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#1
I got to thinking today. Is it possible that one day, writing new music will be impossible because we have exhausted all possible combinations of key signature, tempo, time signatures, and instruments?

30 key signatures * 9 time signatures * 5 instruments * 65 different tempos = 87,750 combinations.

Let me explain.

30 key signatures, 15 major and 15 minor. I took the 9 most common time signatures I could think of (4/4, 2/2, 4/2, 2/4, 3/4, 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8..). Let's say in a basic rock band, there's two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. So 5 instruments. I subtracted 40 from 300 for the tempos, and in intervals of 4, there's 65 different tempos.

This is just the very basics of each aspect. I realize there's more than 9 time signatures, more than 5 instruments, etc. So at the very least there's 87,750 ways to write music.

So my question to you, Pit, is do you think that one day, we will simply run out of new music to write?

Edit: Let me reiterate. I know you don't have to have 5 instruments in a band. I know about alternate tunings. But I didn't take them into account. This is, once again, just a very basic idea.
Last edited by astro0930 at Aug 8, 2008,
#2
No.
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#4
There are more than just five instruments. There are fiddles, bagpipes, hurdy gurdys, sitars and all sorts of Asian stuff. Some bands use those.
#6
No. Different song lengths, key changes, tempo changes, phrases, solos, harmonies. No. Never ever ever.
#8
well,theoretically yes,but people won't remember the old music,so people will combine one song with another,and people will think wow its new when in reality people had done it before,just hadn't combined it.

People do that now,like the Avenged Sevenfold fans that think the Rev is the best drummer ever,when theres quite a few people who are now dead that can easily out-drum him.
meh
#9
Every instrument is different and you can modify anything in music. Or you can just go Nu-Metal and make it all up without music knowledge.
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#10
With innovative bands like Green Day and Scars on Broadway (Brain Stew and They Say are the most complex songs ever written) I don't think we'll ever run out!
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#11
Someone else already made this exact thread and everyone laughed at how stupid he was - do you really want to go down that path again?

Though in your defense this was a better attempt. Oh, and as for your inquiry - not in our lifetimes we won't.
#12
What about micro tonal instruments?
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#13
You forgot length of song, rhythmic variations, etc.

And there aren't 15 major and minor keys. There're only 12 notes. Some are enharmonically different, but are heard the same.
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#14
we're already repeating ourselves.

****. just look at trivium.
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#16
Ive thought about this before, but i dont think its possible because so many people can make so many different things in so many different tempos

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#17
There can be more than one song with the same tempo, key, etc and still be different. There are limitless ways to arranged different notes of a key, time signatures can be mixed in the same song, notes can be of mixed lengths (quarter notes, eigths, etc), songs can last for different lengths of time, theres to many variables.
#18
Answer:

NO

And please, tell me about these 15 major keys.

There's 12 different major keys, excluding enharmonics of course.

AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR

#19
just fyi thats already happened. were doing the exact same **** we were a 500 years ago. its just presented in a very different way. same song structure, alot of the same musical ideas, etc. just the time we live in injects a different feeling and CONTEXT.
#20
You have waaaay too much free time. And no, we won't run out.
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#21
Quote by Morgy
Answer:

NO

And please, tell me about these 15 major keys.

There's 12 different major keys, excluding enharmonics of course.


I included enharmonics. Sure, they sound the same, but they're written differently.
#24
Quote by astro0930
So at the very least there's 87,750 ways to write music.


And at the most?

I don't think we'll run out. Not in our lifetime, anyway. Not in the next century... millennium... I mean, I know there are chord progressions and whatnot already being recycled, but those bands/artists are usually pretty generic and boring anyway.
#25
Quote by RedDeath9
And at the most?

I don't think we'll run out. Not in our lifetime, anyway. Not in the next century... millennium... I mean, I know there are chord progressions and whatnot already being recycled, but those bands/artists are usually pretty generic and boring anyway.


you're right, not in our lifetime. But time is infinite, whereas music notes, progressions, tempos etc are not. Do the math.
#26
I think that even if it was limited, we wouldn't reach the end of what can be done for a very, very long time simply because people tend to base what can be done on what already has been done. The music we already have, lets just throw a number out there just to facilitate this example, %5 of whats possible, will influence the artists of the future so that by the time we reach %10, we'll only just be seeing artists that aren't connected with preset foundations and don't sound like the band before them.
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#27
Quote by metal_man12
just fyi thats already happened. were doing the exact same **** we were a 500 years ago. its just presented in a very different way. same song structure, alot of the same musical ideas, etc. just the time we live in injects a different feeling and CONTEXT.


Really? You see medieval music and composers such as Robert de Visée doing the exact same thing as, say, Aphex Twin?

Music will ALWAYS progress. You will never know what music will sound like in a 100 years time, but it will be something you never thought of.

AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR

#28
No. Because by your theory you could play 2 songs - exact same instruments, key, time signature, and tempo and they'd sound EXACTLY the same - doesnt happen. Theres loads more to it - melody, dynamics, lyrics, time of song, etc etc etc etc etc etc.
#29
Not to mention structure. And mixing of genres.

I'm guessing back in the 60's and 70's, they didn't know what music today would be like. Maybe they were having the same conversation as us, lol. There's always going to be something new to add...
#30
Quote by StonaLemons
No. Because by your theory you could play 2 songs - exact same instruments, key, time signature, and tempo and they'd sound EXACTLY the same - doesnt happen. Theres loads more to it - melody, dynamics, lyrics, time of song, etc etc etc etc etc etc.


I realize that. This was just a feeble attempt to figure something out that was bothering me.
#31
No. You're wrong. And you don't even deserve an explanation of why.
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#32
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No. You're wrong. And you don't even deserve an explanation of why.


Why not? Because I'm so unbelieveably ignorant since I don't agree with you?

#33
Quote by metalman9
if time is infinite, as it is, then yes.



is humanity infinite


no,


so as it is not then no we shall not ever rub out of music
#34
i swear ive been thinking that my whole life but just to afraid to say it
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#35
I always thought about that. I always thought it was the reason why modern music wasn't as good as older music.
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#36
If the Ramones could make 14 albums with just 3 chords i don't think we could run out of music.
#37
Quote by astro0930
I got to thinking today. Is it possible that one day, writing new music will be impossible because we have exhausted all possible combinations of key signature, tempo, time signatures, and instruments?

30 key signatures * 9 time signatures * 5 instruments * 65 different tempos = 87,750 combinations.

Let me explain.

30 key signatures, 15 major and 15 minor. I took the 9 most common time signatures I could think of (4/4, 2/2, 4/2, 2/4, 3/4, 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8..). Let's say in a basic rock band, there's two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. So 5 instruments. I subtracted 40 from 300 for the tempos, and in intervals of 4, there's 65 different tempos.

This is just the very basics of each aspect. I realize there's more than 9 time signatures, more than 5 instruments, etc. So at the very least there's 87,750 ways to write music.

So my question to you, Pit, is do you think that one day, we will simply run out of new music to write?
Theres Different Tunings as well, and you Don't have to have 5 Instruments.
#38
no we wont run out

go listen to protest the hero and Between the buried and me for cool time signitures.

we can all learn different ways of keeping time. i.e. the dream theatre way :P

just as guitar has become amazingly popular of the last couple of decades, new instruments yet to be made might be wayyy better.

and theres also a chance of us re thinking the entire way we deal with music and work things out.

What about quantum music?

(try and work that out cos i cant)
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#40
No. i heard something similiar to this.
Theoretically we could, but the sheer amount of different combinations might as well be infinite, because not only are there those limitations that you have already posted, but keep in mind that there can be different lyrics, tempo can change in the song, so can time signatures, new instruments, new tones, etc.
We are however, already repeating alot of old music.
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