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  1. #1
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    single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    or, am I being to paranoid about cords

    Does anyone else worry about playing cords with the single-voiced instruments (flute, horn, clarinet, cowbell, and bagpipes [I think bags are]). It, most of the time, just sounds weird to me ?

    Also, since these are played with the mouth (other than the cowbell ), how does one handle "singing" while soloing a song with these instruments...

    Just wondering what other's opinions are... I'm still having a blast playing with this (and might even play one of my creations one day for others )

  2. #2

    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleez View Post
    or, am I being to paranoid about cords

    Does anyone else worry about playing cords with the single-voiced instruments (flute, horn, clarinet, cowbell, and bagpipes [I think bags are]). It, most of the time, just sounds weird to me ?

    Also, since these are played with the mouth (other than the cowbell ), how does one handle "singing" while soloing a song with these instruments...

    Just wondering what other's opinions are... I'm still having a blast playing with this (and might even play one of my creations one day for others )
    When I make a song, I do as many instruments ( without doubling them )
    so to a max of one of each, Then I combine all stringed and all wind types into 2 staves, and then do a solo version.
    This way my song file can be played with a variety of sized of band.
    Our groups music night is loose, non mandatory type thing so it may be as few as 2 of us, or as many as 12 of us.
    I'll try and cover every possibility.

    With that in mind, at times I must to these combinations.
    Specially with rock songs, you have electric guitars which are sustained and playing chords, this sounds much better on a horn or bagpipe than on just a lute. ( really good if you have 2 identical parts one lower volume, played on horn and a louder volume on harp )

    I use /lyrical to do song parts,
    Interestingly I always use flute for the "voice" part of a song, however, my character does drum, so he sings the lyrics while someone else does flute
    [url]http://joel-end.blogspot.com/[/url]
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  3. #3
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Thanks for the reply Hoppa...

    I just realized reading one of your other replies, most all the single-voice instruments are the winds (and the bell being an exception), and the multi-voice are the strings...
    /head-slap
    more proof that its more "math" for me, and less "talent"

    I've been playing with writing for multi-instruments with a piece I am working on now, but then reworking that back into a "solo"able piece (numbering similar to you). In this case, I am working on solos for both multi-voice (cords) and single-voice. Some things though just don;t sound good (to me) single-voice, but also sound "wrong" when playing the cords with a single-voice instrument (like a flute).

    And its just me soloing (well, playing around ), which is why I mentioned "singing" with a single-voice (wind) instrument (something I could not do in R/L).

    I don;t know, maybe I'm just being too hard on myself

  4. #4
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    No, I don't worry about it. I do it all the time. Flute in particular carries chords very well, in my opinion. The thing to remember is that especially with the winds the more notes you add to the chord the louder the instrument gets. So if you have a part with lots of chords you're probably going to want to slap a couple of p's on that sucker so it doesn't overpower the rest of the song.
    [URL="https://sarahmccabemythopoet.wordpress.com/"][COLOR=#b22222]Falling Toward Mythopoesis[/COLOR][/URL][COLOR=#ffd700]~[/COLOR] My personal blog.

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  5. #5
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Thanks Fionnuala,

    good idea, might de-emphasize the fact its a cord a little...


    P.S. ((Oh, and I hear congratulations may be in order ))

  6. #6
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleez View Post
    Does anyone else worry about playing cords with the single-voiced instruments (flute, horn, clarinet, cowbell, and bagpipes [I think bags are]). It, most of the time, just sounds weird to me ?

    Also, since these are played with the mouth (other than the cowbell ), how does one handle "singing" while soloing a song with these instruments...
    For the sake of realism I think that instruments should be played idiomatically. A clarinetist playing a duet with him/herself is not idiomatic. A tune played on bagpipe should include a drone (a long sustained note played underneath the melody). For example:



    If a wind instrument is being played I personally prefer that another individual sing the lyrics.

  7. #7
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    I rarely do solo or duet arrangements for flute, clarinet and horn, simply because it is quite noticeable that there are more notes played than people to play them! I also make sure that when vocals are included, that the vocalist is not playing a wind instrument.
    However... in group pieces (3 or more), I don't worry about chording on winds, as there are enough people that one would need to be picky enough to count musicians to note a mismatch. I still won't have vocals from a windplayer, though (well, chorus backups, yes--I figure they're putting down the instrument long enough to do it, a la the Big Band approach).
    [COLOR=#800000]Various Hobbits, Thwilda the dwarf lass, and Gnersk, Stalker[/COLOR]

  8. #8
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Thanks guys, always appreciate more input

    Its still mostly me just playing around, so most of the "singing" is just in my head... though one of these days, I should get in front of an audience...

    As for the bagpipes, after reading OwainAbArawn's post and comments/questions on the Great Highland Bagpipe, i did a little more research on them... and now feel like I need to go back through some of my stuff, adding another bagpipe track to some of my transcriptions... (they no longer sound right to me needs the drone(s) )

    So much to do... so little time

  9. #9

    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    If you're roleplaying, I'd avoid chords on anything that can't do chords, unless we're talking something like the Eriador Music Society performances where there are multiple people playing.

    Otherwise, I don't really think it's that big a deal, to be honest. The music system in this game is an amazing feature, and you should feel free to experiment with it.

    I'm a natural jokester, so when people point out things like "That's quite a workout you're giving that flute", I try to find some humorous way to respond - "You should see what happens when I use BOTH hands!"

  10. #10

    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    I have never worried about making any instrument play more then one note at a time. We all need to remember that the world of Middle-Earth is a fantasy world, in this world magic most definitely exits. While I know that Hobbits don't practice magic, all the other races in Tolkiens world do. It is not hard at all for me to believe that Elves can play "chords" on a instrument that in our "real" world can't.
    Anything is possible with the use of magic, that is how I see it.

  11. #11
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Quote Originally Posted by durinsbane View Post
    We all need to remember that the world of Middle-Earth is a fantasy world, in this world magic most definitely exits.
    Actually, Middle-earth is not a fantasy world:

    'Middle-earth', by the way, is not a name of a never-never land without relation to the world we live in (like the Mercury of Eddison). It is just a use of Middle English middel-erde (or erthe), altered from Old English Middangeard: the name for the inhabited lands of Men 'between the seas'. And though I have not attempted to relate the shape of the mountains and land-masses to what geologists may say or surmise about the nearer past, imaginatively this 'history' is supposed to take place in a period of the actual Old World of this planet.
    Source: Carpenter, Humphrey (editor). 'Letter 165'. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

    The use of the word 'magic' is interesting, for the Elves did not consider it so. See the conversation between Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins in Lothlórien:

    'And I reckon there's Elves and Elves. They're all elvish enough, but they're not all the same. Now these folk aren't wanderers or homeless, and seem a bit nearer to the likes of us: they seem to belong here, more even than Hobbits do in the Shire. Whether they've made the land, or the land's made them, it's hard to say, if you take my meaning...If there's magic about, it's right down deep, where I can't lay my hands on it, in a manner of speaking.'

    'You can see and feel it everywhere,' said Frodo.

    '...I wonder we don't see nothing of the Lord and Lady in all these days. I fancy now that she could do some wonderful things, if she had a mind. I'd dearly love to see some Elf-magic, Mr. Frodo!'
    A short while later they are joined by Galadriel and led to her Mirror, a basin filled with water from a stream:

    'And you?' she said, turning to Sam. 'For this is what your folk would call magic, I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem also to use the same word of the deceits of the Enemy. But this, if you will, is the magic of Galadriel. Did you not say that you wished to see Elf-magic?
    Source: Tolkien, J.R.R. 'The Mirror of Galadriel.' The Fellowship of the Ring.

    Certainly we consider a number of the acts we see performed in Tolkien's works, in The Silmarillion in particular, to be 'magic'. I wonder, however, where magic ends and the natural begins? Today we have many technologies that would have been considered magic just a century ago. Great feats were performed in the past, the building of the great pyramids in Egypt for instance, that we don't completely understand even today. (Some even credit visiting extraterrestrials for having aided mankind, believing that ancient man lacked the facility to accomplish such things unaided. Sometimes I think we underestimate the abilities of our forefathers.)

    More specifically, we have no evidence in Tolkien's works that musicians, whether they be Elf or otherwise, could play a flute (or any other instrument) in any other way than deemed normal. They were likely very skilled, virtuosos even, but playing multiple parts is a stretch. There are examples of those listening to Elves perform music seeing visions of what they were hearing, which would be a very cool addition to LOTRO, but I doubt we'll ever see that.
    Last edited by oldbadgerbrock; Jun 11 2011 at 01:12 PM. Reason: correct wording

  12. #12

    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Sorry I totally disagree with most of what you wrote oldbadgerbrock.

    Tolkens world is very much a fantasy world, regardless of his explanation of it's existence.

    And regarding Galadriel statements to Sam and Frodo, to use a metaphor myself, "A rose by any other name". Because she did not quite understand what Sam was saying when he used the term Magic, does not mean that her mirror, (and all the other "magical" items in Middle-Earth) do not employ magic.

    I can also refer to Gandalf and a conversation to Bilbo about his Ring. His concern about Bilbo's Magic Ring, Bilbo asked why he badgered him about his ring, Gandalf replies, "I had to badger you, I needed the truth. It was important, Magic rings are--well Magical".

  13. #13
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    Quote Originally Posted by durinsbane View Post

    Tolkens world is very much a fantasy world, regardless of his explanation of it's existence.
    This is definitely correct. As Tolkien said in a letter to one Peter Hastings, who was questioning the validity of the biology in Middle-earth:

    "This is a biological dictum of my imaginary world. It is only (as yet) an incompletely imagined world, a rudimentary 'secondary'..."
    Now, it matters not that the setting is based on our real world and that Tolkien imagined that it took place at some point in our own past, what he referred to as an "imaginary time":

    "I have, I suppose, constructed an imaginary time, but kept my feet on my own mother-earth for place."
    (Emphasis Tolkien's) Essentially what he means is that he did not make up a new planet or entirely other place. Still, the setting is imaginary. It did not actual exist, it is a product of Tolkien's imagination, his fantasy. And things that exist in his made up time are not possible, as far as we know, such as immortality. Magic does exist. It's just that "magic", the word, is much too simple and general to be truly accurate in describing the supernatural aspects of Tolkien's world. That is what the conversation between Galadriel and Sam is meant to indicate. Not that there isn't magic, but that the word is not quite right. Tolkien would have used entirely different terminology to describe the powers of the Elves versus the powers of the Enemy. Better yet, only a full explanation would really serve to make readers understand the nature of those powers, and yet that was not possible in a story narrative. So he settled for making his discontent with the term "magic" clear through Galadriel.

    Oldbadgerbock is correct that there's nothing to indicate musicians could play multiple notes on a flute at the same time. But there is also nothing to indicate that it couldn't be done by a being with magical abilities, for lack of a better term. We really don't know all the ways that the magic of the Elves was able to manifest its self since listing them was never the point of the stories. It is certainly not beyond the realm of imagination in my opinion. We all know what amazing things could be done with music by such as Luthien and Finrod. Playing chords is pretty pedestrian by comparison.
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  14. #14
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    If you do an Internet search with the phrase "double flute images", you'll see some neat examples of flutes that (seemingly magically) can produce multiple notes at once. Of course, a bagpipe's multiple drones can have the effect of producing chords. Maybe someone with enough skill, such as a crafter, was able to create a flute equivalent of the bagpipes--without the reeds. The same goes for the horn and clarinet. For any of these, it takes hard blowing and big lungs to produce enough air to supply all the parts, but hey, we have heroes and heroines, don't we? Using my imagination...

  15. #15
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahsaan_Roland_Kirk

    From the article: "His main instrument was the tenor saxophone, supplemented by other saxes, and contrasted with the lighter sound of the flute. At times he would play a number of these horns at once, harmonising with himself, or sustain a note for lengthy durations by using circular breathing, or play the flute through his nose. A number of his instruments were exotic or homemade, but even while playing two or three saxophones at once, the music was intricate, powerful jazz with a strong feel for the blues.".

    There's also the antique Double Aulos: http://www.ancestral.co.uk/romanreeds.htm.

    Enough said.
    Last edited by Phede; Aug 03 2011 at 12:53 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Re: single-voice vs. multi-voice instruments opinions/worries ?

    On a more "serious" note:

    The instrument you see your character handling is an abstraction in itself; take my minstrel Phedelene for example, she plays the rim drum quite a lot, and (magically) can play shaker and cowbell sounds on it! This is of course an unavoidable, not to mention pretty useful, side effect of having 3 octaves of the General MIDI drum map on the LOTRO drum.

    Also, I think it's important to make a distinction between the instrument being used "as itself" (in which case it can indeed be deemed appropriate to remain true to the idiom as oldbadgerbrock points out), or using the instrument as one color on the sound palette you use for transcribing orchestral music (like in the example Fionnuala mentions with a flute playing chords).

    I have recently made a couple of transcriptions of choral polyphony (Palestrina motets) and Phedelene plays all 4 parts on the bagpipe, solo. It sounds fab.

    To me the most important thing is that the music you make sounds good. Given the LOTRO instruments that's sometimes an Herculean task in itself.
    Last edited by Phede; Aug 03 2011 at 01:38 PM.
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