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#2036192 - 02/20/13 01:36 AM Do you think there will ever be another great composer?
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
And when I say "composer", I mean contemporary-classical composer. I understand that composition has shifted mainly from the concert hall to the movie screen. I realize that composers do still very much exist, but do you think there will ever be another 'great' composer in the classical scene?

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#2036195 - 02/20/13 01:44 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19797
Loc: New York
You never know things like this till after the fact, and I think the basic ideas of "composer" and of "classical" have changed and are probably evolving faster than ever before, to an extent that we don't have much idea of how this will be considered in the future.

I think it's quite possible that in the future, people like John Lennon and Stephen Sondheim will be regarded as great "classical" composers, and as per your mentioning film, John Williams too. I would even also mention Andrew Lloyd Webber even though his borderline plagiarism infuriates me. ha
And Leonard Bernstein -- of course.

My answer is a clear yes, and that it's probably wrong to think we have fewer of them now than there were in the past.

BTW, very good question, as your questions tend to be. smile

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#2036197 - 02/20/13 01:49 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You never know things like this till after the fact, and I think the basic ideas of "composer" and of "classical" has changed and are probably evolving faster than ever before, to an extent that we don't have much idea of how this will be considered in the future.

I think it's quite possible that in the future, people like John Lennon and Stephen Sondheim will be regarded as great "classical" composers, and as per your mentioning film, John Williams too.

My answer is a clear yes, and that it's probably wrong to think we have fewer of them now than there were in the past.


I agree that there are great music makers amongst us right now and throughout the 1900's, but pop music and its variations are a much different kind of composition than classical/contemporary-classical music. I am not familiar with any of the modern-day composers of the classical sense, but I'd be willing to bet that they are not innovating the way Bach, Beethoven, or any of the classical titans did. Or are they?... I'd love to learn more about this. Who are some significant modern-day composers?

...and I'll be darned if John Williams is ever considered a great composer, now or in the future. cry


Edited by JoelW (02/20/13 02:00 AM)

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#2036199 - 02/20/13 01:52 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW, very good question, as your questions tend to be. smile


I have my ups and my downs. Haha...

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#2036201 - 02/20/13 02:00 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5300
Loc: Europe
Hem...

John Williams IS considered a great composer for film. The best out there... (living).

Now, I'd like to think that some recent composers were all "Great". Messiaen, Ligeti for example. Stravinsky. Heck all these died less than 30 years ago (a bit more some, a lot less for others). And they are "great" for me.

So my answer is a resounding YES! There will be more "greats". Unless one wishes to be focused only to very specific aesthetics and ideas in music, in which case I'd say that there's no hope for them to find the greatness in newer stuff.

___________________

There is one band that I consider "GREAT" right now. Radiohead! If you don't know them, check them out.
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#2036202 - 02/20/13 02:03 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: Nikolas]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Hem...

John Williams IS considered a great composer for film. The best out there... (living).

Now, I'd like to think that some recent composers were all "Great". Messiaen, Ligeti for example. Stravinsky. Heck all these died less than 30 years ago (a bit more some, a lot less for others). And they are "great" for me.

So my answer is a resounding YES! There will be more "greats". Unless one wishes to be focused only to very specific aesthetics and ideas in music, in which case I'd say that there's no hope for them to find the greatness in newer stuff.

___________________

There is one band that I consider "GREAT" right now. Radiohead! If you don't know them, check them out.


Okay, okay... John Williams might be 'great' but I don't know how I can respect him when he blatantly rips music straight from the mighty masters of the past and doesn't even do so much as to change the tempo or key. C'mon!

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#2036205 - 02/20/13 02:13 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5300
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Okay, okay... John Williams might be 'great' but I don't know how I can respect him when he blatantly rips music straight from the mighty masters of the past and doesn't even do so much as to change the tempo or key. C'mon!
You should see what others do in film music! grin
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2036207 - 02/20/13 02:17 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: Nikolas]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
Nikolas, it is true that you've composed for video games. Yes? What games?

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#2036213 - 02/20/13 02:44 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5300
Loc: Europe
A little googling could get you out of trouble! Anyhow... www.northbysound.com

The couple of more recent are Privates which won a BAFTA aware for 2012 (I think), and Resonance which is considered one of the best adventure games of 2012 (and still sells quite nicely, if I may say so...).


Edited by Nikolas (02/20/13 02:45 AM)
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#2036222 - 02/20/13 03:53 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
John Williams is definitely not great.

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#2036223 - 02/20/13 03:56 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
No.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2036225 - 02/20/13 04:28 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You never know things like this till after the fact, and I think the basic ideas of "composer" and of "classical" has changed and are probably evolving faster than ever before, to an extent that we don't have much idea of how this will be considered in the future.

I think it's quite possible that in the future, people like John Lennon and Stephen Sondheim will be regarded as great "classical" composers, and as per your mentioning film, John Williams too.

My answer is a clear yes, and that it's probably wrong to think we have fewer of them now than there were in the past.


I agree that there are great music makers amongst us right now and throughout the 1900's, but pop music and its variations are a much different kind of composition than classical/contemporary-classical music. I am not familiar with any of the modern-day composers of the classical sense, but I'd be willing to bet that they are not innovating the way Bach, Beethoven, or any of the classical titans did. Or are they?... I'd love to learn more about this. Who are some significant modern-day composers?

...and I'll be darned if John Williams is ever considered a great composer, now or in the future. cry

Two ideas I'll jump in with, but first let me say this: I fall firmly into the camp that believes there is no such thing as "good" or "bad" art, but rather, only art that you either like or dislike. I believe that to say otherwise is extremely arrogant, because it presumes that 'your' tastes are better than 'mine'. wink

Now, then:

1. John Williams is a great composer. He composes for film, and in that medium, there is no one better (arguably, ever).

2. Weren't Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and the rest really composing what was "popular" music at that time? We have innovators today just as much as we had innovators in the past. Look at rap music. Didn't exist thirty years ago. Look at sonata form. Didn't exist before Handel and Mozart, and modern sonata form didn't truly exist before Beethoven.

Look at the "music video". Didn't exist in its modern form until Michael Jackson. Until Liszt, most if not all pianists played with the piano facing 'straight' at the audience, instead of turning it sideways.

If you use a very narrow-minded definition of "innovation," then yes, only the people you want to fit in that category will be innovators. But if you take it in a much broader sense, you can see that there are some wonderful innovations going on even now.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2036228 - 02/20/13 04:41 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I think you're confusing great with prolific. Everything he does is thoroughly mediocre and semi plagiarised.

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#2036229 - 02/20/13 04:50 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: Nikolas]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7891
Originally Posted By: Nikolas


John Williams IS considered a great composer for film. The best out there... (living).



If really true, that's pretty sad.

Quote:



Now, I'd like to think that some recent composers were all "Great". Messiaen, Ligeti for example. Stravinsky. Heck all these died less than 30 years ago (a bit more some, a lot less for others). And they are "great" for me.

So my answer is a resounding YES! There will be more "greats". Unless one wishes to be focused only to very specific aesthetics and ideas in music, in which case I'd say that there's no hope for them to find the greatness in newer stuff.



Among the living, I'd say Kurtag, Boulez, Norgard, Reich, Birtwhistle, and Lachenmann all have a pretty good shot at being considered "great" or at least "important" fifty years from now (assuming anyone even cares, then). And that's just a quick, off the top of the head list that's not meant to be exhaustive - I'm sure I've left off at least as many as I included, probably more. If he hadn't recently died, Jonathan Harvey would definitely be on it.

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#2036235 - 02/20/13 05:48 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I'd throw Dutilleux into the hat.

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#2036238 - 02/20/13 06:07 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Why shouldn't be? I think we can't really judge who that "great" composer is until their work stands the test of time.

Having said that, though, I would nominate John Williams or maybe Michael Giacchino but since you lot have already disregarded the former as "great", feel free to disagree. I don't possess the necessary insight outside the film/game music world to really know better.


Edited by Clayman (02/20/13 07:49 AM)
_________________________
-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown

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#2036244 - 02/20/13 06:45 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: debrucey]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: debrucey
John Williams is definitely not great.


I disagree. Your opinion might have just a tad more weight if your profile weren't so quiet. smile

Along with John Williams there are many composers who write for the screen who are worthy of our notice.
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#2036246 - 02/20/13 06:53 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Hookxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 247
Loc: Czech Republic
Ennio Morricone.

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#2036250 - 02/20/13 07:14 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
In what way is my profile quiet?

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#2036253 - 02/20/13 07:32 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5263
If history has told us anything, it's that people like 'tunes'. Mozart loved it when the Prague public went around whistling tunes from Le nozze di Figaro; Verdi was the 'popular' composer of his day, and likewise his arias were treated as pop songs by the public - of all classes.

When composers decided that they'd just write music according some dictat or rules that they invented themselves (based on a mathematical formula which has nothing to do with the aesthetics of music), and couldn't care less about what the musical cognoscenti or the listening public thinks, the rot set in....

Bernstein, Barber, Poulenc, Shostakovich, Britten and some others from that era took note of serialism, maybe even used it occasionally in their music, but above all, their music remain based on recognizable melody and harmony. And their music is still played today, and very popular.

Today's composers employ a huge range of styles from jazz, popular music, spiritual minimalism, and yes, even serialism. But I'd wager that those composers who still divorce themselves from the musical public and persist in writing 'squeaky-gate' and pure serial stuff will soon be forgotten (if they were ever remembered.....), while composers like Thomas Ades, Kaija Saariaho, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Sofia Gubaidulina, Kimmo Hakola, Peter Sculthorpe, Carl Vine, John Corigliano, James MacMillan etc will continue to be played. Alongside the music of Nino Rota, John Williams, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and some pop tunes........ grin. But 'greatness'? Only time will tell.

I probably listen to a lot more contemporary music than most classical musicians, and even composers (some of whom appear to live in a world of their own, divorced from reality....), and consider myself very broad-minded, but I do get turned off when a composer talks for 10 minutes on some abstract notion of existentialism and how it manifests in their new piece, only to then find myself listening to a collection of sound effects......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2036262 - 02/20/13 07:59 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
I think bennevis is right on. Everyone likes music they can connect to on some level. Most people, however, want music they can hum along. Composers disconnected from the reality may be taught at universities one day but few people (if any at all) will ever attend a concert of their music.
_________________________
-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown

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#2036271 - 02/20/13 08:18 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: Hookxs]
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1250
Loc:
Originally Posted By: Hookxs
Ennio Morricone.


Took a long while for his name to pop up! Morricone, Grusin ... they re still alive. So JW can t be the greatest film composer alive.

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#2036273 - 02/20/13 08:21 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1250
Loc:
I don't think time affects greatness or not. I couldn't care less if Uvstolskaya is forgotten in 10 years time . She ll always be one of the greatest in the 20th century to me. While Williams will be a very competent copyst whose music will never irritate but will never move m either.

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#2036274 - 02/20/13 08:23 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: debrucey]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5277
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: debrucey
In what way is my profile quiet?


If that link was there all along, my apologies.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#2036277 - 02/20/13 08:31 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: Derulux]
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1250
Loc:
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You never know things like this till after the fact, and I think the basic ideas of "composer" and of "classical" has changed and are probably evolving faster than ever before, to an extent that we don't have much idea of how this will be considered in the future.

I think it's quite possible that in the future, people like John Lennon and Stephen Sondheim will be regarded as great "classical" composers, and as per your mentioning film, John Williams too.

My answer is a clear yes, and that it's probably wrong to think we have fewer of them now than there were in the past.


I agree that there are great music makers amongst us right now and throughout the 1900's, but pop music and its variations are a much different kind of composition than classical/contemporary-classical music. I am not familiar with any of the modern-day composers of the classical sense, but I'd be willing to bet that they are not innovating the way Bach, Beethoven, or any of the classical titans did. Or are they?... I'd love to learn more about this. Who are some significant modern-day composers?

...and I'll be darned if John Williams is ever considered a great composer, now or in the future. cry

Two ideas I'll jump in with, but first let me say this: I fall firmly into the camp that believes there is no such thing as "good" or "bad" art, but rather, only art that you either like or dislike. I believe that to say otherwise is extremely arrogant, because it presumes that 'your' tastes are better than 'mine'. wink

Now, then:

1. John Williams is a great composer. He composes for film, and in that medium, there is no one better (arguably, ever).

2. Weren't Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and the rest really composing what was "popular" music at that time? We have innovators today just as much as we had innovators in the past. Look at rap music. Didn't exist thirty years ago. Look at sonata form. Didn't exist before Handel and Mozart, and modern sonata form didn't truly exist before Beethoven.

Look at the "music video". Didn't exist in its modern form until Michael Jackson. Until Liszt, most if not all pianists played with the piano facing 'straight' at the audience, instead of turning it sideways.

If you use a very narrow-minded definition of "innovation," then yes, only the people you want to fit in that category will be innovators. But if you take it in a much broader sense, you can see that there are some wonderful innovations going on even now.



Williams the greatest? Please ... Nino Rota ... Even Chaplin ... Morricone ... Max Steiner

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#2036333 - 02/20/13 10:23 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I have to learn to avoid threads like this entirely. It's much better for the wellbeing of both my furniture and my forehead.

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#2036353 - 02/20/13 11:05 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Given the restrictions on the definition of "composer," this is like arguing about who is the greatest player in double A minor league baseball.
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#2036376 - 02/20/13 11:49 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
John Williams is definitely not as good as whoever wrote and arranged the music for Hello, Dolly! (1969 film version)

That stuff is genius.

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#2036378 - 02/20/13 11:51 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: BDB]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4825
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Given the restrictions on the definition of "composer," this is like arguing about who is the greatest player in double A minor league baseball.


But the question pertained specifically to that 'restriction'. I didn't ask who the great musicians of our time are. I know they exist, obviously. I asked about the contemporary-classical scene in specific.

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#2036382 - 02/20/13 11:59 AM Re: Do you think there will ever be another great composer? [Re: JoelW]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Yes, the greatest player of the minor leagues of music!
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Semipro Tech

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