typical "ignore function" propaganda)[/b]
Propaganda...heh, you got issues. No, really. I don't mind continuing this discussion, but your constant interruptions are making it difficult for me to focus on legitimate points. In addition to defending the classical music issue, I have to constantly babysit you to make sure you stay in line. Be the bigger man - say no more, and walk away.

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#363717 - 09/06/05 01:35 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
vapour Offline
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Registered: 04/23/05
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Loc: Berkshire, UK
 Quote:
Untrue, which brings me to another appearance of Phi. The ratio of your height to fingertip to fingertip (when arms are spread) plays a role in your attractiveness. How? The closer it is to the Divine Proportion.
That is completely wrong. Anyone with arms even 100mm shorter or longer would look quite unattractive. Now keep in mind that almost eveyone's height is virtually the same as their arm span.

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#363718 - 09/06/05 01:52 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Lacquer Offline
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The golden ratio plays some role in aesthetics, for sure, but to think it's the be-all and end-all is utterly ridiculous.

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#363719 - 09/06/05 02:05 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
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 Quote:
No, really. I don't mind continuing this discussion, but your constant interruptions are making it difficult for me to focus on legitimate points.
Therein lies your problem. My points are both legitimate and happen to agree with nearly everything else that has been said in the three pages of this discussion. Countering my points, instead of attacking me, would be a good "first base". Right now, you're 0-2. ;\)

 Quote:
Be the bigger man
I'll openly admit I'm probably not the biggest man here, but with comments like "I have to constantly babysit you", among others (of yours), it's not too difficult to succeed here. ;\)
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#363720 - 09/06/05 02:06 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
pianistcomposer Offline
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Registered: 06/12/05
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Frycek:
"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion."
Francis Bacon [/b]
Yeah, I'll bet Bacon was a choice piece of a**.

\:D

Seriously...what is this pervasive need to "define" beauty going on in this thread? Isn't it enough that it exists, and that we all move by attraction, no matter how we try to qualify or quantify that attraction in its details? It's not like you'll be able to change it or gain some kind of control over it, anyway, no matter how many "scientific arguments" you use to prop up this or that assertion. Yeah, phi, very interesting, great. But only to a point. Again, it's not like understanding phi will change who or what you're attracted to; what it *may* wind up doing, if you're not careful, is allowing you to abstract yourself from real relationship with the person (or sonata, or whatever it is you're attracted to), to put a barrier or lens up between you, creating just that degree of distance and, therefore, lack of participation. Really, when you get right down to it, it amounts to mental masturbation rather than real involvement with something. What was your motivation to bring it up to begin with, anyway? That's what interests me.
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#363721 - 09/06/05 02:17 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by pianistcomposer:
What was your motivation to bring it up to begin with, anyway? That's what interests me. [/b]
My motivation mainly stemmed from a conversation I had a few weeks ago with a coworker. He was playing a rap song that he wrote for me, and telling me how drugged up he was when he recorded it. I expressed that it turned out fairly well, and then asked what he was on. He said he had a few beers, smoked a blunt, and took a pill of ecstacy beforehand. I sort of laughed, and then he asked me if I ever played the piano stoned. I told him that it affects technique too much, and he didn't understand. I explained to him the science of neural stimuli and the link between motor skills and impairment from substances. He then tried to explain to me that rapping and playing the piano were of the same vein, and I should be able to play the piano under the influence as well as he was able to rap. I defended my position the best I could, but didn't have a real defined answer how the art of pianism is infinitely more complex and refined than the art of rap. Well, now I do. Plus I just like dispelling the myth that humans are beautiful and unique snowflakes. ;\)

Derelux, you're absolutely right! I hadn't looked it THAT way before.

vapour, take a look at this:
http://www.medhunters.com/articles/geometryOfHumanAnatomy.html

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#363722 - 09/06/05 02:33 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
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 Quote:
I sort of laughed, and then he asked me if I ever played the piano stoned. I told him that it affects technique too much, and he didn't understand. I explained to him the science of neural stimuli and the link between motor skills and impairment from substances. He then tried to explain to me that rapping and playing the piano were of the same vein, and I should be able to play the piano under the influence as well as he was able to rap. I defended my position the best I could, but didn't have a real defined answer how the art of pianism is infinitely more complex and refined than the art of rap. Well, now I do.
I think the real argument should be that he could not rap as well while under the influence. Technically, language incorporates a much more complex brain function than simple motor skills, so it should be more difficult to rap under the influence than play piano under the influence, disregarding, of course, the state of intoxication. (After what your friend said he did, I would assume "heavily intoxicated", which has begun to affect more levels of the brain than simple motor skills.)

But, cranially-speaking, rapping is a more complex process than piano-playing because the former incorporates language, while the latter is more motor skills.

Perhaps a more proper stance would be to explain to your friend that, while speech is not among the first pathways affected by drugs and/or alcohol, simple motor skills are. So, while he can continue to speak effectively long after his simple motor skills are impaired, the ability to play the piano is affected immediately--as soon as these simple motor skills become impaired.

Now, I'm not sure how well your friend understands the concepts of all of that, but it might help you explain it a little better to him. And don't put him on the defensive by telling him rap is "simplistic" and classical music is "divine". Not only will it prevent your point from being heard, but (as pointed out above) rap is not "simplistic". ;\)
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#363723 - 09/06/05 02:35 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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Right again, Derul!

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#363724 - 09/06/05 03:39 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
snap_apple Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
I believe one of my main obstacles in trying to persuade others of my stance on this is that everyone wants to believe that human beings are much more complicated than they actually are. You want to believe that you are attracted to someone because they "stir something deep in your soul", or "connect with you on a spiritual level". But really when you put ego aside, humans are just like any other animal. Men are attracted to women with curvaceous hips because it signifies the ability to bear children. We're attracted to long hair because it signifies a healthy specimen. Large breasts for the ability to care for our young. Women are attracted to men with big muscles and broad shoulders because it demonstrates the ability to protect her and their offspring. I'm speaking generally now, you'll always find that anomaly of women that are turned out by scrawny bald men with high voices, and men that like bald 400-pound women. But it's all biological when you get right down to brass tacks. Again, we're talking PHYSICAL beauty now. Physical beauty is to sonata structure as inner beauty is to compelling melodies and captivating rhythms.
[/b]
Well, thats the thing...humans are very complex...what is beautiful is very complex. Sure there is a shallow, natural, instinctive aspect to what is beautiful on the surface...but, that all changes once personality gets involved. Just like in music, like you mentioned yourself...when inner beauty, the personality, comes in (compelling melodies and captivating rhythms) what is attractive on the surface changes...for better or worse.

And, with humans, personality shows itself in many ways, including facial expressions. We can tell if a person is arrogant, shy, confident, goofy, happy, etc just by the way they express themselves with their face, or by the way the walk. So even on the surface a beautiful person can become ugly or more attractive depending on the type of vibe they give off communicating through their face.

Now, it gets far more complex when you get to know a person. How they speak, what they have to say, how compatible they are with you...their definently is a very deep, spiritual connection that occurs after spending time with somebody.

This connection know doubt has a power to mask any physical imperfections. That's why you get people that say.... "how can she be with him...she's too good for him." well maybe she sees something in the person we can't...why? cause what is beautiful is very personal and is affected by many different things, especially if you've grown to like specific tastes.

And I believe that music is exactly the same way. What is beautiful in music changes from person to person from culture to culture from time to time and is defined by much deeper aspects then just structural perfection. Music is complex. People are complex. We aren't computers, these are the things that seperate us from machines.

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#363725 - 09/06/05 03:47 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
snap_apple Offline
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by the way your subject line is

"Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre"[/b]

...superiority and beauty are two totally different things...

I could be superior to a person...say a boss at a job...and be far more ugly and imperfect. I do not yet understand the correlation between the divine ratio theory and superiority.

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#363726 - 09/06/05 03:55 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by snap_apple:
I do not yet understand the correlation between the divine ratio theory and superiority. [/b]
Well, my stance is that the Divine Proportion = beauty. Everyone has their own standards of music, but I rate good music based on its beauty. I may listen to Eminem and Snoop Dogg when I'm in a club, but that's only cause I'm wasted and just want to party. But if I really want music to move and inspire me, I'll listen to classical. So it looks like I should've revised my headline once again, to "Proof that classical music is the most beautiful of all the genres". \:D

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#363727 - 09/06/05 04:10 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
virtuoso418 Offline
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Registered: 10/29/03
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 Quote:
rapping is a more complex process than piano-playing because the former incorporates language, while the latter is more motor skills.

Perhaps a more proper stance would be to explain to your friend that, while speech is not among the first pathways affected by drugs and/or alcohol, simple motor skills are. So, while he can continue to speak effectively long after his simple motor skills are impaired, the ability to play the piano is affected immediately--as soon as these simple motor skills become impaired.
There are many variables that contribute to brain activity when contrasting rapping and piano. It depends on the deviations of degree to how the intensity of each activity is done. For example, to what degree of concentration is required for playing a piece and what particular piece. As for rapping, is he free-styling or just rehersing words again? (repetition or creativity)

But i think your aim was at a general view of simple motor and language fuctions.

When you play piano, you have factors involved neurologically. The pyramidal tract which serves as the major pathway to the central nervous system, interconnecting regions of the basal ganglia, and cerebellum. If you want real jargon(for you med students on here):
the basal ganglia's major receptive component is the striatum. the occulomotor nerve transmits part of motor activity via "motor circuit", the "occulomotor circuit", the "dorsolateral prefrontal circuit", the "lateral orbitofrontal circuit" and the "anterior cingulate circuit". Each particular circuit receives multiple corticostritate inputs that are progressively integrated in passage through the basal ganglia. Hence a more basic level of complexity.

Language is expressed through the frontal lobe for the most part. there are other various small parts that coincide with functionality. But language has a more direct connection, simply put. However, the complexity of language stimulates activity in the frontal regions by +- .007 volts per second and increases ten folds from there... if i remember correctly. But there is a rate calculation in which activity will require, or should i say, will be more complex than the other.

So rap's demanding cognitive functions may or may not surpass piano's. But it cannot be determined with such ambiguous scenarios.

 Quote:
But, cranially-speaking
Cranium refers to the skull, not neurological functions.

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#363728 - 09/06/05 04:32 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
snap_apple Offline
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Registered: 09/21/03
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
But if I really want music to move and inspire me, I'll listen to classical. So it looks like I should've revised my headline once again, to "Proof that classical music is the most beautiful of all the genres". \:D [/b]
So now...again I don't know too much about the divine ratio theory, but are we talking about all classical music from Bach to Barber or are talking about classical music...the first movement of Mozarts first sonata.

Cause it seems to me that these numbers won't work for most of the repertoire. Seems that in the classical repertoire that much of the music would be ugly or imperfect. I know that you mentioned the repertoire is litterd with examples, care to sight anymore.

Oh, and are there other factors that we need to take into consideration when dealing with music. Like you used the ratio of measures of the recap and the exposition. What about the development section? what about the other movements? what about meter changes? what about amount of notes per measure?

Are you sure this isn't a coincidence? what other proof can you offer that makes it not a coincidence?

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#363729 - 09/06/05 04:40 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
swingal Offline
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Loc: England
I agree very much with Ted.

In my view which is a broad one and a long term one. I have been a music lover for over 60 years. It is what it does to my brain and my soul that attracts me. It is the affect of the sonic vibrations to my mind and my whole being. My reason for this wonderful medium and what it does to my senses.

I love Mozart and Chopin and George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and so on but not only their original composition but in the case of the final two I like musicians interpretation, particularly piano ineterpretations.

Art is a simple form of beauty to the eye and the ear but it is those of us fortunate in having the gift of appreciation of that art that are the greatest beneficaries.

Alan

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#363730 - 09/06/05 04:49 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
derekrs Offline
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Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
 Quote:
Originally posted by snap_apple:
I do not yet understand the correlation between the divine ratio theory and superiority. [/b]
Well, my stance is that the Divine Proportion = beauty. Everyone has their own standards of music, but I rate good music based on its beauty. I may listen to Eminem and Snoop Dogg when I'm in a club, but that's only cause I'm wasted and just want to party. But if I really want music to move and inspire me, I'll listen to classical. So it looks like I should've revised my headline once again, to "Proof that classical music is the most beautiful of all the genres". \:D [/b]
I would go a step further and replace "proof" and "classical music" to "evidence" and "Mozart's piano sonatas" respectively.

1. Proof i think is a bit strong. Evidence is more appropriate, as i feel for a proof you need more evidence, and i don't think you gave enough with the citation of that study on Mozart's piano sonatas. This leads to my reason for the second change in your statement.

2. The link you provided was to a study looking only at Mozart's piano sonatas and the occurance of this Golden Ratio. Yet despite this you come to a conclusion that this is proof (though I would say evidence) for Classical music. If a study was done on a good sample of classical music such as different composers and looking at all their music, and found the same occurance of this ratio, then we would have evidence that could be applied to classical music.
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#363731 - 09/06/05 11:08 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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From my first post - "His first movement is 100 measures. The exposition is 38 measures. The recapitulation and development[/b] section contains 62 measures."

http://www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibInArt.html#music
Click on the "Fibonacci and Music" link on the left near the top for examples in Beethoven's Fifth, and links to books on the subject of the Divine Proportion in Bartok, Debussy, Schubert, Bach, and Satie. And yes, much of the music in the classical repertoire IS imperfect - the Golden Ratio doesn't guarantee beauty, it's just the foundation for it. Random notes that fits Phi won't be beautiful, but add a little melody here and there and you may have something. And no, I can't be sure it's a coincidence. I'd have to wait until time travel is invented and ask the Masters about that.

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#363732 - 09/07/05 12:54 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
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Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
As for rapping, is he free-styling or just rehersing words again? (repetition or creativity)
Good point, but even still, the brain still has to recall the words in repetition. I think, for the example, it would only be fair to compare repetition to repetition, and creativity to creativity.

 Quote:
But i think your aim was at a general view of simple motor and language fuctions.
In general, yes. If what followed this statement is truly your understanding (and not a quick google, or similar search), then you definitely have a much deeper understanding of the brain than I do. Mine is very rudimentary, based on a couple 101 courses, two or three medical books, and my neuropsych friends who continually talk to me about their work (even though I generally fail to comprehend half of what they're saying without having it broken down into at least four syllable words :p ).

 Quote:
So rap's demanding cognitive functions may or may not surpass piano's. But it cannot be determined with such ambiguous scenarios.
This, I would whole-heartedly and readily agree to. (It was partially my point in countering Mr. Pianoforte's argument, but you have said it with a deeper understanding of brain function than I could accomplish.)

 Quote:
Cranium refers to the skull, not neurological functions.
Of course it is...such a homespun phrase, I'd hoped would have been recognized as genial comic relief. ;\)
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#363733 - 09/07/05 01:16 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
derekrs Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 115
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
From my first post - "His first movement is 100 measures. The exposition is 38 measures. The recapitulation and development[/b] section contains 62 measures."

http://www.mcs.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibInArt.html#music
Click on the "Fibonacci and Music" link on the left near the top for examples in Beethoven's Fifth, and links to books on the subject of the Divine Proportion in Bartok, Debussy, Schubert, Bach, and Satie. And yes, much of the music in the classical repertoire IS imperfect - the Golden Ratio doesn't guarantee beauty, it's just the foundation for it. Random notes that fits Phi won't be beautiful, but add a little melody here and there and you may have something. And no, I can't be sure it's a coincidence. I'd have to wait until time travel is invented and ask the Masters about that. [/b]
yay...some new evidence with your Fibonacci and Music link. I'm not going to check to see if what i read there is valid. Assuming that it is, my statement suggesting replacing classical music with Mozart's piano sonatas is probably no longer valid. With some of the examples given on that site (assuming they are valid) it seems fine to apply this to classical music in general. I still think this is evidence and not proof.

It may be interesting to test this by getting classical music without this occurance and music with it and having people judge the music in a double blind study. Anyone doing research in psychology or music here? Perhaps it's already been done somewhere and published in a journal.
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#363734 - 09/07/05 01:28 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Derulux Offline
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Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Perhaps it's already been done somewhere and published in a journal.
It probably has been, but it would be interesting to carry out nonetheless. Considering the size of the human population, and its varying definitions of "beauty", and the considerable size of the repertoire of classical music (and the generations and stylistic identities it transcends), this would be a very difficult study to conduct. I think the definitions would be as interesting as the results, and indeed, the definitions could probably swing results one way or the other depending upon wording.

We could have given it a go in the forums (just to see whether or not there was enough "evidence" to "go to trial"), had this thread never popped up. But now too many people have been privy to what sort of study we'd be conducting, and it would no longer be "blind". Drat...
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#363735 - 09/07/05 01:30 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
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Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by derekrs:
It may be interesting to test this by getting classical music without this occurance and music with it and having people judge the music in a double blind study. Anyone doing research in psychology or music here? Perhaps it's already been done somewhere and published in a journal. [/b]
That's actually a really good idea. If I had the means, resources, intelligence, and motivation I just might think about doing something like that. :p Oh well, maybe I'll toss it to my kid as a science fair project in a few decades.

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#363736 - 09/07/05 04:52 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
snap_apple Offline
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Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 710
 Quote:
Originally posted by Deus ex Pianoforte:
From my first post - "His first movement is 100 measures. The exposition is 38 measures. The recapitulation and development[/b] section contains 62 measures." [/b]
my bad, didn't see the development part \:\)

 Quote:
Everyone has their own standards of music, but I rate good music based on its beauty....if I really want music to move and inspire me, I'll listen to classical.[/b]
I have a question for you though...do you really think music has to be beautiful to be good. That is what I am infering from your statement

"I rate good music based on it's beauty"

That tells me that if a piece is ugly in anyway or unbeautiful that it isn't as good or inspirational in your book.

But is that what music is about. I sometimes need ugly music...that's why I like Prokofiev or Ligeti or heavy metal. Cause it's dirty, it's raw it's harsh it's angry...and thats life. I like some music that is sad, quirky, reptitive, funny, relaxed...cause that's life.

Imperfections is life...imperfections can be the best things in the world. Uglieness is a part of life. To me much of great art deals with the agitation of life and it's biting imperfections.

So why must it be beautiful to be good?

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#363737 - 09/07/05 10:45 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
 Quote:
I think, for the example, it would only be fair to compare repetition to repetition, and creativity to creativity.
Heh, that would make things a lot easier.

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#363738 - 09/07/05 11:25 AM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by snap_apple:
I have a question for you though...do you really think music has to be beautiful to be good. That is what I am infering from your statement

"I rate good music based on it's beauty"

That tells me that if a piece is ugly in anyway or unbeautiful that it isn't as good or inspirational in your book.

But is that what music is about. I sometimes need ugly music...that's why I like Prokofiev or Ligeti or heavy metal. Cause it's dirty, it's raw it's harsh it's angry...and thats life. I like some music that is sad, quirky, reptitive, funny, relaxed...cause that's life.

Imperfections is life...imperfections can be the best things in the world. Uglieness is a part of life. To me much of great art deals with the agitation of life and it's biting imperfections.

So why must it be beautiful to be good? [/b]
Very interesting points. I once heard a modeling professional say that one of the special qualities of a supermodel is to be almost ugly. A perfect face is uninteresting, but some quirk or idiosyncracy that borders on ugly can transform a woman into an exotic beauty. Cindy Crawford's mole I believe was offered as an example. Without her mole, she would be nobody.

I battled with this issue of beauty in music extensively when i was in music school, at a school where "new music" was highly celebrated. All these hideous concoctions of theory tricks and self proclaimed clever novelties in composition that just sound like cr@p. It always seemed to me that people respond to music at the gut level, and these pieces try to appeal to the intellect. Maybe very interesting amongst the composers themselves, but to a general audience, PEW!! Maybe 'beauty' isnt the requisite quality I'm looking for, but how about "aesthetic appeal"? Prokofiev certainly has that.
_________________________
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

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#363739 - 09/07/05 12:15 PM Re: Proof that classical music is superior to every other genre
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2738
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by Siddhartha:
Very interesting points. I once heard a modeling professional say that one of the special qualities of a supermodel is to be almost ugly. A perfect face is uninteresting, but some quirk or idiosyncracy that borders on ugly can transform a woman into an exotic beauty. Cindy Crawford's mole I believe was offered as an example. Without her mole, she would be nobody.

I battled with this issue of beauty in music extensively when i was in music school, at a school where "new music" was highly celebrated. All these hideous concoctions of theory tricks and self proclaimed clever novelties in composition that just sound like cr@p. It always seemed to me that people respond to music at the gut level, and these pieces try to appeal to the intellect. Maybe very interesting amongst the composers themselves, but to a general audience, PEW!! Maybe 'beauty' isnt the requisite quality I'm looking for, but how about "aesthetic appeal"? Prokofiev certainly has that. [/QB]
This is the first interesting post (to me) in this thread. One of the things I dislike in much modern music is unrelenting dissonance. Don't get me wrong I love modern music, heck I compose modern music, but when it's uniformly highly dissonant it has no perspective. Dissonance is like hot peppers, a little all the time is great, a lot in spots is great, but a lot all the time is torture. Conversely, consonance (beauty) all the time is equally boring. Mix your consonance and dissonance in an intellectually challenging and dramatic way and (if done well) you get wonderful music. So like the supermodel who needs the spice of ugliness to stand out, music with the spice of dissonance can also stand out. But there is such a thing as too much.

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