Talk:Tone cluster

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Good article Tone cluster has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Horror/sci fi film cliche[edit]

Shouldn't it be listed that these are often used as horror film melodies when combined with b5s?

Great! Do you think you could write the appropriate sentence or two? I'll be happy to copyedit it, but I don't have the knowledge to compose it. Best, Dan —DCGeist 20:58, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Western turning[edit]

What does "in music and in Western tuning" mean? Music includes western tuning, so should it say especially or should it be only? Hyacinth 13:02, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Dissonance[edit]

Shouldn't it be mentioned that they sound dissonant? Minor seconds and major seconds combined isn't pretty. Unless your a Penderecki fan!

Dissonance isn't the same as "not pretty". Regardless, the article now says they are dissonant. Hyacinth 19:04, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

True, you have a point. But try playing a tone cluster song around a conventional music listener...See the reaction you get.

The reaction I get is knife-weilding psycho as he appears out of nowhere and suddenly starts stabbing at you (first-person camera shot shot) : CHING! CHING! (you know, hitchcock violin strikes)

Tone cluster power chords/arpeggios[edit]

Shouldn't it be noted that there are tone cluster power chords i.e. CC#D? Would this be assumed though?

Yeah, still...Threnody is that for 2 minutes. Not pleasent.

Please sign your posts on talk pages per Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages. Thanks! Hyacinth 20:21, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Failed good article[edit]

I feel that this article does not meet Good Article criteria 1a, as it could be more readily comprehensible to non-specialist readers (I would not have failed it on this criteria alone), 1b, as it only has and introduction and one section. However, the article meets the majority of criteria and is very close to being a good article. Hyacinth 01:11, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I feel you're right about making it more accesible to the lay reader, but how? You were absolutely correct to dispense with my word "synchronically," but you also eliminated a practical example that gives the nonspecialist a picture of one sort of tone cluster (I've restored it). Do you have any other ideas for making it more helpful to a broader audience? Best, Dan—DCGeist 04:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
That "practical" example is a confusing description of an image of a tone cluster being played, not an actual description or explination of what a tone cluster or how it may be used. If you can find an image of two consecutive piano keys being pressed I think that would be helpful.
As far as other ways to make it more readily comprehensible...I have no idea. Most articles on Wikipedia are almost completely incomprehensible to non-specialists. I think this article is really good in that it has links to important terms (part of the fun I have on Wikipedia is clicking a million terms to fingure out one).
I think in general it is a structural problem. I like articles that have a good tight definition in the first paragraph, and then a lay definition in the second. This satisfies both the specialists, who would tear apart a lay definition if it was the only one given, and then satisfies the non-specialist by explaining what that jargon actually means. Hyacinth 21:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
I assume you meant an image of at least three consecutive piano keys being struck, right? Also, can you explain what you have in mind by repeatedly putting a "citation needed" callout after the sentence "In true tone clusters, the notes are sounded fully and simultaneously, distinguishing them from ornamented figures involving acciaccaturas and the like"? That's a fundamental distinction, and neither contentious nor obscure in the least. What's the additional information you're looking for?—DCGeist 06:44, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
As a follow-up, I admit to being confused by your reference to criterion 1b. You seem to be referencing the following statement: "[W]here appropriate, [the article] contains a succinct lead section summarising the topic, and the remaining text is organised into a system of hierarchical sections (particularly for longer articles)." Are you saying the article, at its current length, should be broken into more sections? Or that it's not currently long enough to qualify as a good article? If there is a minimum length--I don't know that there is--surely this one surpasses it. Do you think it's not long enough for the given topic? Please clarify. Thanks, D—DCGeist 16:02, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
The article body currently consists of one section. Hyacinth 16:06, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Exactly--given the length and the topic, one section is appropriate. Hyacinth, please reread criterion Ib: "Where appropriate" [emphasis added] text should be organized into multiple sections, "particularly for longer articles" [emphasis added]. You seem to have created your own personal rule about multiple sections being required of a Good Article.—DCGeist 19:30, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm confused. If you disagree why have you split it into more than one section? Hyacinth 21:39, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Hyacinth, please be more conscientious about your edits! Eliminating "truly" is fine, but you left: "A tone cluster is simultaneous musical chord." You've done this before, as when you left the first sentence of the article: "A tone cluster is a truly simultaneity." It takes only a few seconds to check your work, but it makes such a major difference to the credibility of the article and of Wikipedia in general when we demonstrate that we know what a grammatically correct English sentence is...especially in the lead sentence!
As for your confusion, I simply decided to accept your argument that this specific article could stand to have more than one section. (I still find your apparent general belief—that any essay requires more than one section to be considered a Good Article—to be without merit.) Another user's addition of Horace Silver to the last graf also helped me feel that the end was substantial enough to merit its own section. Best, Dan—DCGeist 22:46, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I should add that your point about making it "more readily comprehensible to non-specialist readers" was very well taken and has certainly led to the article's improvement and greater utility. Thank you. D —DCGeist 22:53, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
It takes more than a few seconds to proofread when I have to make the same edits over and over again. It also takes you only a few seconds to fix my mistakes, yet you do not.
Please point me to where this general belief becomes apparent. Hyacinth 23:55, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Hyacinth...
  1. You never "have" to make a bad edit—and defining a tone cluster as a "truly simultaneity" or even a "true simultaneity" is about as bad as it gets.
  2. I correct all of your errors as soon as I discover them. Maybe you should send me an email every time you contribute a new flub.
  3. I'll let you and your conscience figure out how it takes poor you "more than a few seconds" to proofread your own work, but it takes cruel me "only a few seconds" to find and fix your mistakes.
  4. As for your "general belief"—"that any essay requires more than one section to be considered a Good Article"—it becomes pretty darn apparent when I ask you, in detailed fashion, to explain why you failed the article on criterion Ib, and your entire answer consists of: "The article body currently consists of one section."
May I ask you something, in all seriousness? Are you a native English speaker?—DCGeist 20:36, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
To revive and beat a dead horse: "The article body currently consists of one section". There should never be just one section. Hyacinth 15:21, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
You need to stop talking about me. This page is for discussing the article tone cluster.
I'm sorry that you my evaluation of this article's GA nomination has upset you. I thank you for being willing to stick with the article and to recognize when you able to do things you hadn't realized the necessity of before. Hyacinth 03:27, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

GA nomination on hold[edit]

Looks like a very good article to me, and as accessible to non-specialists as it's possible to get when the subject is a technical one.

Only one small point: the article has two footnotes and one embedded citation (which, oddly, is marked by a ">" rather than by a number). It would be more consistent if they were all footnotes. MLilburne 14:15, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Also, the Henry Cowell quote needs a footnote. MLilburne 14:16, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

On looking more closely at the article, I see the way that you've referenced direct quotations. However, I don't believe that this is one of the citation methods recommended in Wikipedia. I think the citations are going to have to be standardized. MLilburne 14:24, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi, MLilburne. Thanks for going over the article carefully. Of course, you're correct that my reference method is not "one of the citation methods recommended in Wikipedia." I'd say in response that it's common enough in serious published works, especially scholarly ones that attempt to reach out to a broader audience. I'd argue that the importance of citation in Wikipedia has nothing to do with one particular method or another, but with the paired goals of accuracy and verifiability. I believe my method provides that, while leading--in the context of certain sorts of articles--to greater readability than the officially recommended methods.
In the end, I don't have a major problem with changing the citation method. But I'd like to keep it on the grounds that it (a) expands the ways in which Wikipedia addresses a certain vital issue, while (b) being fully in keeping with the pertinent spirit and goals of Wikipedia. So, conceptually, I'd ask you to consider WP:IAR as relevant here. And, as evidence in support, I'd ask you to take a look at the major article Henry Cowell, in relation to which this article was largely developed. "Henry Cowell" uses precisely the same citation method and has been officially rated "A-class." Thanks very much again. Best, Dan —DCGeist 18:01, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I think that there's definitely room for flexibility in methods of citation. On the other hand, I would just ask you to consider the difficulty that using a less standard method of citation may cause for your audience. I'm fairly familiar with serious scholarly works, given that I'm currently working on a doctorate, but I've never encountered the system before. It seems likely to cause confusion for people who will almost always expect a citation to be contiguous to a direct quote. Wikipedia: Citing Sources does say that: "You should always add a citation when quoting published material, and the citation should be placed directly after the quote..."
I'd be interested to hear what other people think. MLilburne 18:11, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Let's see what other people have to say. My hope is that the method's gain in article readability while maintaining verifiability (which applies to all readers) is generally seen to outweigh the reduction in speed of citation access (which applies to a smaller set of particularly concerned readers).
As for the use of the citation method in serious works, this of course differs by field, and in the sort of hardcore academic writing you're probably drowning in as you pursue your doctorate, I'm not surprised you don't come across it. However, there are many serious, scholarly books, published for a general readership, that do employ the method, particularly in the realm of biography--which is how it came to be used for Henry Cowell, "tone cluster"'s parent article. I just pulled three major biographies off my shelf: Einstein: The Life and Times, by Ronald W. Clark; Laurence Olivier: A Biography, by Donald Spoto; and Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu, by Simon Callow. Each is the product of extensive research--Einstein, for instance, has 48 pages of notes that are exclusively simple citations--and each uses the print equivalent of the citation method employed herein. As a student of modern history, I'm sure you're familiar with the work of Robert Caro. Please see his Pulitzer Prize–winning biography The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, widely recognized as one of the great modern works of scholarship. It uses a very similar citation method.
By the way, in re your point about the embedded citation--to an online source--marked with ">", that's again a method adopted from the Henry Cowell article. Because the reference system in both articles reserves the "Notes" section at the bottom of the article for substantive (i.e., narrative) notes, it is most practical for simple citations of online sources to link directly to those sources. Numbering those citations would cause a numbering conflict with the substantive "Notes" section. After experimenting with different callout symbols, the ">" appears to be the clearest and most visually attractive for this purpose. Best, D —DCGeist 19:09, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
As an addendum, here are three major works of historical scholarship that are not biographies and that use analagous reference methods--it took me less than a minute to grab these from my history shelf: Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s, by Ann Douglas; Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality, by Richard Kluger; Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, by Simon Schama. I should also note that the method is used not only here and in the A-class Henry Cowell, but also in Leo Ornstein, string piano, and The Tides of Manaunaun. Best, Dan —DCGeist 19:30, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm perfectly willing to accept that your method is a valid and workable method of citation. My feeling, though, is that Wikipedia has standardised certain formats, such as methods of citation, as a way of making the encyclopedia more transparent and easier for users to navigate around. Adopting a non-standard (for Wikipedia) method seems to be making life unnecessarily difficult. But I will wait and see if anyone else chimes in. MLilburne 14:54, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, MLilburne, it's been a few days and no one else has weighed in. I respect and have accepted your judgment. I've changed the citation method (and added a couple small examples to the final section). Best, Dan —DCGeist 20:52, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks; making the promotion now! MLilburne 23:18, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

What citation method is in use? Hyacinth 00:05, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Simultaneity[edit]

Why does a tone cluster need be simultaneous, and what is the difference between "simultaneous" and "truly simultaneous"? If a tone cluster need be simultaneous than it is not accurate to call it a chord, as that is not specific enough.Hyacinth 23:58, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

A) "Truly" was in the phrase as another means of distinguishing tone clusters from near-simultaneous acciaccaturas and the like, which can in certain cases sound very similar to true clusters; it was also relevant to the point in "B," below. Per your edit, we've dropped "truly" from the phrase. That was four days ago, Hyacinth. Why are you raising it again?
B) The second point you're making is unclear. Of course, to simply call a tone cluster a chord is not specific enough--thus we define it as a chord (i) played simultaneously and (ii) comprised of consecutive tones. I understand many definitions of "chord" incorporate simultaneity into the meaning, Merriam-Webster's for instance: "three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously." Perhaps what you're getting at is that you think the use of "simultaneous musical chord" in our definition is redundant. However, at present and for some long time now, the Wikipedia definition of chord states that the notes in a chord may "appear simultaneously, or near-simultaneously over a period of time." Thus, in the context of Wikipedia, our definition needs to include, indeed needs to emphasize, the essential point that the tone cluster is a chord performed simultaneously (as well as consisting of consecutive tones). Without duplicating either's text word-for-word, this puts us in agreement with both Henry Cowell--the tone cluster's greatest proponent--and the standard Norton/Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music. —DCGeist 00:37, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
A) It's not a bad question. It has been and probably will be a further point of discussion. This was an attempt at creating a separate thread for this issue so as to make the discussion more clear.
B) I wasn't asking about the "simultaneously" part but rather the "chord" part. If the notes of a tone cluster MUST be played at the exact same time then it is not a chord, as chords need not. Thus, to describe it as a chord is to mislead readers and muddle the distinction between tone clusters, chords, and melodies. We both may nitpick the article, and rather than finding it annoying you should appreciate an improved article. Hyacinth 03:17, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Since the statement, "In true tone clusters, the notes are sounded fully and simultaneously, distinguishing them from ornamented figures involving acciaccaturas and the like" is "neither contentious nor obscure in the least" please cite some sources which indicate that a tone cluster "must" be "truly simultaneous" as opposed to both ornaments, chords, and melodies. Thanks. Hyacinth 03:42, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I know I'm coming in on this a few years late, and it may no longer be an issue - but it does raise an interesting point. I agree that the notes of a chord need not be struck simultaneously, and that it is sufficient they they sound together for at least a common part of their durations, even if they are struck (and maybe released) at different times. But, as for the statement that the notes of a cluster *must* be struck together, I would question that. The stereotyped and typical, best-known form of a cluster may consist of a number of adjacent notes struck together - but surely it also counts if some or all of the notes are struck at different times, so long as at some point they are sounding together, and perceived by the ear as sounding together.

What should we make of the three-octave diatonic cluster which opens Richard Strauss's "An Alpine Symphony"? Every one of the notes begins separately, in descending order down the Bb-minor scale; but they are all sustained for many bars, so that they *sound* together. I don't know if anyone has ever set a formal definition of "cluster" that covers this; but to my mind it does not make any sense to deny that this is a cluster, simply because the notes don't begin at the same time. M.J.E. (talk) 05:33, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I would say you're late here. The article now specifically states, "While, by definition, the notes that form a cluster must sound at the same time, there is no requirement that they must all begin sounding at the same moment." (I'm still crafting a response to your l-o-n-g comment on the Albeniz and Strauss matter.)—DCGeist (talk) 05:46, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Example of not simultaneously struck cluster[edit]

I believe that R. Murray Schafer's choral Epitaph for Moonlight (1968) contains an example of a cluster which is not "truly simultaneous": "A tone cluster is constructed by dividing each choir section (soprano/alto/tenor/bass) into four parts. Each hums a note one semitone lower than the note hummed by the previous section, until all sixteen parts are contributing to the cluster." I propose that in place of "truly" we put "conceived or perceived as" simultaneous. Hyacinth 02:36, 25 June 2007 (UTC) Apologies, please quote a source. Hyacinth 04:48, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

(I enter with trepidation) Hi there. If I correctly understand your description of the Schafer (not a piece I know), then the cluster that it contains doesn't exist until all the voices have entered (or anyway, enough of the voices have entered). A tone cluster, simultaneous in the pure sense of the word, is the result of the overlapping voices. The definition of tone cluster need not refer to the attack points of individual notes or voices. Do I misunderstand you? Alternatively, can you find a different example of what you want to demonstrate (i.e. a tone cluster which requires the definition to include "conceived or perceived as simultaneous")? JH(emendator) 13:12, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

OOH. It would be awesome if we could have one or two images of musical notation showing consecutive steps not used in a cluster. Hyacinth 04:16, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

No. That would not be awesome. That would be a very silly thing to have in an encyclopedia article concerning the tone cluster.—DCGeist 04:58, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
Why would it be silly? We need this article to be clear to the lay reader. We need a sound file and an image of what a cluster is and what it is not. We cannot assume that a point that would be clear to you would be clear to most readers. Hyacinth 06:11, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Perceived or intended[edit]

It would seem that a tone cluster must be thought of as a tone cluster or appear to listeners as tone clusters. Why would this not be true? Hyacinth 06:11, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Is there a way to make them "perceived as simultaneous" without sounding them simultaneously? I think adding "perception" to the issue just makes the definition less clear. I would also remove "fully" because it is too vague. Perhaps "sustained" would be a more accurate substitute for "sounded fully" though I'm not sure it helps the definition. My preference would be for simply "the notes are sounded simultaneously", and I don't think the difference between tone clusters and ornaments is really a matter of how "full" or how "simultaneous" a sound is. - Rainwarrior 04:07, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Also, I don't think trying to define a tone cluster in the lead by distinguishing it from ornamentation is helpful. It seems to suggest that they are more similar than they are and that they could potentially be confused for one another. I'd suggest omitting that half of the sentence entirely. The functional distinction between ornamentation and tone clusters is that ornamentation is used to draw attention to the harmony or the relationship between harmony and melody; tone clusters are a more of an independant sound, they do not accentuate any harmonic relationship, but rather obscure it (Cowell's The Tides of Manaunaun comes to mind as a prime example of how they remain distinct from any accompanying harmony). This is a more involved distinction to make though, and I don't think it should be made quickly like this in the lead. If done, it should be done later in the article where there is room for more thorough explanation. - Rainwarrior 04:07, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I think these are both good points, Rainwarrior. Would you like to do the edit?—DCGeist 05:18, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I'll make the small change suggested, but I think the whole lead really deserves a rewrite. I find it pretty hard to follow. - Rainwarrior 06:16, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Lead edited largely by Calliopejen1 and then me. I've put the comparison between clusters and ornaments into the Music theory and classification section created by Calliopejen1, essentially using your language for the second two sentences of the graf. Take a look and edit as you feel appropriate.—DCGeist 19:11, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Categorization of article[edit]

I'm not sure there's a suitable GA category for this article. I've put it under "Music," obviously, and then under "Genres, styles and music eras," which is the best fit that I can find. Atonality is in that section, but it sits a bit uneasily next to articles like Alternative rock and Ska. If you feel I've put it in the wrong place, let me know and I will move it. (Or you can do so yourself, which might be simpler.) MLilburne 23:23, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Musical techniques. Hyacinth 03:11, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Lead: context[edit]

"In music" establishes the quickest and clearest context and is the only type of example given at Wikipedia:Lead section#Establish context. DCGeist, since this is the first discussion of this change in the lead section there can be no consensus. Hyacinth 04:51, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

In what way would changing the introduction to begin with "In music" stop the article from being a good article? Hyacinth 05:57, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Please point me to the discussion in which consensus was reach. Thanks. Hyacinth 06:12, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I very mildly prefer to begin with "in music", for the reason given by Hyacinth, though I think the difference is extremely subtle. - Rainwarrior 03:42, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Notation of clusters[edit]

This good article ought to have a section on notation of clusters, as this has evolved (at least on the piano) away from notating all the notes that are to be played in favour of a more graphic notation. It needs a few pictures that I shall try to find time to provide, unless someone else is equipped and has more time. (Posting in advance as feelings seem to run high on this page!) JH(emendator) 21:45, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

That sounds great. Cowell's notation method--cited in the article--essentially does what you describe, so in that sense the "evolution" is not recent. Or are you speaking of different, newer methods? Any illustration would be very welcome.—DCGeist 22:00, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Hi there. Yes, starting with Cowell and moving forward. Perhaps not a new section but images in line where appropriate. I work as a music editor and can produce copyright-free images of pretty much anything you like in the way of illustrations. My Wikitime at the moment is down to drip-feed, but please post requests for specific images here. I'll first redo the present illustration which could be better resolution and needs respacing (see crashing treble clef on LH stave!). J JH(emendator) 08:16, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
New image (Tone_cluster.jpg) now in place. Better? JH(emendator) 11:12, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Looks great. Thanks much.—DCGeist 06:10, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Ornstein link[edit]

Hi there. I linked Ornstein, because I was re-reading the Other exponents subsection on its own, and came across the name: without a first name I was unable to get through a disambig page when I searched within Wikipedia for "Ornstein". This page is full of proper names, and Ornstein appeared more than a screen up (as it happens when I was reading) so I didn't spot it. IIRC, Wikipedia policy is that multiple links to the same page are a matter of judgement; I'm happy to be over-ruled, but then I'd like to see "Leo" added here: I don't think we can assume people read Wikipedia pages top to bottom. JH(emendator) 15:46, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

The trend in Wikipedia best practices, as reflected in Featured Article Candidacies and Reviews, is to eliminate redundant links (as well as to be much more judicious about linking standard dictionary terms and familiar words in general). I've added "Leo" per your observation.—DCGeist 18:09, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

Respond at Wikipedia:Peer review/Tone cluster/archive1.

Tone cluster[edit]

I think we can get this to a featured article but the article has reach an impasse. Help with definitions and comments are welcome. Hyacinth 02:49, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

It's a very nice article. I can offer a few comments ranging from the general to the picky:
  • Is there a place for discussion of music perception as relates to tone clusters? (Dissonance?)
  • Music criticism related to?
  • I see there are external links for listening, but in-wiki samples would be nice. Even fair-use samples would be clearly illustrative and pass the test better than most uses.
  • I find starting a section with a quotation (In early 20th-century classical compositions) a little awkward.
  • "In 1914, Ornstein debuted several of his solo piano compositions, including …, that were the first works to explore the tone cluster in depth ever heard by a substantial audience". This doesn't feel right. Split into two sentences or change to ", which were"?
  • The following phrase is poetic but leaves out a verb, which might be reasonably expected: "—in the second movement, Hawthorne, of the Concord Sonata (ca. 1904–19, publ. 1920, prem. 1928), mammoth piano chords, some gentle, some violent, requiring a wooden bar almost fifteen inches long to play".
  • In the Schoenberg quote, is "near–tone" meant to have an en-dash instead of a hyphen?
  • Would you want a copy of "Cowell's Clusters", Michael Hicks, The Musical Quarterly 1993?
Outriggr § 00:50, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Is this why peer review is under-resourced—because comments go into a void? –Outriggr § 10:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps users, such as myself, don't know how to transclude. Hyacinth 22:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Respond at Wikipedia:Peer review/Tone cluster/archive1.

Kraftwerk (again)[edit]

Well, I only saw Kraftwerk mentioned with their 1970 work. But also in later albums there ARE clusters! You only have to listen to Elektro Kardiogramm (2nd half). Aren't that clusters too?? -andy 84.149.124.27 (talk) 21:45, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Very likely, but we need verifiable sourcing in order to discuss them in the article.—DCGeist (talk) 05:42, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

simultaneity?[edit]

I'm uneasy about the cut-and-dried ruling out of notes from membership of a tone-cluster if they're sounded before or after a cluster (prolongation, yes?). Acciacciaturas are of course not admissable, but it's not an easy delineation to make. TONY (talk) 09:45, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I hope the discussion of the example I added--the Schafer choral piece--to the Music theory and classification section now addresses this.—DCGeist (talk) 16:48, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

pictures[edit]

Could someone put the used pictures on wikicommons for use in other wiki languages? Regards, DTBone (talk) 14:56, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Caption error[edit]

The modern keyboard is designed for playing diatonic scales on the white keys and pentatonic scales on the black keys.

This is not correct. The modern keyboard is designed to play music in any of 12 keys. There just happens to be 7 diatonic scales which can be played on only white keys, and 5 pentatonic scales on black keys. However, there are (at least) 42 diatonic scales which require both white and black keys, and 28 pentatonic scales which require both (perhaps more) This caption should be improved -- 20:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, you can only play seven diatonic modes on the white keys, this gives 7x12=84 posible diatonic scales of which only seven occur exclusively on the white keys. There are only five particular pentatonic scales on the black keys: there are numerous other permutations of the 12 pitches that include only 5 notes. B major uses only two white notes but all the black notes... --Jubilee♫clipman 02:52, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Props to those editors who've worked on this article[edit]

I was led here through the featured article Leo Ornstein. Unlike many articles on music theory on Wikipedia, I found this one quite straightforward and, for a layperson such as myself, easy to understand. Reading the Ornstein article, I wanted to know what tone clusters were. I actually understand it now! Good job. Now if someone could help me understand serial music.... freshacconcispeaktome 00:50, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Be careful changing wording that might have been carefully chosen[edit]

I've spent (or wasted) far more time looking for Extremes of Conventional Music Notation than anyone I know of. When I wrote that something of Cowell's was "probably" the largest, etc., etc., or that something of Schwantner's was "perhaps" the largest, etc., etc., I qualified those statements based on over 20 years of seeing records of this type overturned by music I hadn't known about before. Then someone removed the qualifiers... I'm not sure my qualifiers were the best possible choices, but I'm very sure that making flat statements about these extremes isn't a good idea. I've re-added the qualifiers. --DonAByrd 03:46, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Tone cluster/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

GA Sweeps: Pass[edit]

As part of the WikiProject Good Articles, we're doing Sweeps to go over all of the current GAs and see if they still meet the GA criteria. I went through the article and made various changes, please look them over. I believe the article currently meets the criteria and should remain listed as a Good Article. Altogether the article is well-written and is still in great shape after its passing in 2006. Continue to improve the article making sure all new information is properly sourced and neutral. It would be beneficial to update the access dates for all of the sources. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I have updated the article history to reflect this review. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 17:49, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

To raise further[edit]

We need to disambiguate the words tone and note as used in different countries. To me (in UK) a tone is two semitones. We tend to use the phrase note cluster in the UK, since note is the word used for a particular identified pitch. Perhaps non-biased language should be used? See my comment on the talk page about the lead and consider the fact that later sections actually use the UK word... --Jubilee♫clipman 03:11, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

That's something I wouldn't know too much about. However, if would be a good idea to start a discussion or direct people from the related WikiProjects who would have a better understanding of which word choice to use. Perhaps the first instance should include both mentions (indicating any difference) and then stick with one throughout the article. --Happy editing! Nehrams2020 (talkcontrib) 05:41, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Nick Drake used tone clusters to[edit]

Hello, I just read the wiki-article on Nick Drake and thought he could be mentioned in the "In popular music" section. Especially since this article seems to mention mostly piano players. Cheers Ineverheardofhim (talk) 11:02, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Ambiguity in lead[edit]

..comprising at least three consecutive tones in a scale.

Does this mean "pitches" (ie the UK "notes") or "two semitones"? If the former, then I suggest the following non-US/UK language: ..comprising at least three consecutive pitches from a scale. --Jubilee♫clipman 02:59, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Details removed about Strauss and Albeniz.[edit]

DCGeist, I see you've reorganized and repositioned the comments I put in about Richard Strauss (Alpine Symphony) and Albeniz (Iberia) - but you have also removed most of the detail I put in describing the detail of these uses of clusters - such as the fact that the Strauss was in finely divided strings, covering several octaves, and sustained behind tonal harmony in the winds, and the fact that the Iberia clusters consisted mainly of 3 or 4 notes, made up partly of minor seconds and partly of major seconds.

Do you disagree with what I said on those points? I do own the scores of both works, and the statements are definitely true.

Any problem if I put those points back in? Will you just remove them again? Those descriptive details do, it seems to me, help give the reader a clearer picture of the nature of these clusters. M.J.E. (talk) 15:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi, M.J.E. First, let me say that I was excited to see the addition of a couple of important early examples of tone cluster use.
Unfortunately, we're unable to use most of the detailed information you provided about each piece, at least in the absence of independent sourcing. Information must be cited to reliable sources—please see our policy on WP:Verifiability. The descriptions you provided are on the borderline of what is referred to here as "original research," which is not allowed—please see our policy on WP:No original research. In sum, as our policy puts it, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." Obviously, we endeavor to make sure all the information we provide is true, but that alone is not sufficient to pass the threshold for inclusion. That said, some of what you provided may be reintroduced if it is cited to the scores that you indicate are in your possession.
Here is our specific policy language relevant to the use of a primary source, such as a musical score: "A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages to describe the plot, but any interpretation needs a secondary source." The following description of Iberia is clearly interpretive and thus unambiguously disallowed unless support by a secondary source: "These clusters can be viewed as extra notes added to the predominating harmony, or possibly as grace notes which are fully simultaneous with their resolutions instead of preceding them."
Other of your statements are more straightforwardly descriptive and are arguably allowable if cited to specific pages of the score. We would then have to consider the question of balance. The length of your treatment of these two pieces was quite disproportionate to the discussion of almost all the other individual pieces mentioned in the section (the major exception being Ives's Concord Sonata, whose clusters are particularly and verifiably famous). So take a look at what we have now for the Albéniz and the Strauss, and think about what if anything might (1) usefully be added in the span of no more than a sentence to each passage and (2) inarguably be sourced to specific pages in the score (or, of course, to any reliable secondary sources to which you might have access). Best, Dan.—DCGeist (talk) 20:02, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Looking over what's straightforwardly descriptive, I think the following would be most useful:
  • For Albéniz: "uses small clusters, usually of 3 or 4 notes...usually made up of a combination of major and minor seconds, occasionally including two adjacent semitones." Though the language of the second segment needs to be cleaned up: "two adjacent semitones," in fact, constitute a "minor second." Perhaps you mean to be drawing the music theory distinction between a minor second and an augmented unison?
  • For Strauss: the clusters are created by "finely divided strings...; these clusters are diatonic,...span several octaves, and are sustained for many bars at a time, very softly."—DCGeist (talk) 02:20, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your response, Dan. I could respond to a few of your comments, although, since I apparently cannot add any more to this which can be accepted, I don't know if I'd be wasting my time even contemplating adding anything more to this article. Still, I'll tell you my thoughts, in case you're interested. Where I'm responding to a particular comment you made, I will first quote that briefly.

Unfortunately, we're unable to use most of the detailed information you provided about each piece, at least in the absence of independent sourcing. Information must be cited to reliable sources—please see our policy on WP:Verifiability. The descriptions you provided are on the borderline of what is referred to here as "original research," which is not allowed—please see our policy on WP:No original research. In sum, as our policy puts it, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true."

That does make things difficult for me. My position is that I know quite a lot about music, especially from Beethoven onwards, and that includes a lot of theoretical knowledge too. This has been acquired by a lifetime of study of scores. This has been done largely on my own, and I wanted to be a composer, so I always had a strong tendency to analyze music as deeply as I could. But I have had far less formal musical education than my actual knowledge would seem to suggest, so I don't have a great stock of books of the sort you would accept as verification. I might know a lot of stuff backwards, but be unable to point to any published work that actually says it in so many words. No doubt, for things I haven't just observed myself, I have in fact read them somewhere in some book in the dim, shadowy past; but I wouldn't have a hope of actually remembering where I read particular facts decades ago so that I can cite it now. The fact is, I would not be able to find books to back up dozens or even hundreds of musical facts that I know are true; although I suppose, if I looked long enough, I could find references. But I don't have the time to do that: life's too short to find references for dozens of musical facts I already know but can't find in a book. (Some articles have hundreds of footnoted references, just about one for every sentence in the article. In such cases, I am just amazed that anyone had the time to actually come up with all those! I can only assume this is feasible for people who already have an intimate knowledge of the sources they are citing.)

Although, in the points I made earlier, I would have thought the scores themselves would be a reference - the best, most direct one, surely. Anyone who can read music can see that the statements I made were true, and I disagree with you that they border on original research: I simply read what is plainly there; I am not inventing new theories about how to analyze the music, or anything like that.

If nonetheless the policy rules out the kinds of things I said (if I can't find a textbook that says them in so many words), I guess I cannot change that; but it would make me quite unable to contribute to Wikipedia knowledge I have which could be very useful.

That said, some of what you provided may be reintroduced if it is cited to the scores that you indicate are in your possession.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. How do you mean, cited to the scores?

Have you seen those scores yourself? If so, surely you can see that they back up what I said? Is that not good enough?

I haven't seen the scores myself. I've tried to explain to you that even if I, you, and ten thousand other Wikipedians have seen them, that alone doesn't mean a thing. You need to cite them according to our professional standards. "How do you mean, cited to the scores?" There are more than one hundred examples of citations in this article. Please just spend a minute and look at some of them. Thank you. I'm sure you can figure out how to write an adequate citation to the material you're lucky enough to possess. If you have any trouble with the formatting or such, I can assist after you've got the basics down.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Here is our specific policy language relevant to the use of a primary source, such as a musical score: "A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source...."

I don't know if there's some obscure or subtle reason for this policy; but, on the surface at least, it sounds rather counterproductive to me. I would have thought that most of what I said was a straightforward, descriptive statement of what was in the scores.

Sure, but we can't verify your statements unless you cite them to an identifiable source.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

"Access to the source but without specialist knowledge"? I'm not sure how to read that in the case of musical scores. It is the nature of musical scores that they mean nothing to someone who can't read music, which ability I assume may be regarded as specialist knowledge.

I articulated the policy language so you would know it. I think most reasonable people could see I went out of my way to support your worthwhile intention and carve out a position under that policy where basic descriptions of musical notation would be allowed. If you don't want to take advantage of the argument I made on your behalf, that's your prerogative.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

The following description of Iberia is clearly interpretive and thus unambiguously disallowed unless support by a secondary source: "These clusters can be viewed as extra notes added to the predominating harmony, or possibly as grace notes which are fully simultaneous with their resolutions instead of preceding them."

Well, maybe a bit more than other things I said. I think that's stretching it a bit, though. If someone *disagrees* with that, I would be interested to hear their reasoning. It seems a fairly objective, uncontroversial description of the clusters to me.

As I said before, secondary sources of the sort you refer to are a difficulty for me, because of my particular situation (musically knowledgeable, but with relatively little formal musical education, and little contact with the musical world generally). I suppose such references do exist - but I'm just not in a position to actually find them.

That's too bad. The passage strikes me as obviously interpretive, even if "uncontroversial": the items "can be viewed as" X "or possibly as" Y. That's not description, but interpretation. If you can't provide verifiable support, for whatever reason? Then you can't include it. Trust me, every serious editor has confronted this issue. That's how it goes. That's what a verifiability policy means—verify, or let it go.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Other of your statements are more straightforwardly descriptive and are arguably allowable if cited to specific pages of the score.

You mean if I say such-and-such occurs in bar x of the nth movement, or whatever?

Well, I guess I can manage that. Just give me a few days - I don't have the scores handy now, but can find on-line copies when I have a faster connection (which I don't have at home, but do have access to elsewhere every week or so).

Yes, that's what I mean. And take as much time as you need. This is an encyclopedia, not a deadline newswire—there's no rush. Get it right, and get it verified. That's what's important.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

We would then have to consider the question of balance. The length of your treatment of these two pieces was quite disproportionate to the discussion of almost all the other individual pieces mentioned in the section (the major exception being Ives's Concord Sonata, whose clusters are particularly and verifiably famous).

I've read debates in other articles here on "deletionism" vs. "inclusionism", and I am quite strongly in the latter camp. If balance is required, then half of Wikipedia needs pruning, and I submit that this would gut it to the point of trivial uselessness - because lots of articles have imbalance of one sort or another in their various aspects. Rather, I would say the remedy would be for editors knowledgeable in the right areas to fill in some of the areas in articles that are underrepresented. So, while I agree that balance is desirable, I think it would be overrating it if it led to useful information being deleted from articles. I would rather achieve balance by raising everything to the highest level found in part of the article, than by reducing everything to the lowest common denominator.

The length of my treatment amounted only to a couple of sentences in each case, and hardly seems excessive to me, although I suppose that's a subjective judgement where we may possibly just have to agree to disagree.

I definitely consider myself an inclusionist. Given the length of the Featured Articles I've written, I'm sure most people here would agree. The fact that Albéniz and Strauss appear at all in an encyclopedia article on the tone cluster is, I feel confident in stating, unprecedented. This is already, by far, the most inclusionist encyclopedia article on the tone cluster in history. I invite you to identify an encyclopedia article in any other venue whatsoever that even comes close. In that light, it strikes me as overkill to devote entire paragraphs to individual works whose tone cluster aspects have only marginal recognition in the classical music literature.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

So take a look at what we have now for the Albéniz and the Strauss, and think about what if anything might (1) usefully be added in the span of no more than a sentence to each passage and (2) inarguably be sourced to specific pages in the score (or, of course, to any reliable secondary sources to which you might have access).

No, I can't meet those conditions: information requires sentences to convey, and I can't convey two sentences' worth of information in one sentence (other than by artifically and clumsily expanding one sentence to the length of two). I could possibly look at Iberia and find specific passages to back up what I said. (I don't have the score handy right now, so I did write the passage without referring to it, feeling confident that my memory of what it was like enabled me to describe it accurately.)

You don't have to work to meet those conditions in terms of length. I already showed how they could easily and productively be met. As for sourcing, yes, that is your responsibility. You must provide the page numbers and the publication information. Sound exhausting? Take a look at the article again, and think about how much bloody time I've put in specifically citing every existing item.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

* For Albéniz: "uses small clusters, usually of 3 or 4 notes...usually made up of a combination of major and minor seconds, occasionally including two adjacent semitones."

I'm sure that, if I find the score (I don't know where it is now - maybe I could check it on imslp.org next time I have a faster connection), I could find specific bars that back up what I said.

Great.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Though the language of the second segment needs to be cleaned up: "two adjacent semitones," in fact, constitute a "minor second." Perhaps you mean to be drawing the music theory distinction between a minor second and an augmented unison?

No, that isn't what I meant. I meant two actual adjacent semitone intervals, involving three notes - as in C-C#-D, or B#-C#-D. I wasn't distinguishing between the actual notation there, or between minor 2nds or augmented unisons. I was meaning to suggest that the clusters are made up of both major and minor seconds, with two minor seconds occasionally being adjacent.

Ah. Understood. Thanks for clearing that up.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

* For Strauss: "in finely divided strings, [accompanying] tonal harmony and melody played by the brass and woodwind sections; these clusters are diatonic,...span several octaves, and are sustained for many bars at a time, very softly."

This is unquestionably true, and can be easily seen in the relevant passages of the score. You removed the bit about the Bb natural minor scale, which seems to me an interesting part of the detail.

Please note that the Bb minor chord information is already included, due to the research I did consequent to your original edit. There's obviously no need to express it twice.—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Anyway, for what it's worth, those are my thoughts on this. Do I have any valid points?

P.S.:

I ran into an edit conflict when I tried to save this, because apparently you made a change to your post while I was working on the above. In it, you seem to have removed yet another detail from the proposed comment about Strauss: namely that the clusters accompany tonal harmony and melody in the winds.

I don't quite understand why you want to strip the details back as much as possible. It can be easily verified from the score. And surely it is more interesting and informative to read such details than merely that the piece uses long clusters sustained for a long time. (I was tempted originally to add that modulations in the tonal parts led to a brief bitonal conflict between the clusters (which remain in Bb minor) and the harmony in the winds, which moves through triads such as D minor and G minor. But I suppose you would consider it entirely over the top to add that. What happens when editors disagree, not on whether something is acceptable in content or not, but just on how much detail should be given?)M.J.E. (talk) 04:09, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Tell you what. Address all the large, mostly policy-based points I've raised above, and then we can get into the fine-grained questions of editorial judgment raised in your P.S. Cool?—DCGeist (talk) 06:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)