Making a track using only one note...

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ollyb303
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Making a track using only one note...

Post by ollyb303 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:54 pm

So, I'm doing a little experiment at the moment - writing a tune using only the note of C.

It's in my usual style, so acid techno (maybe not to everyone's taste, but it's not really relevant anyway).

So far I have my drums (I don't usually tune my drums, but the predominant note in the kick drum is a C), a sub bass (simple off-beat) which is just a C0, deep 303 bassline - C0/C1, a 303 acid line made up from C1, C2 and C3 and a simple Juno synth line - C2/C3. I plan to add some more tracks as well (some stabs, risers, bleeps, whatever), but only using the note of C.

It's sounding pretty good to me so far - much more dynamic than I thought it would - I'm just interested to hear what people think of the concept - is it going to end up sounding boring or monotonous? Anyone else tried this before? Any other thoughts?
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chapelier fou
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by chapelier fou » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:06 pm

Cf gyorgy Ligeti, "musica ricercatta". One of my favorite.
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stringtapper
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by stringtapper » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:26 pm

chapelier fou wrote:Cf gyorgy Ligeti, "musica ricercatta". One of my favorite.
I guess you're talking about the first movement. Although even that movement uses two pitches. The D comes at the end after most of the movement is on A.
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chapelier fou
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by chapelier fou » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:18 pm

yep, the "dominant" comes as a joke, according to me. Sounds like a caricature of Beethoven's symphonies to me...anyway.
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starving student
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by starving student » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:44 pm

this conversation is way above my pay grade but I just love a reason to post this clip, a super oldy but goody

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0MzfdJdNJc

ollyb303
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by ollyb303 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:53 pm

So, are we saying it's generally acceptable? Or is this a freakish exception?
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ollyb303
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by ollyb303 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:19 pm

Please note, I know only basic music theory... I can read notation, I know my scales (learned as a guitarist/mandolin player), but advanced music theory concepts evade me somewhat. I still believe audio can be music, for example...
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Davo
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by Davo » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:44 pm

I can see how your experiment would allow rhythmic interest but I can't see how the music would "go anywhere". Melody and chord progressions tell stories that can have beginnings Middles and ends. A tune consisting of a single note would be monotonous.

d-track
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by d-track » Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:07 pm

ppl please stop using "monotonous" in a negative way in 2011 if you mean repetitive music.

ollyb303: writing music in one note is nothing new so it doesn't even meet the minimum requirements of something new conceptual thing and.. how cool will be the track doesn't depend on how many notes you use especially in tecnho.
techno is great when its dark, deep and "monotonous" but you can easily go cheesy with 303 acid line on C and even more if you use octave changes. basically D or D sharp could be better maybe B.
I can't remember very well but think there is a classic acid track on Emmanuel Top's Asteroid album using only one note.

Ligeti's Musica Ricercata is one of my favorite but if two notes counts one then we could bring more "examples" here",, but his Symphonie for 100 Metronomes would do it :wink:
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by JuanSOLO » Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:16 pm

I have composed more than one song or two in my day, of only one note, or sometimes key. I dig it. Sometimes I get home from work and see how long I can play the same one note on the guitar, that goes with the same note thats arpeggiating from a synth. LOVE IT! It's almost like meditation.

chapelier fou
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by chapelier fou » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:22 pm

For other one note composition, i think check out Scelsi's work (don't have any precise example).
For one chord : Schonberg's "Farben" is amazing. Or Stravinsky.
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ark
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by ark » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:02 pm

This music is not literally made from a single note. However, it is dominated by one note, with various other stuff that comes in from time to time.

(fyi, this was improvised on stage by me and three other musicians; this was the first time that all four of us had played together.)

ollyb303
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by ollyb303 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:04 pm

I'm not trying to break any new ground here, it's just an experiment. I usually work around a chord or scale, just thought I'd try this. It's certainly not cheesy... I don't see how it would be any different if all the notes were B instead of C...? Educate me!
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Warwolt
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by Warwolt » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:14 am

There isn't. Something doesn't become cheesy because of C or dark because of F sharp.

d-track
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Re: Making a track using only one note...

Post by d-track » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:25 am

F sharp also good.
Mostly depends on the bass. There is a good article floating around the net about this.
And there is more than that, but i think it's enough for you.

Try a bass note on C then a semitone lower B.
Which is rougher?
If C then your rooms/studio needs some treatment.
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