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Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music

From: Janek Warchoł
Subject: Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 15:21:46 +0100

2011/3/18 Graham Percival <address@hidden>:
> On 3/18/11, Kieren MacMillan <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Graham,
>>> Has that happened with books?  Have stories become
>>> total crap over the past 10/50/200 years?
>> Actually, yes: no author made a million dollars writing a Harlequin Romance
>> novel in the 1500s.  :)
> Hmm.  I'll admit that penny dreadfuls were in the 1800s, not 1500s...
> but I'm certain that the 1500s still had raunchy, "low-class"
> theatrical plays and songs.  I don't believe that everybody sat around
> in their castles writing Nobel-quality poetry to each other.

On the other hand, those people (watching low-class plays and singing
low-class songs) usually had no choice nor opportunities to learn how
to sing or act better.
I mean, the problem is that today the good stuff isn't much more
expensive than crap (i mean good art, not musical instruments for
example), so people are not restricted to crap because of money
problems, but still they choose crap. 200 years ago if you wanted to
watch beautiful paintings, you had to be rich and buy some. Today you
can buy a decent reproduction almost for free.

> I care about human creativity.
> A bunch of teenagers in a grungy basement in Seattle in the 1980s
> writing songs about how emo they are, using nothing but power chords,
> is more creative than somebody sitting in their living room listening
> to a CD or Mozart string quartets.  A middle-aged housewife writing
> homoerotic star trek fan fiction is more creative than somebody
> listening to a CD of Debussy piano music.
> I'm not saying that we need to be creative all the time -- sometimes
> it's good to relax, and of course it's good to listen/read/view a lot
> of art to get ideas to use in your own works.  But I think that
> creating new art (of any quality) is more creative than looking at
> existing works.

As long as you don't say that creativity is the most important aspect
of human existence, i think i agree.

> Classical music is no guarantee of high art.  I used to play cello in
> quartets for weddings and dinner banquets.  When we played Pachelbel's
> Canon, I spent most of my time glancing at the neck-lines of women's
> dresses.  Ditto for Mozart divertimento 136.  They're both great
> crowd-favourites, they both have easy cello parts (I memorized them
> without trying to), and they require virtually no creativity from the
> cello player.  At least, not for the venue of "providing background
> music while people mingle and drink wine".

I remember! You wrote a Revenge-Of-Cellist-Bored-By-Playing-Pachelbel's-Canon!
Unfortunately it's not available on your webpage now...

>> I *do* think so -- and recent studies on youth support my belief with
>> evidence. On the music side, consider the fact that recent studies have
>> shown a majority of young people prefer the sound of compressed audio (e.g.,
>> low- to medium-bitrate MP3s) to uncompressed audio. [Pause here to fully
>> appreciate the horror of that statement.]
> What am I supposed to be horrified by?
> Listening to music produces a subjective feeling in humans.  Suppose I
> receive the most aural pleasure by listening to Shostakovich music,
> passed through a low-pass filter at 50 Hz.  (for non-engineers: this
> means I can hear some muffled "boom" noises, and no chance at melody
> or anything like that).  So what?

I think the problem is what exactly were they questioned about? Was is
"which one do you like better listening to?" (a question about taste,
to which your above example correspons good) or "which one is better
quality/is more similar to 'live audio'?" (a technical question about
perception and hearing abilities).

>> A lower barrier of entry by definition allows people to "get into the field"
>> with less experience, less training, less discipline, less persistence, and
>> so on. Are there some benefits to this? Sure. Does it increase the amount of
>> crap we have to wade through. Absolutely.
> Of course!  That's why reviewers -- be they humans, or computer
> recommendation systems (which is a big area of research) -- are
> becoming more important.



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