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Any quality of musical material.


This is part of the terminology that is in development specifically for music games, the closest related established terminology is the field of musical parameters. Intersections should be clearly described below (in the future).

Event (musical event) — "Anything" in music terms — a unit of music at any given scale of consideration.

Just as an event is a very broad term for "what may happen", aspect is able to equally broadly describe what is being played. Aspect is any category of such descriptions. Similarly, like with events, you can have macro-, mezo- and micro- aspects.

Dimension — An aspect applicable to a single sound and continuous.

Parameter — A basic quality of the musical material that might be changed without modifying the value of other parameters of the same material.

There are some distinct types of aspects. Check for example additional info on dimensions and parameters. If you ask a "Yes/no" question about music, you investigate a binary aspect of that music. Some aspects are formal in character and some deal with broader cultural references (referential).

Not every aspect can be applicable to every type of musical material, and the complete list of aspects (and types of aspects) is impossible to make. Here are some examples:

Aspect Type of aspect, remarks
Density mezo-
Duration the only (?) aspect applicable to every material, as long as precision is not required
Composer for pre-composed material, referential
Genre macro-, referential
Mode if material uses modes
Mood mezo-
Number of sound sources expressed in natural numbers
Pitch micro-, parameter, dimension
Stability quite subjective and imprecise measure, mezo-aspect
Style macro-
Tempo dimension
Timbre complex micro-aspect, parameter
Type of sources constellation or family of instruments
Volume parameter, dimension

Theoretical clarification (!)

The great overview of the topic can be found in Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen's "Sound is Multi-Dimensional"

In the treatise and historically, Dimensions/Parameters/Aspects are not separately defined, and there are many takes on this topic. Parameter is often a basic term, and Aspect here at G4M is equivalent to the most broad understanding of a parameter (parameter is as in a narrow definition). The distinction between different types of aspects is introduced in the context of music games design due to more formal (mathematical / systemic) nature of complex games and the resulting need for developing the vocabulary.

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