Re: Music-conlangs & music
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Monday, July 3, 2006, 12:54|
Yahya Abdal-Aziz wrote:
> Hi Ray,[snip]
> Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane. My parents
> thought "Eagle" a suitable comic for a growing lad;
Quite right ;)
Does that mean you were a youngster here when I was a teenager?
> I thought Dan Dare a bit gung ho at the time;
A great guy - I used to listen to "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" on
Radio Luxembourg as well.
> .... - and I have never
> been able to understand claims that "everyone's
> archetypal alien is the kind of figure associated
> with the Roswell incident".
Nor I - particular as it just ain't true.
> Grey skin, indeed!
> Everyone knows that the aliens'skin is green! ;-)
Of course it is - otherwise there's no point to phrase "Little Green
Men". Who could take a grey alien seriously, for goodness sake ;)
So would I. I keep hoping that some one still has the sheets and will
some time put them on the web.
> Finally, there was a reference to Chad Varah, the
> scriptwriter for "Marooned on Mercury", who
> "... wrote a series of sheets explaining how the
> language worked". The link is at Nicholas Hill's
> "Dan Dare" page:
> I'd dearly like to see those sheets ...
>>What I want to know is how this affects the notion of 'songs' in the
>>language. Is every poem, in fact, a song - even tho the tune may not be
>>very tuneful! Are there Solresol _songs_? Does anyone know.
> This kind of scheme almost guarantees that almost
> every utterance is a *bad* song! Whether we use
> 12 semitones or 7 diatonic notes, a full octave is too
> large a range for most human voices in the course of
> a normal day's speech. Many of us don't exceed,
> and some don't even attain, a half an octave in range.
Yes, but you're relating this to normal spoken language. If you have no
vowels or consonants, as is the case for Solresol & Eaiea, then you have
to use a wider range. Solresol, at least was actually used & did attract
a following for a time in the 19th century. I don't know what method of
note production was most common - possibly humming or whistling. Anyone
I've searched hard on the Internet for audio examples of Solresol
actually being used, but have so far not found any. I find this slightly
surprising in the view of the claim that some were using the language
until recently - indeed, it seems there may still be some enthusiasts
out there who still use the language.
> Further, the pitch alterations we make in normal
> speech can be quite slight, and very subtle when
> compared with a full semitone. The better we know
> our interlocutor, the smaller the tonal inflection
> need be to convey a wealth of meaning.
But this only applies to the normal language of vowels & consonants,
where variations in pitch and/or tone are generally secondary.
> I'm almost
> convinced that any workable sung language would
> need to be microtonal, with probably many more
> than just 12 discrete pitches to the octave.
I have IIRC seen microtonal intervals suggested.
> At a
> guess, I'd hazard that we could all readily distinguish
> at least 30, and possibly 40, different pitches in that
> range. Another thing is that we all have different
> natural speaking ranges. So pinning meanings to
> absolute pitches is probably a mistake; it's the
> relative pitches that presently convey meaning, both
> in tonal and "non-tonal" languages.
Yes, but these are tonal languages with vowels & consonants. It would
nice to have some feedback from Solresol users, or from Bruce Koestner
concerning his Eaiea.
> OT: Which leads me to another point entirely: I think
> for effective representation of the nuances of spoken
> language, I should like to see a "bi-linear" (possibly
> trilinear or quadrilinear) writing system (not Sai's non-
> linear fully two-dimensional w.s.), as follows:
> 0. The zeroth line would be a (clock or relative) timeline.
> 1. The first line would contain point-of-articulation
> (POA) data.
> 2. The second line would contain manner-of articu-
> lation (MOA) data.
> 3. The third line would contain the pitch data (melody).
> 4. The fourth line would contain stress data.
Some languages do 2 and/or 3 to some extent by means of diacritics. But
if these features were more closely marked, I can see problems. Patterns
of intonation vary considerable in the UK alone. For, the way they speak
English in the 6 counties of northern Ireland makes ordinary statements
sound like questions to us southern Britons.
>>It must also, surely, have implications for music in those languages,
>>since any sequence of notes (at least in the major scale) will
>>correspond to actual words in the language, even tho the resultant words
>>make give nonsense as regards meaning.
> My first thought was that such a language would
> preclude the possiblilty of an independent art of
> music. However, given that a speech range may
> be much less than a singing range, it should still
> be possible to have "utterances" as microtonal
> melismas, or vocal ornaments, around various
> musical resting points, eg the tonic and dominant
> notes of a diatonic scale.
Yes, I do not see that such languages would preclude music.
> In such a music, unlike
> ours, no music would be completely free of verbal
> associations, I think.
Quite so. One interesting thing that Bruce Koestner writes about Eaiea
is that it makes it possible for a singer two sing two different things
at once: s/he may sing words in English, Italian or some other natlang,
but singing something else entirely in Eaiea by the notes on which s/he
signs the words. The same applies also to Solresol, at least if the
music is in a major scale; but I've seen this claim made by
Solresolists. But if it were done with Solresol, then we'd have the
interesting phenomenon of a person 'saying' one thing in a natlang and
something different in an auxlang at the same time :)
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760