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Althea
Apr-09-2004, 22:06
I am new to this forum and would like to know people's opinions on contemporary/avant garde music, and if possible where I can find more information. Please help me! Thank you.

hitsware
Apr-10-2004, 04:47
>I am new to this forum and would like to know people's opinions on contemporary/avant garde music,

?? contemorary / avant garde ...

Could you elaborate on your definitions ?

To me 'contemorary' is 'popular' like 'top 40'
'avante garde' is like beatnik stuff ....
Sorta 'undiscovered' .......
and if possible where I can find more information. Please help me! Thank you.

[/quote]

Pamadu
Apr-11-2004, 01:18
https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gifWelcome to MIMF Althea.....that is First.
Second is....You should have made this Post in the Next Section,as it states "Classical Music......covering Modern(Contempory/AvanteGarde)....etc."
Third is.....If You are "Serious" about your Question,and I am sure that if Captain Corno was here,he would agree with me....You ask about "Genre' covered in the Modernistic Period,too "Loosely & Broadly" etc. and your wording is similar to a New Member who asked about Opera (Dark Opera with Piano/Violin & Sopranos).It is "Absurd" to ask such a Question as this without "narrowing it down" (my apologies if I am wrong & No Offence is intended). I am always willing to share my knowledge.....when You come back and tell us what you really want to know....We can take it from there. Cheers https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif Pamadu/Paul. Commodore.

Frederik Magle
Apr-11-2004, 13:18
(moved this thread to "classical")

Welcome to MIMF, Althea!! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif I've moved this to the "classical" section where I believe it belongs, unless your definition of "contemporary" is the same as hitsware.

Contemporary/avant garde music is a VERY broad field. Basically it simply means music composed in "our" time. Generally, it should mostly apply to the "classical" field rather than the "top40" but that may be debated.

The expression "avant garde" means "ahead of it's time", and has been rather inflated in my opinion. Just about anything can be called avant garde (and has been) but only very little is avant garde. Mostly the real avant garde music is not called so... at least not in it's own time.

Please tell us more about what it is you would like to find out, narrow it down a little for us so we can better help. What is your interest in the field? General curiosity or something more specific?

Althea
Apr-11-2004, 15:52
Thank you all for responding. I guess what I mean is the music generally composed in the mid 1900's to recent times and is often performed in symphonies I have attended. Usually when such pieces are performed, the audience, mainly me and the people I am with, don't quite, um, appreciate it as much as we should. I am wondering why they continue to include these works in almost every program and if it hurts the orchestra financially or the amount of attendees. I hope this makes more sense? https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

hitsware
Apr-11-2004, 18:53
>don't quite, um, appreciate it as much as we should. I am wondering why they continue to include these works in almost every program and if it hurts the orchestra financially or the amount of attendees.

I don't know too much about classical music, but I will venture a response. 'New' pieces (in pop music as well) have a problem with acceptance. People go to a show with a sort of preconception of what they are going to hear. (whether it be Bach's such and such or the latest by Britney Spears) Anything new may throw their plan out of whack. BUT ! If no new music is played, how can music advance? There would be no reason for people to produce new music if no one will perform it. I'm sure the people that produce concerts consider this in their 'bottom line' Perhaps as a 'contribution to the arts'?

Pamadu
Apr-13-2004, 17:43
https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif Hi Althea.....Thanks for explaining to me in your PM that this is a "College Project" etc....Certainly,Hitsware has offered a Good explaination in his Last Post,to the Last part of your Question...."Why do they still play it etc....." The First Part is very involved.....The Modern/Avant-Garde movement had great problems in the early 1900's......If You have a Copy of The "Oxford Companion of Music"....go to the sections on "Modernism & AvantGarde & Twentieth Century Music" and it explains it all there...I would only be repeating a lot here and also what I teach my Pupils....Althea...It is 1-30am Wednesday Morning here,in Australia..14th April....Later in the Morning....I will send to your Email "Study Notes" used here at the University on that Subject....after I have a Sleep https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/snore.gif
You will see that Pre World War 1 & 2 had one Idea....and Post World War 2....it has gone in a different Direction.
Leave it with me....and will get paperwork over to you........Cheers https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif Pamadu/Paul.
EDIT.!!!!!!! But I am sure You will get others offering their comments here as well as My Notes....I am "Far from the Expert" but had same Question when I was Training.
"The ONLY way to Learn is to ASK Questions"....All at MIMF will try to Help.

Althea
Apr-15-2004, 03:43
Again, thank you, I will try to get hold of the book from the library, hope they have it. Still researching...

Althea
Apr-15-2004, 04:32
And wow--I don't think I could answer at 1:30 am and make sense, unless I absolutely had to!

Pamadu
Apr-15-2004, 09:36
https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gifAlthea....Remember to look for the "Oxford Companion of Music" (Big Thick Book or 2 Volumes), NOT the "Oxford Dictionary of Music"....also at the Big Town Library,they will Have "Groves Music"....That is the Musicians Bible.....Also Type into "GOOGLE" the subject names I gave you and different combinations...You will see Things come up there.....Avant-Garde also covers Painting/Writing etc. etc. as well as Music.....Really as Frederik has said,The Arts/Music in OUR time the 20/21st Century.(1900's to the Now).....Come this weekend....I will have more Time,and will get on to it then. Hope You have found something...BUT it is a very "Complex" Subject...Cheers https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gifPamadu/Paul.
EDIT.!!!!!!
There is a Link to "Groves Enclyclopedia ONLINE" but it is NOT like "Brittanica Online"....You have to be a Subscriber.

Jamie
Apr-15-2004, 12:11
I will also help my boss on this for you over the next few days.in fact,we have just done this at University. mind blowing topic https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nut.gif
Regards Jamie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
edit.......the Oxford Book is the one to go for https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif

Jamie
Apr-21-2004, 23:04
https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gifYou will have to let us ALL know how the 'speech' went, and the whole project. hope what Pamadu and Me sent was of some Help.???? Regards. Jamie https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Althea
May-02-2004, 22:24
Sorry I've taken so long. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif Thank you all for the help, it really made the speech a lot easier! I ended up with a B+ because the teacher said it was too opinionated https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif but I think it went well besides that. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif And, I found something that I'm really interested in and a good place to discuss music!

Althea

madoherty
May-19-2004, 23:26
I am a composer of what I regard as avant garde, contemporary art music.
www.michaeladoherty.com (http://www.michaeladoherty.com)

corno
May-19-2004, 23:29
welcome aboard...
feel free to share your knowledge about the topic at hand... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

madoherty
May-19-2004, 23:47
Well, it appears that I am reviving an old stream of conversation, though, I would like to chime in a bit...

I have found it very difficult to find other composers who are involved in ACOUSTIC/chamber avant garde music. There seems to be a whole lot out there on the "pop" end (experimental / noise bands etc.), and a lot of new digital music, but so very few serious composers of "new music", that is avant, experimental, that is directly descendent from the 20th century modernist composers- or am I just missing it?

I could be looking in the wrong places. I was hoping to connect with others here...

-Michael

smittims
May-20-2004, 13:18
In my experience the problem is one of listening. Duriong the early 20th century the speed of change in the evolution of new music speeded up enormously; compare 'Ein Heldenleben' , which was state of the art in 1898, with Schoenberg's 'Five Pieces' iop.16, of only ten years later.

But the habit of active listening suffered a decline, largely due to the introoduction of replayable recorded music, the 'I can listen to it later' syndrome. Few eol nowadats listen withbthe intensity that they did before recordings came along.

If you do (and I did 30 years ago when I discovered Webern) then it is not 'difficult ' at all. All you need to do is put aside yuor preconceptiions about what musuc ouggh to siound like and tell yourself to lsten to what you hear, with an open mind,a dn see what you make of it.

You will need to concentrate, but, believe me, it's worth it. My life has ben enrigched byu listening to the later works of Boulez, such a s 'Repons' 'Sur Incises' and '...explosante-fixe...', and by the symphonies of Per Norgaard.

madoherty
May-20-2004, 17:23
I like what you have to say. Your comments about listening, and the recording industry ring true for me.

I appreciate your suggestions of composers, and will investigate those.

What I am looking for, as a composer, is a community of composers of what Udo Kasemets calls "living music"- contemporary art music, new music, avant garde, experimental (...). Are there specific recording labels, forums, lists, etc. that anyone knows of?

Thank you thank you thank you for your assistance.

Althea
May-21-2004, 23:23
I know that I came across earlier in this topic as one who hates avant garde music, but I do find your type of work fascinating, just am a little old fashioned as to what I expect to hear in certain settings.
I really would like to experience the music where it was written to be and even explained, but my computer won't download such files. Hope I've cleared any reputation as a closed minded old fashioned weird person I may have had.

https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gifOr maybe I'll stay weird

hitsware
May-22-2004, 04:38
I know that I came across earlier in this topic as one who hates avant garde music, but I do find your type of work fascinating, just am a little old fashioned as to what I expect to hear in certain settings.
I really would like to experience the music where it was written to be and even explained, but my computer won't download such files. Hope I've cleared any reputation as a closed minded old fashioned weird person I may have had.

https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gifOr maybe I'll stay weird



http://home.comcast.net/~jhyamamoto/blmd.mid

I did this using 'alegoric (music based on math)'
methods. Sorta sounds like jazz ???????

Althea
May-22-2004, 21:49
Can't seem to get my computer to play music from the internet! I'll try on a different one, really want to hear what it sounds like, jazz is definitely good.

corno
May-22-2004, 23:40
hmm... jazz you say? hmm... that would have to be because of the instrumentation? or? - doesn't have an especially jazzy-feeling to me... maybe you can elaborate on your "jazz" https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif - how do you go about making the math-part of "music" such as this? do tell... I find it rather fascinating actually https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I guess you've used Zell for this one too?

hitsware
May-23-2004, 01:18
It's a midi file so it should play easily. Hope you can hear it. I need feedback.... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/whistling2.gif

hitsware
May-23-2004, 01:38
hmm... jazz you say? hmm... that would have to be because of the instrumentation? or? - doesn't have an especially jazzy-feeling to me... maybe you can elaborate on your "jazz" https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif - how do you go about making the math-part of "music" such as this? do tell... I find it rather fascinating actually https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I guess you've used Zell for this one too?



You may be right https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smash.gif
It's avante garde classical https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif ????
Seems 'jazzy' to me because of the syncopated bass against the solid ride cymbal. And the atonality (though not all jazz is anything near atonal, much of the older be-bop type stuff gets pretty far out) The math part comes from my use of just intonation type composition. With midi it would have to be called 'quasi just' because I use the standard scale but derive the notes mathematically.
for C major: (numerical ratios)

6=c , 8=f , 9=g
3 , 4, 5 = major triad
so:
3x6=18=g.....3x8=24=c.......3x9=27=d
4x6=24=c.....4x8=32=f.......4x9=36=g
5x6=30=e.....5x8=40=a.......5x9=45=b
etc.........etc....... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif Thank You for the interest

madoherty
May-23-2004, 05:11
I am working on a smaller stream of my works for you to stream, or down-load.
for now I have posted a 32Kb/s version of a clip from a work that has recently been completed called ARCHITECTURE.

www.michaeladoherty.com (http://www.michaeladoherty.com)

click on the "Sound" link and then chose "32kbs" next to the title of the work.

I will be working on low bit resolutions of "Ten Words..." and the "Noise Pieces" in the coming days.

Take care all...

hitsware
May-24-2004, 03:40
Way Cool ! You must be 1 mile high https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smash.gif
You've Transcended Melody https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif
Here's me from the other end:
Trying to develope melody from random numbers....
My best shot so far:
http://zelsoftware.com/Contrib/polyrhythm2.mid

McVities
Sep-12-2004, 14:53
Yo! a newbie! I'm a (sort of) composer, and I was interested to read some of the earlier posts to this thread, I see there havn't been any posts recently anyway so perhaps this will revive the debate!

I was just wondering where people think that "serious" music (please don't start that argument again!) is going now. I personally find it very hard to be innovative in my compositions, I seem to have adopted a sort of Late Romantic style combine with features of modalism and Neo-classicism, so as you can see, nothing new, just a combo of the old. I started thinking, music gradually evolved over the centuries and rules were invented culminating in the Baroque period where ultimate order in terms of composition was achieved, and then these rule broke down until now, and we have ultimate chaos again. Taking into account the two other most popular periods of music, Classical and Romantic, you could say that the Baroque was the period of ultimate order, and the Romantic was the period of ultimate Expression. The classical period would then logically be the ultimate compromise between order and expression, form and elegance, or as Haydn himself said "A balance of the Emotions and the Intellect". This dissolved down to the approach now that not only are there any rules, that even expressionism and impressionism are becoming obsolete, to the extent that melody/harmony/rhythm are distorted beyond recognition of even the first period of musical chaos before the "rise". Now literally any combination of frequencies and wave-patterns is used (and I'm not only referring to electronic but acoustic music as well) even a designated period of silence and NO sound is "written" and then published, sold and "performed", one can't help but ask, where from here?

**DONOTDELETE**
Sep-20-2004, 22:32
one should begin from where one is. to look within and see what there is, to start from sctrach, in ones own way.

corno
Sep-20-2004, 22:42
Anonymous - what pray tell do you mean by that in answering the post of McVities... subtlety is not bad but this just doesn't make sence for me... - anyone?

McVities - interesting post, I'll return with a (insightfull) respons https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif later...

madoherty
Sep-24-2004, 15:43
Question: "one can't help but ask, where from here?"
Response: "one should begin from where one is. to look within and see what there is, to start from sctrach, in ones own way."

corno
Sep-24-2004, 18:46
What kind of zen-like answer is that? It really doesn't make anymore sence to me now than earlier...
If anyone can relay this to me... please feel free to do so. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

McVities
Sep-26-2004, 01:48
Yeah, um I respect other peoples beliefs and that, but I looked within, and it wasn't pleasant. I think I've got the beginnings of Cholestorol build up, not much inspiration really.

Hmm. I keep thinking of something Beethoven said when Eroica was being rehearsed. I think he said "The truth is I have taken a new direction with this composition, a new path through the woods" to which the reply was "What was wrong with the old path" well, the old path is worn, some people say completely worn out. But what new paths to take, when all the trees have been cut down?

Ooh, I think i'm getting a bit philosophical!

theMusicMan
Sep-26-2004, 11:42
Some great replies here... good reading.

I suppose it all depends on what you define as Modern Music. In the literal sense, and applying this to a broad range of genres, moderm music does seem to have a greater use of dischordant and not-so-harmonic melody and support lines, as well as what some might call odd time signatures.

Here's an interesteing one - A few years ago I played in a brass ensemble (10 of us there) at a friends wedding, the piece the bride wanted to walk down the aisle to was not the usual Bridal March, but a piece called Serenade by a composer by the name of Derek Borgeouis. Nothing so strange about this I hear you say, but, the funny thing was, the time signature in that piece alternates from 7/8, 11/8, 13/8 etc... you try marching down the aisle to something like that. It certainly made all the guests at the wedding listen intently to what was being played.

The use of dischordant lines or odd time sigs is sometimes perceived as againts the grain by what some might call the traditionalist listeners. Personally, I love moern music. I thoroughly enjoyed playing a piece where each bar was a different time signature - made for a very enjoyable piece to play and listen to.

I love challenging the norm when it comes to music. Music is entirely subjective - what one person loves is another persons poison. A lot of modern music, especially when applied to the classical music genre, does just that - it challenges traditionalist thinking. More, more, more, I say... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

McVities
Sep-30-2004, 18:27
We've had regular time signatures, then irregular and astheMusicMan astutely pointed out, changing time signatures. What happens when this is considered "traditionalist thinking"? No time signature? we've had that. I cannot see any ways to be innovative anymore, interesting and imaginative yes, enjoyable indeed, but truly innovative?

Apparently, I'm a baby violin https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif I play Cello!

Flute Divo
Nov-06-2004, 06:05
if I would think of reasons to include modern music on public concerts, one of the most apparent reasons would be to continue the tradition of the arts going hand in hand with the changes of advancing modern societies. Music itself and composers in particular have always provided a mirror of human creativity, social change, the polictical landscape (stability or lack of it) reflective of the lives lived by people in any age.. A sort of time chronicle. Think even of how since 1600's the march of harmonic freedom and tolerance in music reflects a level of human tolerance over time and place and in all musical forms.

In regard to contemporay classical music composed in the last 30 years , concert goers have been literally left out of the creative process of the composer and the performers. Classical music concerts are notorious for keeping the audience uninvolved by throwing them handouts and program notes. We need to start talking to audience from our hearts about this music what it means, how it was created, the passion behind it and whats in it for the listener.

Poeple gravitate to pop artists for the simple fact they feel included in the process and that the music and the concert has been prepared for them. People want to have a good time in listening and even music the might not understand can provoke their engaged response (positive or negative) if you make them feel a part of what's going on.

Conductors,composers,orchestra moderators and performance artists need to open their mouths and lead people into our passion for what we do. If not ,we can never hope to attract new audience to art form. In a rock concert 30,000 people can be engaged for hours, yet in a concert hall 0f 2,000 half the audience walks out when the contemporary piece is played or many never came at all because of the comtemporary piece was on the program . The wake up call to speak about modern music has never been louder.

Althea
Nov-22-2004, 07:12
I think I've played that Serenade piece before in a wind ensemble. It really made us focus on the music, I don't know about the audience

James McFadyen
Nov-24-2004, 13:41
We've had regular time signatures, then irregular and astheMusicMan astutely pointed out, changing time signatures. What happens when this is considered "traditionalist thinking"? No time signature? we've had that. I cannot see any ways to be innovative anymore, interesting and imaginative yes, enjoyable indeed, but truly innovative?



Perhaps we should look at something more fundemental - being innovative through our compositional voice.

Just because a piece uses obscure and so-called innovative technique doesn't make it good music.

Just because John Cage believed silence was an intergral part of music and his all too familiar 4'33 was born does not nessesarily make it good music.

Sometimes we need to limit ourselves a bit, and yea, we are in a bit of state at the moment, but who's doing is that? Why is it considered lightweight if you use traditional methods, besides everything boils down to traditional desent, modern methods of composition are just an adaption or an upgrade to traditional techniques.

Even serialism was brought about to bring order out of what was apparently chaos - but with it brought more chaos and debate.

I believe some academics need to branch out a little, a lot are still stuck in this atonal/serialism malarky and anything that has a key centre is completely lightweight to them. Are they jealous coz they can't write a bloody good tune or coz they can't write beautiful harmonies using more traditional methods.

No one is saying we should go back to the Strict Counterpoint days, but I feel all we have done is gone in a 360 degree. Instead of rules about staying in key and strict voice-leading structures, we now have strict rules about staying out of key, well at least for the most part anyway.

As for where music will go now, it's awfully hard to say, all I can say as a composer is I think it's time for academics to get their head out of the clouds - music is no longer about pleaseing ones own ego, however big it may be, music is language of communication. Pop, dance, Hip-Hop etc manage to communicate to a huge audience......BUT......Classical composers I believe are more productive, consistant and skillfull at the craft - why the hell are we not dominating the world with the classical music like it once did.

Perhaps we need to claim back what is rightfully ours, to have all the working class teenagers go to our performances. In reality this would probably never happen.....yet......but I think we can all agree, somewhere down the line, Classical music slipped from the forefront. Blame it on rock and roll, blame it on technology, blame whatever you like. lol.

Let's just get rid of the ego of trying to always please ourselves, and think about where our music fits in society - music isn't really music if no one listens to it. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Just ma wee 2pence worth https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

music9
Aug-04-2007, 02:25
I think, one way of appreciating modern music is to listen thoroughly classical and baroque music, (as well as romantic and impressionistic) before moving to 20th century music. I think contemporary music is a heavy thing to listen to, especially for those who have just started being a musician. So maybe, a proper approach and gradual adjustment could help people appreciate the modern music.

But anyway, since we are now on the 21st century, who knows, there might be another drastic change in the style of music. Maybe 15-30 years from now, we might hear music which could be more shocking, more bizarre, and perhaps we could say "more avant-garde than avant-garde". Techniques might be more different from what we've been used to. Different singing techniques, different interpretation and even altering the conventional way of playing an instrument, via extended technique. Although it has been done during the middle and late 20th century, some additional sounds were now experimented and produced. Ever heard of the "Vienna Vegetable Orchestra"? Instead of common orchestration, this orchestra plays Cuke-o-phones, radish-marimbas, carrot flutes, pumpkin basses, leek violins, and other freshly made instruments.(See oddmusic.com (http://oddmusic.com/) ~ audio samples downloadable)

Fretless
Aug-11-2007, 23:08
I love modern music. I've been a musician for 27 years and only recently have really started to embrace contemporary classical music, but at the same time I have grown a fondness for genres like Noise and Technical Death Metal.

I grew up with Baroque and Renaissance, and grew to love Romantic symphonic music without much exposure to 20th Century stuff aside from a little Stravinsky. In college we had to take a year of 20th Century music theory, which didn't do much for an appreciation of music of our time. In the symphonies in which I play, lots of the musicians are stuck in melodies and tonality and still poo-poo modern music. To me, much of the problem is that people don't listen to it on their own, and don't read about it, and it rarely gets played live, or performed well in local orchestras. They have a really difficult time letting go of listening to their music using their conservatory trained ears that depend on theme and development of melodic material to help them judge the quality of a piece.

I don't think Classical music will ever be at the "forefront" and only was there when that was the only thing available. People will listen to the music that speaks to them, and unfortunately in our day and age people are so incredibly sapped by their daily lives that the only music they have the energy to listen to at the end of the day is that which is digested easily and "entertains", instead of music that requires thought and mental participation.

It's frustrating that classical music of our era is not embraced more fully.

John Curtin
Aug-21-2007, 14:22
It seems to me that most people who dismiss contemporary music don't seem to have actually listened to any classical music written after about 1960. There seems to be a conception that music written today is still dominated by serialism; the problem is compounded by an apprehension that serialism is incapable of beauty. Essentially the most common belief is that contemporary music can't be beautiful and is essentially just noise.

The gap in the logical argument here is that a lot of modern music is immensely beautiful. There are very few people who have listened to the music of Alfred Schnittke (at my insistence!) who don't find it moving and wrenching. They aren't surprised that he only died in the last ten years, since it undeniably has a 'modern' sound to it. However, they are almost always amazed that it is so beautiful. It's as though they haven't been exposed to more than three or four pieces of music written in the last 80 years, and have dismissed an entire century's worth of art on that basis.

It's terribly frustrating and the only thing I can do is try to get the people around me to think again about modern music. Interestingly, the perceptions don't seem to be very different among musicians and non-musicians. At high school, our exposure to 20th century music was almost based upon the assumption that it doesn't sound nice and we should only listen to it out of some kind of academic interest. I remember a lesson where we listened to extracts from Wozzeck, and the discussion, as led by the teacher, was essentially, 'this sounds horrible. Why would people want to listen to this?' without any interest in identifying any beauty in it. It's as though we were approaching it with some kind of Romantic prejudice; a belief that music, to be beautiful, must adhere to a set of rules, and there's no other way to get at it.

It's difficult to say the least. All you can really do is to expose the people around you to it, and try to get them to open their ears. It's not really all that hard to hear the beauty once you remember that there isn't a single art form that still adheres to 19th century ideas. It is truly curious that modern music has enjoyed far narrower popularity than, say, modern visual art, or (especially!) modern literature. I find it difficult that somebody who enjoys postmodernism in books or films will refuse to even try to listen to modern art music beyond minimalism, or whatever form of 'post-rock' is most fashionable at the moment.

some guy
Aug-21-2007, 21:28
There seems to be a conception that music written today is still dominated by serialism; the problem is compounded by an apprehension that serialism is incapable of beauty. Essentially the most common belief is that contemporary music can't be beautiful and is essentially just noise.

Tom, I cannot begin to tell you how heartening it is to hear someone besides myself and a few close friends say these things. Since much of the music I listen to, and find beautiful, consists largely of complex sounds, often quite loud sounds--and is even called "noise music"--I would never use "just" to modify "noise." But that's as may be!

And your goal is to seduce people into listening to contemporary music. I applaud your tact and your choice of Schnittke, who is ideally placed for that purpose as much of his music is beautiful in the sense of familiar and comfortable but noisy enough to be beautiful in the sense of harsh and uncompromising, too. From Schnittke I would guess (hope) that it would be natural to go on to Gubaidulina and Ustvolskaja--and to Carter and Lachenmann and eventually all the glories of the electroacoustic world if not to the noise artists themselves.

rojo
Aug-22-2007, 05:49
I found these videos on youtube recently; found them fun. From BBC, 1997.

Modern Minimalists with Bjork, Part 1 and Part 2. (And Arvo Part. :grin: pronunciation aside...)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MixrSzIa264

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QTxvmlA95Q

some guy
Aug-22-2007, 20:07
Always interesting results when emotions and intellect are separated and dealt with separately. And when simplicity and complexity are aligned with them, the results can be absurd. (Like Vaino talking about preferring simplicity and then playing for us some very complex sounds. Or even Malloy's very simple glass harmonica, which he tunes with the latest, state of the art, digital tuner.)

I hate to quibble about these things, particularly when someone I like, Bjork, is promoting new music, which I like. But why must she promote mimimalism at the expense of other new musics? And why must she falsify history to do it? (Even that I wouldn't worry about too much, were it not that I've heard variants of her version many times, from many sources. When that happens, one fears that the distortion is well on its way to becoming the accepted truth.)

rojo
Aug-22-2007, 21:05
I assume Bjork promotes what Bjork likes. Which I guess would be minimalism.

I also assume that by simplicity Vaino is referring to the construction of his works in general, and not necessarily the sounds themselves.

But you know what they say; you should never assume...

Care to set the record straight on any falsities from the videos, some guy? I'd like to know what distortions you're referring to. Although I think I already know a couple...

some guy
Aug-22-2007, 23:01
I was thinking particularly of the simplification/distortion that the simplicities of minimalism replaced the complexities of serialism. That music got more and more complex and more and more "intellectual" until it was too much and composers started over from the beginning, as it were, with the new simplicity.

This was true for some composers. Some composers did react to complexity with simplicity, to serialism with the "new" tonality, to development with stasis. But only some. Not enough to make it so cut or so dried.

And the choice facing composers was never so simple as between only two things. The only "between two things" choice that I can see is between two very big (much bigger than serial/minimal) things: choice and not choice (or intention and nonintention). Even that choice wasn't clear cut (or clear dried, for that matter), as many people figured out ways of having both in the same composition.

One note for those who listen to these videos: I don't think Bjork ever uses the word "serial." That's my shorthand conclusion of her reference to music becoming increasingly complex and intellectual in the first half of the twentieth century. That, too, is only partly true. And if anyone still thinks the system of serialism is intellectual because it's so complicated, well, what about traditional tonality--which is a terrifically complicated system!

Even "minimal" covers a variety of practices, some simple, some quite complex.

rojo
Aug-24-2007, 07:12
Thanks for that some guy.

Great that Bjork promotes new music, not so great that all the other stuff aside from minimalism is left off the table. Would be neat if this was only the first of a series on new music, and that there would be more episodes featuring some of the many other composers and their styles. One does tend to get the impression watching the video that classical music is only going in one direction. Which we know is not even close to reality. Maybe we shouldn't ask for too much though; this is already much better than nothing.

I do think Bjork mentions the 12 tone system...

methodistgirl
Aug-24-2007, 17:52
The only kind of contemperary music I like is the praise and worship like
Intregrety Hosanna or Hill Songs like Don Moen because he wrote many of
the Hosanna songs that I just love like God will make a way and Give thanks.
Others can include Amy Grant, 4 him, Michael English, and more. This is
the kind of contemp music I like.
judy tooley :)

Music8
Aug-25-2007, 02:13
I understand many people don't understand or appreciate contemporary "classical" or modern "classical" music and even the classical music for the very reason that we are in the era where pop, rock, R&B, etc., or should we say "popular modern music" influence more people, and is much accepted, while classical music sounds weird and awful to some listeners (what more the contemporary music?).

Contemporary music, is the classical music of the present time, and will be the music of the future musicians. I agree to that appreciating modern music is to know and appreciate also, the Classical and Baroque music. It's like, knowing the root to know the fruit. Music evolution will not stop until there are musicians and modern music is the product. In my opinion, modern music that we know today will produce another musical style/form, just like, baroque to classical, then romantic, etc. etc... (I'm not telling that we can forget or disregard those music). The term may not be known yet but in some times, furture musicians may find an appropriate term for it. Some of us may not appreciate modern music but, what about the future musicians? I think, it will be their music and the succesors of all musicians. What do you think guys?

rojo
Aug-25-2007, 07:03
I like that analogy; 'knowing the root to know the fruit.' And I think I agree that music evolution will not stop.

zlya
Aug-27-2007, 04:25
What is the purpose of modern art music? Is it to uplift the spirit, to challenge the intellect, to express meaning?

Until at least the 19th Century, the purpose of most "Classical" music was entertainment. I realize a large percentage was religious, but I would argue that even Church music was to a large extent entertainment, serving to break the monotony of life and interest the congregation in spiritual matters. Put another way, it was written to sound pleasing.

This is not to say that no modern art music is pleasing, but that no longer seems to be the primary purpose, particularly with pieces that feature noise, electronic events, and gimmicks like Cage's infamous silence.

I think the closest we have today to a genre approaching "Classical" music in intention and sound is modern movie soundtracks, some of which are influenced by the more radical art music movements. I think movie soundtracks are the future of music which is complex, challenging, artistic, aesthetically-pleasing, expressive, and entertaining: classical music.

some guy
Aug-27-2007, 07:46
What is the purpose of modern art music? Is it to uplift the spirit, to challenge the intellect, to express meaning?

Until at least the 19th Century, the purpose of most "Classical" music was entertainment. I realize a large percentage was religious, but I would argue that even Church music was to a large extent entertainment, serving to break the monotony of life and interest the congregation in spiritual matters. Put another way, it was written to sound pleasing.

This is not to say that no modern art music is pleasing, but that no longer seems to be the primary purpose, particularly with pieces that feature noise, electronic events, and gimmicks like Cage's infamous silence.

Knowing the purpose implies that you know what composers are thinking. Or were thinking. Knowing what people are thinking usually comes by means of what they say, which may be reliable, maybe not. Like anyone else, composers are capable of saying what they think you want to hear. Or knowledge of purpose could come from noticing what people do, and drawing conclusions. So if your spouse remembers an important get-together with friends from out of town every time it's meatloaf for dinner, you conclude that the meetings are fake, and that your spouse really hates your meatloaf (and doesn't want to say so).

Your use of "pleasing" and "entertaining" makes me think you're using method number two. But there's a problem, a word like "pleasing" doesn't describe the music itself, but only roughly indicates a response to it. So my friend Laura, for instance, finds Beethoven heavy and dense, too complex to enjoy. And I find Beethoven to be all sorts of things, including heavy and dense, too, sometimes--but not nearly as dense as some other things I also enjoy, and the complexities (even though much diminished by time and familiarity) are part of what I find enjoyable. Same music. Two very different responses.

So where does that leave us? That you don't find modern art music pleasing. And you don't like noise or "electronic events." OK. But you seem to be saying that if modern art music doesn't please you then it's not pleasing, that its purpose is not to please. And that's not OK, not because it's not OK to dislike modern art music, but because your conclusion rests on too flimsy a premise.

Why, you might as well say that life before 1800 was boring!:)

zlya
Aug-28-2007, 04:16
So where does that leave us? That you don't find modern art music pleasing. And you don't like noise or "electronic events." OK. But you seem to be saying that if modern art music doesn't please you then it's not pleasing, that its purpose is not to please. And that's not OK, not because it's not OK to dislike modern art music, but because your conclusion rests on too flimsy a premise.




This is not to say that no modern art music is pleasing, but that no longer seems to be the primary purpose, particularly with pieces that feature noise, electronic events, and gimmicks like Cage's infamous silence.


Trouble with the double negative? I meant that modern art music may be pleasing, but it seems to me that pleasing the ear is not the primary purpose.

That's like saying that maybe the primary purpose of Sam Beckett's plays is not to entertain the audience, and maybe the primary purpose of James Joyce's books is not fun escapism. Beckett and Joyce were greats, and I love their works. I even find them fun and entertaining, but I can't help feeling that there is another purpose there. Maybe I'm wrong.

So again, I ask, what do you think the purpose of modern art music is?

Ouled Nails
Aug-28-2007, 05:26
So again, I ask, what do you think the purpose of modern art music is?

It is the intent of the artist.

some guy
Aug-28-2007, 07:28
Trouble with the double negative?

No, no, no!!! I do not have no trouble with the double negative, no...

...well, maybe a little. (I blame Chaucer, who used double and even triple negatives.)


...modern art music may be pleasing, but it seems to me that pleasing the ear is not the primary purpose.

That's like saying that maybe the primary purpose of Sam Beckett's plays is not to entertain the audience, and maybe the primary purpose of James Joyce's books is not fun escapism. Beckett and Joyce were greats, and I love their works. I even find them fun and entertaining, but I can't help feeling that there is another purpose there. Maybe I'm wrong.

So again, I ask, what do you think the purpose of modern art music is?

Barney Childs used to say that the purpose of composing was to make good sounds. I don't think the purpose of classic/serious/art music was ever simply to entertain. But to please the ear? Of course! That's what everyone has always written music to do. Different things will please different people was my point. And I don't think you can conclude that modern art music isn't meant to please because some people (even if "some" is "most") don't find it pleasing. In the twentieth century, composers and then listeners discovered that all sorts of things that had never before been deemed pleasant were actually very pleasing, including loud, abrasive, relentless, electronic noise.

Yeah. Whatever else is going on, in any music, pleasing the ear is the fundamental purpose.

Music8
Sep-08-2007, 03:18
I think that it's not only "pleasing the ear" which is the purpose of music. "Pleasing the ear" for me, means that we make music for the listeners and they will be the one to tell whether your music is good because it's pleasing or they may say that the music is just a whole bunch of noise.

Why do we still have "unpleasing music?" (for some) and why do composers of this "unpleasing music" write this kind of music though some people may not find it pleasing? Could it be the composer’s purpose? Well, only the composer would know. The composer’s purpose may be personal and I guess, that is what he wants for his music to sounds like. "Modern art music" music as art, from the word "art" means self explanatory (through music, fine arts, etc.), I think that the composer just expressed himself according to what he feels. I think that it would be unfair for the composer if his work is criticized just because it's unpleasing to some, for his work reflects himself.

We have modern music because of musicians with their own style and art in music. It's our duty to make music grow and live. The purpose of music for me is for "art" personal, and a way of living.

tomato
Sep-22-2007, 11:58
Like Hitsware said, there has always been resistance to what was regarded as "modern music" at the time.
The audience at the Bach Saint Matthew Passion premiere was appalled at what they considered a "blasphemous musical comedy."
The audience at the Franck Symphony in d minor premiere was appalled because it contained an English horn solo. (Never mind the fact that one of the Haydn symphonies contained an English horn duet. Music criticism isn't supposed to make sense.)
So now we laugh at those who were shocked by what was at the time "modern music."
We are afraid that future generations will laugh at us.

But will they?
Probably not. All we have is inductive reasoning, and we cannot get conclusive evidence from inductive reasoning.

Schonberg was optimistic about how quickly twelve-tone music would take hold. When he was conducting a rehearsal of one of his own compositions, a sneaky clarinet player played his part on the wrong size clarinet, just to see if Schonberg would know the difference. He didn't. When the clarinet player revealed his trick, Schonberg said, "No, but my grandchildren will be able to tell the difference."

Schonberg was born in 1874. I am about the right age to be Schonberg's great great grandson. My sister has grandchildren. Yet the world's population is still just as tonal as it ever was.

Contrast this to the Eighteenth Century, when there was a difference of only two generations between the Baroque Era and the Classical Era. Bach and Vivaldi were considered passe in only 2 generations, and now Schonberg is still new and shocking after 6 generations!

Modern composers are making the mistake of overlooking a very powerful enemy--Nature. As Hindemith pointed out in "The Craft of Music Composition," microtonality, polytonality, and atonality cannot be found in the folk music of any culture in the world, so we can infer that they are contrary to our natural instincts.

I wish the best of luck to both modern composers and women's libbers, but I suggest that they get to know their enemy a little better.

some guy
Sep-22-2007, 20:37
Careful when you grind that "nature" axe, tomato. The blade is sharp--both edges. What's "natural" to humans is that we make things. There are no cars in nature. No skyscrapers, no freeways. No museums full of paintings. No glazed windows. No refrigerators. Just for a couple of off-the-cuff examples. Or ARE there? If humans are part of nature, then everything humans do is natural. Making stuff up is natural. So in a sense, all that concrete and all that steel and plastic is natural. Unless you want to argue that bird's nests and spider webs and beaver dams are less natural than seeds and flowers and clouds.... And what would it prove if no folk music anywhere had microtonality, atonality, or polytonality? In the strictest sense, it might be said that these terms apply to western classical music, and in the same way no folk music has sonata-allegro or piano concerti or symphony orchestras. So what? And loosely speaking, lots of folk music has all three of those things (though polyrhythm is possibly more prevalent than those three). Maybe Hindemith didn't know this (though I can hardly believe it), but certainly you should know that many twentieth century trends came out of the researches of composers in non-Western cultures around the world. But again, so what? Folk music, by the way, is one of those things made by humans. You know, like plastic and poison gas and mathematics. So if you were thinking of arguing that concrete and atonality are "unnatural," then I'm afraid you'll have to agree that folk music is "unnatural," too, eh?

rojo
Sep-23-2007, 18:29
I wonder, what am I missing about the reference to women's libbers?

some guy
Sep-23-2007, 22:18
Ha ha. Probably nothing! (I took it to mean that tomato thinks men are naturally superior to women. Best to just back away slowly, not making any eye contact, if I'm right!) ((If I'm wrong, I will have to get the old sackcloth out and perhaps cook up some fresh ashes.))

tomato
Sep-24-2007, 02:26
I wonder, what am I missing about the reference to women's libbers?

Sorry I didn't make that easier to understand.
Women's libbers promote unisex, whereas humans do not carry unisex genes.
Consequently, men keep right on patronizing strip clubs, girlie magazines, and houses of ill repute as they did before.

By the same token, modern composers promote atonality, polytonality, and microtonality, whereas humans do not carry atonal, polytonal, or microtonal genes.
Consequently, concert-goers keep right on patronizing Beethoven and Tschaikovsky as they did before.

Some Guy, I realize I didn't make that very clear.
You don't have to don a sackcloth and ashes.

tomato
Sep-24-2007, 03:03
There are no cars in nature. No skyscrapers, no freeways. No museums full of paintings. No glazed windows. No refrigerators.

All of those items fulfill natural drives.
I question that a-, poly-, and microtonality do.
They may fulfill the composer's drive to explore, but I question that they fulfill any drives for the listener.


And what would it prove if no folk music anywhere had microtonality, atonality, or polytonality?

Our natural drives will be with us for a long time.
In any endeavor, we must always consider those natural drives.
I'm not saying that the natural drives are always good.
In prehistoric times, there was little contact with anyone faraway, so there was no need to mix and mingle with people who came from faraway and who look different from ourselves.
We developed xenophobia genes which are creating problems, now that Whites, Blacks, and Asians are living in the same place.
Now we have to adjust.
In prehistoric times, there was a clear division of labor between men and women.
We developed sexist genes which are creating problems in our age of hundreds of occupations.
Now we have to adjust.
But why should we have to a-, poly-, and micro-?


In the strictest sense, it might be said that these terms apply to western classical music, and in the same way no folk music has sonata-allegro or piano concerti or symphony orchestras. So what?

Folk music has ternary form, of which the sonata-allegro form is an outgrowth.
Folk music has solo virtuoso displays, of which piano concerti are an outgrowth.
Folk music has ensembles, of which symphony orchestras are an outgrowth.


And loosely speaking, lots of folk music has all three of those things (though polyrhythm is possibly more prevalent than those three).

That's news to me.
Please educate me.
I know about Javanese music, in which the octave is divided into 5 equal units.
I know that's one exception.


certainly you should know that many twentieth century trends came out of the researches of composers in non-Western cultures around the world.

That is also news to me.
Please educate me.
I have noticed that Hindemith sometimes practices heterophony, in which a vocal soloist and an instrumentalist play in unison for a while and deviate for a while. I have suspected that Hindemith borrowed that practice from non-Western music.
I know that's one exception.

Some cultures you know of may practice a-, poly-, and micro, but I can name one which doesn't. I am in a non-Western country which I have been for 8 years, and I have yet to find a folk song which isn't either pentatonic or heptatonic.


You know, like plastic and poison gas and mathematics.

Again, those are inventions which fulfill our natural drives.
I used to preach pacifism, arguing that most animals do not wage battle against members of their own kind.
But then I learned that we were the closest relative of the chimpanzees, who happen to be an exception to that rule.
So now I don't know what to believe on that question.

some guy
Sep-24-2007, 08:49
tomato, First off, thanks for letting me off the hook there on that whole sackcloth and ashes thing. Second, you bring up a lot of stuff in your last post. I'm going to choose only two, if I may, as I don't have as much time as it looks like I do. (No, really!) One is the eastern influences point. I won't go into any detail, as there are lots of books that cover this in some depth and of course there's our dear friend Google... So I'll just briefly point out that Lou Harrison and Harry Partch and John Cage all got ideas and inspiration from non-Western sources. There are many more examples, but you can find that kind of thing online just as easily as I! Two is your claim about a-, poly-, microtonality: "I question that they fulfill any drives for the listener." Well, they certainly do for me. And since there are tons of recordings of this stuff (and of all sorts of other things as well--those three things cover a very small portion of twentieth and twenty-first century practice), I have to conclude that other people are equally fulfilled by them. (I doubt that recording companies are putting out CDs simply with my listening needs in mind.)

tomato
Sep-24-2007, 10:30
So if you were thinking of arguing that concrete and atonality are "unnatural," then I'm afraid you'll have to agree that folk music is "unnatural," too, eh?

Nope.
I read somewhere that that there have always and everywhere been three styles of music, corresponding roughly with what we call classical, popular, and folk music.

I used to think that popular music should be stamped out, and that I should do everything in my power to help stamp it out, until I learned that we all had classical-popular-folk genes deeply ingrained in our psyches.

some guy
Sep-25-2007, 19:31
I read somewhere

Um. Just because someone wrote something somewhere...


until I learned that we all had classical-popular-folk genes deeply ingrained in our psyches.

You learned this? You must tell me what you mean when you use the word "learn."

Anyway, take two tablets of skepticism before you read anything else tonight. Oh, and call me in the morning, of course!

rojo
Sep-27-2007, 06:03
Sorry I didn't make that easier to understand.
Women's libbers promote unisex, whereas humans do not carry unisex genes.
Consequently, men keep right on patronizing strip clubs, girlie magazines, and houses of ill repute as they did before.

By the same token, modern composers promote atonality, polytonality, and microtonality, whereas humans do not carry atonal, polytonal, or microtonal genes.
Consequently, concert-goers keep right on patronizing Beethoven and Tschaikovsky as they did before.

Some Guy, I realize I didn't make that very clear.
You don't have to don a sackcloth and ashes.Thanks for the clarification, tomato. This is one interesting thread!

rojo
Sep-28-2007, 20:37
While on the subject of reading, has anyone read Daniel Levitin's 'This Is Your Brain On Music'? I've got my Dad's copy; let's see if I find the time to read it! Oh, but don't tell me how it ends. :p

some guy
Sep-28-2007, 21:12
To answer your question, "yes." (But that's all I'll do, so as not to spoil the ending, you know!!)

Oneiros
Oct-05-2007, 15:10
The only contemporary music that I can enjoy is the music of the "holy minimalists". I think the simplified musical language, combined with the depth of spirituality, makes this music really wonderful.

Most other contemporary music seems meaningless to me; new sounds as ends in themselves, pastiches of quotation, etc... they're lacking in depth. Music is much more powerful than most of us realise, and so it's nice to find contemporary composers who can understand and respect this.

Corno Dolce
Oct-06-2007, 23:28
Hi Oneiros,

Might you consider the music of Arvo Pärt be *holy minimalist*?

Cheers,

Corno Dolce

Oneiros
Oct-07-2007, 14:25
Corno,

Yes definitely, along with Henryk Górecki and John Tavener. I think there are others too, but those three are the best known.

Corno Dolce
Oct-07-2007, 19:09
Hi Oneiros,

Way cool. Gorecki and Tavener have written quite a bit of music that can sometimes really hit one in the Solar Plexus.

Btw, there is a member on this forum whose moniker is *Corno*. Let's hope that there will not be any confusion. He is on the management side of this forum. I'm just a peon.

;-D


Cheers,

Corno Dolce

Oneiros
Oct-11-2007, 08:55
lol. Perhaps "Mr. Dolce" would be a better title then, to avoid the confusion? I can already see the English ladies lining up to sample some of that Italian "sweetness"... o_0

But I digress. :D

I agree with you there - the works of Pärt and Górecki in particular strike me as some of the most powerfully moving music of our modern day. I love in Pärt the way that phrases don't go anywhere - despite being tonal, the lack of traditional harmonic movement is really refreshing. I find that it induces a state of contemplation of each passing moment, without thinking about the past or future. It's really great that music can do such things.

Krummhorn
Oct-11-2007, 09:18
. . . . . I'm just a peon. Corno Dolce

Nay ... :scold: There are no peons on this forum :scold: :rolleyes: :grin:

We are all equals as far as I am concerned - the only difference is that a few of us have a broom and a wastebasket to use when the crumbs hit the floor. :crazy: :crazy: :D

Corno Dolce
Oct-11-2007, 10:51
Hi Oneiros,

Thank you for your flattering comments about my moniker. My moniker is the name of a stop on the Cavaillé-Coll organ of St. Ouen in Rouen. It is a *stringy* flute stop at 16' pitch with a very slight *Horn formant* characteristic. I'm not Italian, just a member of the Northern Teutonic race - a real meat and potatoes guy - WYSIWYG :grin::grin::grin:

Yes, I very much agree with your characterizations Górecki and Pärt's music.

Pärt wrote the very ravishing *Berliner Messe*, of which I am very enamored of. I got hooked on most of the music of Górecki after hearing his 3rd Symphony.

Remain in peace,

Corno Dolce

avguste
Oct-12-2007, 09:30
Interesting thread
Personally I am not at all into serial/minimalistic and such
The modern composers I enjoy are Carter Pann,John Mackey,Michael Colgrass,Michael Daugherty,William Bolcom,John Newman and such