“De GaB” From Coding Pop style: Studying and Creating Music from Hauntology in Music



This piece of creative work is called ‘De GaB’.  It is composed in Coding Pop music style which is the result of research named “Studying and Creating Music from Hauntology in Music” and the creation of musical works from the theory of Hauntology.  The objectives of this work are 1. To study the theory of Hauntology through the development of music 2. To find ways to develop the novelty and advancement of music in the future that does not depend on the past through composing a song and disseminating it through Youtube 3. To Explain and suggest the diversity of music in industry and Thai society. The important concept is experimental development, which is the creation of a popular song in the way of experimental songs without connections to the past.  It explains the idea of the phenomenon of the past recurring in the present and killing the arrival of the future. This concept is applied to other social dimensions such as culture, technology, psychoanalysis, capitalist economy, Marxism, politics, and anthropological studies. The composers brought this idea to produce a popular song in the form of codes or codes from frequency, pitch, short-length, rhythm control. The playing techniques and colors of the instrument are divided, each with a completely different identity of the musical element, with the names of each piece being Prime, Branch, Uni, Digi, Bug, etc. All of them come from the concept of coding pop, which is the name of this song. The style of the band is modern standard, consisting of drums, guitar, bass and keyboards, the whole song is about 6 minutes long.




Since the 1990s, the development of music has been relatively slow compared to the late 1960s, leading to a connection with the concept of Hauntology, a definition coined by cultural studies expert Mark Fisher, explaining the phenomenon of the past recurring in the present and killing the coming of the future.  Abstract art went hand in hand with the evolution of modern and postmodern art. An interdisciplinary movement that advocates breaks away from the traditional approaches, styles, and ways of thinking that have been passed down from the Renaissance to the present day. This concept is not used solely in the form of music.  Rather, the definition applies to all aspects of society such as culture, technology, psychoanalysis, capitalist economy, Marxism, politics and human studies in all areas such as anthropology.

In the capitalist economy, it is an important factor in determining the direction of the movement of musical development. It can be said that realist art attempts to present a picture of reality and abstract art seeks the opposite.  Early abstract artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries used color, shape, and line to create paintings, sculptures and paintings that felt independent of identifiable objects, landscapes, and people. Abstraction gives artists the freedom to experiment with new artistic methods which is a form of resistance to liberation of hindering the arrival of the future as evidence in the rejection of technology.  In terms of music, it’s the same that if we oppose or reject the synthesizers of today as opposed to the synthesizers of the past, it could impede the arrival of the future.


As an example, found in the current international trend of electronic music, it is the indicator that shows the development of music most clearly and in other words it can be said to be in denial.  Killing the future in music can be the same. This art form and concept express democracy with freedom of thought without adherence to traditional conventions but mainstream music always demands access to simple music.  It is an elevation of popular music from human experience in using materials and technology that are relevant today to create works of art.  Art needs to be independent of any representations, and the dynamics of nature can be reduced to expressions that are simple, clear, definite, and orderly like mathematics. Only then will art become something that has an intrinsic meaning and an expression of a universal spirit. Until finally it will be able to reflect the laws of the universe. Another example that negates the post punk movement in non-conventional terms is the Irish band U2, who have structured their music in a post punk style, using effects instead of guitar sounds.  A state-of-the-art synthesizer through a lot of experimentation, both intentionally and unintentionally, the results of this band’s work we hear from U2 become a clear memory from playing notes, melodies, chords that are small and not complicated according to the Minimal concept.  They also arrange every sound to be more listenable and beautiful in a way that people accept compared to mainstream music compositions and neater compared to other post punk bands that pioneered non-conventional music at that time.  U2 won the hearts of listeners at that time to the point of entering the US market, marking the Second UK invasion (Hoffman, 2004, 1135).  Following the band, The Beatles that had entered the music market in the United States in the 60s, they have been famous for at least 40 years now. Their works are still contemporary, and many young bands are unable to break out of that creative framework. It can be observed primarily from the song structure that is all reproduced from various bands but there are similarities in the placement of the song.  They create a paradigm of people from one generation to another that is completely different from classical music. Because with the beginning of blues music formed a song form that had only the verse and chorus as the main part, some songs may have a bridge section, which is a separate section that connects two or more main parts and is required to consist of a simple melody, and easy to be understood by the masses. Although it is an important element of popular music, it appears in music from the 60s to the present (Stanley, 2001). 

In terms of reminiscing musical memories, it becomes a music genre called Hauntology, according to Mark Fisher’s theory, which represents the retrospective of the music genre that corresponds to the memory and image of society that determines the values ​​of ideas such as conservation of listening to vinyl records from the 90s to the present. It represents the main idea of ​​Hauntology.  Importantly, this group of people who maintain this retro has been defined as caretakers, who are the creators of musical identities in each genre. There is an inconsistent relationship between memory and music, and a contradiction over when the musical genre swirls around and clings to identities that only match the past, conveying the message of not stepping over the past.  This is an indicator of future which disappearances as shown in the study “Cultural Ghosts: Hauntology and The Caretaker.”



To create musical art that comes from the concept of Hauntology in a popular music called Coding pop style.


Clarifying Creative Cognition


                The creative idea came from using a coding system to create music from 12 notes that are equally important. In the sound coding system, music creation is different from the traditional key and harmony system, but still maintains the concept of popular music as the core of creation. It has a way of generating the first melody line based on a group of random 5 notes (De GaB) and is the code of the song name.

By bringing this group of notes together to play only in the prime section. The next part is a branching play by dividing the sound group into 2 main groups of 12 notes, which is the first group from 5 random notes plus 2 others. Equal to the normal scale where all 7 notes (De GaB + Eb and Ab) and a branch group from the remaining 5 notes (F F# Bb C C#) played by the bass line, are not the same as the whole main line. as well as creating a harmonious sound form that is not the same as the original form, different from the popular type of music in the past.


The next part, called the Uni part, is a part that is clearly different from the branch part because it is played separately by not repeating the same notes. Returning to the same group of notes and the same tempo, that is the group of notes (E D B A G) plays a downward pattern on the main line and bass line to connect the rhythm of the next section on the E note. This next section is called the Digi section, which is a more complex rhythmic melody than other parts. But using a single note group to play different rhythmic patterns, namely the 5 notes (C# D E Ab Bb), which is a new code.

The final verse, called Bug, is a verse created in free improvisation inspired by Allan Holdsworth, the legendary fusion jazz guitarist. There was a special tonal experiment and synthesizer sounds are used to create new sounds. There are playing techniques and melody styles, harmonics that are not in the traditional system on the freedom of melody and rhythm. There is a short ending. taken from the prime to show and reiterate the note group and main harmonies, the starting point that marks the end of the song. The structure of the song is in sectional form.

The Section Prime is made up of 5 randomly selected notes to create the main melody based on John Cage’s idea about chance operations, which is sometimes meaningless and unpredictable ideas in music and arts. In this piece, the five note groups A, B, D, E, and G were chosen and formed as the title De GaB.


A Section Branch is made up of additional branching notes from a Section Prime using a jang wang pattern similar to a prime, with an additional group of notes: A group of notes called a branch of five is F F# Bb C C#, which is completely different from a prime. It is a separate play of the sound group of the melody and the bass. But played together with the original prime in the main melody as the 7-note group, the remaining 12, which is Prime * plus as follows: D E G A B + Eb Ab.


Section Uni is the part that creates a difference in tempo, especially speed of the tempo that is different from the prime by playing simultaneously both the melody and the bass. In a rhythm that extends over the group of notes, the backing line is E D B A G as a link to the section Digi.


Section Digi

Arranged in the form of an 8th note in the following group of notes: C# D E Ab Bb

In this final piece is free improvisation with the use of the 12th note, which provides tone experiment, performance techniques and melody styles, unrestricted chords and sounds with unrestricted use of all 12 voices.



This music composition is a combination of applied research and experimental development, which is the study of new knowledge in music by rethinking the theory of Hauntology to explain the current patterns of old music and how it is killing the arrival of the future by creating musical work as the result. Therefore, the information of experimental development is causing the way of making applied research to show the new way of music that does not stick to the original conventions as the whole song of “De GaB”. It is the part and result of the research named “Studying and Creating Music from Hauntology in Music”.





Discussions and Suggestion


This research collects music data to review elements of escapism and to create music in the future that does not cling to the past as much as possible by using the concept of Hauntology theory as a search engine for the results. This can mean opinions and feelings of the listeners of the songs that were composed to support the search. Including, the collection of documents that have been selected in accordance with the content of each genre of music such as classical music, jazz, pop rock, heavy metal, funk, disco, punk, electronic. Therefore, as far as the result shows us how music composition in the 21st century can be. It is more than just pop music and easy listening shown on mainstream music and as musicians, we need to provide more various ways of music genres to create and gain more listeners as many as possible in some areas and this will benefit the music industry around the world.




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