Yin yang thing

i was just wondering is it true that melody cannot exist without rhythm and vice versa, relating to yin yang philosophy...correct me if im wrong, i believe that melody cannot exist without rhythm otherwise it d just be noise of a certain pitch and rhythm without melody wud have no dynamics...
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

Well observed. Take any famous melody, play the right notes in the right order but without the correct rhythm and it'll sound unrecognisable. So many of the great melodies are simple and very similar to each other; the only thing that seperates them is the rhythm.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

It's not exactly a yin-yang thing, but more of a building block thing in my opinion. Rhythm can exist without melody, while as stated melody cannot exist without rhythm. So melody builds upon rhythm.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

It's not exactly a yin-yang thing, but more of a building block thing in my opinion. Rhythm can exist without melody, while as stated melody cannot exist without rhythm. So melody builds upon rhythm.
Al, you could also say that all rhythms have a melody of sorts - just not necessarily very engaging or obvious ones.

Have a look at Aydee's link in the OP: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59738

From Wikipedia's article on melody:

While in both most popular music and classical music of the common practice period pitch and duration are of primary importance in melodies, the contemporary music of the 20th and 21st centuries pitch and duration have lessened in importance and quality has gained importance, often primary.

Examples include musique concrete, klangfarbenmelodie, Elliott Carter's Eight Etudes and a Fantasy which contains a movement with only one note, the third movement of Ruth Crawford-Seeger's String Quartet 1931 (later reorchestrated as Andante for string orchestra) in which the melody is created from an unchanging set of pitches through "dissonant dynamics" alone, and György Ligeti's Aventures in which recurring phonetics create the linear form.​
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

In the sense that all sounds have pitches, sure; but I would classify most sounds as either tonal (melodic) or percussive (rhythmic).

You can make a rhythm out of one sound, with practically unidentifiable or indistinguishable tonal properties. But my point is, melody is composed of tones (notes) set to rhythmic structures.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

A melody consisting of multiple notes at the same pitch is still a melody though, no?
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

In the sense that all sounds have pitches, sure; but I would classify most sounds as either tonal (melodic) or percussive (rhythmic).

You can make a rhythm out of one sound, with practically unidentifiable or indistinguishable tonal properties. But my point is, melody is composed of tones (notes) set to rhythmic structures.
Sure, your definitions work for me in regard to conventional Western music, which would cover all practical means and purposes for 99.9% of western musicians. My response is about looking the question in a theoretical sense whereas you're taking a practical approach. Each approach has its worth, depending on context.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

In the sense that all sounds have pitches, sure; but I would classify most sounds as either tonal (melodic) or percussive (rhythmic).

You can make a rhythm out of one sound, with practically unidentifiable or indistinguishable tonal properties. But my point is, melody is composed of tones (notes) set to rhythmic structures.
99.9% of the time, correct.

Some new age music, often refereed to as space music, is often pretty absent of rhythm. Melodies flow into each other with out any set rhythm. But it's clearly more of en exception.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

99.9% of the time, correct.

Some new age music, often refereed to as space music, is often pretty absent of rhythm. Melodies flow into each other with out any set rhythm. But it's clearly more of en exception.
Can the absence of a pattern be construed as a pattern? Then can the absence of a rhythm be construed as a rhythm? This strains pretty hard at what definitions of rhythm and melody are. I'd love to hear someone with an advanced degree in music theory or composition give their .02.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

Can the absence of a pattern be construed as a pattern? Then can the absence of a rhythm be construed as a rhythm? This strains pretty hard at what definitions of rhythm and melody are. I'd love to hear someone with an advanced degree in music theory or composition give their .02.
Okay, I'm going to get really stupid here, but here goes...

Take the weather as an example. There's not so much of a discernible pattern day to day. It seems almost random and not very predictable - especially out further than just a few days. But when taken in context of seasons, the emergence of a pattern or a predictable rhythm becomes apparent.

That's just an earthly example. If we want to get spacey like new age... aw, nevermind!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

Okay, I'm going to get really stupid here, but here goes...

Take the weather as an example. There's not so much of a discernible pattern day to day. It seems almost random and not very predictable - especially out further than just a few days. But when taken in context of seasons, the emergence of a pattern or a predictable rhythm becomes apparent.

That's just an earthly example. If we want to get spacey like new age... aw, nevermind!
Oh come now, Mike. we all know that the Weather Bureau predicts it with perfectly every time!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

...this is when Graham Chapman marches onscreen dressed as the Colonel and goes, "Right, stop that! This is just too silly!"
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

Can the absence of a pattern be construed as a pattern? Then can the absence of a rhythm be construed as a rhythm? This strains pretty hard at what definitions of rhythm and melody are. I'd love to hear someone with an advanced degree in music theory or composition give their .02.
Possibly.

Steward Copland mused something similar once in an interview some years back.
Something to effect of "even it's one beat per 100 years, it's still a rhythm.."

I won't ponder to guess. I just know it's one of the few types of music that doesn't make me start tapping, air drumming, or otherwise trying to play the rhythm in my head or on any near by source. LOL.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

Okay, I'm going to get really stupid here, but here goes...

Take the weather as an example. There's not so much of a discernible pattern day to day. It seems almost random and not very predictable - especially out further than just a few days. But when taken in context of seasons, the emergence of a pattern or a predictable rhythm becomes apparent.

That's just an earthly example. If we want to get spacey like new age... aw, nevermind!
You know, that was a pretty awesome attempt at showing how something without a pattern has a pattern.

Because even in the example I gave, the "songs" still have a starting point and ending point. And from that, parts can be predicted.

So yeah, I think you kind of nailed it.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

You know, that was a pretty awesome attempt at showing how something without a pattern has a pattern.

Because even in the example I gave, the "songs" still have a starting point and ending point. And from that, parts can be predicted.

So yeah, I think you kind of nailed it.
This is like saying there's a reason for everything that happens, whether we know the reason or not. However chaos theory makes such predictions beyond the realm of the practical.

If a chimp plays a series of random notes on the piano, we will have a melody of sorts but rhythm implies some level of repetition, which is unlikely. You could perhaps run it through a program that could detect commonalities but that would be impractical. It would be easier and make more sense to add a synth backing and random percussive sounds and call it Etude Obliquitie a la Pan Troglodytes No 1.


alparrot said:
...this is when Graham Chapman marches onscreen dressed as the Colonel and goes, "Right, stop that! This is just too silly!"
Al, silly is what I do :) There's probably a reason for that as well Did you ever notice that your username is kind of connected to mine - parrot ... Polly? And we both draw cartoons. Serendipity perhaps? Is there a reason? Sorry, I'm being silly again :)
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

This is like saying there's a reason for everything that happens, whether we know the reason or not. However chaos theory makes such predictions beyond the realm of the practical.
Is there not a reason for everything that happens, whether we know it or not? Purpose, on the other hand...
If a chimp plays a series of random notes on the piano, we will have a melody of sorts but rhythm implies some level of repetition, which is unlikely. You could perhaps run it through a program that could detect commonalities but that would be impractical. It would be easier and make more sense to add a synth backing and random percussive sounds and call it Etude Obliquitie a la Pan Troglodytes No 1.
I like this example. It seems very fitting because while I don't play with chimps, I do play with some close relatives of theirs known as "chumps" and that's exactly how I approach playing with them: they plink away on their little strings or whatever doing who-knows-what while I try to hold down a beat - although, perhaps curiously, it is me that's making the grunting noises (hmmm, better look into that...).
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

Is there not a reason for everything that happens, whether we know it or not? Purpose, on the other hand...
I didn't phrase that well and made it look as though I was disagreeing. Actually I was just boiling it down.

I like this example. It seems very fitting because while I don't play with chimps, I do play with some close relatives of theirs known as "chumps" and that's exactly how I approach playing with them: they plink away on their little strings or whatever doing who-knows-what while I try to hold down a beat - although, perhaps curiously, it is me that's making the grunting noises (hmmm, better look into that...).
In an ideal world we're not playing with chimps or chumps, but with champs :) Is GD your father? hehe

Moving back to the topic at hand ... my thoughts on Yin & Yang and music have generally been more more drum-centred. It occurred to me while watching an Aaron Spears video one time that his playing was intensely masculine - full of power and speed in what I see as a classic male display. I remember being knocked out by Rob Hirst's drumming in my teens - all power, speed and biceps, with mucho sweat. It was a pretty sexy display from this side of the fence.

Then I thought about the women drummers I've heard, not to mention my own drumming, and a lot of us (including me) seem to be influenced by the fact that nearly all prominent modern drummers of my era were men. So you get "monster" female players like Terri-Lynne Carrington and Cindy Blackman, who basically play like guys (the equivalent of the power suit in the corporate world).

Exceptions are Moe Tucker and Meg, whose playing I see as clearly feminine in approach, in that there's zero "display" and zero ego. It's 100% about supporting the song the other musicians ... they don't even try to slip in any sneaky clever bits, which is something I try to do (with varying success). It definitely feels good when I lay back with an ostinato and let everyone else ride over it, though.

Not saying "this is good and that is bad" - just noticing. It's all good IMO
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

If a chimp plays a series of random notes on the piano, we will have a melody of sorts but rhythm implies some level of repetition, which is unlikely. You could perhaps run it through a program that could detect commonalities but that would be impractical. It would be easier and make more sense to add a synth backing and random percussive sounds and call it Etude Obliquitie a la Pan Troglodytes No 1.
But if you record the chimpls playing, slice it up into smaller loops, then you could cut and paste the parts into something very rhythmic, and then make a video and it becomes a Youtube senseation and a dance floor hit in England........ :p
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

But if you record the chimpls playing, slice it up into smaller loops, then you could cut and paste the parts into something very rhythmic, and then make a video and it becomes a Youtube senseation and a dance floor hit in England........ :p
Nice bit of resourcefulness, DED.
Did you ever hear Adrian Belew's album, Lone Rhino? The closer, The Final Rhino, consisted of some lucky piano doodling by his 4 year-old daughter (while he held the sustain pedal down). He recorded swell guitar over the top to tie it together and - voila! - instant composition.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Re: YIN YANG THING!!

Nice bit of resourcefulness, DED.
Did you ever hear Adrian Belew's album, Lone Rhino? The closer, The Final Rhino, consisted of some lucky piano doodling by his 4 year-old daughter (while he held the sustain pedal down). He recorded swell guitar over the top to tie it together and - voila! - instant composition.
Nice!

On the Van Halen album "Balance" there is one "song" that is nothing but Eddie Van Halen drunk, dropping things on the inside of his piano. Although I'm not really sure why they included that on an otherwise awesome album. hahaha
 
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