This is going to be a “OH MY GOOD I LOVE MUSIC, MUSIC IS SO COOL! RYTHMS, THE UNIVERSE, EVERYTHINGWAAA!!” sort of blog post.
So it might not be very well structured, but hey, then I have the chance to iterate some. And make cooler posts later.
So let’s start.
MUSIC IS AMAZING
Music is fascinating as a medium because the only way you experience it is through time. It a very linear medium because it is only dictated by one variable which is the level of pressure your eardrum is exposed to in any given moment. What you “hear” is the summary of these pressure instances and the variability they create over time. “Music” is just a brain addiction to certain perceived patterns, recognised and associated with things that evolution and your environment has over time made you feel affection for.
I LOVE RYTHMS
I want to explain why I love rhythms to the extent that I do, in a smart way like I did with the concept of music above but I think I am to emotionally invested in rhythms right now to be able to do so. So this will probably just be LOOK AT THIS IT IS AMAZING WHY DOESN’T ANYONE UNDERSTAND ME. But I’ll give it a shot.
What I can say, is that it is an acquired taste. I didn’t like weird rhythms because I didn’t understand weird rhythms before. I have liked music for as long as I can remember but my interest in rhythms was obtained as I got more into music, in a period when I wanted to become a true great musician.
My goal at that point in time was a very childish one: “To become the best keyboardist in the world!” I fanboyed over keyboardists that could play really fast and the first point where I thought, “This is it, here is the greatest keyboardist in the f**king world.” was when I stumbled upon this guy on YouTube, from the metal band Children of Bodom. I don’t remember if there was a specific song, but I remember just generally many notes and playing musical scales up and down, fast, very fast. This is the guy I am talking about, This example is from one of his side projects:
I had friends though who told me there were crazier things out there. Bands like Meshuggah and Dream Theater. I didn’t really understand that kind of music at that time, my general opinion was “This is just chaos music, therefore they are playing badly.”
The noise was too complicated for me to understand. Because I had been conditioned by the 4/4 my whole life and because those musicians where playing a completely different game altogether than the “normal” musicians, using their own rules that they’ve agreed upon themselves (magic circle).
My passion pursuit for music lead me to apply to a music high school. I got accepted and there I met new people that opened my eyes. It was like “Look, there is more, there is all this crazy music that you have never heard of before that is way more complicated than anything you’ve ever been exposed to before.”
All music for me up until that point was 4/4 music. What this means is that the whole structure and mental framework I had was this squarish idea that in music you count to 4 everything else is just doing things incorrectly. 1, 2, 3, 4 repeat. Indefinitely. But because of my newfound friends with tad more uncommon musical taste I was introduced to the idea that maybe what I can see is not everything that is out there. And that changed my perspective on music forever.
5/8 time signature. Music that is based on the structure and mental framework of counting to 5 making patterns that doesn’t synchronise with 4/4. In 4/4 you can divide the notes in the middle to create two equally sized notes of double speed, which means you always count to 4, 8 or 16 within one cycle of beats for a specific tempo, which level is dependent on what level of double speed you are thinking in when you make the music. In 5/8, though, you change your 4’s into 5’s where your double speeds becomes 5, 10, 20, etc.
For this following song and example it might help to count to 7 followed by a counting to 8, creating a pattern total of 15 (realising myself that this example might not be one of the easy tutorial concept to start with. Sorry about that.)
My musical life turned into a math game, of counting and synchronising beats. You can add time signatures after each other, like counting to 4 then counting to 5, creating a pattern which sum is 9. All of a sudden you have a pattern that synchronised with a beat where you count to 3 for 3 times in a row (5+4=9, 3*3=9). Down the rabbit hole it quickly becomes beautifully complex.
This is not everything though. The above is just linear sequencing of beats. You can also, as I briefly hinted at earlier, have unusual rhythms and time signatures that run in parallel and not just as a sequence like above examples. This is what is called polytheistic. It is basically like playing with two or more mental frameworks of rhythm simultaneously. The most usual variants of polytheism have two “tracks” running simultaneously and overlapping, creating periods of desynchronisation and synchronisation of patterns running simultaneously. The following example is one pattern that is counted to 3 and another pattern that is counted to 4. These pattern synchronise when the 3 counting pattern has run 4 times, because 4*3 is 12 and 3*4 is 4. Meaning that 3 sequences of the 4 pattern aligns with 4 sequences of the 3 pattern.
The following is another example, or at least the intro of the song is 🙂
So to make gaming analogies: This is basically the dark souls of music. It is the bullet hell, it is the endless search for complex patterns and challenges to understand and overcome.
I am too tired to write anymore right now. Please leave a comment if you read this, I need as much feedback as I possibly can. I want to get better at writing and I want to write things that are accurate. And just any acknowledgement or feedback that people can give me is highly appreciated. Thanks.