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Created by Praimhín
- 1 Miscellaneous ideas
- 2 Hlou-Shum music
- 3 Windermere music
- 4 Pieces
A popular instrument in Hlou and Ko music is the Blad which is a curled-up long plant leaf (similar to a banana leaf) that when blown, produces a shrill, high pitched sound. Different pitches can be produced by pulling on the Blad.
Other commonly used instruments are the jaw harp (Schön Ried), the tromba marina (Trlöb Schmie), the bowed psaltery (Trlaub), the slide guitar (Dru), uilleann pipes (siamh fheigh, used in Ko music), rebecs (Ntzaun) and violins (Ntxäd) of various sizes, and various kinds of prepared piano and guitar. Inharmonic and unpitched percussion instruments like chimes, woodblocks and rasps are also common.
Other common instruments are the kantele (Zeig Pfaß, from Liai music), and the viola organista (a Windermere invention), tuned to harmonics from 4 to 16. The modern versions of these instruments have many pedals, like a harp, for the various Rags (sets of fundamentals) used in Hlou music.
Hlou musicians don't confine themselves to fixed tuning systems, except on fixed pitch instruments, which are typically tuned to JI scales based on the tonic G = 404 Hz.
Melodies in Hlou music are inspired by the contours of speech, and follow the tones of the Hlou language.
Later Hlou music uses tunings that consist of many overtone scales on different fundamentals; often the fundamentals themselves form an overtone or undertone series, in the latter case producing a Partchian "tonality diamond" structure, coincidentally very similar to early Windermere courtly music.
Some common tunings in the Romantic period:
- overtone scales up to the 16th harmonic on the fundamentals G 1/1, Eb 8/5, C 4/3, A 8/7 and F 16/9.
- overtone scales up to the 12th harmonic on the fundamentals G 1/1, Eb 8/5, C 4/3, A 8/7, Ab 16/15, F 16/9, D 32/21, Bb 32/27 (higher harmonics above these fundamentals are technically allowed; they're just not used on fixed pitch instruments)
When working with the second tuning, composers often work with subsets of the set of possible fundamentals (called Rag); e.g. they might only work with overtone series on G, Eb, C, Bb and Ab (a Rag called Schwan Ton, which is a traditional Rag for the final pieces of concerts).
Other common Rags are:
- Flug Lieb: overtone series on G, Ab, C, D, Eb
- Schloß Lieb: overtone series on G, A, C, D, F
- Rad Lieb: overtone series on G, D, Eb
- Schein Lieb: overtone series on Ab, Bb, C, Eb, F
- Schlaub: overtone series on Ab, A, D, Eb
Hlou music makes use of complex rhythmic cycles, called Lei, often consisting of more than 10 beats per "measure". Hlou rhythms are typically subdivided into groups (Xeig) of 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9. Groups of beats divisible by 3 are called schwei (complete); and the others are called eh schwei (incomplete).
"da di gi nra dön", "da ga di mi", "da gi dra", etc. are used to vocalize drumbeats.
"gi dra da ga da di gi dra dön" "di gu da ga da ri gi dra" etc.
"da lä gu dön", "da lä gu dön da di"
"da ga dxa nru"
"dah,,,dih,,, gi dra da ga da di gi dra dön , " etc.
Hlou music uses many forms familiar from European classical music: canon, fugue, sonata, Lied /liə˧˥˧/ (art song; the word comes from an archaic Hlou word lieg meaning "to express"), symphony, and concerto.
The Hlou Lied is typically accompanied with a slide guitar (Dru) and its vocal style is much closer to speech than the German Lied.
Hlou music is notated on a staff. Staff notations vary from instrument to instrument.
The harp (hlar xhach) was an important part of both folk and classical music in the classical period. But it became obsolete in the romantic period, when more complex Rags were used.
The Tlu people have a very divergent system of music, using justly tuned tetrachords (diatonic, chromatic and enharmonic). Tetrachords in Tlu are called λαι κοι.
The enharmonic tetrachord, consisting of a rough third tone, quarter tone, and major third, is still in common use in Tlu music (unlike in Greek music).
Tetrachords are roughly classified as βωλ (overtonal) or γχαοιδ (undertonal).
The most common instruments in Tlu music are the lute (ουδ) and a bouzouki-like instrument called the ba yao (βο ζουγ). The ba yao has a set of strings stretched across the soundhole perpendicular to the fingerboard, used for playing melodies, as well as two or three strings that span the fingerboard, used as drone strings.
Shum music has an interesting variation of the slide guitar, called a vi-na (Shum: vib nan), which was invented three centuries ago by the Tumhanian designer Vhen-Ttuj Lhaa. It's a roughly ten foot long instrument played vertically, and can be bowed or plucked. The modern vi-na is electrically amplified and very minimalistic and consists of one or two strings stretched across a long metal tube (as in the Gittler guitar).
The vi-na can be played with a slide as well as in natural harmonics, which can be very high owing to the size of the instrument; some pieces use harmonics as high as the 32nd.
Shumian musical forms
Shumian music is based mostly on slow improvisation against a drone. The drone in Shumian music was traditionally produced by repeatingly plucking the strings of a special lute-like instrument called the dhaun and consisted of either just the tonic, or the tonic and dominant.
In modern times, the dhaun is used as a melody instrument, played with a bottleneck slide.
There is no native tradition of vocal music in Shumian culture.
- Aodh Bach - medieval Ko composer
- Bach txuabh kein bach, so txuabh ein meer (Bach PST NEG small, he PST EMPH big; Bach wasn't small, he was big)
- Rene du Fay - medieval Clooa composer
- Don bin Chois - medieval Clooa composer
- Lou de la Croix - romantic Clooa composer
- Trohn Scheib - modern Hlou composer
- Hob-Bes Kod - Shumian vi-na player of Ko descent
- Ttiid-Bes Kod - Shumian composer of Ko descent, Hob-Bes's brother
The theoretical basis for Bjeheondian Windermere music is very similar to that of Hlou Romantic music, except that the terms used are different. The Rag and Ta are known as tsăren and hüed. But Windermere rhythms (imhüed) are much more complex than Hlou Tas. Imhüed are sort of a cross between rhythmic cycles and ground bass lines (as in Baroque era passacaglias).
Singing, both choral and solo, is as much a part of Windermere music as instruments since Windermere isn't a tonal language like Hlou.
Both polyphonic and solo music follow the notes of the tsăren. Solo music was very often unwritten and much of it was purely improvised, unlike polyphonic music. Solo pieces lacked a ground bass which allowed improvisers the freedom to make highly microtonally inflected melodies, often using a few dozen tones per octave.
In the Romantic era, formerly improvised pieces were written down, forming a new canon, and simultaneous improvisation was introduced. Tsărens no longer had to consist of overtone series scales; people were experimenting with much weirder combinations of notes.
Instruments typically used for harmony and polyphony, in addition to the voice, are mountain dulcimers, tubulongs, marimbas of various kinds, guitars, reed organs of various kinds, pipe organs, zithers, and steelpans. These are typically tuned to either a 26 tone 7 limit scale, or a 34 tone 11 limit scale. Flexible pitch instruments are also used, such as the violin family (borrowed from Hlou music), the musical saw, and the Crychord.
Hlou influence on Windermere music in the Wieb region of Bjeheond led to the development of a uniquely Bjeheondian tradition of purely rhythmic music, called tsoafley (from Windermere tsoaf 'game, play' + Hlou Lei), played almost exclusively on percussion instruments. But violin family instruments were adapted to this style; performers would strike different parts of their instruments with their fingers, and tune the strings so low that they hit against the fingerboard producing a loud percussive effect. The rhythms used were often extremely fast and complicated and polyrhythms were common.
Tsoafley in the Romantic era was thought of primarily as a sport rather than a musical style, and many tsoafley artists became cultural icons.
Măbăsroy rith Săf'ey - improviser and composer; introduced the steelpan
Stearas Măftoch-Ho - introduced the mountain dulcimer to Wiobian music
Niwmăr Hăthres - improviser
Yachef rith-Fosean - improviser and composer
Uascadăr Drach (Shumian name Sah-Nlaab Dah) - composer and instrument designer; invented many new tsărens
Dăraf Peł-Wănoad - pioneered new ideas like writing a piece in more than one tsăren at the same time
Tneal Wos - tsoafley artist
Awtan Harahefethșelimăleabetslofăyim - choral conductor
Tselthüer Cuad - singer
Yachef Fey - composer
Much Windermere folk music uses instruments imported from Talma and Nūrei, such as the aggiakkātą (pasta guitar), and sometimes even uses the original tunings.
The Experimental Music Society (Prăctheng Sngoal Yătălisrił)
The Prăctheng Sngoal Yătălisrił is the Bjeheondian chapter of the Prycþéŋ lly Frindu Jytylisríx (Eevo: Society for Experimental Music).
The Bjeheondian Xenharmonic Alliance; Prăfin fab-Bălang is a member
Taab Llhaid Vib Nan (Vi-na air) by fab Bălang
Se Imbinrăfongteaf Yăpsat łos Ploas fe Chey (Xenharmonic Variations on a Theme by Scheib) by fab Bălang