Other Creativity

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Khemehekis »

"Make It Your Own"
by James Landau © 2019

The day we met, you were unsure
I made you feel so damn secure
The two of us played Scrabble
At literature, we've dabbled
You pen the story of a knight
And Moorish girl who loves him right
I wrote of adolescents
As dark as Evanescence

You're a stunning spliff, my special gift, and
I'm a stoner stoned
I'll pack up so you can
Make it your own, make it your own

Neither of us fit the mold
You are Black and I am Gold
You were raised Jehovah's Witness
My deist views never splittin' us
You're 6w5, I'm 4w3
INFJ, ENFP
You're a lion, I'm a virgin
You're cyclin' and I'm purgin'

I'm that burning flash, a stinging rash, and
You're some prednisone
I'll pack up so you can
Make it your own, make it your own

I ceased to meet with you, and I
Was in the dark as to just why
You taught me your name's spelling
An Astrid Lindgren retelling
You made it through your pregnancy
Stayed up till four to talk to me
Prayed for the day your embrace took
The place on talking on Facebook

I'm the newborn calf of a giraffe, and
You're my ossicone
I'll pack up so you can
Make it your own, make it your own

I learned the truth, I learned the state
Can hate and can discriminate
You're so afraid to come over
Share Cadburys, Russell Stovers
Eventually, God gave to you
A fourth pink to go with one blue
We'll be together someday
At my new house, you'll come stay

You're a telomere whose end is near, and
I'm a chromosome
I'll pack up so we can
Finally go home, finally go home
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by sangi39 »

Zekoslav wrote:
15 Sep 2019 11:23
Can anyone guess which scale this is supposed to play? [;)]

Image
I don't know enough about scales to guess a name, but is that four whole tones, a two-third tone, and a one-third tone, and then two more whole tones per octave?

0 : 261 : C
200 : 293 : D
400 : 329 : E
600 : 369 : F#
726 : 397 : G (ish)
800 : 414 : G#
1000 : 465 : A#
1200 : 522 : C

Lydian minor, maybe? But then that last C, I think, runs into the next note, which I would assume would be the full octave up. Now I don't know [:P] Is it an octatonic scale?
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by sangi39 »

Planning on adding a star fort to the ever-growing build on Minecraft:

Image

The main castle is getting repurposed entirely as basically a gigantic barracks area, under the direct control of an emperor (who basically acts as the supreme military leader of the nation), while the star fort would be more of an administrative centre under the direct control of a king (the lore being that the king is the eldest son of the eldest sister of the previous emperor).

Knowing me, I'll want to add in a third giant structure, like a university and/or religious site, but we'll get to that [:P] And then surrounding aaallllll of that, they're just be your standard residential areas, various trade buildings, inns, and around the ports I'm thinking pretty large market.
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Zekoslav »

sangi39 wrote:
13 Oct 2019 17:56
Zekoslav wrote:
15 Sep 2019 11:23
Can anyone guess which scale this is supposed to play? [;)]

Image
I don't know enough about scales to guess a name, but is that four whole tones, a two-third tone, and a one-third tone, and then two more whole tones per octave?

0 : 261 : C
200 : 293 : D
400 : 329 : E
600 : 369 : F#
726 : 397 : G (ish)
800 : 414 : G#
1000 : 465 : A#
1200 : 522 : C

Lydian minor, maybe? But then that last C, I think, runs into the next note, which I would assume would be the full octave up. Now I don't know [:P] Is it an octatonic scale?
It's a poor man's tuning theory addict's version of the altered scale. So C, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab, Bb, C. Dividing the fretboard into equally spaced parts results in unequally spaced notes, and which notes you get depends on how many parts you divide the fretboard into. Fourteen parts gives you the altered scale, I have twenty-eight parts so I can play it in two octaves (wider frets lower octave, narrower frets higher octave). Each note is the ratio of how many parts to the right of the fret : how many parts in total. So Db is 26 : 28, Eb is 24 : 28, etc... You can convert these ratios to cents here (but turn them around so higher number is on top, that's needed to convert them into cents). Many notes are actually quite off their standard values!

The frets which break the pattern are perfect fifths which allow me to play the istrian scale also.
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by sangi39 »

Zekoslav wrote:
14 Oct 2019 11:05
sangi39 wrote:
13 Oct 2019 17:56
Zekoslav wrote:
15 Sep 2019 11:23
Can anyone guess which scale this is supposed to play? [;)]

Image
I don't know enough about scales to guess a name, but is that four whole tones, a two-third tone, and a one-third tone, and then two more whole tones per octave?

0 : 261 : C
200 : 293 : D
400 : 329 : E
600 : 369 : F#
726 : 397 : G (ish)
800 : 414 : G#
1000 : 465 : A#
1200 : 522 : C

Lydian minor, maybe? But then that last C, I think, runs into the next note, which I would assume would be the full octave up. Now I don't know [:P] Is it an octatonic scale?
It's a poor man's tuning theory addict's version of the altered scale. So C, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab, Bb, C. Dividing the fretboard into equally spaced parts results in unequally spaced notes, and which notes you get depends on how many parts you divide the fretboard into. Fourteen parts gives you the altered scale, I have twenty-eight parts so I can play it in two octaves (wider frets lower octave, narrower frets higher octave). Each note is the ratio of how many parts to the right of the fret : how many parts in total. So Db is 26 : 28, Eb is 24 : 28, etc... You can convert these ratios to cents here (but turn them around so higher number is on top, that's needed to convert them into cents). Many notes are actually quite off their standard values!

The frets which break the pattern are perfect fifths which allow me to play the istrian scale also.
Iiiiiiinteresting! [:D] I haven't come across altered scale yet, I don't think.
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by vampireshark »

Latest stuff. (And thing.)
Image
And I'll dance with you in Vienna,
I'll be wearing a river's disguise;
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder,
My mouth on the dew of your thigh...

Looking for subjects to appear on banknotes. Inquire within.

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

*cackles maniacally*

IT IS COMPLETE!

Yes, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on it (including, unexpectedly, at one point having to multiply all the numbers by exactly 0.9876543210, which surprised me a little...), but verily it is complete (or, at least, this is complete... the next one hasn't been started yet).

Behold the wondrous work:


https://vacuouswastrel.files.wordpress. ... yimage.png


Yes, it's... impressive. Impressive how I've managed to spend so much time working out something that's not only useless, but that hardly anyone would even be able to identify!


For the curious, a hint: it's nothing SF-nal or fantastical, entirely mundane, and it would actually work if you built it in the proportions shown here. In theory. Although it's only (semi-)perfectly to scale vertically - the vertical lines should probably be about twice as far apart horizontally, for the sake of practicality, although maybe a little less than that in later eras. Oh, and the horizontal line is only traditional and/or of use in construction, it has no actual role in how it's used...


Still, I'm actually a little proud of myself working that out!


EDIT: sorry, I would have put that image directly in the post, but it's too tall, and if I shrink it down, you may not be able to make out the details (and there aren't a lot of details to begin with, so I don't want to lose them!).

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by gestaltist »

Is it a musical instrument, Sal?

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

*deflated*

Yes, yes it is.

But do you know how it works, eh? And what scale is it in?

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

sangi39 wrote:
13 Oct 2019 18:40
Planning on adding a star fort to the ever-growing build on Minecraft:
Hope you don't mind a few questions...

I was perplexed in your earlier comment about trying to avoid having the interior buildings of your castle peek over the battlements - having the interior (or sometimes exterior) buildings peek over the battlements is what castles are designed to do. Because range increases with the height of the archer (/catapultist/etc), there's an asymmetry as regards lines of sight with one end elevated. The defender is trying to shape their castle so as to be able to concentrate more fire on attackers than attackers can return, and being able to fire from multiple platforms, some of which are beyond range from the ground, is an easy way to do that (it's also why castles have projecting bastions and the like, to create enfilades).

This holds good until the introduction of canons... after which the castle becomes obsolete anyway, and no longer has to worry about defensibility.

The main castle is getting repurposed entirely as basically a gigantic barracks area, under the direct control of an emperor (who basically acts as the supreme military leader of the nation), while the star fort would be more of an administrative centre under the direct control of a king (the lore being that the king is the eldest son of the eldest sister of the previous emperor).
This seems doubly the wrong way around, to me.
First, it's usually the older of the two co-rulers who is in charge of administration, and the younger who is in charge of the military: the former is associated with wisdom and experience, while the latter requires courage and physical fitness (as military rulers generally have to be part of the military themselves).

Second, in an era in which star forts exist, castles no longer have any serious military use: if it came to a war, they'd be obliterated. As a result, what happened in reality was that old castles in convenient locations were repurposed as administrative centres, while the star forts were used for continued military purposes - the opposite of what you have. Fundamentally, it makes no sense having your good fortress be manned by clerks, and to have your soldiers man a structure with no defensive utility.

[I'm also not sure how many star forts were actually built inside cities - they tended to be built around the city instead (because they were built by more powerful cultures, and because they're actually cheaper to build than mediaeval fortifications).


[You're building a star fort but haven't been tempted to include any ravelins?]

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Zekoslav »

Re: Sal's musical instrument. It might work as a plucked string instrument, although it's a very complex (or at least not immediately decipherable one). Through a very delicate and precise procedure of measuring wire lengths on an enlarged version of this image by a ruler, I found out that both whole strings and strings stopped at one of the points produce justly tuned intervals, albeit somewhat unusual ones. Alas, this delicate procedure tired me before I was able to decipher the whole instrument.

whole strings arranged from the longest to the shortest one produce the following scale: 1/1, 9/8, 6/5, 9/7, 10/7*, 8/5*, 53/32*, 20/11* and 22/19 plus an octave.

*my measurements indicated much larger ratios for strings 5 to 8, but these turned out to be no more than a cent or two different from the much smaller ratios listed here. Although I don't know why the major sixth is represented by the 53rd harmonic rather than 5/3 for example!

Likewise, many strings (strings 3, 5, 8) are split in half by a dot, indicating octaves, others have dots for other intervals such as 7/6 and 13/8 (string 6), 9/5 (string 1) and 8/5 (string 2). Most dots being aligned with dots on other strings definitely isn't a coincidence but I gave up trying to decipher why.
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

Wow! I wasn't expecting anyone to actually measure properly!

(it's entirely possible you measured better than I did, although I did try - unfortunately, graphics program, the old "measure with micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with axe" process very much applies)

--------------

So, yes, it's a(n unfretted) plucked string instrument. (I'm kind of curious why you say 'plucked', though - why couldn't it have been bowed?)

Tuning is by length, not by tension - so more like a psaltery, zither, harp, etc, rather than guitars, violins etc. [organologically, it's a zither] The speaking lengths of the strings (shown here) terminate at bridges - originally, both bridges are moveable, but later on the upper bridge becomes fixed.

One reason for the complexity is that this is an instrument in transition - it begins as an instrument where all strings are played open, which is why there are so many of them, but in this era it's actually primarily played with all strings closed. It retains the number of strings partly out of tradition, and partly for versatility - the strings are closed by pinching (later, touching with knuckles), and thus the closed strings are notably quieter than the open strings, with closed strings used in its primary function as a solo or voice-accompanying instrument, but with open strings used in dance ensembles.

There's actually a string missing, and this may throw off any measurements: the longest string is 100.833% the length it 'should' be. [the string lengths are measured in a unit such that the longest string 'should' be 120 units, but is instead 121 units. This enables you to play a closed 120 note on it. There should, however, be an additional true 120 string, for use as an open string]

--------

The tuning is weird. I began with a plain pentatonic scale, starting with what I'll call D: G and A are built as perfect fifths above, and a 9:8 pythagorean major second between them. C and E are then constructed from D by the same 9:8 ratio. This gives a very simple and manipulable pentatonic.

However, at some point people decided they didn't like the fact that the minor thirds are those horrible 32:27 pythagorean things. They thought they should be 6:5 instead - which is easy to do if you just make C:D and G:A into 10:9 seconds instead of 9:8s. This gives a wolf fourth D:G, but since these people didn't use a lot of harmony anyway, this wasn't seen as a massive problem. Doing this also has a big practical advantage, incidentally: if your longest string is 120 units, a convenient number for dealing with fractions and ratios, the 'pure' pentatonic requires most of your string lengths to be irrational numbers (or, at least, numbers that look irrational to the naked eye). Whereas this adjusted system with two different sizes of second helpfully makes all your strings an integer length!

[note to self: I could just have kept G:A and narrowed D:E instead, which would arguably have made more sense. But wouldn't have been as much fun!]

Now, at some point these people get more interested in modulation, specifically from D to G - but the seconds no longer match up. D-E-G is 9:8, 6:5, whereas G-A-C is 10:9, 6:5. Not a fatal problem, but people gradually increased the symmetry by tended to make G:A a 9:8 second again. If you do that while keeping the D-E-G and G-A-C ratios intact, that means producing a really distinctive C-D second: 800:729. This is known as the grave whole tone, and it lies between the greater and lesser undecimal seconds. Helpfully, it's actually a five-limit interval! And the interval, in decimal, between a 10:9 second and a grave second? 0.9876543210! Which was fun (since I was using C as my base, I had to multiply all the higher string lengths by this number when I lowered the D).

Anyway, in musical terms, what this does is make C a really sharp and vivid leading note for D, which, still, was the primary tonic. So what was probably originally introduced as a cludge by musicians who hadn't yet sat down and worked out all the maths was instead adopted (by some ethnic groups) as an intentional feature (I refer to scales built on this idea, for my own reference, as 'gravetone').


This grave tone was then extended to the interval between D and E (making the C-D-E sequence symmetrical). All of this, however, has the downside of making ALL the fourths and fifths wolves, so as people began to want more harmony, they reset G and A as perfect intervals above D (giving up on D-E-G vs G-A-C symmetry after all). This turns the minor thirds (in this case E-G and A-C) both into 243:200 intervals ('acute minor thirds'). [in practice, the acute minor third is less than a cent away from the much simpler superminor third, so they were probably tuned closer to that in many cases].

THEN, people adopted a heptatonic scale, by constructing an F a grave tone below G, and a B a grave tone below A, reflecting the role of G and A as secondary tonal centres. This yields a scale that features not just 800:729, but the positively nightmarish 535581:500000, an interval so ghastly that nobody's ever needed to name it! However, in practice, this interval is almost identical to the much simpler 15:14 septimal semitone - within both aural and constructional margins of error.

So, that's the tuning system this instrument is built to - more or less. It's not exact, because the open strings are (in theory, depending on whether my hand slipped!) only accurate to a tenth of a unit.

----------

You couldn't really be expected to guess that!


-------------

Anyway, why are the dots lined up? Simple: ease of use. This is an unfretted instrument, so you have to know (approximately) where to stop the string (in practice, I'm sure it varies considerably from the gravetone heptatonic outlined here, probably with intervals varying depending on function). [although there are marks on the soundboard, the circles, to help you learn]. This is rather easier if you only have to learn eight string positions rather than fifteen.


The problem is, however: because the ratios in this 'gravetone' scale are, frankly, fucked up, it's very difficult to get stop positions to line up. So, although that horizontal line is the notional centre-line of the strings, most of the strings have been shifted slightly up or down, in order to get the stop positions to line up as well as they do here (which is to say, still not very well...). And, incidentally, they still don't actually line up perfectly, so if you play the stop the strings at those points, each note will be slightly 'out of tune', and each one by a different amount. However, although the strings lengths are only rounded to the tenth of a unit, and stop positions and string shifts are both rounded to only a quarter of a unit, the actual error for each string, if you set the strings up like this should, in theory, be very small indeed - again, within the margin of aural and constructional error.


EDIT: yeah, no. working out all the ratios in cents for the actual instrument and putting them into a music programme... ugh. the ideal scale was already piquant but this may be TOO pungent. Hmm....

(except, surprisingly, the Fs. Upper F is 3 thousandths of a cent off equal tempered! And as a result it sounds the worst of them all...)

----------------------

This sort of highly idiosyncratic tuning would of course not be very suitable for highly harmonic, sophisticated music. However, this music traditionally has only minimal harmony, and the aesthetic is fairly rustic and human. Pure ratios are less important than a pungent and distinctive melodic feel.





[I'm now annoyed by this not working as well as I thought it would. So, I'll share a happier thought: by taking a detour from the above chain of pentatonic development, my main conculture in the area has a beautifully elegant pentatonic scale: it contains five intervals between adjacent notes, which are exactly 6:5, 7:6, 8:7, 9:8 and 10:9 (not in that order). I didn't do that on purpose, it just fell out that way! It's messed up a bit by making it heptatonic, but even so...

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

Update: hmm. After listening to it more, I think it can work. I think part of it is finding the melodic combinations that suit the scale, rather than over-emphasising its 'flaws'.

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Zekoslav »

That's a very thought out musical instrument and tuning system! I actually started to experiment with just intonation after finding a fully customizable 24-key piano app online, but I never thought of using these "bugs" of 5-limit JI as features!

So the pentatonic scale with one gravetone was D 9/8 E 6/5 G 9/8 A 6/5 C 800/729 D, the one with two gravetones and fourths and fifths made pure again was D 800/729 E 243/200 G 9/8 A 243/200 C 800/729 D. Now I the statement that B was added as a gravetone below A confused me, since in standard scales B comes above A! The heptatonic scale with B added below A (and F added below G) according to your statement would be D 800/729 E 177147/160000 F 800/729 G 6561/6400 B 800/729 A 243/200 C 800/729 D. I find no 535581/500000 semitones in this scale, but I do find a 177147/160000 neutral second and a 6561/6400 quartertone! Placing B a grave tone below C as in standard scales results in no quartertones, rather in a one more 177147/16000 neutral second. The resulting scale has a similar arrangement of small and large steps as the natural minor scale (large, small, large, large, small, large, large), but the two step sizes are much more similar in size, ~160 vs. ~175 cents (except the one between the pure fourth and fifth which is ~200 cents). In any case this is not what you describe. Where did I get this wrong?

EDIT: I wasn't concentrated at all when I was writing this, and the comparison of the heptatonic scale as I understood it to the natural minor scale is not very adequate. If we call the 800/729 tone step A and the 177147/160000 tone step B, then this scale has a lower tetrachord of A B A and the upper tetrachord of B A A, rather like the natural minor scale: in natural minor, step A is a major second and step B a minor second. However, in natural minor step A is larger than step B, while in this scale it's smaller. This, and the fact that steps A and B are much closer in size make it very different from natural minor in all regards other than the A B A and B A A patterns.
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

You didn't.

First: yes, I of course should have said B is a grave tone above A.

More importantly: although, in playing around with the numbers again, I did come up with my ratio again... I'm now not sure how. Because you're obviously right, the remainder should indeed be 177147/160000.


The odder, but fortunate, thing, is that it doesn't seem to matter - I didn't actually use my erroneous remainder anywhere.

I've worked out the actual intervals in the instrument as described (I think!), and the grave tones come out between 157 and 166 cents (would b 157-162 but for one outlier, D-E in the second octave - and, awkwardly, the largest and smallest grave tones are actually adjacent...), and the neutral seconds between 175.7 and 178.1. Four of the octaves are less than a cent and a half out, only two are more than three and a half cents out, and they're all less than five cents out. Both double octaves are less than a cent out. [the two 9:8 seconds come out as 203.78 cents in the lower octave, and 203.65 cents in the upper octaves]

[verdict: better than I feared, maybe not quite as good as I'd like]

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Zekoslav »

Honestly, I don't think anyone ever named the remainder of 1 perfect fourth minus 2 grave tones (cca 175 cents): it's actually acuter than the grave tone itself (cca 160 cents) but graver than the lesser major second (cca 180 cents), if we got by the grave/acute nomenclature. Both could be classed as neutral seconds according to their size.

The scale as you now correctly describe it has two tetrachords with steps the size of cca 160, 175 and 160 cents. Aurally they're nearly equally spaced and something like that does exist in Middle Eastern and, I think, Georgian music. Actual tuning being slightly off from the mathematically ideal one also gives it a touch of realism, and if you're worried about it being too pungent...

And finding the solution to the problem of the two most unequal grave tones being adjacent sounds like a good challenge for your conculture's music theorists!
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

Zekoslav wrote:
07 Dec 2019 11:15
I actually started to experiment with just intonation after finding a fully customizable 24-key piano app online
Would you mind me asking where?
[/quote]



EDIT: and now me fiddling with the tuning has been delayed by me fiddling with trying to find some soundfonts that don't sound ghastly...

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Zekoslav »

Here. It synthesizes sound based on frequencies (in Hz, with as many decimal points as you like) you write in the table below the piano app itself.
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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Salmoneus »

Thanks.

[meanwhile, I found some relevant soundfonts. (though I would like to find a valiha!). But I couldn't load them in musicscore - I needed to update it. So I did that, but then I couldn't open the updated musicscore. Looking up the error message, I realised I needed to update the visual basic c++ thing that windows uses, so I did that. But I couldn't run that updater - very common problem, you need to make sure you have a particular patch. Fine - except that the patch wouldn't work. That, apparently, is very common, and can require one of three or four other patches...

...anyway, while all that was going on, I gave up, came back a bit later, and everything miraculously worked. So now musicscore sounds much, much better than before.]


EDIT: oh, and the upshot is, yes, I'm OK with this tuning system. But I may try to fiddle with the strings a little to reduce the worst irregularities in the instrument.

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Re: Other Creativity

Post by Pabappa »

I dont consider myself a good poet, ... Ive been dredging up things I wrote long ago, though, so that I dont forget them. Here are the only poems Ive ever written that weren't for a class assignment of some sort:

http://pabappa.com/etc/poems.html
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

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