Music By Jason
January 18, 2020, 10:12:09 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Automatic registration has been disabled due to the prevalence of clever spambots. To register please email your preferred username to: david at melda dot com dot au
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Hey Wain...  (Read 10151 times)
Anonymous
Guest
« on: February 12, 2005, 10:22:00 PM »

Interested to see what you think of Shoenberg. I've been listening to the Kammersymphonie (9a), and it's a mixed bag to me.

I mean, sure, I see the use of quartals and the intense rhythmic and harmonic motion, but to me, music is only as good as it sounds, ya know?

There are lots of pieces that hold theoretical and analytical weight, but not all music is 'listenable' to all people.

I've been really into the John Adams' piece 'Hallelujah Junction'. To me, that is very 'listenable'.

Thoughts?
Logged
Melda
Mod Composer
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 644



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2005, 03:32:23 AM »

I think it depends on what you are brought up to find aesthetically pleasing. A Japanese person will clearly have a different idea of pleasing music than an English person, or an African person. I have also found that the more you learn about a particular style, the more it 'makes sense', and the better it sounds to you. Even if it's the equivalent of scratching a chalkboard, if you become intimately acquainted with the history of the style -- what's its purpose is, why it happened -- and have an open mind, and don't mind having bleeding ears, then eventually you may come to appreciate it.

I never used to be able to appreciate serialism. But for some reason towards the end of last year the whole concept and point of it just 'clicked' in my head, and I could see a purpose and use for it, and so started to dabble. Before long, you stop hearing it as 'a bunch of senseless noises', or perhaps 'cognitive nonsense', and start hearing through the codes and appreciate it for its musical identity. Now, I'd still prefer to listen to a film score, or some Dvorak, but I no longer find that particular style as inaccessable as a I did before -- it all depends on how willing you are to try and enjoy it, and on how much you become acquainted with it. Well, actually, those aren't the only deciding factors -- there are just some styles of music that you plain won't like, and nothing anyone can do will change that. It's just our personal tastes and personalities that sometimes determine these things. Smiley

But I take your point that not all music is 'listenable' to all people. Although I can appreciate some of these styles, I also feel that context is a large decider of appropriateness. Having cold, unemotional serial tinkering in the high range of a piano would probably not go very well with a clichéd 'the lovers meet with passion under the moonlit sky' scene in a film . . . unless it's a rather unusual film, that is. Cheesy

Oh, and to address the inital point you made . . . I haven't listened to much of Shoenberg that I can still remember . . . so I can't really address that in any detail. :oops: Sorry!
Logged

Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2005, 10:08:25 AM »

Point taken, but I'm not speaking about the cultural relativism of musical aesthetics. My point is, more violently, tonal vs. 'non-tonal' music. What the groups you have mentioned share in common is that they all perform music with a tonal identity that is absorbed by the members of their unique cultural groups.

What bothers me, however, about serialism and the like, is that is does take some deciphering to 'appreicate'...almost to the point where groups of people (that I have come to know recently) almost feel an innate snobbery over the fact that they 'understand' this kind of music more than the general public. Many academic composers turn their nose up at 'non academic' compositions, and that is fine, but it restricts your audience to other academic musicians. The highbrow attitude is disturbing. For it's puzzle like intensity, yes, I appreciate it, but music is tonal for a reason. I just happen to be of the majority that thinks that tonal music is more 'nature', and serialism, 12tone, etc. is 'nurture'.

We can discuss this further if you like...
Logged
Melda
Mod Composer
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 644



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2005, 12:34:34 PM »

Oh, yes, I can definintely understand what you mean about snobbish composers. Going to a Conservatory, you see that everywhere, although there are a few pompous gits who try to be the reincarnation of Wagner, or Rachmaninov, instead of trying to do anything their own way, which would be fine if they didn't beat everyone over the head without how wonderful they are, and how all should aspire to be like them. But I digress.

I know many of those 'modernist elitists', as well, and it is difficult to discuss things with them. "How dare you mention Beethoven, or Bach, those old-fashioned fellows", and don't even think about mentioning popular musics to them! Thinking of it another way, though, their highbrow attitudes limit their target audience, which means that composers more sensititve to what the common person want to hear will have a broader listening base. If they want to be elitist snobs, that's fine -- they'll lose out eventually.

I agree with your point that serialism and the like are definitely 'nurture', but it could also be argued that tonal music is, too. True, the basis of tonal music is rooted in naturally occuring sounds and relationships, but many people only wrote in those styles because it was all that they knew. But our modern scale systems are not based on 'natural' tuning, they themselves are artificial constructs, deliberately placing each note slightly out of tune as a way to compromise for the ability to play in many keys 'mostly' in tune. Musical styles, tonal included, are not absolute and objective. I do agree with your point, but I thought I should just point that out.

Going over to the nature side of things, we can observe what styles of music plants enjoy (yes, this is quite tangental and weird, I am aware of this  Cheesy  humans are different . . . ). Classical tonal music they tolerate, and sort of keep growing. Rock music, they grow away from -- it literally causes them to shrink away in fear. Indian music, however, elicits a different response. I can only surmise that it is because all of the rich overtones inherent in the musical style, but the plants grow faster, and indeed grow on and in the speakers. So if we want the opinion of plants (which may be a flawed example, since they're not human Wink), then that style is more 'natural'.

However, that said, our Western culture enjoys tonal systems, so it makes sense to write in that style -- music that everyone can enjoy. I know that I am yet to use anything like serialism in any film scores that I have written to date, because it would merely alienate the listener, which is probably not what the filmmaker's want in many cases. Although, I have noticed a tendency for composers to write in two completely different styles depending on their context. Don Davis has a relatively accessable style for the film scores that he writes, but if you listen to his 'concert works', they tend to be highly dissonant, and highly unusual. I suppose does come down to what you want or 'feel like' writing, but when you have a paying gig, to write in whatever style your employer thinks is best.
Logged

Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 06:48:51 PM »

I agree with you! I've run into a lot of the same issues.

I don't think that tonal music is nurture, however. If you examine cultures outside of western influence, they use tonal systems innately. The points you make about indian music are very interesting, but I see Indian music as being tonal, because it functions in modes...I don't know, I guess the area is sort of gray there, but raga feels natural to me as well. Shoenberg doesn't!

I've used some serialsim and modern techniques in my film music, and it's worked out quite well.

The trick is to use it in small doses, and to mix it with the tonal techniques so that it remains tolerable.

Anyway, my two cents.

Nice talking with ya!
Logged
Melda
Mod Composer
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 644



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2005, 12:24:06 AM »

Ah, I see what you mean by tonal now. I thought you meant tonal pertaining specifically to the Western Classical tradition. In that case, yes it does appear to be more normal for musical styles to be tone-centred than not, though I wonder if this applies to culture that have an emphasis on rhythm, and not on harmonic or melodic aspects?

Quote
Nice talking with ya!


Any time. Smiley
Logged

Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2005, 09:44:51 AM »

Of course it does! We'd like to think we invented rhythm in our western ethnocentric way, but it was all adapted. Your definition or mine, tonal rhythm has pulse, but the identity of each drum (bass, treble, etc) is definitely a borrowed tradition!

Think Ritmo Partido, and other Afro-Cuban styles. We just steal, steal, steal....but hey, it feels right, ya know? This being said, maybe we would have come up with those drum identities on our own?

Who knows!

I always wished I was a drummer....I guess that's why they invented drum machines.  :lol:
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!