Time and Music Notation
Time and Music Notation
Wikipedia on Music Notation: "Musical notation is any system used to visually represent aurally perceived music played with instruments or sung by the human voice through the use of written, printed, or otherwise-produced symbols . . . "
- There are several problems with this opening attempt at definition of musical notation as presented in this Wikipedia: Musical notation entry.
- First, musical notation does NOT need to be visually representing. Presumably blind people using modified Braille and raised dots, etc. on paper could have a musical notation system. Hence any such notation need not be visual, although the vast majority of such notation can be seen, so is usually visual, generally speaking.
- Second, the music being represented in a musical notation does not need to be aurally perceived (by humans, say) to count as a musically notated system. There can be music that humans cannot hear. Just make the frequency ranges outside of human hearing, but still be music. Such a high frequency music could still be notated, so being auditorily perceivable is again just typical, but not a necessary condition for the possibility of musical notation.
- Third, the Wikipedia entry says the music is played "with instruments or sung." If by instruments is meant musical artifacts alone, then since a musician can make music that is not sung, but still only uses the human body, such as slapping techniques (described below), so the entry leaves out a third way to make music that does not use either singing or a manufactured musical instrument.
Wikipedia: Body Percussion states "Percussion instruments produce their sound when a player hits, scrapes, rubs or shakes them to produce vibrations. These techniques can also be applied to the human body. The body also presents several unique possibilities including the use of inhaled or exhaled air and vocal sounds.
Traditionally the four main body percussion sounds (in order from lowest pitch to highest in pitch) are:
- Stomp: Striking left, right, or both feet against the floor or other resonant surface
- Patsch: Patting either the left, right or both thighs with hands
- Clapping hands together
- Snapping fingers
However, there are numerous other possibilities including: hitting the chest, whistling, slapping or flicking the cheeks with an open mouth, clicking with the tongue against the roof of the mouth, grunting, and hitting the buttocks.
Variations of sound are possible through changing the playing technique. For example, clapping the hands in various positions will affect factors such as pitch and resonance.
Body percussion is used extensively in music education, because of its accessibility—the human body is the original musical instrument and the only instrument that every student possesses. Using the body in this manner gives students a direct experience of musical elements, such as beat, rhythm, and metre and helps a student internalise rhythmic skills. Certain approaches to music education, including Orff, Kodály and Bapne make particular use of body percussion." (bold and bold italic not in original)