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#1378217 - 02/19/10 02:08 PM Slave to the tyranny of classical music
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I believe only in playing music written by dead people (OK, they were alive when they wrote it, but now they're dead) and so I started this thread so that we can discuss these issues.

I realise that many here will feel threatened by my opinions. They are entitled to think what they want. But I think the highest art known is to reproduce the exact sound intended by the composer. There should be no room for interpretation, deviation, and most definitely, no improvising.

This is the sole purpose of playing piano.

So many of those so-called music lovers who frequent the internet in search of freedom of expression come across schemes by which they actually create sounds with varying degrees of success. Such endeavour is completely worthless.

No - slavery is the only way to go! smile

Edit: Sorry, forgot to mention creativity. There must be no creativity. The time for that has passed.


Edited by ten left thumbs (02/19/10 02:24 PM)
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#1378254 - 02/19/10 03:03 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3551
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I believe only in playing music written by dead people (OK, they were alive when they wrote it, but now they're dead) and so I started this thread so that we can discuss these issues.


Does it matter how they died? If we like the music of someone living do we really have to wait until they die of natural causes?

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I realise that many here will feel threatened by my opinions. They are entitled to think what they want.


Or amused. Or threatened in an amusing way. Or encouraged to reduce the population of composers.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
But I think the highest art known is to reproduce the exact sound intended by the composer.


Does this mean we all have to buy a harpsicord to play Bach and Handel?

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
There should be no room for interpretation, deviation, and most definitely, no improvising.


I thought all those old dead guys did just that, especially with their own music, and what we play of theirs today may or may not be exactly what they composed. Your confusion is confusing me.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
This is the sole purpose of playing piano.


I thought the whole purpose was to impress hot babes and get free drinks.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
So many of those so-called music lovers who frequent the internet in search of freedom of expression come across schemes by which they actually create sounds with varying degrees of success. Such endeavour is completely worthless.


Funny, but in a lot of cases this is strangely true, and as P.T.Barnum said "There's a gullible piano player born every day", or something like that.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
No - slavery is the only way to go! smile


That's precisely what Jefferson Davis said, and we all know how that worked out...

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Edit: Sorry, forgot to mention creativity. There must be no creativity. The time for that has passed.


True, and I think it passed when Beethoven died, which was that awesome time we've heard about in song and story, the one about "the day the music died" (which was when Ludwig drove his Chevy to the levee).

Glad I could clarify these issues.

JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1378258 - 02/19/10 03:17 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I believe only in playing music written by dead people (OK, they were alive when they wrote it, but now they're dead) and so I started this thread so that we can discuss these issues.


If people of the past held that view there would be NO 'classical' music at all. Composers in the past wrote for people who wanted to hear their music.

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
I realise that many here will feel threatened by my opinions. They are entitled to think what they want. But I think the highest art known is to reproduce the exact sound intended by the composer. There should be no room for interpretation, deviation, and most definitely, no improvising.


This shows a total misunderstanding, e.g. the composers of the classical period expected the performer to create their own cadenzas in their concertos. Also the score is an approximation - it can never totally define every aspect of a performance.

Also organists are still expected to be able to improvise (at least in the UK).

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#1378260 - 02/19/10 03:20 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: John_B]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
JF - that's a yes to harpsichords, babes and free drinks, as long as you don't do anything creative with them. I don't know who this Jefferson Davies guy is, but he sounds like he might be dead. Did he write any music?

JB - Please, please accept my humble apologies. And keep on improvising. wink
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#1378261 - 02/19/10 03:25 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
AnotherSchmoe Offline
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Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Arkansas
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#1378262 - 02/19/10 03:26 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: AnotherSchmoe]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Serenity now. Insanity later. smile
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#1378263 - 02/19/10 03:29 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: TrapperJohn]
Legal Beagle Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 776
Quote:
I thought the whole purpose was to impress hot babes and get free drinks.


Quite possibly the funniest thing I've read yet on PW. What's the net-speak abbreviation for spitting coffee all over my computer?
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"Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true..."
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#1378266 - 02/19/10 03:34 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: Legal Beagle]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Ed - Glad we could share a smile over this one.
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#1378268 - 02/19/10 03:37 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
yeah..

what better bondage could there be?
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love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1378282 - 02/19/10 03:56 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
JB - Please, please accept my humble apologies. And keep on improvising. wink


If only I could improvise! crazy

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#1378285 - 02/19/10 03:58 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: John_B]
John_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/10
Posts: 621
Loc: Bristol, UK
Did someone mention 'bondage'? smile


Edited by John_B (02/19/10 03:58 PM)

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#1378287 - 02/19/10 04:01 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: eweiss]
AnotherSchmoe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Arkansas
Originally Posted By: eweiss
Serenity now. Insanity later. smile


Touché! thumb
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#1378296 - 02/19/10 04:24 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: AnotherSchmoe]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 730
Loc: Canada
TLT, Good one!! thumb I would shudder to think what you might come up with to post on April 1 - except I'm laughing 'way too hard to shudder! laugh
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(Started playing July 2008)



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#1378303 - 02/19/10 04:31 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: joyoussong]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
TLT - I am in the process of writing Sonata for Two Elbows, Op 1 No 1, the first in a very long series.

You are saying that it can only be printed for others to play well after I've passed - what if I just change my name?

Glen
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#1378305 - 02/19/10 04:33 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
Do you still play your triangle? laugh

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Ed - Glad we could share a smile over this one.
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#1378313 - 02/19/10 04:43 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: al-mahed]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Here's how it goes Glen: composition, decomposition, performance. In that order. No exceptions.

Yes, thankyou al mahed, I kept the triangle after all (I couldn't sell it in the end) and I still practice regularly. But no improvisation.
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#1378321 - 02/19/10 04:58 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 583
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs

No - slavery is the only way to go! smile.



Nope, you're underwear is too tight. : )
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"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#1378333 - 02/19/10 05:12 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Here's how it goes Glen: composition, decomposition, performance. In that order. No exceptions.

Yes, thankyou al mahed, I kept the triangle after all (I couldn't sell it in the end) and I still practice regularly. But no improvisation.


You might want to add these Sonatas ahead of time, though. What to do now?
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#1378377 - 02/19/10 05:59 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: Inlanding]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Inlanding


What to do now?


Why, scales of course! smile

In very tight underwear.

(I don't know why my threads always degenerate into innuendo.)
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#1378387 - 02/19/10 06:08 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3551
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
JF - ... I don't know who this Jefferson Davies guy is, but he sounds like he might be dead. Did he write any music?


Jefferson Davis - you don't know him? Well, he is dead, didn't write any music (at least non that made the top 40) but was big on slavery of a certain sort until we had a little backyard brawl where his gang got their miserable butts whooped and he was last seen slinking off into the shadows with his tail between his legs muttering something about getting revenge on that SOB Abe somebody or other with the big hat and nagging wife...I think he finally ended up getting the Nobel Peace Prize by pushing "global cooling" in a very big way...which was hot back then, so to speak.

JF



Edited by John Frank (02/19/10 06:09 PM)
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1378394 - 02/19/10 06:12 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Nice!

Of course, every person should play scales until their fingers go numb. In fact why play music at all. I only play scales on my Bösendorfer. Since I have more keys than normal, my scales are that much better!
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1378395 - 02/19/10 06:13 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: TrapperJohn]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
We never covered that in school, but I now feel ready to write a PhD on the subject! Thankyou smile
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#1378471 - 02/19/10 09:10 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ten left thumbs]
lisztonian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/07
Posts: 266
Agree with the OP. Yes, the composer wrote the music a specific way because he wanted it played a specific way. It bothers me as well when people deviate so far from from what the indicated marking is on any given piece.
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#1378495 - 02/19/10 09:50 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: lisztonian]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Aha you are the triangle man TLT, I remember you!

My students play a lot of pieces by a certain regular poster on piano world. My students like the pieces very much and I am Not Prepared to make new repertoire choices (would require lateral thinking which I haven't had since I turned from gardening to classical piano). Should I do away with this composing Poster in order to benefit my students? If I play triangle for 12 hours in composer's vicinity would that be fatal?
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Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
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#1378499 - 02/19/10 09:56 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: Canonie]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2621
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: Canonie
If I play triangle for 12 hours in composer's vicinity would that be fatal?

I fear he might decompose.
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#1378508 - 02/19/10 10:11 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: jazzyprof]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: jazzyprof
Originally Posted By: Canonie
If I play triangle for 12 hours in composer's vicinity would that be fatal?

I fear he might decompose.

Like this:
ting ting ting ting ting - - ting - - ting ting ting ting - ting - ing ting tigg tong ting ting ting bingbingfbinginb thing--

Well it's definitely dead music.
Ahem, the "he" composer is actually a "she" composer. But we won't say any more about that!

Jazzyprof, you will be fine as long as you play chopin because is very dead and thus appropriate for study (thank goodness for that) laugh Now I really must get back to some dead person practice. What a blessing that Hanon is dead too as he is the perfect antidote to creativity on a dangerously inspired morning.
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1378554 - 02/19/10 11:45 PM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: Canonie]
ladypayne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 410
Loc: AK, USA
I wonder who really knows how the composer wants the music to sound if they are dead? smile I mean.. you can read the notes and play.. and listen to professional recordings of the piece from other bands etc but we don't have recordings from the composers themselves do we? And I'm talking about those really old classical composers. Like take bach for example. He died in 1750 or something like that. Did they even have ways to record back then? lol So how do we know how the music is suppose to come out if the original composer isn't around to show us and there are no recordings of it. Just a thought. We can take a pretty good guess of course but still maybe we are completely off from what the original composer wanted? I don't really know anything about classical music etc so I'm curious:) So.. I guess in the end.. I'm wondering if we interpret these wonderful classical pieces the way the composers wanted them interpreted or we maybe we dont? smile
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#1378567 - 02/20/10 12:07 AM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: Canonie]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Canonie
Aha you are the triangle man TLT, I remember you!


Yeah I almost fell off my chair when I read his triangle post last time!

On the subject of dead composers, my young children and I had a strange conversation in the car the other day.

6-year-old son: I want to listen to Mozart
me: Play Mozart Piano Sonata in ....
car: Playing Mozart Piano Sonata ....
son: Is Mozart playing the piano?
8-year-old daughter: Mozart is dead.
son: He could be a zoombie.
me: Zoombies are slow; can't you hear those scales?
daughter: Yeah but Mozart was a prodigy!
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1378568 - 02/20/10 12:10 AM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: ladypayne]
lisztonian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/07
Posts: 266
Originally Posted By: ladypayne
I wonder who really knows how the composer wants the music to sound if they are dead? smile I mean.. you can read the notes and play.. and listen to professional recordings of the piece from other bands etc but we don't have recordings from the composers themselves do we? And I'm talking about those really old classical composers. Like take bach for example. He died in 1750 or something like that. Did they even have ways to record back then? lol So how do we know how the music is suppose to come out if the original composer isn't around to show us and there are no recordings of it. Just a thought. We can take a pretty good guess of course but still maybe we are completely off from what the original composer wanted? I don't really know anything about classical music etc so I'm curious:) So.. I guess in the end.. I'm wondering if we interpret these wonderful classical pieces the way the composers wanted them interpreted or we maybe we dont? smile


We know how the composer wants the music by the markings, such as allegretto, presto, grazioso or rinforzando. The only marking I know of that allows the pianist some freedom is ad libitum.
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#1378571 - 02/20/10 12:16 AM Re: Slave to the tyranny of classical music [Re: lisztonian]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
You guys are being way too serious. The OP totally didn't mean anything he said. I think he meant for this thread to be fun. Let your best sarcasm flow.
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