THE SONG OF THE FORM

Postby DPasek » Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:54 pm

Psalchemist wrote:

<<But how would one add a sense of empty space to the overall music to balance its busy essence?
How will I instill the sense of quiessence?
( A Yang ten essential, are you familiar with the expression in Chen style ? )?
Even the quietest hush would be full...???>>

Quiescence is an important point (especially in Yang style) that I did not consider previously and don't know how to include in the musical interpretation of the form (since it will undoubtedly be very complex/busy, at least as the project is currently conceived). At the moment the only possible suggestion that I can come up with would be to have a drone note (C?) to represent a calm note under the busy music. The only problem is that this would add yet another layer to the already busy music and would not add any sense of empty space.

DP
DPasek
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Pittsboro, NC USA

Postby psalchemist » Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:40 pm

Hi DPasek,

Thanks for replying to my query.

It is a tough one...

We are definitely agreed that the closest facsimilie would be a droning C...A sort of background hush...But that it would still not be an authentic emptiness, simply a representation for it...And might even add to the busi~ness of the piece.

I was considering that it might be up to the composer,
to add a sense of quiessence in an overall manner, etc...
But it is not as precise a statement as I was hoping for...
I don't think it should necessarily be elevator music...too...umm...overly peacefull?...but yet it does require a sense of stillness within movement...
Serenity within passion...Silence within music?

And the concept that,
while one aspect is filling,
another is emptying also adds more complexity to the issue.

Interesting dilemma.

Many thanks for your ongoing assistance.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Kalamondin » Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:59 pm

Hi Psal,

I think we already have the technology to do this in medicine, digital music, digital film production, etc. But it's a matter of finding someone with the musical, technical, and tai chi expertise, money, time, etc. or the will to call such experts together. DP, thanks for your vote of confidence but I am unlikely to attempt this project. Just wanted to throw it out there if anyone else wants to take it on.

Psal, I hadn't thought of a symphony! Strange, I know I'd mentioned all the different instruments, but I hadn't thought about ea. instrument multiplied the way there are many violins in a symphony. So, to get the full symphonic sound, you could layer audio tracks of the same thing (the form) sung/played over and over (a la Enya) OR you could get an entire passel of highly trained and synchronized tai chi players together and record them. Wow, sounds like a really big project now! (As if it weren't already an epic challenge Image )
Best,
Kal

[This message has been edited by Kalamondin (edited 11-01-2004).]
Kalamondin
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:15 pm

Greetings Kalamondin,

Thanks for re~explaining...I'm not sure I grasped it's full meaning the first time...Ummm...So these gadgets, setups, contraptions are already means for transcribing bodily feedback, movement into sound, directly?

Or does it thus~far simply produce a scribble on a sheet, designed for a doctor?

Like DPaseks reference to Chinese medical translation of the wubu into musical notes?

Or do these lead to paths which lead to paths?

If so, I may keep them aside, in case I find no other more direct path...

Could you elaborate on these methods further perhaps, to give me more of a sense of what they are?

A symphony, yes, that's what I had in mind, due to the complexity, the multitude of Tai~Chi aspects to encompass, I see no other option...Layered music, certainly.
May I enquire what you mean by "A La Enya", over and over ? Smiles

Thanks very much for your post,
You have been very helpfull.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Lodro » Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:50 am

I hope this might be of some value to this discussion. I haven't been doing tai chi for very long and I know very little of the forms involved of which you are speaking, so please forgive me if I am totally off the track.

Speaking as a musician and more humbly as a learner of tai chi, from a purely musical point of view any musical system from any culture will have it's own unique system of understanding, logic and formulas inherent in it. For example the traditional western system has the chromatic 12 note scale, the major and minor scales of 7 notes and so on. Asian scales tend to have scales of varying degrees, ranging from 4 or 5 notes to that of the Indian system which can have an ascending scale of say 8 notes entirely different to the related descending scale of say 10 notes. Then there is the the actual notes themselves which need to be taken into consideration. You might notice that some music from cultures other than ones own might sound a bit 'off'. And you might sometimes attribute this to what seems like a badly tuned instrument or a singer who isn't singing quite in tune. However 'tuning' is culture specific. What sounds right and good it seems is culture specific. If you explore the mathematics of sound waves themselves of notes taken from differing cultures' music you will often find a vast difference. For example the number of vibrations per second of the note 'A' from one culture might be very different or a little different or not different at all to the note 'A' from another culture. And then there is the system of musical creation which once again varies magnificently from culture to culture. For example Western musical creation tends (or tended) to, amongst other things, base itself upon the 'circle of 5ths'. For example A B C D E F G. This is the A minor scale. The circle of 5ths involves imagining this series of notes being repeated over and over. Count from A 5 notes (including A), you get to E. Count 5 from E, you get to B. 5 from B, you get to F. 5 from F, you get to C. 5 from C, you get to G. 5 from G, you get to D. 5 from D and you're back to A again. If you allocate numbers from 1 to 7 to each of these notes respectively from A to G then the number sequence for this particular cycle would be 1 5 2 6 3 7 4 etc. Chords built upon these notes in that order will in fact create music that a western person will immediately relate to. Similarly other cultures will have their own sytems. I guess what I'm getting at is that it is all very well to look purely at the mathematics of sound and then allocate a sound to a number, but you will not necessarily have achieved anything musically coherent or contiguous (is that a word?) with that particular activity or way of life unless those strings of numbers actually are already present within a framework that one recognises as music. In the case of this topic it might be more useful and satisfying to take an indepth look into chinese musical systems of logic and patterns and then attempt to extrapolate something from that. Of course you could take a purely scientific and mathematical approach, however Tai Chi appears to be unique to china in its origin and came from a certain way of thinking and being which once again is unique. I would think that tai chi and traditional chinese music would have more in common than tai chi and pure mathematics. But I may be wrong. As to how you go about this process...maybe seek out a chinese person who is fluent at maths and also plays chinese music!

[This message has been edited by Lodro (edited 11-04-2004).]
Lodro
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:01 am

Postby Kalamondin » Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:46 am

Hi Psalchemist,

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Thanks for re~explaining...I'm not sure I grasped it's full meaning the first time...Ummm...So these gadgets, setups, contraptions are already means for transcribing bodily feedback, movement into sound, directly?</font>


No, not yet, that's the challenge. Thus far, they are scribbles on a sheet (but what are the scribbles of a wave pattern but mathmatical data translated into a visual pattern?) Somewhere, someone has written a program (algorhthym? I'm not a mathematician) to translate the data into charts and graphs. Someone will have to write a program that can translate these measurements into sound.

And a musician, preferably trained in Chinese music would have to decide what the intervals are within the data, what scale to use, how many notes to a scale (as Lodro was saying), etc. I might be more comfortable with a Western note scale since that's the music I'm familiar with. I don't know.

My theory is that the more harmonious the form of the practitioner, the more harmonious the music. The silence within the form could be expressed in two ways without adding artificial silences.

1) Stillness in movement translates physically to smooth, even motions. Photographed with long exposure photography (see Al Huang's books) the trajectories are smooth arcs. Translated into sound, it might be a long, smooth note...not silent, but containing the essence of silence and stillness (not choppy or broken).

2) Physical stillness occurs in infinitessimal moments at the apex or transitional point of each movement, at the split second where it stops being one thing and becomes another. Like the pause of a child on a swing when the swing reaches its highest point, seems to stop, then comes down again. It doesn't really stop of course--yang is still cycling to yin, or vice versa--but it looks like it stops. I'm guessing it would sound like a stop too--silence in those brief moments where the body seems to stop but doesn't. Example: transition from Push to Transition to Single Whip.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>
Could you elaborate on these methods further perhaps, to give me more of a sense of what they are?</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, I'm sorry, I don't think I can...I would like to, but I just don't have the programming, music, or technical expertise. I'd suggest you keep talking to musicians, computer programmers, mathematicians, etc.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>
May I enquire what you mean by "A La Enya", over and over ? Smiles</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

When Enya (a singer) records, she makes something like 100 to 500 vocal tracks on a single song. She sings the song over and over again, recording it each time, then puts it all together so that she, a single singer, sounds like a full choir (sort of).

When I was talking about layering the recordings, this could make a single player's form have the sound of a full orchestra--or it could just be cacaphonous, b/c who does the form at the same speed each time? Of course, with the current technology, anomalous bits could be speeded up or slowed down. But to my mind, this isn't what I want to hear. I want to hear someone actually doing the form without tinkering with the speeds and rhythms. Can you imagine practicing along with the sound of someone really good? Talk about harmonic induction!

OK, must go. Good luck!
Kal
Kalamondin
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:57 pm

Greetings Lodro and Kalamondin,

Your posts were great.

I have read them and am pondering their many aspects.

However, I am quite pressed for time, right now, being in the midsts of moving today.

I look forward to addressing them in detail as soon as I am re~connected.

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 24, 2004 9:36 pm

Greetings Lodro,

Thanks for sharing your perspectives as a musician,
I do need all the musical advice I can procure.

<<Speaking as a musician and more humbly as a learner of tai chi, from a purely musical point of view any musical system from any culture will have it's own unique system of understanding, logic and formulas inherent in it.

The traditional western system has the chromatic 12 note scale, the major and minor scales of 7 notes and so on.Asian scales tend to have scales of varying degrees, ranging from 4 or 5 notes, the Indian system which can have an ascending scale of say 8 notes is entirely different to the related descending scale of say 10 notes.

Then there is the actual notes themselves which need to be taken into consideration. You might notice that some music from cultures other than ones own might sound a bit 'off'. And you might sometimes attribute this to what seems like a badly tuned instrument or a singer who isn't singing quite in tune. However 'tuning' is culture specific. What sounds right and good it seems is culture specific. If you explore the mathematics of sound waves themselves of notes taken from differing cultures' music you will often find a vast difference.For example the number of vibrations per second of the note 'A' from one culture might be very different or a little different or not different at all to the note 'A' from another culture..>>Lodro

<<And then there is the system of musical creation which once again varies magnificently from culture to culture. For example Western musical creation tends (or tended) to, amongst other things, base itself upon the 'circle of 5ths'. For example A B C D E F G. This is the A minor scale. The circle of 5ths involves imagining this series of notes being repeated over and over. Count from A 5 notes (including A), you get to E. Count 5 from E, you get to B. 5 from B, you get to F. 5 from F, you get to C. 5 from C, you get to G. 5 from G, you get to D. 5 from D and you're back to A again. Chords built upon these notes in that order will in fact create music that a western person will immediately relate to..>>Lodro

I can really appreciate what your saying,
and will most certainly have to weave those points,
into the tapestry which has become this project, somehow.
There is much to consider...
...I am not endeavoring to create nice music...rather I would like to state, in sounds, the energies that play out within the form...regardless of its phonetic appeal...I would be most pleased to uncover the vibrations and display them in music, just to be able to hear what it would sound like... Image

<<In the case of this topic it might be more useful and satisfying to take an indepth look into chinese musical systems and then attempt to extrapolate something from that>>Lodro

I hear what you are saying...But am limited in my resources...
I am barely qualified in the western realms of music,
and so am forced to begin with what I have, really,
or else lose it all to abstract ponderation.
What you say is very important and will have to become,
a great focus eventually, if one wished to create a piece,
even remotely nearing an authentic rendering...I agree.
As I stated in an earlier post, my ideal would be to uncover an authentic translation, somehow...But now realize I shall have to, at least begin, with alot of interpretation...to even be capable of fathoming an attempt.
The curve unto the straight.
Like practicing Tai~Chi...brings understanding to theory of Tai~Chi, getting these things out of mind and down on paper is quite helpful to progress, even if it's scrapped later.
The rough~draft will be very, very rough, indeed...smiles...Then there will be everything to correct afterwards, but still it will be easier for me to address it this way, I think.
And so I may fidget in western tune, set a score like this and then refine /translate into Chinese thought later...???
Maybe the western score will sound terrible in western, but once the same ideals are applied in Chinese music may sound harmonious, I do see your caveats, your logic.
But simply see no other way, myself of acheiving this as such, presently.


I invite you to critique the path if you feel there is a reason why this would not work out. I am limited in my knowledge of the fields involved, but am fascinated by the endeavor and motivated to seek its fruition...So here goes nothing...smiles.

<<I guess what I'm getting at is that it is all very well to look purely at the mathematics of sound and then allocate a sound to a number, but you will not necessarily have achieved anything musically coherent or contiguous (is that a word?) with that particular activity or way of life..Of course you could take a purely scientific and mathematical approach, however Tai Chi appears to be unique to china in its origin and came from a certain way of thinking and being which once again is unique. I would think that tai chi and traditional chinese music would have more in common than tai chi and pure mathematics. But I may be wrong>>Lodro

Oh, I'm not sure at all, whether it will turn out coherent or chaotic, I will be satisfied simply with the acheivement of a full attempt, which must, of course, eventually revolve around the origins directly~certainly, thanks for bringing those points to my attention.

While looking at mathematical aspects~this idea was derived from the Tai~Chi,
rather than the basic number/mathematical systems...The Yi~Chings binary systems...its connections with the bagua and its eight energies...The Fuxi square in animation which demonstrated the physical movements of hexigrams was something of a spark...Binary systems are based upon the "Tai~Chi"...therefore the mathematical links interest me...

The footwork portions I started, are, at the least, based in Chinese culture...
I surely shall have to explore many venues to complete an educated research.
I am presently scoring chords and intuiting organization for the foundations from the Wuxing/Wubu correlations mentioned in posts earlier...derived from some recent Chinese medical research.

Anyways...All this IS hypothetical matter. Fascinating, yet fictional, until it should be proven at all otherwise.

Thanks for all of your valuable thoughts.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:52 am

Hi Kalamondin,

<<The silence within the form could be expressed in two ways without adding artificial silences.
1) Stillness in movement translates physically to smooth, even motions. Photographed with long exposure photography (see Al Huang's books) the trajectories are smooth arcs. Translated into sound, it might be a long, smooth note...not silent, but containing the essence of silence and stillness (not choppy or broken).>>Kalamondin

...Like quiessence as an overall smooth effect throughout the form/score...?
I think that is very viable, and logical, and the best conclusions we have so far for quiessence as an overall feel.

I was thinking also, perhaps an individual and distinct instrument would describe this as the single unit always present throughout, most audible at opening due to silence of all else, the chord for central equilibrium of Tai~Chi ?

I am at conflict with the thought that Tai~Chi is defined as earth, though, with one I thought I absorbed about it being the essence of water...
My uncertain philosophies come back to haunt me Image

Any thoughts on that?

<< Physical stillness occurs in infinitessimal moments at the apex or transitional point of each movement, at the split second where it stops being one thing and becomes another. Like the pause of a child on a swing when the swing reaches its highest point, seems to stop, then comes down again. It doesn't really stop of course--yang is still cycling to yin, or vice versa--but it looks like it stops. I'm guessing it would sound like a stop too--silence in those brief moments where the body seems to stop but doesn't. Example: transition from Push to Transition to Single Whip.>>Kalamondin

Ah, yes, yes, exactly so! I am enthused to discover the resonance.

Having now just begun the task of concretization of the foundations,
[the chords as per the research in Chinese medicines,
which deduce the ~wuxing to sound], of the footwork...

I can compare your example to the one I discovered in analysis of the Tso~Peng posture...If divided into the in and out (open and closed) portions of the posture...At the initiation of the out(close), there is a similar pause, but rather than a stop, I find it is more of a 'holding'...almost a 'suspension'...of the chord in motion. Just like your mention of the swing...a double count at the extreme apex..why? I think because it enters the extreme point then has to return from this extreme point(unlike other gray points? 70% for example)...thereby consuming time...in musical score this is more visible, in Tai~Chi practice we are not counting time...These points are blessedly identifiable and self expressing upon analysing the form...Every 100~0% weight shift, counted in time...produces a momentarily held chord.

In answer to my query, you explained:
<<When Enya (a singer) records, she makes something like 100 to 500 vocal tracks on a single song. She sings the song over and over again, recording it each time, then puts it all together so that she, a single singer, sounds like a full choir (sort of).>>Kalamondin

Thanks for the explanations, I had no idea, I did think it was many voices/ a choir in the background. Very interesting, very useful, definitely sparked an idea.

The idea I came up with while analysing the footwork(with all this in mind) was,
Chords for the filling and emptying of the right and left legs.

Two independant instruments...Of same nature...( Use violin,
just as an example, I have not pondered nor experimented yet )

Right plays the 'glance right'~chord only.
Left plays the 'look left'~chord only.

Both work with the percentages of each weight shift(four ways).

And to represent the emptying and filling,
rather than use volume...(not quite right?)..
I think the Enya idea would work here, rather well,
to produce a fullness, and an emptying.
One violin holding a particular chord~to
thirty violins holding a particular chord~to
seventy violins holding a particular chord~etc.
Whilst its companion instrument,
A violin>30>70>100 violins holding a particular chord,
would accompany in an exactly complementary manner.
(I have no idea yet what that might sound like...
chaos maybe? I don't know. smiles.)

And I suppose also, there should be an assignment of say, an alto violin section and a bass violin section for each the right and left (four ways) , one for filling and one for emptying.

Which would be the higher alto and which would be the lower bass...
the filling or emptying? Image
I would appreciate any thoughts or comments on this logic.

As it is a very rough idea presently, I am completely open to all feedback on the idea of filling and emptying the feet/legs/hips converted into musical expression.
I would appreciate any ideas on the subject.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Kalamondin, I appreciate the efforts and enlightenments.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Audi » Thu Nov 25, 2004 3:16 am

Greetings all,

This has been a very interesting discussion.

Psalchemist, I penned the following post before your latest and so inadvertently duplicate some of the themes you have mentioned. Since it would take me too long to re-work it, I will leave it as is with my apology for not acknowledging your latest thoughts:

As I understand it, there are explicit correspondences between notes in the Chinese “scale” and the Five Elements. In other words, each note of the scale corresponds to a particular “element.” I have not, however, heard of such correspondences with respect to the Eight Gua (Ba Gua). Does anyone know of such?

I am also under the impression that the Taijiquan community is not in agreement about the correspondences between the Eight Gua and the Eight Gates (Ba Men). In fact, I have wanted to post a question about folk’s thoughts on this for quite a while, but have not found the time. From what I recall from memory, there are at least three different theories in the secondary literature, all of which are in one of Yang Jwingming’s books. Without a clear correspondence, it will be difficult to know what notes to assign.

Another complication is that each posture is a mixture of various things. I suppose one could decide which of the Eight Gates and which of the Five Steps is predominant during a particular posture, but this would require quite a deep understanding of the form and the theory. Which, after all, are the Eight Gates and Five Steps that describe Cloud Hands (Ward Off, Rollback, and Pluck paired with Pan (Look Right), Ding (Central Equilibrium), and Gu (Gaze Left)? According to the theory, I would also think that one would have the Eight Gua and the Five Elements operating simultaneously. Perhaps this could be captured by assigning one system to intervals, and another element to rhythms, timbre, or dynamics.

If someone gave me the time and the money to attempt this project and gave me five to ten minutes to design it, here is what I would do. I would not try to represent the 13 Dispositions/Powers directly, but rather indirectly.

I would assign two deep-sounding, but different instruments to represent both legs. I would assign “do,” “re,” “sol,” and “do” up an octave to the respective states where the leg is fully weighted, 70% weighted, 30% weighted, and unweighted. I would represent the full foot with a legato note, the heel with a half tone, and the ball of the foot with a staccato note. I would assign sixteen different instruments to the major Jin points on each arm and torso, eight for each “arm.” (Split (“Lie”) might be a little problematic.) The left and right pair would be similar sounding instruments, for instance, a violin and a viola, a recorder and a flute, or an oboe and a clarinet.

I would assign the greater Yin phase to piano (soft), the lesser Yin phase to mezzo piano (moderately soft), the lesser Yang phase to mezzo forte (moderately loud), and the greater Yang phase to forte (loud). I would let the actual rhythm of the form determine the rhythm of the instruments.

I would not assign different intervals to the instruments representing the Bamen, but I suppose you could do this according to height, below the waist representing “do,” at the waist representing “re,” mouth-height representing “sol,” and above the head representing either “la” (according the Chinese scale?) or “do” up an octave in an attempt at maintaining harmony.

Lastly, I would change keys depending on the direction of the postures, according to the eight directions of the compass.

The effect I would expect of all of this would not be a one-to-one correspondence of Taijiquan theory, but rather and auditory experience of the form that would allow one to discern patterns.

I must say that this thread has actually had a concrete effect on my push hands practice, because I began to analyze the various rhythms in the four-hand pattern and was able to make several corrections to what I had been doing. If I have time, I will post some questions about this.

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby psalchemist » Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:21 pm

.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-28-2004).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Thu Nov 25, 2004 7:19 pm

.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-28-2004).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:48 am

.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-28-2004).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:50 am

.


[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-28-2004).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Previous

Return to Tai Chi Chuan - Barehand Form

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron