music : Java Glossary



Let take a birds’-eye overview of music. What is it? It is sound that humans find particularly pleasing. It is structured, simplified sound. Humans can handle much more complexity visually than auditorially because they have much more of their brains dedicated to processing visual information. For sound to be pleasing we need it massively dumbed down. Different humans have exceedingly different taste with the taste cemented during adolescence. What makes some patterns of sound pleasing?

  1. Frequency/Melody

    Usually musicians limit themselves to only 12 possible frequencies, the notes of the 12 tone scale. Each note is the twelfth root of 2 higher frequency than the previous. 12th root of 2 After 12 increments you come back to one octave higher, where the frequency is precisely twice where you started. Within that, most musicians limit themselves to 8 possible notes of that 12 (or octave multiples). Further, they have rules on how you are allowed to pick the 8, to form for example a B♭ major scale.
  2. Harmony

    which notes you are allowed to play at the same time, or within a short time span.
  3. Rhythm

    Most western music is based on 4 or 3 beats in a bar, a cadence like marching or dancing.
  4. Repetition

    People like to hear the same patterns over and over with some variation or evolution.
  5. Consistency

    It would be obvious to you if someone created a composition by randomly selecting a bar from other compositions. The pieces need to fit together is some hard to pin down way. Music usually fits into a consistent genre, then within its own subgenre within a piece.

So how could you expand the rules to experiment?

Unfortunately, the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) tools available cheaply to amateurs have the 12-tone scale and many conventions of western music hard wired in. You will pretty well have to build you own software synthesizer to experiment.

You should be able to buy music in electronic form, just like software, but you cannot since there is no accepted anti-piracy scheme. You have to buy on CD (Compact Disc) or DVD (Digital Video Disc). online stores where you can buy CDs (Compact Discs) and DVDs (Digital Video Discs) include:


This page is posted
on the web at:

Optional Replicator mirror
on local hard disk J:

Canadian Mind Products
Please the feedback from other visitors, or your own feedback about the site.
Contact Roedy. Please feel free to link to this page without explicit permission.

Your face IP:[]
You are visitor number