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#431465 - 11/27/07 12:12 PM How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
I'm just curious about this. I spoke with a professor who is thoroughly versed in music theory and I asked him if he liked atonality (he had mentioned it several times in class), and the answer was quite a staunch no.

I believe the first encounter I ever had with music that had no sense of key was when I heard Ligeti's etudes. I remember thinking when I heard the first etude "this sounds like nothing". However, the more I listened to it, the more it began to fit together. Now, I thoroughly enjoy this music.

Not to say that dissonance is particularly pleasing in any classical sense, but I suppose I don't really consider this music "classical" anymore.

Also, I think a piece which is largely lacking a tonal center yet provides glimpses of certain tonalities is quite interesting. I once had the idea (no doubt it has been thought of before) of writing a piece using 3 or 5 movements, with the middle movement being largely without a key, but with the outer movements restoring a sense of peace with a gently emerging tonality. I thought it would be quite an interesting way to build tension, like a plot curve.

In any case, I'm curious what anyone might think about how many people genuinely enjoy this music.

-Colin

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#431466 - 11/27/07 12:23 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
C H O P I N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 310
Loc: England
I dislike it but find it interesting. It's all opinion though, I mean I love some art but hate others. I love the art of classic masters such as Da Vinci, but dislike most "modern" art therefore I HATED the tate modern museum in London (school trip) I felt almost as if i'd been ripped.... and it was free. When you see a canvas painted grey with the title "grey" I feel discraced that it could even be classified as art. I'd imagine Da Vinci turning in his grave. To pull any meaning from such works of "art" you would have to be dillusional in my opinion. (Thats an extreme case of course!) Much of the art was simply just not my cup of tea hence:

back to the musical side:

I don't think I can get much meaning from atonal music, it sounds random to my ears and I just can't recall ever liking it. That doesn't mean there is no meaning however, it just means I (myself) can't pick any out. If you like atonal music then thats great, we all have musical tastes
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#431467 - 11/27/07 12:31 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
 Quote:
When you see a canvas painted grey with the title "grey"
Haha \:D

As far as randomness is concerned, Sorabji wouldn't be considered strictly atonal but there certainly is no sense of key. Aside from his fantasias and toccatas, his music is usually constantly revolving around a certain melody, hence his fugues and other baroque-inspired forms. The melodic subjects themselves have proven to be quite memorable to my ears.

 Quote:
I don't think I can get much meaning from atonal music
It's interesting to note that, and interestingly enough that is why I connect with it so easily. It conveys by its very nature a sense of confusion, abstraction, alienation, and dread, thus reflecting the 20th century and my emotional state extremely well.

It is also, apparently, the only kind of music that makes full use of our equal-tempered system as the 12 equally-tempered tones are a requirement for it to function.

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#431468 - 11/27/07 12:36 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Nikolas Online   content
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5366
Loc: Europe
I'd like to draw a line between "atonality", which is rather limited as a term. Very limited actually, and the much more general contemporary concert hall music (even if for piano only).

I enjoy very very much contemporary stuff, which are away from tonality. I am rather tired of the tradditinal (classical) tonality. I do love also the extended use of tonality, as used by Stravinsky or Prokofiev, or Bartok, etc. But I also like very much other types of harmony (quartal, non repeated, etc).

I don't particularly enjoy 12 tone, or serial works, but it's an aesthtic issue more than anything else.

I value dissonances as much as consonanses! \:D

(for a "perfect" example of what I mean, if you wouldn't mind listening to this: http://www.nikolas-sideris.com/stuff/intmusic.mp3 It's a string quartet, which sounds very lyrical (and haunted at the same time) to me, and certainly not bad.
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#431469 - 11/27/07 12:42 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
 Quote:
I'd like to draw a line between "atonality", which is rather limited as a term. Very limited actually, and the much more general contemporary concert hall music (even if for piano only).
I suppose it is a bit unfair to group atonality with modern concert music simply because they largely don't appeal to the standard audience.

The music at that link is quite gorgeous, thank you for that. I believe I know what you mean, as well, with modern concert music - I suppose you like the Bartok quartets?

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#431470 - 11/27/07 12:54 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5366
Loc: Europe
Thanks \:\) (will reply to your PM as well \:\) )

Thing is that "atonality", academically and by definition is extremely limited. I mean you can't put, even by mistake a triad, or a tritone solved, cause then it's not atonal anymore. Anything else is much more to my liking (genouinly! \:D )

I always claim that audience (listeners) can also be "trained", as well as the composers. A person whose never heard anything contemporary, or atonal, or anything, would be doomed most likely to listen a bit of... Ligeti. But someone who has been listening to various stuff is more likely to enjoy the newer stuff.
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#431471 - 11/27/07 12:54 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I like some of it, and don't like some it.

I can't say it's "interesting", because I have absolutely no idea theoretically how it works. But to my ear, some of it just sounds aesthetically really good.
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#431472 - 11/27/07 12:55 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Anonymous
Unregistered


 Quote:
It conveys by its very nature a sense of confusion, abstraction, alienation, and dread, thus reflecting the 20th century and my emotional state extremely well.
I definitely agree with that. But I don't like the label "atonal". And I don't understand why atonal music, which is trying to break the "rules" (whatever those could possibly be in the first place), sometimes involves strict, often ridiculous and limiting rules like 12-tone system. That is where the Romantic period of portraying honest emotion falls apart.

Anything from Chopin to Scriabin is probably more honest than anything following the "rules". For me at least, the music I like really corresponds to my feelings at the moment--sometimes Chopin's mazurkas are enjoyable, and sometimes Scriabin's later works are perfect for the situation.

 Quote:
I don't think I can get much meaning from atonal music
I get plenty of meaning from atonal and non-tonal music (I dislike the categorizing) and I would guess that those who differ lack something in their lives that would invoke the meaning. Of course I can't support this, though.

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#431473 - 11/27/07 01:31 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
As someone who still doesn't listen to much if any atonal music, can I ask you guys for your favorite works in this genre?

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#431474 - 11/27/07 01:54 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Bassio, keep in mind that "atonal music" isn't a genre any more than all of "tonal music" is a single genre.

That said, you *must* listen to this piece by Rzewski:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDNy4YuCxdk

It's so unlike anything you've ever heard before. It doesn't even sound like a lot of the atonal music, although it's certainly not very tonal, at least not in the traditional sense.

edit: some parts in the middle seem a bit tonal, but certainly not the rest of it.
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#431475 - 11/27/07 02:54 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Robert Kenessy Offline
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Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
I couldn't come to like Schoenberg's 'Pierot lunaire', although I listened so much to it that I knew all 21 songs by heart (in German ). I became more interested in the poems set to music that I got the whole original set of 50 poems in French (of which Schoenberg set the German translation of 21 to music). And translated them all.

Serial and twelve-tone are a bridge too far for me.

I am a big Bartók fan. Bartók said he never wrote atonal music and not even polytonal music, as there is always some tonal center dominant in his music.

I now tremendously enjoy studying his Sonata (slightly above my level ) Which is definitely not in a traditional harmonic structure, despite Bartók's claim it is in E major.
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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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#431476 - 11/27/07 02:59 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
L'echange Offline
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Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 634
Loc: Romney WV
Put me in as one who sincerely likes it \:\)
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"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."

-Albert Camus,

Jim

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#431477 - 11/27/07 03:01 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
I even read somewhere Robert that Bartok composed a certain piece in order to prove to Schoenberg and his followers that he can write a completely atonal piece without even approaching the twelve-tone system and will even make more sense than their music

or something like that \:D .. but as usual, my AlZheimer-like symptoms are constantly popping up .. keep your two grains of salt with you

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#431478 - 11/27/07 03:06 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
 Quote:
Originally posted by L'echange:
Put me in as one who sincerely likes it \:\) [/b]
We almost forgot you Echange.

Throw us your most accessible ones please \:D

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#431479 - 11/27/07 03:09 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Secondo Offline
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Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 312
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Not me. I find it intellectual as opposed to musically enjoyable. I do enjoy intellectuality but i find myself analyzing and thinking with the left logical side rather than the right musical/emotional/intuitive side. Some of it can be interesting and expressive--like modern day traffic/life/stress/noise/overstimulation/alienation/etc. But, let's face it, coming up with a great melody is NOT EASY!!! The one thing difficult to get with atonality is what we subjectively have come to perceive as beautiful. You can make beautiful sounds--like the many Violin Concertos in the first half of 20th Century. But it evokes different emotions. But then again, all my friends know that I refuse to watch a movie unless it is at least 25 years old. So look who's talking . . .
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#431480 - 11/27/07 03:40 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I do not mind periods of atonality in a piece, because it can convey a certain affect. But if an entire piece is written in that, or an entire output of a composer, then I think of it as somewhat limited to those affects such as confusion, anger, insanity, etc. Therefor there is little beauty, IMO. I can somewhat tolerate it in the operas of Berg (like Wozzack), but even then, the subject matter is limited to probably parts of the human psyche that while interesting as a novelty, can wear after a time.

I think perhaps that these affects come from the fact that the tonal system is based on the harmonic series and so we all can feel the pull of the leading tone to tonic and subdominant to mediant, the two half steps found in the major scale.

I think Secondo also hits on something there. Most people will remember a good melody. It will stick in their head. But many atonal melodies do not stick (if they even exist), expect to one who has studied the music. For those who hear it once, it may be gone the next second, becuase there is no tonal context around it to make it stick.
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#431481 - 11/27/07 03:47 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
L'echange Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 634
Loc: Romney WV
Hmm,

It's a tricky subject because, like PianoJerome said, atonality is not something you can pin down. By atonal music, do you mean strict serialism, or music that lacks a harmonic base or tonal center?

In the case of strict serialism, I think I am an outcast among both traditionalists and serialists. I adopted a new system of listening for serialistic music when I explored it. A 'system' unlike the one I use for traditional and most contemporary music. People who dislike or don't understand it listen to it with confusion or alienation, and, generally, people who understand it, like it, or use it think of it in technical terms. In other words, they admire the internal structure of the building more than they actually like to sit back and look at the building. I, unlike most people, sit back and enjoy the building. Unless I am studying a piece of serialism, I completely disregard all of the devices and formulas used. To me, this is the best way to listen to music. Listening to Boulez's second sonata (without thinking about his means of composing it, how different it is from other works, what he intended compositionally and philosophically etc) is an amazing experience. His works, at best, are raw emotion. From furiousity to deep loneliness and alienation. The slow movement in the second sonata truly is a beautiful thing, like a frozen river or a dark forest, when listened to correctly.

I recommend the slow movement of Boulez's Second Sonata if you truly want to understand what I mean. Put on that movement, turn off all the lights, and before long you will find yourself far from home.

Boulez's First sonata is my favorite work of his. It represents, to me, the finest of boulez's work while still living in the Messiaen world, if you will.

His second sonata and ...explosante-fixe... are amazing works as well.

Webern's piano variations are great

Schoenberg's Piano Concerto

None of those are really accessible \:\)


Ligeti is one of my favorite composers.

He always said that his music is neither tonal nor atonal. His music is so organic that, once so far into a piece, you adopt a sort of subconscious tonal center.

His second and fifth etudes of book one lack clear tonality and are very accessible, imo... very beautiful works.

Xenakis always blows my mind, but as for accessibility, he comes last \:\)

Try Evryali for piano or La Legende d'Eer for 7-channel tape (my favorite work of his) if you are curious.

If you truly want to understand serialism, learn how it is made, learn its conventions, and learn how to make it. Then forget all that, and then listen to it in the same way you look
at the stars.

This may contradict the composers intentions and even the general musician's opinion, but for me, serialistic techniques are only of importance to the ones who decide to employ them in composition. Imo, to truly listen to serialistic music you must forget everything you know and let the sound world in front of you be the only thing that is real... beyond words, beyond rows, beyond ideas.
_________________________
"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."

-Albert Camus,

Jim

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#431482 - 11/27/07 03:51 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1711
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
As a lover of much atonal music, I have a great many things to say about this thread. For now though, I'll list some beautiful, very moving atonal pieces which are also wonderful starting points for those with open ears:

Schoenberg:
Piano Piece Op. 11 #2
A Survivor from Warsaw
Moses and Aron: Golden Calf scene from Act II (all the way until the re-entry of Moses) -- very exciting
Dreimal Tausend Jahre -- meltingly beautiful
Accompaniment to a Film-Scene (Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene)

Berg:
Wozzeck: whole opera if possible, Interlude and final scene if you want to "dip in"
Violin Concerto
Lyric Suite for String Quartet -- whole thing if possible, first movement if you want to sample

Ligeti:
Lux Aeterna
Piano etudes: especially Cordes a' vide, Fanfares, Fe'm, Der Zauberlehrling, L'escalier du diable

Tippett:
String Quartet no. 4
Symphony no. 4
Piano sonata no. 2
Piano sonata no. 3: last movement

Lutoslawski:
Piano Concerto (highly recommended! get the recording with Zimerman and the composer conducting, other recordings are very inferior)

Ginastera:
Piano Concerto no. 1: last movement

Rautavaara:
Symphony No. 7, third movement (particularly recommended for those who think that 12-tone music can't be beautiful)
Piano Concerto no. 2

Copland:
Piano Variations

Sessions:
Piano Sonata no. 2

Corigliano:
Symphony No. 1 (once wildly popular)

Leonard Bernstein:
Symphony no. 3 "Kaddish" -- a nice mix of tonal and atonal elements

Penderecki:
Polish Requiem

Schnittke:
Viola Concerto
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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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#431483 - 11/27/07 04:00 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
C H O P I N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 310
Loc: England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Balakirev:
 Quote:
It conveys by its very nature a sense of confusion, abstraction, alienation, and dread, thus reflecting the 20th century and my emotional state extremely well.
I definitely agree with that. But I don't like the label "atonal". And I don't understand why atonal music, which is trying to break the "rules" (whatever those could possibly be in the first place), sometimes involves strict, often ridiculous and limiting rules like 12-tone system. That is where the Romantic period of portraying honest emotion falls apart.

Anything from Chopin to Scriabin is probably more honest than anything following the "rules". For me at least, the music I like really corresponds to my feelings at the moment--sometimes Chopin's mazurkas are enjoyable, and sometimes Scriabin's later works are perfect for the situation.

 Quote:
I don't think I can get much meaning from atonal music
I get plenty of meaning from atonal and non-tonal music (I dislike the categorizing) and I would guess that those who differ lack something in their lives that would invoke the meaning. Of course I can't support this, though. [/b]
You're probably right. If that "emtiness" in my life suddenly gets filled and I start loving atonal music because of it, I will make a scincere apology to atonal music lovers.
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#431484 - 11/27/07 04:44 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1711
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
The thing about most people who are familiar with the standard repertoire who are newly introduced to atonal music is that they can't get over the initial shock -- just because it sounds so obviously different from the standard repertoire they think they somehow have to listen to it on a different way and on a different level. But really it isn't the case. Listen to atonal music long enough and one's ears become familiar with the harmonies, the gestures, etc. Sooner or later, one finds out that listening to atonal music is not too far removed from listening to tonal music -- and one even picks out melodies, motives, developments and restatements, climaxes, and -- shudder -- very powerful emotions! All one needs is persistence, and understanding will come soon enough.
And really, you don't need to take classes or get a degree to comprehend and love atonal music -- the same way one doesn't need theory classes to love tonal music. I listened to a fair amount of atonal music and didn't like it, but kept at it because it fascinated me. Then one night I encountered Moses and Aron, and it moved me to no small degree. And to think that at the time I didn't know anything about the theoretical workings behind any music, whether it be tonal or atonal!
Yes, it is shocking and it does take a bit of getting used to. But there is as much aesthetic worth to be found in atonal music as there is in tonal music. One just has to weed out the bad pieces (which is also true of tonal pieces, but time and the standard repertoire makes it easy in that case).
For those who are curious, please read "Arnold Schoenberg's Journey" by Allen Shawn, a very moving portrait of a still-infamous artist:

http://www.amazon.com/Arnold-Schoenbergs...96199737&sr=1-1
_________________________
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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#431485 - 11/27/07 04:47 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Anonymous
Unregistered


 Quote:
Sooner or later, one finds out that listening to atonal music is not too far removed from listening to tonal music
Yes! I don't like all this tonal vs. atonal debate. Once one becomes familiar with both, one will realize that they both are the same thing--music.

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#431486 - 11/27/07 04:51 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5962
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by L'echange:
This may contradict the composers intentions and even the general musician's opinion, but for me, serialistic techniques are only of importance to the ones who decide to employ them in composition. Imo, to truly listen to serialistic music you must forget everything you know and let the sound world in front of you be the only thing that is real... beyond words, beyond rows, beyond ideas. [/b]
I absolutely agree with you.
I studied composition in the late 60s when serialism was huge. I wrote many serial pieces, and for me it was always only a way of organising the material, never a set of rules to obey. You compose with your ears and your heart, and the music stands or falls on how it sounds and how this affects the listener.
I loved Webern then, and still love his music. The organisation pleases me on one level, but it's the music itself which keeps me coming back - those delicate little gems of sound. And on quite a different scale, the Berg violin concerto remains one of the most beautiful pieces I know (though not many would accuse it of being atonal!).
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#431487 - 11/27/07 04:59 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
L'echange Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 634
Loc: Romney WV
To a certain extent I believe it is true that if we listen to serial music long enough the sounds will start to become familiar... I used to say the same thing. But name me the person who is completely familiar with many of Boulez's works - not the titles but the musical ideas. The fact is that if we listen to serialistic music in that manner - wishing it were something it is not - we are missing the point. I sound like the devil's advocate but we must draw some line between serial music, tonal music, and atonal music because they really are so different. To argue that you listen to Schoenberg's piano works in the same way you listen to Chopin's pianos works just doesn't make sense.

Different music requires different ways of listening. Show me the man who listens to Bach, Xenakis, Black Sabbath, 50 Cent, Reich, Schumann, Earth, Jimmy Buffet, and Libercae in the same way, and I will show you one strange man. Not to say that one is better than the other... I am just saying that different musics require different perspectives, and musics that are different require a line to be drawn... like it or not. I think that 20th century music has been pigeonholed in such a grand way based soley on the fact that it really is so different. I would say the same thing about Classical v. Romantic music. The transformation from Late Romantic to Contemporary music was just bigger in stature.
_________________________
"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."

-Albert Camus,

Jim

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#431488 - 11/27/07 05:11 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5366
Loc: Europe
In the simplest of ways... it's all music, isn't it?

I certainly don't show the same interest to a work of Mendelson for example and a work of Ligeti or Messiaen, and thus I don't listen in the same way. But all 3 composers can lead to pretty much the same results afterwards.

But since I'm a musician, I do tend to analyse a bit as I listen, which is more like a curse than anything else. I just think of what I would do differently or how I could fix that, or get ideas on what to do next, etc. It's human nature I guess.

At least now we have choices, right? I mean youcan listen from Bach to... Arvo Part (and sound the same or Part sounding earlier! \:D ) or Boulez, or whatever really. The more choices the merrier?
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#431489 - 11/27/07 05:14 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
 Quote:
I get plenty of meaning from atonal and non-tonal music (I dislike the categorizing) and I would guess that those who differ lack something in their lives that would invoke the meaning. Of course I can't support this, though.
Reminds me of people saying that I don't like rap music only because I "haven't lived it". Or disliking heavy metal because I "just don't understand".
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#431490 - 11/27/07 05:27 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1711
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Ok, L'echange, I understand where you are coming from. But my original statements still stand. I listen to any music in pretty much the same way, in terms of grasping music's aesthetic substance. The distinctions (the "lines") you mention are those of a technical nature, i.e., what creates good counterpoint in a Palestrina mass is different from a Ligeti quartet. But grasping a piece's general aesthetic substance is a much bigger picture. One who enjoys a Gesualdo madrigal, a Bach fugue, and a Beethoven sonata doesn't need to switch brains between them. Yes, one listens for different elements and techniques, but as for grasping the complete aesthetic substance of a piece, the process is similar, whether it be chant or Xenakis. If I'm a very strange man in your eyes, I'm quite glad!
And before you go on calling me a simpleton, I'll tell you now that I have taught tonal, atonal (both "free" and serial), and post-tonal music theory at the college level, have played much atonal/post-tonal music, and use many atonal/post-tonal techniques in my compositions. I often eat such works as Boulez's Pli selon pli for breakfast, and will gladly say that my knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of any type of art-music is at least equal to yours. This isn't meant to be a flame. But merely underlining the fact of the supposed gulf between the standard repertoire and newer pieces, and thinking that one who loves the standard repertoire cannot love atonal music without educating oneself to somehow listen differently in order to grasp the aesthetic substance of, for instance, Rihm's Tutuguri -- well, that point of view does more harm than good, IMO. Such a point of view is at least partly responsible for why so many are turned off to atonal/post-tonal music in the first place! I bet most forum members loved Chopin or Rachmaninoff etc. and grasped their aesthetic substance before taking a theory class and becoming consciously aware of the techniques the composers use!

P.S.: Since we both love all kinds of post-tonal music, we really are on the same side, even if we disagree on the matter of how one "listens." So let's just agree to disagree, ok? \:\)
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Die Karpfen viel fressen,
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#431491 - 11/27/07 06:13 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I like it. Some of my favorites:

Berg Violin Concerto
Schoenberg Op. 11 and 4th String Quartet
1st and 2nd Boulez Sonatas
Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time
Webern Variations and Op. 21 symphony
Ligeti 3 Pieces for Two Pianos, Etudes (Book 1 and "White on White", haven't warmed up to Book 2 yet.)
Leon Kirchner Piano Sonata
Babadjanian Poem
Prokofiev 7th Sonata (1st movement, the others are a little bit tonal, but the 1st is not, even though there are structurally important pitches and harmonies)
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#431492 - 11/27/07 06:35 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
L'echange Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 634
Loc: Romney WV
Agreed \:\) ,

I didn't mean for that to sound like an attack. I just felt like I had to reveal my side of things.

Also, I was referring to the aesthetic substance and not in the least bit the technical nature. I think that Bach's big picture is much different than Alkan's, and requires a different set of ears.
_________________________
"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."

-Albert Camus,

Jim

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#431493 - 11/27/07 06:48 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Anonymous
Unregistered


 Quote:
Reminds me of people saying that I don't like rap music only because I "haven't lived it". Or disliking heavy metal because I "just don't understand".
But rap and heavy metal aren't music... \:D

But you're probably right--I guess I don't know why I easily get meaning out of atonal music. It just surprises me that so few people get meaning other than utter confusion. Rubinstein's attempt to explain why people forgot Scriabin must have had some effect on me.

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#431494 - 11/27/07 07:17 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3916
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
I heard a marvelous performance of the Berg violin concerto (played by Joseph Golan, principal 2nd violin with the Chicago Symphony) about 30 years go, and a very moving performance of some Schoenberg piano pieces by a Viennese pianist playing at PianoforteChicago sometime in the last year. I didn't expect to like either of these pieces. Well played, atonal pieces can be as moving as any music.
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