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Thread: Descriptive Language Help....

  1. #1
    Captain of Water Music Hawk Henries's Avatar
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    Descriptive Language Help....

    I began listening to "classical' music recently, actually in 2007. At that time I did not realize that in fact classical was not a genre but an era...
    As the two+ years have passed my interest or more accurately my obsession has grown tremendously and has become a little more focused on baroque music.

    Avison, Boyce, Albinoni, Telemann, Bach, Handel are a few of the composers whose music moves me so so much. I listen and listen to one recording (hence my obsession) until my family threatens me

    The music of this era literally moves me beyond words- I am filled with both emotion and physical reaction. It is quite like a "drug" where I can not get enough and can't get it fast enough.

    One thing I find curious is when I try to describe the music and how I respond to it I can not find adequate language to do so~ this is the impetus of this topic....

    What descriptive words and phrases do you use to describe the music (any period-classical, baroque, romantic etc) that you listen to and how it makes you feel physically, emotionally, spiritually any kind of "ly".
    I wish You Peace
    Hawk

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Like you I prefer baroque, mainly keyboard music of the period and some vocal, to your list of composers I would add Couperain, Rameau, Purcell, Monteverdi and many others. As for descriptive words, I think this is a personal thing, what one person finds inspriring another may say moving, or brilliant, yet others may dismiss it completely.

    It works the other way as well, for example I can't find sufficient denigratory words to describe say Einaudi or Gorecki.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  3. #3
    Captain of Water Music Hawk Henries's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply Mike. I agree it is a subjective personal thing in fact this is what I am looking for. A list of the descriptive words that you use when expressing how a piece of music affects you.

    Thanks for the composer suggestions too. I do have some of Purcells work but I will most definately listen to the others-I can't get enough!
    I wish You Peace
    Hawk

  4. #4
    Commodore con Forza
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    Good question, Hawk, but hard to answer because I don't think words can ever fully convey the feelings music evokes. Nevertheless, I often assocate a piece with a specific human emotion, eg warmth, love, tenderness, defiance, determination, fortitude, tranquility, jubilation, etc. Sometimes I go one better and supply my own "programme" (which may be completely different from what the composer had in mind). When i listen to Vierne's "Hymn du Soleil" I imagine some sort of pagan ritual taking place on a hillside just before dawn, and at the end, a large red sun rises majestically over the top of a hill, flooding the world with light. I always imagine Franck's violin sonata (written as a wedding present) chronicling the history of a relationship between two lovers. For music which has the most powerful effect on me, I would use the word "transcendent" because it seems to lift me out of the everyday world to a different place altogether. It is, as you say, almost like a drug. Other words I might use in praise are "intoxicating" or "hypnotic". On the other hand, if I wanted to insult a piece I would describe it as "easy listening"!
    Last edited by jhnbrbr; Jan-11-2010 at 13:45.

  5. #5
    Commodore con Forza
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    You say that classical music is not a genre but an era. True, to the degree that , once they started twelve-tone and other noise, music became pretty much not understandable. But the "era" would be rather long in duration. The "romantic" period is full of good music too.

    It has been said that audiences prefer older music over the more modern stuff. Some conductors even sort of complain about this. But the old stand-bys are certainly easier to listen to than a lot of this 20th-century avant-garde stuff.

    It seems that the 20th century was the time when artists of many pursuits tried to go outside the bounds and see how far they could break the 'rules'. But whenever they do that, they leave the rest of us wondering what to make of it.

  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    It has been said that audiences prefer older music over the more modern stuff. Some conductors even sort of complain about this. But the old stand-bys are certainly easier to listen to than a lot of this 20th-century avant-garde stuff.

    It seems that the 20th century was the time when artists of many pursuits tried to go outside the bounds and see how far they could break the 'rules'. But whenever they do that, they leave the rest of us wondering what to make of it.
    Very true, in fact it's continuing into this century, but there will always be eejits that enthuse over it because they think it's the "in thing", and as long as they continue to rave about it a few will listen, (or look in the case of visual arts)

    The media must carry a fair amount of the blame for this, how much of a following would Gorecki or Einaudi have in UK if they hadn't been plugged incessantly on Classic FM?
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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