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Can ambient music contain beats?
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Can ambient music have beats
Yes
97%
 97%  [ 34 ]
No
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 35

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orczy



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

astroid power-up! wrote:
it seems like electronic musicians sometimes call their music ambient so as to avoid calling it anything else which could be potentially embarrassing.

I am in complete agreement hear. I hear a lot of "ambient" that is really new age. Is "ambient" the hip "new age"?
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It is impossible to disagree with this. To me it seems like musical terms cannot quite be used sensibly about what is supposed to be ambient music these days. That said, does it really matter? The music might be OK anyway, so.. isn´t it just the terminology that is nonexistent?
The whole genre thingie these days seems a bit nonproductive.
I have the same problem with all this IDM terminology and subgenre stuff. I cannot cope with it. Give me the music and forget about the rest.

A recent flyer .. for a local event.. described something called "psychotropic ambient with IDM rythms and old school sounds on a mindblowing carpet of sprinkling melodic pads". And this was just yet another Ableton Live session with a lot of the material freshly copied from some "construction kit" CD-ROM. Shocked That guy should consider a future in advertising.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mustel wrote:
Is "ambient" the hip "new age"?

Hmmm. Interesting thought.

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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
That guy should consider a future in advertising.

..or becoming a Bishop of the Ecclesia Gnostica Cool

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7/4



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
mustel wrote:
Is "ambient" the hip "new age"?

Hmmm. Interesting thought.


Please don't confuse ambient with new age!
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Please don't confuse ambient with new age!

There many differences. I enjoy much ambient music, but less New Age. New Age seems to be primarilly tonal. Usually a piece is in one key, one chord progression, one tempo. Ambient in general is less connected to these stylistic characteristics.

Still, they are similar in their laid back mood, wouldn't you say?

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

A recent flyer .. for a local event.. described something called "psychotropic ambient with IDM rythms and old school sounds on a mindblowing carpet of sprinkling melodic pads". And this was just yet another Ableton Live session with a lot of the material freshly copied from some "construction kit" CD-ROM. Shocked That guy should consider a future in advertising.


Yeah, I distrust marketing in music. Often the artist themselves write their own bio; I know, I wrote mine at times. The only things I trust are the things that can´t be faked; the ideas.

"Dj Lion plays progressive new-school cheerfull-core and has shared the stage with Brian Eno, Elvis Presliy and J.S.Bach, his music was recently featured in trendy-magazine monthly and drew fool rooms at the Hipsters festifal in Berlin"

V.S.

"Dj Tiger believe building instruments is a part fo composing and so he´ll be playing his home-build laser harp to controll his own programs".

Three guesses what evening I will attend! On a sader note; three guesses which one apeals to modern audiences.....

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7/4



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Quote:
Please don't confuse ambient with new age!

There many differences. I enjoy much ambient music, but less New Age. New Age seems to be primarilly tonal. Usually a piece is in one key, one chord progression, one tempo. Ambient in general is less connected to these stylistic characteristics.

Still, they are similar in their laid back mood, wouldn't you say?


But very different, like a b&w line drawing and a color photo.

New Age has no tension. Ambient has more atmosphere.

A friend of mine owns a record store in the East Village. He thinks Harold Budd is New Age. How wrong!
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, giving labels to music is as bad as giving them to people. -sigh-
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Ponk



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think some kind of labels are useful since not all music is interesting. Defining music helps when trying to find those things one wants to hear. Most genres include interesting music, though...
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orczy



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

7/4 wrote:
mosc wrote:
mustel wrote:
Is "ambient" the hip "new age"?

Hmmm. Interesting thought.


Please don't confuse ambient with new age!


No, I wouldn't do that! Cool What I was saying is that some artists call their work ambient instead of new age, because ambient has more cred. I often find Budd in New Age sections. If I had my own way, everything would be a-z, no sections in shops. Of course this won't happen. You are right in the tension idea. I think at times that may be the only difference, but a vital one. People who have been introduced to ambient via Aphex et al may think earlier ambient (Eno etc) a bit new age, precisely for the lack of beats.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I´m not so sure about throwing all genere names out of the window. If I want to go out to unwind after a few intence days it´s very usefull to know ahead of time what venue will have pillows and powerbooks and which one will have concrete and punk guitars. I trust some programers and will visit their nights regardless but from time to time music is also a comodity; I may want cheap, cheerfull and fast after a long day and perhaps I´ll feel more like cerebral and deep at another moment. Ending up in the wrong place won´t do me or the artist any good.

Sorting by name is all good and well but up to a certain point all unknown names are the same to me and to me a unknown name in the "experimental" crate is very different from a unknown name in the "progressive/hardhouse" crate. From time to time I need new records and that means (like for most DJ´s) spending hours in a store and ending up with 20 or so records to sort at the decks from the thousands in a store. Anything that speeds this up is welcome. Have you ever needed to wait for a girl in a clothing store? Waiting for DJ´s in record shops is far worse.

Of cource there are exceptions; when bored I´ll just start grabbing random 7"´s that look interesting because for some reason 7"´s tend to be freaked but that usually means I´m stuck in a store where I don´t want to be because of friends with diferent tastes.

As long as genres are tools and not hard rules etched in stone I think they do more good then harm.

Funny side note; for a while I had a record shop keeper that would keep track of all the records that the hardcore (as in warehouse, not as in guitar) people discared due to being too weird. I bought a lot of those, often discounted. Best use I ever made of how people treat genres :¬).

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ahh... The old "too wierd" genre. One of my faves too. What is your expeience, what percentage of "too wierd" has beats?
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A percentage? Hmmmmm, that´s realy hard. I think in my collection it´s roughly 50/50 but I think that might be affected by my age and the fact that I frequent some stores aimed at DJ-ing.

I found that it´s all about context though. Some work that might be undigestably weird for most people suddenly becomes the life of the party if you present it inbetween the right accessible stuff and that´s realy where the challenge is for me. With the "weird" category it´s also often quite hard to determine exactly what is and what isn´t a beat. I´m generally not too bothered by this and I aproach it more functionally. Beats to me are just like any other sound, the one case where it matters is when dancefloors are concerned and in that case I´ll often add some second track that´s just kicks to avoid all doubt. I don´t think that´s too musically interesting but from time to time playing by the rules of the dancefloor (which dictate we absolutely need a kick for some reason) means you get to "trojan horse" in some good stuff like Japanese voice artists or seismographic data or what have you.

And of cource there are also album upon album of quite weird stuff that´s only beats.....

I propose we send off some student on a grand to research exactly what beats are, quanify "weird", determine beyond doubt the political implications of "ambient" and not come back untill he has a grey beard.

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orczy



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

I propose we send off some student on a grand to research exactly what beats are, quanify "weird", determine beyond doubt the political implications of "ambient" and not come back untill he has a grey beard.

Yep. I'll apply. I'll also take the Ambient police job. There may be a conflict of interests, but what the hey...
Can someone please reply regarding wages and grant amount. I will need to give the boss good notice. (She is 2 years old.) Her definition of ambient: Sleepy Music. I like this best of all.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, a two year old girl. You are blessed. Very Happy I had one once.

She grew up splendidly. You can hear her play some music we made together here: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-1474.html

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orczy



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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, her mother and I are lucky. Blessed isn't a word that comes to mind with the terrible two's! Shocked
She does have a keen interest in music, she has a toy piano and a ukelele. She wrote he first song the other week. Strumming a chord, singing "Kitten stinky bum". The kitten does have a stinky bum, but not really worthy of a song!
Here we are when the Mustel arrived last year. I am not sure why I look so manic.
She actually appears on many pieces throughout the Harmonium Diaries. There was one track left off on December where she sneaked up and put her hand on the key board. The good thing was I was playing in all naturals, so she was in key. Unfortunately, there wasn't room on the album. Maybe "Lost days" album.


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briandc



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

An old thread, but perhaps a new perspective:

everything around us has rhythm: the change of day-night, equinoxes, waves on the sea, breathing, heartbeats, aural beating...

So as I see it, ambience and everything else does in fact contain rhythms or "beats". It's just that we sometimes limit our idea of what a beat is.

There are ambient music websites, and I don't know what their opinions are; but personally, I don't think music can be made without beats of one kind or another.

So then question: what is a "beat?"


brian

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MusicMan11712



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

briandc wrote:
[snip] It's just that we sometimes limit our idea of what a beat is. [snip]
So then question: what is a "beat?"
brian

(1) I may be going out in a limb, but I think most of the people I have met here do not limit their understanding of psycho-musical constructs such as beat, meter, rhythm, etc. From what I have seen, even artists here that do 99% of their own music in adherence to strict numerical counting systems, recognize that as their own personal preference. Of course, I could be wrong.
(2) To me a beat is a cycle of the heart values opening and closing to pump blood. It is the heart of rock and roll!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Rhythmic pulses merge into tones as their frequencies increase. Pairs of those tones can generate sideband beats. And the beat goes on.

The noisiest shit can hypnotize me towards sleep. It's all in the mind.

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MusicMan11712



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Acoustic Interloper wrote:
Rhythmic pulses merge into tones as their frequencies increase. Pairs of those tones can generate sideband beats. And the beat goes on.

The noisiest shit can hypnotize me towards sleep. It's all in the mind.

So, true. In fact a few years ago at a live performance in Albany, I structured the musical performance of a particular minimalistic, slow moving, textual composition being performed on a Doepfer modular system by slowly repositioning my head thereby changing what the two ears as processed by my brain heard. Doing that, I was keenly aware that the slow moving shifts in my head contributed to the harmonic content I "heard." Perhaps I was shifting the beats of all the waves bouncing off (and being absorbed by) everything in the room to create those harmonic variants.

Beats are in the mind's ear of the listener!
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