Friday, February 19, 2010

Tromp d'oeil

The LP record, for some, is the epitome of elegance in recorded music. The precise ebb and flow of sound waves is replicated on the vinyl disk. This infiniteness of possibility of color and tone is somewhat lost in digital recording. The smooth transitions are made into rugged bits and bytes.

The same concept applies to printed music. No detailed music score can truly capture expression and intonation. The precise feeling of the length of a note is subjective; rather than the objectively printed meter. This is left to the artist's interpretation.

I learned this on Sibelius musicwriting software. My rhythms that came to the PC through the midi keyboard were cut and rearranged and approximated into a piece that lacked full expression. Yes, surely, the music score can be improved. But this is a system to which we are familiar.

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