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Additive music - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
dronon
dronon
Additive music
I like certain pieces of minimalist music. Not all of it. I never want to listen to Philip Glass' Einstein on the Beach ever again, but I'll always enjoy Glassworks and it was also great to hear parts of the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack show up in Watchmen. On the other hand, the brief satire made of him in an early South Park episode is spot-on.

Another composer frequently mentioned alongside Glass is Steve Reich. Reich sometimes makes "additive music", where he'll have a repetitive background thing going on, and then he'll play a single note, which repeats each cycle. Then he adds a second note, and both notes repeat. Then he adds another note, so now there's three repeating... and he'll keep adding notes to the cycle until it's a closed melody and you're not quite sure where it originally began anymore. I enjoy this.

Here's a short example, from Music for 18 musicians. Listen to the foreground xylophone (or marimba, or whatever it is), and you'll hear what I mean by additive. (Incidentally, there's also a bass pattern near the end, following a beat that goes 6-4-3-3-2-1-[5 silent] that I really like.)

Now here's a second example, self-plagiarising slightly, from Reich's Electric Counterpoint. By the way, if this is giving you a melodic sense of deja-vu, it's because some of it was used in this.

Why am I bothering to post about this? Because I just found Tonematrix. Fill in any squares you like. Time moves from left to right. Add more squares, slowly, and voila! You too can make additive music! Yep, I'm enjoying this thing a *lot*.
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Comments
thewerewolf From: thewerewolf Date: April 12th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Tonematrix seems to be a simplified version of the tenori-on:

http://tenori-on.yamaha-europe.com/uk/

which is probably a good thing since the tenori-on is about as easy to play as a holophoner. :)

I'm tempted to write a standalone version of Tonematrix for use on my tablet pc - so you can play it by pressing on the squares.. but a multitouch screen would be even cooler - and more like the tenori-on.
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