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Dimensions for describing music

Psycosmo
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  42
Posts :  787
Posted : Nov 5, 2006 05:45
Describing music in words is difficult. I tend to think of music in sort of a synesthetic way, in terms of what it would feel like if I could touch it. I thought about it and I think I could describe most trance music along the following dimensions:

Slow-Fast
Light-Heavy (beat)
Smooth-rough
Arid-Wet
Dark(low frequency heavy)-Light
Minimal-Maximal
Cold-Warm


If other people feel me on this then maybe it could help in writing better reviews. And just for the fun of it, I suggest assigning each track an “element” (Earth, Water, Air, Fire). I am curious what other people think of this rating system, if they identify with it at all, and if there is anything they would add to it.

I rated a few of my favorite albums on this scale to give people an idea of what I am talking about. Everything is on a scale of 0-10.

Artifakt-Arifakts 2
Slow-Fast: 7.5
Light-Heavy: 7.5
Smooth-Rough: 8
Arid-Wet: 1
Dark-Light: 5
Minimal-Maximal: 6
Cold-Warm: 8
Element: Earth

Hallucingoen-Twisted
Slow-Fast- 7.5
Light-Heavy: 7
Smooth-Rough: 2
Arid-Wet: 7
Dark-Light: 3.5
Minimal-Maximal: 10
Cold-Warm: 5.5
Element: Air or Fire

Vibrasphere:Archipelago
Slow-Fast: 4.5
Light-Heavy: 3.5
Smooth-Rough: 0
Arid-Wet: 10
Dark-Light: 9
Minimal-Maximal: 7
Cold-Warm: 5
Element: Water

Twisted System: Core
Slow-Fast: 8.5
Light-Heavy: 7
Smooth-Rough: 2
Arid-Wet: 5
Dark-Light: 4
Minimal-Maximal: 8
Cold-Warm: 7
Element: Fire

exotic
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  200
Posts :  5057
Posted : Nov 5, 2006 08:06
Okie , nice one psycosmo .. I too have always been thinking of an alternative way of describing the music because words just do not do justice. I find it really shallow to put the same desciption to 'good' music and invariably quotes like 'this is outstanding' , 'i feel like like im floating two feet above the ground' , 'oh man i soo digg this ' find their way into reviews. Besides such a standard is quite objective / basic and should be very helpful
The only thing im not too clear is one the arid /wet ?? Are you refering here to where the music should be ideally played , or the dry wet feeling to the music / dripping with psychedelia??

Psykovsky - Psykovsky
Slow-Fast: 8
Light-Heavy: 8.5
Smooth-Rough: 9.5
Arid-Wet:
Dark-Light: 2.5
Minimal-Maximal: 8
Cold-Warm: 3
Element: Fire

Ghreg on earth - Sigilweaver
Slow-Fast: 7.5
Light-Heavy: 8.5
Smooth-Rough: 6
Arid-Wet: 8.5
Dark-Light: 4
Minimal-Maximal: 7
Cold-Warm: 4
Element: Earth/fire

Derango - Tumult
Slow-Fast: 8
Light-Heavy: 9
Smooth-Rough: 8
Arid-Wet: 9.5
Dark-Light: 4.5
Minimal-Maximal: 7
Cold-Warm: 5
Element: Air/fire

Silicon sound - Pure analog
Slow-Fast: 6
Light-Heavy: 4
Smooth-Rough: 2
Arid-Wet: 6
Dark-Light: 8
Minimal-Maximal: 5
Cold-Warm: 8
Element: air/water
          missing plug-in
Kane
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  23
Posts :  1772
Posted : Nov 5, 2006 08:11
Interesting stuff here, this makes me think it would be cool to have some sort of system for entering the values of stuff like slow-fast, arid-wet, etc., and getting a song in return..like a new way to archive your music..

Someday..
Psycosmo
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  42
Posts :  787
Posted : Nov 5, 2006 08:53
By "wet" I mean lots of liquidy or squishy or squealchy sounds, or literal water sounds. Lots of flangerized sounds often give a liquid sound. By
"arid" I mean more squeaky or creaky or scratchy sounds, like the sounds that dry wood makes when it bends, or when two really dry surfaces rub against eachother, or snaps and pops and crunches like dry twigs and leaves breaking underfoot.

In gereral, as a matter of personal taste I do like to have my music fit the weather (I listen to wet music when the weather is wet), but that is a whole other issue. These categories are meant to be descriptive of the sonic qualities of the music.
day_tripper
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  28
Posts :  1120
Posted : Nov 5, 2006 09:36
Hmm... Good one, good one.
Was just wondering, exhaustive tags like these could take auto DJing software to another level.
Just set the flow of mood and the software will compute (and play) a tracklist based on the Mood you have set. The detailed tagging will enhance the accuracy of the flow to the set.
          "It's not the fall that kills you; it's the sudden stop at the end." - Douglas Adams
deejayridoo
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  14
Posts :  309
Posted : Nov 5, 2006 14:49
Very interesting!!!

I´d like to add the category "material" to the list (you already got it with the "arid-wet" but I´d like to make it more complex):
wood, metal, liquid, gum, glass, stone, snow, sand, cloth, earth...


and the structure of the track:
fractal - continuous
song feeling - adventure/improvisation feeling


Examples:

fractal would be Hux Flux´s cryptic crunch and
continuous would be X-Dream´s psychomachine

song feeling would be Four Carry Nuts´ "Donuts" and
adventure would be ECT´s "sqwark"
mudpeople
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  113
Posts :  1785
Posted : Nov 5, 2006 22:20
Myself, I usually think in terms of colors.

Right now Im listening to Behind Blue Eyes-Shadow Environment, this track sounds tan/khaki with yellow hilights.           .
Aluxe
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  25
Posts :  725
Posted : Nov 6, 2006 10:02
a few more ideas to describe music

stable - bouncy
loose - tight
bland - spicy
sparse - dense
simple - fancy
clean -dirty
unsaturated - vivid
uncolored - varicolored
squarish - roundish
opaque - clear
blurry - crisp
clumsy - graceful
chaotic - orderly
gentle - intense
soft - hard
Comercial - Underground
dead - alive
emotional - intellectual








Psycosmo
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  42
Posts :  787
Posted : Nov 6, 2006 17:18
Nice ones Aluxe! I dont understand the difference between minimalistic-maximalistic, sparse-dense and simple-fancy... arent those all pretty much the same? And maybe instead of squarish-roundish it could be angular-curving? (if you think that would be the same idea).
I really like stable-bouncy, bland-spicy, clean-dirty, unsaturated-vivid, blurry-crisp.
Anyway maybe you could give some examples??
Kane
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  23
Posts :  1772
Posted : Nov 6, 2006 23:53
decided to do it since i'm listening now..

FREq - Gosub 20
Slow-Fast: 6.5
Light-Heavy: 7
Smooth-Rough: 4
Arid-Wet: 5.5
Dark-Light: 9
Minimal-Maximal: 4
Cold-Warm: 4.5
Element: Water
Kane
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  23
Posts :  1772
Posted : Nov 6, 2006 23:57
Quote:

On 2006-11-06 17:18, Psycosmo wrote:
Nice ones Aluxe! I dont understand the difference between minimalistic-maximalistic, sparse-dense and simple-fancy... arent those all pretty much the same? And maybe instead of squarish-roundish it could be angular-curving? (if you think that would be the same idea).
I really like stable-bouncy, bland-spicy, clean-dirty, unsaturated-vivid, blurry-crisp.
Anyway maybe you could give some examples??




keep in mind that bland-spicy and things like that are just opinions, most of the stuff here has been stuff that most people would agree on, like Ananda Shake being more on the "Light, Smooth" side than Highko or something..

I love this thread, I seriously want to archive my music like this somehow
Aluxe
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  25
Posts :  725
Posted : Nov 7, 2006 07:03
Quote:

I dont understand the difference between minimalistic-maximalistic, sparse-dense and simple-fancy... arent those all pretty much the same? And maybe instead of squarish-roundish it could be angular-curving?



I don't know what you mean by minimalistic-maximalistic because its one of the ones you came up with which I actually didn't understand. Maybe its because my english is not the best.

Now here is a bit of an explanation of some of the dimensions that you inquired about:

sparse - dense: How full of elements and things the song is, you know some tracks can be very simple with few sounds and lots of space to breathe while others are crammed with something into every corner and crevice of the song. Not to be confused with variety of sounds and elements, the song could be crammed with the same type of sounds or with many different types of sounds as well. For example I would say the stuff from Simon Posford generrally falls on the "dense" side, at least more so than the album from Nelix (no way to leave). Maybe you were thinking of this in some of the dimensions you mentioned? I am sure there are better ways to describe this.

simple - fancy: I guess maybe this one doesn't really work as it can be looked at in many different ways. I was originally thinking about stunts, incredible riffs, mindbending tricks or amazing sounds. But now I am realizing that this could be interpreted in many ways or fall more into opinin territory rather than description like Qane said.

I guess to make it work you would need to define each dimension so everybody understands it the same way.
Psycosmo
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  42
Posts :  787
Posted : Nov 7, 2006 18:50
OK that makes sense. What I meant by minimalistic-maximalistic was basically a combination of your sparse-dense and simple-fancy.
I think what would help most for helping people understand you dimensions is to give example ratings.
Kane
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  23
Posts :  1772
Posted : Nov 8, 2006 22:51
Minimalism is sort of like how much the sounds are "Re-Used" imo, in other words do they use one sound over and over again or different sounds in place of those..don't know if i'm making sense..
psytheriatsunami
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  29
Posts :  570
Posted : Nov 14, 2006 21:18
im lucky ur "dimensions 4 describe music" arent used at record stores..... im so confuzzzed!
Trance Forum » » Forum  Trance - Dimensions for describing music

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