Author Topic: What was the best thing about the summer courses of mid century Darmstadt?  (Read 384 times)

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ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Opening this question up for discussion. It was interesting to hear from some people how a composer's personal style and encouragement of discussion recent trends in music (at that time) is comparable to dictatorships who systematically slaughter the people they are supposed to protect. It's also interesting to hear from some people that the tools and techniques that were explored in detail in this time and place resulted in many more individual voices than they could have imagined. Personally, I believe that the way an institution like that managed to allow new music to really flourish was fantastic and helped to jump start classical music after the second world war. On the other hand, bringing together like minded individuals is a profoundly conservative and counter-productive approach to creating exploratory, new music. Discovering a personal exploratory and innovative approach to composition might be more effective if a composer interested in it forced to make these discoveries in isolation.

Offline Mahlerian

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According to Boulez, the stimulating thing about the Darmstadt courses was not that he met people who agreed with him, but those who held very different positions and perspectives.  Think about the impact his brief and stimulating contact with John Cage had on his work, for example.

I don't think of Darmstadt as a utopia, merely a gathering for individuals with different if similarly progressive-minded ideals.  Nor do I see it as a totalitarian dictatorship, by any stretch of the imagination.

The best thing about it is that it gave composers an opportunity to become aware of all of these things that were going on elsewhere in the world of music.  Today there's less need for it, given the leveling power of the internet, but conferences still do provide other benefits in terms of networking and such.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 07:40:41 AM by Mahlerian »
"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

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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According to Boulez, the stimulating thing about the Darmstadt courses was not that he met people who agreed with him, but those who held very different positions and perspectives.  Think about the impact his brief and stimulating contact with John Cage had on his work, for example.


This first part of your post is the one which interests me the most. I think this is what probably resulted in the true blossoming of a variety of musical styles from the 1960s onward.

snyprrr

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120 Days of Darmstadt
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2018, 06:35:15 AM »
where someone as hardcore as Xenakis was marginalized... yes, they truly eat their own :(

I do like the pics of recitals with all the famous people in attendance... however, I can imagine it would be either heaven or hell for any student...

music dry as dust



Personally, it just makes me want to see a movie about Stockhausen-Boulez-Nono-Schoenberg and just have it be two hours of yelling back and forth :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: "My Dinner with Karlheinz"


Forme, "Darmstadt" is simply a word that evokes ALL possibilities, along with, perhaps, a whiff of fascism...'120 Days of Darmstadt'?

dodecaphony died in the dust of its own demise... some notes ARE more important than others, lol


rant:OFF

Offline Monsieur Croche

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As to Mahlerian's pointing out that the contrast of different viewpoints made a lot of fertile ground and opened up channels in those willing to look into those other views.....

Stockhausen and Morton Feldman were there at the same time, got briefly acquainted. 
Both busy, they met crossing paths on the way to some seminar or lab, and Stockhausen asked Feldman about 'his sound' (ergo, aesthetic) and how Feldman got it.

Feldman: "Don't push the sound." 
Stockhausen took that in, and they both had to go to their appointed events.
Following day, crossing paths again, Stockhausen stopped Feldman and asked,
"Not even a little bit?"
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline some guy

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Lovely anecdote, monsieur.

And as pithy an expression of one of the greatest divides of the twentieth century as well.

Tonal/atonal gets all the press, but this divide is the more important, I'd say.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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This first part of your post is the one which interests me the most. I think this is what probably resulted in the true blossoming of a variety of musical styles from the 1960s onward.

There is patently no question that the place was incredibly fertile ground.  You are very right in that assessment.
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~