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Topic: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

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  1. #1

    Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    These are 2 dates in the Mayan Calendar. The first date is today, April 8, 2009 and the second is my birthdate. You can figure that one out! When converted to our numeric display version of dates i.e. 04.08.09 for example, my birthdate is 12.19.16.10.5. I am not sure what the order is in these numbers, because they were done on a conversion program at a website on the Mayan Calendar. Today's date is 12.16.12.14.7.

    You will note the dates have five numbers and in Mayan (as far as I can figure) the numeric system is base 5. The flutes or ocarina type instruments they played were made with 5 holes. The horns pictured in there glyphs had flaired bells and no indication of changing pitch devices so they probably played the partials. Percussion was drums and would sticks. I know... I couldn't sleep last night and I was surfing the net and this little inspiration struck me.

    So with all that in mind go back a couple thousand years and see what this conjures up for you______


    Cauac 13: Manik 3
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    Rich, I'll leave the numbers and figuring to you guys with brains

    This piece sure sounds good to me, however you rendered it. Nice recording!
    I especially enjoyed the percussion instruments. John

  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    Thanks, Rich!
    Interesting ambient percussion vs woodwind, creating a relaxed and exotic atmosphere.

    What a pleasant audio joyride! Cool, especially the rattlesnake!

    Fred

  4. #4

    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    Rich

    The Maya had an very interesting number system. Visually speaking, it was a simple design of dots and lines read from the bottom up. Nowadays most everyone in the world uses a base 10 system. The Maya did a combination of base 20 and 18.

    In the Mayan system the lowest symbols depict 0 to 20.

    The next set of symbols above those would depict how many 20's there are.

    The next set of symbols depict how many 18 x (20 squared) there are.

    The next set of symbols depict how many 18 x (20 cubed) there are.

    then 18 x (20 raised to the 4th) then 18 x (20 raised to the n).

    The ancient Babylonians used zero as a place holder within a number, but the Maya were the first to use it on the end of a number. So up until the Maya you were never sure exactly what number was being written.

    The Maya zero looks like an elongated 0 rotated 90 degrees


    ____ = 5
    . = 1
    ... = 3

    _____
    _____ = 10

    43,487 is

    .
    _____

    0 ( I used this zero because I do not have one that lays on its side)

    . . . .
    _____
    _____

    . .
    _____

    Starting from the bottom, we have 5 + 2 = 7
    (5+5+4) x 20 = 280
    0 x 18 x 20 = 0
    (5+1) x 18 x 20 squared = 43200

    Add them all up and we have 43,487

    This is the only surviving system from the Maya which was used by the Priests.

    There are reports that the common people may have used a pure vigesimal (base 20) system. That is they did not use the 18 multiplier. The reason for the 18 probably has to do with the Maya year which was 360 days.

    So does this prove my $40,000 dollar education was actually worth more than a few cents?

    The Maya were fascinating people. Their Astronomy still perplexes the best minds of today. I have been to a few of their ruins as well.


    All of that, just to say great little piece!!!

    Well done

    Ron
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

    http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/RonaldFerguson

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    That was great Rich ... I really enjoyed it!

    Back in the early '60's, my dad became a big Arthur Lyman fan, one of the creators of the Exotica genre. Your piece was very reminiscent of Lyman's soothing exotic percussion sound, possibly with more melody.

    Very nice sound and mix.

    Regards,

    Frank

  6. #6

    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    Rich,

    What an interesting surprise!

    It really took me to some other place and time... and I listened to it again, right away...

    I like those percussion instruments, can you tell me which they are?

    Thanks for an enjoyable little journey.

    ~Yudit~

  7. #7

    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    bigears,

    Thanks for the listen and comment. The numbers are just ways to get ideas flowing. There was no strict sense of following any serial music rules. The piece started developing itself as a little soundscape or mental vision of my interpretation of the Mayan Culture in its serene moments and not in its pagan rituals (which were quite bloody).

    Fredrik,

    I'm glad the piece gave you the impression I was going for. This is a mood setting piece and is not extremely developed. It leaves a lot of room for mental wandering.

    Ron,

    WOW, that was some detailed explanation of the Mayan mathematical system. My impression of the numbers was a little off. I knew that the Calendar was made of 3 separate calendars combined with a linking to each system but had no idea how complex the arithmatic was. Are you sure we are smarter today than these ancient cultures? I can't even imagine counting and doing math in base 20 let alone correlating it to base 18.

    As for my impression of the system at 1st glance was a visual thing. If you look at the calendar for the numbers of each [month] (I guess you would call them that) they are bars and dots.

    . (1)
    .. (2)
    ... (3)
    .... (4)
    _ (5)

    .
    _ (6)

    ..
    _ (7)

    ...
    _ (8)

    up to (13) ...
    =

    (and none of this will display correctly I am sure)

    But the point is the bar is 5 and 2 bars is 10. I didn't see it but I assumed 3 bars would be 15.

    My study of the Mayan was a little less deep or not as long a time as yours was. My study lasted from 4:00 yesterday morning until 6:00 (about 2 hours) . I guess there is room to learn a little more!

    Thanks for listening and I am glad you enjoyed it.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  8. #8
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    Really nice piece - even without the info on the Mayan calendar (which made it even more interesting!). Very well rendered, and quite effective. Will this be part of a larger suite? I could certainly work that way. Perhaps a Mayan "Four Seasons" - I know that sounds a little tacky, but I think (hope) you get my drift.

    All the best,
    Ron Pearl

    Website:

    ronaldmpearl.com

    myspace:

    http://myspace.com/rmpearl

  9. #9

    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    This track is relaxing to listen to and paints a nice picture in what's left of my mind. The mix is right on.

    Well done Rich.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician

    http://www.myspace.com/451525581

  10. #10

    Re: Cauac 13 and Manik 3

    Frank D,
    Back in the early '60's, my dad became a big Arthur Lyman fan, one of the creators of the Exotica genre. Your piece was very reminiscent of Lyman's soothing exotic percussion sound, possibly with more melody.
    Thanks for the comments. I am not familian with Arthur Lyman. I will have to google that and learn a little.

    Sunbird,
    I am glad you liked the journey. It was fun exploring the Mayan culture. Even if it was a very deep study.

    I like those percussion instruments, can you tell me which they are?
    Actually I am not sure which instruments they are exactly. I used the marching percussion that came with Finale and are mapped in Finales' Percussion mapping. I also use the Percussion Toys. What I listened for at the keyboard were sounds that had a "woody" kind of sound. I believe the drums were the Tenor drums and tight snare from marching band percussion and the scratching sound or "rattlesnake sound" to be the Cabasa. I, of course, used the marimba for some of the melodic parts.

    I hope that helps. I really only went for the types of sounds I was after and really didn't pay much attention to what the instrument was.

    rpearl,
    Thanks for the comments. Oh my, a suite of these! You are really giving me something to think about!

    hippie,
    Thanks for the comment on the mix. I played with it quite a bit trying to position sounds to make the mix even across the sound spectrum. I didn't go into as much detail as I have on other projects but just with the flow and what felt and sounded right, much like what I did with which drum sounds I used.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

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