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#2085921 - 05/20/13 05:47 PM The Brilliance of Yurima
King Cole Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Louisiana
I've been wanting to post this for a while. The title is blasphemy to some I know. It's stunning really. When you compare one popular Youtube video of River Flows in You in terms of views to practically all of Brahms, Schumanns and Liszt's video views put together there is an obvious conclusion that many have come to: most of the world is stupid and have an adolescent sense of music. Many people on this forum are very open however and don't seem to be confined to such elitist thoughts smile

I believe that music at its core when it was started thousands of years ago was precisely a form of expression, a form to express emotion. There is something that many of us miss when we hear such a song like River Flows in You. Of course its not as grand as a Tchaikovsky piano concerto but alas it has captured many people's ear but why? Let's have a look shall we...


After a 4-measure intro, the theme is presented. The theme is played over a 2-measure repeated bass, consisting of f# minor, D major, A major, and E major, for about 20 times repeating the same 8 chords over and over. In other words, Yiruma employs an extremely simple harmony scheme.

The piece has an ostinato bass, lack of variety in dynamics and uses hardly any modality at all. There are no sudden changes to catch the listener off guard. Yiruma uses no dissonance. There is no raised leading tone, and in fact no seventh in the E major chords. In fact, there are no accidentals in the entire piece! So why oh why does this piece capture and garner so much attention?

This is a serious question but a not new one. Beethoven complained that he wrote much better works than his C# minor sonata and was upset that so many gave that one so much attention. Rachmaninoff grew sick and tired of playing his own prelude in C# minor as the crowd would relentlessly scream for encores. And yet we know that many pieces seem capture the attention of so many. And after listening to these pieces I think I have the answer. One word: Melody

Yes great composers use fantastic melodies all the time but some are so inexplicably connected to emotion that it boggles the mind and yet there it is. Many composers compose with a mathematical precision of a laser beam but melody... pure melody comes from feelings within.

So my question is: Why do you believe so many have people are drawn to this song? This one song alone easily has over 100 million views.

I don't believe the answer is that they are simple and easy to listen to. Many songs fit that description and fade away in to the abyss.


Edited by King Cole (05/20/13 07:54 PM)
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#2085930 - 05/20/13 06:02 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: King Cole]
DameMyra Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 2047
Loc: South Jersey
I did not know who Yiruma was, so I googled the composer/artist/title and listened to it on youtube. It did very little for me, so I cannot answer why so many people have been drawn to this piece. I'm not sure how one can equate number of youtube views however with quality or appeal. Rebecca Black's "Friday" video has 53 million views, almost twice as many as the Yiruma. What inference can be drawn from that?
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#2085931 - 05/20/13 06:03 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: King Cole]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20186
Loc: New York City
I don't like River Flows in You much at all. I've listened to maybe four Yurima pieces and I only like one (which I like a lot and find much better than the others).

The Sunbeams...They Scatter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY1pRmfw9GQ

If anyone wants the score please PM me.



Edited by pianoloverus (05/20/13 07:56 PM)

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#2085934 - 05/20/13 06:06 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: King Cole]
bennevis Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6247
Isn't 'brilliance' and Yurima an oxymoron? wink

BTW, I'd always thought Yurima is a brand of low-fat yoghurt......
_________________________
"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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#2085954 - 05/20/13 06:56 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: King Cole]
Quaver Pyjama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/11
Posts: 114
But this thread is actually very interesting. People (and I include myself in) indeed love simple, effective melodies...

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#2085963 - 05/20/13 07:43 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: King Cole]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5085
Loc: USA
Don't you mean, "THE BRILLIANCE OF YURIMA!!!"?

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#2085966 - 05/20/13 07:54 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: JoelW]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18759
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Don't you mean, "THE BRILLIANCE OF YURIMA!!!"?


Whatever he meant, however he meant to spell the performer's name, I don't find anything remarkable nor "brilliant" in either the harmonic progression or the melody of "The River ..." in question.

There is, I see, a "60-minute version" on Youtube; the mind simply boggles at the thought, doesn't it?

As has already been observed, quantity of Youtube hits hardly is a seal of quality on a work. Perhaps the performer has a large following among a certain age group/mind-set/ethnic background.

Perhaps the well-informed in the Non-Classical forum can explain.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2085967 - 05/20/13 07:54 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: JoelW]
King Cole Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Don't you mean, "THE BRILLIANCE OF YURIMA!!!"?


Thanks JoelW
_________________________
"What is genius? To aspire to a lofty aim and to will the means to that aim" -Nietzsche

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#2085969 - 05/20/13 07:58 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: BruceD]
King Cole Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: BruceD


Whatever he meant, however he meant to spell the performer's name, I don't find anything remarkable nor "brilliant" in either the harmonic progression or the melody of "The River ..." in question.

Regards,


I don't necessarily think Yurima is brilliant per se, I don't know. I do feel like he stumbled upon a very effective melody
_________________________
"What is genius? To aspire to a lofty aim and to will the means to that aim" -Nietzsche

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#2085983 - 05/20/13 08:37 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: BruceD]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5085
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Don't you mean, "THE BRILLIANCE OF YURIMA!!!"?


Whatever he meant, however he meant to spell the performer's name, I don't find anything remarkable nor "brilliant" in either the harmonic progression or the melody of "The River ..." in question.

There is, I see, a "60-minute version" on Youtube; the mind simply boggles at the thought, doesn't it?

As has already been observed, quantity of Youtube hits hardly is a seal of quality on a work. Perhaps the performer has a large following among a certain age group/mind-set/ethnic background.

Perhaps the well-informed in the Non-Classical forum can explain.

Regards,


Different strokes for different folks I guess. "A River Flows in You" by Yurima is... a well-written composition, but it's not my style to say the least, and certainly not comparable to the works of the past composers.

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#2086033 - 05/20/13 09:59 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: King Cole]
Goomer Piles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/13
Posts: 186
Originally Posted By: King Cole
I've been wanting to post this for a while. The title is blasphemy to some I know.

Is the blasphemy part because no-one seems to know if the name is Yiruma or Yurima?

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#2086035 - 05/20/13 10:00 PM Re: The Brilliance of Yiruma [Re: King Cole]
Polyphonist Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8275
Loc: New York City
It's because of the scandalous description of the pianist in question as "brilliant". grin
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Polyphonist

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