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bpm influence

Discussion in 'Creating Content' started by vj_jasper, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    is there a human mood response to various bpm's? have been listening to the track 'cherry blossom girl' by Air, and they achieve the most amazing atmosphere, magnificent. anyway, perhaps it is related to the bpm.

    if there is a list of predictable human responses to a range of bpm's, that may be valuable information as relates to composing and arranging tracks.
  2. evomedia

    evomedia Control Freaks

    Think your asking the impossible, as different people prefer different music, it would depend on there mood at the time, whats happened in their day, if their with friends, what substances their on, where its being played, how its mixed etc etc etc.

    Air may seem great now, but would sound way way too tame in a kicking all nighter. So surely emotions are subjective and change depending on environment.

    If you've just broken up from a relationship, a balled may suddenly seem apt, but you may hate it otherwise lol.

    responses to music are more governed on previous experience rather than just the speed of it. If its was a formula then everyone would love every track written to it. But that aint gonna happen.

    Especially when you consider different tracks can be same speed but have a totally different feel. Different Genres even can be same speed, but definately express differerent stories. Then you get into the sentiment the artist creating the track wanted to express, they may make music that sounds dark and grimy, maybe they create a track based on love, or want something funky.

    Good music writing is good music writing, you should make music personal to you and hope people like it, rather than trying to make formulaic stuff...
  3. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    4 sure, so much is involved in the way we hear and experience music. tonality, texture, timbre, ostinatos, instrumentation, melody, harmony, memory to mention a few.

    just contemplating the worthiness of the concept of emotio-physical responses made 'more possible to happen' during the play of music at various bpm's.
    is a simple idea, and not to be taken too seriously in terms of the larger picture.

    on one level, it is specifiable what certain genres of electronic music are going to be at or around.
    house:114 to 135
    drumnbass: i dno, maybe 140 - 180?

    so if someone writes or speed changes a track to a usual bpm for hip hop, is there going to be any more chance that track may be associated with the hip hop genre? even with all the other factors taken into consideration, the question remains; is bpm going to affect matters in some way or other.

    not that i am looking for the 'magic bpm' or anything... each track needs to be individual.
  4. evomedia

    evomedia Control Freaks

    Yep, but human mood response has to be associated with something other than bmp, after all a DJ may mix a whole night at a bpm like 130 and take you on a whole host of emotions. hence the reason I think speed is unrelated to emotions.

    And speed is definately not what makes a genre but how its arranged. I can play a 130 bmp dnb track and a 130 bmp house track and a 130 bmp hip hop track and a 130 dub track and you can tell the different, its more about the type of drumbeat rather than the speed. You could speed up a dnb track to something stupid but the sound of it still says dnb, simple changing a speed doesn't suddenly fit it into a different genre.

    All I'd say was follow the rules of a genre if thats your bag. Still don't see how this helps, as you should always write tracks that express the emotion you want to express and let the music take form naturally.
  5. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    I would have thought that rythmn is more important than bpm.. it is perfectly possible to write a tune at 60bpm which feels faster than a tune at 360bpm.. or alternatively to write a song at 360bpm that is laid back and relaxed.
    sure dance music genres tend to fit around bpms, but that is down to a desire to have seamless mixed sets, which is much more difficult when you have a wide variety of speeds.

    it's not just a case of different styles at the same speed, it's also a case of the same style at wildly different speeds, if the producer decides to make it so.
    I can write the same song at any bpm, as long as they are even multiples it is a piece of piss: double the speed, double the note length..

    dubstep, for instance, alot of it sounds slower to me than hip-hop.. but actually it runs around 120-150bpm .. I placed it at 60-80, but I know I'm a poor judge of bpm..
    dixieland jazz will top out at over 300bpm, but old skool hardcore, at half of that feels much faster to me..

    umm.. there's a point there somehwere... well if you take dnb tunes and time/pitch warp to half speed them you get a hip-hop beat, so it would feel more like hip-hop.. do it to a techno track though, and it won't..
  6. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    yes, rhythm is more important than bpm. of course it is. the rhythmic motif, the rhythmic signature can often skyrocket certain tracks, and they enjoy great popularity. fat boy slim has a certain 'sound' ... although, he actually produces a lot of different sounding tracks.

    so it is important to be true to the track, and give it whatever bpm it needs... i just thought there may be some scientific writings on the human heartbeat response for example - if the bpm is close enough to a multiple of the human heartbeat, will the heart attempt to synchronise to the beat? if so, what does this mean? if there is a meaning, then lets have it, because it is good to be aware of all the factors at play in a creative situation, to more accurately reflect the statement and energy you wish to be creative with. that's the key - to not be dictated to by parameter generalities - indeed, the original idea must come first before any other rigid 'rule' or 'guideline'.

    is it more possible to induce feelings of dancing euphoria at bpm's between50-70 bpm, and 124-134 bpm? probably not, but i think there may be a hidden influence here and there that bpm plays a role in creating mood. the may be a 'contemplative' bpm, a 'proactive mindstate' bpm... at least in general terms.
  7. Hambone

    Hambone New Member

    As discussed, tempo is only one element of many. A 180bpm track can be lifeless (IMO, most are), and a 90bpm track full of energy/emotion/feel/groove/etc.

    The good DJs don't mix on tempo and key only (like I used to do til I saw the light!)
  8. john01

    john01 5 quids worth of italics

    I think liking that song means you are either dangerously close to a liking for young girls or smoking too much weed. Go out and get some fresh air.
  9. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    imho the sound and production are reminiscent of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, therefore, production values = reason 4 me liking the song .. that and also the singer's delivery of words in the verse is both instrumental and also very rhythmicaly enjoyable. no other reasons :D

    i refused to listen to Air for years, and have only found 3 songs of theirs that are at all enjoyable to listen to.. Cherry Blossom Girl is one of them, although actually can't quite figure out what the song is about. i thought they were wandering about in a japanese super-mall admiring the assistants and presentors in the many shops.. which seemed harmless enough.
  10. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    re/ 180 bpm - true - most tracks are frenetiq @ 180 bpm ... and certainly, there are many awesome tracks at 90 bpm, so this could be a generalisation. it could be the beginning of specification of parameters between which are the most commonly enjoyed tempo's. perhaps, between 60 and 160 bpm

    hopefully, DJ can mix on any factor/parameter ... they are stringing tracks together for a reason. some DJ's are bassline driven, some DJ's are constant track over-layers and so will be looking for apppropriate pitch, bass and rhythm signatures. some DJ's might do 30 minutes of track-title-related theme just for fun, even if it is club-dance driven music.

    when it comes to BPM, a good DJ has to have a few tricks up their sleeve, otherwise their set might have long situations without BPM change,

    to keep interest, they need to modulate the rhythm - this is often done by utilising breakdown sections of a track to quickly ramp the BPM up or down when mixing a new track into a breakdown section of a previous track.

    for me, the idea of BPM modulation is something that becomes a compositional tool amongst many others. i guess in relation to this, i am considering the possible mood-related effects of BPM on a movie audience, due to currently working on the soundtrack for a 30 minute 'film' (in the most lateral sense of the word 'film').
  11. cycloptic

    cycloptic New Member

    well the video (uncensored) for cherry blossom girl is about the two of them possibly doubleteaming a depressed porn star...

    good track though, the production on talkie walkie is flawless (sometimes i used to smoke and listen to it just because i can't actually hear all the work that's gone into it without drugs)
  12. john01

    john01 5 quids worth of italics

    Cherry blossom time in Japan is an excuse to go out and get drunk under the trees, everyone does it from students to wrinklies.

    Since the trees blossom for such a brief time it is associated with female beauty and also links into bushido in a way, life is a brief and beautiful flower.
  13. vj_jasper

    vj_jasper imagination

    and yet some japanese women are renowned for their enduring beauty. perhaps they are able to access the very essence of cherry blossom within their own energy fields? or perhaps it is just all that green tea.
  14. VJbigfug

    VJbigfug Flying Fingers of Fury

    I wonder if it's more specific, and on a individual basis. Kind of like synchronising with (and slightly modulating) people's brain clocks by using very low frequency sound. Some people react to slightly different frequencies, and in different ways.

    Back in the day (Music-X on the Amiga, hell yeah) I remember writing tracks and finding I thought 121bpm 'felt' much better than 120 or 122, and the same around 96bpm. Perhaps they're part of some internal frequency scale, for me...
  15. john01

    john01 5 quids worth of italics

    Hair dye, parasols, seaweed and a lot of hard work.


    cherry boy is slang for a male virgin
  16. PilotX

    PilotX Tom syzygy, not Dan ;)

    this changes so much though - go back to jazz clubs of the 30s and 40s, playing swing @ 200bpm+ or dixieland at 300bpm+ and you'll get a different story.
    the fact of the matter is that it is much more difficult to play live instruments at a high tempo or very, very slowly, and so alot of music is played around the 60-140 mark, I'd expect thrash metal to get over 200bpm, and hardcore punk maybe some of it around there as well (but I have a feeling punk is deceptively slow in bpm for the energy it has).

    there's been a fair amount of research into heartbeat/bpm correlations but afaik none of them really drew any conclusion that having a beat running at 70 or 140bpm (I think that 70 beats/min is average human heart rate at rest, I can't be bothered to look it up tbh) made any real difference, plus the spread of heartbeat rates around that average is pretty broad, ie: most people have a rest rate of within 10bpm, and the spread is pretty even - so it's not likely that you'll ever hit the tempo of an individuals heartbeat anyway.

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