Author Topic: New Music –> new classical music audiences  (Read 735 times)

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Offline jessop

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New Music –> new classical music audiences
« on: May 08, 2018, 04:06:38 PM »
I just read this and thought it was extremely interesting.

To me it just makes sense that the music of our time is the music that people, particularly young people, will find themselves engaging with the most.

Should there be more of a focus on New Music in the classroom?

https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/new-music-as-a-gateway-to-classical-music/

I have a similar story actually; when I was either my final or penultimate year of primary school (I forget which) there were a few weeks in the year where our music teacher did a unit on contemporary classical music styles. The first class in this unit began with a general overview of various styles and then the following classes we were split into groups to compose pieces of music together based on various styles we had learnt about. The piece of music that left the strongest impression on me was Penderecki's famous Threnody in amongst  The composition task I remember the best was one where we had to experiment with different methods of sound production on traditional acoustic instruments as well as 'found' instruments. I remember that our group had a lot of fun with a squeaky drum kit stool. I have no idea if these classes were the real beginning of what drew me to contemporary classical music, but I don't think I was ever again in a class so engaged with composition during my school years.

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 04:33:41 PM »
I just read this and thought it was extremely interesting.

To me it just makes sense that the music of our time is the music that people, particularly young people, will find themselves engaging with the most.

Should there be more of a focus on New Music in the classroom?

https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/new-music-as-a-gateway-to-classical-music/

I have a similar story actually; when I was either my final or penultimate year of primary school (I forget which) there were a few weeks in the year where our music teacher did a unit on contemporary classical music styles. The first class in this unit began with a general overview of various styles and then the following classes we were split into groups to compose pieces of music together based on various styles we had learnt about. The piece of music that left the strongest impression on me was Penderecki's famous Threnody in amongst  The composition task I remember the best was one where we had to experiment with different methods of sound production on traditional acoustic instruments as well as 'found' instruments. I remember that our group had a lot of fun with a squeaky drum kit stool. I have no idea if these classes were the real beginning of what drew me to contemporary classical music, but I don't think I was ever again in a class so engaged with composition during my school years.

I didn't really engage with contemporary classical music until college, in part because it had never been presented to me, it wasn't a part of my environment, and I didn't know much about its existence.

I think for many kids it could very well be the thing to draw them in, whether or not they enjoy the canonical classics (as I did).  Plus, the average listener to pop and rock doesn't hear music in terms of common practice tonality, so they would need to consciously learn the harmonic "rules" of classical music in order to really get much out of it in a way that children a few generations ago would not have.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Crudblud

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 08:59:00 PM »
I have long thought, with popular music becoming more and more sound oriented, particularly in the independent arena (take the increasingly popular noise pop and related genres for example), that visceral music like Xenakis would be far more appealing to those audiences than Mozart, even if snippets of Mozart are well woven into the fabric of western culture. Since popular music is much more about the instant sensation of sound (albeit to a beat) than it is any structural or thematic development, a music of sounds as sounds could well be more exciting for them.

Offline arpeggio

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 12:17:47 AM »
Over the past few years I have attended many performances of contemporary works that the audiences liked.

This season I attended concerts with the Chicago and Los Angeles Philharmonic that performed contemporary works that the audience were enthusiastic about.  I was actually at a performance of a work by Cage for Tenor (I can not recall which one) that received a standing ovation.

I think movie soundtracks may have a lot to do with it.  I had an acquaintance at work who was African-American who asked me if there were any classical African-American composers.  I loaned him some of my CD's that included works by Still and Dawson.  I snuck in a serial work by Olly Wilson.  The Wilson turned out to be his favorite because it reminded him of the soundtrack to Planet of the Apes.  So I introduce him to more atonal works and he became a big fan of Sessions and Schoenberg and Lazarof and many others.

Offline amw

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 02:27:04 AM »
This honestly seems like a no-brainer to me—of course music written by people who are alive today is going to appeal to a lot of listeners who are... also alive today?? It's written under the same social conditions and addresses the same concerns (usually). Particularly I think this applies to electronic/experimental stuff, because of how that ties into techniques like sampling that have become part of mainstream music styles (especially hip-hop & "alternative", but one can find it everywhere), as well as the fact that avant-garde "classical" music has been basically indistinguishable from avant-garde "popular" music, apart from the social background and academic credentials/lack thereof of the practitioners, at very least since AMM got started. And the other thing is obviously the increasingly close relationship of postminimalist music to various popular genres, especially art rock. This goes back to the days of the collaborations between David Bowie and Philip Glass, but the musical relationships now run deeper.

My experience has been that young people generally react more positively to new music than older music, and when I've rec'd things to people who don't know anything about classical music, they seem more interested in things like The Well-Tuned Piano or Presque Rien or even English Country-Tunes than in things like Beethoven and Brahms. Some of that might just be unfamiliarity.

Offline San Antone

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2018, 02:36:46 AM »
I agree.  New music appeals to younger listeners without any other experience of listening to classical music - it is almost as if new music written within the last twenty years, or so, is not even the same genre as 18th, 19th century European classical music. 

But does it last?  To me most new music is like the cliche about Chinese food.

Offline relm1

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2018, 05:15:39 AM »
It is also important to note that currently, contemporary composers really embrace the audience and performers whereas in the past century, there were periods of ambivalence that left a bad taste in peoples mouth.  That just isn't the case these days and I frequently see sold out premiere concerts getting standing ovations.  What is also important is that the concert has some type of meaning or theme between the works.  For example, one concert that was very successful included three premieres along with classical works that inspired those composers.  So we got Firebird suite, maybe an overture, something else famous (I forget), and three premieres that had some connection with each of those works and the composer explained how it connected with them.  The audience loved it. 

The state of contemporary music is quite good.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2018, 05:44:16 AM »
I agree.  New music appeals to younger listeners without any other experience of listening to classical music - it is almost as if new music written within the last twenty years, or so, is not even the same genre as 18th, 19th century European classical music. 

But does it last?  To me most new music is like the cliche about Chinese food.

And, there is a reason.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Florestan

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 06:32:56 AM »
visceral music like Xenakis would be far more appealing to those audiences than Mozart, even if snippets of Mozart are well woven into the fabric of western culture. Since popular music is much more about the instant sensation of sound (albeit to a beat) than it is any structural or thematic development, a music of sounds as sounds could well be more exciting for them.

This honestly seems like a no-brainer to me—of course music written by people who are alive today is going to appeal to a lot of listeners who are... also alive today?? It's written under the same social conditions and addresses the same concerns (usually).

The two paragraphs above are mutually exclusive.

Be it as it may, I couldn't care less about music which adresses social concerns, be it 18th, 19th or 21st century.
Wie? Es wäre nicht erlaubt und möglich, in Tönen zu denken und in Worten und Gedanken zu musizieren?

Nu mă-ncântați nici cu clasici,
Nici cu stil curat și antic ­—
Toate-mi sunt de o potrivă,
Eu rămân ce-am fost: - romantic.

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 08:56:51 AM »
But does it last?  To me most new music is like the cliche about Chinese food.

As with all previous eras, the best work will last, the remainder will be forgotten.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Florestan

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 10:22:55 AM »
As with all previous eras, the best work will last, the remainder will be forgotten.

Wrong. We live (and thank God for that!) in an era when even the most obscure stuff of any given period is recorded --- and it often turns out to be much better than the official musicological ideology would have us believe.

Life is too short to concentrate only on the best...  ;D
Wie? Es wäre nicht erlaubt und möglich, in Tönen zu denken und in Worten und Gedanken zu musizieren?

Nu mă-ncântați nici cu clasici,
Nici cu stil curat și antic ­—
Toate-mi sunt de o potrivă,
Eu rămân ce-am fost: - romantic.

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 10:41:18 AM »
Wrong. We live (and thank God for that!) in an era when even the most obscure stuff of any given period is recorded --- and it often turns out to be much better than the official musicological ideology would have us believe.

Nope, the vast majority of music written at any time still remains and will forever remain unplayed and unrecorded.

What ideology is this?
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Florestan

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2018, 12:50:29 AM »
the vast majority of music written at any time still remains and will forever remain unplayed and unrecorded.

How do you know that?
Wie? Es wäre nicht erlaubt und möglich, in Tönen zu denken und in Worten und Gedanken zu musizieren?

Nu mă-ncântați nici cu clasici,
Nici cu stil curat și antic ­—
Toate-mi sunt de o potrivă,
Eu rămân ce-am fost: - romantic.

Offline jessop

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2018, 12:59:19 AM »
How do you know that?
It's unfalsifiable.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2018, 04:01:46 AM »
Musical necrophilia will always be with us  ;)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2018, 06:52:39 AM »
How do you know that?

Outside of one or two dozen composers for each era prior to the 20th century, the majority of composers are seldom recorded or performed.  I think it's not unfair to estimate that at any given point along that timeline, there were hundreds of composers writing music.  Much of that music no longer exists; much exists but remains in a library somewhere and the few times anyone has glanced at it they didn't care enough to glance a second time.

Many of the figures you're talking about as obscure were well known at one point, at least locally or by a limited group.  Their works were published and performed.  The majority don't get that far.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline 71 dB

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2018, 09:01:32 AM »
I have retrospectively understood that I must have suffered the worst music teachers ever in school. I learned nothing about music and hardly even understood there is something to learn. I still struggle to understand even the basics of music theory, but somehow I have been able to figure much about classical music and other music for that matter just listening to a lot an using my head. I envy those who enjoyed proper music education at young age.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2018, 09:07:27 AM »
I found contemporary classical music a few years ago and it was a revelation. It wasn't all about dissonant chaos, but very interesting and surprisingly consonant and often beautiful music.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Offline Florestan

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2018, 09:08:22 AM »
Outside of one or two dozen composers for each era prior to the 20th century, the majority of composers are seldom recorded or performed. 

Wrong. Dead wrong, actually.

Number of recorded Baroque composers in my library: 174.

Number of recorded Classical composers in my library: 80.

Number of recorded Romantic composers in my library: 167.

You know, there is much more good to excellent music than the dozen or two names canonized by the (mostly Austro-German oriented) canon.

Quote
I think it's not unfair to estimate that at any given point along that timeline, there were hundreds of composers writing music.  Much of that music no longer exists; much exists but remains in a library somewhere and the few times anyone has glanced at it they didn't care enough to glance a second time.

As jessop remarked, this is an unfalsifiable proposition and please excuse me if I'm not going to take your word for it.

Wie? Es wäre nicht erlaubt und möglich, in Tönen zu denken und in Worten und Gedanken zu musizieren?

Nu mă-ncântați nici cu clasici,
Nici cu stil curat și antic ­—
Toate-mi sunt de o potrivă,
Eu rămân ce-am fost: - romantic.

Online Baron Scarpia

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Re: New Music –> new classical music audiences
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2018, 09:12:03 AM »
Wrong. Dead wrong, actually.

Number of recorded Baroque composers in my library: 174.

Number of recorded Classical composers in my library: 80.

Number of recorded Romantic composers in my library: 167.

You know, there is much more good to excellent music than the dozen or two names canonized by the (mostly Austro-German oriented) canon.

He said seldom or never, not never.  Of the 174 Baroque composers in your library, I think it is a fair guess that about 168 are seldom recorded.