Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Terminology "collaborative music composition"

Recently I got the feedback that people had a couple of problems with my terminologies which I would like to comment on here!
In order to make my website more popular I posted to relevant forums trying to draw the attention of their members to my website. In these posts I wrote that I invented a new concept in collaborative music composition. People criticized that "collaboration" (To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort - The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition) implies an exchange of ideas, a back-and-forth. Adding input to a list may be coproduction, but it isn't really collaboration. These people suggested a correction of my terminology to "list of notes contributed by several people", not a "musical collaboration".
I do not completely agree! As a scientist I worked in many collaborative academic and industrial projects. In In many cases the collaboration partners within these projects worked completely independent of the others on different aspects due to completely different expertises. Nevertheless these projects were still collaborations as they worked towards a common goal in a joint intellectual effort. Nobody ever raised a doubt about the collaborative nature of these projects.
Moreover CollabWiki defines "that collaboration occurs when two or more people interact and exchange knowledge in pursuit of a shared, collective, bounded goal. Interaction can be indirect. For example, people can communicate by talking, gesturing, writing, or other means of exchanging symbols." In the Million Dollar Composition much more than two people interact and exchange knowledge in pursuit of a shared collective, bounded goal by indirect communication in the language of music (notes). However, I agree the process is sequential and the ideas are not back-and forth exchanged. But on the other hand, the composers (hopefully) consider the context of their notes and do not submit isolated musical phrases! On my website I encourage the composers not to satisfy only their own distinctive musical taste and to let go of their individual vision to accomodate the thinking of the OTHER as a crucial element...trying to go with the flow and compose something rather than collage something! Hopefully they combine several areas of musical knowledge (basic music theory, harmony, counterpoint orchestration, form, etc.) and create a nice piece of music.
Moreover, the criticizers suggested to enter the search term "online music collaboration" into my search tool of choice, where I would find an assortment of sites, programs, and information about this topic. I googled for the suggested search term and in fact did find many online music collaboration projects, but sorry ... no concept that compares to the concept of the Million Dollar Composition! Taken together, I still think that I invented a new concept in collaborative music composition. I did not write that I invented THE concept of collaborative music composition, just A new concept!

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