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#1
if a song instead of skewing too far from a tonic center, stays too close to the same notes? For instance, I was looking at the criteria for a piece to be considered tonal, and it said it must have

chords,
a third or (flattened third) to determine if it belongs to a major or minor scale,
has a leading tone,
triad harmonies,
resolves to a root note.

Now hip hop songs are rhythm based, and the rapper usually executes in a monotonic fashion, without harmonizing. Also many rap songs only have a couple reocurring notes, and some notes are only played as a relief from another one, not to satisfy the resolution of a tone. There is only two notes, you can't tell what is in relation to what

Basically, are some rap songs so simple that they may not even be considered tonal because most don't have chords in them, and even if it doesn't sound like random discordant notes?

Thank you if someone could please clarify
Last edited by captain Trips at Dec 18, 2008,
#2
Quote by captain Trips
if a song instead of skewing too far from a tonic center, stays too close to the same notes? For instance, I was looking at the criteria for a piece to be considered tonal, and it said it must have

chords,
a third or (flattened third) to determine if it belongs to a major or minor scale,
has a leading tone,
triad harmonies,
resolves to a root note.

Now hip hop songs are rhythm based, and the rapper usually executes in a monotonic fashion, without harmonizing. Also many rap songs only have a couple reocurring notes, and some notes are only played as a relief from another one, not to satisfy the resolution of a tone. There is only two notes, you can't tell what is in relation to what

Basically, are some rap songs so simple that they may not even be considered tonal because most don't have chords in them, and even if it doesn't sound like random discordant notes?

Thank you if someone could please clarify


I just had a quick listen to some Wu Tang, which often sounds quite atonal. Are you thinking along the lines of say, Liquid Swords by GZA?

monotonic fashion


I might disagree with you there. Most rapping is not monotonic - although a narrower range compared to a singer is a valid observation.

EDIT: I'm guessing the question, and my answer is: atonal doesn't necessarily mean wacky avant-garde wankfest music and it is quite listenable
Last edited by Roast Beef at Dec 18, 2008,
#3
I don't see rap as music, but as poetry. The music in rap is usually a groove or rhythm to keep things flowing and interesting to the listeners. The rhythm is the bridge to grab the attention of the listener and to get the message across.

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#4
Rap isn't melodic, the actual act of rapping isn't music. It's as musical as making people laugh, it might sound good but it's definitely not music.

Music is the deliberate placement of notes and silence with the intent of aesthetics (or something like that). Rap (just the lyrics) is not music.

I actually write hip-hop for my friends (just the music behind it), I accept that rap (the way the words are presented) is a rhthymic art and I'll take that in consideration when I'm writing a beat, but I don't take into consideration the notes my friends are rapping to. I won't record them or ask them to rap to a melody or anything like that.

True atonal music is what Schoenberg did. Basically what you do is that you don't use any notes more than any other notes, whilst still having 3 or 4 voices. He wrote a whole book on this methodology.
Schoenberg did atonal music quite well, imo everyone else does it shiite though.
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#5
Most rap backings have implied harmonic or melodic resolutions and tensions. Don't forget, a tonal tune can be really dull. If I played A, E, A, E, etc, it would still be tonal.
#6
If rap music is tonal, it's by accident. They don't do things correctly. (you don't have to know what the chord is to play it)

It's also funny, Schoenberg hated the term 'Atonal' he preferred 'pan-tonal'

demonofthenight hit the nail on the head, you should listen to him.

Although I do like Bartok and Varese's work as far as their modern works.
#7
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I don't see rap as music, but as poetry. The music in rap is usually a groove or rhythm to keep things flowing and interesting to the listeners. The rhythm is the bridge to grab the attention of the listener and to get the message across.


Rap is more than just poetry, it's organized sound......... it's........ music. That's hard to accept for a lot of people, but it's true.



Quote by demonofthenight
Rap isn't melodic, the actual act of rapping isn't music. It's as musical as making people laugh, it might sound good but it's definitely not music.

Music is the deliberate placement of notes and silence with the intent of aesthetics (or something like that). Rap (just the lyrics) is not music.


^ There are some major flaws with your reasoning there.


1st of all your definition of what music is.
"the deliberate placement of notes and silence with the intent of aesthetics" is not an accurate definition.

a more accurate definition would be this: "Music is an art form whose medium is sound organized in time."

Note that the term sound is not limited to actual pitches.

Secondly you reduce rap to being simply lyrics. This is not the case because those lyrics are put to rhythms and phrases. If a person were to rap with absolutely no background music, what they are doing is still organized sound and is therefore in the realm of music.




Anyway, Atonal music:

Wiki describes it quite well.....

"Atonality in its broadest sense describes music that lacks a tonal center, or key. Atonality in this sense usually describes compositions written from about 1907 to the present day where a hierarchy of pitches focusing on a single, central tone is not used as a primary foundation for the work. More narrowly, the term describes music that does not conform to the system of tonal hierarchies that characterized classical European music between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries."

- Wiki
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 18, 2008,
#8
Quote by Freepower
Most rap backings have implied harmonic or melodic resolutions and tensions. Don't forget, a tonal tune can be really dull. If I played A, E, A, E, etc, it would still be tonal.


that's along the lines of what I was trying to get at or find out...

So if say a song is just playing A and E over and over again, how would you determine the intervals and which was the tonic center, and how do you know the notes are not just alternating to give relief from the other one? (What you said makes sense though, it's giving you pieces of a harmony, I'm just not sure if you could define the key of a song like that, and that to me would seem atonal.)


And as far as rap being monotonic, I only ment because most rap now is more spoken then sung, and the rapper is not harmonizing with melodies
Last edited by captain Trips at Dec 18, 2008,
#9
If it was just A to E, without hearing it, I'd say that looks like I-V-I-V in A. Obviously context could make it IV-I in E, but just use your ears.

Basically, simple songs will have an easily identified tonal center. I'm suprised no-ones actually posted any links yet, but here goes -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiXbRBS5Z58

Listen to the "riff" in the background. It very clearly implies a Gm tonality. You can hear that's the root pretty quickly if you noodle about, and there's constant pedals in the bass and over the chorus section in the "strings". The pipe melody resolves to G clearly as well.

Okay, finally, if you want to read into the riff, try basing chords off the riff in a sensible fashion and you get -

Gm->Eb->Eb->D

Now, if that's not i-VI-V-i with a big dumb perfect cadence at the end my name's Jim. Obviously the riff doesn't resolve as strongly as that progression in full, but that's still good enough for me.

Anyway, pedals, basslines, etc, all imply a tonic in rap, and it's usually easy to find it.
#10
Thanks freepower, that's what I was trying to get at, with a good example. In that song you can definitely hear the tonic resolution when they say that single 'yeah' at the end of the riff, despite how simple it is.

While still confused, I was somewhat posing the original question as kind of a hypothetical to get a better understanding of tonality. After reading the criteria I was unsure if lacking a major or minor third and triads falls into an atonal category on technicality, even after contemplating the presence of a root progression that resolves itself. Thank you for clarifying
Last edited by captain Trips at Dec 18, 2008,
#11
I don't see rap as music, but as poetry. The music in rap is usually a groove or rhythm to keep things flowing and interesting to the listeners. The rhythm is the bridge to grab the attention of the listener and to get the message across.

There you go.

I keep thinking of the main guitar "riff" in Stillborn.
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#13
Music to me is the relation between horizontal rhythm(a beat) and vertical pitch(notes, progressions). Rap has both those things. Regardless of the content or delivery of the lyrics, or any level of vocality, rap fits into that category. There doesn't have to be a singer using an obvious harmony or melody to be considered music
#14
Rap might be music, but it is most certainly, without a doubt, without any exceptions, nor with any room for objective interpretation, bad music.
#15
Quote by captain Trips
Music to me is the relation between horizontal rhythm(a beat) and vertical pitch(notes, progressions). Rap has both those things. Regardless of the content or delivery of the lyrics, or any level of vocality, rap fits into that category. There doesn't have to be a singer using an obvious harmony or melody to be considered music


Yep.... "music is an art form whose medium is sound organized in time.". Rap easily fits into that category.
shred is gaudy music
#17
I'll give rap the category of music, but it is not by any means a high art. good atonality requires great intense composition. Generally when atonal music is mentioned, It doesn't just describe ''lots of stuff that doesn't make any sense''
#18
Quote by Shredworthy
I'll give rap the category of music, but it is not by any means a high art. good atonality requires great intense composition. Generally when atonal music is mentioned, It doesn't just describe ''lots of stuff that doesn't make any sense''


^ all your opinion. (wrongly stated as fact)


here is a description of atonal music:

"Atonality in its broadest sense describes music that lacks a tonal center, or key. Atonality in this sense usually describes compositions written from about 1907 to the present day where a hierarchy of pitches focusing on a single, central tone is not used as a primary foundation for the work."

what's good or bad as a matter of opinion.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 18, 2008,
#19
I think a lot of rap music is still tonal because even though some of it can be simple, it still resolves somewhere (showing it has a tonic.... making it tonal).


Oh, and: I win
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#21
Would people please stop linking to the worst rap videos to convince people rap is ****

I could do that for any genre, there's awful **** in every genre
#22
Quote by GuitarMunky
Yep.... "music is an art form whose medium is sound organized in time.". Rap easily fits into that category.
Like it or not, music in a western sense also means organized pitch.

EDIT: Seeing as we all love dictionary and wiki definitions, here's a dictionary definition of music:
Dictionary:


music
(myū'zĭk) pronunciation
n.

1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.
3.
1. A musical composition.
2. The written or printed score for such a composition.
3. Such scores considered as a group: We keep our music in a stack near the piano.
4. A musical accompaniment.
5. A particular category or kind of music.
6. An aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds: the music of the wind in the pines.

The last of which is more of an abstract term than a realistic definition of real music.

Or another definition from the merriam-webster dictionary:


Main Entry:
mu·sic Listen to the pronunciation of music
Pronunciation:
\ˈmyü-zik\
Function:
noun
Usage:
often attributive
Etymology:
Middle English musik, from Anglo-French musike, from Latin musica, from Greek mousikē any art presided over by the Muses, especially music, from feminine of mousikos of the Muses, from Mousa Muse
Date:
13th century

1 a: the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity b: vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony2 a: an agreeable sound : euphony <her voice was music to my ears> b: musical quality <the music of verse>3: a musical accompaniment <a play set to music>4: the score of a musical composition set down on paper5: a distinctive type or category of music <there is a music for everybody — Eric Salzman>

Once again, the last of which is an abstract term.

Or from a site called dictionary.reference:

mu⋅sic
   /ˈmyuzɪk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [myoo-zik] Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.
2. the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both.
3. musical work or compositions for singing or playing.
4. the written or printed score of a musical composition.
5. such scores collectively.
6. any sweet, pleasing, or harmonious sounds or sound: the music of the waves.
7. appreciation of or responsiveness to musical sounds or harmonies: Music was in his very soul.
8. Fox Hunting. the cry of the hounds.
—Idiom
9. face the music, to meet, take, or accept the consequences of one's mistakes, actions, etc.: He's squandered his money and now he's got to face the music.


All these definitions agree, music is dependent on pitch and tones and melody.
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Last edited by demonofthenight at Dec 19, 2008,
#23
^ nah, music is sound organised in time. Thassal. Those are friendly definitions for the public, but are you saying that organised train samples can't be music? Setting voices to a beat isn't music?
#24
Quote by demonofthenight
Like it or not, music in a western sense also means organized pitch.

EDIT: Seeing as we all love dictionary and wiki definitions, here's a dictionary definition of music:
Dictionary:


music
(myū'zĭk) pronunciation
n.

1. The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
2. Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.
3.
1. A musical composition.
2. The written or printed score for such a composition.
3. Such scores considered as a group: We keep our music in a stack near the piano.
4. A musical accompaniment.
5. A particular category or kind of music.
6. An aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds: the music of the wind in the pines.

The last of which is more of an abstract term than a realistic definition of real music.

Or another definition from the merriam-webster dictionary:


Main Entry:
mu·sic Listen to the pronunciation of music
Pronunciation:
\ˈmyü-zik\
Function:
noun
Usage:
often attributive
Etymology:
Middle English musik, from Anglo-French musike, from Latin musica, from Greek mousikē any art presided over by the Muses, especially music, from feminine of mousikos of the Muses, from Mousa Muse
Date:
13th century

1 a: the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity b: vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony2 a: an agreeable sound : euphony <her voice was music to my ears> b: musical quality <the music of verse>3: a musical accompaniment <a play set to music>4: the score of a musical composition set down on paper5: a distinctive type or category of music <there is a music for everybody — Eric Salzman>

Once again, the last of which is an abstract term.

Or from a site called dictionary.reference:

mu⋅sic
   /ˈmyuzɪk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [myoo-zik] Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.
2. the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or multiple lines (harmony), and sounded or to be sounded by one or more voices or instruments, or both.
3. musical work or compositions for singing or playing.
4. the written or printed score of a musical composition.
5. such scores collectively.
6. any sweet, pleasing, or harmonious sounds or sound: the music of the waves.
7. appreciation of or responsiveness to musical sounds or harmonies: Music was in his very soul.
8. Fox Hunting. the cry of the hounds.
—Idiom
9. face the music, to meet, take, or accept the consequences of one's mistakes, actions, etc.: He's squandered his money and now he's got to face the music.


All these definitions agree, music is dependent on pitch and tones and melody.


By your definition a person playing drums or percussion unaccompanied is incapable of creating "music".

Ironically, the definitions you just listed conflict with your premise that "rap isn't music". None of those definitions exclude the concept of non-pitched instruments creating music.

"the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession"
"The art of arranging sounds in time"

Rap is music. The sooner you get over it, the less you make a fool of yourself.

btw I'm no rap fan, but I respect all musicians regardless of genre. I don't however have an ounce of respect for musical snobbery and elitism.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 19, 2008,
#25
Quote by GuitarMunky
Rap is music. The sooner you get over it, the less you make a fool of yourself.


Fuckin' A.
#26
Quote by GuitarMunky
Rap is music. The sooner you get over it, the less you make a fool of yourself.

btw I'm no rap fan, but I respect all musicians regardless of genre. I don't however have an ounce of respect for musical snobbery and elitism.


You always steal the words from my fingertips
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

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#28
Still at it...If you want to listen to a true atonal( 12 tone ) composition listen to Schoenberg's Jacob's ladder; or atleast the segments he did complete. Or better yet, a more sedate version of atonal music, listen to his Pierrot Lunaire; a true master piece. Of course if your ears aren't use to atonal music, non rap lovers will probably find a new found appreciation for modern day rap. But if you are willing to let your ears listen without any restraint you'll feel free as if you were bouncing in space!
#29
Quote by Freepower
Most rap backings have implied harmonic or melodic resolutions and tensions. Don't forget, a tonal tune can be really dull. If I played A, E, A, E, etc, it would still be tonal.


I agree, rap is actually tonal albeit very simple (at least many that i've heard). Definitely wouldn't call it atonal though and the backing is usually very tonal.
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#30
*sigh*

I'm not being a snob, I'm not saying rap is crap, I'm just saying it's absurb to call the actual act of rapping musical. It's words to a beat, that's all. A beat by itself is not musical. If it's tonal it's completely not by purpose. In a modern sense, music is also about pitch and rhthym.

And yes, I don't think solo drums is music. Except for drummers, who would go and see a solo drum player?

I guess if you wanted to be an artsy fag about what's musical and what's not, sure you could argue that rap and drumbeats are music. Well I'm a practical kind of guy so I won't.

Ironically, I'm probably one of the only guys in this thread that can say: I LIKE SOME RAP

And munky, don't call me an idiot. That's similar to how Sue got tragically banned.
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#31
^It sure sounds like it. Rap IS music. I don't get how you don't see it. You're one of the only guys that can say "I like some rap"? Lol. I'm listening to T.I. right now, I own a book of Tupac's poetry, I blaze to kottonmouth kings + beastie boys and **** like that, lol. I don't think munky called you an idiot? If you want to put yourself under that name, it's fine. According to dictionary.com, "idiot" means "fool" and a "fool" is someone without sense. There isn't any sense in your argument for rap not being "music".
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#32
Someone should make a hair ball out of this thread and feed it to a fat cat with no digestive track.

Damn, nigga, I should take the last part of my sentence, put a drum beat behind it, get a lot of tattoos, work out, seek a pretentious image how a random string of words is poetry, call it music, delude millions of ignorant Americans and get rich.
#33
^It's still music. If you like it or not, agree with the intentions and effects or not, it's music.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#34
Quote by metal4all
^It's still music. If you like it or not, agree with the intentions and effects or not, it's music.



Sure it's music. No doubt about that. It's bad music as well. Again, no doubt about that.
#35
In a modern sense, music is also about pitch and rhthym.


What a terribly un-modern thing of you to say.

I guess if you wanted to be an artsy fag about what's musical and what's not, sure you could argue that rap and drumbeats are music. Well I'm a practical kind of guy so I won't.


Or we could be an artsy fag about what's music and instead argue that rap and drumbeats aren't musical!

It's so cute when we're being arbitrary.
#36
Quote by MisquotedTeabag
Sure it's music. No doubt about that. It's bad music as well. Again, no doubt about that.
The question is just "is rap, music?...if so, is it tonal?". It's definitely music and mostly tonal, but nobodies opinion on the music itself matters because it's not relevant to the question.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#37
Quote by metal4all
The question is just "is rap, music?...if so, is it tonal?". It's definitely music and mostly tonal, but nobodies opinion on the music itself matters because it's not relevant to the question.



Yes, I understand. Half my post was off topic. I'm so sorry. I'll never do it again. Promise.
#38
Quote by demonofthenight
And munky, don't call me an idiot. That's similar to how Sue got tragically banned.


lol.

Sometimes I don't know where your common sense has run off to.
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#39
I'm suprised some of you don't think percussion by itself is music, it's probably music in it's rawest and oldest form, before there was any spoken languages
#40
Much as I hate to admit it because I'm not fond of 99% of it, it's music in my book.

Quote by Freepower
^ nah, music is sound organised in time.


Back in another lifetime, during high school and my couple of years of college, I took several poetry classes. Needless to say, meter and rhythm are super important, and considered part of the poem along with what the words actually say.

So, I'm not sure that "sound organized in time" isn't too broad for music, unless poetry is also to fall under the umbrella of music. So, if you were to take an acapella song, and the recital of a poem, following the "sound organized in time" defination, then they are both one and the same. What separates them seems to me to be the emphasis placed on pitch in the song.
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