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#373233 - 01/24/08 10:40 PM Do you enjoy...
classik51 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 77
Loc: Canada
http://youtube.com/watch?v=yztoaNakKok

It is a link originally posted by Pianojerome in response to one of hyonchingonchon's threads. Many people seemed offended by his dislike towards overly dissonant music. However, I found it a very interesting subject. (Although I have to admit, hyonchingonchon did sound a bit immature in his threads Janus Sachs pointed out. Janus Sachs, I hope to be on your good side!)

I mean to give no insult. Truly, I'm hardly the one to "define" music. I'm simply curious as to what other people thought about this particular composition. I have listened to about thirty seconds of it, and still have a fierce headache. (Twice in a row, pianojerome! I stand awed \:\) .)

I fully understand that no single composition could ever satisfy all. I want to make this very clear, because I've observed how these sort of subjects lead to unpleasantries.

So do you, honestly, enjoy this composition? It is original and interesting, and if not for the headache, I would have liked to listen to the whole thing. But I do not think I would ever come to relish anything like it as I do more traditional harmonies. Now judging from the rating and such, I assume people do appreciate the idea. But that is a different thing from finding pleasure in the sound.

So comments?

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#373234 - 01/24/08 11:21 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Actually, it was playadom who posted that. Not me. ;\)

It reminds, in a strange way, of some late 19th century orchestral music (e.g. Sibelius, Debussy, Stravinsky). All of these composers used blocks of sound -- a certain set of instruments for a few measures, and then a different set of instruments for a few measures, and then a different set of instruments for the next measures....

That's seems, to me, to be a big part of what Xenakis did in this piece. Of course he's using different instruments -- he's not using cellos and violins and flutes and bassoons... he's using computerized instruments. And if you watch the video, you can see how he is dividing them up into definite sound blocks.

It takes getting used to the sounds of the new instruments, for sure.
_________________________
Sam

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#373235 - 01/24/08 11:26 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Not my cup of tea. Sorry, but I couldn't bear to listen to more than a minute. Hurt my ears. \:\(

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#373236 - 01/24/08 11:37 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
I'm kind of middle of the road on it. I respect the composer for getting out there and doing something different. And there are times when I do enjoy listening to stuff like this - just masses of sound. But it isn't something that I absolutely rave about either, and it probably wouldn't be in my most-played list on iTunes...

There's a time and place for pieces like this.
_________________________
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#373237 - 01/25/08 01:27 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
ZPomeroy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 528
Loc: australia
awful was my thought, couldn't listen for more than 10 seconds
_________________________
"I don't think I handle the notes much differently from other pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, there is where the artistry lies" - Artur Schnabel


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#373238 - 01/25/08 02:01 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
Enjoyed it, although part of that was the visual aspect, I'm sure. But it's not really up to Xenakis' best work, I don't think. And the YouTube sound is a bit suspect. I ended up listening to more Xenakis posted at YouTube, and then surfed on to some electronica videos. And did some googling for software that translates visual info into sound.

It's interesting that "art" electronic music has never really caught on with classical music listeners outside of a pretty small circle. But in the pop world, it's a whole different story, and although I'm not really part of that scene, it seems that heavily electronic pop seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

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#373239 - 01/25/08 01:06 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Can quality be divorced from personal taste?

i.e. that even if I can't stand a decidedly great work, I can still admit that it is a great work.


or is quality inherently tied to reception?

i.e. if I don't enjoy listening to it then it has failed an aesthetic and communicative goal.


or is it some dialectical compromise of the two?
_________________________
Sam

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#373240 - 01/25/08 01:21 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I listen to music because I actually enjoy it and not to feel proud of myself for being sophisticated. If I don't enjoy a piece, if it isn't enjoyable to me as a listener then I do not consider the piece a success, as far as I am concerned of course. I've found certain twentieth century music to be interesting - someone posted a video of "Cottonsboro Mill" or something like that, and it was a great piece, I thought. This piece posted has novelty, sure, but I mean, you can do anything and pass it off as art and there will be someone who pretends to understand and truly appreciate it.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#373241 - 01/25/08 01:24 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Theowne:
I listen to music because I actually enjoy it and not to feel proud of myself for being sophisticated. If I don't enjoy a piece, if it isn't enjoyable to me as a listener then I do not consider the piece a success, as far as I am concerned of course. I've found certain twentieth century music to be interesting - someone posted a video of "Cottonsboro Mill" or something like that, and it was a great piece, I thought. This piece posted has novelty, sure, but I mean, you can do anything and pass it off as art and there will be someone who pretends to understand and truly appreciate it. [/b]
So if I like a piece, and you don't like the same piece, is it great or not? Can it be both?

Can it be a great success because I like it, and at the same time *also* be a failure because you don't like it?
_________________________
Sam

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#373242 - 01/25/08 01:28 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
Can it be a great success because I like it, and at the same time *also* be a failure because you don't like it?
It means we have different opinions.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#373243 - 01/25/08 02:22 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
opinions based on immediate aesthetic reaction?

That could be a good thing; I mean, if the greatness/success of a piece of music relies entirely on immediate aesthetic reaction -- but then it's impossible to say if a piece is objectively good or not. In other words, there's nothing about the music itself that makes it good or bad; and everyone's opinions mean absolutely nothing about the music, but rather everything about the *people* making those opinions. (i.e. it's not that the music is too dissonant to be good music; it's rather that the listener has too low a tolerance of dissonance to enjoy the music.)

On the other hand, if there is more to the music that just anybody's gut reaction, then different opinions don't really matter. If "greatness" is based on the structure of the music; the relationships between consonances and dissonances; the relationships among harmony, melody, and rhythm, etc;;; then listening to a great work, someone might not personally enjoy it and say "it sucks", without going into any detail about *the music itself*, but there'd be reason to even listen to that opinion. It would be irrelevant, since it doesn't really describe what's truly good or bad about *the music itself* (not what's immediately appealing to the listeners personal preferences about music).
_________________________
Sam

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#373244 - 01/25/08 02:28 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Rach.3Freak105 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 446
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
Ouch, I didn't turn down my speakers when I started the video. I had them turned all the way upQ! Otherwise, it didn't appeal to my taste very much, interesting concept though.
_________________________
Once during a concert at Carnegie Hall, the violinist Rachmaninoff was playing with lost his place in the music and whispered to Rachmaninoff, "Where are we?" Rachmaninoff replied, in all seriousness, "Carnegie Hall".

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#373245 - 01/25/08 02:43 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
C H O P I N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 310
Loc: England
I have no idea how that can be called music, The technical definition seems to be: "an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner" (at least according to google define!) but music to me means something very different, and it's hard to put into words, it's obviously not just somehing "you like the sound of" but I guess that has a part in it to some extent.

Music should be somewhat pleasing to the ears, unfortunately that "piece" just hurt mine

C H O P I N
_________________________
"I Think Therefore I Am." - Rene Descartes

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#373246 - 01/25/08 03:46 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
That could be a good thing; I mean, if the greatness/success of a piece of music relies entirely on immediate aesthetic reaction -- but then it's impossible to say if a piece is objectively good or not. In other words, there's nothing about the music itself that makes it good or bad; and everyone's opinions mean absolutely nothing about the music, but rather everything about the *people* making those opinions. (i.e. it's not that the music is too dissonant to be good music; it's rather that the listener has too low a tolerance of dissonance to enjoy the music.)
I'm not sure where the "immediate response" stuff came in. My answer is pretty simple - I listen to music for enjoyment. That enjoyment can come from many different things. When I hear a piece that does not fall under anything I consider "enjoyable", then I don't consider to be good music since it didn't accomplish what I think is the basic purpose for music.
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#373247 - 01/25/08 05:32 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5240
Loc: Europe
I'm ashamed to confess that I did not enjoy it the first time, or the second, or the third.

I write contemporary music, and I'm an advocate for 20th and 21st century music. I was one of those who found 5/5 to be peices and not "random" \:D

But in this case (and Xenakis is Greek, as I am... ;\) ) I have to say that it is lacking most features that I do enjoy in music. It is music, and it is well defined as such, but the quality of the sounds, was simply to raw for me (who grew up with computers) to enjoy purely.

Avant garde in general, is not my cup of tea, and although it's great to shake the waters I doubt it's most peoples cup of tea.

That said, there are 95% chances that I'll use such a sound in some work in the future, or have already, but under my terms, which includes more... "normal" trascendens...


____

Sam, there is a problem that I was pondering on as well.

If you don't enjoy at all something, why must it be great at all? I, personally, can see the greatness in pieces that I don't particularly like, and I can see in Xenakis work(s) the value, but still I can't measure it up to other works, personally.

How do you measure greatness in music?

Is it the process which one went through? In that case deaf composers come first. ;\) Then limp ones, then crazy ones, etc. And then young ones (whoops, these grow old at some point ;\) ).

When you listen to something (not aimed at Sam, but everyone) do you stop to think who did what and how? Who cares that Messiaen wrote his quartet when in "jail"? It's still magnificent. Would it matter was there peace at the time? Sure, but it doesn't change the work, does it? You are entering the fantastic domain are you not with such thoughts?

Does it make any difference on how long it took to compose? What Mozart, infamously spent more than 10 minutes composing his symphony? would it be a better work? Many times we can tell if someting is a work of a long hard work or not, but in truth you can't tell so in pros. And for the record, lots of media music (film, computer games) is being composed in very few weeks time, maybe less than a month.

________________

I can guess to what Xenakis was after when he wrote that and I'm sure that inside academia all this is acceptable. There are excuses and the thin line connecting loose art (as drawn by him) and music is a great one to explore.

Only that academia is good for researching and teaching, not for art itself... \:\(
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#373248 - 01/25/08 05:33 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Rach.3Freak105 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 446
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
OK, I actually listened to it all the way through. And I have to say, it grew on my a little more. I still wouldn't call it music. Maybe more of a "sound idea". It sounded like something from a horror movie, which I though was neat. I also heard what sounded like fire trucks in the city. And at one few points I though I heard an emeregency warning siren and got this wierd feeling as if I was the last person on Earth and was walking through a city after a bomb or something had destroyed it. Kinda wierd. So the "piece" had some interesting ideas in it.
_________________________
Once during a concert at Carnegie Hall, the violinist Rachmaninoff was playing with lost his place in the music and whispered to Rachmaninoff, "Where are we?" Rachmaninoff replied, in all seriousness, "Carnegie Hall".

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#373249 - 01/25/08 06:03 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
playadom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/06
Posts: 1366
Loc: New Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Actually, it was playadom who posted that. Not me. ;\) [/b]
Yes!

I must say, one has to be in the right mood to listen to this.

I don't understand this, nor do I pretend to, but I certainly enjoy it, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The visual component is certainly a major factor; I'd be less likely to just put this piece on my iPod and just listen to it(although this might elicit interesting reactions from friends...)


For those interested:
http://membres.lycos.fr/musicand/INSTRUMENT/DIGITAL/UPIC/UPIC.htm
This is what he used to 'compose' this piece.
_________________________
Practice makes permanent - Perfect practice makes perfect.

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#373250 - 01/25/08 06:30 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Can quality be divorced from personal taste?
i.e. that even if I can't stand a decidedly great work, I can still admit that it is a great work.
or is quality inherently tied to reception?
i.e. if I don't enjoy listening to it then it has failed an aesthetic and communicative goal.
or is it some dialectical compromise of the two?[/b]

I am a purely subjective response man, Sam. I just create and respond to abstract sound. I tried to understand externally defined criteria of goodness in music for many years but I can no longer see the point of it. In short, I am probably a simple, happy pig rather than a complicated, wretched Socrates, which propensity limits my participation in forum discussions because I have problems seeing reasons to argue about music at all. I'd just rather get on with creating it and enjoying it. But I'm sure you knew that.
_________________________
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

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#373251 - 01/25/08 07:37 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5298
Loc: McAllen, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by C H O P I N:
"an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner" (at least according to google define!)
[/b]

That's hyperbolic to the point of being barf-worthy! Is an improvised 18th-century cadenza "structured and continuous?" Are stylized arrangements of folk dances or ethnic rhapsodies "artistic" in the Germanic, elitist way that the word connotes?

 Quote:
Music should be somewhat pleasing to the ears, unfortunately that "piece" just hurt mine
[/b]
One of my favorite quotes, by Charles Ives: "Music is not recreation for the ears."

As for the Xenakis, I found it less innovative than some of his other works, but when taken in context of some of the other trends in musique eletronique and musique concrete Mynenae Alphae is still a fairly progressive piece.
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http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#373252 - 01/25/08 07:54 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
This is a bunch of sound effects that could have been 'composed' by anyone noodling around around with a synthesiser or two, preferably under the influence of mind-altering substances, so as not to be aware of the awfulness emanating from the speakers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against self-indulgence per se, as long as there is no pretence of actually being art, or that the protagonist(s) receive any of my tax money in order to produce it \:\) . Then again, life is too short to waste on bothering with stuff of this ilk.

-Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#373253 - 01/25/08 08:09 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
 Quote:
Music should be somewhat pleasing to the ears...
This just strikes me as some kind of holier than thou mandate that is similar to this whole concept of people's "rights" and "fundamental worth" and so forth. Things "should" be this way and you "should "do this or that. I respect people as much as I can and I think love and warmth are to be spread to all, but when it comes to these transcendental ideas of true love and true beauty and true justice, etc., I am just philosophically stuck.

 Quote:
I listen to music for enjoyment.
Growth and maturity, as far as I can tell, comes from a mixture of pain and joy. Real artistry does not always appeal to a sense of enjoyment but from the entire range of positive and negative emotions. Certainly you do things in life that you do not enjoy yet you do them because you think you must? Have your parents ever scolded you and you felt horrible afterwards? In religion, does God subject you to things you hate and yet you know you must go through them?

For the record, I have listened to a lot of music that I am uncomfortable with or that makes me feel odd because I think the art is important and that it should be respected. Whether or not it brings me joy or sorrow is another matter. I do not listen to it all the time, but I do actually find a lot of meaning and power in abstraction such as Xenakis' works.

I ALSO think that if the youth was told about this kind of music, and the extremes of which it has been taken, (rather than bouncy Mozart themes as a representation of "classical music") I think a lot of the youth would find meaning and energy in it. Take a look at the metal and electronic music that has been coming out that tons of people are listening to. They relate to it. Adolescence is a happy time for no one.

-Colin

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#373254 - 01/25/08 09:37 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Questions:

Can a work of art exist in a vacuum of art, or can it only be art in relationship to other art?

Does this sound artifact created by Xenakis relate in any way to the body of sounds we call music? Does it fit into any tradition of music?

Does it engage in a dialogue with the works of Palestrina or Beethoven? Does it cause us to rethink our understanding of Ives? Does a knowledge of Punk Rock, Hip Hop, or Heavy Metal, have anything to do with appreciating this work?

Does it fit into any tradition of music whatsoever?

How?

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#373255 - 01/25/08 09:45 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
xtraheat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 625
Loc: WV
I don't know anything about the composer or the piece, and I don't mean to offend anyone... But how can that really be considered music?

P.S. It reminds me of what I write when I get bored and spaz out on finale and put random notes for each instrument.
_________________________
Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15

--Sam--

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#373256 - 01/25/08 10:09 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
 Quote:
Originally posted by xtraheat:
I don't know anything about the composer or the piece, and I don't mean to offend anyone... But how can that really be considered music?

P.S. It reminds me of what I write when I get bored and spaz out on finale and put random notes for each instrument. [/b]
Well, since it's clear that people do think of it as music and think of the composer as one of notable 20th century composers, it looks like you've got your work cut out for you, doesn't it?

Incidentally, just last week, the San Francisco Symphony did one of his pieces.

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#373257 - 01/26/08 12:11 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
classik51 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 77
Loc: Canada
Hmm. So most do not enjoy this piece, but still remain respectful of the idea of it. I wonder if anyone actually listens to this composition for pleasure as you would other types of music (classical, jazz, pop, etc)? Or is it that it's just a "cool" idea?

I can't help but think the latter more likely, since I have failed miserably in trying to understand what beauty Xenakis might have seen in this "music", and I must comment. Shouldn't beauty be a composer's first priority? To me, that's what music is. Even when I personally do not like a piece, I can still recognize the beauty it may hold for others. I know that people hold different views on what is beautiful, but as I've said, my thoughts are that this composition may be cool but is not pleasing. Music composed just for the sake of originality? Then could you not call ANYTHING music?

Oh, by the way, I apologize, playadom. My mistake, I thought the link was posted by pianojerome. Now, how did I make that mistake? I must be more sleep-deprived than I thought. And yet here I am, still addicted to this forum...

I hope I did not offend anyone. It's just my personal opinion \:\) .

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#373258 - 01/26/08 12:12 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
Matthew Collett Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 536
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
One of my favorite quotes, by Charles Ives: "Music is not recreation for the ears."[/b]
Well, his compositions certainly aren't ...

As my .sig indicates, Herr Mozart thought differently. I know whose opinion I value more.

Matthew
_________________________
"Passions, violent or not, may never be expressed to the point of revulsion; even in the most frightening situation music must never offend the ear but must even then offer enjoyment, i.e. must always remain music." -- W.A.Mozart

212cm Fazioli: some photos and recordings .
Auckland Catholic Music Schola .

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#373259 - 01/26/08 01:58 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Ha ha ! I do actually find Ives recreation for my ears; I really do enjoy it. I have loved his music since I was a kid. Mind you, I cannot take seriously all that heavy philosophical analysis he wrote about it, good fun though it is to read. Mozart, on the other hand, I cannot fathom at all, despite trying hard to for years because everybody keeps on saying I should like it. I suppose one day I shall suddenly see the light; then again maybe not.
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"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

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#373260 - 01/26/08 02:24 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
(off topic stuff...)
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ted2:
I do actually find Ives recreation for my ears... I have loved his music since I was a kid.

Mozart, on the other hand, I cannot fathom at all, despite trying hard to for years because everybody keeps on saying I should like it. I suppose one day I shall suddenly see the light; then again maybe not.
Ives is a lot of fun, and where would I be without his three magnificent piano sonatas, particularly the 1st. It's one of those marvelously dense, gigantic essays which always say something new and exciting every time I listen. Oh, I never noticed that before... you know, that kind of experience. (And please, let us not complicate things by going into the dodgy variants in performing it which the great William Masselos grappled with.)

My prof at uni, btw, gave a fine performance of the Three Page Sonata.

Mozart? Well I wouldn't worry too much about it. A very good friend of mine -fine pianist and conductor- has no patience anymore for the operas, violin concertos or symphonies. He frankly hates them.

But just the other evening, the 13th piano concerto came up on the radio. I was busy at the computer, yet as soon as Mozart's secondary theme in the 1st mov't arrived, I dropped what I was doing and listened in rapture to the rest of the concerto.

I've been asked what is my favourite Beethoven symphony. My reply: whichever one I am listening to. Well, I could say the same of the Mozart piano concertos.

Why not start with them? For many people, those delectable works -and very difficult to play well- have been a gateway to Mozart's gloriously divine genius. Then you could investigate his choral music... just a thought.

Back on topic... As for the Xenakis, well I gave it a listen. I'll admit there are other works of his which have been more accessible to me, though I can understand where people on this thread are coming from. Colin, as usual, makes great points... his posts should always be read.

I studied some Xenakis at uni -quite thought provoking to say the least- but it was all more of a sense of duty. At least I had been exposed to it. That is always good... and to this day, there is little music I simply can't listen to (street Rap for example- Sam will probably take me to task for that... fine), but when all is said and done, we do need to make our choices.

I don't begrudge anyone for fancying Xenakis, yet currently (key word there) I'd rather investigate Mozart's handling of the exposition in his 13th piano concerto. Take a glance at the Dover score... and marvel. Someday I'll be open to marveling at Xenakis.
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Jason

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#373261 - 01/26/08 02:34 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
Ted2 Offline
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Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Yeah, the first sonata! That was my first Ives purchase. It reminds me of one of those naive, parallel perspective landscapes (which I also like very much) - lots of things going on and, as you say, a new corner of the landscape opens up with each listening. I have Noel Lee's old vinyl recording of it and I think it's the best one I have heard so far. MacGregor's doesn't grab me as much; I think she rushes things and misses a lot of rhythmic detail.
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#373262 - 01/26/08 10:38 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5298
Loc: McAllen, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew Collett:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
One of my favorite quotes, by Charles Ives: "Music is not recreation for the ears."[/b]
Well, his compositions certainly aren't ... [/b]
...that's the point.
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#373263 - 01/26/08 02:48 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Can quality be divorced from personal taste?
[/b]
Assuming for a moment that value is the result of quality and not of simple demand, I would describe the system as a sort of many-sided dynamic.

A few things before I jump into it: I'll talk about value, since it seems to be easier; I'll do certain other insidious things in order to facilitate this tedious process of writing down my thoughts. I don't expect anyone to appreciate my contributions who doesn't put in some effort in order to do so.

(1) The greater the depth of the given work of music, the greater its value. Just as a small child finds wonder in simple everyday things, so may an inexperienced adult find wonder in such works of music that a more experienced listener would quickly get tired of. Depth is the quality of lasting wonder.

(2) The greater the number of people who can relatively easily appreciate the greatness of a given work of music, across times and across cultures, the greater the value of the work. As a side note, the value of such a great work would seem to be more dependant on our biology and its implications (such as death) than on the zeitgeist of any given place or period in our history.

(3) (This is a double point.) The more difficult it is to achieve the aesthetic effect of a given hypothetical work of music, the greater its value. The rarer its aesthetic effect, the greater its value. By "the aesthetic effect of a work of music", I don't mean emotion (which is a quality manifest in the perceiver, not the work); rather, I mean the whole structure of sound when competently perceived. Achieving such a perception may in some cases require a few listens with the help of the score, even for the most experienced listener.

For example, Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" was difficult to compose, requiring much knowledge among other things rarely found in humans. Its composition also required careful design. It would not very soon be composed by metaphorical monkies randomly scribbling over many pages of once empty paper. The aesthetic effect of "Hammerkalvier" is also rare, because of the distinctiveness of the work. Mind you, it is not distinctive in the way a blood stain on a shirt is, it is distinctive in the way Thomas Jefferson was. For another example, if a work produces the aesthetic effect of noise, howsoever pleasant, it has not much value, as such noise is relatively easy to produce by any capable pianist or organist (through improvisation, for example).

(4) The more worhty the purport of the work of music, the greater its, uh, value. I'll attempt to explain the implications of this almost circular reasoning. Or maybe I'll just do a Jerome, and ask a few pointed questions. Does the work of music sing of the angels and demons? Or does it show you uninspiring things about the world around you, such things as suffering, things which you could see better by looking out of the window (assuming you have one).

To conclude, a work of music will be the most valuable when it is both easily appreciated and deep as a bottomless well, as well as being distinctive and heavenly. Surely a difficult combination of qualities, and one very much worth trying to achieve. I think Beethoven would be a suitable paragon here.

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#373264 - 01/26/08 05:49 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
 Quote:
Originally posted by classik51:
Hmm. So most do not enjoy this piece, but still remain respectful of the idea of it. I wonder if anyone actually listens to this composition for pleasure as you would other types of music (classical, jazz, pop, etc)? Or is it that it's just a "cool" idea?

I can't help but think the latter more likely, since I have failed miserably in trying to understand what beauty Xenakis might have seen in this "music", and I must comment. Shouldn't beauty be a composer's first priority? To me, that's what music is. Even when I personally do not like a piece, I can still recognize the beauty it may hold for others. I know that people hold different views on what is beautiful, but as I've said, my thoughts are that this composition may be cool but is not pleasing. Music composed just for the sake of originality? Then could you not call ANYTHING music?

Oh, by the way, I apologize, playadom. My mistake, I thought the link was posted by pianojerome. Now, how did I make that mistake? I must be more sleep-deprived than I thought. And yet here I am, still addicted to this forum...

I hope I did not offend anyone. It's just my personal opinion \:\) . [/b]
It's a classic philistine posture: "I don't get it, so therefore no one else does, and furthermore, if they say they do, they are just pretending in some way or another."

I have to say, this exclamation made me laugh: "Then could you not call ANYTHING music?" The answer is, of course: yes, you can. Or more precisely, a composer can. What's the problem?

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#373265 - 01/26/08 08:40 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Matthew Collett Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 536
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
I have to say, this exclamation made me laugh: "Then could you not call ANYTHING music?" The answer is, of course: yes, you can. Or more precisely, a composer can. What's the problem? [/b]
Of course, you can call anything you like 'music'. But if you make a habit of doing so, the word loses its meaning.

"There's glory for you!"

Best wishes,
Matthew
_________________________
"Passions, violent or not, may never be expressed to the point of revulsion; even in the most frightening situation music must never offend the ear but must even then offer enjoyment, i.e. must always remain music." -- W.A.Mozart

212cm Fazioli: some photos and recordings .
Auckland Catholic Music Schola .

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#373266 - 01/26/08 10:28 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
 Quote:
Originally posted by Matthew Collett:
 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
I have to say, this exclamation made me laugh: "Then could you not call ANYTHING music?" The answer is, of course: yes, you can. Or more precisely, a composer can. What's the problem? [/b]
Of course, you can call anything you like 'music'. But if you make a habit of doing so, the word loses its meaning.

[/b]
Strange...I've been doing it for years, and the word hasn't lost any meaning at all, but rather, has gained quite a bit. No loss, much gain - what's not to like?

YMMV, of course.

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#373267 - 01/27/08 12:07 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
classik51 Offline
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Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 77
Loc: Canada
I envy your open-mindedness, wr. I wish I could be that accepting. But after all, I'm just a young student with a very limited musical knowledge. Maybe your wisdom will come to me with time \:\) .

Meanwhile, I think I'm gonna stick to classical music :p .

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#373268 - 01/27/08 02:20 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
cothse Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 31
I guess I too envy the open-mindedness of some people; they simply enjoy life more. As far as this music though, I'm afraid it is grating noise to me, and the more I hear it the more I am repulsed by it. Perhaps if there were some explanation as to why it's artistic or viable as music, we folks might appreciate it, at least to some degree.

But people will feel this way towards every kind of music, and it shouldn't be taken personally. It is a waste of time to endure convincing someone else to find merit in your taste, if only for the sake of it, when it could, and should, be spent listening to the music you enjoy in the productive commune of like minds!
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#373269 - 01/27/08 05:41 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
 Quote:
Originally posted by cothse:
I guess I too envy the open-mindedness of some people; they simply enjoy life more. As far as this music though, I'm afraid it is grating noise to me, and the more I hear it the more I am repulsed by it. Perhaps if there were some explanation as to why it's artistic or viable as music, we folks might appreciate it, at least to some degree.

But people will feel this way towards every kind of music, and it shouldn't be taken personally. It is a waste of time to endure convincing someone else to find merit in your taste, if only for the sake of it, when it could, and should, be spent listening to the music you enjoy in the productive commune of like minds! [/b]
I don't know that I'm particularly open-minded - all I have done is take a small interest in the music of my own time. Maybe when, over a period of decades, you deliberately expose yourself to all sorts of composers' works (and read up about them, even if just in liner notes of recordings), you do learn something about how to pry open your mind just a bit. I'm not sure how that works, although it makes a kind of sense. But I have run into people who are far more into "difficult" music than I am, and I feel pretty closed-minded compared to them.

Just so you know - I did NOT take to Xenakis' music as a duck takes to water, but learned how to listen to it over a long period, probably years. But I did know all along that I had a pretty strong interest in getting it eventually, since he was an important composer during my lifetime, and I figured I owed it to myself to make the effort.

In case it's useful for anyone, here's something I do when I run across music that seems incomprehensible to me and that I have recordings of. I play it in the background a few times, while I'm occupied with doing other things, loud enough to hear but not loud enough to occupy front and center of my thoughts. Then I put it away for a while (like months) until I feel the impulse to check it out again. Usually, it still doesn't make sense, and I do the background thing once again, and put it aside again. And I follow that cycle until, eventually, like magic, it clicks, and all of a sudden I hear it as music. I've heard of other people doing the same thing, and they all swear by this process. And, here's the good part, it's fairly painless. And that moment, when you realize that something formerly incomprehensible has transformed itself into music, is indescribably delicious.

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#373270 - 01/27/08 08:08 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5919
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
In case it's useful for anyone, here's something I do when I run across music that seems incomprehensible to me and that I have recordings of. I play it in the background a few times, while I'm occupied with doing other things, loud enough to hear but not loud enough to occupy front and center of my thoughts. Then I put it away for a while (like months) until I feel the impulse to check it out again. Usually, it still doesn't make sense, and I do the background thing once again, and put it aside again. And I follow that cycle until, eventually, like magic, it clicks, and all of a sudden I hear it as music. I've heard of other people doing the same thing, and they all swear by this process. And, here's the good part, it's fairly painless. And that moment, when you realize that something formerly incomprehensible has transformed itself into music, is indescribably delicious. [/b]
I do this too, and have done for many years. And yes, it works. Sometimes I feel almost guilty about it, that it's a sort of insult to the composer not to be giving the music full attention, but you can see it as just becoming familiar with the idiom.
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#373271 - 01/28/08 06:13 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
Ragnhild Offline
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Posts: 1117
Loc: Norway
I did listen, and I quite enjoyed the visual part, and with quite low volume it did not hurt my ears.

Rach3.Freak said :
 Quote:
And I have to say, it grew on my a little more. I still wouldn't call it music. Maybe more of a "sound idea".
I agree.
In fact it reminded me of something. When my children was younger (about 5 and 3 years old) I bought a cd-rom called "Making music" (by Morton Subotnick).
There you could choose instrument by color and "draw" music with pitch on Y axis (in half-note steps) and duration on X axis. The result played was of course "computer sound" but still ok.

Especially my 3 year old son made some very interesting compsitions this way, and we all enjoyed the process and the results a lot, but I would be a little careful to call it art....

But I guess every playful soul will enjoy making things like this \:\)

Ragnhild
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#373272 - 01/28/08 07:43 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
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Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
Works like this Xenakis example (or such as Stockhausen's Gesang der Jünglinge) are musicologically interesting in terms of pushing the boundaries of sound production and form. They are experiments and exercises in aural permutations and structures, which is all fine and dandy. However, the audible results are as artistically artificial (and as implied by Ragnhild above, immature and childlike) as the methods used to create the 'pieces' in the first place. They fail miserably as music or indeed art, due to their inherent unlistenability and inability to excite (in the majority of listeners) any emotions other than confusion, irritation and boredom. A certain section of the musical establishment may well believe that they should find artistic value in the self-indulgences of such 'composers' and attempt to spread this belief by programming such works for concerts. However, just because a piece is publically performed doesn't actually mean it isn't in fact a pile of unadulterated garbage. I suppose some people might learn to 'enjoy' becoming confused, irritated and bored by such noises. After all death/thrash metal bands sell lots of CDs too...

Time is a harsh critic, and in a hundred years time, I would wager that people will still be performing and listening to such pieces as tonally and rhythmically varied and adventurous as Prokofiev piano concerti, Shostakovich symphonies, Scriabin late piano sonatas, Britten operas, Hindemith chamber music, Messaien organ music, etc. However it is indeed highly probable that the compositional efforts of Xenakis, Stockhausen, Varèse, Boulez and other such characters, will have faded from the musical firmament as irrelevant blips of mid-20th century madness within the general scheme of Western art music history. Well, here's hoping anyway ;\)

Michael B.
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#373273 - 01/28/08 09:00 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
Mynenae Alphae is still a fairly progressive piece. [/b]
Maybe I'm just an old fogey (at 21) but why is being progressive so important?

I've heard criticisms of new pieces that are tonal, suggesting that everything in those works "have already been done before."

So what?

If the old styles are good styles, and they're pleasing to audiences and performers, then why should we stop writing in those ways, just because they are old?

My impression is that given our vast knowledge of past music, and our desire to be unique, music has been progressing and progressing in a direction that alienates many listeners. Sure, it's not "bad" music -- many people enjoy it, and that's terrific. But even more people don't enjoy it, while they do enjoy lots of music from several hundreds of years earlier. Why is that?

Why is it that the same people (some of them untrained musically) can enjoy all kinds of music from 1600s-1900s, from opera to piano solos to quartets to symphonies, and yet all of a sudden there is a blockage point around the middle of the 20th century? It's all so different, and yet there must certainly be shared characteristics (don't ask me what they are) that are drawing much aesthetic interest (perhaps without knowing much about music). Realizing this, and desiring to be different, perhaps recent composers purposefully remove those popular characteristics, with the result of alienating audiences (except for the audiences of the musically-trained and intellectuals, who appreciate the music for its progressiveness). I say 'perhaps', because it's only a guess.

That said, I do appreciate progress. If music had never "progressed" (in our sense of the word) beyond Mozart and Haydn, we wouldn't have the wonderful romanticisms and impressionisms and modernisms that came later. But "progress" isn't all that's important in music. A piece can be wonderfully progressive, and yet if it doesn't appeal to audiences (except for small groups of connoisseurs), then what is the point of that progress? Is it really progress in a good direction?
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#373274 - 01/28/08 10:14 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8841
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ted2:
Yeah, the first sonata! That was my first Ives purchase.
Hey Ted, clean out ye olde inbox!
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Jason

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#373275 - 01/28/08 11:30 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
Steve Chandler Offline
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Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I'd like to chime in on tghis discussion.

I remember being in college and studying pieces such as these and trying very hard to enjoy them and ultimately failing. Unrelenting dissonance is usually perceived as noise. In tis piece I hear only blocks of sound juxtaposed against other blocks of equally ugly sound, the only things that seem to change is the dynamic level and tempo. If this piece was food it would be a stew of everything sitting in the kitchen sink after a week and hot sauce and you'd be told to enjoy it. Each of the elements in that sink was at one point either (presumably) enjoyable food or utensils used to cook, serve and eat it.

I find the Ives quote thats been bandied about ironic. Ives got it right in his youth when as a 16 year old he composed his Variations on America. It has its ugly moments but they pass, the music is creative, engaging and as he put it himself, the last variation is "more fun than playing baseball."

I personally like the food analogy when it comes to composing. There's food that's tasy but not good for you (potato chips), there's food that's good for you but not tasty (brown rice), then there's food that's both tasty and good for you as well as food that isn't tasty and isn't good for you. The latter just doesn't get eaten and sadly that's what much of the music of the 20th century is. Elliot Carter wrote a piece for choir titled Musicians Everywhere Wrestle (or something like that), well they certainly wrestle to learn and perform this piece and for all that work the result is just a thorny work that doesn't satisfy. I believe that music like food should be varied, there can be moments of simple innocence and moments or horrible clashing dissonance, it is in changing textures over time that we see a landscape and perceive the drama. If we are to express ourselves then our music should reflect the entirety of the human experience not just the good or bad.

Music history is riddled with thorny works that defy easy comprehension, The Art of Fugue and Musical Offering by Bach, The Hammerklavier and Grosse Fuge by Beethoven, Stravinsy's Le Sacre. Those that we remember have communicated something valuable or had lasting meaning ascribed to them. So in that sense Ives is partially right. Music can be about more than just recreation for the ears. I don't savor every moment of Mahler 2, it's just too long, but the ending makes the whole experience transcendant. I can't get to the end of this Xenakis piece, so it doesn't matter to me.

Regarding the post that started this whole conversation about some piece by Rautavaara being too dissonant, that's just silly. While the harmony does get intriguing in that piece it didn't go so far afield as to be incomprehensible. In fact to my ears it was quite beautiful and a great example of variety in harmonic texture that can make a piece of music memorable. I gues some prefer a diet of peanut butter and jelly on white (dead european) bread. Perhaps it's like the concept of doing pushups on your knuckles? The very concept is so daunting that you fail to realize that it's no more work than doing bench presses. (contrary to my previous assertion I don't recommend fingertip pushups, I tried them and didn't like them).

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#373276 - 01/28/08 12:16 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
Reaper978 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
I was actually just listening to Xenakis' "Kraanerg" in the car, and I have been spending a lot of time listening to his solo and small-ensemble music. I haven't listened to much of the electronic music, but I am getting to it.

 Quote:
Life is too short...
Really. I'm 18 and I love every second of Xenakis, Sorabji, the 2nd Viennese school, etc. Yes, I love it. I absolutely adore it. I was falling asleep last night to to the string quartets of Penderecki and Lutoslawski. Just as well, I have fallen asleep to the music of Sorabji.

 Quote:
Just so you know - I did NOT take to Xenakis' music as a duck takes to water, but learned how to listen to it over a long period, probably years.
Interestingly enough, I grew quite quickly into listening to avant-garde\non-tonal music. The first Ligeti etude was, as far as I can recall, the first encounter I've had with the serious listening of modern music. It sounded like noise. But when I listened to it again, months later, it came in as clear as a bell and I have been in love with this music ever since.

Kraanerg is a fantastic piece. I could not help but feel completely in awe of some mammoth phantasm, a beast, growling incessantly, shaking the walls with fury. Noises, shrieks, growls, tapping, grinding, soft, loud, brazen, calm, numb, ethereal, ecstasy and agony inseparable from each other - the expressionist fantasy-nightmare from another world! It is like some grand old best from beyond the stars came to this planet and deposited an aural image from another realm onto our meager staff paper.

But, after all of this, I do not expect many people to give this music a second glance. It is arcane, esoteric, difficult, seething music. Not necessarily human. Yet, not necessarily inhuman. This kind of art has much less to do with one's technique or form and far more to do with the raw creativity (or lack thereof) of the mind. One is no longer limited to what we know and perceive to be "good" or "correct" and we thus can enter into the deepest, darkest caverns of the brain.

If you want something that is actually quite tonal by Xenakis, listen to Embellie for, interestingly enough, unaccompanied viola. I was surprised by how conservative it was. There seem to be some Celtic and folk influences in it.

Embellie

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#373277 - 01/28/08 05:50 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
py-anno Offline
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Registered: 07/22/06
Posts: 122
Loc: Missouri
I love it! \:\)

Such an atmosphere of ... mystery, and loneliness.

To add to the conversation on the piece though,
I tend to believe Edgar Varese on the definition of music.
"music is organized sound"

I'm hearing a lot on this topic that music should be beautiful. To me, music is much more that just beautiful, or nice. Music evokes so many emotions and I think Xenakis is doing that in this piece. Every body can certainly agree that composers throughout history have depicted anger, loneliness, mystery, and other things in the works. I think Xenakis is doing just that, but in a different way. Maybe the purpose of the music is to make you feel scared, or nervewracked. Maybe the music is suppose to sound like computers and random noise, maybe that's what Xenakis is trying to do. And because of that, I don't think it is right to classify what is music and what is not solely on aesthetics.

Art is the soul, It is made of your emotions, feelings, energy, thoughts, beliefs and more. And when someone can express that, I think it should be respected.

Anyway, that's my opinion and you, of course, are entitled to your own.

-Dane

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#373278 - 01/29/08 01:28 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
Matthew Collett Offline
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Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 536
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
 Quote:
Originally posted by py-anno:
To me, music is much more that just beautiful, or nice.[/b]
As soon as I saw that Ives quotation posted, I wondered how long it would take someone to slip in a "just".

If the claim were indeed "Music is not just beautiful/recreation for the ears/nice/enjoyable/(insert your own term of aesthetic approval here)" I doubt that anyone in this thread, or indeed anywhere else, would express disagreement. Of course great music is more than that.

But 'more' implies 'not less'.

Best wishes,
Matthew
_________________________
"Passions, violent or not, may never be expressed to the point of revulsion; even in the most frightening situation music must never offend the ear but must even then offer enjoyment, i.e. must always remain music." -- W.A.Mozart

212cm Fazioli: some photos and recordings .
Auckland Catholic Music Schola .

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#373279 - 01/29/08 07:14 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7784
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
Mynenae Alphae is still a fairly progressive piece. [/b]
Maybe I'm just an old fogey (at 21) but why is being progressive so important?

I've heard criticisms of new pieces that are tonal, suggesting that everything in those works "have already been done before."

So what?

If the old styles are good styles, and they're pleasing to audiences and performers, then why should we stop writing in those ways, just because they are old?

My impression is that given our vast knowledge of past music, and our desire to be unique, music has been progressing and progressing in a direction that alienates many listeners. Sure, it's not "bad" music -- many people enjoy it, and that's terrific. But even more people don't enjoy it, while they do enjoy lots of music from several hundreds of years earlier. Why is that?

Why is it that the same people (some of them untrained musically) can enjoy all kinds of music from 1600s-1900s, from opera to piano solos to quartets to symphonies, and yet all of a sudden there is a blockage point around the middle of the 20th century? It's all so different, and yet there must certainly be shared characteristics (don't ask me what they are) that are drawing much aesthetic interest (perhaps without knowing much about music). Realizing this, and desiring to be different, perhaps recent composers purposefully remove those popular characteristics, with the result of alienating audiences (except for the audiences of the musically-trained and intellectuals, who appreciate the music for its progressiveness). I say 'perhaps', because it's only a guess.

That said, I do appreciate progress. If music had never "progressed" (in our sense of the word) beyond Mozart and Haydn, we wouldn't have the wonderful romanticisms and impressionisms and modernisms that came later. But "progress" isn't all that's important in music. A piece can be wonderfully progressive, and yet if it doesn't appeal to audiences (except for small groups of connoisseurs), then what is the point of that progress? Is it really progress in a good direction? [/b]
I hope you reread your post and realize how profoundly self-contradictory you sound. If you have such issues with progress, maybe you would be happier doing folk music or chant instead of piano. The instrument itself is a result of progress.

But I will agree with one thing you say, and that is that quitting a style simply because it is old makes no sense. There are much better reasons to do it. Take Scriabin, for example. I don't think he quit writing in that nice, highly expressive amalgam of Chopin/Wagner he had already invented simply because it was based on something old. I think it was because he found himself wanting to say things musically that required a new and unique style. Ditto Debussy; I don't think that he quit writing like Massenet and invented an entire new musical language simply because his earlier style was old. Or take that surfer of musical fashion, Stravinsky, who could not have arrived at the Rite of Spring out of a mere desire for something as fatuous as novelty; he was seized by real hard-core musical inspiration when he wrote it.

I also think you place your musical blockage point too late. It happened somewhat earlier, when Schoenberg unilaterally decided that he was the musical world's messiah, whether the world liked it or not. And to be blunt about it, I think he became something of a musical toxin during the century, for reasons that are far more sociological than musical.

Finally, you need to realize that the high-art, progressive aspect of classical music has always been and is always going to be of interest to relatively few people. I mean, it's not pop music, right? And it's not middle-brow Martha Stewart aural decoration used for suburbian status, either. It's real art, and it's often difficult, for the same reasons that all art can be difficult. That's just the name of the game. And keep in mind, a good deal of the classical music revered today was written with connoisseurs in mind, not the general public.

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#373280 - 01/29/08 11:56 AM Re: Do you enjoy...
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I'm not opposed to progressivism in music. I just don't view it as the most important determinant of a piece's value -- this was my reaction to Brendan's statement, "Mynenae Alphae is still a fairly progressive piece." It might be fairly progressive, but is it any good?
_________________________
Sam

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#373281 - 01/29/08 05:44 PM Re: Do you enjoy...
tomasino Offline
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Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Progressive in relationship to . . . what? Progressive is a relative term.

I say that a piece of music cannot be progressive, regressive, or status quo--that it cannot be music--unless it relates to the larger body of music.

To what tradition of music does Xanakis's piece relate? I hear it as being dangerously close to a stand alone piece, having little, if anything, to do with any music I've ever heard. It has nothing to do with the common practice, with ragas, field hollars, psalm singing, punk rock, or serialism. It isn't played on an instrument that is customarily thought of as being a musical instrument. It doesn't use human performers. It isn't a manifestation of standard notation, but rather, is a manifestation of abstract drawings on a piece of paper.

How then can we categorize this as music?

I have listened on YouTube to other compositions by Xanakis, some of them played by a symphony orchestra. The sounds made by the orchestra, in a generalized way, are quite similar to the sounds of the piece in question. And so I could argue that this piece relates to his own music, and therefore passes my test of relating to other music. But it seems a very thin thread.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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