When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer...

Posted by: JoelW

When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 05:30 AM

...recordings or scores? (assuming you had to pick between the two)
Posted by: mrenaud

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 05:53 AM

Scores, always. Recordings are nice to have, but if I'm supposed to say anything about the composition itself (rather than its performance), then I vastly prefer scores.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 06:07 AM

Do you think that is the view of most people who surf this forum?

(and nice signature smile )
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 08:58 AM

Scores. For a start, it weeds out the compositions from the improvisations.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Scores. For a start, it weeds out the compositions from the improvisations.
Wait... what's wrong with an impro then?

Anyhow, the formal reply for me would be both: If you have a composition that's for more than 1 instrument (piano) then any pianist would have a bit of trouble thinking of what's going on in there. This is a job for other composers, and not many I know can use their inner ear that well anyways... So a recording IS curcial.

Same goes for scores... A score will give a much better understanding of what's going on. And it's really helpful to see what's going on in a very slow and analytical manner, rather than taking a mental 'photograph' of what you're listening to, in order to offer some feedback later on.

___________________________

One should also be aware of the situation each composer is in: One may want to offer the score, because the recording is for sale. Another may want to release the recording, because the score is for sale. Etc...

There is no clear answer, I'm afraid.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 10:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
]Wait... what's wrong with an impro then?


Nothing at all. But it's rarely a composition untill the ideas in it are pinned down and given structure.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 10:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
]Wait... what's wrong with an impro then?


Nothing at all. But it's rarely a composition untill the ideas in it are pinned down and given structure.


What I meant was, "a score vs. a recording of what's written on the score"
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/10/12 06:42 PM

I personally would go with the scores. I'm very much a "reader", and always really appreciate following the scores as the music is being played.
Posted by: keystring

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/11/12 02:19 AM

I don't mind a recording, but definitely want to see the score.
Posted by: currawong

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/11/12 03:56 AM

Most definitely scores.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/11/12 05:38 AM

Apart from anything else, it's difficult to comment on a recording other that "I enjoyed that! Well done!" (which, I suppose, is all that many people submitting recorded improvisations want to hear anyway:-)
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/11/12 11:49 AM

In my view a recording is what an audience will hear, so in terms of evaluating a piece for dramatic impact and to a degree harmonic sophistication I don't need a score. While analysis is useful to see what's going on I don't think it matters in how successful a piece is, because the audience very seldom has access to a score. A piece of music will succeed or fail based on its audience perception and that typically means sans score.

To get to Wombat's comment, if you didn't enjoy it, it doesn't matter what's in the score. As far as improvisations are concerned it's pretty easy to tell when a piece is improvised as there's usually a repeating chord progression involved. For me through composed music will always be much denser regarding content.
Posted by: LoPresti

When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/13/12 02:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Scores. For a start, it weeds out the compositions from the improvisations.


Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Wait... what's wrong with an impro then?
. . . If you have a composition that's for more than 1 instrument (piano) then any pianist would have a bit of trouble thinking of what's going on in there. This is a job for other composers, and not many I know can use their inner ear that well anyways... So a recording IS curcial.

I have been pondering this interchange all weekend. Like Mr. Exalted, in my mind there is a clear distinction between a Composition and an Improvisation.

The former is music that is somewhat “formalized”, in that it is finished, complete unto itself, and repeatable by someone other than the originator. Typically, a composition is committed to paper, and that is the primary way it is transferred from composer to performer.

An improvisation, as its name implies, is ad-hoc, extemporaneous, and would seldom, if ever, be repeated note-for-note. (An exception to this might be the transcription of a jazz solo, where the student is attempting to analyze for learning.) The improvisation carries the connotation of being in the moment, and not lasting beyond the “now”.

As for Composers: I believe that REAL Composers, of which there are several on this Forum, need an exceptional command of the musical language, and its tools. I think of Composition as a craft, with all the implied rigor and study and experience that culminates in the mastery of anything. Like a conductor, the composer is an exceptional musician with a bird’s-eye-view of music. With that in mind, I find it difficult to picture a real Composer who cannot look at a relatively tonal score, and immediately “hear” the music. If that ability has not yet been cultivated, then we probably do not yet have a real composer.

Just LoPresti’s opinion, naturally. So, if I have to pick one, I’ll take the score any day.
Ed
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/13/12 05:09 AM

OT: Joe, is that your picture as your avatar or one of the singers from One Direction (not proud I just made that reference, ha)
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/13/12 05:27 AM

Yes. Despite anecdotes of a few genius composers who could extemporise a fully-structured piece of music, most of us need to work a little harder to produce something worthy of consideration!

Not that a recording isn't also useful for comment and criticism. The (relative) layman's opinion is also valuable.

But heck, who am I to tell a composer how to compose! If the result's good, who cares about the medium? :-)
Posted by: JoelW

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/13/12 07:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
OT: Joe, is that your picture as your avatar or one of the singers from One Direction (not proud I just made that reference, ha)


Yes, that's me. One direction can go pound sand.
Posted by: EO3

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/14/12 10:45 AM

Recordings !
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/15/12 03:43 AM

Scores.
Posted by: Ted

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/19/12 01:13 AM

Sound is all that matters to me. Whether a piece possesses an approximate visual equivalent, i.e. score, whether it was created slowly over a long time, worked out at an instrument or not, or recorded on the spot using improvisation, or even produced by a computer program doesn't matter. Any other answer would render me inconsistent. So a recording for me.
Posted by: Dara

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/23/12 05:15 AM

I think the basis of music creation and appreciation is that it is audible, in all musical genres.
Posted by: currawong

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/23/12 05:23 AM

Sound matters to me too, of course, but I can hear it when I look at the score, unless it's devilishly complicated.
Posted by: Dara

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/23/12 06:08 AM

Currawong,
I think that is quite an amazing learned skill which perhaps some others reading here also share. Probably a very tiny, tiny percentage of people that listen to music possess this ability.
Posted by: currawong

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/23/12 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Dara
Currawong,
I think that is quite an amazing learned skill which perhaps some others reading here also share. Probably a very tiny, tiny percentage of people that listen to music possess this ability.
Not surprising that most listeners haven't developed the skill. It takes time, and you need to engage with the notation in order to learn how to see what you hear, and hear what you see. More than a few pianists, I've noticed, don't so much read music as decode it - once you've worked out what the notes of a piece are, you memorise it and never look at the score again. And for some purposes that's fine. I've had people say to me "you're lucky you can read music." Well I am, and I appreciate what led me to become a musician. But Luck didn't actually teach me to read music. smile
Posted by: pianojohnw

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 11/25/12 09:06 PM

Recording
Posted by: Foxes

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/08/12 03:05 PM

Originally Posted By: LoPresti


As for Composers: I believe that REAL Composers, of which there are several on this Forum...


Quote:
I find it difficult to picture a real Composer who...


Quote:
we probably do not yet have a real composer.


I know this will sound harsh, *deleted by moderator*

You can think whatever you want, however harshly you think it, but posting a repeat of the language I've deleted will get you a vacation from posting.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/08/12 05:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Foxes
Originally Posted By: LoPresti


As for Composers: I believe that REAL Composers, of which there are several on this Forum...


Quote:
I find it difficult to picture a real Composer who...


Quote:
we probably do not yet have a real composer.


I know this will sound harsh, BBPlayer got there first!
I'm not a mod here or anything, but I strongly feel that such language and such attitude is nothing but worryingly awful.

There's no need for that over here. If you don't agree with Ed, by all means say so and explain why, as I've done in the past and keep doing it. If you want to harass, attack and swear there's plenty of other places to do it, but not here... frown

EDIT: I've just noticed that BBplayer edited foxes post in which case I'll edit his quote in mine so that it won't show anymore...
Posted by: Sean Montgomery

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/08/12 08:22 PM

Much has been said already! Nikolas is right - it depends on the situation. Sometimes it is nice to follow the score while listening to the recording but equally, it is nice to switch off and concentrate on what you are hearing. I suppose it depends on what you you hope to gain from the experience. If you simply want to hear the music - you dont need a score. Those that say they need to see the score so that they can 'hear' it could just listen to the recording (assuming one is available). However, if you wanted to see how easy it is to play, then you would definately need the score.

Also, if you had to perfom a piece and wanted an indication of tempi etc. then you might need both. Some friends who are asked to perform a piece, will look at the score but wont listen to another persons interpretation in case it informs theirs. Others will devour as many recordings as possible while following the score in order to see how others do it.......
Posted by: LoPresti

When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/10/12 04:15 PM

Foxes,
Why don't you send me a private message with your address, so I can pay you a little visit?

Ed
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/10/12 04:36 PM

Ed,

Just let it be... It's not worth it!

And I can't believe that I'm saying this myself, the hot headed greek guy! :S
Posted by: LoPresti

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/10/12 04:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Ed,

Just let it be... It's not worth it!

And I can't believe that I'm saying this myself, the hot headed greek guy!

We Siciliani, just like you Greeks, like meeting other musicians face-to-face. It promotes understanding.
Posted by: LoPresti

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/11/12 03:01 PM

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Foxes,
Why don't you send me a private message with your address, so I can pay you a little visit?

Hey, Foxes,

I'm still waiting, tough guy!

Ed
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/11/12 03:26 PM

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
We Siciliani, just like you Greeks, like meeting other musicians face-to-face. It promotes understanding.
Well... I learn something everyday then. You're Sicilian?!?! Wow... brilliant!

PS. I'm waiting for the recording to post your quartet... I'm actually looking forward to it. wink
Posted by: LoPresti

When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/11/12 03:49 PM

Hi Nikolas,

I regret the delay. My friend promised a fast turn-around on getting that tape content into digital format. So, perhaps I need to followup on the meaning of this "fast turn-around".

I am what we Americans call a first-generation Sicilian, my father having been born just outside of Palermo. I have always regretted his moving away from that part of the world.
Posted by: Foxes

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/12/12 05:32 PM

To rephrase more aptly...

I reject the elitist associated with putting schooled, learned, sheet music based art music above naive art, simplicity, improvisation, pop or whatever. It reeks of snobbery and is an insult to anyone who has composed but not written, basically saying they're not genuinely composing.


I have a confession; I've been playing for about six years but I am so poor at reading sheet music that writing my own works up would be impractical, I feel so... small? When told I am not a "real" composer.

Of course, I get what you'll say (of course you wont say it now); I'm not a real composer, I'm still barely above beginner, I hardly have anything of value to say on the piano at this point - I call BS, I have a lot to say and I think it's beautiful.


Also, you can't regret something someone else did.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/12/12 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Foxes
To rephrase more aptly...

I reject the elitist associated with putting schooled, learned, sheet music based art music above naive art, simplicity, improvisation, pop or whatever. It reeks of snobbery and is an insult to anyone who has composed but not written, basically saying they're not genuinely composing.


Egalitarianism is all very well, and of course no-one should be discouraged from starting composing until they acquire a full set of technical skills! But, really, there's no virtue in ignorance.

Quote:

I have a confession; I've been playing for about six years but I am so poor at reading sheet music that writing my own works up would be impractical, I feel so... small? When told I am not a "real" composer.


Well, are you? We're not just here to support your self-esteem you know!
Pull your finger out and improve your reading then. You're missing out on such a lot, and condemning yourself to forever re-invent the wheel instead of "standing on the shoulders of giants"! A student who builds walls around what he is prepared to learn is merely a fool to himself.

Anyway, wasn't this about how a composition should best be presented for assessment and comment? If you don't notate, I can almost guarantee your work will either be no more than a simple tune (nothing wrong with that, but what can we say about it other than "that's a nice tune"?) or will be one of those rambling improvisations with which we're all too familiar, prompting "some nice ideas, now DO something with it!"

Can there be philosophy (not just feelings) without language? Literature (not just story-telling) without writing?
Posted by: LoPresti

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/12/12 07:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Foxes
. . . Also, you can't regret something someone else did.

Foxes,

How nice to see you back. You might start out with a formal, public apology for your unwarrented, personal insults. That would be a nice, real man gesture.

Then we can discuss the philosophy of regret, if you like.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/12/12 11:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Foxes
To rephrase more aptly...

I reject the elitist associated with putting schooled, learned, sheet music based art music above naive art, simplicity, improvisation, pop or whatever. It reeks of snobbery and is an insult to anyone who has composed but not written, basically saying they're not genuinely composing.
I don't really think that this is much better than your last post. It still shows unmanagable anger, hatred and even troll idioms inside! So just quit it, will you? You're not making things better and all that you've shown is that you don't like someone elses ideas and opinions. Too bad for you, but so what?

Exalted: I'll start a new thread about your persistence to keep a close mind! wink
Posted by: keystring

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 01:56 AM

I didn't read the original response by Foxes that got deleted.

Foxes, I suggest that you don't allow yourself to get provoked by wording such as "real" Capital Title (anything), and explore what everyone in the group as a whole has to say.

I personally prefer to see a written score because I can't hear fast enough. When it's on paper I can follow and see how everything connects and where it's going. This isn't snobbery, it's a weakness.

For the rest, the only way to really tell is to have tried both of them. In the same way I can't make any pronouncements about jazz improvisation because I don't understand enough. I just have an enormous respect for them. Or - today I listened to an early performance of Ravi Shankar in honour of his passing and it had a lot to it, but I don't understand enough to say more. It's more a feeling that it's really really good.

It is unfortunate when value judgments come into the picture. Some of the people here are pros. Many of us are still learning and I don't know at what point we become "real".

I began to learn theory and be able to write down musical thoughts a few years ago. My impression is that when you can write it down and have more understanding, you can get more complex because it is written down and you have it in front of you. I don't know if more complex is necessarily better. But maybe somebody who can do good work improvising could do even better writing it down - or at least capture it on paper.
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 05:14 AM

Originally Posted By: keystring
It is unfortunate when value judgments come into the picture.


Why? "Value-judgement" isn't a dirty word. Don't people post their work here hoping for confirmation that it has value? Trouble is, some of them want us to lie :-)
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Originally Posted By: keystring
It is unfortunate when value judgments come into the picture.


Why? "Value-judgement" isn't a dirty word. Don't people post their work here hoping for confirmation that it has value? Trouble is, some of them want us to lie :-)

This got a genuine laugh out loud!

The initial question was which we prefer, recording or scores when evaluating a new work posted here. As I stated before I believe a recording is closest to the audience experience. A piece of music should be able to stand on its own with little or no explanation. I understand that viewing a score helps see what's going on and follow the logic (or lack thereof) of the composer, but that has little to do with the experience of the music.

Then we have the discussion of through composed vs. improvised. I've done and do both, but for me improvisation is limited by my playing abilities and areas of comfort harmonically. It seems I only get creative when I make a mistake. So I prefer through composed, I feel I can make my music more dense in so many ways than I typically do when improvising.

Finally, we have Foxes outburst about writing music down and lack of sight reading ability. I also have difficulty sight reading, it's gotten better because I insist on writing my music down and then struggle to play it. There's nothing wrong with struggling to do something it means you're outside your comfort zone and that means your extending your capabilities. Eventually it makes you more knowledgeable and creative.

So what exactly were you upset about? Was it the implication that you're not a "REAL" composer? You placed that judgment on yourself by getting mad about it. My advice is learn what you need to learn in order to become the REAL composer you aspire to be. Who knows maybe you can actually make a living composing, just don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
Posted by: keystring

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 10:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Originally Posted By: keystring
It is unfortunate when value judgments come into the picture.


Why? "Value-judgement" isn't a dirty word. Don't people post their work here hoping for confirmation that it has value? Trouble is, some of them want us to lie :-)

Actually, if I were at a stage where I thought I had a composition ready to be posted, I would not be looking for confirmation of value per se. Does it move people or is it interesting, at one end of the spectrum. Does it have specific weaknesses that could be improved, which is the side that might interest me more. But the value judgment I was talking about is a broad statement using words like "real" (anyone) to modify people, because of what I've seen. In any forum where there are skills or professions, that is the kind of thing that tends to set some people off. I'm a moderator in a professional forum, and as soon as someone uses the word "real" (you're not a real professional - you don't have the credentials - your words must be discounted because of who you are and what papers you don't have) then tempers flare. I cringe at the word "real" used to modify people because of what it does.
Posted by: LoPresti

When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 12:39 PM

First off, a gracious nod to Steve for re-emphasizing that music is SOUND, and that sound must stand on its own merits. What good is a beautifully rendered score if the resultant sound is terrible?

Now, onto a subject about which I know very little, but that has always fascinated me - cabinetmaking .
(And here I will refrain from using KeyString’s most dreaded adjective, replacing it each occurance with a number sign (#))

A (#) Cabinetmaker is a highly skilled professional, with a vast knowledge of her/his craft. No one is “born” a Cabinetmaker. Everyone must learn the craft from “scratch”. The (#) Cabinetmaker has an array of tools that s/he maintains, and that are specific to the craft - probably professional grade tools. S/he is an expert in their use. Not quite so obvious is the (#) Cabinetmaker’s detailed knowledge of wood - its properties, its hardness, its graininess, its curing, its ability to be cut and shaped and worked. The Cabinetmaker knows where to acquire the best of these woods, about what they cost, approximately how much s/he might need for a particular project. Another not-quite-so-obvious characteristic of the (#) Cabinetmaker is her/his acquired knowledge of glues and hardware fasteners - which types to use on certain joints, and their longevity, and their cosmetic values. And even deeper here is an assumed understanding of physics, and counter-balancing forces, and the placement of fasteners for maximum strength, possibly in shear. The more of this knowledge our Cabinetmaker possesses, and can bring to her/his craft, the better the Cabinetmaker, and probably the better the Cabinet.

Finally, we turn to the obvious work of the Cabinetmaker = applying the tools and the fasteners to the woods. In this stage, the Cabinetmaker LOOKS, to the untrained eye, just like a Carpenter. In fact, (#) Carpenters have a complete skill set and body of knowledge all their own, but I shall refrain from going into that here.

Let’s jump for a minute to someone who is getting a Sears band saw for Christmas. For years, this individual has been sawing wood, with only occasional danger or injury to himself. He’s examined his aging kitchen cabinets – they do not look that complicated! - and is now ready to make the leap.

So, here is where Steve’s point comes into play = results. Will the results produced by the novice be satisfactory? Would the Carpenter do a better job? Where will the product of the Cabinetmaker fit into the mix? Answer for yourself.

I stand by my original assertion – a (#) Composer, like a Conductor, sees it all.

Ed
Posted by: Foxes

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 12:53 PM

You have my formal apology Ed, I'm a big enough fella to know when I go too far. I get touchy when people imply my music is of lesser value because it isn't written.



Foxes
Posted by: LoPresti

When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 01:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Foxes
You have my formal apology Ed, I'm a big enough fella to know when I go too far. I get touchy when people imply my music is of lesser value because it isn't written.

Accepted. Let's get back to work . . .
Posted by: keystring

Re: When you browse the Composer's Lounge, do you prefer... - 12/13/12 01:14 PM

I prefer not to call myself anything: not a composer, not a pianist, not a musician. Talking about what we do, know, and are interested in prevents a lot of problems.