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#425185 - 10/05/07 12:35 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
To add to what Theowne writes above, here is something by David Foster Wallace, a currently very popular avant-garde writer:

"Well, the analogy [between art and these sciences] breaks down because math and hard science are pyramidical. They're like building a cathedral: each generation works off the last one, both in its advance and its errors. Ideally, each piece of art is its own unique object, and its evaluation is always present-tense. You could justify the worst piece of experimental horseshit by saying 'The fools may hate my stuff, but generations later I will be appreciated for my ground breaking rebellion.' All the beret-wearing 'artistes' I went to school with who believed that line are now writing ad copy someplace."

http://www.centerforbookculture.org/interviews/interview_wallace.html

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#425186 - 10/05/07 07:25 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
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".[/b]
Perhaps you could show me a quote where I have said something like that.

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#425187 - 10/05/07 03:31 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
I take it that your silence means that you couldn't find a suitable quote. I must admit that I find your presumptuous claim rather insulting, as you accuse me of the exact opposite of what I stand for. Could we please refrain from such accusations in the future and keep this discussion civilized. The only time I have said anything about any style in general was when I said that "there is no such thing as "good style" and "bad style", but in all styles there is good and bad music". I have also mentioned and praised Giya Kancheli, a living composer who composes mostly tonal music.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
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.[/b]
An important part of composition studies is to learn as widely as possible about different styles and techniques. Students are taught styles ranging from Palestrina to the present and are required to compose in all these styles. As a result the students graduate with a "tool box" filled with different techniques that they may or may not choose to use. At this point it is all up to the composer to decide what kind of music to compose. I can assure you that all academically educated composers would be able to compose pastiches in the classical style if they decided to do so. However, very few composers choose to use only one single technique. With the vast amount of tools available, most composers tend to mix different techniques and through this try find their own voice. There is of course also the composers that invent all new techniques, the innovators that apparently are thoroughly despised around here. Only a small part of all composers can be counted to this category, but as the history books usually only focus on these composers, most people live under the false impression that all composers are like that. Another reason why people get this impression is that as they are not familiar with the techniques developed in the past one hundred years, they mistakenly assume that works written in styles that have existed for almost a century are modern radical experiments.

A lot of composers choose to use tonality as one tool. Mostly it is in the form of 20th century nonfunctional tonality (=major and minor chords, but without the tonal functions, as used by Debussy). Bitonality or polytonality is also commonly used. There is also those who use functional tonality and write in a more classical idiom, but these composers do not get as much exposure as those who use a more modern language. I guess this is because orchestras that wish to perform classical music chooses Beethoven over a modern work in the same style, because the name Beethoven attracts the audience. New tonal music is mostly heard in movies, though film music also uses a lot of 20th century techniques, such as bitonality, quartal harmony and different twelve tone techniques.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
here is something by David Foster Wallace, a currently very popular avant-garde writer:

"Well, the analogy [between art and these sciences] breaks down because math and hard science are pyramidical. They're like building a cathedral: each generation works off the last one, both in its advance and its errors. Ideally, each piece of art is its own unique object, and its evaluation is always present-tense."[/b]
He might be a popular writer, but this statement is obviously not true for music. Every musical generation has worked off the last one. Even the strict serialists were very strongly influenced by tonality as they conciously tried to avoid all tonal references. Alongside these there was of course the French followers of Debussy and the Russian Symphonics who without doubt did continue the tradition of the previous generations. When trying to think of music that was not influenced by what was before, only the American experimentalists, lead by John Cage, comes to my mind. Although their works were closer to performance art than music.

I think the real difference between science and music is that in science you can find the truth. In music there is no right or wrong. Every individual has his own sence of right and wrong based on previous experiences. What sounds like a beautiful harmonic progression to you might feel completely different to someone who hasn't been exposed to tonal music before. Remember that the third was once considered a dissonance. In the absence of a real truth, I don't blame any composer for trying to find alternative solutions to the ones we are aware of. I listen to all kinds of music as open mindedly as possible and try to evaluate each piece individually. It doesn't matter if it is baroque music, extreme modernism, pop music or a new work written in a tonal classical style, I still make an effort to find out whether there is anything interesting to me in the music or not. I never utter an opinion on music I haven't heard, other than "I'd like to hear it".

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#425188 - 10/05/07 11:19 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:
I take it that your silence means that you couldn't find a suitable quote.[/b]
It means I was sleeping, or doing something else.

You wrote:

"Music [is] constantly evolving ... You cannot stop this evolution. Even suggesting that something like that should be done is absurd."

I hadn't suggested that nobody should compose music that sounds modern, so comments like that seemed to me to be demonstrations of a general negative attitude towards anything traditional being composed today by serious composers.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
An important part of composition studies is to learn as widely as possible about different styles and techniques. Students are taught styles ranging from Palestrina to the present and are required to compose in all these styles. [/b]
Yes, of course. I never said composing old music wasn't considered acceptable as an exercise. But if it's considered acceptable as a serious artistic expression where you come from and not discouraged in any way, then that's most certainly news to me.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
I can assure you that all academically educated composers would be able to compose pastiches in the classical style if they decided to do so. [/b]
See, there again... Or are you using the word 'pastiche' in a purely neutral manner? If so, then why should anybody compose a pastiche, instead of something completely original using traditional tonality and traditional forms? Would you call Beethoven's 9th symphony a pastiche? If not, then why would you use the word in this context either?

And no, hard scientists or mathematicians building on the achievements of the past isn't analogous to artists' picking and mixing, experiencing works of art and experiencing life, and building something from those experiences.

And yes, there are certain realities such as acoustic laws that affect what can be done in art and with art. You often just don't have to know anything about those realities to make your creations work in some way, and learn something from the reactions others have to those creations, and then make art that works even better. Building a refrigerator that works in just the right way, you have to be more careful with that. The problem with many modern artists is that their wildly false ideologies make them ignore the often massive evidence that their art isn't working. The existence of works that their makers call polytonal is a good example of the existence of delusional composers. However, I'm by no means saying that all modern, or relatively modern, composers are delusional in this regard. See, for example, the section "Challenges to Polytonality" here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytonality

You also said that thirds were once considered a dissonance by some ancient music theorists or composers. But do you know why? Here's a guess: their lutes and ancient keyboards were tuned so that the thirds weren't even close to pure, so they were considered a dissonance, because that's what they were in practice: dissonant. That's just a guess, but it will do until someone comes up with the real answer. I do recall hearing it once, the answer, and if it wasn't what I mentioned above, it was nevertheless just as scientific and objective. Nothing to do with some bizarre mystical kids' version of subjectivism or relativism.

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#425189 - 10/06/07 01:07 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
You wrote:

"Music [is] constantly evolving ... You cannot stop this evolution. Even suggesting that something like that should be done is absurd."

I hadn't suggested that nobody should compose music that sounds modern, so comments like that seemed to me to be demonstrations of a general negative attitude towards anything traditional being composed today by serious composers.[/b]
No, it was only a reaction to the negative attitudes towards innovation.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
I never said composing old music wasn't considered acceptable as an exercise. But if it's considered acceptable as a serious artistic expression where you come from and not discouraged in any way, then that's most certainly news to me.[/b]
Composing music with tonal influences has indeed long been discouraged by a certain school of composers. I know that you also still have Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy teaching that the major/minor triad is a dead concept, but oh how he was proved wrong by Lindberg's clarinet concerto. This is why I said this work is a cornerstone in the other thread, after this work I have felt a general change in attitudes toward tonal influences.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
See, there again... Or are you using the word 'pastiche' in a purely neutral manner? If so, then why should anybody compose a pastiche, instead of something completely original using traditional tonality and traditional forms? Would you call Beethoven's 9th symphony a pastiche? If not, then why would you use the word in this context either?[/b]
From my Oxford dictionary of current English:

Pastiche - an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period.

I already said that late Beethoven was composing in no other style than his own, so no it's definitely not a pastiche. As I said in my last post, composers tend to sit upon a large toolbox. If a composer decides to compose a tonal work, he has a lot of more tools at his disposal than those commonly used in Beethoven's time. The modern composer does know how to surprise the listener with unprepared distant modulations, how to add colouring with late romantic chromaticism, how to smoothly move between tonally unrelated chords, how to add tension by introducing elements that are foreign to traditional tonality. If the composer choses to not use any of these tools, it is most likely because of a concious decision to write in the style of Beethoven - a pastiche. Maybe there is some composer that feels so strongly about that particular period that he does compose in that style as his true expression, but I haven't met this composer yet. Most composers who take influences from the classical period combine this with more modern techniques and are thus known as neoclassicists. Lots of them around today, did your phrase "composers who sound modern" include these?

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
And yes, there are certain realities such as acoustic laws that affect what can be done in art and with art.[/b]
If you only knew how much your ears fool you here. In the end the human ear doesn't care very much about the physical realities, it adapts to accept the familiar. Here's a simple example I found:

(warning, some soundcards might play an unwanted loud sound in the beginning of the clip when receiving the midi tuning data)
http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/midi/beatgen.mid

In the first minute some chord progressions are repeated. The first one sounds right, while the second one sounds out of tune, especially when the seventh is introduced. According to the physical facts you refered to, the first one is wrong, the second is right. Our ears have adapted to accept the equal temper as "right", even though it is in fact horribly dissonant. If you do it the other way around and first listen to chords in just intonation for about a minute, then your ears get used to that, and if you immediatelly follow it up with an equally tempered major chord, the latter sound very dissonant.

If you regard the harmonic series a definition for right and wrong, then you also rule out some arabic modes and percussion music, that have nothing to do with the harmonic series.

The harmonic series does not define beauty. The sounds that always have been universally considered beautiful, such as birdsong or the sounds of the ocean have absolutely nothing to do with the harmonic series. Every individual defines audible beauty in his own way based on his own reference frame.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
The existence of works that their makers call polytonal is a good example of the existence of delusional composers.[/b]
I believe all composers who call their music polytonal are aware of this contradiction, but it hasn't stopped some of them from making beautiful music. Polytonal music does not need to be perceived as music with multiple tonal centers in order to function as good music.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
You also said that thirds were once considered a dissonance by some ancient music theorists or composers. But do you know why?[/b]
Yes I do. And I do know that the ancient greeks had their strings a lot more in tune than our modern pianos. And reneissance choirs, who considered the perfect fourth to be a dissonance, could also probably sing more in tune than our modern pianos.

In early history, the human ear was not used to hearing harmonic sounds, because such sounds do not appear in nature. The sound of multiple simultaneous sounds with definite pitch produced conflicting overtone series which were considered dissonant. In the earliest music, only the unison and the octave were considered consonance, as their overtone series are not in conflict with each other. Gradually higher intervals from the overtone series were added to the accepted consonances as people got used to harmonic sounds (the higher you go in the overtone series, the more conflicting are the produced overtone series). Today most people immediately accept intervals at least up to the ninth partial as consonances (except the seventh, which is too far from the equal temper we're used to hearing).

Dissonance and consonance is something you learn. I'm sure there's lots of chords that you would consider a lot more dissonant than I would, because I am probably more used to listening to dissonant music.

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#425190 - 10/06/07 02:08 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:
I already said that late Beethoven was composing in no other style than his own, so no it's definitely not a pastiche.[/b]
Perhaps you aren't familiar with Missa Solemnis, which you should logically call a collection of pastiches.

In any case, why do you think a moden composer couldn't compose in his own style using traditional tonality and classical forms? Certainly there is more to style than the amount of formal or harmonic innovations that can be heard from it. Early Beethoven is still Beethoven, and valid music, even if Haydn could have composed it.

You said something about this, but perhaps the way we think about these things is so different that attempts at communication will only prove useless.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
Dissonance and consonance is something you learn. [/b]
It's partly about memory, and expectation, and to that degree subjective. But there is always the part that has to do with the objective reality. You can become more sensitive to the tensions inherent in the qualities of sound, or you can become less sensitive to them. And in any case, many expectations don't cross borders. If they did, you probably couldn't derive much pleasure from Beethoven, even, not to mention Mozart (whose G minor string quintet you need to hear if you already haven't). Renaissance singers sang to an accompaniment that restricted how "just" they could be. I don't think you got your explanations right, there, anyway. I remember hearing better ones.

Well, to be honest, I should conclude this by saying that I sort of agreed or half agreed with much of what you wrote. Perhaps I haven't fully made up my mind about everything yet. I should get to it...

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#425191 - 10/07/07 06:07 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
In any case, why do you think a moden composer couldn't compose in his own style using traditional tonality and classical forms?

...perhaps the way we think about these things is so different that attempts at communication will only prove useless.[/b]
Before I make a final attempt at explaining this, I'd like to make sure that we are talking about the same thing. When you say traditional tonality and classical forms, are you specifically referring to tonality and forms used in the 18th century (and of course late Beethoven), or do you also include later tonal composers like Liszt, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Shostakovich or early Rautavaara?

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#425192 - 10/07/07 07:57 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:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
In any case, why do you think a moden composer couldn't compose in his own style using traditional tonality and classical forms?

...perhaps the way we think about these things is so different that attempts at communication will only prove useless.[/b]
Before I make a final attempt at explaining this, I'd like to make sure that we are talking about the same thing. When you say traditional tonality and classical forms, are you specifically referring to tonality and forms used in the 18th century (and of course late Beethoven)[/b]
Something like that. You could say that by "classical forms" I mean the forms we ascribe to Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, although, as Rosen explains in The Classical Style, our ideas about sonata form stem from the formalized and inflexible 19th century misconceptions about the late 18th century practices. By "traditional tonality" I mean functional harmony. Of course, to some degree the two (classical forms and functional harmony) are connected.

To make my point of view more understandable, I should perhaps mention that while Haydn knew Mozart's music well, he never used as much chromaticism as Mozart did, as far as I know. You don't find passages in Haydn that are comparable to what you can find in the first-movement development of Mozart's 40th symphony, for example. You would say Haydn's harmonic progressions aren't as advanced as Mozart's. Yet Haydn lived some 18 years after Mozart had died, and was familiar with his work. Haydn kept re-examining and refining his style, but rarely if ever felt a need to use Mozart's advanced progressions, although they were available to him.

In the same way, a modern composer could be aware of any number of 20th and 21st century innovations, but choose to use none of them. Time and history are illusions. A thousand year old technique is new to anyone who hasn't encountered it before. You can choose to use it, or ignore it, just as any other technique. It doesn't matter when it originated. And don't say Mozart doesn't sound as radical to people today as it did to people in the 18th century. Say rather that Mozart doesn't sound as radical to you as to Mozart himself. But then, how do you know? This was a guy who composed whole-tone stuff as a joke. And be that as it may, we are in a position to transcend our musical conditionings, in that we can choose what we listen to with attention, and consequently what sort of expectations we cultivate, never forgetting the objective qualities of physical sounds. It took even Haydn a long time to become fully sensitive to Mozart's classical ideals (see Rosen), why should we be any more sensitive to them than was Haydn? A fine tonal sense is something that needs to be cultivated in adulthood. And as I wrote earlier, our memories are, metaphorically speaking, neatly enough organized and our expectations don't cross borders. There is no need to pretend that Lisztian chromaticism wouldn't sound inappropriate in a Mozartian setting, no matter who composed the piece and in what century. Just in the same way, a sudden cluster in the middle of a Mozart sonata will always sound wrong, or at least in bad taste. Just as expectations don't cross borders, some techniques don't, either. Consequently, there's no need to suppose that a modern composer would have to employ unnatural proceedings in order to suppress his desire to use chord clusters if he found himself in the middle of composing a tonally stable sonata-form movement, somewhat in the manner of Mozart. And why wouldn't he find himself in the middle of such activity? It's good to compose something orderly once in a while, something that is in harmony with the realities of nature and humanity, and so approaches timelessness in its worth and universality in its appeal.

Sorry for the rambling length of this post. If I were a Jew, I would be a wandering Jew, at least in my writing style. It's always easier to leave the organizing and refining of thoughts to the reader.

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#425193 - 10/07/07 11:11 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
In the same way, a modern composer could be aware of any number of 20th and 21st century innovations, but choose to use none of them.[/b]
No, this isn't even remotely the same thing. Haydn was brought up in a certain musical environment, and developed his own style out of that. If you want to make some analogy to composers in that time, then you'll have to find an 18th century composer who composed in renaissance style, one who ignored the past two hundred years of development in music. As we have already mentioned, music constantly develops. Most of the great composers have been called radical in their youth and conservative at old age, as new radical ideas have been invented by then. This doesn't imply that they were composing in an old style at old age. They were composing in their own style.

Today we live in a very diverse musical environment. Everybody is constantly exposed to all kinds of music through different media and composers take influences from all of these. If you want to produce composers in classical style, then you'd have to abduct the children at birth and keep them away from all confrontation with any music that was not around in the early classical era.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
...if he found himself in the middle of composing a tonally stable sonata-form movement, somewhat in the manner of Mozart. And why wouldn't he find himself in the middle of such activity?[/b]
Maybe a composer would find himself in the middle of such an activity, but as I already tried to explain to you, he would then be composing a pastiche, a consciuos decision to write in the style of Mozart.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Perhaps you aren't familiar with Missa Solemnis, which you should logically call a collection of pastiches.[/b]
Perhaps you could explain your logic.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
It's good to compose something orderly once in a while, something that is in harmony with the realities of nature and humanity[/b]
Oh, come on. Realities of nature??? Didn't we already agree that harmonic sounds are in fact unnatural. Or have you heard a major triad in nature? Realities of humanity??? Western culture = humanity???

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#425194 - 10/07/07 11:30 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:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Perhaps you aren't familiar with Missa Solemnis, which you should logically call a collection of pastiches.[/b]
Perhaps you could explain your logic.[/b]
Beethoven used older techniques in it, from as far back as Renaissance.

Someone writes in a Wikipedia article that "the style is close to treatment of themes in imitation that one finds in the Flemish masters such as Josquin des Prez and Johannes Ockeghem, but it is unclear whether Beethoven was consciously imitating their techniques or whether this is simply a case of 'convergent evolution' to meet the peculiar demands of the mass text."

Tovey wrote that "there is no earlier choral writing that comes so near to recovering some of the lost secrets of the style of Palestrina." But he also writes that "there is no choral and no orchestral writing, earlier or later, that shows a more thrilling sense of the individual colour of every chord, every position, and every doubled third or discord." So your retort is easy to imagine. I say just observe Stravinsky's maxim that a good composer doesn't borrow but steals, in that a good composer makes his own whatever he takes. Please, don't forget to steal Beethoven, and give us some fine symphonies that sound like Witold Ludwig van Beethoven Lutoslawski.

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#425195 - 10/07/07 11:44 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
As for finding a major triad in nature... Yes, you can find it in the overtone series. The fifth and the major third (some octaves above the fundamental) are the only intervals you can hear from the overtone series when you play a single note. That's a major triad, then, in nature. The other harmonics are too weak, and affect merely the timbre of the sound.

See the second illustration in the music page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_series

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#425196 - 10/07/07 12:08 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
Beethoven used older techniques in it, from as far back as Renaissance. [/b]
Yet, in the first seven bars he immediately uses such a horrible modernist technique as a I-VI-II6-I64-V7-I harmonic progression. This is as much a reneissance pastiche as Lindberg's clarinet concerto is a Beethoven pastiche. Beethoven does exactly what composers are doing all the time today. He borrows from the past and adapts it to his own style.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
As for finding a major triad in nature... Yes, you can find it in the overtone series.[/b]
In the overtone series of harmonic sounds, such as sounds produced by a string or air column vibrating at a stable definite pitch. How often do you see those in nature? The sounds in nature (such as wind, rattling leaves, trees falling, lightning, water hitting rocks, animal roars...) have disharmonic spectrum and not a definite pitch. As a result of this, the complex spectrum caused by the overtones of a cluster is a lot closer to natural sounds than a triad. (I'm not saying that all triads should be replaced by clusters, just pointing out scientific facts.)

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#425197 - 10/07/07 12:37 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
I didn't say that Missa Solemnis is a pastiche from beginning to end. I believe I used the word collection. There's variety there, certainly. If you look through it, perhaps you can find a piece or two you could classify as a pastiche. Would this elevate the status of pastiche in your estimation, though?

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#425198 - 10/07/07 01:50 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
I'm sorry, but this discussion is now getting ridiculuos. May I suggest that you study some reneissance music, how they treat the individual voices, rhythm, dissonance and harmony. Then study the missa solemnis, and if you find a passage that is not at all influenced by later compositional styles (like you'd like composers today to compose classical pieces without being influenced by modern techniques), then we may continue on this particular subject.

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#425199 - 10/08/07 01:46 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
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Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
You don't seem to think that modern composers are able to compose completely traditional music (functional harmony, traditional forms) without imitating some particular composer or era. I would give a bit more credit to their intelligence and imagination in this regard. That's really the main issue here. If you compose a "classical" sonata, without thinking about what constitutes the Classical style (just as Beethoven would have), and just follow the logic of your musical ideas, and that leads you to a work that someone might mistake as a late Beethoven sonata, then that's still not a pastiche. It would be a pastiche if you really were weird enough to *not* be able to resist using clusters and tape recorders without trying to excruciatingly imitate late Beethoven. If you don't get this, then there is indeed nothing more to say.

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#425200 - 10/08/07 05:03 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
You don't seem to think that modern composers are able to compose completely traditional music (functional harmony, traditional forms) without imitating some particular composer or era.[/b]
No, I seem to think that no composer ever has been able to compose in a 250 years old style without imitating some particular composer or era. Feel free to prove me wrong.

And btw, I never said anything about clusters or taperecorders, there's other influences as well. Even if a composer has never heard 20th century "classical music", he is still influenced by romantic music, jazz, ethno, pop music, film music... Influences that aren't in contradiction with traditional tonality or forms, but didn't appear in the classical era.

Go ahead, "follow the logic of your musical ideas" and compose a piece that someone might mistake as a late Beethoven sonata, and I will point out to you what influences you have taken from the genres mentioned above.

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#425201 - 10/08/07 06:00 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
A musical form plus functional harmony doesn't equal style. Feel free to, uh, "prove" me wrong.

If serialists were able to disregard numerous influences such as Wagner and Debussy, I'm not sure why modern composers shouldn't be able to disregard what they hear on TV, in supermarkets, at smoky clubs. And it's not really difficult at all to avoid "new music", unless you actively seek to hear it or go to a music school, where it's unfortunately force fed to absolutely everyone.

I don't find your limiting attitude essentially different from the attitudes of those who abused Rachmaninoff in the early 20th century for composing old music. Pastiche? Makes no difference what you call it. Those same guys who were responsible for Sibelius's 30-year silence from 1927 until his death in 1957. The same who abused Medtner for composing old music.

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#425202 - 10/08/07 06:09 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Oh, and "pointing out" similarities isn't the same thing as pointing out influences. If I compose something, you can pretend to know what influenced it all you want, but the truth is you haven't lived my life and you have no idea.

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#425203 - 10/08/07 10:03 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
My dear mr. Hamus. I would appreciate it if you stopped expressing my opinions. Next time you want to say anything about my opinion or attitude towards something, please include a quote where I have specifically said that it is my opinion. If you read my opinion or attitude from the subtext of something I wrote, please quote the passage and include the words "Does this mean that your opinion on this subject is..."

I believe the only person here who reads something negative in the word "pastiche" is you. The only person who has ever talked about "composing old music" is you. I would personally never use such an expression, because it is a paradox in itself. You cannot create something old, because upon it's creation it is by definition new. You can only create a replica of something old.

You mentioned "following the logic of ones musical ideas". You could take any person who is associated with classical music in any way, composer, performer or student, play some late romantic music for them, and they will find it completely logical. Thus, the late romantic setting is part of the logic that guides their ideas.

I asked you specifically whether "traditional tonality and form" meant tonality and form as used by Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven, or if you also included later tonal composers. You chose the first and also pointed out that Lisztian chromaticism has nothing to do in such a setting. This is what makes the difference. I don't think there is a person alive whose musical logic would be limited to the harmony and forms used in that time. If a composer truly is following his own logic, he will not compose in the classical style using the harmony and form that was used in the 18th century. If he is composing in that style and can hear that the Lisztian chromaticism doesn't fit the style and therefore chooses not to use them, then he is following the logic of the style, not his own - he is creating music in another style = pastiche. However, if the composer doesn't care about the logic of the style and does everything the way he wants it, then it is of course not a pastiche, but then there will also be elements that would not have been used by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven. It will not correspond to your[/b] definition of "traditional tonality and form". My definition of traditional tonality and form is a lot wider than that and there is a lot of people today who compose in that style as their true expression.

Finally I'd like to point out that saying that "new music is unfortunately force fed to everyone in music schools" and in the next sentence accuse someone else for "limiting attitude" seems a bit odd to me...

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#425204 - 10/08/07 10:31 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:
My dear mr. Hamus. ...

I believe the only person here who reads something negative in the word "pastiche" is you. [/b]
My dear Lord Witold:

In that case all is fine.

Princely sincerely and
Yours very truly,
AH

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#425205 - 10/09/07 01:06 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
I'm now waiting for the Golden Age of Pastiche. Because you can't compose tonally stable music without composing a Mozart pastiche.

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#425206 - 10/09/07 06:56 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
Interesting. So you find all music by Chopin, Rachmaninov, Miles Davis, Elvis Presley, John Williams, Elton John and Andrew Lloyd Webber tonally unstable?

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#425207 - 10/09/07 07:24 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Compared to Mozart, yes. If you really want to understand what I'm saying, and of course you don't, read The Classical Style by Charles Rosen, and then reread my posts in this thread without the antagonistic mentality. Beethoven's implicit suggestion below is also sound advice.

Still waiting for the Golden Age of Pastiche. Should be near if composers are as liberal as they pretend to be.

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#425208 - 10/09/07 08:16 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
Here we go again... What did I just say about you expressing my opinions? Antagonistic mentality towards what?

You are obviously very frustrated that nobody composes like Mozart anymore. All I've tried to do is explain to you why. I've tried to keep my explanations as objective as possible. They have not been based on my own personal opinions, but on my experience from interacting with a lot of composers, both professional an amateur, and my observations from listening to music by a lot more composers, both professional and amateur. Now I can see that you don't even want to understand, so I shall not make any further attempts at explaning this. It seems that your desire for composers composing in the style of Mozart is so strong that you are not willing to accept the facts of reality, because then you would have to admit to yourself that there will not be another Mozart.

Finally, a word of consolation as I say goodbye to this thread. If you want more music in the classical style, I've heard that around 50 000 symphonies were composed in the classical era. Have you heard them all yet? If not, perhaps you could look up some of them you haven't heard for new experiences in the classical style!

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#425209 - 10/09/07 08:54 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
I was hoping that we, you and I, could pull this thread over the one-thousand barrier. Not even a pastiche Mozart? You sure make me need consolation!

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#425210 - 06/29/08 04:58 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
SirCanealot Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/08
Posts: 1
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
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! [/QB]
Seriously, how ignorant and snobby can one get? Have you heard of ANY of the popular rock bands of recent years and what they've done for music?

Yes!!! People will still be listening and "re-playing" Dream Theater's music 200 years from now, along with bands like Black Sabbath, Matallica, The Beatles, U2, etc, etc, etc, etc.

One could even argue that in 200 years time, rock music from today with be the "classical" music of tomorrow. Put yourself in the perspective of time: Could people in Bach's (or whoever's...) time have said "Pah! Bach? Nobody will remember him in 200 years!!"

What you've said here, among other things, is simply insulting to the genre of music I love and adore (the music that makes me happy and makes me feel good!). I don't claim to listen to much classical, but I wouldn't class myself as nearly as ignorant as you. Good sir, your snobbery is, quite frankly, amazing! I'm not too fond of classical, but there are tons of amazing musicians and composers out there, and I'd never insult it.

 Quote:
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?
To call Dream Theater pop is completely ignorant. I'd say there are WAY more people who listen and know about classic than progressive rock/metal. Why, for a progressive rock/metal band, Dream Theater are fairly well known and popular (especially in metal circles), there would be far more people who could name and listen to a dozen classical composers than people who could even say they'd heard of Dream Theater.

Has he heard of a lot of classical music? He was classically trained as a prodigy since a very young age!!

Horrible machine? Excuse me? Can you play the keyboard? Do you have ANY idea what goes into Jordan's keyboard playing? Oh wait, no, it doesn't matter. You were just ignorantly insulting other genres of music again. And OBVIOUSLY Jordan can play the Piano, though I doubt you can play the keyboard, past playing with a piano patch on one.

If anyone wants to hear Jordan, along with John Petrucci playing a classical-styled show with Jordan on grand piano for most of it, go and get a copy of this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evening-John-Pet...14772014&sr=8-1

It's a great CD, and Jordan's piano playing in it is great.

And I have no idea what you're talking about at 3:22. Perhaps you refer to rock pose #22, dramatic swaying? :p

And for those of you more interested in hearing Dream Theater in a more musical context, here is a song with very touching and excellent, in my opinion, lyrics and song writing (singer's voice wasn't great at this concert -- part of the fun of rock shall we say? ;\) ): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k1ogfdsOyo
(and actually, the keyboard parts weren't writen by Jordan [apart from the solo he added near the end], but DT's first keyboard player, Kevin Moore, another great player)

Edit: And try this for another "piece" -- one of their longer songs (24 minutes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO-lwUjsATU
It has Jordan playing on not one, but three "horrible machines"!

I apoligise for jumping into the topic and forum like this, but I wanted to respond to a number of comments here.

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#425211 - 06/29/08 06:32 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
To me this sounds like a modern improvisation referencing multiple composers. I don't know anything about Dream Theater aside from the posts on this topic.

My husband and I had a discussion not too long ago that might be relevant here. We were discussing the body of work of a particular filmmaker, and a director's commentary stating the idea that in order to "get" this person's work, one had to know the entire collection of films. But neither one of us thought that was necessarily a good thing.

Okay, so my head hurts and I should probably not go on and on here, but my question is: shouldn't a piece be able to be judged on its own merit without one having to know all or most pieces by the same musician/composer/band/etc? Also, isn't quality something very difficult to define at best -- I don't much like the video and would probably call it a bit affected, but that doesn't mean someone else won't find it inspiring and exciting.

This can be applied across all genres and musical eras. I think someone else said something to the effect of not labeling music good or bad based on how it is labeled, but rather on the merits of the music itself. I think I am in that camp.

I had a parent complain to me that I assigned too much "classical" to their 10-year-old and that she probably wouldn't like it. My explanation was that most children and lots of adults even recognize when they like certain music, but don't necessarily know whether it is "classical" or not. In this case, my student liked almost every piece assigned. It was the parent who was projecting this thought onto the child. I thought that was kind of sad.

Neat thread, by the way.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
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#425212 - 06/29/08 06:39 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by MsAdrienne:


Neat thread, by the way. [/b]
I should clarify that I didn't quite get through the last page. :p
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1235255 - 07/22/09 09:09 AM Re: What kind of music is this? [Re: MsAdrienne]
Lycanthrope Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 8
What a discussion...

Seems snobbery is alive and well, at least in the rarified world of the "classical".

But, those who turn their noses up a Jordan may like to know that he notates all his work and plays from that notation live (via scrolling LCD screens), this is very unusual in a rock setting. Indeed on the "Score 20th Anniversary" DVD he plays an Moog modular system and if you look carefully you'll see that the solo he's playing is printed out and stuck to the top of the keyboard.

Of course he can improvise as well, something that all classical musicians stray away from. He can also play all styles under the sun better than most other players, even the masters in each specific genre.

Personally if I had 1% of his talent I consider myself fortunate.

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#1235261 - 07/22/09 09:21 AM Re: What kind of music is this? [Re: Lycanthrope]
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
* NECROPHILIA ALERT! *

Before anyone else posts in this thread, please keep in mind that it had been dead for a year and three weeks before the post above this one revived it.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

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