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 --- James Worlton skrzypszy:

> I know nothing about Solresol other than what as appeared in this
> thread, but I think that limiting the number of notes to 7 is
> impractical linguistically as well as musically.

Agreed.

> [...] So let's say we create a
> musical conlang with 15 separate notes to represent 15 phonemes. In a
> diatonic setting that would equate to exactly 2 ocatves, which for even
> a non-singer is manageable (but a stretch). If we go with a chromatic
> setting we get a range of a major 9th (forgive the musician-geek-
> terminology here), which should be available to every human on the planet
> with a functioning voice.

Personally, I think I would go for a chromatic scale within the range of either
a decime or a duodecime (= 17 resp. 20 phonemes). That would make it both
singable and playable.

> Musically, a purely diatonic setting of the phonemes would produce some
> darn-awfully boring 'music'. Likewise a purely chromatic setting would
> produce a Schönbergian sound, which would not appeal to a lot of people.

I disagree with the latter statement. Chromaticism does not necessarily imply
atonality; neither does diatonism necessarily imply tonality.
It's rather a matter of how you create the words: huge jumps over an octave and
back would certainly give the language a more "atonal" feel. Careful use of
chromatic notes, however, would not make it Schönberg-like; I'd rather say it
makes the "music" more interesting and rich.

> So some other musical paramaters would need to come into play.

Yes.

> All of the preceeding presupposes an equal-tempered (or other related
> type of 12-semitones-to-the-octave) environment. Adding microtones would
> increase the number of available elements. I, however, would not like to
> have to jump from a C-quarter-sharp to an A-quarter-flat just to produce
> the required phonemes for a word.

Neither would anyone else who is not an accomplished specialist in performing
microtonal music! No, I don't think that would the a solution, to be sure.

> When I teach people how to write a melody I show them that a phrase not
> only consists of notes but also rhythm, articulation, dynamics, timbre,
> and tempo (to name a few :) ), and that they can all be considered
> separate elements; in other words, they can be developed independently.

Indeed, and that, I believe, is the solution. Now, I don't think dynamics,
tempo
and timbre will get us anywhere. Rhythm and articulation on the other hand
would. It shouldn't be necessarily become Babbitt-like. Even some simple
rhythms (perhaps based on Ancient Greek metres, like dactylus, spondeia, iambe
etc.) could do miracles. The same goes for stress.

You could easily turn it into a more philosophical language by assigning a
metre to a word class, like dactylus for verbs, iambe for nouns, etc.
Pitch in that case could be restricted to meaning only.

> However, creating a conlang that assigns all of these separate elements
> to phonemes would create a Milton-Babbit type of total serialism, which
> would appeal to fewer than the Schönbergian result of just using pitch.

To be honest, I think the comparison with serialism is a loose track in our
context. I mean, Mozart was not especially a serialist, and yet his music
consists of both pitch, rhythm, metre, and other parameters.

> However, they could be utilised to mark dependent clauses, or verb
> aspects/moods/tenses, or possesion, or...

Yes.

Hmm, inspiring! If I only had the time, I would love to give it a try...

Jan

=====
"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito."

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