34 thoughts on “SPACE BUTTERFLY”

  1. I was at that Jefferson Airplane/Iron Butterfly show at SMU on August 16, 1968. I have photos. 🙂

  2. And for those interested in pondering the future of man in this universe I found this talk by Juan Enriquez on radical advancements in biology, robotics, and the future of the economy to be quite thought provoking. I post it here because his sense of humor reminded me a bit of our gracious host:

  3. Buddha,

    I took a class on Performance Practice, we listened to those AAM recordings at least once a week.

    There’s a great video out there of Symphonie Fantastique played on period instruments in the Hall that it was originally preformed in. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the conductor or organization that did it.

  4. gyges,

    No issue with any of that and I was referring to Western music soley – even the Russians mostly wrote with a equal interval tunings with the noted exceptions. And I chose a theory example vis a vis mathematical relations over tuning for the very reason you mention: it can be a huge can of worms. But Beck’s atonal playing just seemed to be on my mind and it is not in the ordinary course of Western music.

    Neat video BTW. I love Bach, but the details about his annotations was almost as interesting as the music. Almost.

    Have you ever listened to any of the Christoper Hogwood/Academy of Ancient Music records where they play classical on period instruments?

  5. Buddha,

    I’ll preface this by saying, we’re talking about Western music here, there’s lots and lots and lots of Non-western music out there that use different tunings and scales and theory.

    There’s music theory and there’s tuning. Tuning is the relationship of notes to each other in a strictly acoustical setting. There a wide variety of approaches to tuning, and without opening a HUGE can of worms let’s just say that the system modern western music uses has an equal interval between every adjacent note, and that this wasn’t always the case. Music theory on the other hand deals with the relationships of notes on paper. A fifth is a fifth is a fifth no matter which tuning system is used. To use an example that has an interesting youtube video: Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier is theoretically the same now as it was when he wrote it. Tonally, it sounds different. For those who don’t care about the mechanics of the tuning, the second piece starts playing at 8:30 in. You might not be able to hear the difference between this recording and one played on an equal temperament instrument, but it’s there.


    Like everything else musical beauty is a function of it’s culture. Even those things we think of as “great masterpieces” are played differently (Sometimes vastly so) then what they were intended because our tastes have changed.

  6. Music is a slightly different issue.


    Yes, there are mathematical relations in music and the easiest to deal with is the Circle of Fifths. However, not all music is tonal. Some is purposefully atonal. Dvorak and Shostakovitch come to mind for classical, but an more interesting example is the album “You Had It Coming” by Jeff Beck. As a guitarist primarily, maybe it makes me pay closer attention to guitarists, but Beck has tinnitus – a disorder that affects his hearing and consequently his playing. It’s a great album. One of his best. But if you listen closely, there are lots of little odd atonal bits. They fit, the songs are beautiful (see “Suspension”), but they were not part of Jeff’s playing style twenty years ago.

  7. Well, I’m home and the damage is both minor and contained. But tomorrow is going to be restoration and removing the offending Windows machines from the open network and re-imaging them.

    And I come home to find an nice discussion about the nature of beauty.


    Beauty is indeed often a cultural norm and there are far more drastic examples than Rubens and Sir Mix-A-Lot (think “lip plates”), but what Byron is referring to about the symmetry of the human face is an expression of the Golden Ratio.


    This is the “perfect shape”, the “perfect proportion”. It was also used to define the shapes of the monoliths in 2001 and 2010.

  8. Byron,

    Most of those norms are set by the culture, and are pretty far from universal.

    Exhibit A: Sir Mix-a-lot
    (Or if you prefer, Ruben)

  9. Hey now, that is not fare Pardon me or Swartzmore Mom. I lived in a small town and only hippies and freaks went to that kinda shit. As soon as I graduated from High School I went to Mexico and learned a whole nother culture adventure. Drove from Sherman to Acapulco. That was a trip quite an adventure, the beginning of many road trips. Then for some reason I moved to Houston then Austin for College.

    Now if you wanna start concert time. That was prime and ripe. Only city I know that has a THC index level for pollen. Guess its for the true stoners or an alert that prices were going to drop.

    Now Jimi Hendrixs opened for the Monkeys in 67′.

  10. Gyges:

    that is great!

    Beauty is a personal thing but there are also standards. Some color combinations are more pleasing than other and there is a rational reason. The human face properly proportioned, there is some equation for that.

    There must be a similar tonal element for music that makes it more pleasing to the ear?

Comments are closed.