A Commentary on the -Isms that Surround the Books I’ve been Reading

This post was originally written on Sunday, 24 August 2013.
I was recently reading Lois Lowry’s Giver Quartet and I have read all the books by Lurlene McDaniel, and they have given me lots of information on futuristic societies that have chosen to inseminate species using artificial means, thereby inbreeding the species in an effort to control the genes involved. Everyone is colour-blind because of sameness, which means gender neutrality, and the use of colours are eliminated from their vocabulary. They also prevent people from making wrong choices, or the idea that one would make such a choice might never cross someone’s mind. People are assigned jobs based on the personality traits that they developed during their childhood. At a certain age, people have to take a special pill, which will neutralise emotions of sexual yearnings, extreme mood swings, and a few other emotions. These societies try to control global warming, over-population, vegetarianism, hunger and starvation, warfare, climate control, naming demographic groups, modifying evolutionary biology, exploring the endless possibilities of paranormal and supernatural phenomena, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), brain wave interaction, manipulation synchronisation, the practice of passing down memories from generation to generation, and these manuscripts have nothing involving politics and governmental issues. They do not focus on building new societies on other planets, something NASA is considering. There is hardly any form of music involved, no mention of art and things like that. In literature these are known as either utopian or dystopian societies, though usually the latter. And, there are usually rebels who question authority. Although they might have a different system, they all try to focus on the same thing that was listed above, to keep the earth clean and to prevent human disaster. They also referred to pets as mammals because they do not have them in these communities, and they also have dialects, accents and cadences. This is because there may be outlying communities that are more primitive and are not quite civilised. It is said that these societies also alter child development and everyone is productive and no one is under or overweight. When they are done the community kills them, which is replaced with sensitive euphemisms. From “The Giver”
["If you are currently experiencing high arousal and or desire for nurturing, you may want to consider starting treatment.”]
The pill used in this H+ society actually has a potential to temporarily stop the release of sex hormones, which, in turn, would lead to the suppression of testosterone, oestrogen, Oxytocin, among others that will neutralize one’s emotions. This is one of the things that is highly probable later in the future. I am somewhat opposed to the idea. But I am glad that the pill would only temporarily do the work, and not permanently.
Sometimes, I keep hold onto essays I have written throughout my education. You never know when they may become useful outside of the classroom. Below are a few that I would like to share.
Maintaining Immature Behaviour
What is the first thought that comes into a person’s mind when they think about or are confronted with rudeness or lack of etiquette? Maybe they feel they ought to teach that person a lesson. They may feel sorry for that person because they were not taught to use manners appropriately. Here are some examples which contribute to rudeness and why it exists, especially in our present-day society.
To begin with, rudeness is a perception, a morale taught by elders. This is what is believed to be right or wrong, and this may change from culture to culture in different countries. Rudeness is what we as humans understand based on the laws of nature. It calls for many kinds of gestures, sayings, body language which anyone can do, but it will take the perception and interpretation of another human to know what that gesture means.
The way children grow up learning from others is a concept parents know as being observant, but they may not know what they are learning. This includes picking up creative ideas or developing nasty habits. Yet children fail to comprehend what is right or wrong. For instance, if they see someone being rude to someone else they naturally assume it is all right to do that. This may lead to trouble down the road as will be emphasised below.
Due to the increase of instability and the falling of humanity over the turn of the twenty- first century, many people, mainly teenagers act in an immature manner to show that they do not care in one way or another what life means to them. Their main interest is in themselves, which is the primary belief in human nature. All the things most Americans do in society, the music they listen to, the technology they use, and their social engagements they partake of, all have a form of impact in what they do or say.
A good example of sheer rudeness one can take into account is the fact that a person not be too particular about a fellow’s writing style on the internet, yet some people act impulsively as it may be a habit for some to correct others on an informal setting. It is suggested that a person should always tell the other person that it is a good way to exercise their writing skills for when the time comes, such as filling out a job application or writing a resume. Instead of having to start an argument over deciding whether correcting other’s spelling is rude or not, it should be discussed to determine if there was any reason for having that take place.
When a person is confronted with such a situation, it should be up to that person who initially started this argument to make that decision. Is it rude to correct other’s spelling? It depends on the circumstances that surround this situation, for this is one example which is hard to solve because there are two sides to the problem. However, this is no excuse for everyone to behave so childlike and jump to conclusions. It should be talked out in a tranquil manner.
Another example which follows in the same lines is how a person addresses others with words and emotions. When a question is asked in the politest manner and the person being asked, turns it down with a rude insult, it is more than one can handle. Are they aware that they have insulted the person and acted so uncivilised? That answer is hard to say because some people are rude by nature, as explained above.
While maintaining proper manners may be difficult, I always try to keep things calm, though sometimes I may do something I might regret later. I feel this is mainly due to the fact that I am treated as someone who is too smart for them to bear, someone they would rather not be with. Our society may never be perfect, but there is nothing wrong in pursuing it, and that is what I try to do in my life, but it is not easy. Rudeness is an ever-lasting trend with any doubt that it will stop. When a person thinks of rudeness, they should think about why is it that it exists. They should not focus on the fact that it exists, but think about WHY it is present.
For all ninth graders facing their last four years of required education: You are lucky to have such a wide variety of choices that may make your high school experience run more smoothly and with ease. You might be the typical average student, or you could have something unique about you. Whatever it is, I want you to know that there is one thing I believe you should get out of your high school experience.
Maybe you enjoy modern society, and the latest music hits, as well as the newest fashions and literature. If you think twice about it, you will realize schools want to teach you the history of how things came to be. In music, you are apt to hear bands playing music from the classical romantic or jazz era. In English, you may look at literary classic, since they contain a higher complexity than the newer novels. My point is that you should appreciate history. It may seem boring, but if you are interested as how we came to be, how we moved from era to era, how we formed our American society and the conflicts that were involved, and how we solved them, then history is for you.
In my opinion, real music is music with high complexity, and so as the English language, when spoken or written formally, for this is how people wrote and spoke in the early days. I have a reason to suspect that maybe some of the new things may seem overwhelming, and I try to keep it simple.
Here is an English lesson for you. You may be used to texting a lot on your mobile telephone that you start using it as a habit in a number of applications. If you want to type assignments, then you should learn how to spell, regardless of whether or not you are writing an essay.
Now, let us look at some social involvements in high school. If you are popular, you will most likely be in all the school-sponsored activities. If you are a loner, try to get involved in some activities. Maybe you might not be popular in your first year of high school, but you will in a few years. Making friends in high school is not at all like making friends in elementary school. For one thing, you will share a good many thoughts with each other. Friends tend to share things they have in common, and this is what makes bonds stronger.
Also, you should know what your THING is. What I mean is some students realize this is what they want to pursue later in life, whether that would be art, theatre, music, photography, or the like. You might be a sports person, involved in football, British football (soccer), volleyball, and more.
When you go to a football game, it is more than just playing the game to see who wins. It is how you work together as one student body to help the players perform well on the field. You should realize how stupendous it is, that high school can pass by quickly. If you have a well- organised schedule, you know what your strategies are to getting your work done, you can move fairly quickly. What makes time seem to run slowly is due to stress. You may face stress when you are given a boatload of work.
There is so much we can do to accomplish on this earth, but it is up to us as a human race to do it. Are you interested in science soma, or psyche psychology? Maybe that is why you want to know more than just the concepts. The important thing is that you should know yourself and know who you are and what you need. If you do not know much about yourself, how can you tell others about your interests, needs, wants, weaknesses, etc?
Please give my advice a good amount of consideration, and if you follow it, you might change your mind about how you feel towards high school. I know it can be scary at first, but it will all come out nicely in the end, as it had for me.
Long before music developed in the western part of the world, before churches, cathedrals, palaces and universities were built, people had no way of establishing music, save for the wooden instruments and the metal materials they used, such as strings. These instruments could be played by wind, by striking them, or by plucking and bowing them. Many of those types remain in existence today, especially in more uncivilised parts of the world. People also used throat singing and overtone singing with their vocals later in this period before the middle ages. Mythology was a very important factor in music creation, and this was the reason why it was important.
In the medieval period, a lot of composers wrote music for the kings, the churches like the Roman Catholic. Their society was built based on how fairytales are built today as we know them. Peasants, knights, a royal family, etc. People wrote music in monophonic texture, which was meant to be used for worship in the church. Note: People did start to work with two-note harmony later in the period, and one of the rules for the church was not to use dissonant or tritonal intervals, nor could one write scales improperly. A cadence was also formed for the church, which is a very simple chord progression from four to one.
In the renaissance era, two instruments were introduced, the Haut and Bas. At that time a person could only play in one key at a time. Their writing standard was different. People started experimenting with humour and secular music, not just sacred music. There were different genres for each era. People started to experiment more with homophonic textures, especially with vocal music, but it was still not enriched. Certain roles, such as women, were not allowed to compose or practice music until later in each period. Also in the renaissance period, it resembled the age of reason, but in the rebirth, people began to focus on humanism and society, not on superstition and religion. Their visual art also reflected these changes. Making music at home became more popular, and children began to learn to make music, and each home now had a keyboard of some kind. Women started to perform music as well as pursue musical careers.
In the baroque era, the string orchestra was introduced, along with the harpsichord and old-fashioned pipe organ. IN America, the reed organ or harmonium was introduced later, before the invention of electricity. They all had little control over dynamics. In the baroque era, their texture was mainly polyphonic rounds, and it was made to be very dramatic. They seldom had melodic tunes. It was ornate, and they represented the Catholic counterreformation. They felt they should express the history of the past through operas, oratorios, and instrumental music. Pipe organs were used as prelude, in-service, and postlude music. The organ could provide a bass-line foundation to step beyond vocal registers of the congregation, and enrich the quality of chords. They had some form, just like everything has a form, as well as with every culture, there is a belief.
Their visual art was similar to what we see in expressionistic music, but its style was more of history rather than modern events. Bach was the transitional composer between this period and the next. Vocal music became more solitary rather than combined, hence the operas and oratorios. A new system of tuning that made it possible to play in any of the twelve notes was formed, calling it the equal temperament.
In the classical period, Haydn and Mozart were two of the most popular composers. In the classical era, the pianoforte was introduced, a simple but flexible instrument. Due to this, the orchestra began to grow because of the increase in dynamics. They experimented with emotions and mood contrasts. Homophonic textures were also becoming more commonplace. The most popular was the symphony,. And from that point on, people broadened to solo instruments or small ensembles. They would take tuneful melodies from old folk songs and turn them into actual pieces. There were four movements in a symphony, and each movement had its own musical form and structure. The main influence of the classical period was on the upper echelons, but Beethoven began to rebel against this, and soon, he started working for everybody. In a minuet, a person had to know the right steps, or else they would be considered a person of a middle or lower class. Everything had a social class back then. There were no life styles like we have now. Haydn was known for writing music for his master, which we would now know as an employer. Mozart wrote creatively, and this is where Beethoven picked up his ideas from. Their style was very clean and prophetic and well-organised, and so were their visual art.
When Beethoven began to rebel against the rules of the classical period, he became the transitional figure between the classical and romantic era. He wrote several pieces that contained chords, which might be considered dissonant in one time period, but consonant in another, or vice versa. He was very clever with his musical ideas, and one of his huge motifs is the three-note piece.
During these developments in Europe, The Americas used some of these principles to apply in their military marches, especially towards the middle of the nineteenth century. They experimented with bugle calls and drum patterns as more instruments were being developed. Many of these tunes would end up being used today, for as the saying states, everything derives from something else.
In the romantic period, we began to see people writing music based on real experiences, to express the unknown and the mysterious. And this was the age of reason because people were not just thinking about religion, but about science and fiction, strange places and foreign lands, based on impressionism and expressionism, which took place later towards the late 1800s. It was not just for the aristocrats or church members, but it was becoming a lot more popular. People began to write nationalistic music from all over Europe, and even the Eastern part of the world had some influence. The wars we fought in, the civil wars we partook of, the industrial revolution, the inventing of the telegraph and the telephone had a big influence on music experimentation. Another piano was introduced, thus giving it a more variety of ranges in dynamics and registers. The orchestra grew once more, and composers continued to experiment with tone colours and harmonies to simulate the sounds of scenes, nature, characters and such, along with the emotions and moods. The programmatic music was introduced. Today, we listen to programmatic music; most people just do not know about it. An example would be when someone watches Starwars, or something along the same line. The music portrays scenes of characters and their intellectual role in the movie, the same way we would expect in musical theatre, which will be discussed later. Suffice it to say that the symphonic and theatre organs were introduced to accompany silent movies. They were also used to replace orchestras in the early part of the twentieth century. The tone poem is a one-movement piece that has all of the emotions in one place. The ballet was introduced, and composers wrote music for the dances. So this is not just about nationalism and political influences, but about the identity of the piece. If someone recognises a piece from Chopin, no matter what it is he wrote, they would immediately know that it was he because of his unique signature. Their visual art was also influenced, and people used some of these characteristics that would later be used in the impressionistic and expressionistic serial movement.
Finally, all of this led up to the 1900s and 1940s. In here, the musicians took all that had happened and started to simplify the form of music into one-movement symphonies. Marches became more known. More instruments were made. Although composers collaborated with poets and writers, this still continued into the twentieth century. We had a lot more operas and choral pieces, and the orchestra grew once more, up to a hundred musicians now. In this time period, they still clung onto the romantic era because the fact that so many possibilities and ways to express real-life experiences through music and evoke scenes and moods was fascinating. Alexander Scriabin was the first composer to use synaesthetic principles to describe how he saw colours with sounds. Note that there were also some reports from Beethoven and Mozart about how they liked certain keys, since their emotions related to certain keys. The colour organ was introduced. Need I mention that besides impressionism, expressionism, nationalism, symbolism, serialism, and a few other artistic movements? This was the pinnacle in time that people reflected on those movements. The neoclassical styles were used Synonymously to repel against impressionism and expressionism. Also, a lot of people liked the clean feel of predictable style, rather than the dream-like feel, or the unconventional form of music experimentation that we witnessed in the music from the romantic and impressionistic period.
Prior to the style of Jazz music in America, a homophonic parallel style of music called barbershop quartet was introduced, and it quickly gained popularity. This style of music involves four singers, usually four people of the same gender, to sing lead, tenor, bass, and baritone. This can be classified as TTBB, the same way choral pieces are sung in SATB. If sung properly, the singers can make really beautiful chord progressions that enriches the tone quality immensely. This is almost the same way that ballads are built in England that we recognise today. For this reason, barbershop singing was often used in romance songs. Today, we now have the Barbershop Harmony society in the United States to maintain this wonderful style of art. It is common to hear them singing on Valentine’s day in America, and a few other parts of the world on certain occasions.
This century was known as the golden age. As we progress, huge changes occurred in ways that were outside of music. This gave people new avenues to experiment. Music language started to change, along with the composition system, and how music notation was being presented. Everything became atonal and unconventional, as opposed to being tonal and central. More music vocabulary was introduced and expanded. People began to experiment with these musical elements to get unconventional effects out of wood-wind, brass-wind, reed-wind, string, keyboard and percussion instruments. They went as far as using everyday objects to make music with, and they also went as far as making melodies based on patriotic tunes and random notes, to make variations that would be layered in different keys simultaneously, along with building new chords and chord progressions never thought of before. The common chord progression we now have today is the five to one, which began as early as the late classical period.
In the 1920s, after the success of the twelve-tone system and the palindrome arch-style composition, major influences of music in the Americas played a role in the development of Jazz. It consisted of multi-cultural influences, the Christian church, the blues scale, and the swinging type of rhythm that derived from ragtime, and that is how Jazz was formed. The texture became more homophonic and more catchier, rather than dramatic or moody. Jazz required only three main elements of music. Improvisation, syncopation, and blues. People had no name for this type of music, but the word Jass was a slang for high spirits, and it was first used throughout the turn of the century. When big band music became popular in the 1920s, teenagers were the first to notice the bands, and they would often dance to these popular tunes. It was the kind of music parents would not want their kids to be exposed to. More on this will be discussed later on.
Musical theatre was introduced later in this time period. People began to write music for musicals, or adapt them from books, and depending on the scene, they chose what kind of music they should write. The saxophones were introduced some time later, and this became popular in Jazz music, since it was all about manipulating the timbre of the instruments. This was part of the roaring twenties. Bands would compete against one another, and this is how we ended up with the battle of the bands. George Gershwin was one of the most widely recognised American composers of the twentieth century, among others.
In the early thirties, the great depression led to changes in music, and Jazz was a big hit that decade. It was known as pop music back then. Frank Sinatra was one of the popular stars in America’s classical swing period, and big bands were up to its zenith. Later, this declined due to an introduction of bebop, cool jazz and hardbop. Each variation was introduced to reflect the true meaning of the art, and to provide different meanings of each genre.
In the 1940s, people began to work with old folk songs and rewrite them into Jazz music of many variations, which somewhat reflects early versions of country music. Technology was starting to rise slowly, but it would not start soaring until the success with the atomic bombs in the United States. The labelling of recordings was being worked on, and since then, we now have albums, labels and liner notes, singles, and multi-tracking. European music used a different form of organisation to catalogue composer’s works of music. People who wrote an entire musical piece, and who performed them are referred to as artists, rather than composers or lyricists.
After the second world war and the cold war, known as the 1945 and up to the present, technology started rising at a tremendous rate before our very years. Now that we had the radio invented, and a lot of autos travelling freeways, as well as planes flying overhead, music could be carried anywhere around the world. The television would not be ready until after the 1950s. Someone decided to turn the guitar into an electric instrument, and they discovered that they could make a whole lot of noise. The wax cylinders were replaced with vinyl records and analogue tapes. Composers started to sample tapes by splicing and storing them away. They contained real-life sounds, such as car horns, birds chirping, etc. Rock-N-Roll was introduced in the 1950s after this major breakthrough. Another practice that artists started to employ was something called back-masking, backward masking, or phonetic and speech reversal phenomena to hide messages and such into their music for various reasons. Someone found two analogue generators, one for tones and another for noise. They were able to experiment with making electronic soundscapes and vowel changes to make it sound as if voices were talking.
The stereotyping of musical instruments and other things began to take place, just like any other movement affected by how people were classified into groups of the social mainstream. Later in this century people started to reflect and go beyond these assumptions that led up to further movements. That was what was important about social classes back then, which we still have today. We would see later throughout with this style of unconventional music that it would become popular to youth culture because they like to experiment, and find out what happens in the end. Unfortunately, people who do not grow out of it tend to develop nasty habits that may lead them into trouble, such as taking drugs and committing crime. Many musicians took different drugs to experiment with vocal tone colour, which we know is not good, but that is what they got anyhow.
From then on, the experimenting with manipulating electronic analogue sounds to get different tone colours continued, one good example is the Hammond organ, which could be used to play in certain styles of popular music. These became more appealing, especially with the rebuilding of the rhythm section. More electronic instruments were made, and when computers became more known, along with synthesisers, the frequency-modulated digital synthesiser was the first. We now had stereo channel, and everything was binary, octal and hexadecimal. We now have digital audio generation. New genres were made based on these influences abroad, and up until today, a lot of that remains. Technology makes it very easy for the average person to make music, without having any prior experience in music training. This is one reason musical form lacks a great deal. Also, music can change over night all around the world, just by one single click of that mouse.
A link I found in correspondence to performing and visual art was the form of literary art. Based on experimental trials, I discovered that people who have a passion for artistic and older music tend to be more proper than those who are into popular music. It is suspected that this has to do with the complexity of both performing, visual and literary art, as opposed to simplistic art.
Scientists are looking into the evolution of music, how it affects the brain, and how rhythms evolved over time. It is believed that it originates from primitive senses. The new age music was introduced in the latter half of the twentieth century, and people are working on understanding how certain sounds, timbres and keys have an emotional effect, such as what Christian Schubert described in 1806.
Additional notes: With each time period, the duration between each era became shorter and shorter. Back then, each era lasted for about a hundred years. Today, it is almost over night.
Although a lot of elements of music were used in each period, not much has changed in vocal music until later in the music history. Musical form changed as well.
Now that we know how music really works, it can be seen as an organised structure of sound in time, with ten or more main elements of music we use, no matter what style, where we are in the time frame, or if we are in the west or east of the world. Sacred music refers to music for the church, and a lot of arrangers exist today to experiment with timbre and harmonisation. Secular music refers to music about the world, adventure, love, romance, etc. Artistic music refers to music that has been well-made and properly structured. Popular music is music made without organisation, which also has a wide appeal to audiences at large because of how they react to it, and normally remains so for a few years before something new comes along.
In conclusion, sacred versus secular, and art versus popular music are the two contrasts people should know. So when they hear someone use the word classical, they usually think about music made in general terms, which require artistic creativity, and not so much about the era. Therefore, I like to use the word artistic secular, or artistic sacred. I might also refer to it as Western Art music.
Modern Christian music consists of worship bands playing popular sacred music because it uses electronic instruments and form instead of acoustic instruments and form.
That is why we have people like John Williams, Jackie Evancho, and a few others who like to turn popular music into artistic or cross-over music to broaden the number of audience appeal. So when I tell someone about how I dislike the music they listen to, I would not mind listening to it if it had been fitted and stylised for my particular taste. For this reason, I am easily isolated from the social medium.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this and don’t forget to listen to the extra media about mechanical speech. Remember that everything stated in this entry has exceptions, can be contradicted and I may forget something. Also, I give my advice and opinions based on personal experience. I am not an omniscient expert–though I’d like to be.
In the next post I will go over some of my favourite memories of me flying on a plane. I may also discuss synaesthesia and cellular memory in greater detail, as well as some of my sensory experiences and my observations. My hope is that we will soon unlock all of nature’s secrets.

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