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#425125 - 09/28/07 07:35 PM What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgZhiYff7nM

Is it classical? New age? Techno? What? Does it matter who this guy is, or can we classify the music based on the music itself?

Would you say that the music he plays in the beginning should be considered the same style as the music at the end, just because he's the same person?

I love the Beethoven quote, by the way.
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Sam

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#425126 - 09/28/07 07:50 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Wow! That was pretty wild, Sam. The beginning sounded more classical/neo-classical to me, then the section around 2:05-3:15 shifted into prototypical new age, but from 6:00 on it was electronica / heavy metal. Maybe it should all just be considered acid rock in the Rick Wakeman/Yes sense.

I'm guessing, though, that the classical purists will not be eager to claim him as one of their own. \:D

Looking at the other suggested videos that popped up on YouTube, it looks like he has gone from 6-foot long hair to totally bald, or vice versa!
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#425127 - 09/28/07 07:57 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
I'm guessing, though, that the classical purists will not be eager to claim him as one of their own. \:D
[/b]
:)

But where do we put his music in the music store? This is of the utmost importance. People often grow tired of these discussions, because it seems to be just a question of semantics... but those semantics have practical value and nessesity.

Do we take his "neo-classical", "new age", and "heavy metal" (to use your descriptions), and just put it all together with everything that Dream Theater produces? Then it's not really anything musical that's binding it all together... it's just the fact that it's the same composer.

Or, do we split it all up, and put some in one section and some in a different section? At what point is their music so diverse that we are forced to find some way of putting them together anyway? At what point does the reputation of the group become more important than the music, such that people will expect it all to be in the same place?
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Sam

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#425128 - 09/28/07 08:04 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:

But where do we put his music in the music store? This is of the utmost importance. People often grow tired of these discussions, because it seems to be just a question of semantics... but those semantics have practical value and nessesity.
[/b]
If there are any vocals anywhere in his work, I'd file him with the rock groups. Failing that, electronica/techno. New age as a last resort, and I'm predicting the Chopin and Beethoven CDs would self-destruct if you tried to file him in classical.

I agree that the labels are important. I'm still feeling frustrated that we never arrived at a viable (to me) distinction between new age and classical in that one thread a few months back. \:\(
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#425129 - 09/28/07 08:18 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I think the problem is that "classical" is so vague.

Take everything (except folk and recent popular styles) from the last 1000 years, and put it all in one section.

Divide everything else up into a million and five genres.

No matter how you slice it, is an opera by Peri from 1600 Italy at all the same style as a solo piano etude by Ligeti in 1990 United States? No, of course not. Operas don't sound like solo piano music. Violins don't sound like tubas. 1600s music doesn't sound like 1900s music.

Today we distinguish between heavy metal and punk rock -- in 1730, people distinguished between empfindsamer and galant. But today, nobody listens to empfindsamer (C.P.E. Bach) or galant (J.C. Bach) enough to have any non-academic basis for distinction. But back in the Bachs's days, the difference was clear as night. Guess what -- C.P.E. Bach, W.A. Mozart, and Domenico Scarlatti all lived during the 1700's... but they're music is wildly different. \:\)

Today, some bands are "cross-over" by writing both vocal and instrumental in a couple of styles. Beethoven wrote piano sonatas, string quartets, songs, symphonies, an opera.... feh, it's all the same. ;\)


But, some music from 1880 Germany might share certain similarities with music from 1580 Italy. And some pop music from 1980 U.S.A. might share some similarities with both. How strong, and how important, are those similarities? How about the differences?

No music is an island... we all influence and are influenced by everyone else, which is why such categorization (semantics aside -- worry about putting apples and apples together, first, before deciding what to call them) very difficult.
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#425130 - 09/28/07 08:23 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
Well, this piece is on the tripple CD "live scenes from New York" that because of the majority of it's content will most likely be found in the heavy section. (Interesting trivia: the album was first released on September 11th 2001 and the original cover featured New York in flames. Talk about bad timing... The discs were quickly withdrawn from the stores and the cover art replaced.)

Another similar question: If I was to arrange Beethoven's sonatas for heavy band (guitar, bass, drums, keyboard), where would you place that record in the music store?

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#425131 - 09/28/07 08:29 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
I agree.

Besides the need for 'semantics'/'academics' that makes us divide music into categories. There is also the 'social' aspect of dividing music into different genres.

Teenagers work this way. "We only listen to rock." "We only listen to metal." .. "Classical is boring." etc. As if the same person will hate a piece of music just because "it is not rock".

Semantics/Academics are needed, but not when it interferes with ones tastes or judgement.

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#425132 - 09/28/07 08:40 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bassio:
Teenagers work this way. "We only listen to rock." "We only listen to metal." .. "Classical is boring." etc. As if the same person will hate a piece of music just because "it is not rock".[/b]
I agree. Now pick a teenager who only loves whatever style Dream Theater happens to be called (I don't know what that is) -- would they listen proudly to all of the music in that video? Perhaps, but they wouldn't listen to any other solo piano music, no matter how similar in style to the first piece on there.

People identify; but the identification often seems to be entirely seperate from musical taste.
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Sam

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#425133 - 09/28/07 08:51 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
But where do we put his music in the music store? This is of the utmost importance. People often grow tired of these discussions, because it seems to be just a question of semantics... but those semantics have practical value and nessesity. [/b]
There is a different issue, here, too, brought up by Bassio. It's the issue of social and individual identification.

Now in the age of computers, music can actually be fitted into different categories. A CD on amazon.com can be listed with several keywords: "classical", "romantic", "symphony", "Brahms". So it will show up under any of these searches. Gershwin can be listed as *both* classical and jazz. Billy Joel's new piano concerto can be listed as all of "classical", "rock", "piano", "concerto", "Billy Joel", "neo-classical"...

But this undermines strong identifications that, as Bassio mentioned, have strong underpinnings among a lot of youth (and adults, too).

Monica -- you like that Transsiberian group that does the classics in rock arrangements, right? What kind of music is that? (Which is Witold's insightful question) More importantly, however, how do people identify with that, and how do we base our "stylistic" classifications on the ways that people expect to (and already do) idenify?
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Sam

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#425134 - 09/28/07 09:03 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
how do people identify with that, and how do we base our "stylistic" classifications on the ways that people expect to (and already do) idenify? [/b]
IF Dream Theater was to perform the 3rd movement of the Appassionata, I'm quite certain that most people who don't know the original would assume it is a new instrumental composition by Dream Theater. Stylistically this particular movement is very close to the progressive metal that they usually play. Perhaps they should do just that, would be a great way to expose classical music to new listeners. After all, sometimes I feel Beethoven was quite a progressive rock musician...

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#425135 - 09/28/07 09:05 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by pianojerome:
[qb] Monica -- you like that Transsiberian group that does the classics in rock arrangements, right? What kind of music is that? [/b]
Sure do! Got my tickets for the 11/17 show in Lexington already.

I'd call them heavy metal, myself, despite the fact that most of what they play is either classical or traditional Christmas music. They're playing it with loud blaring electric guitars, however, while wearing leather jackets and whipping around their waist-length hair (men and women alike), so that rules out classical entirely. ;\)

Just for fun, I looked to see how Rhapsody classifies those groups. TSO it's got under "holiday music" (no help there). Dream Theater it lists under "Progressive metal," which is a subcategory of "metal," which is classified under "rock/pop."

And then when you add in the whole notion of identity, as Bassio and Sam point out, it adds yet another level of complication. But it is true that some people are willing to listen to TSO when it is called "heavy metal" but would shun it if it's called "classical."

Witold, when I've seen releases of classical music played on modern instruments and adding in drums etc., it's always been filed either under rock, metal, or new age, depending on how prominent a role the drums/guitars play in it. The only time I've seen modern recasting of classical stuff appear in classical bins is the group "Aria" which sets opera arias to electronica.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#425136 - 09/28/07 09:07 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Witold:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
how do people identify with that, and how do we base our "stylistic" classifications on the ways that people expect to (and already do) idenify? [/b]
IF Dream Theater was to perform the 3rd movement of the Appassionata, I'm quite certain that most people who don't know the original would assume it is a new instrumental composition by Dream Theater. Stylistically this particular movement is very close to the progressive metal that they usually play. Perhaps they should do just that, would be a great way to expose classical music to new listeners. After all, sometimes I feel Beethoven was quite a progressive rock musician... [/b]
In this video that I posted, he plays part of Beethoven's "Rage over a lost Penny." I could see him grinning through it -- but you have a good point. How many people just assumed he wrote it, not knowing it's really Beethoven?

On a similar note, how many classical fans know that Liszt did not write theme of his Totentanz? Nothing in the title tells us the theme is an old Christian chant from the Middle Ages.
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#425137 - 09/28/07 09:14 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Witold Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 128
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
Witold, when I've seen releases of classical music played on modern instruments and adding in drums etc., it's always been filed either under rock, metal, or new age, depending on how prominent a role the drums/guitars play in it. The only time I've seen modern recasting of classical stuff appear in classical bins is the group "Aria" which sets opera arias to electronica. [/b]
That was exactly what I expected... Now I'd like to ask why. If it is a pure transcription of the notes with some beats added on the drums, then the music is still the same as the original classical music. Apparently this says that the instrumentation decides in which shelf it should be. But I can't see why those instruments should be viewed differently than the traditional instruments. In the "classical" shelf you can find all of those instruments in various modern pieces. Also, if you look at this problem in the other direction, then according to this logic Apocalyptica should be in the classical shelf when they play Metallica on four cellos...

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#425138 - 09/28/07 09:20 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Great point, Witold. I would add that there are also so many different instruments (and different combinations of instruments) used in classical music.

Let's list them:

- piano
- acoustic guitar
- drums
- saxophone
- violin
- viola
- cello
- bass
- flute
- trumpet
- tuba
- celesta

... well, let's not. There are way too many! So how is it that all of these instruments sound the same, and yet different from the electric guitars?
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Sam

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#425139 - 09/28/07 11:07 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Dream Theater is awesome.

They're usually classified as "progressive rock."

You should hear their drummer, Mike Portnoy. He's incredible.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#425140 - 09/29/07 08:08 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
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.
I think I know how much Jordan Rudess is interested in the mircale of touch: about as much as in going to the barber.
_________________________
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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#425141 - 09/29/07 11:02 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 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?
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Sam

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#425142 - 09/29/07 11:05 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Loki Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1035
Loc: Texas
The beginning sounds like etude material.
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Houston, Texas

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#425143 - 09/29/07 11:09 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Is there such thing as a "non-classical etude"?
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Sam

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#425144 - 09/30/07 01:59 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2621
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 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]
Actually he did go to the barber. He had his head shaved. \:D
Jordan Rudess
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"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#425145 - 09/30/07 02:59 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
What kind of music is this?
Bad music.

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#425146 - 09/30/07 03:22 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cultor:
What kind of music is this?
Bad music. [/b]
Oh, the humanity!

( \:D )

Is it "bad", as an internal quality of the music itself, and/or is it "bad", as an external quality of you not liking it?
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Sam

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#425147 - 09/30/07 03:32 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
Both of them my friend. Both of them.
Sorry. I'm following BruceD.
I quit.

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#425148 - 09/30/07 04:08 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
This forum will lack certain eloquence and wonder if Cultor quits. At least I hope my stubborness in the "Melody" thread isn't responsible...

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#425149 - 09/30/07 04:22 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
Certainly not Antonius.
I'm tired, that's all.
I'm tired because I'm old.
I've lost all of my opinions.

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#425150 - 09/30/07 04:33 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cultor:
I've lost all of my opinions. [/b]
Nah. As you once said of me, "you're a great idea mover in this forum." You're very much appreciated, and respected.

Of course you're free to leave if you'd like; whether you stay or leave, you should know that you've left a good mark.
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Sam

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#425151 - 09/30/07 04:43 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Tenuto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 550
Loc: U.S.A.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cultor:
Certainly not Antonius.
I'm tired, that's all.
I'm tired because I'm old.
I've lost all of my opinions. [/b]
Be bold because you're old
act young then you will almost feel young
we don't have a long time on earth, do we?
and Cultor, you're creative verbiage has always
interested me, so I, for one, would miss you.

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#425152 - 09/30/07 04:45 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 Cultor:

I've lost all of my opinions. [/b]
Well, you can find some of those lost opinions scattered around the piano world. Perhaps you should stay to regain them? If not, then read Borges in the original Spanish for me, will you (as I must limit myself to translations).

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#425153 - 09/30/07 05:43 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Is there such thing as a "non-classical etude"? [/b]
Of course. An etude is just a study, and there are several jazz etudes published for various instruments.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#425154 - 09/30/07 12:54 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 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.
_________________________
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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#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
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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.
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#425160 - 09/30/07 11:04 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Schubertian Offline
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Loc: Dallas, TX, US
File it under 'schlock'
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#425161 - 09/30/07 11:30 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Schubertian:
File it under 'schlock' [/b]
Schlock Rock?

Sorry, already taken . ;\)
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#425162 - 09/30/07 11:30 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
TheMadMan86 Offline
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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
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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
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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?
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#425165 - 10/01/07 01:17 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
synthman Offline
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Registered: 02/23/07
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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
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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
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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.
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.. 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
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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
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Posts: 394
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 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!
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 10/31/05
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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.
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#425173 - 10/02/07 10:36 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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#425184 - 10/04/07 08:58 PM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
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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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#425185 - 10/05/07 12:35 AM Re: What kind of music is this?
Antonius Hamus Offline
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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
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 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
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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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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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
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 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
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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
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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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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
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 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
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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
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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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#1235282 - 07/22/09 09:56 AM Re: What kind of music is this? [Re: Janus K. Sachs]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
What's funny is it was from 2007, was bumped in 2008, and bumped again today. By 2015 it will have as many lives as a cat.

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#1235524 - 07/22/09 05:56 PM Re: What kind of music is this? [Re: Lycanthrope]
Damon Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6063
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Lycanthrope
What a discussion...

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


Snobbery is alive everywhere. Maybe you could start a new thread to discuss it. (I see you are probably playing "catch up" but I haven't seen a couple of the posters names in awhile.)
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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