Music in my con world, how about yours?

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Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by Birdlang » Sat 07 Jul 2018, 22:43

I haven’t seen one of these lately, so I thought we could talk about the music in our conworlds.
First, I’ll start
The northern region of the continent Birdania is full of folk traditions, usually using a 3 string bass lute, a 4 string treble lute, an accordion, a keyboard (usually those of the Korg M1 or Roland D-50 model), a reed trumpet, and a saxophone if the reed trumpet isn’t being used. Their music is generally in a 4/4 time in a Mixolydian scale and about 130 tempo.
In the central region, which includes Pigeonland, you generally see folk bands in an ‘orkèsra’, which is the word for orchestra. You see 2 keyboards (one for piano or organ chords a la reggae, one for lead lines, synth parts, and doubling the bass occasionally) or a Farfisa organ and a Moog synthesizer during the 70’s (introduced by space travelers who were big rock music fans), lead and rhythm guitar, bass guitar or synth bass (played in the style of a polka tuba, sometimes even with the sound of one), drums or drum machines or octapads (those silver electronic square drum pad machines), percussion (which includes stuff such as ethnic drums, egg shakers, and cowbell), marimba (playing arpeggiated backgrounds), a horn and string section (if not present, which has been the common practice since the 1980s, there will be a 3rd keyboard playing horn and string parts), accordion (nowadays usually taken place by keyboard), 7 string fretless lute (strings tuned E2 A2 D3 G3 C3 F3 C4, if 14 stringed, second course on all is tuned an octave up), folk spike fiddle (2 strings tuned C4 G4), reed flute (a piercing toned instrument similar in tune to a bagpipe), saxophone (if 3rd keyboard isn’t present), and toys (toy instruments or general toys that are available). Modern ones will strip that down to either 3 keyboards, 2 guitars, a bass, a reed flute, and drums, or just a guy with 3 keyboards and a custom built 37 key pedal board. Other genres include mass marketed pop that isn’t that unsimilar to a mix of German schlager and K-pop, jazz, rock, metal, classical, brass bands, religious music played by electric ensembles and a female vocalist, reggae, songs that are considered standards, Asian style music, and more.
In the eastern region, the cello is popular, and so is the flute. Both are used along with drums, bass, accordion, guitar, and keyboards in bands.
In the southern and western regions, Bird country music is popular, with guitar and organs.
In other places, they listen to folk influenced pop and rock, and polkas and country played on keyboards and guitars.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by Reyzadren » Sat 07 Jul 2018, 23:20

Music is generally almost the same, even with the presence of magic in the conworld. Some of the more noticable slight differences are:

* Drummers are more mobile. They can walk around the stage while their drums and cymbals "hover" around them.
* Instruments are more durable, louder and require less maintenance. Reeds don't need to be replaced often, strings can be reweaved, alternate power sources etc.
* The standard orchestra does not exist. Indeed, any combination of instrument is acceptable, even those that don't exist irl.
* Smacking someone with your instrument is good self-defense, well, offense in this case :P
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by elemtilas » Sat 07 Jul 2018, 23:37

In The World, I've most experience with musics in the Eastlands.

Generally speaking, Daine music is monophonic, much like Western plainchant. They use various modes and scales and time metres for different effects. There are many kinds of song that are more akin to polyphony. Daine voices are basically of two types, tenor and alto. (No very high or very low voices, on other words.) Thus, their polyphonic hymns and elegies tend to be of two rather than four streams, though sometimes either or both vocal line will be split.

Daine favour various kinds of instruments we'd call "flutes". The Tana have a broad bored recorder-like instrument whose powerful tone is great for dance tunes as well as narrower bored, softer toned instruments for quiet melody. These, like a penny whistle or recorder, are fipple flutes. They make notch flutes (akin to a shakuhachi) and transverse flutes as well. There are many different keys, scale patterns and tonalities possible and a good maker can supply with anything the heart may desire!

The Turghun favour notch flutes and their flute music is monophonic as far as melody, but layered as far as voice. So, there might be six or eight different sized flutes playing at once, or several cutting out, or all but one.

Men in the East prefer the harp and the zither and the tuned blocks (kulintang, lithophone, etc). Their epic traditions tend also towards the the monophonic, usually with the accompaniment of harp, zither and more rarely the chorus of those present in the audience. Their religious music is primarily monophonic chant (of course), and based on the ancient Hellado-Sumuran traditions of the Great West. In Auntimoany, there are traditions of polyphonic hymnody. Their orchestras are very similar in structure to ours, though with different bases. The basic choirs of orchestral instruments are the the lithophones and the duct flutes --- so, basically xylophones and recorders. Of the melodic instruments, there are divisions for lutes in various sizes, some reed instruments, oliphants and harps. Of the percussive instruments, there are divisions for the nakers & trumpets, frame drums and gongs. Again, the music is essentially monophonic, but harmonically rich and complex.

A much more recent development in Auntimoany is the emergence of Gnomic Music. Gnomes have long been known for their haunting subterranean singing and stone tapping musics. Many that have come out of their deep tellurian abode have, actually, taken up residence in (familiarly dark & dank) places like pubs and parlours where they make a very curious kind of jangling music on instruments called exaquiers. It is a kind of zither or lithophone with small levers they bang on. In combination with a drone box and a bass dulcimer, these trios have forged ahead with a new polyphonic music that has everyone tapping their toes and swaying their wings quite merrily!

Turghun flute music, a tune made famous a century or so ago by a Gnomic composer, Eruuardo Carraig.
Wandell's Imperial Garden Music is typical of Auntimoanian classical music.
Here is an example of Gnomic Music, a tsarqan of Auntimoany.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 05:22

I wish I were more musically talented so I could give this more thought; I would love to be able to compose songs in Lihmelinyan, as I think languages are really at their most euphonic when they're sung.

The Medieval-like time period of my conworld places some limits on the possible music or instruments, but music is definitely important to the Mantians. It serves religious functions: it's used in chanting and prayer as well as dancing, which can be both religious or secular. It's also used in various celebrations and in relating folk tales. Instruments include harp and guitar-like stringed instruments (lutes, psalteries), wooden flutes/recorders, and various percussive instruments (the Mantians probably haven't reached the stage of creating brass instruments yet). There is an erhu-like bowed instrument used in White Manter (it probably came from Tsu-Im). I imagine that traditional Mantian music is pentatonic.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by elemtilas » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 22:59

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
Sun 08 Jul 2018, 05:22
The Medieval-like time period of my conworld places some limits on the possible music or instruments, but music is definitely important to the Mantians. It serves religious functions: it's used in chanting and prayer as well as dancing, which can be both religious or secular. It's also used in various celebrations and in relating folk tales. Instruments include harp and guitar-like stringed instruments (lutes, psalteries), wooden flutes/recorders, and various percussive instruments (the Mantians probably haven't reached the stage of creating brass instruments yet). There is an erhu-like bowed instrument used in White Manter (it probably came from Tsu-Im). I imagine that traditional Mantian music is pentatonic.
Why not? Brass instruments (as a category) go all the way back to dynastic Egypt. Hunting horns, bugles, trumpets & cornetti I think must all be within the technical capability of folk that can build lutes & flutes! The only real limitations placed on the musical instruments of a medieval-like time period is that of electrical amplification a/o generation of sound. Otherwise, every modern acoustic instrument has its medieval, renaissance & classical progenitors. The valve, as constructed in modern times, will pose the greatest difficulty. But there are many satisfactory alternatives!
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by Salmoneus » Sun 08 Jul 2018, 23:45

Reyzadren wrote:
Sat 07 Jul 2018, 23:20
Music is generally almost the same, even with the presence of magic in the conworld. Some of the more noticable slight differences are:
* The standard orchestra does not exist. Indeed, any combination of instrument is acceptable, even those that don't exist irl.
If true, this is a truly massive difference from the real world.

In the real world, any combination of instruments is "acceptable" - so there is no difference there. But economics dictates that certain assemblies will predominate. Composers will write for the most common sorts of ensemble - and less common ensembles will run out of music to play.

So what would the world have to be like for there not to be a standard orchestra? Well, music would have to be even more elitest than in the real world. Every orchestra would have its own composers rewriting every piece for their own balance - and that would cost money, and make orchestras less common and more exclusive. Or, more likely (since it's not like you can just rewrite a tender love song for trumpet-and-bassoon ensemble, or a military march for paper-comb-and-armonica) each composer would just write appropriate music for their own orchestra, and music would be much more localised.

[this would be similar to the early era of court orchestras in the baroque, but more so]
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by elemtilas » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 02:23

Salmoneus wrote:
Sun 08 Jul 2018, 23:45
Reyzadren wrote:
Sat 07 Jul 2018, 23:20
Music is generally almost the same, even with the presence of magic in the conworld. Some of the more noticable slight differences are:
* The standard orchestra does not exist. Indeed, any combination of instrument is acceptable, even those that don't exist irl.
If true, this is a truly massive difference from the real world.

In the real world, any combination of instruments is "acceptable" - so there is no difference there. But economics dictates that certain assemblies will predominate. Composers will write for the most common sorts of ensemble - and less common ensembles will run out of music to play.

So what would the world have to be like for there not to be a standard orchestra? Well, music would have to be even more elitest than in the real world. Every orchestra would have its own composers rewriting every piece for their own balance - and that would cost money, and make orchestras less common and more exclusive. Or, more likely (since it's not like you can just rewrite a tender love song for trumpet-and-bassoon ensemble, or a military march for paper-comb-and-armonica) each composer would just write appropriate music for their own orchestra, and music would be much more localised.

[this would be similar to the early era of court orchestras in the baroque, but more so]
And yet, in the real world, we find Schubert songs arranged for all sorts of things. Trumpets and bassoons among them! Two things almost every composer of old did were to rewrite their own music for differing combinations of instruments (orchestrating keyboard works as well as reducing orchestral works for keyboard); and rewriting / reinterpreting each others' works for different circumstances. Whether this is writing a fantasia on older themes or orchestrating an organ work or taking an orchestral work and transcribing for piano.

As far as orchestras in the real world go, the composition is largely a matter of tradition. And, also, due in no small part to actual prejudice. (There's a reason why the saxophone isn't a full time member of the standard orchestra!) Things are changing. The orchestra of the early 21st century is more accommodating than the orchestra of the early 20th. Where the "standard" will end up in the future, who knows!

Even with the "standard orchestra", we find compositions being written for any number of different kinds and compositions of ensemble. I'd posit that for the standard orchestra to not develop, music would have to be actually less elitist. (Consider the variety we see in the various "folk" and dance ensembles, brass bands, pop music ensembles, fusion ensembles and the like.) It's the elite --- the wealthy and powerful (the Esterhzys, for example) of the past --- who could actually afford an orchestra, and thus foist a rigid musical voice on us. Beautiful music comes out of that art tradition, but its rigidity can only serve to solidify the idea of the current "standard" orchestra going forward.

An interesting thing about 19th century America is that most small towns did not have an orchestra, and certainly couldn't afford a big European style orchestra anyway! What they did have was a load of Civil War vets who could play the brass & woodwind instruments common in that era's military / regimental bands (typically an array of SATB saxhorns, clarinet, cornet, drums, maybe a flute or ophicleide or fiddle thrown in for good measure). What we end up with is a much less elite kind of semi-formal music making that combines very non-standard groups of instrumentalists together to play the works of concert & dance orchestra alike. Also, with the usual rewriting of those pieces to suit the new tradition.
Last edited by elemtilas on Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by LinguistCat » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 09:14

If kaibyou have their own music, it would be heavily influenced by Japanese music traditions, (and indirectly by cultures that Japan borrowed from). Imagine like, Japanese folk and court music, but made for cats. Otherwise they primarily listen to various styles of Japanese music (and again, music from cultures Japan interacted with to some extent). Recently pop music is, well, popular.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by elemtilas » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:47

Reyzadren wrote:
Sat 07 Jul 2018, 23:20
Music is generally almost the same, even with the presence of magic in the conworld. Some of the more noticable slight differences are:

* Drummers are more mobile. They can walk around the stage while their drums and cymbals "hover" around them.
That's interesting! Do they use magic to "dance" with their instruments? I could see, for example, rhythmically mobile gongs or lithophones dancing around the player as she moves about the stage...
* Instruments are more durable, louder and require less maintenance. Reeds don't need to be replaced often, strings can be reweaved, alternate power sources etc.
Is it a matter of different material (fibercane vs. natural cane reeds) or just that magic reinforces the matter and enhances the material strength?
* Smacking someone with your instrument is good self-defense, well, offense in this case :P
A well built curtal will certainly do some damage if skillfully wielded against an out of tune oboe! [O.O]
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:53

elemtilas wrote:
Sun 08 Jul 2018, 22:59
Why not? Brass instruments (as a category) go all the way back to dynastic Egypt. Hunting horns, bugles, trumpets & cornetti I think must all be within the technical capability of folk that can build lutes & flutes! The only real limitations placed on the musical instruments of a medieval-like time period is that of electrical amplification a/o generation of sound. Otherwise, every modern acoustic instrument has its medieval, renaissance & classical progenitors. The valve, as constructed in modern times, will pose the greatest difficulty. But there are many satisfactory alternatives!
Well cool, I didn't know that. [:D] I did recall seeing brass instruments in paintings, but wasn't sure if that predated the Renaissance (if my conworld could be placed on our timeline, they'd probably be in the year 1100 or so). Either way, I see no reason to exclude them then :)
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 23:34

Brass cymbals date back at least as far as the Psalms. IIANM.

Certainly Paul mentioned them in 1st Corinthians 13.
But that’s too recent for Kai’s and Padraig’s latest conversational exchange.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by elemtilas » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 03:10

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:53
Well cool, I didn't know that. [:D] I did recall seeing brass instruments in paintings, but wasn't sure if that predated the Renaissance (if my conworld could be placed on our timeline, they'd probably be in the year 1100 or so). Either way, I see no reason to exclude them then :)
Yeah! "Brass" instruments are so called because of how their tone is produced, not because of the material they're made from (though, in modern times, they are mostly made from brass!). Here is a brass instrument, the cornetto, that would certainly be will within the technical capabilities of folks from the time period you're interested in. These are made from wood, but have a little mouthpiece much like that of a trumpet.

And a Roman cornu.

Lots of possibilities!
Edit: Sackbuts (trombones) and sliding trumpets would also not be out of the realm of possibility.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by elemtilas » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 14:16

eldin raigmore wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 23:34
Brass cymbals date back at least as far as the Psalms. IIANM.

Certainly Paul mentioned them in 1st Corinthians 13.
But that’s too recent for Kai’s and Padraig’s latest conversational exchange.
Correct, and gongs & bells and so forth are also quite ancient.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by WeepingElf » Wed 11 Jul 2018, 20:01

What I know yet about Old Albic music can be found here. Impressionally, I am thinking of a mix of Celtic, Sardinian and Georgian folk music.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by Reyzadren » Wed 11 Jul 2018, 22:40

elemtilas wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:47
That's interesting! Do they use magic to "dance" with their instruments? I could see, for example, rhythmically mobile gongs or lithophones dancing around the player as she moves about the stage...

Is it a matter of different material (fibercane vs. natural cane reeds) or just that magic reinforces the matter and enhances the material strength?
They don't require magic to turn their choreographed performance into a full-body workout, but it can be used for that extra pzazz.

"Conworld-scientific"/magitek material, or whatever one wants to call it.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by Salmoneus » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 20:16

I got distracted into chronicling the minutiae of the evolution of a stringed instrument...

...but then I got distracted from that into the labyrinth of tuning systems. You can see why the Pythagoreans got so mystical.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by elemtilas » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 00:05

Salmoneus wrote:
Tue 17 Jul 2018, 20:16
I got distracted into chronicling the minutiae of the evolution of a stringed instrument...

...but then I got distracted from that into the labyrinth of tuning systems. You can see why the Pythagoreans got so mystical.
Which instrument? One from your world(s)?? (If so, please describe!) Tuning systems is something I don't know a whole lot about, but yes, I can see how they'd drive one to mysticism.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by Birdlang » Sat 15 Sep 2018, 22:15

About the non-Bird styles of music.
The Lizardmen usually have songs in pentatonic scale, on keyboard or any other instruments would be C E F G Bb. Most songs are played on lamellophones of various sizes, flutes, and drums that would sound like African djembes. Most modern bands use two rhythm and one lead guitar, bass, and drums, and keyboards. Occasionally you’ll see a horn section but nowadays lead guitar and keyboard synthesizers take that role. The way the two rhythm guitars and bass are played imitate the traditional lamellophones, and I would imagine their pop music being close to South African Shangaan mixed with Javanese gamelan with a rock band replacing the instruments. They have a well established metal fusion scene that uses the lamellophones a lot, including the bass ones mixed with keyboard, a guitar, drums, and a spike fiddle.
The Ehthuchii, which are a froglike people, play a style of music that uses polyphonic singing mixed with a lot of lutes, reed trumpets, duct flute, lamellophones, both bass and treble ones, and a bowed string instrument not unsimilar to a Serbian gadulka. Modern music I’d imagine would use some keyboard synthesizer, bass guitar, and drums and recorder or duct flutes.
Doglike aliens inhabit the heavily urbanized areas in one continent, they use instruments like an accordion or a keyboard set to sound like an accordion, two recorders, bass guitar, keyboard horns, guitar rhythm similar to ska, and octapads. In some music, they use their own instruments which are generally fashioned from junk found in dumpster dives, mixed with keyboard and recorders.
The cat people use generally polyphonic singing mixed with a lot of instruments, mostly drums and bass, either keyboard or guitar. Often they will sing in falsetto for the whole song, and it is common to even sing in the whistle range in the chorus. The melodic stuff is generally done on keyboards, because their idol is a keyboard playing cat.
Bartalonians have several kinds of music, being the other main ethnic people.
They have the following
J’Dango, which is a fast polka kind of music heavily based around the accordion and banjo. It sounds extremely close to Tejano, circus and polka music with banjo doing the lead as well as accordion. It also uses keyboards, bass, drums, and guitars. Modern j’dango is generally heavily synthesized though and sounds like synthesized circus or polka music and has a lot of keyboards set to sound like accordion, banjo and horns.
Bartapop. Bartalonian pop music, which has been made since the late 1970’s, the totalitarian government censors it very strictly and there is no profanity in it at all. Main instruments are keyboards and drum machines.
Bartadance. Basically the equivalent of eurodance in the Bartalonian land. Mostly synthesized and derived from 80s disco.
Their language sounds like Icelandic mixed with Swahili and Nuxálk if you want to know what it sounds like.
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by shanoxilt » Sun 16 Sep 2018, 03:03

LinguistCat wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 09:14
If kaibyou have their own music, it would be heavily influenced by Japanese music traditions, (and indirectly by cultures that Japan borrowed from). Imagine like, Japanese folk and court music, but made for cats. Otherwise they primarily listen to various styles of Japanese music (and again, music from cultures Japan interacted with to some extent). Recently pop music is, well, popular.
Have you heard of "species-appropriate music"?
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Re: Music in my con world, how about yours?

Post by LinguistCat » Sun 16 Sep 2018, 03:18

shanoxilt wrote:
Sun 16 Sep 2018, 03:03
LinguistCat wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 09:14
If kaibyou have their own music, it would be heavily influenced by Japanese music traditions, (and indirectly by cultures that Japan borrowed from). Imagine like, Japanese folk and court music, but made for cats. Otherwise they primarily listen to various styles of Japanese music (and again, music from cultures Japan interacted with to some extent). Recently pop music is, well, popular.
Have you heard of "species-appropriate music"?
That was actually something of an inspiration, although I don't know if I'll ever compose any pieces for Japanese cats personally.
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