Free «Nolstagia» Essay Sample

Experimentalism is conventionally defined as the reliance on the empiricism and its philosophical principles. As such, uniform experimentation with music instruments produce a sensual experience at the individual level. Thus, the object can not be separated from the perceiver. Indeed,  extended techniques in  music upholds these ideals whereby the performance techniques used describe dissimilar techniques of singing such as unorthodox non-traditional and unconventional techniques.  The variation in extended techniques constitutes an expanded tonality, which came to a climax in the early years of the 20th century with progressively different systems integrated with consonance and dissonance (Matthew 2005).

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Thus music is such a progressive harmonic system that has radical natural order. The harmonic language of music has steady variation such as twelve tone, whole tone, quartal , modal, octanic and polytonal through which it is expressed. In contemporary music  this has been seen to extensively affect the nature of performance. For instance, Le Tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel (1917) and Six Bagatelles by Anton Webern (1913) these elements were explicitly escalating the performer’s aptitude to pilot pitch. Thus, extended techniques produce a harmonics pattern from a  performers’ change of practice with instruments whereby the practice of different scales and patterns triumphs and are perceived as sensible art of instrumental noise.

A pattern driven system is a multi-dimensional structure and music is a pattern driven structure. Within the confinement of pattern, music is such a progressive use and variation of pattern that invokes sensible elements of a theme in the course of time. This is habitually guided by the performer’s choice of techniques;  a remarkable pattern produces harmonic sounds from string fundamentals such as lightly plucking them, touching nodes of the instrument. Thus, different pattern emanate from extended techniques and  there combination successful progression are effective in production a piece of music. Overall, extended techniques requires the performer to use an instrument in manner different from the traditional norms of instrument performance (Matthew 2005).

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In my endeavor to compose with a focus on pattern it was foreseeable to go on board and establish the most crucial materials and minimum possibilities to communicate a sense of pattern within the progression of time. The use of a single material was predictable to evolve to accommodate a sensation of a rhythmic pattern. Nonetheless, the objective was to focus on such development but to build an overall organization which relays variation through out the succession of the music which had to be dynamic within its self. Therefore, the types of musical ,materials had to be interchanging to achieve a musical pattern hence they are the constructing elements (Reich 1974).

Having made this remarkable progress in construction this musical framework of constraints I embarked on some pragmatic observations which strengthened my structural approach based on extended techniques.  The practice of extended techniques entails a realm of various musical instruments, but the manner in which they are played is what determines whether they indeed belong to the class of extended techniques. For instance, playing harmonics on brass or string instruments is not an extended technique, but it would qualify to be an extended technique on piano and woodwinds. In addition, plucking the string of a violin is not considered an extended technique, but tapping the body of a violin does count an extended technique. Furthermore, playing a string instrument with a mute is not regarded an extended technique, however if a tinfoil is attached to the bridge , the technique definitely qualifies to be classified as an extended technique.  Thus, the difference between traditional and extended techniques is changeable and the concept of extended techniques lies within the ideal uniformity in the context of pitch and dynamics. This uniformity thrives within the concept of primary reference to dexterity of pitch. Since extended techniques are generally, somewhat messy, the hasty search of novel sonic realms in the twenty century brought about the exploration of instrumental sound construction.

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Thus, it is entirely in order to conclude that with only the exception of the harp, no other modern instrument has been extensively favored by the musical avant grade absolutely altered in formation as the piano. The form of techniques currently applied to this instrument are poles which were taken from the conventional keyboard style. Thus, the piano has ever since not been the same and has received quite a score of impressive exploration more than any other musical instrument. For instance, George Crumb’sMakrokosmos performance notes were a detailed description of the precise inside the piano skills utilizing the small chains on the instrument’s stings, that is, plucking the strings in dissimilar ways as well as damping them. This technique produces a remarkable amplification of small instrumental sounds hence  a soft extremely percussive tone that mimics the effect of playing an autoharp with a weighty piece of  metal brush. Having ensured concurrence with this generic use of extended techniques and  harmonics, I found it a reasonable foundation to investigate the means of producing a pattern which emanated from a variation of extended techniques (Reiko 2005).

The creative performances invented in the 2oth century became apparently crucial. First, contemporary music  appreciates the tone color potential of the piano hence the variety of performance that composers of the century identified to produce different colors on the piano. There was much for me to borrow from Henry Cowell who was a great contributor to the expansion of the piano techniques and sounds. Cowell is well known for techniques such as stroking and plucking the strings inside the piano as well as playing the glissandi across various strings and halting to alter pitch and to produce harmonics in some instances. Since Cowell’s contributions other composers such as John Cage carried on the expansion of piano techniques to invent the insertion of objects in the instrument to produce a wide range of timbers. Cage’s techniques also referred to as the prepared piano involved insertion of objects such as nuts, nails and bolts between the strings of the instrument. This technique is quite remarkable when combined with Cowell’s technique of sound change by plucking and muting the instrument by use of fingers and hands.

Overall, the twentieth century gave birth to unique techniques which can be grouped into definite characteristic units:

i) Special effects these are special effects made from tone clusters and silently lowered notes on the keyboard

ii) performance inside the piano this technique is associated with stroking, striking, plucking and rubbing of the piano strings with fingernails, mallets, fingers or some other  objects or bowing of the strings and use of glissandi or tremolo on the strings.

iii) performance inside the piano with a single hand

this technique incorporates playing of the piano with on one hand whereas playing the keyboard with the other and muting the strings

iv) use of sounds this technique pertains the use of sounds produced from the frame of a piano

v) use of extra musical devices this includes the integration of human sounds such as speaking, singing or humming whilst playing the instrument (Kollins 2009).

The impact of extended techniques thus is prominent and crucial in voice enhancement such that extended vocals are integrated to bring the  vocal music in life from an experimental perspective. Although experimentalism is fundamentally resourceful in extended techniques it has its limitations which personalize an instrument and bring out some unique qualities. Given that these effects are inevitable, they are quite subjective and thus vary depending on the performer.

Thus, my own composition in exceptionally personalized through the use of extended techniques.

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