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Modern music and remixing, what's going on?


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Hai guyz, I was wondering. How much acceptance people have to contemporary "classical" music? I was thinking that there is a certain lack of more modern languages in the music on this site and I was wondering if I could as well do something.

So far, the problem is that basically I'd need to completely break up the song into elements and in the end build something new from it so it'd not be honestly a remix. It'd be an entirely different composition with basic elements taken from the original (tone material, maybe rhythmic elements, etc.)

For example; the games that do use these languages (vagrant story, SOR3, etc) are far too complicated to "remix", and I don't think it's worth it since the originals are best left alone. But, then what CAN I grab to mess with?

And the other question is, say I DO end up writing a 12 tone technique+whatever thing based on or using materials from a game's song, I don't think they'll consider it a remix here. It's an interesting question because a lot of game music simply doesn't translate into modern musical languages basically because they're strictly tonal and moreover structure is very defined.

So how much of it is a remix if I take just the tonal elements (for example the way I build a tone row, or serialize components) from the original? It'd be a shame if "remixing" was a term so limited here that basically it only covers a tiny little (old) part of music theory and musical language.

If anything to put a little more creativity into the mixing process, and in essence really trying to make something of substance with the raw materials.

I'm not of the idea that remixing has to be "paying tribute to" or "making the originals better" since to me chiptune should stay chiptune, and I like the way things sound just fine in their original format. The criteria for judgement should be also how the original material is worked and reworked, and how much of it is just copy-pasting and how much of it is careful selection.

Take for instance a classical chiptune example that gets remixed over and over; the MM3 intro song. In this composition particularly you have a lot of rhythm elements and tonal elements. The thing is very tonal, pushing towards end of the 19th century romantic into the harmonies that later went into jazz. It's not textbook but almost.

So then, what if we took those tonal elements from just the introduction chord/harmony and serialized them (or built a 12 tone-row inspired in such), and then used a similar structure but changed the rhythms.

So for example the song would progress from slow to upbeat all the same, but the harmonies would be rather detached from the original tonal basis but technically would still be based on the same material. It would sound different, surely, enough so that most people I guess would not consider it a "remix." But in my opinion, it's exactly this kind of elaborate reworking of the materials that would be very interesting to see.

Not just 12 tone or serialism, or any of those things, but even for example a reworking in 18th century counterpoint or Palestrina-inspired vocal counterpoint, etc.

So what is people's opinion on this? Honestly, I think the community could benefit from a bigger diversity of musical languages, particularly modern ones.

(Yuzo Koshiro used a bunch of this himself in the SOR3 OST, in two particular tracks which are extremely modern in musical language: "Beyond Oasis Early Tune" and "Bad ending" and Hitoshi Sakimoto has a lot of influence from Stravinski and the like, as clearly seen by some of this VS tracks, such as Rosencrantz's theme, etc.)

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you bring up some interesting points, very interesting indeed.

really the whole idea comes down to balance, that is when you talk about arrangement and what's considered a remix. how much of the original is left in versus how much change/addition.

if you want to do something that's twelve-tone, go for it, just make sure you have the right balance of materials. for example, i might think of including tonal or modal material that includes the original stuff from the song being remixed and then have a sorta "B" section with new original material that could be twelve-tone material if you choosed it to be.

my opinion on the twelve-tone idea: it may not be a great idea to use a row to create something new with a melody from a video game track to base your remix on...simply because it might not be easily recognizable. though that really depends on how you'd be arranging your row and how you'd be using the rhythms and other elements that go with it, etc.

as far as a broader spectrum of styles/genres...sure i'd like to see all kinds of types of them here. i doubt many would be in the styles that you mentioned because not many people who are involved in this community could write something that could be considered Palestrina-like counterpoint or something that could be considered twelve-tone. i'm sure there's some talented people out there who could...that also poses the question of, would anyone really do it? i think the answer really is that if it sounds good...do it. :lol:

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if the goal is to incorporate ideas of modern music into your own style in a meaningful way, then that could be very interesting.

but if you want to rework a game tune to a modern music style just because you can.. well, that's called a gimmick.

a gimmick myself and many others could no doubt appreciate, but i am more impressed by those who have their own style rather than those who can superficially imitate others.

either way, just make some good music and i'll have nothing to complain about.


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What analoq said is pretty much what I had in mind. Not gimmicky, but stuff that works within the personal style and idea. I think that if I were to approach something, remix-wise, I'd probably try to see the possibilities I want to work with from the get-go.

It's not because I can but because sometimes getting away from all the piano-pseudo romantic stuff and guitar solos is constructive. Also it may produce pretty good results.

But then, what is it that sounds good and what is good music, I have no idea. Another thing about modern languages is that to a lot of people (a LOT of people) they sound god-awful. But then these people don't really understand what is going on musically.

Therefor the split in modern music between pop/old tradition based stuff and the modern stuff from the 20th century.

Personally I think that if the materials allow for a working of something in various styles, maybe a post-modernistic "synthesize and apply" method may be worthwhile. That is to say, grab from a lot of places and lay out the materials-techniques together rather than just "this is style blah, here comes style blah2."

I'll experiment with a lot of these concepts soon (whenever I have actually any time) and post the results. I think it would be best if I used only 1 single song to based it all on, so it can be much easier to compare. A modern cycle of variations for a single song, or something like that.

Or any other ideas are also welcome.

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If you have the ability to make a thoroughly modernist work of an old video game tune, then I do hope you go for it. But as other commenters have mentioned, one has to keep the balance. You have to be able to recognize the source tune.

That might be a bit tricky with atonal music. Though Gershwin manages in his I Got Rhythm Variations.

But there's a lot of rich techniques that still involve tonality any way. A Castlevania tune in the style of Stravinsky? Minimalist Final Fantasy? Some Secret of Mana after Bartok's Bulgarian Dances perhaps, 2+2+3 meter no less.

And of course Palestrina and Bach have wonderful styles.

Do keep me informed on your work in this area.

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Well then. I had some time today so I threw this together:

Edit: Original removed because oh god, but here's the better version: http://iris.n-lp.com/music/Castl1mix3b.mp3

And of course, the original:


A few notes about the original and what I did; mostly I took the elements I saw (such as the 3 effect notes during the A part) and elaborated a little bit on each of the significant elements. I didn't use anything too "out there", just a little free reworking of the same elements.

I took advantage of the modal aspect of the main melody (with the 7th not used as a leading tone except for the bass harmony which I didn't use, but was found in the original) to free it a little bit in terms of harmony and structure. Some of the rhythm is freer but the piece is still in 4/4, but accents fall syncopated.

I haven't had time to write dynamics on it, but there are a few expression marks, but it's a little lost in the silly synth I'm using for it. But overall I think it's OK just to get an idea.

I know this song may be a little weird a choice for this kind of thing at first for some but I found it to be extremely good to adapt in modern because of how clear-cut the elements are, without really being boring. The bass harmony in part B when it steps outside of the pedal notes is always without the tonal center (b flat), and that makes those parts by themselves rather interesting. Also the modal minor 7th (a flat) -> natural g is used to preserve the character without overdoing it.

The glissando at the end may be a little tacked on, honestly I just found out how to sequence it properly! But alas, it's only in two sections.

The original song is presented in pretty clear cut A B A form with a pretty modal-sounding contrast that doesn't really have enough of contrast to be considered part B, but regardless it's A B A. There are no drums in the original, nor percussion elements, which is also a reason I picked this.

Well, the overall thing lasts 1 minute and 21 seconds, and I think that it's a pretty respectable exposition of this idea without dragging on for too long. I'm thinking that perhaps if this goes well enough I may try to do a small cycle of variations for the same song all in short durations. But we'll see.

I don't know if this should go in what thread but since I already made this one and this is the topic about these things, I figure this'd go here better than elsewhere.

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Well about the synth, I DO have much better string sounds, and I could as well do a little mastering and those johnsons.

I honestly don't know if they'd dig it here, but well. It's sorta unlikely, but then again I have no idea if people submit these types of things often.

Edit: Well hi thar


I did some fixing, so that's that. Too bad it's hard to get it just like I want it to without having real instruments. :( Oh well. Also I don't have a viola sample I can actually use without projectile vomiting.

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