Author Topic: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition  (Read 6336 times)

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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2010, 03:58:56 PM »
Ideological predisposition does not foster an open musical mind.  And musical curiosity tends to cross ideological barriers.  At least, that's been my experience. 8)
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Offline Andante

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2010, 04:29:23 PM »
This opening statement of yours would be my conclusion of the whole thing.  8)

I agree with you both 100%. A Rose is a Rose is a Rose so to speak, a listener can make what ever meaning they want from a piece.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2010, 06:49:52 AM »
Keep in mind the musical "taste" of the totalitarian regimes in e.g.  Russia, Germany, and China.

Socialist Realism says it all.
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Egebedieff

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2010, 08:51:23 AM »
Keep in mind the musical "taste" of the totalitarian regimes in e.g.  Russia, Germany, and China.

Socialist Realism says it all.

Such idealogy (socialist realism, "Praise" music, etc) does not ensure that the result will be crap, but it certainly increases the likelihood.'
 

Offline Cristofori

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2010, 12:09:33 AM »
This is a minor peeve of mine. Occasionally I run across a claim (or assumption) that a certain style (genre, piece, etc.) is important because it reflects certain political or religious values. Often there seems to be an underlying assumption that the ideology of the piece is more important than the artistry that went into it. This is especially annoying if the piece has no discernable ideology behind it.
As much as I love music and art, I think it is wishful thinking to believe that it is somehow an entity unto itself. Like pretty much anything else, it is not immune from politics, ideology, or religion. A few artists do a good job at sometimes appearing immune, but no one is totally unbiased.

Music is simply a reflection of who we are, and it will show up to some degree in our collective worldviews and faiths, or in the state of our societies or culture at any given time.
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I frequently see this attitude on conservative sites - they seem to believe that if you are conservative politically (or religiously), you won't like anything more radical than Brahms or Rachmaninoff.

How can one know for sure how some conservatives feel or believe about these things if they are not one themselves? For some liberals, anything goes, and more is never enough, but conservatives can set limits, and still be happy. I can easily spend the rest of my life listening and studying to the core classical repertory alone, and not be left feeling unfulfilled, not that I don't enjoy other styles as well.

There are some kinds of music I myself love in a carnal way, (I'm talking about rock/pop here) but deep down I know it's not good for me in the long run, and I wouldn't want my children being influenced by it in the way I was (with all the accompanying problems), so I do my best to avoid it. The artistic merit of the music doesn't always automatically trump my beliefs, no matter how good it is.

Also, I think that most people view classical music in general as being conservative (especially those that don't listen to it) at least when compared to other popular forms of music today.
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In fact, you have a duty to like "conservative" music! Dissonance is equated with liberalism or radicalism.
Ultimately, we have a duty to follow our own consciences. I don't always agree with other conservatives on the topic of music, but they can always make suggestions or state there cases. This doesn't offend me.
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One sees how insipid this attitude is when considering that such modernist "radicals" included figures like Schoenberg (monarchist, patriot, German cultural chauvinist) and Stravinsky (monarchist, Orthodox Christian, anti-Bolshevik).
Agreed here. Although I don't know much about of their personal lives, from what you say I can't see why anyone would view them as radicals in a political sense.
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In short: there is no such thing as a musical genre or style that is inherently liberal, conservative, socialist, Catholic, traditionalist, or anything else; and people who assume that there is are more interested in ideology than in art.
I'd have to disagree here. Some musical styles, like punk/rap/metal and even soft rock, obviously stand poles apart from more conservative styles, both artistically and ideologically.

Thank you for the interesting article! :)






« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 12:37:03 AM by Cristofori »

Offline Florestan

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2010, 02:20:05 AM »
Stravinsky (monarchist, Orthodox Christian, anti-Bolshevik).

Now I know why I love Petrushka: ideological affinity. :)

Not related to music, but somehow on topic: I am a staunch conservative yet I like leftist writers such as Garcia Marquez, Alejo Carpentier or Jose Saramago.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2010, 02:20:39 AM »
    What is the ideology of soft rock? Has it something to do with dentists offices?

    I don't usually see music as expressing an ideology but sometimes it's intended to, so that might factor in. However, you could take the example of Bruckner whose music is intended to express a particular ideology, yet while that way of interpreting it is available it isn't natural to me. I tend to hear his music not much differently than if he had written it as a purely aesthetic project. I see no reason not to do this since composers frequently produce music for ideological purposes they don't share. In either case there's little chance of missing something I need to get. By pretending  that the music serves only musical ends, I'm probably giving myself and the composer the benefit of the doubt. Artists are not often thinkers, so it's better not to dwell on what they do poorly when they're so good at what they do best.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 02:22:55 AM by drogulus »
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Offline rappy

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2010, 02:42:26 AM »
My observation is that conservative people prefer "pathetic" music, i.e. Bach and Beethoven - Rachmaninoff.
Mozart, Haydn and parts of Mendelssohn's music is not being taken serious by those people, because it is to "leightweight".
Does anybody share my view?

Offline Florestan

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2010, 02:57:34 AM »
My observation is that conservative people prefer "pathetic" music, i.e. Bach and Beethoven - Rachmaninoff.
Mozart, Haydn and parts of Mendelssohn's music is not being taken serious by those people, because it is to "leightweight".
Does anybody share my view?

I can offer me as a counter-example. :)
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Offline Cato

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2010, 04:41:35 AM »
My observation is that conservative people prefer "pathetic" music, i.e. Bach and Beethoven - Rachmaninoff.
Mozart, Haydn and parts of Mendelssohn's music is not being taken serious by those people, because it is to "lightweight".
Does anybody share my view?

No, and like Florestan I am also a counter-example!   $:)

And since when are Mozart and Haydn and Mendelssohn "lightweight"?!   :o


"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

karlhenning

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2010, 05:16:08 AM »
As much as I love music and art, I think it is wishful thinking to believe that it is somehow an entity unto itself. Like pretty much anything else, it is not immune from politics, ideology, or religion.

Then you can help me out a great deal, here!
 
With exactly what politics, ideology or religion is JS Bach's C Major Prelude & Fugue from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier freighted?  And how do we know this?
 
TIA.

karlhenning

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2010, 05:17:30 AM »
Quote from: Velimir
Stravinsky (monarchist, Orthodox Christian, anti-Bolshevik).

Now I know why I love Petrushka: ideological affinity. :)

Hah!

Egebedieff

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2010, 06:35:12 AM »
Then you can help me out a great deal, here!
 
With exactly what politics, ideology or religion is JS Bach's C Major Prelude & Fugue from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier freighted?  And how do we know this?
 
TIA.
A1: The Virgin Mary.
A2: Gounod tagged it.
Actually, Schencker might use it as an example for his claims about god and that flavor on tonal syntax.
'

karlhenning

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2010, 06:45:52 AM »
I like your sense of humor!
 
My point of course is that Cristofori's assertion that music "is not immune from politics, ideology, or religion" is in obvious error.  The fact that some music is apparently political, ideological or religious, does not mean that all music must be political, ideological or religious.

Egebedieff

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2010, 08:17:20 AM »
I like your sense of humor!
 
My point of course is that Cristofori's assertion that music "is not immune from politics, ideology, or religion" is in obvious error.  The fact that some music is apparently political, ideological or religious, does not mean that all music must be political, ideological or religious.

But not being immune doesn't imply being infected, and certainly much of Bach's music clearly is, and some of it, maybe even WTCI:1 may be idealogical in that sense the Schenker wrote about. Or in that sense of Norman O. Brown's comment “syntax is the arrangement of the army”
'
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 06:05:35 PM by ' »

Offline Cristofori

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2010, 03:02:51 PM »
Then you can help me out a great deal, here!
 
With exactly what politics, ideology or religion is JS Bach's C Major Prelude & Fugue from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier freighted?  And how do we know this?
 
TIA.
Since Bach was a devout Christian, and signed most of his works Solo Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone), we can assume that he dedicated them to God. Just because the work has no religious text doesn't necessarily matter to the Christian, who might follow this principle:

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Of course, I can't read minds, and your right, we can't always know what was intended for any given piece of music, But we can sometimes get a good glimpse into the composers by what we do know, and the way they behaved, and the things they said and did.

Just like a grinding, wrenching, heavy instrumental from Metallica can reveal their composers characters, worldviews and attitudes, so I believe religion or some other worldview can play a small part in the creation of a piece, even if it's a minor wordless one.

Now if your talking about a composer merely trifling about or writing something comical or that is only intended to be instructional, well then yes that music can be meaningless or neutral.

But that's not serious heartfelt composition.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 07:51:39 PM by Cristofori »

Offline Cristofori

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2010, 03:15:10 PM »
I like your sense of humor!
 
My point of course is that Cristofori's assertion that music "is not immune from politics, ideology, or religion" is in obvious error.  The fact that some music is apparently political, ideological or religious, does not mean that all music must be political, ideological or religious.
OK, I'll grant you that. Not ALL music must be political, ideological or religious, or ANTI any one of those things, but much of it is to a certain extent. To make the argument in the opposite extreme is also an erronous one.

I'm just generally opposed to the idea that all music is somehow neutral, or is to be only judged or accepted solely on artistic or musical merit alone.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 03:26:58 PM by Cristofori »

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2010, 04:14:35 PM »
...Just like a grinding, wrenching, heavy instrumental from Metallica can reveal their composers characters, worldviews and attitudes, so I believe religion or some other worldview can play a small part in the creation of a piece, even if it's a minor wordless one...
In the 1980s there was a band called Stryper who were just about as "heavy metal" as Metallica--but whose members were born-again Christians who would end their concerts by throwing Bibles into the audience. ;D Resurrection Band (sometimes called Rez Band) was another heavy-metal Christian band, a little earlier and sounding more Led Zeppelin than Metallica. 8)

You really can't judge a musician's character by the kind of music s/he plays and loves. :)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

secondwind

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2010, 08:09:30 AM »
Since Bach was a devout Christian, and signed most of his works Solo Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone), we can assume that he dedicated them to God. Just because the work has no religious text doesn't necessarily matter to the Christian. . .

We may be able to assume certain things about Bach and his attitude toward his music from his biography, but that has nothing to do with the listeners throughout the ages who have heard his music and reacted to it according to their own tastes.  In my experience, ideology and religion have little or nothing to do with one's attitude toward Bach.  People of all ideologies love his music, and one need not be Christian to appreciate the magnificence of the Mass in B Minor.  It sometimes astounds me that people with whom I disagree on almost all of the burning cultural and political issues of the day are in complete agreement with me about the music of Bach (and other composers).   Perhaps that is a hallmark of truly great music--it transcends the ideologies of composers, performers, and listeners alike and brings us (not everyone, of course, but some of us) to a new realm where the old divisions no longer signify.

By the same token, ideology and religion are no guarantors of musical taste.  I know many Christians whose taste runs much more toward Amy Grant than Anna Magdalena.  Now, Anna Magdalena, there's a sad story and an object lesson in the limited success of applied Christianity in practice, but that's another topic altogether. . .

Offline Florestan

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Re: Musical Taste and Ideological Predisposition
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2010, 08:20:39 AM »
We may be able to assume certain things about Bach and his attitude toward his music from his biography, but that has nothing to do with the listeners throughout the ages who have heard his music and reacted to it according to their own tastes.  In my experience, ideology and religion have little or nothing to do with one's attitude toward Bach.  People of all ideologies love his music, and one need not be Christian to appreciate the magnificence of the Mass in B Minor.  It sometimes astounds me that people with whom I disagree on almost all of the burning cultural and political issues of the day are in complete agreement with me about the music of Bach (and other composers).   Perhaps that is a hallmark of truly great music--it transcends the ideologies of composers, performers, and listeners alike and brings us (not everyone, of course, but some of us) to a new realm where the old divisions no longer signify.

Excellent post.

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

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