Author Topic: A little history  (Read 7580 times)

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Offline Uhor

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Re: A little history
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2017, 04:27:21 PM »
Schoenberg had no patience for idiots. The need is to listen ahead.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2017, 07:34:24 PM »
Schoenberg had no patience for idiots. The need is to listen ahead.

Most composers who are even a tiny bit in the stream of writing newer music, at least when heard behind closed doors discussing audiences, have little or no patience with the philistine or the more musically lazy listener, etc.  Some are better than others from hiding that lack of patience, or at least are generally tactful when speaking in public about audiences.  Though, if it is ones lot to be 'ahead of the masses' it would behoove one to accept that as ones personal status quo and not be too much of a jerk about it. (doh.) 

The general context of a (non-populist?) artist in relation to the society in which they live is pretty much as Edgard (Eddie ;- ) Varèse put it,
"Contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs."

(If an artist is very much in their own time, then, while most around them are not, some impatience is completely understandable.)

P.s. Idiot, if used correctly, designates an irreversible condition and state: using the word in the above, even if it is a colloquialism all understand,  does not put anything at all worthwhile forward.



Best regards.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 07:36:11 PM by Monsieur Croche »
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline Alek Hidell

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Re: A little history
« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2017, 05:51:35 AM »
There are a few things that get often overlooked in discussions of "new music," which are the crucial changes that coincided with its beginnings in the early 20th century. It was Schoenberg's lot (along with, naturally, Berg and Webern and everyone who has followed in their footsteps) to be composing his music at just about the same time these changes were occurring.

  • The emergence of the recording industry and, a short time later, mass media such as radio; and
  • The emergence of "genres" of music for popular consumption.

The second of these is very much related to the first, of course. Prior to the 20th century, classical music was the only form of music considered worthy of intellectual or aesthetic attention (at least AFAIK). There were other forms, of course, such as folk/work songs and dance music, but these were considered "mere" diversions. No one organized or attended concerts of these kinds of music. Classical music was popular music, in the sense we think of it today.

But in the early 20th century the technology was developed to record performances of music and to sell such performances on record. And, a little later, to broadcast performances - either live or recorded - over radio. Jazz and the blues emerged (at least in the U.S.), followed in later decades by related genres such as country, bluegrass, R&B, and rock.

So "popular" music became much more diverse. There were many other musical "products" out there demanding public attention. So the popularity of music gets diffused. The same thing happened in jazz: as it moved into its own "modern" period in the early 1960s, rock & roll took off - so the "difficult" "new" music of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor and the AACM, et al., suffers.

And it continues to today. What's "popular" in rock music today? In times past, everyone who liked the music had to have an opinion about the Beatles and the Stones and Dylan. Today, and for a long time heretofore, there is no artist about whom that can be said. There are genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres, each of which has its own devoted audience. Our man some guy will tell you that there is no shortage of audience for the kinds of music he likes (and the same situation pertains in "avant garde" jazz or free improvisation). Yet a lot of us have never even heard of most of the composers and/or musicians. "Popularity" itself has become a rather amorphous term.
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist." - Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Offline San Antonio

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Re: A little history
« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2017, 07:08:59 AM »
There are a few things that get often overlooked in discussions of "new music," which are the crucial changes that coincided with its beginnings in the early 20th century. It was Schoenberg's lot (along with, naturally, Berg and Webern and everyone who has followed in their footsteps) to be composing his music at just about the same time these changes were occurring.

  • The emergence of the recording industry and, a short time later, mass media such as radio; and
  • The emergence of "genres" of music for popular consumption.

Good points.

Offline some guy

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Re: A little history
« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2017, 07:16:40 AM »
Only one slight alteration to point number two, "re-emergence."

Concerts in Haydn's time were called "miscellanies," with good cause. There'd be some glee and some arias and some chamber works and a movement of a symphony or two and maybe even a choral work. The lines between "popular" and "serious" were not at all distinct, and the two types, so to speak, were all jumbled together in concerts. Mostly those concepts were solidified in the nineteenth century.

Once "classical music" was coined, there was a new concept to fill, and oddly enough, opera arias and songs did not make the first cut. Mendelssohn's string quartets, yeah. Mendelssohn's lieder, naw.

The emergence of recording technology was inarguably crucial to how music would develop.


millionrainbows

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Re: A little history
« Reply #45 on: October 17, 2017, 12:16:21 PM »
@someguy: I don't feel comfortable with the perception that we are discussing "ideas" which are "true or false", or that there is much logic involved here. I think this has more to do with human nature, which is far from logical.

There are a few things that get often overlooked in discussions of "new music," which are the crucial changes that coincided with its beginnings in the early 20th century. It was Schoenberg's lot (along with, naturally, Berg and Webern and everyone who has followed in their footsteps) to be composing his music at just about the same time these changes were occurring.

  • The emergence of the recording industry and, a short time later, mass media such as radio; and
  • The emergence of "genres" of music for popular consumption.

The second of these is very much related to the first, of course. Prior to the 20th century, classical music was the only form of music considered worthy of intellectual or aesthetic attention (at least AFAIK). There were other forms, of course, such as folk/work songs and dance music, but these were considered "mere" diversions. No one organized or attended concerts of these kinds of music. Classical music was popular music, in the sense we think of it today.

But in the early 20th century the technology was developed to record performances of music and to sell such performances on record. And, a little later, to broadcast performances - either live or recorded - over radio. Jazz and the blues emerged (at least in the U.S.), followed in later decades by related genres such as country, bluegrass, R&B, and rock.

So "popular" music became much more diverse. There were many other musical "products" out there demanding public attention. So the popularity of music gets diffused. The same thing happened in jazz: as it moved into its own "modern" period in the early 1960s, rock & roll took off - so the "difficult" "new" music of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor and the AACM, et al., suffers.

And it continues to today. What's "popular" in rock music today? In times past, everyone who liked the music had to have an opinion about the Beatles and the Stones and Dylan. Today, and for a long time heretofore, there is no artist about whom that can be said. There are genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres, each of which has its own devoted audience. Our man some guy will tell you that there is no shortage of audience for the kinds of music he likes (and the same situation pertains in "avant garde" jazz or free improvisation). Yet a lot of us have never even heard of most of the composers and/or musicians. "Popularity" itself has become a rather amorphous term.

I agree with most of this, but come to different conclusions. The proliferation of recording, and of technology in general, ushered in changes to "art" music, i.e. music which was supposed to be created apart from commercial, popular, considerations as a commodity.
The same thing happened in visual art;
with photography, realistic art was not needed;
with faster news, radio communication, newspapers, and telegraph, and faster travel, art no longer became a chronicler of events;
with cinema, art was reduced to a lesser form of still pictography;
So Picasso and Braque realized that visual art and painting had to re-define itself, so it became abstract.

The same with music; classical music was no longer the only game in town, so Schoenberg and other modernists knew that it had to re-define itself. "Art" music was no longer the ubiquitous monopoly it once was; with all the other flood of recorded music obscuring the landscape, "art" music, in order to remain "arty" and unique, and apart from the rest, had to be "special' and different.
Thus, the abandonment of tonality was a sure way to create this new difference. Popular music was tonal, and always would be, and tonality was the new "wallpaper" of the media and masses.
And atonality, and strange new pseudo-tonalities became the new, modern decor of modernism, and all that was "not popular."
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 12:24:56 PM by millionrainbows »

Offline aleazk

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Re: A little history
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2017, 11:25:56 AM »
Hey, already in the middle ages you gotta have your recently invented polyphony "in the limits of moderation"... to keep god's approval, of course.

Quote
With polyphony, musicians were able to achieve musical feats perceived by many as beautiful, and by others, distasteful. John of Salisbury (1120–1180) taught at the University of Paris during the years of Léonin and Pérotin. He attended many services at the Notre Dame Choir School. In De nugis curialiam he offers a first-hand description of what was happening to music in the high Middle Ages. This philosopher and Bishop of Chartres wrote:

When you hear the soft harmonies of the various singers, some taking high and others low parts, some singing in advance, some following in the rear, others with pauses and interludes, you would think yourself listening to a concert of sirens rather than men, and wonder at the powers of voices … whatever is most tuneful among birds, could not equal. Such is the facility of running up and down the scale; so wonderful the shortening or multiplying of notes, the repetition of the phrases, or their emphatic utterance: the treble and shrill notes are so mingled with tenor and bass, that the ears lost their power of judging. When this goes to excess it is more fitted to excite lust than devotion; but if it is kept in the limits of moderation, it drives away care from the soul and the solicitudes of life, confers joy and peace and exultation in God, and transports the soul to the society of angels.   

Source https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pérotin

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2017, 01:30:15 PM »
Hey, already in the middle ages you gotta have your recently invented polyphony "in the limits of moderation"... to keep god's approval, of course.

Source https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pérotin

The history of the audiences and critics of the arts is like a compendium of complaints from the plebes and petite bourgeoisie, each and all of them evidently whining about too much excitement.

Frail lot, they.
~ 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 #48 on: October 20, 2017, 12:35:59 AM »
The history of the audiences and critics of the arts is like a compendium of complaints from the plebes and petite bourgeoisie, each and all of them evidently whining about too much excitement.

This is especially true all throughout the 18th century, but the 19th had its share, too, which such darlings of the aristocracy and clergy as Paganini, Liszt, Thalberg, Moscheles, Ernst, Herz, Wieniawski and Vieuxtemps being the target of much criticism and misunderstanding from the petty bourgeois and plebeian audiences and critics.
Les sanglots longs
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Monotone.

Online Jo498

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Re: A little history
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2017, 02:25:29 AM »
For the benefit of John of Salisbury it is to be said that the step from monodic chant to early polyphony was maybe the steepest and most decisive step in western music and as the music in question was music for worship within a sacred service it was also a plausible concern that it would distract from the religious content. Of course this problem has haunted religious music for the ca. 900 years since then...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline aleazk

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Re: A little history
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2017, 06:20:48 AM »
For the benefit of John of Salisbury it is to be said that the step from monodic chant to early polyphony was maybe the steepest and most decisive step in western music...

Indeed... my point was that, in line, I think, with was @some guy was saying, negative reactions to new developments in music have been here since... well, the birth of western music itself!... and not something "intrinsic" to some "obscure force" in 12-tone music...
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 06:28:46 AM by aleazk »

millionrainbows

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Re: A little history
« Reply #51 on: October 20, 2017, 01:04:54 PM »
Indeed... my point was that, in line, I think, with was @some guy was saying, negative reactions to new developments in music have been here since... well, the birth of western music itself!... and not something "intrinsic" to some "obscure force" in 12-tone music...

Well, the trend in Western music goes from simplicity to complexity, from monody to polyphony, from simple to prolific, from OMMMM to 12-tone chromaticism. Likewise, this is demonstrated by Minimalism's return to simplicity. This seems like an obvious "elephant in the room" which nobody wants to admit is there.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #52 on: October 20, 2017, 08:38:23 PM »
Well, the trend in Western music goes from simplicity to complexity, from monody to polyphony, from simple to prolific, from OMMMM to 12-tone chromaticism. Likewise, this is demonstrated by Minimalism's return to simplicity. This seems like an obvious "elephant in the room" which nobody wants to admit is there.

A handful of composers working in the stylistic vein of minimalism (and only a handful) -- out of thousands of composers working in various other styles -- is not an elephant in the room.  It is just one of many critters jaunting about in the room of multiple styles, all plates spinning in the air at the same time.  If there is any 'signature sound' of our times within the classical arena, it is a multi-ring circus of a myriad of various styles, approaches and aesthetics.
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline aleazk

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Re: A little history
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2017, 05:53:06 AM »
Last time I saw a score from a so called "minimalist" composer, was full of rather complex polyrhythms and polymeters... also, the changes are not even that slow... the people that know the music judge it by what it is, not by its easy name... i.e., I don't see any return to simplicity more than in a rather superficial way... if you are talking about something like A.Paart... I don't consider it as interesting music to be honest... and, probably, it only appeals to some wider audience precisely because of its soporific simplicity...

Also, I don't think the historical trend is about complexity... I think it's about ampliation of the musical vocabulary and what is allowed in music and what is not.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 10:45:48 AM by aleazk »

Online Jo498

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Re: A little history
« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2017, 06:58:43 AM »
Indeed... my point was that, in line, I think, with was @some guy was saying, negative reactions to new developments in music have been here since... well, the birth of western music itself!... and not something "intrinsic" to some "obscure force" in 12-tone music...
But "it's always been like that" is very different from some guy's disputed claim that in the beginning/middle of the 19th century there started a particular aversion to new music together with a canonization of "old" music and that this development was mainly responsible for the special hostility towards the modernists around/since 1900.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline aleazk

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Re: A little history
« Reply #55 on: October 21, 2017, 07:14:35 AM »
What @some guy says is, I think, just a natural consequence of what I'm saying once the term and idea of classical music appears in history.

Online Jo498

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Re: A little history
« Reply #56 on: October 21, 2017, 08:34:38 AM »
The whole point of some guy's claim and the book he refers to is that the development in the 19th century was something new, not some standard "dialectic" that was played out every generation or three since the 12th century.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: A little history
« Reply #57 on: October 21, 2017, 08:46:54 AM »
The whole point of some guy's claim and the book he refers to is that the development in the 19th century was something new, not some standard "dialectic" that was played out every generation or three since the 12th century.

+1 !!!!!
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline aleazk

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Re: A little history
« Reply #58 on: October 21, 2017, 10:23:41 AM »
The whole point of some guy's claim and the book he refers to is that the development in the 19th century was something new, not some standard "dialectic" that was played out every generation or three since the 12th century.

I said "in line"... this because I think there's a bit of that... but also a bit of what I said...  and that the two feed each other.

@Some guy speaks of a movement that became widespread when the term classical music was coined... I agree with that... and I'm just saying that an important contributor, among other many things (like the birth of the Romantic movement in the arts at that time and their anti-intellectualism), to this is the thing I mentioned... seems rather obvious to me.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 10:29:39 AM by aleazk »

Offline aleazk

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Re: A little history
« Reply #59 on: October 21, 2017, 10:30:44 AM »

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