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DART 381 Louis-Pierre Labranche Reading response 02 19/10/16 Fall 2016


In an era where the technologies evolve exponentially, It is not surprising that the computers constantly push the boundaries of what can be achieve in terms of possibility of sounds, which is exploited by new and experimented producers. Many new instruments have changed the musical world by replacing raw musician skills by mechanically recorded sounds. These machines were subjected to controversies within the artists community questioning the legibility of what can me considered as art, because it doesn’t required certain skills to produce basic musical instrument sounds. Like it appear in the text ‘’Should one applaud?’’ The player piano is one of those invention that used recorded midi sound and mechanically make the piano play by itself with the help of a piece of paper containing the required musical information. In that case, the ‘’artist’’ as nothing to do to produce a musical performance, so it can hardly be considered as a musical instrument, a playing device would be a more appropriated name for this machine. The only musical knowledge needed to make it work is to encrypted the paper roll which contained the codes associated to notes. Although the understanding of midi sounds is a technological improvement that brought new technologies in the future. The futurist “Intonarumori” is, in my opinion, an experimental form of musical instrument. The new sounds that these devices were able to produce were not as melodic as the notes that appears in the treble clef by example, these new sounds could be used as sound effects and ambient sounds. It is hard to conceived that such devices can be considered as music instruments if it is compared to a piano which can produce beautiful melodies without much accompagnement from other instrument.

The synthesizer is a remarquable instrument which revolutionized the music industry. Its property to reproduce multiple instrument within the press of a button opens its user to limitless possibilities with a single machine. Contrary to the player piano and the noise instruments, the synthesizer required certain musical skills to be used properly. It has been an important instrument in the psychedelic rock era, pianists could creates new sounds added to the traditional vocals, guitar, drum and bass combo. Synthesizers are now an important instrument for some death/power/ black metal bands which required something that can compete and play along side the fast guitar riffs. It is also a primary tool for hip-hop producers, which creates their own samples or modified an existing one. The symbiosis of synthesizers and the new possibilities offered by the informatics mixing programs gives the producers the opportunity to recreate any musical instruments that exist. This particular form of art requires a solid understanding of music composition basics and permit to be totally creative. To the question: Should one applaud? If the sounds are authentic, wellchosen, arrange in a creative and melodic way, then the answer is yes. We should all applause in front of a creative art form involving new technologies that are at the disposition of artists.

Should one applaud?