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Topic: Question!

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Question!

    What constitutes a device as a musical instrument and why?

  2. #2

    Re: Question!

    If you can produce a sound with it... go for it! Look at the Blue Man Group, or Stomp! they use non-musical musical instruments...

    I\'m secretly working on a Pringle\'s (R) Can percussion lib, and yeah, it\'ll plug into GPO... hehehe

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Question!

    So, the computer can be thought of as a musical instrument when one uses it in performance but not limited to?

  4. #4

    Re: Question!

    But not limited to...? being just a musical instrument? I would agree with that, a computer can be many things, when I need mine to be, it\'s a secretary, keeping track of my work schedule, contacts and appointments. When I need it to be my computer is a production studio allowing me to create anything from magazine covers, to GPO Expansion Pack covers...

    And then its an instrument. GPO allows me to play it in real-time even! I guess that is the main thing that\'s been lacking from calling the computer an instrument in the past, is that, everything had to be programmed and it was not \"live\"... now that\'s changed, load up a patch, turn on your midi controller and rock out GPO style, you\'re \"playing\" it, so why would you call it anything other than an instrument?

    It may be a digital one, and that might throw people off as they are used to thinking about instruments as tools which produce sounds when you put a certain amount of force or work on it, but you\'re hitting the keys (or blowing into the wind controller) and the comp is producing sound (well, the speaker cones are actually producing the sound, but you get what I mean).

    Short answer: yes - I just hope eveyone reads the long answer too... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Question!

    Hmmm. I see.

  6. #6

    Re: Question!

    [ QUOTE ]
    my computer is a production studio allowing me to create anything from magazine covers, to GPO Expansion Pack covers...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Such as.......?
    Hmm...I didn\'t realize that computers could print covers...could you kindly show an example of a GPO Expansion Pack Cover??

    Thanx...Jim

  7. #7
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    Re: Question!

    The computer can be regarded as a musical instrument when using it to generate sounds and to play music on.

    Music synthesis comes to mind where sounds are generated by the computer. Sampling takes this in a different direction.

    Markelford showed one example of the use of the computer as an instrument when he provided instructions to improvise by in his GPizzO:
    http://www.northernsounds.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB18&Number=12242 6&Forum=f18&Words=algorythmic&Searchpa ge=0&Limit=25&Main=122415&Search=true& amp;where=bodysub&Name=&daterange=1&ne werval=1&newertype=y&olderval=&olderty pe=&bodyprev=#Post122426

    And of course, when you are frustrated, you could always get a stick and play the computer as a drum:


  8. #8

    Re: Question!

    Snorlax, I think he was emphasizing the versatility of computers. And by printing covers, he was likely referring to using some paint programs (like photoshop) to create visual art. Though I too would like to see some of them!!

    It is strange to ask if a \"computer\" is a musical instrument, because a computer is made up of so much. According to dictionary.com, a <font color=\"blue\"> COMPUTER</font> is a \"programmable electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information.\"

    Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    My contention is that the program may be the instrument, not the computer.

    <font color=\"red\"> Bad Analogy #1 </font> Take for instance a marimba, guitar, or violin. In each case you have the instrument and a medium through which sound is produced on the instrument - respectively, mallets, picks (and fingers), and a bow (and fingers). The mallets, picks, bows, and fingers aren\'t the instrument.

    Let\'s look at some other definitions:

    <ul type=\"square\">[*] <font color=\"blue\">Musical Instrument</font>: Noun. An instrument used to produce music.
    [*] <font color=\"blue\">Musical</font>: Adj. Of, relating to, or capable of producing music
    [*] <font color=\"blue\">Instrument</font>: Noun. Music. A device for playing or producing music.[/list]

    Computers, by definition do not possess the ability to play or produce music without installing software that allows it to do so.

    <font color=\"red\"> Bad Analogy #2 </font> A violin without its strings, is not a musical instrument since it lacks the ability to play or produce music. And, similarly, a computer is not a musical instrument without specific \"music making\" software involved.

    As a follow up to bad analogy #2, if you think that a violin without its strings is a musical instrument, because you merely have to add strings to it in order for it to be able to produce sound, then virtually everything is a musical instrument. I\'m sure I can find a way to string up my lamp so as to produce \"musical\" sound!

    Further, if this is the case, then the phrase \"musical instrument\" has no meaning. Maybe they should make the definition more exclusive.

    Any thoughts?

    - <font color=\"blue\"> J </font> <font color=\"orange\"> U </font> <font color=\"blue\"> N </font> <font color=\"orange\"> K </font>

    P.S.
    <font color=\"blue\"> Q. </font> What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians?
    <font color=\"blue\"> A. </font> A drummer
    .. Modified answer.
    <font color=\"blue\"> A. </font> A percussionist! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Question!

    P.S.
    Q. What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians?
    A. A drummer
    .. Modified answer.
    A. A percussionist

    Oh brother...here we go.
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: Question!

    [ QUOTE ]
    ...could you kindly show an example of a GPO Expansion Pack Cover??

    Thanx...Jim

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sure...


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