Disrupting Music!

03 Agosto 2012 Paola De Vecchi Galbiati
Paola De Vecchi Galbiati
Paola De Vecchi Galbiati
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A set of APPs to listen, mix, synthesize music. For the insiders is not a big news ... but all the others can select solutions to transform the music into drops and segments, into spectra and colors, etc... This changes the way we learn to play and compose sounds, using different metrics and symbols. We have other languages and other ways to understand music: without notes, staff and clef.

Music is one of the areas in which digital technologies have brought a disruptive transformation. This transformation has already begun for many many years… I can think of: Napster’s free music, the Majors’ DRM, the iPod and .mpx formats, the creative commons and communities of music co-creators .... I guess you will think about other ones.

A technology is disruptive not only when it spreads itself rapidly, but when it 'breaks' literally the schemes through which we have learned to interpret, encode and decode the concepts and the experiences.

We are witnessing the evolution of the way we think about music and of the way in which we transform thoughts into music.

What is Music? We can describe it as an "ordered" combination of sound waves, and we can add that such waves are emitted with an instrument or acting as an instrument (singing).

To play these combinations we have associated to waves  some symbols (the notes) and names (C sharp, D, F, etc.), a space (the staff) within which to place, according to certain rules, sequences and combinations of notes, creating compositions more or less complex.

I have just mentioned the convention used and improved over the centuries to replicate the music.

When there were no tape recorders, audio and technology, we had no other way than 'code' by hand the wonderful music papers that otherwise would not have reached our times ... but today we have technologies that allow to change the logic of music composition and use, adding reference systems to those already known.

Can we describe the music in terms of used tools to play and replicate music? With this map I tried to classify the tools for purposes of use:

Music Tools Map eng

Looking at this map, it is pretty obvious that we should have a basic understanding of the music tools.

 

Can we also describe the music through the actions we take to play it? The map that describes the music actions is the following:

Music Actions Eng

 

To describe the music from different points of view helps us to invent new reference systems for interpreting and disseminating music.


And now (finally) show you some APPs there.

Minicomposer, Shapemix, Soundprism, Beatwave, eDrops Nature and Loopseque are concrete examples of this paradigm shift in the music description and in what we can achieve. I invite you to visit the APP products websites and try them: it is very difficult to explain them… and it makes little sense, since each can really use them in very different ways.

Many functionalities are free (and in these times, this is an other disruptive element) and they enable you to engage yourself in composition and sampling, in mixing sounds and noises ... even if you think you don't know anything about music.

Bass Constructor, JamPad Plus and DJ Mixer Pro are applications that allow you to mix songs and composing pieces very easily, even for beginners.

These APPs have simplified a lot of activities for musicians, DJs and technicians reducing production and organization costs dramatically.

These APPs have also amplified the creativity horizon of music, opening new ways and new spaces for more and more people.

With these kind of tools our perception of music has been enriched with other dimensions. We can perceived it by other senses: we not only listen music, we can also see and touch it.

 

Go to Italian Release of this paper.


paper under Creative Commons license

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