|From Harrison's Musical Primer|
A melody (and its constituent melodicles) start private and end up shared. A Human construct that follows that path but not as noticably is language, especially spoken language, and in an article in the Guardian, David Shariatmadari lists the standard ways in which words (or word sets) can change: rebracketing, metathesis, syncope, epenthesis, velarisation and affrication.
- Rebracketing is how "A napron" became "An apron"
- Metathesis is swapping internally - "Hros" -> "Horse", "Brid" -> "Bird"
- Epenthis is a letter appearing - "Thuner" becoming "Thunder"
- Syncope is where a letter disappears "Woden's day" -> "Wednesday"
- Velarisation is tonal shift - how no-one pronounces the "l" in "folk" or "walk"
- Affrication is also tonal shift - this is seen in the loss of once pronounced sounds "D[y]uke" and "T[y]udor" becoming pronounced "Dook" and "Toodor".
This set me to wondering if a Lou Harrison style melodic composition-improvisation could have a tune evolve over time in terms of rebracketing, metathesis, syncope, epenthesis, velarisation and affrication. Looking over hundreds of pieces of musci I have written, I notice that I have used some of these unintentionally (in the manner of M Jourdain) but wonder how it would work intentionally.
Process music is a legitimate way of exploring a tune that has occurred to one, and not a fall-back for people with no imagination as people somewhat cynically say. Process philosophy (e.g. Whitehead, Rescher) would suggest that thinking is conducted this way anyway. So we end up with M Jourdain again!
Here is a musical example of this (written in the manner of Harrison)