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5.3 Prized possessions

Image 42 Photographer/Painter: Hawkins, York. Subject: Details unknown.

Prized possessions also feature in the family album. Family pets, cats and
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4.10 Retouching

In addition to the efforts made before exposure to show sitters at their best, portrait photographers regularly retouched the negative to remove or improve any perceived defects or blemishes. Before the 1860s, in Britain retouching was generally criticized for interfering with the ‘truthfulness’ of the photographic image. By the mid-1860s, however, the issue became the subject of intense debate and discussion and the journals published details of the various techniques available at the ti
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

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2.2 Identifying emotions

The question ‘What is an emotion?’ is a question about emotions in general. But it is impossible to address this question without being aware that there appear to be many different types of emotion. One way to start is to consider a range of states and to identify which states we would naturally classify as emotions, and which we would naturally classify as states of some other kind. This will put us in a better position to see whether there are any common features that link different typ
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3.6 Conclusion

I asked the question at the beginning of this section on Sundanese gamelan music: how is it possible for a group of musicians to play highly complex music, in a cohesive manner, without the use of notation and without having to memorise impossibly large amounts of music? My answer came in a number of stages.

  1. Rather than reading, or memorising vast amounts of music, the musicians memorise the simple frameworks of pieces (the Javanese term for this, bal
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3.5 Expansion and contraction of the piece: wilet

It should already be clear that, in order for this music to work, musicians need to listen out carefully for what their colleagues are doing. For instance, since the saron I has at least three possible patterns to play (lancaran, caruk and ciaseman), the saron II player must keep listening in case his colleague changes from one to another. The same ‘interlocking’ principle applies to certain other instalments too. In order to show just how important group interaction is in this music howe
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2.1 An introduction to khyal singing

I now want to move on to explore the first of two case studies of non-Western music-traditions: North Indian art music, also known as Hindustani music. (There are two major art music traditions in South Asia; the other is known as South Indian or Carnatic.) In this section I will take you through a performance of music from this tradition and consider some of the questions posed by Author(s): The Open University

1.6 Summary

You may find it useful to go over the main points of the first section again.

  1. We in the West generally recognise two different concepts of musical creation, namely composition and improvisation. Composition is widely characterised as a relatively lengthy process involving the use of notation; improvisation involves the spontaneous generation of music without notation. The distinction can be useful when applied to our own art music tradition.


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1.5 The limits of memory

In unwritten music, a factor which places a constraint on the number of fixed elements – the degree of detail specified by any model – is memory. Whatever is fixed must be memorised; as a matter of necessity, therefore, performers in these traditions have evolved strategies which limit the load placed on their memories. Here is Nettl again:

Dividing music into elements, I hypothesise the need for some of these
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1.4 Models and building blocks

When any musicians perform they refer to something pre-existent, something we might call a ‘model’ or ‘referent’. For musicians performing written music, the most important of these (although not necessarily the only one) is the score or part from which they perform. Depending on the particular genre and period in question, the performer may have freedom to choose or alter certain parameters (tempo, dynamics, phrasing, in some cases the notes themselves), but the score will indicate,
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1.3 Studying unwritten musics

I want to move now from concerns relevant to all music to those more relevant to the study of unwritten musics in particular. One of the biggest distinctions between the European art tradition and most others is in the use of notation, which musicians in the former use more extensively than those anywhere else. Although music notation is used in many other traditions, particularly within Asian art musics where it has a long history (for example, the earliest surviving written mu
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1.2 Different perspectives on the creation of music

If a simple division into composition and improvisation is not going to be adequate, particularly when considering music beyond the Western art tradition, then what can we usefully say about the different ways in which music is created? A starting point might be to remind ourselves of the similarities between composition and improvisation. Both the improviser and the composer create music. Both of them, in doing so, draw on a range of skills and experience: their musical training and k
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1.1 Composition and improvisation in the world's musics

I want to begin with some general issues. Since the words composition and improvisation will play an important role in this chapter, where better to start than with definitions of these two terms?

Activity 1

What do
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • be able to discuss different perspectives on the creation of music, in particular, composition and improvisation;

  • have an understanding of the basic principles underlying North Indian art music;

  • have an understanding of the basic principles underlying Sundanese gamelan music.


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Introduction

This unit explores two important concepts relating to the creation of music, namely composition and improvisation. The concepts of composition and improvisation are closely linked, and the reason for looking at non-Western music is partly to demonstrate this truth – it should help to clarify these two concepts, and the relationship between them.

We couldn't hope to cover a representative sample of the world's musics in a single unit, and I have certainly not tried to do so here. What
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5 Conclusion

Knowledge technologies, as software systems, embody formal models of how the world works: for example, networks between people, what their roles are, how information should flow, rules about interdependences between variables, and how to index and categorise information. If well designed, such models relieve people of mundane activities, allowing them to focus on what they do best: communication, negotiation, creative problem solving: that is, the construction of new shared meaning. At their
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4.20 Technologies and explicit knowledge continued

In the future we will see the fusion of statistical analyses of documents, agents, ontologies, metadata and informal annotation/discussion. Ontological tagging with metadata would allow authors to express their own deep understanding of the domain which may draw on knowledge that is not in the text of documents. This would allow experts to set a document in context in the light of developments since the document was written, or to encode relationships between documents that show important con
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4.18.2 Information visualisation

We read increasingly of the problem of information overload. Earlier, we emphasised the importance of designing appropriate information representations to assist human interpretation in order to create actionable knowledge. Information visualisation is concerned explicitly with designing representations using intuitive visual metaphors and graphics to highlight the most important aspects of information structures and processes. Information visualisation is a rapidly emerg
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5.2 Institutionalising French bread

The context-specific nature of rationality is such that, as we have just indicated, many insider norms are not apparent to outsiders. From the point of view of an organisation, the institutional rules of practice that prevail in any given context enable and constrain the dimensions of viable practice. Managers who try to do things that violate accepted norms about practices that insiders judge to be sacred or profane tend to encounter resistance. The capacity to achieve a difference – the p
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3.3.2 China

When the medieval Italian traveller, Marco Polo (1254–1324), returned from China, he shocked Europeans with the news that the Chinese used not metal but paper money; indeed, European resistance to representative money based on paper notes stretched into the nineteenth century (de Soto, 2000, p. 222). While China might have had a few centuries away from the global limelight, it is currently staging the biggest economic boom in the history of the planet. In common with Japan, China runs a sub
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