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#425155 - 09/30/07 01:38 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Muzzzz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 80
Loc: Australia
Some of the things you people say remind me of some of the ignorant people who constantly insist to me that classical music is gay or 'bad'. Most of these people clearly just don't want to be associated with music which has an image they dont like - and I know there's no accounting for taste - but I am a devoted classical fan, and i also believe that Dream Theater has made some of the most lyrically and musically amazing music of any modern group. Don't be fooled into thinking that this clip is actually an accurate representation of the majority of Dream Theater's music - a lot of it is actually extremely innovative, diverse and nuanced.

Robert, please don't blatantly insult a group of fine musicians you clearly have no idea about. Sorry.

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#425156 - 09/30/07 04:49 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
Mr. Rudess is musically a very gifted person, who unfortunately uses his talents for pop culture music. He has probably heard a lot of classical music.

...

Great technique in fingering that horrible machine in front of him. I wonder if he can play piano.[/b]
He played classical piano at the pre-college division of Juilliard from age 9-19, so I would believe that he has at least some idea about classical music and playing a real piano.

Unfortunately uses his talents for pop culture music??? So your message is that young talented musicians should not follow their own call, but live to satisfy the expectations set by the uptight world of classical snobs?

(Please pardon the last sentence, which was not directed at any person in particular, just using the words used previously by Mr. Kenessey. Although, even as a classical musician myself, I often feel that the classical music scene is far too uptight and snobbish.)

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#425157 - 09/30/07 05:56 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
I guess you'll think I'm an uptight boring snob (possibly not entirely untrue) but I think he belongs in a Keyboard-Improv corner, not Pianists Corner.[/b]
I don't think you're an uptight boring snob. ;\)

What style of music do you think it is that's he playing in the beginning there? [/b]
It's easier to define in sociological terms what is happening, than in musical terms.
Mr. Rudess is musically a very gifted person, who unfortunately uses his talents for pop culture music. He has probably heard a lot of classical music. To impress his audience, he improvises in the first minutes of this clip on classical style and even manages to stick out his tongue (musically speaking) to poor Beethoven. Great technique in fingering that horrible machine in front of him. I wonder if he can play piano.
By the way, is he trying to procreate with that multi-purpose machine around 3:22 into the clip?

My three year old son just walked into the room and said (in dutch) that that guy has crazy hair. [/b]
They did a cd called steinway to heaven, where all the keyboardists like rudess each play a classical piece. I personally didnt like the cd. All the pianos sounded like cheap casios. And the only track on there that was good was one played by Keith Emerson. To me Jordan Rudess' playing can get boring after a while. when it comes to pop musicians I always prefer elton john. While he plays slower then Rudess, what he improvs feels much more valid to me musically.

When it comes to classical its not that we should see ourselves and snobs though there are a good number of them. We should instead realize, that there are higher standards.

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#425158 - 09/30/07 06:24 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
OK. Sorry. I crossed the line. I should have made my point without quasi-funny insults.
As a non-relativist I have a hard time in this relativist world :-)

I guess Roger Scruton was right that the only value judgement allowed nowadays is that value judgements are not allowed.

I agree with you that young talented musicians should follow their own call. But please accept my opinion (which is relative anyway, so what's the problem) that I think young talented musicians are lukiest when their call is for the best (yes, I'm not a relativist) tradition available. Classical music.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#425159 - 09/30/07 10:38 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
Dream Theater is a band compiled of all classically trained musicians. If I'm not mistaken they all went to Berklee school of music.

I'm pretty sure they're goal is to just combine all types of music together and see what they end up with, they try to be as creative and innovative as possible.

They do have singing also, I'm thinking he used to be a opera singer. But this is just a keyboard solo. Dream theater is normally classified under the heavy metal section, cause alot of their songs focus in that style with other styles combined within.
_________________________
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

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#425160 - 09/30/07 11:04 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Schubertian Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 937
Loc: Dallas, TX, US
File it under 'schlock'
_________________________
'Always remember: the higher we fly the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.""
- Nietzsche

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#425161 - 09/30/07 11:30 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Schubertian:
File it under 'schlock' [/b]
Schlock Rock?

Sorry, already taken . ;\)
_________________________
Sam

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#425162 - 09/30/07 11:30 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by vanityx3:
Dream Theater is a band compiled of all classically trained musicians. If I'm not mistaken they all went to Berklee school of music.

I'm pretty sure they're goal is to just combine all types of music together and see what they end up with, they try to be as creative and innovative as possible.

They do have singing also, I'm thinking he used to be a opera singer. But this is just a keyboard solo. Dream theater is normally classified under the heavy metal section, cause alot of their songs focus in that style with other styles combined within. [/b]
Berklee school of music is not a classical conservatory. It is a school for contemporary music.

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#425163 - 09/30/07 11:31 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
synthman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 55
Loc: Montreal, Canada
Dream Theatre opened for Yes in their last tour, and I would put them in the same "Prog-Rock" camp. That particular YouTube solo was just a bunch of different stuff, showing off. You can't pin any label on him for that performance.

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#425164 - 09/30/07 11:39 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by synthman:
You can't pin any label on him for that performance. [/b]
I didn't mean a label for him, as a musician... I mean a label for his music, as music. The label doesn' t have to apply to everything he writes/plays.... or does it?

Beethoven wrote cute little bagatelles for solo piano. He also wrote a huge church Mass for big symphony orchestra / choirs. I wouldn't say that "Beethoven" is a little trinket composer, and only a little trinket composer; nor would I say that "Beethoven" is a Church composer, and only a Church composer. He wrote different kinds of music. He was a very eclectic composer, and if it weren't for this silly all-encompassing "classical" label, (and finitely-sized music stores), I'd put his different pieces in different sections of the music store.

So when we say that Rudess is a progressive rock pianist (or keyboardist?), does that label apply to him as a musician, or does it apply to all of his music, or does it only really apply to some of his music, and the rest (which is not progressive rock) is just (inappropriately?) thrown in the progressive rock section because it's the same band?
_________________________
Sam

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#425165 - 10/01/07 01:17 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
synthman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 55
Loc: Montreal, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:

I think I know how much Jordan Rudess is interested in the mircale of touch: about as much as in going to the barber. [/b]
Touch goes out the window when you are playing in a stadium with tens of thousands of screaming fans. Especially with a synth keyboard. He's not sitting at a Steinway there. I'm sure that he could express a perfectly good sense of touch given the proper setting.

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#425166 - 10/01/07 07:58 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Muzzzz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 80
Loc: Australia
Actually with Dream Theater, I don't know if the singer has trained, but the bassist, guitarist, and drummer studied at Berklee but dropped out after one year to pursue a band career. After all, if you rehearse together for six hours a day PLUS their separate practise ( !) there isn't much time left for homework.

Jordan was Juilliard trained from age 9.

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#425167 - 10/01/07 09:37 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
 Quote:
Originally posted by vanityx3:

I'm pretty sure they're goal is to just combine all types of music together and see what they end up with, they try to be as creative and innovative as possible. [/b]
I interpret this as finding support from an unexpected corner for the claim that Dream Theater’s music is easier to describe in sociological than musical terms.

Classical composers give a truly felt personal expression in their music. It did not matter whether they were cheered at like Chopin or boo-ed off stage like Strawinsky at some point. They felt an inner compulsion to only express what came from within. This is witnessed by many of their letters. Over the 6 decades or so, music and musicians have become conscious of themselves. With this I mean, that new music can only be fully understood or appreciated if the listener knows the social and art-historic context (Chopin can be beautiful to a young child, Stockhausen not). Music became a socio-cultural statement instead of a personal expression.
And this is what I now read Dream theater does. They “combine all types of music”, not because it gives expression to their personal emotion, but as a conscious cultural-historic experiment. They “try to be as creative and innovative as possible”: a very self-conscious attitude. Did Strawinsky “try to be innovative”? No! He composed honestly, as felt from within. This happened to be innovative.

Simply stated: vantiyx3 stated their goal, thus their goal is not to express themselves honestly through their music.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#425168 - 10/01/07 12:29 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
Mr. Kenessey, from your previous post I can read two things:

1. You have very limited knowledge of Dream Theater.
2. You have very limited knowledge of new music.

The second point I could read from one simple fact that you missed: Stockhausen is not new music.

At the top of my record shelf I have 12 CD:s by Dream Theater, that is a lot more than I have by any other non-classical performer/composer. They are there for a reason, it is extremely good and innovative music. I have never felt that their music would be an attempt to combine all types of music, except perhaps in this particular keyboard solo by Mr. Rudess. I wouldn't even classify their music as "pop culture" as you stated in a previous post, because they are not creating music to satisfy a popular demand. One can clearly hear that they are a bunch of very talented musicians who are expressing what comes from within. It just so happens that a lot of people like this music. Most of their loyal followers are musicians themselves who can truly appreciate the great musical qualities of their music. Of course there is influences from all kinds of music, but that is true also with Stravinsky.

What you say about new music, I can just as well say about classical music - Classical music can only be fully understood or appreciated if the listener knows the social and art-historic context. Which is why many people today find a lot of music by Mozart boring.

It seems to me that you are judging Dream Theater only based on the instruments they are playing. You shouldn't rush to a judgement like that. In all times there has been good music and bad music, for all kinds of instruments. It is true that most music produced to satisfy the demands of popular culture is totally lacking in substance, but a lot of really good music has also been made by pop/rock/heavy bands. Classical music also has its gems, while most of it did not have the expressive qualities that would have kept it on the repertoire until this day.

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#425169 - 10/01/07 02:02 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
...
2. You have very limited knowledge of new music.

The second point I could read from one simple fact that you missed: Stockhausen is not new music.[/b]
I wrote about music in the last 6 decades or so and all Stockhausen's compositions are from this time. I guess I was confusing by calling music of this period new, I should have called it post-modern. But I try to see things in the long run:-)

 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:

What you say about new music, I can just as well say about classical music - Classical music can only be fully understood or appreciated if the listener knows the social and art-historic context. Which is why many people today find a lot of music by Mozart boring. [/b]
No, some people don’t know much about the first half of the 1700’s, don’t know that Bach composed then and still really love Bach. It's more accessible than much post-modern music of which you have to read in introduction in the programme to understand why it sounds like it does.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:

Classical music also has its gems, while most of it did not have the expressive qualities that would have kept it on the repertoire until this day. [/b]
Will Dream Theater’s music be known and re-played (is “covered” the right term?) by other bands in two hundred years from now (including paraphrasing Beethoven)? You know what: I give you the benefit of my doubt!
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#425170 - 10/01/07 02:46 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
What you say about new music, I can just as well say about classical music - Classical music can only be fully understood or appreciated if the listener knows the social and art-historic context. Which is why many people today find a lot of music by Mozart boring. [/b]
No, some people don’t know much about the first half of the 1700’s, don’t know that Bach composed then and still really love Bach. It's more accessible than much post-modern music of which you have to read in introduction in the programme to understand why it sounds like it does.[/b]
You sure are good at generalizing. Yes, Bach wrote a few pieces that makes a huge impact on anyone who hears them. However, how often haven't we seen young pianists on this forum asking for advice on what to play, and when Bach is suggested they reply that they find Bach boring? From what I've been following the threads here, it happens quite often (For the latest example see here , please also note BruceD's excellent reply, which very much contradicts your assertion of accessibility). I also didn't really fancy Bach's keyboard music until I could understand the beauty of his superb contrapuntal technique. To fully appreciate Bach you do need a lot of knowledge of the art-historical context.

All I'm suggesting is that you stop arranging music in boxes labeled "good" and "bad" according to their genre, instrumentation and year of composition. As I said before, there is no such thing as "good style" and "bad style", but in all styles there is good and bad music. True, there is a lot of contemporary music that you cannot understand if you don't read the program note (usually you don't get any wiser by reading the program note in these cases), but there is also a lot of contemporary music that, like some pieces by Bach, makes a huge impact on anybody who hears them.

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#425171 - 10/02/07 08:48 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Miss Grundy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 3
 Quote:
C.P.E. Bach, W.A. Mozart, and Domenico Scarlatti all lived during the 1700's... but they're music is wildly different.
 Quote:
I'm pretty sure they're goal is to just combine all types of music together
correction: their

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#425172 - 10/02/07 10:10 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
correction: their

Miss Grundy, welcome to Pianist Corner. This place is full of people from many different parts of the world, with varying levels of piano-playing ability, and indeed varying levels of ability to express themselves correctly in standard written English (even those for whom it is supposedly their mother tongue.) So if you intend to continue in the same vein, you will certainly be busy correcting every 'rediculous' spelling error, and the various grammar/usage mistakes that 'effect' us here from time to time.

As an alternative, you could indeed look past orthographical and linguistic shortcomings, and attempt to participate more positively in the debates in question, perhaps by giving your own comments on the ideas or concepts raised by another contributor, rather than merely picking holes in 'they're' spelling. It's a crazy idea, I know, but just may be worth a try! ;\)

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

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#425173 - 10/02/07 10:36 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
There is no such thing as "good style" or "bad style": in all styles there are good music and bad.[/b]
Does your statement include styles that haven't yet been developed, or that can be imagined? Just in case it does, here are explained the key features of a few imaginary styles:

One. We feel that silence as a musical element has been thus far neglected. Every piece of music should consist of 95% of absolute silence and of 5% of sound. However, no silence at the end of a piece nor at the beginning is allowed. We also recommend composing works that last at least an hour. This to make your work more substantial...

Two. We feel that in this era of signs traditional music has lost its meaning. We propose that all future music be based on natural sounds, such as the sounds of fornication, murder, mayhem. These sounds are universally understood, and their significance is thus universal. When well ordered, they will surely give the listener something to think about.

Three. We feel that music should be composed for music lovers and especially for connoisseurs of such work, to refresh their spirits.

Two of these three slogans seem to me perverse, and could only lead to bundles and lots of bad music and to very little good music.

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#425174 - 10/02/07 10:59 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Does your statement include styles that haven't yet been developed, or that can be imagined? Just in case it does, here are explained the key features of a few imaginary styles:[/b]
The music you describe has most likely already been made, not so easy to be innovative in these days. For the first one, 4:33 aside, Giya Kancheli springs to my mind. Not quite 95% of his music is silence, but he does use silence as a very important element. It's not unusual that he notates rests of length up to 20 seconds. When there isn't rests, it's mostly pppp and very few notes, which almost equals silence. His music can express extreme sadness and is very touching when properly performed.

For the second one, even though I haven't heard this particular piece you are describing, I'm sure someone has made one like that. A lot of music is made using only natural sounds and effects. Some truly amazing pieces has been done with this technique, even with a lot more weird basic sound material than the sounds you mention. Using sounds of murder and mayhem, you will probably not recreate the feelings of Barber's Adagio or a happy Mozart allegro, but you could make something in the same spirit of Penderecki's Threnody, which is a truly amazing piece of music.

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#425175 - 10/02/07 01:34 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
We feel that music should be composed for music lovers and especially for connoisseurs of such work, to refresh their spirits.
[/b]
I am delighted to discover I am not the only non-relativist in this forum.

I think it is a privilege for me that I was intitiated into classical music. I cherish classical music and I don't suffer from relativist tendencies to debase it by equating its value with (the grotesque, the perverse, the ugly, the far-fetched, the kitsch or simply) the plain.

Disclaimer: I am not saying all other music than classical is plain.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#425176 - 10/02/07 11:27 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
The music you describe has most likely already been made, not so easy to be innovative in these days.[/b]
Well, you're the composer. Being innovative should be easy enough when a redefinition is considered to be an innovation. What made the greatest of the past masters so great was that they didn't take such an easy way out. There is a difference between innovators such as Beethoven and Liszt. Beethoven enjoyed the challenge of writing something new in what must have seemed like an exhausted tradition. The younger generation already dabbled in Romanticism, so Beethoven wasn't exactly doing what was fashionable (see Charles Rosen: The Classical Style). Bach had found himself in a similar situation and had chosen as Beethoven would.

Do you think Beethoven couldn't have gone on to write another great symphony in the Classical style? He had already imagined most of it when he died. He would no doubt have, just for the challenge of it, written another nine symphonies in the same style, each of them unique. He had said he would write only symphonies, masses, and string quartets.

Liszt, on the other hand, was so innovative that he eventually lost the sight of what was great music and what was so-so. Consequently, he produced mostly so-so stuff late in his life. His greatest work, the Sonata in B minor, was his most traditional work.

19th century was of course the age of heroes and individualists. Today is the age of mere individualists, but with supporting institutions. When the "misunderstood geniuses" of the 19th century couldn't get an audience nor money, it was their problem. When the individualist composers of today don't get an audience, it's (somehow) the problem of the audience, the critics, and the musical establishment. And it's the musical establishment that encourages this new unbridled egotism. And so new composers have to be able to transcend the perversity of the musical establishment and modern society before they can begin to transcend purely musical problems in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, few people are ever intelligent enough to transcend their times, and today these extremely intelligent people tend to find themselves in saner and more productive professions than composing "new music".

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#425177 - 10/03/07 07:25 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
This interesting discussion makes me wonder whether innovation as such is a conscious and explicit goal of some post WW2 composers. This would be some indication to support my suspicion that post-modern music is 'concious of itself'.
I feel that composers used to be less concerned about the socio-cultural statement their music made, like the level of innovation compared to what others do and did. The socio-cultural environment influenced them, but their aim was to make a mere addition to the canon of music, not to state about it. This may have allowed them to closer follow their hearts and compose honestly.

Sometimes honesty meant innovation: Beethoven, Liszt. Sometimes this meant no innovation: late-Romantics (Rachmaninoff), neo-romantic work by Barber. All great composers. I suspect all of them considered it accidental whether their latest composition was innovative or not; they realised it after writing the work. I even suspect that after WW2, there have been composers who sat down to compose, musically uninspired, but determined to make an innovative statement.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#425178 - 10/03/07 07:26 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
This interesting discussion makes me wonder whether innovation as such is a conscious and explicit goal of some post WW2 composers. This would be some indication to support my suspicion that post-modern music is 'conscious of itself'.
I feel that composers used to be less concerned about the socio-cultural statement their music made, like the level of innovation compared to what others do and did. The socio-cultural environment influenced them, but their aim was to make a mere addition to the canon of music, not to state about it. This may have allowed them to closer follow their hearts and compose honestly.

Sometimes honesty meant innovation: Beethoven, Liszt. Sometimes this meant no innovation: late-Romantics (Rachmaninoff), neo-romantic work by Barber. All great composers. I suspect all of them considered it accidental whether their latest composition was innovative or not; they realised it after writing the work. I even suspect that after WW2, there have been composers who sat down to compose, musically uninspired, but determined to make an innovative statement.
_________________________
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

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#425179 - 10/03/07 11:47 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
I agree that being innovative for the sake of being innovative is aesthetically naive, and that it seems to be popular among the progressives these days.

However, I don't doubt that Beethoven and Liszt were conscious of what they were doing. Liszt put innovation on a pedestal, and this led to his artistic deterioration. Beethoven wasn't innovative in the way Liszt was or modern artists try to be. Beethoven was conscious of his decision to continue to write in the older tradition of Haydn and Mozart, after his artistic crisis around 1816. His "innovation" was creativity: the joyful transcendence of musical problems and puzzles within a supporting framework. The framework he was working in was itself magnificent. Only such a framework could support such unmatched works as his Op. 120, Op. 123, and Op. 125. It's a pity that, in this age of diversity, not a single composer seems to be even remotely interested in working within this same framework that produced these unmatched masterpieces, and could have produced so many more.

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#425180 - 10/03/07 07:27 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
His (Liszt) greatest work, the Sonata in B minor, was his most traditional work.[/b]
That is a very interesting view on a work that leaves musicologists stumped more than 150 years after its creation. Perhaps you could elaborate on that statement. Exactly what do you feel is traditional in the sonata? The harmony? Or perhaps the form?

I must respectfully disagree with your views on Liszt's innovations. I find his late experimental work very intriguing. I also find late Beethoven very intriguing, though I'm not sure how much was left of the classical framework when he composed his latest masterpieces. The framework he worked within was very much his own, developed by himself out of the tradition of Haydn and Mozart. I usually don't regard late Beethoven as a representant of classical style, neither do I see him as a romantic. At that point of his carreer, his style was simply "Beethoven".

The important word here is development. We all know that Beethoven doesn't sound like Haydn and late Beethoven doesn't sound like early Beethoven. Music was constantly evolving, as it has until today. You cannot stop this evolution. Even suggesting that something like that should be done is absurd. Even Beethoven was regarded a radical by the conservatives. Do you think that he should have listened to them and obediently composed more like Mozart? Do you think that Debussy should have listened to his teachers and honoured the rules of voice leading that had been producing so much fine music until then?

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#425181 - 10/03/07 07:27 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
I referenced Rosen's Classical Style, so you might want to check that out. It's a classic, and I warmly recommend it.

As for Liszt, his Sonata was for him what Beethoven's late works were for Beethoven: rummaging around a seemingly exhausted tradition and trying to compose something new in it. It was a conscious decision on Liszt's part. He named the work "sonata" for a reason.

You also talk about musical evolution, but please try to understand that evolution strictly speaking doesn't exist even in biology. Evolution is a progressivist euphemism for adaptation: species adapt to their changing environment in order to survive. When the environment doesn't change, the species don't change. Certain species haven't changed for millions of years, because their environment has stayed the same. To use this loaded term in discussing art seems to me naive indeed, or alternatively an ideological attempt at justifying something that perhaps shouldn't be justified.

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#425182 - 10/04/07 10:20 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Evolution is a progressivist euphemism for adaptation: species adapt to their changing environment in order to survive. When the environment doesn't change, the species don't change.[/b]
In the last century our environment has changed more rapidly than ever before, the global, cultural and intellectual environment. Yet you seem to think that music should not try to adapt to these changes.

Let's look back at the environment music adapted to a century ago. We all know what was going on in the other art forms, no need to discuss that further. Instead, let's think about science. In the 19th century we saw the rise of a new field in mathematics, non-Euclidean geometry. Until then the Euclidean postulates had been regarded undisputable truths for over 2000 years. Then suddenly a couple of mathematicians asked "what if they aren't true after all" and mathematically described universes where the sum of the angles of a triangle is greater or less than 180 degrees. Then in 1905 Einstein presents his special theory of relativity and showed us that space and time does not behave the way we thought them to behave. Ten years later his general theory of relativity proved that Euclidean geometry is in fact not valid in a gravitational field, only a good approximation.

In turbulent times like these, when the very basic laws of physics and mathematics can be questioned, it's natural that someone will question the laws of tonal music. If schoenberg wouldn't have done that, someone else would. The departure from tonality and all other laws that had governed western art music was unavoidable.

When Bolyai and Lobachevsky first presented their ideas about non-Euclidean geometry, the whole world laughed at them. It was obvious that such obscure ideas were nothing but nonsense. I guess Bolyai and Lobachevsky themselves also thought that what they had done would never lead to any practical applications, it was mostly a new interesting theory. Innovation for the sake of innovation. After their deaths it turned out that their work was essential to the development in 20th century mathematics, and that they had actually invented the mathematics that govern the real universe when Einstein's theory of relativity is taken into account.

This is what justifies innovation as a concious goal for artists and scientists alike. Even if a composition written only for the sake of innovation doesn't turn out to be a masterpiece, the innovator has still provided the rest of the composers in the world with a new tool that might create something beyond the innovators imagination. Other composers may choose to use the tool or ignore it. Schoenberg's music may not be something that I would have playing in the background while eating or reading a good book, but his ideas and innovations have later been refined and mixed up with other innovations to create true masterpieces.

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#425183 - 10/04/07 03:53 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
The difference between science and music that science is an intellectual pursuit. And as much as certain people would like to imagine, music is not remotely the same. Music is a form of entertainment. If the music is not pleasurable then it fails as music. Like Debussy said, "pleasure is the law". His rule was that simple but he still made music which people consider innovative but also enjoyable as well. Because his rule was always to make pleasurable music and not "sophisticated" music, although the results were sometimes both. My teacher loves Bach fugues but he also loves Satie's "Gymnopedies". And he can appreciate both. Reading Schmitz's book anaylzing his piano works is something I enjoyed doing, but there's a certain point past which you wonder how dedicated certain people are to music rather than making music into their faux- "intellectual pursuit" and creating a character for themselves.
_________________________
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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#425184 - 10/04/07 08:58 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Evolution is a progressivist euphemism for adaptation: species adapt to their changing environment in order to survive. When the environment doesn't change, the species don't change.[/b]
In the last century our environment has changed more rapidly than ever before, the global, cultural and intellectual environment. Yet you seem to think that music should not try to adapt to these changes.[/b]
What I wrote was literal and true; what you write above in the last sentence is so vague and metaphorical that I should merely ask, what do you mean? It is obvious that you're trying to imply a parallel between biological adaptation and some kind of artistic adaptation. But since the rest of your post has nothing to do with this, it's difficult to say just what you mean. Let me nevertheless try to answer to your question:

I think that academic composers or art composers should feel free to compose old music as well as new, without being ostracized. Indeed, they should be encouraged to do so. If the modern academic world were a truly open-minded society, it wouldn't produce only composers who sound modern. It would produce all kinds of composers. You, on the other hand, seem to think that any composer who wants to compose using traditional tonality and traditional forms should be laughed at as absurd, and if not burned on a stake, at least abused in journals & newspapers and ignored in real life until the poor heretic "adapted". Is that the way it should be? Don't worry, that's the way it already is. It's difficult to identify fascism when you're one of the fascists, isn't it? Let me, however, point out to you that such "adaptation" would be social adaptation necessitated by the intolerant narrow-mindedness of the artistic establishment, not by any actual artistic or art historic reality. Your progressive fantasies are a worse straitjacket than anything any Common Practice Period composer ever wore.

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