Author Topic: A little history  (Read 7480 times)

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Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #260 on: November 03, 2017, 07:17:34 AM »
Moustaches

We have razors for that.  You know, a blade sharp enough to remove that stache in a trice, or cut through B.S.  ;-)
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #261 on: November 04, 2017, 02:32:37 AM »
Is there a decline in the popularity of classical music? I find that very hard to believe in a time of:

(i) numerous accomplished living composers developing music in all sorts of ways,
(ii) access for the unwashed to cheap streaming and recorded music, and
(iii)festivals all over the world performing new music.

When do you consider that classical music was more popular than today? When it was based in Vienna?

I don't have the data, but I wouldn't be surprised if classical music is more popular today in China than in the whole of the world in the nineteenth century!

There seems to be a general consensus that from the time the general public began attending concerts (and amateurs were buying sheet music for home play and pleasure) to the present day, the percentage of the public who regularly, to some degree anyway, consume classical music remains at about 3% (that's right, just 3%.) The current population being what it now is does mean "More people than ever before are listening to classical music."

"Back then," at least until ca. 1830, almost all classical music consumed was current, contemporary music of the day, with living composer's works taking the slot vacated when even 'the greatest' of composers died.  Music history has these repeat stories, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven all falling quickly off current programming of the day once they had died.  Once the older rep became something the public was made aware of, then began the 'split' between consuming more and more of the old over the years, vs. solely new works.

Another huge difference to me, made possible by buying single tracks to upload, is a lot of today's public has never been in a concert hall for a live classical concert, and they are cherry-picking their favorite single movements from complete works, the vast majority Not From the modern or contemporary rep. 

More people than ever, then, and from wider ranging places not exclusive to Europe, the U.S. or 'the west,' the general percent of the population consuming about the same 'as yore,' but  with a very different stat as to what they are listening to, and how.  Ergo, it is both a plus and a minus :-)

« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 02:44:07 AM by Monsieur Croche »
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline San Antonio

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Re: A little history
« Reply #262 on: November 04, 2017, 03:48:31 PM »
There seems to be a general consensus that from the time the general public began attending concerts (and amateurs were buying sheet music for home play and pleasure) to the present day, the percentage of the public who regularly, to some degree anyway, consume classical music remains at about 3% (that's right, just 3%.) The current population being what it now is does mean "More people than ever before are listening to classical music."

"Back then," at least until ca. 1830, almost all classical music consumed was current, contemporary music of the day, with living composer's works taking the slot vacated when even 'the greatest' of composers died.  Music history has these repeat stories, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven all falling quickly off current programming of the day once they had died.  Once the older rep became something the public was made aware of, then began the 'split' between consuming more and more of the old over the years, vs. solely new works.

Another huge difference to me, made possible by buying single tracks to upload, is a lot of today's public has never been in a concert hall for a live classical concert, and they are cherry-picking their favorite single movements from complete works, the vast majority Not From the modern or contemporary rep. 

More people than ever, then, and from wider ranging places not exclusive to Europe, the U.S. or 'the west,' the general percent of the population consuming about the same 'as yore,' but  with a very different stat as to what they are listening to, and how.  Ergo, it is both a plus and a minus :-)

3% is probably right for the period up to 1830 as well.  Classical music was consumed only by the upper classes in the period prior to 1830.  Today, there is more music, period - consumed by a wider audience.  It is not a zero sum game.

Offline Florestan

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Re: A little history
« Reply #263 on: November 04, 2017, 10:38:26 PM »
Another huge difference to me, made possible by buying single tracks to upload, is a lot of today's public has never been in a concert hall for a live classical concert, and they are cherry-picking their favorite single movements from complete works, the vast majority Not From the modern or contemporary rep.

The funny thing is that, during the period in which new music prevailed over old, live concerts consisted mainly of single movements extracted from larger works or composed ad hoc, operatic arias and ensembles, or variations / potpourris / fantasies on operatic themes, taking the pride of place.

Testifies none other than William Weber.  ;D

http://assets.cambridge.org/97805218/82606/frontmatter/9780521882606_frontmatter.pdf


Scroll down for a lot of 19th century concert programs. I am curious how many of us would go today to such a concert.  :laugh:
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #264 on: November 04, 2017, 11:10:10 PM »
The funny thing is that, during the period in which new music prevailed over old, live concerts consisted mainly of single movements extracted from larger works or composed ad hoc, operatic arias and ensembles, or variations / potpourris / fantasies on operatic themes, taking the pride of place.

Testifies none other than William Weber.  ;D

http://assets.cambridge.org/97805218/82606/frontmatter/9780521882606_frontmatter.pdf


Scroll down for a lot of 19th century concert programs. I am curious how many of us would go today to such a concert.  :laugh:

I know that older performances were a serious olio of snippets, lol. 

Some think Mendelssohn deliberately made his violin concerto in the then innovative form of three movements with the 2nd and 3rd marked 'attaca,' (tantamount to 'segue' -- i.e. it must be presented 'all the way through') in order to prevent it being presented in 'bits and pieces.'

Since then, we've all come to realize that listening to one movement of a formalist work in three or more movements is like seeing just one act of a three or more act play, i.e. you just won't get the overall sense built into the work unless you listen to the whole thing!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 01:00:50 AM by Monsieur Croche »
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Florestan

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Re: A little history
« Reply #265 on: November 05, 2017, 08:18:28 AM »
Since then, we've all come to realize that listening to one movement of a formalist work in three or more movements is like seeing just one act of a three or more act play, i.e. you just won't get the overall sense built into the work unless you listen to the whole thing!

Well, yes and no, depending on the work(s). Just the other week I've listened to Haydn's Paris Symphonies and a (heretical) thought crossed my mind. Supppose the six symphonies are disassembled in their constitutive movements and then these are shuffled randomly to reconstitute a symphony. For instance, we could get the first movement from The Bear, the second movement from The Hen, the minuet from The Queen and the finale of the 87th. Question(s): would it make any difference? Would this concoction be any less coherent than the originals? Would an unprevented listener be able to feel and tell that there is something wrong with it? At first sight I'm tempted to answer in the negative.
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline San Antonio

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Re: A little history
« Reply #266 on: November 05, 2017, 08:32:30 AM »
Well, yes and no, depending on the work(s). Just the other week I've listened to Haydn's Paris Symphonies and a (heretical) thought crossed my mind. Supppose the six symphonies are disassembled in their constitutive movements and then these are shuffled randomly to reconstitute a symphony. For instance, we could get the first movement from The Bear, the second movement from The Hen, the minuet from The Queen and the finale of the 87th. Question(s): would it make any difference? Would this concoction be any less coherent than the originals? Would an unprevented listener be able to feel and tell that there is something wrong with it? At first sight I'm tempted to answer in the negative.

The juxtaposition of the substituted keys for the various movements might be jarring.

Offline Florestan

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Re: A little history
« Reply #267 on: November 05, 2017, 08:43:36 AM »
The juxtaposition of the substituted keys for the various movements might be jarring.

If that's the only problem, it can be solved by selecting movements in the right key.
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #268 on: November 05, 2017, 11:53:56 AM »
If that's the only problem, it can be solved by selecting movements in the right key.

Right;  falls under the category of Intelligent programming; the same factors included when programming several full pieces back to back, or any number of any kind of selections to be presented.
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Uhor

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Re: A little history
« Reply #269 on: November 05, 2017, 11:29:13 PM »
Just transpose everything to D major, the key of keys so they say.

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