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Comments about the soundtrack for Pirates of the Caribbean (Klaus Badelt and co.)

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Re: Where are the STRINGS and the CELLOS?
• Posted by: Dan Sartori
• Date: Saturday, October 18, 2003, at 4:35 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Where are the STRINGS and the CELLOS? (B. Robert Tanner)

> No.

> I'm simply defending the person's right to USE a computer in place of an
> orchestra.

> Samples are becoming so sophisticated that you can do almost anything with
> them. When people started using computers to write music, others were
> saying it was an affront to the art. That only hand-written music was any
> good, and computers would never be able to emulate a hand-written score.
> Well now writting music on computer is pretty common (if not the most
> common).

> Same concept, except here we're talking about the medium through which
> said music is playing.

> I like orchestras, don't get me wrong. I wish I could use one. But I
> can't, so I use samples. And those work just great.

Thanks for keeping a respectful tone throughout. I'm going to do the same.

I think the difference between using computers to WRITE music and using computers to PLAY music lies in the fact that sheet music is a means to an artistic end instead of an end in and of itself. We don't look at a score and say "Oh, look at that art! The notes are so beautiful looking on the page!" No, we say that after listening to the music that is created as musicians interpret those notes, and that phrasing, and these musical gestures.

Now, I DO think that computers can be used as musical tools. In fact, there is a whole genre of music called "indeterminacy" that uses formulas, computer randomizing, and other such methods in compositional practice. As far as using computers to imitate real musicians, you have to understand where that works and where it doesn't. I don't personally believe that the outcome of using synths to imitate the sound of a full orchestra is all that effective or musical. I play in a university symphony, and I've experienced firsthand the kind of emotional power that a REAL orchestra can produce. There's just something there that a computer can't imitate. Sure, it reproduces all the notes perfectly, but what about the rest of what makes music music?

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