Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 3 of 3 < 1 2 3
Topic Options
#581196 - 04/02/07 03:44 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Delightfully poetic Ted ... in describing the effect of music
“I invariably have to resort to the language of mystical experience.”

Let’s test you comment Jeanne W
“When an artist creates, the resulting work is revealing of who and what the artist is to a lesser or greater degree.”

When we view the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel ... surely we are knocked out by the sheer enormity of the ‘canvas’ ... by the masterful depiction of the myriad muscular biblical figures which inhabit the giant fresco ... of being able to peep back 500 years to the prevailing religious norms.

But what of Michelangelo? Do we really want to know the “who and what of the artist” ... or are we more inclined to sit back and savour the
pictorial marvel of sheer genius.

If your “who and what” is more directed at the characteristic style of the artist ... then you are onto much firmer ground ... the music of Chopin is distinctive ... Buonarotti’s “The Pieta” in St. Peters is the sole sculpture which has me fending back a manly tear ... I find myself in total awe of a chappie with a hammer and chisel bringing a block of marble to life ... and am reduced to Ted’s poetic “language of mystical experience”.

But it is the artist’s work ... not the artist ... who becomes the focus of
admiring attention.

Top
Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#581197 - 04/02/07 12:03 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
"When you sit down to it, don't be so ridiculous as to suppose that you are sitting in judgment on the art of Kenneth Grahame. You are merely sitting in judgment on yourself. You may be worthy: I don't know. But it is you who are on trial."
---A.A. Milne referring to The Wind in the Willows

Top
#581198 - 04/03/07 02:16 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Thanks A-H,

"To the beautiful memory of Kenneth Grahame, husband of Elspeth and father of Alastair, who passed the River on the 6 July 1932, leaving childhood and literature through him the more blest for all time".

Messing around in boats with Ratty and Mole by illustrator EH Shepard.

web page

Top
#581199 - 04/04/07 07:37 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
btb:

You are questioning my views; have said you'd like to test my belief, theory - call it what you will - that an artist's creations are revealing of who and what the artist is.

It seems you have a different opinion. I respect that. I don't expect anything I'm about to say is going to change anyone's opinion, but I would like to explain my thoughts on this subject a little more clearly. And if you or anyone else would like to discuss this a little more, I'd welcome that. I'd like to hear what you have to say. \:\)

My opinion is, as long as an artist has artistic freedom, his creative efforts do, to some degree, reveal who and what the artist is. By that I mean such things as the artist's nature, frame of mind, viewpoints, attitudes, some of the things that have made a strong impression. For visual artists, choice of medium, technique, colors, composition, subject, originality, are some of the things that, I think, provide clues of this nature.

But I also think it is difficult, if not impossible to interpret with absolute accuracy what an artist's creations may be revealing. Therefore, my belief that art reveals something about the artist, even if true, is somewhat of a moot point. And in fact, I think it's downright dangerous to try to form an opinion of a person based on their art. The conclusions one makes may be way off, completely unfounded...

Did the painter choose to portray mostly visions of beauty because this is his overwhelming experience of the world? Or is it a protest in response to the artist's overwhelmingly depressing experience of the world?

Why did the artist paint a leafless tree? What might he be attempting to express? To many people a leafless tree may be symbolic of stark, dead things; the thought is of the end of life. But to the artist, a leafless tree may symbolize a viable living entity ready to burst into life - the very beginning of life, full of promise and hope.

An absolute "key" that enables us to accurately interpret types of art, music, etc. is not provided to us. Only the artist knows for sure what they may be attempting to express; what their art may be saying about them, and sometimes even the artist himself doesn't know. It may be something that's bubbling up from their subconscious that they are not consciously aware of, or that they refuse to recognize or acknowledge.

So, i concede to you, btb, that it is probably not a good idea to form an opinion about an artist; to come to any conclusions, that an artist is "this or that", based upon their art.

Further, if forced to choose one point of view over the other, it seems to me more plausible, practical, maybe even more logical, to choose YOUR point of view over mine.

But my contention remains that art DOES say something about the artist, the problem is in interpretting what that "something" is.

My viewpoint may be difficult to defend, but I am standing by it. Maybe I'm just stubborn. \:D

Jeanne W

P.S. Some things, I think, may be held as generally being accepted as true?

* Artists (such as painters) are often, highly visual people.

* Many visual artists are appreciative of beauty. Their work demonstrates they are capable of experiencing beauty, that it speaks to them in some way and they wish to communicate and share that experience with others.

* Certain other visual artists, for whatever reasons, wish to communicate other things- the not so nice side of things in the world. An example, most of the paintings by a particular artist pretty much scared the hell out of me. That had an effect. If I had the opportunity to meet that artist, I'd have to think twice. And probably decide not to. Granted, that's based on my own personal interpretation of these paintings and, right or wrong, my impression of what kind of person it might take to paint such things. (I couldn't paint those kinds of things.) If you think about it, my impressions and experience of this artists' work probably reveals something about ME, as well as the artist.

P.P.S. To end this post, I'm offering a completely off-subject WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!:

If anyone reading this (yes, that means YOU) is thinking of moving from some nice warm weather climate to New England - JUST FORGET ABOUT IT. Today, here north of Boston, Mass, it's cold, miserable, wet and rainy. We had 2-4 inches of wet messy SLUSH today and now it's RAINING on top of it. Did I mention how MISERABLE we are here today in New England??? And our whole week up to now and through Sunday is going to be just as nice. \:D
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

Top
#581200 - 04/04/07 07:47 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
... it is the artist’s work ... not the artist ... who becomes the focus of
admiring attention. [/b]
That is, to my way of thinking, an idealistic way of looking at things. That's the way it SHOULD be, but the reality of it is, the artist often also becomes the focus of admiring attention.

Jeanne W
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

Top
#581201 - 04/05/07 09:54 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
While Jeanne assimilates the analogical theory, I encourage forum members to search the net to get a deeper approach to musical meaning. Some Google in “Musical meaning” and “Musical narrative” will help, as well as “Narrative theory” and “Musical theory”. The myth theory is actually seeing the music as a form of narration and in fact all forms of art can be approached from the point of view of “story telling”.

For those interested in the problems of musical meaning, Meyer, Leonard B. (1956). Emotion and Meaning in Music. Chicago, Chicago University Press is a must. A good resume of this book can be found here: http://csml.som.ohio-state.edu/Music829D/Notes/Meyer1.html

In 2005 the Society for Musical Theory awarded Mr. Michael Klein for his article: Chopin's Fourth Ballade as Musical Narrative.
Here’s a brief presentation by Klein himself which reveals how deep investigations on musical meaning has gone:

“This article argues a perspective of musical narrative as an emplotment of expressive states rather than a sequence of actors and their actions, and offers a narrative analysis of Chopin's Fourth Ballade. The analysis embraces both hermeneutic and semiotic concerns by examining what this music means and how it signifies that meaning, and proposes a reading of the Fourth Ballade that situates it intertextually. I begin with a discussion of mimetic and diegetic properties of music and consider ways in which Chopin's ballades signify time, particularly the past tense often deemed crucial to narrative forms. I then expand Edward T. Cone's notion of apotheosis, showing how Chopin's larger works depend upon an emotionally transformed recapitulation of an interior theme that often represents a desired emotional state. After applying these theories of apotheosis and temporality to the Fourth Ballade, I conclude with a discussion of pastoral literary narratives and the ways they elucidate the expressive logic of this work.”

Top
#581202 - 04/06/07 12:58 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Cultor has a high opinion of Mr. Klein's Society for Musical Theory award-winning article on "Chopin's Fourth Ballade as Musical Narrative."
Thought I'd chase down in my dictionary some of the musicologist jargon and replace with more familiar words ... so as to give the article a fair read.

The passion that musicologists have for inventing non-dictionary words like emplotment and diegetic ... together with intimidating mumbo jumbo like hermeneutic, semiotic, mimetic and apotheosis baffles most.

But here is what Mr. Klein has to say when pruned ... see if it makes sense.

‘This article argues a perspective of musical narrative as an "?" ( no such word as emplotment) of expressive states rather than a sequence of actors and their actions, and offers a narrative analysis of Chopin's Fourth Ballade. The analysis embraces both interpreting (hermeneutic) and the study of signs (semiotic) concerns by examining what this music means and how it signifies that meaning, and proposes a reading of the Fourth Ballade that situates it inter-textually. I begin with a discussion of imitative (mimetic) and "?" (no such word as diegetic) properties of music and consider ways in which Chopin's ballades signify time, particularly the past tense often deemed crucial to narrative forms. I then expand Edward T. Cone's notion of glorification (apotheosis), showing how Chopin's larger works depend upon an emotionally transformed recapitulation of an interior theme that often represents a desired emotional state. After applying these theories of glorification (apotheosis) and temporality to the Fourth Ballade, I conclude with a discussion of pastoral literary narratives and the ways they elucidate the expressive logic of this work.'

Top
#581203 - 04/06/07 01:51 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diegesis

http://www.largocanyon.org/pi/synchronicity/steves.htm

It's not musicologist jargon, it's jargon used by people who study narrative structure.

Basically, Klein is saying that Chopin is creating a plot out of emotional states. Instead of a simplistic semiotic model that merely ascribes motives and themes with characters, Klein sees Chopin's themes (characters) as evolving over time.

While I agree with btb that the language is perhaps unnecessarily dense, the idea is worth exploring. It's something we all experience. A theme returns, and we hear it as more than a recurrance of a theme, we have a sense that the character that theme represents has "gone through" something.

This is what he means by the combination of hermeneutic and and semiotic. We identify that the theme is changed (hermeneutic interpretation) and that change is structurally important in terms of narrative design (semiotics.)

So yes, even with the fancy words, pruned Klein makes perfect sense.
_________________________
"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

Top
#581204 - 04/06/07 01:54 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Ah, but these hundreds of thousands of academic clowns would lose their jobs and positions in a minute if they stopped writing their nonsense: after all, there's only so much (which is little) to write about intelligently...

Top
#581205 - 04/06/07 02:30 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diegesis

http://www.largocanyon.org/pi/synchronicity/steves.htm

It's not musicologist jargon, it's jargon used by people who study narrative structure.

Basically, Klein is saying that Chopin is creating a plot out of emotional states. Instead of a simplistic semiotic model that merely ascribes motives and themes with characters, Klein sees Chopin's themes (characters) as evolving over time.

While I agree with btb that the language is perhaps unnecessarily dense, the idea is worth exploring. It's something we all experience. A theme returns, and we hear it as more than a recurrance of a theme, we have a sense that the character that theme represents has "gone through" something.

This is what he means by the combination of hermeneutic and and semiotic. We identify that the theme is changed (hermeneutic interpretation) and that change is structurally important in terms of narrative design (semiotics.)

So yes, even with the fancy words, pruned Klein makes perfect sense. [/b]
So Klein's point is that Chopin uses thematic development, and that that development is structurally important?

Or is Klein's point that we think a theme is on a way to something (i.e. is a part of a narrative), even when it recurs in its original form after some development in between the two occurences? and that Chopin thought so too, and that consequently the recurrence is narratively significant? (EDIT: the theme achieves its goal in the transformed recurrence or 'recapitulation' (in reality a part of the development). That's the analogy Klein enjoys playing with.)

In the first case, he's making a career out of playing with words, hiding commonplace ideas behind his verbiage, don't you think? In the second case, he's writing purer nonsense, though still not quite original. In either case, the man's up to something one might truthfully describe as wearing a clown suit and scribbling nonsense.

Top
#581206 - 04/06/07 02:50 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Pull the other ... Kreisler,
You are now not only defending the abstruse jargon but also the nonsensical kite-flying theory of the misguided Mr. Klein.

Possessing as I do the most intimate structural analysis of the Chopin Ballade opus 52 ... I counter-argue that the music is framed on a simple developmental process within design principles ( as with Architecture) ... without any wild precept of story-telling or the need to throw in cliches of resultant emotional content .

All architects are aware of the need to resolve a design duality ... Classical music is permeated with the duality of the repeated theme followed by a recapitulation.

What's the weather like in Finland A-H? ... poor
Jeanne W is lamenting the mushy surroundings at the moment in New England ... hope you won't mind me looking up at a clear blue Pretoria sky with
a high of 27C ... sorry about that you snow-bound chaps ... but as Shelley so comfortingly said
"Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

Top
#581207 - 04/06/07 03:11 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
The weather is extraordinarily windy, and the sky almost cloudless. The ground is half covered with icy snow from yesterday or, as it may be, night. Can't recall. I'm looking at a huge windy forest. Not very dense. A beautiful sight, come to think of it.

Hey, Kreis. Ignore the second paragraph of my previous post: it was inspired by your third. I concur with btb: nonsense.

Top
#581208 - 04/06/07 03:13 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
But do you people REALLY think about all this when you listen to a piece of music, improvise or compose ? I read the thing by that Klein bloke three times and I still don't understand it. Architecture ? Duality ? Telling a story ? Narrative design ? God I must be a poor, simple bugger musically. Perhaps Mr What's his name in that other discussion was right - I'm either just a dabbler or some sort of musical pervert.

The weather here is going into autumn with a bang but we need the rain.
_________________________
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

Top
#581209 - 04/06/07 03:48 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Sorry about the architecture bit Ted2,
Us simple buggers must band together ... share your concern over the NZ need for rain ... like you we've had it inordinately dry this past summer.
A-H,
You paint a glorious Finnish forest landscape ... not long and you'll be sailing on your 1000 lakes in warm summer sunshine.

Top
#581210 - 04/06/07 02:36 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
btb: Thank you for translating Mr. Klein's thoughts for us. I would have gotten around to that sooner or later, but Mr. Klein's bloated vocabulary pretty much twisted my brain into something most resembling a pretzel. \:D

Kreisler: Thank you, also. You took the next step and basically paraphrased Mr. Klein, explaining what he said.

Klein is saying Chopin is creating a plot out of emotional states, that's it?

And some here agree with Mr. Klein; while others do not? If I'm understanding these discussions, some disagree saying the "emotional states" are purely the result of Chopin fitting his music into accepted musical structures of the day?

Was Chopin consciously writing to specific musical forms? Did he go back and edit and revise his compositions? Most likely he was, at least to a degree....OR....Is Chopin's music more a recapturing in notation of his off-the-cuff improvisations, notated more or less verbatim as they naturally flowed out? Unless there's a written account, an honest eyewitness report, that discuses this, we'll never know.

I'm thinking whichever/whatever method Chopin used to compose his music is a moot point. The end result is the same. Chopin's music - ALL music - is a sort of plot of emotional states, isn't it?

Music IMO tells a story. By that I mean it has the ability to lift you out of yourself and take you on a ride through different emotions. The story is different for each of us, however; highly personal. Each of us interprets the ride or "story", in our own way.

So if I'm understanding corrrectly, I agree with Mr. Klein. If the main gist of what Mr. Klein is saying is Chopin is creating a plot out of emotional states, I'd have to agree with that.

I wonder what Chopin would think of Mr. Klein's critique?

Jeanne W

P.S. Maybe I'm completing misunderstanding the point of your discussions??? I feel I'm starting to feel I'm stepping into MURKY WATERS.

P.P.S. btb: A clear blue Pretoria sky with warm temps sound terrific to me. Glad you are having nice weather where YOU are. Antonius: It may be cold where you are but it sounds from your description that you are, nevertheless, appreciating its beauty.
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

Top
#581211 - 04/06/07 02:52 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
Looking back over some of your posts here, I'm afraid I misunderstood the discussions about Mr. Klein. ??? I thought, initially some of you were saying you don't believe "plots of emotional states" exist in music. But it seems I misunderstood; that the discussion is more about how/why does the music take on a "plot of emotional state" format.

I don't believe that the "plots of emotional states" that exist in music are merely the result of a composer's attempts to fit music into an accepted musical framework. That IMO would be a purely mechanical way of composing, one that seems highly improbable, to me anyway. I believe the "plots of emotional states" occur mostly naturally, when the composer initially is getting his ideas out. It's a natural ebb and flow that is a byproduct of the composer himself - who is constantly moving in and out of his own "plots of emotional states."

Jeanne W
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

Top
#581212 - 04/06/07 03:24 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
pianoid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 314
Loc: somewhere in the space-time co...
Nice discussion so far. That music is a plot of emotional states, we all know that already. We also know it's a narrative, because it fits a timeline and has recurring themes and interplay. And from the summary of Klein's ideas I still get no meaning for the Chopin Ballade: what is the narrative about? So, what's it worth?

Music can express no objective meaningful content without some kind of contextual knowledge. All semiotic, dialetics or whatnot in the world won't help extracting objective meanings from a purely abstract art.
_________________________
gggEb!

Top
#581213 - 04/06/07 04:32 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Matthew Collett Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 536
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
In the first case, he's making a career out of playing with words, hiding commonplace ideas behind his verbiage, don't you think? In the second case, he's writing purer nonsense, though still not quite original. In either case, the man's up to something one might truthfully describe as wearing a clown suit and scribbling nonsense. [/b]
Technical jargon can serve two quite opposed purposes. Used appropriately, it can often express concepts significantly more concisely and exactly than is possible with nonspecialist language. Misused, it acts as a smokescreen, hiding the lack of real content under a veil of deliberate obscurity.

The two uses are readily distinguished by translating a short excerpt into nontechnical terms. If the result is unavoidably long and convoluted compared to the original, we have the virtuous use of jargon; if the result is the same length and complexity or even less, the vicious use.

At least two posters have already performed this experiment on the sample given. It clearly falls into the latter category.

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

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

Top
#581214 - 04/06/07 05:41 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yes, but what also interests Klein, and other semioticians, is that while we tend to interpret these things in our own ways, our "own ways" tend to be awfully similar!

In other words, if we had 10 people write down 10 words that all describe the fourth Ballade, there would probably be several words that were used by more than one person.

This suggests that it's not just a matter of personal preference, that there is in fact a range of appropriate responses. I don't think anybody would call the fourth Ballade happy. I do think a lot of people would call it tragic.

You say the story is different for all of us and highly personal, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. While you and I might have different stories for the fourth ballade, I would bet that our stories would in some ways be similar, and that's what narrative design is.

So how does Chopin do it? How does he write a piece that is meaningful to so many people in a very personal way?

Sometimes I agree with brb, that all the technical jargon is unnecessary fluff that gets in the way of something that's actually very simple.

But most of the time I think things are complicated and that there's nothing wrong with using a few fancy words here and there.


 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeanne W:
Music IMO tells a story. By that I mean it has the ability to lift you out of yourself and take you on a ride through different emotions. The story is different for each of us, however; highly personal. Each of us interprets the ride or "story", in our own way.[/b]
_________________________
"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

Top
#581215 - 04/07/07 02:13 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
It’s always a good idea to cut down on the “fancy” jargon to say things more directly.

But when the “chips” are down ... music is but a map of sound ... we can add words to convey a message.

Individual emotions are roused by the sound of music ... but also by the very shape of the map ... just looking down via Google Earth
at Long Island ... I can allow my mind to dance ... and reflect with Ralph Freed and Burton Lane

“I like New York in June, How About You?
I like a Gershwin tune, How About You?
I love a fireside when a storm is due,
I like potato chips, moonlight and motor trips, How About You?”

Any “story-telling” is purely an invention of our individual minds.

Top
#581216 - 04/07/07 02:50 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8890
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
just looking down via Google Earth at Long Island ... I can allow my mind to dance ...
And there's Ira Gershwin's words to his brilliant brother's music:

"Some say tomah[/b]to, some say tomay[/b]to
Some say potah[/b]to, some say potay[/b]to
Let's call the whole thing off!".

Not meaning to call anything "off", but an interesting point, nonetheless. \:\)
_________________________
Jason

Top
#581217 - 04/07/07 04:42 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
What a team!! Them thar Gershwins ... having fun at the moment playing brother George’s “They all Laughed”... but it took poetic Ira to add the lyrics

“They all laughed at Christopher Columbus
When he said the World was round
They all laughed when Edison recorded sound.
They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother
When they said that man could fly.
... But Ho, Ho, Ho, Who’s got the last laugh now?”

Top
#581218 - 04/07/07 09:48 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
I’m not particularly interested in Klein’s approach to music analysis. In any case I think we should go beyond the abstract and read the entire article to make any serious critic.
I’m spiritually restless and like new arguments and new approaches to music thoughts. I’ll go on torturing you! One interesting article on music origins (better skip intro 2.1):

Reznikoff. On Primitive Elements of Musical Meaning , JMM: The Journal of Music and Meaning 3, Fall 2004/Winter 2005 sec.2.3.

Wikipedia article Definitions of music is viewable.
From that article:
“Theoretician Iannis Xenakis in his Towards a Metamusic (1970, p.3) defined music as:
‘Firstly, a sort of comportment necessary for whoever thinks it and makes it. 2. An individual pleroma, a realization. 3. A fixing in sound of imagined virtualities (cosmological, philosophical arguments ...) 4. It is normative, in other words unconsciously it is a model for being or for doing by sympathetic drive. 5. It is catalytic: its mere presence permits internal psychic or mental transformations in the same way as the crystal ball of the hypnotist. 6. It is the gratuitous play of a child. 7. It is a mystical (but atheistic) asceticism. Consequently expressions of sadness, joy, love and dramatic situations are only very limited particular instances.’ ”

Xenakis said it, don't blame me!

Top
#581219 - 04/07/07 12:05 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
Xenakis on music:

"5. It is catalytic: its mere presence permits internal psychic or mental transformations in the same way as the crystal ball of the hypnotist."

========================================

Very, VERY interesting! Another way of saying that: Music fires up our brain cells! I agree with that. (Aside - hypnotists don't work with crystal balls, do they?)

Some of the things Xenakis is saying reminds me of your definition of music, Ted. (Ted, are you still with us???) I've been meaning to respond to your question, Ted. I'll do that now.

You asked if we think about all of this kind of stuff when we are listening to music or composing music. My definitive answer is: MORE OR LESS. \:D

Seriously, I don't think about most of these kinds of things when I'm listening to music. I'm too busy enjoying it. But I guess I enjoy discussing it after the fact. As for composing, I'm thinking about some of these things, trying to pay attention to form, structure, etc. after the initial idea is out and I go back to work on the composition.

Is there a value in engaging in these kinds of discussions? Again, yes and no! For some it will have value, for others not! To each his own. \:\)

I think it's fair to say music is enjoyed different ways? That some listen mostly to the sound of it. Others, in addition to listening, analyze the music examining such things as complexity, form, structure, instrumentation, how the notes look on paper, how the music sorts out mathematically, etc.

I don't think any one of these ways of experiencing music is necessarily better or superior, they are just different. It is true a person who is able to analyze a piece of music from an academic point of view, determine and discuss whether it adheres to accepted music rules, etc. has had the benefit of a musical education, but from a listening standpoint, does this necessarily enhance a person's experience of music? I'm thinking the answer to that question is yes and no, it's a double edged sword that can both enhance and detract from a person's appreciation of and experience of music,

I am reminded of something my husband once told me about someone who was majoring in psychology. He was unable to interact with people in a casual way, was always endlessly analyzing them! Why he/she said this, did that, what they *really* meant when...

Music can be endlessly evaluated, too. Some will enjoy doing that; others won't. And I wonder if having the ability or penchant for doing so can actually spoil a piece of music for a person? What if a person LOVES the SOUND of a particular piece of music, but upon analyzing it, realizes it is very flawed, falls short of the musical standards/rules of the day? (i.e Tchaikovsky, Chopin's concerto…) Could this knowledge spoil the music for that person???

I'm remembering something Leonard Bernstein once said, something to the effect that if a composer has something worthwhile to say it's worth waiting through the chaffe to get to the wheat. : ) Hold on, I wrote that down somewhere, I'm going to look for it...

I found it. Here it is…

========================================

Leonard Bernstein's comments during a discussion of "Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue".

Interviewer: "Can you adore a bad composition?"

Bernstein: "…Yes, you can… you can love a bad composition. For non-compositional reasons. Sentiment. Association. Inner meaning. Spirit. But I think I like it most of all because it is so sincere. It is trying so hard to be good: it has only good intentions."

Interviewer: "You mean you like it for its faults?"

Bernstein: "No, I don't. But what's good in it is so good it's irresistible. If you have to go along with some chaff in order to have the wheat, it's worth it.

=====================================

Food for thought.

Jeanne W

SUPER IMPORTANT POST SCRIPT:

Hey, I believe I've come up with a smashingly brilliant way of defining music that EVERYONE in the entire world can agree on:

SUPER COLOSSAL TOTALLY IRREFUTIBLE UNIVERSAL DEFINITION OF MUSIC
.
..
...
....
.....
......
.......
.........
..........
...........
............
.............
..............
...............
................

IT IS WHAT IT IS.

\:D
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

Top
#581220 - 04/07/07 12:30 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
This is some of the content from the Wikipedia link Cultor provided. Thanks, Cultor!

ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD 'MUSIC'

The word MUSIC comes from the Greek mousikê (tekhnê) by way of the Latin musica. It is ultimately derived from mousa, the Greek word for muse. In ancient Greece, the word mousike was used to mean any of the arts or sciences governed by the Muses. Later, in Rome, ars musica embraced poetry as well as instrument-oriented music. In the European Middle Ages, musica was part of the mathematical quadrivium - arithmetics, geometry, astronomy and musica. The concept of musica was split into three major kinds: musica universalis, musica humana, and musica instrumentalis. Of those, only the last - musica instrumentalis - referred to music as performed sound.

MUSICA UNIVERSALIS or MUSICA MUNDANA referred to the order of the universe, as God had created it in "measure, number and weight". The proportions of the spheres of the planets and stars (which at the time were still thought to revolve around the earth) were perceived as a form of music, without necessarily implying that any sound would be heard - music refers strictly to the mathematical proportions. From this concept later resulted the romantic idea of a music of the spheres.

MUSICA HUMANA designated the proportions of the human body. These were thought to reflect the proportions of the Heavens and as such, to be an expression of god's greatness. To Medieval thinking, all things were connected with each other - a mode of thought that finds its traces today in the occult sciences or esoteric thought - ranging from astrology to believing certain minerals have certain beneficiary effects.

MUSICA INSTRUMENTALIS, finally, was the lowliest of the three disciplines and referred to the manifestation of those same mathematical proportions in sound - be it sung or played on instruments. The polyphonic organization of different melodies to sound at the same time was still a relatively new invention then, and it is understandable that the mathematical or physical relationships in frequency that give rise to the musical intervals as we hear them, should be foremost among the preoccupations of Medieval musicians.

===========================================

Something about these definitions is getting to me emotionally. Maybe because they point out the supreme elegance or music, if you will, of it all. \:\)

I especially enjoyed reading about MUSICA UNIVERSALIS or MUSICA MUNDANA which refers to the order of the universe. And the way this is expressed, I feel it has helped me to understand how it is possible to have a mathematical appreciation of "music".

These definitions are extremely broad in scope. I had posted earlier on that's a different way of defining music - to start from an extremely broad, inclusive point and narrow things down from there (my husband's idea.) I'll try to post about that within the new few days.

Jeanne W
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

Top
#581221 - 04/07/07 06:31 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
pianoid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 314
Loc: somewhere in the space-time co...
I guess I have to edit the wikipedia article to have my own personal authoritative music definition in there. ;\)

Hmm, certainly someone analizing music and more aware of a particular piece's structure, themes and interplay enjoy the piece a lot more than someone who merely enjoys the sounds of it. That's why, BTW, most people don't enjoy classical music: they say it has no (obvious) melody and similar arguments. When it's the exact contrary: it has more melodies and contrapuntal simultaneous voices than someone not musically educated can be aware of.

Certainly education only does one good.

Kreisler:
"While you and I might have different stories for the fourth ballade, I would bet that our stories would in some ways be similar, and that's what narrative design is."

Yes, indeed. No particular meaning required.
_________________________
gggEb!

Top
#581222 - 04/07/07 06:46 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Jeanne:

Yes, I'm still here; a bit busy but still here.

Thanks for the Xenakis quote. Yes, that's more or less how I see it. But Kreisler is right too; there do indeed exist numerous properties of musical sound which seem to generate remarkably similar "hypnotic" reponses in many brains. Perhaps the real question is whether these musical archetypes are to do with social and educational conditioning, the shapes of our brains or syntactic properties of the music itself - that is to say more simply, habit, biology or language.

My amateurish guess is that it is a convoluted mixture of all three.
_________________________
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

Top
#581223 - 04/07/07 07:50 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoid:
[QB] Hmm, certainly someone analizing music and more aware of a particular piece's structure, themes and interplay enjoy the piece a lot more than someone who merely enjoys the sounds of it. That's why, BTW, most people don't enjoy classical music: they say it has no (obvious) melody and similar arguments. When it's the exact contrary: it has more melodies and contrapuntal simultaneous voices than someone not musically educated can be aware of.

[QB]
Being able to pick up on melodies, etc. - those who have been "musically educated" have been taught to pick up on such things, yes. But I'm thinking those without a musical education may do that as well. Depending on a person's level of natural aptitude for music - musical perception or musical intelligence.

;\)

Jeanne W

P.S. Pianoid, we'll have to agree to disagree on whether someone analyzing a piece of music necessarily enjoys it more than those who don't.
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

Top
#581224 - 04/07/07 08:06 PM Re: What Is "Music"?
pianoid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 314
Loc: somewhere in the space-time co...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeanne W:
we'll have to agree to disagree on whether someone analyzing a piece of music necessarily enjoys it more than those who don't. [/b]
Ok, I agree to disagree with you. \:\)

Certainly someone enjoying both the music and the analytical processing of it is having at least twice the fun than someone just enjoying the music by itself... \:\)
_________________________
gggEb!

Top
#581225 - 04/12/07 10:03 AM Re: What Is "Music"?
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
Talking about Ethos in music, I’m making an interesting experience: I’m travelling Argentina from Buenos Aires to Cordoba, San Luis and Mendoza, heading Chile. That is from the Pampa to the Cordillera de los Andes and the Pacific Ocean. While driving my car I hear different classical music which I change trying to see how it concords or not with the landscapes. I feel agreement with nature hearing all Mozart, some Beethoven, Bruckner symphonies and Rachmaninov piano concertos (!). Instead Bach piano partitas bring a crossing intellectual-emotional struggle with the scenes, from which Bach always prevails and I tried Chopin Ballads and felt extreme dissonances with Nature landscapes. Its like landscape-inspired music “embodies” its original natural Ethos.
Am I talking nonsense?

Top
Page 3 of 3 < 1 2 3

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Taking the hammers with you to do voicing.. ?
by InfiniteClouds
20 minutes 12 seconds ago
Pop instrumental
by Michael Forbes
34 minutes 54 seconds ago
How do you charge a fellow technician?
by chernobieff
Today at 06:28 PM
Question for the moderator...
by Emmery
Today at 05:57 PM
Rare Time Signatures
by caters
Today at 02:59 PM
Who's Online
119 registered (36251, accordeur, adrpiano, aesop, 30 invisible), 1475 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76383 Members
42 Forums
157898 Topics
2318957 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission