Music

Webpage assignment by Ágúst Guðmann

Icelandic to English

Flest eigum við ekki í vandræðum með að þekkja tónlist þegar við heyrum hana. Vissulega kemur það fyrir að einhver hljóð sem sumir kunna að meta séu lítils metin af einhverjum öðrum sem segja þá að þetta kalli þeir nú ekki tónlist og að þetta séu jafnvel bara einhver óhljóð. En oftast er það nokkurn veginn á hreinu hvað það er sem við köllum tónlist. Hins vegar getur verið snúnara að útskýra hvernig við förum að því að komast að þeirri niðurstöðu að eitthvað sé tónlist og að eitthvað annað sé það ekki. Tónlist felst í hljóðum sem við, eða að minnsta kosti einhver, hlustum á okkur til ánægju og sem einhver framkallar sér til ánægju. Við köllum samt ekki hvaða ánægjulegu hljóð sem er tónlist. Við hlustum stundum á öldunið, vindgnauð, flugnasuð og fuglasöng og höfum ánægju af en köllum það ekki tónlist. Það virðist vera nauðsynleg forsenda tónlistar að hún sé sköpuð af manneskju eða í það minnsta af vitsmunaveru sem líkist okkur á einhvern tiltekinn hátt. Það má vel hugsa sér ferðalag okkar til fjarlægrar plánetu þar sem við hittum fyrir geimverur sem framleiddu hljóð sem við vildum kalla tónlist. Lykilatriðið er að viðkomandi verur séu færar um það sem við köllum sköpun, eða listsköpun, og að þær líkist okkur nægilega mikið til að við höfum þær forsendur sem þarf til að geta numið þessa sköpun þeirra sem tónlist.

Most of us don’t have any problems distinguishing music when we hear it. Sure it happens that some sounds people like aren't worth much to others that say they wouldn't ever call music and they’re even just noises. But most times it’s somehow clear what it is we call music. On the other hand it could be more difficult to explain how we distinguish if something is music and what else isn't. Music involves sounds that we, or at least someone, listen or induce for our own enjoyment.

We don’t call every enjoyable sound music. Sometimes we listen to waves in the ocean, wind, buzzing and singing birds and enjoy it but still don’t call it music. It seems to be a necessary premise of music that it’s created by a human or at least an intellectual creature that resembles us in some distinctive way. You could imagine a journey to a distant planet where we meet aliens that produced sounds we would call music. The key thing is that relevant beings are capable of what we call creating, or creative art, and that they resemble us enough so we have the assumptions needed to be able to distinguish their creation as music.

I chose this text because it has the most reliable source I could find and the text is profoundly well written. It has great philosophical questions and good reasoning behind answers.

The methods I used were mostly just finding definitions of the words I didn't understand on the internet.

English to Icelandic

An accurate and concise definition of music is fundamental to being able to discuss, categorize, and otherwise consider the phenomenon of what we understand as being music, and it is a key question in the philosophy of music. "Explications of the concept of music usually begin with the idea that music is organized sound. They go on to note that this characterization is too broad, since there are many examples of organized sound that are not music, such as human speech, and the sounds non-human animals and machines make". Many scholars have suggested definitions, but defining music turns out to be more difficult than might first be imagined. As this article will demonstrate, there is ongoing controversy about how to define music.

A famous example of the dilemma in defining music is modern composer John Cage’s composition titled 4'33''. The written score has three movements and directs the performer(s) to appear on stage, indicate by gesture or other means when the piece begins, then make no sound and only mark sections and the end by gesture. This has form and other important attributes of music, but no sound other than whatever ambient sounds may be heard in the room. Some argue this is not music because, for example, it contains no sounds that are conventionally considered "musical" and the composer and performer(s) exert no control over the organization of the sounds heard. Others argue it is music because the conventional definitions of musical sounds are unnecessarily and arbitrarily limited, and control over the organization of the sounds is achieved by the composer and performer(s) through their division of what is heard into specific sections.

Nákvæmasta skilgreining tónlistar liggur í þeim grundvallaratriðum að geta rætt, flokkað og annars hugað að fyrirbærinu sem við skiljum sem tónlist því það er lykilspurning í heimspeki tónlistar. „Útskýringin á hugtaki tónlistar byrjar yfirleitt á hugmyndinni að tónlist sé skipulagt hlóð. Sumir segja að þessi lýsing sé of víðtæk, víst það eru mörg tilföll af skipulögðum hljóðum sem eru ekki tónlist, meðal annars málfar manneskja, hljóð annarra dýra og véla“. Margir fræðimenn hafa stungið upp á skilgreiningum, en það að skilgreina tónlist reynist erfiðara en fyrst var haldið. Eins og þessi grein mun útskýra þá eru áframhaldandi deilur um hvernig á að skilgreina tónlist.

Frægt dæmi um ógönguna í því að skilgreina tónlist er tónverk eftir nútíma-tónskáldið John Cage nefnt 4'33''. Skrifaða verkið inniheldur þrjár hreyfingar og bendir flytjanda að koma á svið, gefa til kynna með ábendingum eða öðrum aðferðum þegar verkið byrjar, gera síðan engin hljóð og benda aðeins á kaflaskipti og þegar verkið er búið. Þetta hefur form og aðra mikilvæga eiginleika tónlistar, nema engin hljóð önnur en þau sem koma frá umhverfinu. Sumir telja þetta ekki tónlist vegna þess að t.d. inniheldur þetta engin hlóð sem eru talin „músíkölsk“ og tónskáldið og flytjandinn stjórna engan vegin skipulagi hljóðanna. Aðrir telja þetta tónlist vegna þess að hefðbundnar skilgreiningar „músíkalskra“ hljóða eru óþarflega og að geðþótta takmörkuð, og stjórn yfir skipulagi hljóðanna er afrekað af tónskáldinu og flytjanda með úthlutun þeirra á því hvað heyrist í sérstaka flokka.

I chose this text because i think it is philosophical and i liked the interpretation of the question also i found a TED lecture about if John Cage‘s composition is considered music.

I used the same method on this as i did from Icelandic to English.

TEDx

This lecture is about a composition by the philosopher John Cage which is not played on any instruments, sung or even controlled by the performer because it has no notes and ambient sounds are the music. The discussion is if this composition is categorized as music.

I chose this video because i thought both John Cage‘s thought about how everything could be classified as music, even silence and ambient sounds, and the question what should be classified as music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTCVnKROlos

Interview

This person is my mother, i chose to interview her because all the other interviewees did not answer and she is an amateur singer but has often been paid for singing.


1. What lit your interest in music?

2. What have you studied connected to music?

3. What is your favorite genre of music?

4. When did you perform publicly for the first time?


Passion is what lit my interest in music. How it embraces you when your‘e singing or playing. I started practicing the recorder when i was 6 years old, then i practiced the piano a little when i was 9 years old, half a semester. Then i started practicing piano again in the 9th grade, i started after the new year and practiced til the end of 10th grade. I took singing lessons when i was 18 years old in The Singing School of Reykjavík (Söngskóla Reykjavíkur). I practiced there two winters and then i went to Germany. I bought accompaniment from a pianist who is a Polish piano teacher and she lived in Borgarnes at the time. 22 years old i bought myself a piano and took piano lessons from the same pianist. Then i took singing lessons at the Music School of Akranes (Tónlistarskóla Akraness) and was there over one winter. Then i took lessons in the Music School of Borgarnes and learnt singing there for at least 3 years. Then we moved to Flúðir. So i have been studying music for 8 years, with pauses.

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