"Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

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Gamma-UT
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5254 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:36 am

JJ_Jettflow wrote:LOL! Well, should I have said "contemporary music"? I am quite certain they are talking about the current music scene and not the 60's.
I see we're back to the old Jettflow tactics of deliberately misunderstanding posts.

JJ_Jettflow
KVRian
884 posts since 23 Jan, 2011

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:37 am

Gamma-UT wrote:
JJ_Jettflow wrote:LOL! Well, should I have said "contemporary music"? I am quite certain they are talking about the current music scene and not the 60's.
I see we're back to the old Jettflow tactics of deliberately misunderstanding posts.
How about being more articulate with responses?

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Michael L
KVRAF
3000 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:38 am

JJ_Jettflow wrote:Did anyone read the article before commenting?
This article is better:
"The Deadly Embrace Between Music Software and Its Users"
by Miller Puckette (who developed PureData and is the MSP in MAX/MSP).

This is the Official Summary:
One of the many differences between software instruments and physical ones is that software instruments, since they deal in information instead of physical vibrations, can operate in ways that are indirect to the point of being mysterious. Software in the past half century has rapidly increased in complexity and decreased in stability. This raises problems for both designers and users of software intended for musical creation. Specific pieces of computer-mediated music can easily become impossible to perform within a decade of their creation. More broadly, musical practices can easily become embedded in specific software configurations and hard to study from vantage points other than the creator’s chair. What one musician can learn from another one can be limited by incompatible differences between the software paradigms they favor. Although the software designer strives to make software as open and transparent as possible, this transparency is always limited by competing exigencies for efficiency, “power”, and sometimes a commercially imposed need for secrecy. While music software can give the musician great power, its users should stay aware of the risks that can accompany its great and largely hidden complexity.

http://msp.ucsd.edu/Publications/pdf_EMS14_puckette.pdf
To be or not to be?
Bb

JJ_Jettflow
KVRian
884 posts since 23 Jan, 2011

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:39 am

Michael L wrote:
JJ_Jettflow wrote:Did anyone read the article before commenting?
This article is better:
"The Deadly Embrace Between Music Software and Its Users"
by Miller Puckette (who developed PureData and is the MSP in MAX/MSP).
The link is below this summary:

One of the many differences between software instruments and physical ones is that software instruments, since they deal in information instead of physical vibrations, can operate in ways that are indirect to the point of being mysterious. Software in the past half century has rapidly increased in complexity and decreased in stability. This raises problems for both designers and users of software intended for musical creation. Specific pieces of computer-mediated music can easily become impossible to perform within a decade of their creation. More broadly, musical practices can easily become embedded in specific software configurations and hard to study from vantage points other than the creator’s chair. What one musician can learn from another one can be limited by incompatible differences between the software paradigms they favor. Although the software designer strives to make software as open and transparent as possible, this transparency is always limited by competing exigencies for efficiency, “power”, and sometimes a commercially imposed need for secrecy. While music software can give the musician great power, its users should stay aware of the risks that can accompany its great and largely hidden complexity.

http://msp.ucsd.edu/Publications/pdf_EMS14_puckette.pdf
Looks ineresting. Will read it when I get to work. :wink:

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Michael L
KVRAF
3000 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:43 am

JJ_Jettflow wrote:Will read it when I get to work
Ahh, a true musician!! :tu:
To be or not to be?
Bb

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VariKusBrainZ
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8875 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:24 am

JJ_Jettflow wrote:Did anyone read the article before commenting?
Yes, we took it somewhere else girl

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herodotus
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5606 posts since 8 Dec, 2004 from The Twin Cities

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:49 am

That article by Miller Puckette was certainly interesting. But I don't get the 'deadly' part.

It would be like talking about the 'deadly embrace of the printing press and its authors', or 'the deadly embrace of spreadsheet software and accountants'.

People always seem to be looking for something to worry or complain about.

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Michael L
KVRAF
3000 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:24 am

herodotus wrote:I don't get the 'deadly' part.
He's using computing jargon as a metaphor. "Deadly embrace" is when two program processes are waiting for resources each other has, resulting in a stalemate. Miller describes it as "Musicians can’t do much today without software, and so they are dependent on software developers. Software developers in turn are dependent on “users” (the musicians) to make artistic creations with their software" BUT both groups don't equally understand the software. He proposes that stalemate could be resolved if programmers knew more about how their software design decisions affected musicians' composition and performance decisions.
Last edited by Michael L on Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
To be or not to be?
Bb

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Gamma-UT
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5254 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:48 am

herodotus wrote:That article by Miller Puckette was certainly interesting. But I don't get the 'deadly' part.

It would be like talking about the 'deadly embrace of the printing press and its authors', or 'the deadly embrace of spreadsheet software and accountants'.

People always seem to be looking for something to worry or complain about.
He was giving a talk to musicologists - his core point is that software-based performance makes it much more difficult for the musicologist to study as an observer because the observer needs to understand what's going – which is highly specific to the software. But he's largely imposing concerns as a music-software developer (which are fine concerns to have) on musicologists.

The trouble for his position is there's no point in doing ethnographic-style musicology if you've got no idea what the target of the study is doing.

This is supplemented by some claims about musical authenticity that probably sound good to that audience but are disingenuous. "...all actions are mediated through a mouse-and-keyboard interface that is better suited to banking transactions than to making musical gestures."

Well, you're not going to be playing virtuoso violin with that combo but mouse-and-keyboard leads to other forms of musical interaction that Puckette may want to present as inauthentic (seemingly through misplaced guilt) but which are still valid. Gamers armed with mice have demonstrated pretty well that you have access to a lot of subtle control over gestures.

He also can't make his mind up whether bit rot is a problem or not. One minute he's arguing you can archive for a century. At others, he's arguing that the stuff just disappears. He's probably more correct that bit rot is a problem but it's not the best-managed argument. His argument about maintainability is one of resources more than anything. Gaming OS emulators have demonstrated how well you can keep code 'alive' for decades. It's just a question of will and developer bandwidth.

And he makes an argument about the distinction between document and software that's largely irrelevant to musicology. An M-file simply has more in common with a Penderecki or Xenakis score than a traditional Common Practice-style composition where you might present the score as a MusicXML file – it provides performance instructions that are interpreted in real-time by the performer. In M's case, the performer happens to be a machine.

The interesting bit is only hinted at the end: "I think that musicologists might find some excellent research questions here. How, exactly, are the implications of software design choices insidiously affecting the practice of music composition and performance today? If software developers like me knew more about this, we could use the knowledge to inform our designs. The thing that limits us is not so much the time spent writing the code, as it is the limited understanding we have about what is needed."

I disagree about the last point and his fear of software influencing artistic choices. All instrument designs impose a set of disguised biases on the performer and, in turn, the composer. It's up to the artist to decide whether those choices work for them or to use something else. But it's a valid area of study as to how small software changes can influence musical decisions. The tempo bar in a sequencer and its use of quantisation arguably overconstrains rhythm in real-world computer-based music. But entire music genres rely on these features.

Puckette's done great work in music software. I just think he probably started with a controversial title for a seminar and then didn't really manage to find a workable argument that would fit it.

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aciddose
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12335 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:41 am

Gamma-UT wrote:The trouble for his position is there's no point in doing ethnographic-style musicology if you've got no idea what the target of the study is doing.
Do you ever?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-SurvChGFk
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JJ_Jettflow
KVRian
884 posts since 23 Jan, 2011

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:35 am

VariKusBrainZ wrote:
JJ_Jettflow wrote:Did anyone read the article before commenting?
Yes, we took it somewhere else girl
Funny, my Foe list seems to be acting up again because up until now, I have not had to be subjected to your mindless shit. No worries, you are back on the list so post whatever stupidity about me you like, as your opinion on me and anything else you comment on means zero to me; hence the reason I blocked you in the first place.

JJ_Jettflow
KVRian
884 posts since 23 Jan, 2011

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:04 pm

Michael L wrote:
JJ_Jettflow wrote:Will read it when I get to work
Ahh, a true musician!! :tu:
A good read indeed! He seems to go into the bushes here and there but for the most part, the points he makes are quite valid. Musicians who are not used to playing on real musical instruments do not understand the differences, especially in live performance, that it can make.

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aciddose
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12335 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:17 pm

Just as musicians who solely play live instruments rarely understand notable aspects of the influence non-live instruments can make.

An argument isn't invalidated by its reflection, but its origin certainly is made clearer when viewed from another perspective the same but not.

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JJ_Jettflow
KVRian
884 posts since 23 Jan, 2011

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:25 pm

aciddose wrote:Just as musicians who solely play live instruments rarely understand notable aspects of the influence non-live instruments can make.

An argument isn't invalidated by its reflection, but its origin certainly is made clearer when viewed from another perspective the same but not.
I was referring more to the aspect say jamming, where cues are taken off not only what the other musicians are playing but the fact that you can see what they are playing as well. I cannot see turning one's monitor on their laptop providing much information to any other players as can be had by turning toward someone to let them see the chords you are playing on your guitar.

If your computer suffers a breakdown then what? How many people have backup computers running duplicate programs? Perhaps large acts could afford this redundancy but everyday musicians, well none I know.

Even more so, songs based on loops are at the mercy of technology even more. Lose the loops, lose the song. I have a few industrial loop-based songs I wrote in in the early 00's. The CD I bought that contained some of the parts of the songs will no longer read, the company the made the CD is out of business and the stems in the project files were retrieved from a damaged HD and are garbled in places. There is no way for me to recreate these songs and if I lose the mixes, they are gone for good. However, the song I wrote on the piano is in my head, my hands and notated on paper. If I lose the recording, I can recreate it instantly. If I lose the sheet music, I can rewrite it. If my hands deteriorate, I become feeble or even die, someone else can play it, providing they can read sheet music.

IMO, today's musicians, myself included, are relying far too much on computers.

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aciddose
KVRAF
12335 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Re: "Where does artistry end and copycat cut and paste begin?"

Post Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:17 pm

How many people watch youtube videos of skrillex? Way more than jam in your band.

It isn't an invalid point to make, but it needs to be understood in context and it is clearly not something that should justify belittling those who don't do things in a particular way.

Part of artistic expression is freedom of expression: without true freedom you can't have true art.

Look at the under-belly of the more disgusting parts of the internet if you want to really peer inside the human heart. This is something you would never express to another person because you fear them learning your identity, it inspires fear simply that you know who is speaking even if it is the truth.
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