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Author Topic: Music of the Santharian Kingdom - New Entry under Development  (Read 22842 times)
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Bard Judith
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« on: 24 July 2007, 21:11:21 »

This is the original entry, without comments - the other thread was salvaged by Talia and has her commentary interspersed - but as it wasn't coloured it's difficult to tell what are my ideas and what are her critiques or suggestions.  So - here's the original, PLUS the graphics which should make things a lot clearer!  Comments are of course welcome but can be added, in the usual way, below this post for discussion and integration.

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Music of Sarvonia

Disclaimer:  Please note that this Compendium entry only applies to the Sarvonian continent, and is not used exclusively even there.  The northern tribes have their own method of notating music, and the oral/aural traditions of the southern clans do not require written records. Likewise, it only deals with the human system of classification, pitch, notation, and melody.  For a sample of elven musical literature, please see the entry on Salaen, a type of Ylfferhim folk music.  The Thergerim also use their own instruments, pitches, and notation; see the entry on Dwarven Music.   However, in this entry we hope to provide a general sampling of human musical conventions for your edification.  Please enjoy!

Overview:

All tones, notes, melodies, songs, instruments, etc. belong in one of four elements and one of four ranges.  This provides a possible sixteen categories for classification.  Some of the classifications of certain instruments may seem quite arbitrary; as they arise out of a very ancient tradition and are associated with the alchemic mysteries, it can be difficult to explain them in our contemporary understanding of music and how the sounds are actually produced.  It suffices to say that our ancestors were more concerned with effects than with processes, as certain instruments which we might seemingly define as wind-operated, such as the flute or pipe, are not classified as Wind instruments.   And while some Earth instruments, most notably the dwarven-made, are percussive, not all drums fall into that category.  Refer to the table below for some examples of accepted classifications.

CHART ONE - SEE BELOW

Musical Instruments – some common definitions

* Windsinger – a large recorder or pipe formed from a long cross-section of the Windsong giant grass, a variant of bamboo which grows well in the warm, damp tropical regions of Caelereth.  Note that the instrument should not be confused with a member of the elven clerical group known as the ‘Windsingers’ or Ava’shae’llae…

* Bubblechanters – a peculiar set of pipes with a portable bellows (a bag of thickly woven cloth) attached, so the player need not use any of his own wind to create the sound.  The instrument must be belted on so that the bag or ‘bubble’ is fastened under the right arm, with one side of the bellows attached to the side of the chest, the other to the arm above the elbow.  Thus by moving the bent arm outwards and inwards the bellows are continually pumped, and the air flows through the pipes, or ‘chanters’. 

* Solcornet – a bifurcated primitive trumpet formed from the horns of the sacrificial cow dedicated to Grothar at the Winter Solstice festival.  It plays two notes as a chord, usually ‘Ey’ and ‘Os’ (see Musical Notation, below)
* Krumhorn – a Thergerim-manufactured wind instrument.  It is a long, hollow tube constructed of spliced animal horn, about a ped and a half in length, curving upwards and flaring outwards at the bottom, containing three simple metal valves just below the mouthpiece which in combination allow a very low five or six-note range.

* Cyrathaelan or Elven Pipe – The name is derived from the Styrash, meaning ‘gentle music-maker’.  This slim cylinder of hollowed wood is apparently carved intricately; however, according to the Aellenrhim woodworkers who produce it, no blades are used in the manufacture of these instruments.  Rather, the shrub from which it is formed is ‘encouraged’ to twine its delicate tendrils around a metal core until the desired shape, length, and overlay has been achieved.  At this point it is removed through a simple incantation and given only the most gentle polishing with a silken cloth to bring up the shine of the wood.  The tuning holes are likewise not drilled, but left as natural spaces.

* Meldarine - the well-known Wood Xylophone, a row of slender wooden slats supported by a carved wooden stand.  The material is generally Meldarapple or Malus wood, which not only gives a pleasant, naturally resonant tone, but also lends a lovely roseate hue to the finished xylophone.  It is played with two medlarwood mallets.

* Guitar

* Dwarven Drum

* Brass Panpipes

* Agelom – an elven-designed stringed instrument associated with Nehtor, resembling a lute. “It has six double strings stretched over a cavity that is the sound box, flanked by a scratch board to protect the instrument from the movement of a plectrum, usually carefully made from rock or wood…”

* Trumpet

* Resonance Organ – The motivation to design this marvelous keyboard instrument came directly from the sound of the Resonance Dragon (which see); after nearly a half-century of experimentation with various fabrics, leathers, reeds, pipes, and other materials in an attempt to duplicate the fabled resonating tones of the Dragon’s webbing,  the skilled Féarn’teloría bards and builders have given us the organ in its current form.  Great cast-aurium pipes rise from the back of a bellows-box, just over the head of a ‘pumpman’ or ‘bellowslad’ who must treadle the two seat-print-sized foot pedals constantly to keep the voice of the organ alive.  At the front, a keyboard of Avennorian whale tusk keys set into baychwood arms allows the musician to open or close the flow of air through the pipes at will.  Each ivory key is engraved with its appropriate note, from ‘Deep Ey’ through ‘Low Ey’, ‘Mid Ey’, and ‘High Ey’, all the way up to ‘True Ey’, a full four pantheons! (See Musical Notation, below)  The casing of the bellows and keyboard cabinet is carved with a scale pattern and stained in various colours to suggest the beauty of the Resonance Dragon which inspired it.  Woven ‘webbing’, strictly decorative, is draped from side to side of the pipe gallery, and the pipes themselves glint with the golden glow of aurium.

(hoping someone will be inspired to do a picture of this, as it’s truly the most marvelous musical instrument in Caelereth! )

* Chimes
* Lap Harp

*Bavonesta – a series of crystalline tubes or tall pure glass jars, filled with sea water in varying amounts so as to produce a clear, ringing tone when tapped with a driftwood striker.  The frame which supports the tubes is almost always formed from patina bronze, and a sea motif is common – leaping dolphins, seaweeds, or shells – on the facing panel.

* Floor Harp


Musical Pitch, Tuning, Scales, and Notation

Pitch:  is taken from the “Madman’s Voice”, a hand-sized device made of two identical metal wires stretched over a blocky square soundbox with a short neck and two heavy tuning pegs at the top.  The ‘Voice’ resembles a crude miniature lute; despite its apparent simplicity it must be made with absolute craftsmanship and sized with precision.  The wood used is always Eur’oak, dried ten seasons and planed to a particular thickness, while the two wires, or strings, must be made from mithril of a specific length (and poured, cut and drawn in the same batch on the same day...) 

The way in which pitch is determined is this: since mithril has a consistent breaking point under extremely high tension, the ‘Voice’ is cranked to its absolute limit.  One string (nicknamed the ‘Bachelor’) is taken to trembling poise, the note plucked and heard, then set as ‘below true’ by the assembled musicians who are waiting for their pitch.  The other string, or ‘Fishwife’, is then pulled to equal tautness and just beyond.  Her note is heard and adjusted for, and then it is the ‘Bachelor’s’ turn again.  In this rather nerve-wracking way the pitch slowly climbs to a shriek of pure silvery pain, and is ‘recorded’ by the listening soprano instruments – for the alto and tenor instruments a full pantheon (octave) below in range, while the basses simply wait.   Eventually one of the strings, stretched to its complete limit, will snap wildly, with a plangent twang that has now become familiar to every New Santhalan audience member – that ‘madman’s shriek’ that signals the orchestra is almost ready to take its place upon the stage.  At that point the note on the other string is deemed to be the highest achievable pitch, and the orchestra has its absolute – its ‘True Ey’ (the Terran high Doh, or three semitones above A440)  – see below for a comparative list of note names). 

Of course, if the orchestra is fortunate enough to be performing in a space where one of the famous Resonance Organs resides, the smallest pipe will have been tuned to True Ey and the musicians may take their notes safely from it.  As there are only seven of these instruments in existence so far, (four in New Santhala, one at the Féarn’teloría,  one in Marcogg, and one in Bardavos) the Madman’s Voice is in no danger of becoming obsolete in the near future. 

Scales: A full range of notes is called a ‘span’, or ‘pantheon’.  There are twelve notes within the pantheon, each given a syllable that stands for one of the twelve deities of the Aviaria.  Certain pitches are believed to have certain characteristics, and thus considered appropriate for the qualities of those deities.  Thus each note name always has a consistent pitch associated with it, again, based on ‘True Ey’.  The pitches are divided approximately equally into twelve notes or tones,  from True Ey downwards to its mate one pantheon below. (equal temperament, in Terran nomenclature)  Here they are given from Low Ey upward to Mid Ey.

Ey, Neh, Ba, Ah, Je, Ur, Eh, Os, Se, Goh, Fo, Que 

The pantheons are, in order, from lowest to highest, called 'Deep', 'Low', ' Mid', ' High',  and 'True'.

 The roots of this system of musical naming are also believed to have strong ties with the alchemical theories and philosophies developed in the early ages of Sarvonian history.  Again, a chart is given below to assist in comprehension.

CHART TWO - SEE BELOW

Since each pitch has its own name, music can be written – and read back - exactly like a sentence, using one syllable, or pantheon name, to represent each note.  The length of the note is shown by a ‘breathbar’, or horizontal line which extends through the syllable.  Chords are represented by stacking the breathbars with their associated syllable.  An example of this musical notation is shown in the parchment below.


PARCHMENT ONE - SEE BELOW


More recently a style among younger bards has become popularized which simplifies the syllables of the pantheon down to one character each, struck through with the appropriate breathbar length.  The main appeal of this style of musical notation is its speed in composition; for the singer or musician interpreting the piece, the old familiar system must be relearnt and translated as they go.  Nonetheless, it is gaining in popularity and there are those who predict that it will completely replace the old ‘scribed’ pantheon.  An example is given below, in the hand of Lucirina of Bardavos.


PARCHMENT TWO - SEE BELOW



With thanks to:  http://www.uk-piano.org/history/pitch.html   and
 http://www.cechinatrans.demon.co.uk/ctm-psm.html

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Petros Greenvale
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« Reply #1 on: 24 July 2007, 21:29:37 »

Yayyyy!!! its so much clearer now!! grin heart

Ok im really curious so be prepared for a barrage of questions... ;)

.Do santharians use keys like terran music, for instance is there a key of Ey or Ah, if so do they all contain different numbers of sharps or flats?

.How do you write bass cleff etc, is it raised a major third from whats written like terran music or is it just the same noted

.In the notation how would you distinguish from a high Ey and a low Ey.

.what happened to that gittare entry that guy did?

.Is there a santharian equivelant to the pentatonic scale?

oh.. im sorry  for wittering on...This is GREAT by the way bard, especially with the images, they make it so much clearer, im goin to be glued to this for a while!!! heart thumbup
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Gean Firefeet
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« Reply #2 on: 25 July 2007, 00:38:28 »

Time to get mixed up in this topic. Dear Bard, I was going to PM you about reviving this entry, but it's about time we finalize this sketch and get over with. Therefore, I'd like to note the following:

We need a general entry on music, for now the human Santharian version. This entry you should cover history/origin of music, notation, instruments, legend and lore, usage.

The listed entry will, in the course of time, each need their separate entries, just like the Harp currently in the works by Petros. We need to make a general template for that, see the proposal further down below.

As soon as we have this, similar versions can be developed for other races and continents.

Proposed template for instruments

Overview

General introduction to the instruments, classification, giving a few basic details on what it is and why it is important, perhaps a note on origin.

Description

Cover the general design of the instrument, including different elements of the instrument, the material, the dimensions, different types. Besides this, also note the musical characteristics: possible keys to play in, range from highest to lowest note, timbre and dynamical possibilities.

Production

As the instrument is the work of craftmanship, you should give details on the production process, referring to the description where you've noted the relevant elements and materials. Also note the locations of production, is the industry might be a monopoly of one tribe or town, or available in even the smallest village of Santharia.

Playing
Give an account or introduction to 'playing the [instrument]', noting different styles and fingering/pressure/embouchure possibilities.

Usage

Not every instrument is used at every occasion, nor all over the Santharian Kingdom. Note both the occasions were the instrument is used and the people or locations of usage.

Origin and History

Often an instrument was developed by one tribe and gradually spread over the continent. Note the relevant details here, possibly with technical development, inventor and similar details.

Legend and Lore

The lyre, to name but one Terran example, has a right history including illustrious mythological figures like King David and Orpheus. Here you can note similar stories about your instrument, if of course relevant to your entry.



Now to your questions Petros, I'll answer them from my point of view and hope that Bard Judith will shine her light over it as well.

Keys seem a logical thing to have. I wouldn't complicate matters instantly by delving into different kind of keys, but it would be logical to designate the key of the piece, by noting this with the appropiate syllable in front of the 'note syllables', if you understand what I mean.

Concerning the Bass clef: clefs were only designed to extend the range of notational possibilities. With our current notation system we have a serious problem with heights, as I haven't seen the possibility to note octaves up or down from 'standard'. This immediately brings us to your third question, and for now I must say I haven't the foggiest. Perhaps we should think of writing some syllable lower than others, or higher, to designate a different octave?

About the Guitar entry, it's over here in this forum, but I think it was never finished. I hope the current discussion might prove the push to finishing that one as well.

It sounds great to have a Santharian equivalent to the pentatonic scale, though I'm sure you're aware there are in fact five different pentatonic scales. I was going to propose that your pixie harp would have five vines so to say, so that it would be able to produce pentatonic melodies.

Hope I helped a little!
« Last Edit: 25 July 2007, 03:11:47 by Gean Firefeet » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 25 July 2007, 02:37:25 »

Well done Gean! in my opinion that layout is perfect! grin

The only problem is that youve missed out the two most important aspects of a musical instrument...
Timbre and its dynamical capabilities, so.. you could put in a heading for them aswell maybe? ;)

i was also thinking about something, There is a forum about language and runes yet there is no forum for santharian music!?!
Music and art are the basis of culture and culture is the foundations of a society!
So once weve got the layout of musical entries sorted, you could ask Art about this or something. Cause it would be really cool to have a section dedicated to music, and as an added feature you could upload your musical compositions straight to the forum perhaps.. ;)


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« Reply #4 on: 25 July 2007, 03:15:11 »

We've tried to reduce the amount of Forums recently instead of increasing it, Petros. It just got too much and still is too much perhaps. Music related entries (instruments, general music stuff) are best kept under the Miscellaneous section on the site - as you can see we don't have a single standalone entry in this regard yet, so it's not that there's a lot happening here. Though I encourage that this entry here is continued and finalized - it looks great so far, especially with these nice illustrations to go with it! :D

Musical pieces go in the Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources, and so far that has worked out as well, don't see much need to change that neither. It has been practical enough so far I'd say.
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Gean Firefeet
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« Reply #5 on: 25 July 2007, 03:15:37 »

Hey Petros, your enthusiasm is heartwarming, yet not so hasty. Indeed you could say that culture is at the heart of society (eek, MTV and Die Hard 4.0 are the basis of our culture?), but we have a forum dedicated to music and the sister arts: the Artist Workshop, more to the top of the development section.

You'll find some of my compositions there as well. What I've done so far is uploading them myself and provide a link to them. Currently we don't have an option to upload straight tot he forum, but if you need anything uploaded, Art is always there to help, he's done so often enough.

Your worthwhile additions have been wrapped into the template above, under the heading description.

Art beat me to it :D
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« Reply #6 on: 25 July 2007, 03:21:17 »

Oopsie (silly little me!! :)) sorry for the bother!!
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« Reply #7 on: 25 July 2007, 03:25:15 »

Additional note: If we get more music entries done we can open up an own sub-section in the Misc. menu called "Music". So far the only standalone entry on music we have is under "Culture and Customs" (Salaen Folk Music). Once it makes sense to seperate it, we can do so.
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #8 on: 25 July 2007, 04:11:19 »

Quick note ere I lay my weary head down:  I can answer one question right on the spot. 

 Octaves are called 'pantheons' in Santharia, and - I quote - "The pantheons are, in order, from lowest to highest, called 'Deep', 'Low', ' Mid', ' High',  and 'True'."   As humans don't have a vocal range of more than five octaves/pantheons,  nor do most musical instruments, five pantheons should suffice. 

 Thus if you are playing a piece in the key of C, say, and you start on Middle C, in Santharian notation that would be indicated as 'Mid Ey'.    Now, if you are reading the syllables, it gets too long and complex to write a song as

"Mid Ey      Mid Ey      Mid Je      Mid Je     Mid Ur    Mid Ur      M i d J e " - so I propose to put a small 'hook' or 'dot' on the end of the strike-through of the syllable to show where it sits RELATIVE to the pantheon indicated at the beginning of the piece (just as the key is given in Terran music).

A strikethrough that curves upwards indicates a 'high' note - that is, one in the pantheon above the original 'key' - while a strikethrough that curves down shows that it is a 'low' note, belonging to the pantheon below the original 'key'. 


Gean - the template is awesome! 

Everyone, thanks for critique and comment so far - will post more tomorrow - must to bed now...
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« Reply #9 on: 25 July 2007, 04:25:53 »

Sorry to be a wee nuisence again, but there one thing i dont get, how can you tell how long a strike through can last for (its probably metioned above, but im a wee bit simple ;)) i know that the longer it goes on for, the longer the note is, but how will the player calculate this. will there be a particular speed written on the manusript like terran music so he can count through the strike through? or is it just the lenght of time it takes her/him to read over the line.

sorry again!! heart
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« Reply #10 on: 25 July 2007, 05:04:13 »

Petros. keep in mind, that we are speaking about medieval music and notation. Not everything has to be fixed till the last iota, there was much more room for interpretation.

Judy, did you integrate my comment already or are they lost now? I don't have the time to go through it again.
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« Reply #11 on: 25 July 2007, 05:46:53 »

Talia is right in this respect. I'd go for relative timing in contrast to the absolute timing our Terran music system has. The longer the 'strike through', the longer the note is. The player will then adapt this to the time signature so that it'll fit in nicely. I'm currently studying French Baroque music by Pancrace Royer, a contemporary of better known composers like Couperin and Rameau. If you listen to the recording of his clavichord pieces, you'll find that the player is free in both melody and rhythm, and also with his decoration. It's only in the 19th century that the notation becomes so fixed, because the music becomes that complex.

So, a long note line, is just a 'long note', not a note of 3, 4 or 3.5 beats...

I'll ask Art to put the template in the 'template thread'.
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« Reply #12 on: 25 July 2007, 06:25:18 »

Yeah i guess so.. ( got a bit carried away grin)

By the way Gean Strictness in timing has not just popped up at the dawn of the contemporary era, but has been around since Johannes de Garlandia's De mensurabili musica (rythmic modes)(-just felt like saying the posh name! grin) I wasnt suggesting modern strictness or anything, but because santharia is like the terran medieval era its musical notation could be similar to the Mensural notation ( 13th century) and might i add that mensural is nearly identical to modern notation and its rythym excpt that they look different, but the principals are all the same! I accept the fact that baroque era is more free than modern music but music has been oppresed by rythym precision since we developed from neumonic notation. and i have you know i was playing Mozarts Clarinet concerto in A major the other day and i was up to my ears in Cadenzas!! :P


Whoa...i finally used my advanced higher musical theory, i never knew i was capable!  (this will probably be the first and last time ;))


OMG im so sorry, i like totally bit your head off shocked please accept my humble apology!! :) hug

Achh well... its good to have a wee musical debate now and then!!
« Last Edit: 25 July 2007, 06:53:26 by Petros Greenvale » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: 25 July 2007, 07:39:35 »

Why an apology in the same post if you could actually edit that post? ;)
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« Reply #14 on: 25 July 2007, 07:50:53 »

i wanted my view to come across, and at the same time not be to brash ( if you catch my drift). ;) 
Boy, TaliaYour good!! :P
« Last Edit: 25 July 2007, 08:12:02 by Petros Greenvale » Logged

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