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Thread: What is your philosophy towards music?

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    Seaman, Mezzoforte Wunderhorn's Avatar
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    What is your philosophy towards music?

    My views about music are relatively simple. For starters I think many of the conductor and orchestra hypes fall under the Capitalist scheme of things, rather then any particular benefit to the listener, and I do not find myself always willing to go along with what is trendy. Second, I know what I like. Third, I feel fully that memorization is essential to not only discovering what you like, but understanding the whole point of classical music. And finally, I feel passionately that what ever you discover about your taste or preference in music, stick to that, don’t feel the need to master to every famous composer, better to know very well your few favorites and study them thoroughly. That’s my musical philosophy.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Well, I tend to agree with you about memorization, or learning the work. That is how one can really get to know it. Otherwise, one has just a 'surface' knowledge of it. And as we all know, most classical music is relatively deep...

    Also, the field of classical music is so vast that I would have to agree about learning one`s faves first; after all, it would be impossible to know everything anyway...
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


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    Commodore con Forza Sybarite's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks.

    For me, any musical philosophy is part of a wider philosophy; indeed, of a life philosophy.

    Classical music is an intellectual interest; it requires knowledge and understanding for full appreciation (as both posters here have already said), but it is also an emotional experience – in keeping with many of the other arts.

    There's a phrase about 'no pain, no gain', suggesting that for anything to be of benefit it needs to hurt a little. Music isn't like that, but it can require effort to claim the full benefit – again, like other arts.

    I'm not a cultural snob; I can enjoy a track by Queen or Jamiroquai and take pleasure in a novel by Agatha Christie or even (and this is a serious confession) the occasional item of fast food.

    But the very best things in life require a little more effort – although that does not have to mean hard work. How difficult, for instance, is a Johann Strauss waltz? Much food does not need hours spent sweating over a hot stove, but does require the knowledge and experience to say that simple is best, that seasonal is good, that the quality of the ingredients is paramount and to then know how to make that work for you. It is a process of education (this is not about formal education) and development.

    The same with literature; a Hercule Poirot story may be fun, but for something that gives offers a real intellectual challenge and the subsequent satisfaction, then a work by Thomas Mann or Émile Zola will provide an enjoyment that is of an entirely different order and far more lasting.

    Classical music requires attention, concentration, experience and knowledge. But for anyone who wants to live a sensual life, then these things are worth developing as being key to that aim. Sensuality is not naïve or ignorant – it demands knowledge; it needs the intellect in order to thrive.

    For me, then, classical music is part of a sensual and intellectual life; a huge pleasure to be granted the attention that ensures it remains a huge pleasure.

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  6. #4
    Commodore de Cavaille-Coll
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    I can only chime in as third fiddle after Wunderhorn and RoJo have *set the scene.* Memorise your few *fave's* - all the others will come to you later - more or less...

    Cheers!

    Giovanni

  7. #5
    Captain of Water Music
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybarite View Post
    I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks.

    For me, any musical philosophy is part of a wider philosophy; indeed, of a life philosophy.

    Classical music is an intellectual interest; it requires knowledge and understanding for full appreciation (as both posters here have already said), but it is also an emotional experience – in keeping with many of the other arts.

    There's a phrase about 'no pain, no gain', suggesting that for anything to be of benefit it needs to hurt a little. Music isn't like that, but it can require effort to claim the full benefit – again, like other arts.

    I'm not a cultural snob; I can enjoy a track by Queen or Jamiroquai and take pleasure in a novel by Agatha Christie or even (and this is a serious confession) the occasional item of fast food.

    But the very best things in life require a little more effort – although that does not have to mean hard work. How difficult, for instance, is a Johann Strauss waltz? Much food does not need hours spent sweating over a hot stove, but does require the knowledge and experience to say that simple is best, that seasonal is good, that the quality of the ingredients is paramount and to then know how to make that work for you. It is a process of education (this is not about formal education) and development.

    The same with literature; a Hercule Poirot story may be fun, but for something that gives offers a real intellectual challenge and the subsequent satisfaction, then a work by Thomas Mann or Émile Zola will provide an enjoyment that is of an entirely different order and far more lasting.

    Classical music requires attention, concentration, experience and knowledge. But for anyone who wants to live a sensual life, then these things are worth developing as being key to that aim. Sensuality is not naïve or ignorant – it demands knowledge; it needs the intellect in order to thrive.

    For me, then, classical music is part of a sensual and intellectual life; a huge pleasure to be granted the attention that ensures it remains a huge pleasure.
    Exactly!
    Philosophy of a person towards music largely demands on his/her life philosophy.I mean there is no wonder rebellious young people listens to rock,punk or metal and i am also at the same age group with them and i can also enjoy that kind of music.I believe the reason i am mainly interested in classical music rather then these is my obsession with perfection.It simply owerpowers my rebellious side.I believe this is the most complex music style.It requires the most knowledge.Made with more instruments.etc.I believe this is the best music style if not the perfect one.If one day someone invents a better style of music i will hail it as the perfect style and shift my interest to that one (which does not seem possible).
    Technique and knowledge are very important but to me emotion comes first.If a performance is technically perfect but the conductor did not seem to understand it perfectly(the criteria of excellence in an interpretation is my taste i am listening to it to entertain myself so i believe i have a right to criticise if i do not like an interpretation) this perfomance is lackluster to me and i prefer a technically less perfect but a better interpretation.(i.e. I prefer Kleiber's Coriolan with Bavaria State Orchestra over Karajan's with Berliner Philharmoniker out of the two Coriolan i found on Youtube.)
    Also i agree with rojo,wunderhorn and giovannimusica about mastering the few rather than trying to know everybody.This question in my opinoin can be simplified into this:Which one do you prefer to listen,Karajan's interpretations of all composers or Furtwangler or Weingartner for Beethoven,Mravinsky or Jansons for Tchaikovsky,Celibidache or Jochum for Bruckner,Tennstedt or Bernstein for Mahler,Mravinsky or Jansons for Shostakovich,Kleiber or Celibidache for Brahms etc..I go with the second...

  8. #6
    Captain of Water Music Ouled Nails's Avatar
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    As a form of expression, music has served different purposes throughout time. One cannot imagine, for example, dramatic music inspired by great human tragedies during the twentieth century being created for a royal wedding or to entertain monarchs during the eighteenth century. Similarly, autobiographical pieces will reflect one's societal context, as well as the cultural trends of the time. All this to say that I do not instructive any comparison across time periods about who is the greatest this and the most successful that. They are illogical. Indeed, composers in Mahler's time did not try to surpass Mozart or Beethoven or Schubert, and composers in Vaughan-Williams' time did not attempt to compete with Wagner, Bruckner and Mahler. They tried to succeed in expressing what they endeavored to convey musically, be it personal, societal, intellectual or emotional. This may appear all too obvious, yet we still find many individuals who rank musical genius as though it could be done without any reference to spatial and temporal contexts. Could you rank Edison as a greater genius than Pasteur? Gandhi as a greater philosopher than Hegel or Rousseau? Our judgment with respect to music is always guided by our personal aesthetic standards and clouded by our own emotional needs which, incidentally, are likely to change quite a lot over time.

  9. #7
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybarite View Post
    I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks.

    For me, any musical philosophy is part of a wider philosophy; indeed, of a life philosophy.

    Classical music is an intellectual interest; it requires knowledge and understanding for full appreciation (as both posters here have already said), but it is also an emotional experience – in keeping with many of the other arts.

    There's a phrase about 'no pain, no gain', suggesting that for anything to be of benefit it needs to hurt a little. Music isn't like that, but it can require effort to claim the full benefit – again, like other arts.

    I'm not a cultural snob; I can enjoy a track by Queen or Jamiroquai and take pleasure in a novel by Agatha Christie or even (and this is a serious confession) the occasional item of fast food.

    But the very best things in life require a little more effort – although that does not have to mean hard work. How difficult, for instance, is a Johann Strauss waltz? Much food does not need hours spent sweating over a hot stove, but does require the knowledge and experience to say that simple is best, that seasonal is good, that the quality of the ingredients is paramount and to then know how to make that work for you. It is a process of education (this is not about formal education) and development.

    The same with literature; a Hercule Poirot story may be fun, but for something that gives offers a real intellectual challenge and the subsequent satisfaction, then a work by Thomas Mann or Émile Zola will provide an enjoyment that is of an entirely different order and far more lasting.

    Classical music requires attention, concentration, experience and knowledge. But for anyone who wants to live a sensual life, then these things are worth developing as being key to that aim. Sensuality is not naïve or ignorant – it demands knowledge; it needs the intellect in order to thrive.

    For me, then, classical music is part of a sensual and intellectual life; a huge pleasure to be granted the attention that ensures it remains a huge pleasure.
    I have eclectic tastes as well. I like Rick Astley, gospel, 80's and 90's music also classical, particularly Russian composers.
    Jan

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  11. #8
    Seaman, Mezzoforte MorningStar's Avatar
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    Musick is but one more way to connect with the Divine.

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  13. #9
    Commander, Assistant Conductor zlya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wunderhorn View Post
    And finally, I feel passionately that what ever you discover about your taste or preference in music, stick to that, don’t feel the need to master to every famous composer, better to know very well your few favorites and study them thoroughly. That’s my musical philosophy.
    I disagree. I want to try everything! Taste everything! Learn everything! Live everywhere! Listen to everything! If I try something and don't like it, I try something else, but I don't stop trying new things just because I've found something I like. I love sightreading, and listening to a piece for the first time, and I find the greatest joy in analysing a new piece. I can't even stick to one instrument, every few years I have to try something new.

    Of course this means that I will never reach the top of any field or instrument, and I will not understand a particular piece as well as someone who has spent their life studying that and that alone, but I think it is worth it to have such a wonderful variety of experiences.
    Everything in moderation!

  14. #10
    Apprentice, Piano
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    For me, music is almost everything. Few things have the power to change my state of mind, and music is one of those.

    Music can make me run faster, music can make me feel love, feel power, and feel sorrow.

    Using somebody's mind: Music is the soundtrack of life.

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  16. #11
    Midshipman, Forte
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    I think it was Kodaly who originally said music is a manifestation of human spirit. I like that! it's also been said that all things aspire to the condition of music. I like that too!
    I'd like to invite you to visit my website:

    www.phillipwilcher.com

    I hope you enjoy it! I've enjoyedreading your thoughts.

  17. #12
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Hi,

    Good ideal, pls try to keep posting. I like this topic very much and I will digged this one.


    Tks again.

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    Commodore con Forza GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    I am not sure I remember the quote exactly; but Stravinsky said something like "Music should be listened to, not explained".

    Hope I don't get shot for this but in his later period it seemed to me that Von Karajan made beattiful sounds, but everything sounded the same. His early Beethoven was exciting.

    Rob

  19. #14
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    GoneBaroque - don't be worried about criticising von Karajan. The man had an enormous ego and his music DID all sound the same (to me at least). I deliberately avoid buying his recordings; with one exception: I do adore his studio recording of Der Ring Des Nibelungen (especially as James Gallway is playing Flute 1).
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  20. #15
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    This is a good question - Personally, music for me has to have an existential dimension. JSBACH wrote Soli Deo Gloria(To the Glory of God Alone), Charles Tournemire wrote "music that does not glorify God is absolutely useless." Rachmaninoff was a man of the Orthodox Church and his music gives one, if only an inkling, of God's incredible and unfathomable passion for His Creation and His furious longing for us to believe in His Son.
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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