Coming in August, we'll have the international scales on our Professional Folders.
The notes used in Western music—or, more accurately, the relationships between the notes used in Western music—have a strange power. Bobby McFerrin demonstrated this dramatically by showing that an audience somehow knows what notes to sing when he jumps around the stage. He remarked that “what’s interesting to me about that is, regardless of where I am, anywhere, every audience gets that.”
He’s suggesting that something about the relationships between pitches is culturally universal. All people seem to experience them the same way, regardless of where they're from or whether they have musical training. The question of universals in music perception is important because it can help us determine how much of our perception is shaped by culture and how much by biology. A paper in this week’s Nature reports on the surprising finding that a form of musical perception long thought to be common across all humans might not be so universal after all.
In music, relationships between notes can be used in two different ways. If pitches are played in sequence, the relationships between them are melodic, like the difference between each successive note in "Mary had a Little Lamb." When notes are played simultaneously, like a single strum of all the strings on a guitar or a choir singing, the relationships are harmonic. Different musical traditions have different rules about which melodic and harmonic relationships are permissible.
In Western music, certain harmonic combinations sound pleasant, or “consonant,” while “dissonant” combinations are unpleasant. Composers sometimes use dissonance (for example, in jazz or the Jawstheme tune) to create emotional, textural, or other artistic effects. The perception of consonance as pleasant and dissonance as unpleasant seems to hold true regardless of whether someone has musical training.
The Golden Location of Golden Music will be closing on July 29th. We have lost our lease there. All items there are on clearance and are being sold a rock bottom prices. The hours are 10-7 M-F, 10-5 on Sat and closed Sunday through that day.
Several drumsets have just been put for sale there for only $150 each! They are brand new.
The Triolin is an acoustic bowed metal instrument designed and built by Hal Rammel in 1991. He has described it as a nail violin gone awry. Thin metal rods sit perpendicular in a circular arrangement on the top surface of a triangular wooden resonator and the instrument is held in the other hand by an ornately carved chair leg attached to the bottom of the resonator. Thus, the rods can be bowed as the entire instrument twists and spins underneath. Several years later, when he began to experiment with amplification inspired by the live electronics of cellist Russell Thorne and the amplified table top arrays of Hugh Davies, he attached wooden rods to a flat wooden artist's palette. His amplified palette can be heard on the 1994 CD Elsewheres(Penumbra Music) and, more recently, on "Like Water, Tightly Wound" (a Crouton Records 10"). In 2013 the triolin and four amplified palettes by Hal Rammel were added to the permanent collection of the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota along with many other acoustic instruments he performed with in the 1990s in Chicago.
Recordings of Rammel's music created with the triolin has been published by Penumbra Records, a Wisconsin-based label dedicated solely to experimental music. The instrument is featured in CDs with John Corbett, Van's Peppy Syncopators (his trio with John Corbett and Terri Kapsalis), and Steve Nelson-Raney. There are a total of thirteen compact discs from this label, some of which feature Hal Rammel. His CDs on other labels can be found through the site as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triolin