Looping Exploration

Part I:

Object based learning is a fun way to learn about a topic or time period. In the box on the table is an object that will kick off our learning journey.

You have 10 minutes to find out everything you can about the object. You are free to use any means of research available to you. You can work with a team, as a class, or as an individual.

After 20 minutes, we will discuss what you learned, why you think the object is important and relate it to our work together.

Part II:

A. 1,1,2,3,5 What is the next number in the sequence? How do you know what the number is? Here’s a hint: x6=x5+x4. This series is a natural and mathematical phenomenon that can be applied to music notation and rhythm. The numbers have several names, fibonacci, the golden section, the golden mean or Phi.

The golden section–a precise way of dividing a line, music or anything else–showed up early in mathematics. It goes back at least as far as 300 b.c., when Euclid described it in his major work, the Elements. Moreover, the Pythagoreans apparently knew about the golden section around 500 b.c.e”. 1

The golden section has been used by composers throughout the ages; sometimes purposefully, other times through accidental genius. Erik Satie purposefully included the golden section in his piece below. Generally speaking, a composer can utilize the golden section by including something worth noting at 2/5 distance from the end of the piece; either an unusual chord, a modulation, the climax of the piece, a false cadence etc. Can you hear something “magical” approximately 2/5 from the end of the piece?

In our modern period, the golden section is alive and well and entrancing hundreds of thousands of human beings by way of the “Amen Break”. “The “Amen Break” is 5.20 seconds long in four bars. It was created and performed by Gregory Cylvester Coleman in the 1960’s funk-and-soul band The Winstons in their song “Amen, Brother”. (They’ve never received royalties from the hundreds of bands which have sampled and used their creation.)”.2

Today the Amen Break is used in multiple musical forms and in commercials and advertisements. “This sample was used extensively in early hip hop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and bass and jungle music — a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures”.3

Listen to the Amen Break Listening Example More information about the Amen Break can be found at this website: The Amen Break

1 American Scientist,2013. Retrieved 8.03.13 from http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/did-mozart-use-the-golden-section.
2 Sneider, Michael S. Retrieved 8.02.13 from http://www.constructingtheuniverse.com/Amen%20Break%20and%20GR.html.
3 Harrison, Nate via Proctor,Landon.2006. Retrieved 8.02.13 from Youtube.com.

Check out this article about a sampling dispute that recently occurred: http://news.abs-cbn.com/entertainment/08/02/18/nicki-minaj-hunting-for-tracy-chapman-as-album-waits

B. We will be using analog methods to learn about looping and repetition. With a variety of instruments we will explore a Middle Eastern drumming pattern called Baladi. This pattern will illustrate how beats fit together with language. We will also be looking at fractional parts of the whole (a component on recursion).

C. Using repetition and recursion are both used when looping and sampling. You will be learning how to make samples and loops in your labs for this unit. When creating them you might consider using the golden section as a way to include recursion in your work.

The Magic of Fibonnaci Numbers:

The fibonacci sequence in music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbEarwdusc&start_radio=1&list=RDQMmuTEiqN3LU8


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Part III:
Discussion. Reflection.

Is sampling music legal? Ethical?

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Please go to the discussion forum and share your thoughts.