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#1133931 - 12/28/04 07:29 AM Musical categories beyond classical or not
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3234
Loc: not in Japan anymore
I hope this hasn't been discussed at length elsewhere, so here goes..

How does everyone define various styles of music? I live in Japan (am from the US) and most of the time I talk about music in Japanese, so I sometimes have a hard time describing music in English if it's not one of the standard categories, like popular, jazz, blues, rock, ragtime, etc.

For example, what would you call the music of George Winston? How about the piano music of Sakamoto Ryuichi (composer for movies like Last Emperor)? Popular piano? Easy listening? (not one of my favorite terms) Or would you categorize this music as classical (modern classical? popular classical? now I am confusing myself!

What other terms am I forgetting? Are there other artists/styles that you think of as being ambiguous and hard to define?
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1133932 - 12/28/04 10:37 AM Re: Musical categories beyond classical or not
Alanjazz. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 84
Loc: England
Perhaps Latin American is a category but rarely played on piano as a solo. Remember the rhythm is the defining part. I've not heard either of the artists you mention. Composing music for the movies is rather special and is known as film music and stands alone with that, I believe.

Of course you may well overlap such definitions as a lot depends on who is writing it and the purpose, such as stage productions which feature music.

Alan

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#1133933 - 12/28/04 09:48 PM Re: Musical categories beyond classical or not
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3234
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Oh, and on another topic I noticed "new age" how could I have forgotten about that term! No one uses it hear in Japan, but there's a category that's called "healing music" (which I always think is used very sloppy to include widely differing styles of music), but I think "new age" in English speaking countries would be considered "healing" in Japan.

Anyway, back to film music, how about Michael Nyman (I believe that's his name) who did the music for the movie The Piano (among others). Would his music be considered only film music? (in Japan it's called healing). Is film music (that's composed by people who are still living) ever called classical?

Sorry to be so persistent, but have been thinking about genre names and wondering what other people use.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1133934 - 12/28/04 10:02 PM Re: Musical categories beyond classical or not
SusieQ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 301
Loc: Bellevue, Washington
There is also music called "Country and Western" and another called "Blue Grass"

I don't think material written today would be considered classical, even through it would be played that style.

There must be many types of music that are regional .

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#1133935 - 12/29/04 10:23 AM Re: Musical categories beyond classical or not
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
This really is a good topic, I am glad you started it.

While I enjoy playing classical piano music I grew up on "rock and roll" and I find myself gravitating toward some of that music.

While searching for music I have come upon the work of certain prolific song writers. Billy Steinberg is one that I find interesting. He wrote or co-wrote a lot of music which I always thought was written by the band performing the music. "I Drove All Night" is a good example. Steinberg and Tom Kelly wrote this for Roy Orbison but since Orbison did not have a record label at the time only a demo was made. Cyndi Lauper ended up recording it as did Celine Dion. Steinberg and Kelly have wrote a lot of very, very popular songs. They are very specialized in what they do. You will also find song writers / composers that specialize in just doing film. The music in a film is very important and these people have their specialized areas depending on what type of film is being made. I have seen documentaries on TV that focus on the work of these composers. After meeting with the director and producers of the film they not only watch the film before composing but they will screen the film as the orchestra or band is recording so that they get the coloring and timing just right. This is a very specialized work.

A visit to your local library may help you research this topic. Trade magazines for the film industry may also give you feedback. I will post a link below which will also help you research film. The film industry is fascinating in that to produce a successful film many variables are involved. Successful film production involves the contribution of many very specialized people, the music director is certainly one of the most important.

www.imdb.com

Regards,
Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1133936 - 12/30/04 06:16 PM Re: Musical categories beyond classical or not
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3234
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Film music is a really specialized thing isn't it! And really interesting how music is matched to scenes etc. But there are some soundtracks that are really nothing without the film, while others really stand on their own (even though they were originally designed specifically for a movie). It seems limiting to me that this kind of music must always be classified as film music, and not just be called classical or whatever. But maybe I'm too loose with calling things classical..
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1133937 - 12/30/04 06:30 PM Re: Musical categories beyond classical or not
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Very true. Music can mean different things to different people. It can touch one person's soul and leave another person cold. Maybe that is part of the beauty of it.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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