Introduction/Preface/Science of Music


The first form of Science
is the old Kopernik-Galileo-Kepler-Newtonian classical form (ex: mechanics), consisting of observation, experimentation, and interpretation leading to the formulation of laws or principles (ex: movement and gravity). We are dealing here with a purely objective, constructive, and synthetic science, in which the world of phenomena uniquely determines the theoretical system, in what Leibniz described as "pre-established harmony". The advantages of the constructive theory are completeness, adaptability, and clearness. Adopted by MusicNovatory, this form of science is currently the most appropriate for music, as it is a pre-requisite for the second form of science.

The second form of Science
is the modern Planck-Einsteinian principle theory, deducing conclusions from general principles, in which inference follows on inference, often extending far from reality. The advantages of principle theory are logical perfection and security of foundations. The application of this form of science to music is still to come, based on the first form, as was the case with physics, for example.

is an intuitive natural phenomenon operating in the 3 Worlds of Time, Pitch, Energy, and under the 3 distinct and interrelated organization structures of Rhythm, Harmony, and Melody.

Sound and Music

A sub-set of Sound
One of the most fundamental aspects to consider is the relation between sound and music. Music uses sound and could be described, following set-theory principles, as a specialized sub-set of sound. In fact, while sound is primarily a physical phenomenon around the propagation and perception of energy waves in a certain frequency range, music is primarily a natural intuitive phenomenon related to the logical organisation, structure, and relations between sounds. A comparison can be made with Gravity and Motion where motion uses gravity but also involves other structuring phenomena. A simplified definition of walking, for example, could be described as "falling on an alternate foot while maintaining balance" (where balance is a structured combination of equilibrium, rhythm, and the medium's inertia). Motion is a compound phenomenon based on Gravity, but with specific organization structures (ex: equilibrium, rhythm, inertia). In Music, the 3 main organization structures are Rhythm, Harmony, and Melody.

Forms, Styles, Traditions
Just as there are many ways and styles of walk with almost infinite variations, some less functional and others more efficient, there are unlimited styles, cultures, and traditions for composing or improvising music. But in all cases perception is fundamentally based on the natural organization structures. In other words, styles and traditions are refinements or sub-sets of music but the underlying natural phenomena and organization structures always apply. Just like for walking styles and forms, walking, running, sideways, backward, jumping, or tripping, gravity and equilibrium always apply.

The Music Phenomenon
MusicNovatory is an encyclopedic document dedicated to the presentation of the Music phenomenon and of its organization structures. It applies in every region, period, culture, and style without restricting any of them. A better understanding of the natural and intuitive phenomenon of Music provides means to achieve finer styles, compositions, improvisations, performances, and appreciation, just like a better understanding of motion and its organization structures like equilibrium, inertia, and propulsion allows us to fly at 40000Km/h, go to the Moon or Mars, become acrobats, etc.

A scientific approach

A Generative model of Music
Apart from providing analysis tools for understanding existing musical compositions
          of any form, style, or tradition,
     and just like understanding motion has allowed us not only to analyse walking, for example,
               but also to generate new applications and forms of motion,
                    (ex: flying to the Moon at 40000Km/h) that were previously unthinkable,
          understanding the musical phenomenon provides a realistic model
               that can be used to generate new forms, styles, and applications of Music,
                    with precision and efficiency previously unattainable.
This is how MusicNovatory offers a generative model of Music.

A scientific methodology
To achieve its goals, MusicNovatory selected a rigorous scientific methodology with objectives that include:

  • Avoiding dogmatic, arbitrary assertions
  • Seeking to discover what music really is rather than what one might want it to be
  • Using only scientifically valid procedures
  • Building on the four fundamental principles of Regularity, Simplicity, Symmetry, and Hierarchy
  • Rigorously structuring the model's logic and development
  • Avoiding exceptions as they are a symptom that the fundamental principles have not been articulated
  • Assuring functionality for each element (ex: chord, note, beat)
  • Differenciating the cultural from the scientific
  • Determining the fundamental parameters of music (ex: definition, worlds, dimensions)
  • Ensuring the simplicity and precision of the Basic Materials, including the binary structure in Rhythm, and the constant structure of chords in Harmony
  • Ensuring the control and precision of the Transformations including the Rhythmic ablation (see: Rhythm), and the 5 complementary transformations (see: Harmony)
  • Providing examples, samples, illustrations, demonstrations, animations, navigation, tools, references to help and support the reader/surfer/user at every step.

A solid model

Understanding a science provides power over its applications. From true knowledge, one can gain confidence. This confidence cost a lot to Galileo and others, but without being arrogant, once one knows that the planet is a sphere, theories about falling off the end of the Earth become quite irrelevant, other than for historical and/or romantic archives.

But as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, MusicNovatory presents a structured generic analytical and generative model of Music, with no arbitrary rules and no exceptions, that applies to all styles, forms, and traditions of music, that resolves the mysteries of the Music phenomenon, and that provides powerful tools for analysing, improving, and creating Music.

Also, the MusicNovatory model introduces two new dimensions to the structure of music:

Effective quantification of every aspect of a phenomenon implies a deep and integrated understanding and model of the phenomenon, as well as of the specific mathematics involved. Quantification is also a scientific process to allow precise measurement and evaluation of each of the model's components.

Natural Canons
To get a better taste of the pudding, one should also look at Natural Canons as they are truly a gift of Nature, like picking berries off a bush, providing what seems like an infinite quantity of musical material, ready to pick.

Last but not least, based on the confidence in the MusicNovatory model, the Analysis chapter puts the model to the test and invites user participation

One might also wish to see a summary of reactions to the scientific approach of MN.


New concepts to replace old ones
If one comes to MusicNovatory looking for new concepts to simply add to an existing set,
     this may not be the best place as it may challenge previous information,
               replacing old concepts with new ones,
          but if one is looking for a real understanding of music and ready for new concepts,
               this is probably the right place to find what one is seeking.

For a good place to start, we suggest: