How 'situated' is your ear? What notes are hiding between the keys on your piano? And most importantly, what does the music from Battlestar Galactica have in common with Balinese Gamelan?
In this episode of On That Note, we try and answer these questions and much more.
Join host Graham MacDonald as he sits down with UBC professor and ethnomusicologist Michael Tenzer for a discussion about the different ways we hear, play, and define music (hint: it's all about context!) and how breaking out of our musical bubbles might help us communicate better.
Here are the tracks discussed in the episode (Spotify account required for some of them):
- Bear McCreary, "An Easterly View"
- Dewa Ketut Alit, "Geregel"
- Ben Johnston (performed by the Kepler Quartet), String Quartet No. 7: Scurrying, Forceful, Intense
- St. Vincent, "Surgeon"
- John Cage (performed by Christoph Bossert), "As Slow as Possible"
- Kyoto Nohgaku Kai, "Deha"
And here is some further reading/listening on some of the topics discussed in the episode:
- A primer on microtonal music
- The Australian band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released an album written and performed within a 24 tone division of octaves. You can read more about it here, and listen to it here.
- Here's a breakdown of Gamelan Tonal Structures
- A history of Gamelan
- UBC has a Balinese Gamelan ensemble!
- Ben Johnston on NPR
- The National Noh Theater of Japan's history of Noh
And finally, if you want to really break out of your musical bubble, the Global Jukebox is a great place to explore some unfamiliar and often thrilling music.