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#2106500 - 06/22/13 11:15 PM Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you?
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
All the old Classical composers. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, others. It just occurred to me that they didn't have any way to record sound. The only recorder was in their minds.

I wonder how much this did to develop music in their minds. They couldn't be lazy and listen to any recording. They had to play it. Otherwise it was only in their minds.

I also wonder how listening to recordings. Even being able to listen to our own recordings. How this has effected us musically.
Those guys only had feedback from others. Or listening to themselves while they performed.

Has this dumbed us musically? Made our minds lazier?
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2106510 - 06/22/13 11:59 PM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1403
Loc: Australia
they were able to record onto the written page, that combined with the ability to hear notes in their head as they read was the only record. I don't have this ability but listening to my own recordings are a great way to hear mistakes (usually bad timing) that I don't always hear myself as I play. Today is one of the days I say thank god for the digital world. Ask me tomorrow when my computer is showing the blue screen of death and I might answer different
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXIV-5-XXX

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#2106515 - 06/23/13 12:16 AM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: rnaple
I wonder how much this did to develop music in their minds. They couldn't be lazy and listen to any recording. They had to play it. Otherwise it was only in their minds.


and imagine how frustrating it was for them to put their creations on paper, only to have their music played back to them and interpreted differently than they imagined.

At least today for modern composers we can also hear them play as they intended it. (and still butcher it when we try to play these pieces ourselves! laugh )
_________________________
Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
<- 10+ ABF recitals

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#2106524 - 06/23/13 01:03 AM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
rnaple, I have read your post, here:

All the old Classical composers. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, others. It just occurred to me that they didn't have any way to record sound. The only recorder was in their minds.

I wonder how much this did to develop music in their minds. They couldn't be lazy and listen to any recording. They had to play it. Otherwise it was only in their minds.

I also wonder how listening to recordings. Even being able to listen to our own recordings. How this has effected us musically.
Those guys only had feedback from others. Or listening to themselves while they performed.

Has this dumbed us musically? Made our minds lazier?

______________________________________________

I grew up in a northern Canada, living in a trailer. We never had a record player. We only had CBC radio. There no record stores any longer - I don't buy anything on line. I haven't had TV since I left home in 1969. The only music or sound, if you will, is the piano that I play. My computer crashed so I am using an old computer and I can't do youtube or any sound.

But it is awesome to just read the notes and play them and suddenly you are hearing music. I don't understand how almost everybody has earbuds in their ears - listening to something, I guess, music of some kind.

and then there are those that we know that are deaf and have never heard music except by vibration.

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#2106538 - 06/23/13 02:14 AM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 874
Loc: UK
Wasn't that real cold in the winter?

The joy of playing for me is discovering stuff you've not heard before. I mean, would you only read books of the films you saw?

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#2106610 - 06/23/13 08:17 AM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3453
Loc: Northern England.
All these guys had expert teachers who`d show them the errors of technique etc. They`d be well polished. Some of us have only the recorder and comparison with others as or guide. Not much difference really . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2106660 - 06/23/13 10:42 AM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 400
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: rnaple
All the old Classical composers. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, others. It just occurred to me that they didn't have any way to record sound. The only recorder was in their minds.

I wonder how much this did to develop music in their minds. They couldn't be lazy and listen to any recording. They had to play it. Otherwise it was only in their minds.


That is an interesting question!
I'm going to take an educated guess smile I would think that they must have developed really really good listening skills! And of course, they had notation for "hard copy". They might also have had really good memorisation skills, perfect pitch, stuff like that. Some composers might have had unusual brains like musical savants while others were exposed to music from babyhood having been born in musical families. All that must have helped and compensated for lack of recording technologies.

From what I recall, most composers could also play their instrument so they were able to immediately listen to what they were creating. Maybe they also had music "assistants" that played for them from the sheets and acted as "human recorders"?

You could also address this question to the composer's forum, some of them may tell you how they create, evolve and "hear" their compositions in their mind and imagination before turning it into something concrete and materially "real"; and if recording is a help or a hindrance to the creative process.

Originally Posted By: rnaple
I also wonder how listening to recordings. Even being able to listen to our own recordings. How this has effected us musically.
Those guys only had feedback from others. Or listening to themselves while they performed.

Has this dumbed us musically? Made our minds lazier?


I'll take another educated guess here. The older composers might not have had the luxury of "listening on demand" as we do because of the lack of technology but I'm sure that they had access to interact with other musicians that could reproduce their creations fairly regularly. So this was their means of "listening to recordings". They just had less access and exposure time to music.

I think there is an upside to recordings and current technologies that makes us "intuitively smarter": listening over and over and over probably reinforces our memory and our ability to identify things. We also have access to so much music, in so many styles, forms, etc and we absorb all this, day in, day out. I know from experience that out of all this music that sits in memory, my mind is regularly sifting through it all and trying out a ton of combinations and permutations. At times, out comes something original that I try out on the piano and it works, even from my limited understanding of composition.

Recording technology is great in so many ways but it certainly does not dismiss us from developing memory and listening skills.


John
_________________________
"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#2107506 - 06/24/13 10:47 PM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
Schroeder II Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 82
As stated already composers were accomplished musicians and could play at least some of the notes they were jotting down
They worked with what they had at the time
Miguel de Cervantes had neither a typewrter nor word processor but he wrote Don Quixote as the same!

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#2107562 - 06/25/13 12:34 AM Re: Classical Composers....Has it ever occurred to you? [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1986
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I might suggest that playing at least some of the notes they were jotting down is an error. I take it for granted these people were at least as well trained as every high school band director in the country. They can play every instrument. They aren't good (in practice) at actually playing. They have one instrument that is theirs. They are good at. In most cases piano is the instrument of choice for a composer. As my teacher said: Once you learn piano. The rest of the instruments are easy. It's just a matter of technical operation. Here's this instrument and that instrument on the keyboard. They are all there on the piano keyboard. Once you get piano, you got them all.

I'm not talking about writing something down or not.

I am thinking their brains were healthier and stronger in imagining music then we are. Because they didn't have the lazy luxury of playback of recordings. This added to that strength.
Yes other factors. Less complicated daily living, daily personal business. Less BS to deal with.
A healthier environment.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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