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A millennial's rant on classical music

Sal1950

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I found another fun thing to watch for you guys:
I can't figure out what the hell he's talking about or the point he's trying to make, more ridiculous racial blabber.
I'm so sick of this, Pure click bait AFAIK
 

Robin L

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Sal1950

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There is a point, but this isn't it. If you want some intelligent writing on the subject, try Joseph Horowitz. "Understanding Toscanini" is a good starting point.

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Toscanini-History-American-Concert/dp/0520085426
Thanks Robin but I'm so totally ignorant of anything to do with Classical music I'd most likely wouldn't begin to understand that book either. LOL. It just ticks me off that everyones trying to drag race into everything today.
The worlds library of modern music I do somewhat understand and appreciate is so vast I'll never even come close to listening to a small part of it. Between progressive rock, blues and country I've probably got 2 or 3 hundred albums in my computer I haven't listened to yet.
@Fluffy made a lot of good points in his OP leaving a lot of room for discussion on attitudes in the world of music lovers without playing the race cards. I prefer race cars in any case. LOL
Cheers
 

Robin L

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Thanks Robin but I'm so totally ignorant of anything to do with Classical music I'd most likely wouldn't begin to understand that book either. LOL. It just ticks me off that everyones trying to drag race into everything today.
The worlds library of modern music I do somewhat understand and appreciate is so vast I'll never even come close to listening to a small part of it. Between progressive rock, blues and country I've probably got 2 or 3 hundred albums in my computer I haven't listened to yet.
@Fluffy made a lot of good points in his OP leaving a lot of room for discussion on attitudes in the world of music lovers without playing the race cards. I prefer race cars in any case. LOL
Cheers
Someone else who is more fond of old music from Europe will have a better chance of getting something out of Joseph Horowitz's explorations of Hype and Class in Classical music. The Beethoven video was pretty much about the same stuff as the Mozart Vid. And yet, Anthony Braxton walks among us still. If folks want to come up with their un-European concept of Art Music, nobody is stopping them. Cecil Taylor may have had trouble getting a gig, so did Schubert, so did Bruckner.

And ultimately, Popular music is popular because a lot of people like it, as Irving Berlin once said.

I've got a similar number of albums in my DAP I have yet to hear, the nature of their contents is all over the place.
 

Guermantes

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I found another fun thing to watch for you guys:

Never liked Schenkerian analysis, more a neo-Riemannian person myself:p

I have one of the books he shows on-screen, Tonal Harmony by Kostka and Payne, and it spends a couple of paragraphs on figured bass as opposed to several pages on serialism in the 20th century. It's true that the nomenclature used to describe chord inversions is derived from the conventions of figured bass but I think it's stretching the point a bit to claim that anyone would analyse Chopin with the principles of figured bass. Adam Neely is a pretty switched-on guy and he's often thought-provoking, but I think he is exaggerating a little for the sake of polemic and also letting his preference for jazz theory bias the narrative here.

He draws on Hindustani classical music tradition as a foil to Western music theory, but it must be pointed out that the Indian classical traditions are not innocent of elitism either and they reflect the prejudicial attitudes of the caste system that still influences Indian society. I'm afraid we will find the same social issues in the classical traditions of every culture, but they are also the traditions that have the most sophisticated systems of codification and pedagogy.

I agree that a comparative theoretical approach is sorely lacking in Western musical pedagogy and I would love to see a move to incorporating this into teaching music theory. When I was studying "Classical Music" in college, I was deeply interested in the World Music movement of the late 80s/early 90s and was fortunate to have some lecturers who had studied more cross-culturally. They didn't try to pass off Western Music Theory as some sort of Platonic ideal but always saw this as relating specifically to the Common Practice Period of Western (i.e. European) Art Music. Before and after this period, even in the European context, the theoretical principles often don't apply, so how could anyone consider them universal?

But, following from Neely's Hindustani example, are we simply going end up comparing elitist musical traditions from various cultures and thus justifying their systemic prejudices?

Alex Ross has just written on the issue of racial elitism in the classical music canon, obviously inspired by Philip Ewell's recent articles:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/...s-confront-white-supremacy-in-classical-music

Interestingly Alex Ross ends up on a note of what seems to be resigned pessimism (much like my quote on the Angel of History):

The ultimate mistake is to look to music—or to any art form—as a zone of moral improvement, a refuge of sweetness and light. Attempts to cleanse the canon of disreputable figures end up replicating the great-man theory in a negative register, with arch-villains taking the place of geniuses. Because all art is the product of our grandiose, predatory species, it reveals the worst in our natures as well as the best. Like every beautiful thing we have created, music can become a weapon of division and destruction. The philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, in a characteristically pitiless mood, wrote, “Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.”
 

Robin L

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The ultimate mistake is to look to music—or to any art form—as a zone of moral improvement, a refuge of sweetness and light. Attempts to cleanse the canon of disreputable figures end up replicating the great-man theory in a negative register, with arch-villains taking the place of geniuses. Because all art is the product of our grandiose, predatory species, it reveals the worst in our natures as well as the best. Like every beautiful thing we have created, music can become a weapon of division and destruction. The philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, in a characteristically pitiless mood, wrote, “Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.”
Amen to that. Yes, Hitler loved the music of Anton Bruckner. No, that fact is not the fault of Bruckner.
 

Daverz

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About classical, I can't listen to it unless it is a ballad (I don't know if you consider that classical, but it has a lot of the same instruments and compositions). The voices and the lyrics give the music something that the old (pre-1900) classical music doesn't have. For me, it doesn't have a rhythm to follow and it isn't musically sound. Now, when it involves singing, I'm all in (depending on how my ears like the music).
Old post, but it bugs me that someone could think that pre-1900 classical music did not have voices and lyrics. I blame classical music radio with its phobia for vocal music. For many composers, purely instrumental music would have been the stuff they wrote in between all the operas, masses, cantatas, passions, motets, concert arias, and oratorios.

Schubert wrote many ballads. The lyrics are in German, of course.
 

North_Sky

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That is quite an interesting discussion on one of the most beautiful topics in the world.

I didn't read the thread in its entirety, but I will ...
I did register the captivating essence, the rant, the writing, the words, their meaning.

Classical music is like a walk in the forest ...
 
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Fluffy

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Thread Starter #529
The ultimate mistake is to look to music—or to any art form—as a zone of moral improvement, a refuge of sweetness and light. Attempts to cleanse the canon of disreputable figures end up replicating the great-man theory in a negative register, with arch-villains taking the place of geniuses. Because all art is the product of our grandiose, predatory species, it reveals the worst in our natures as well as the best. Like every beautiful thing we have created, music can become a weapon of division and destruction. The philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, in a characteristically pitiless mood, wrote, “Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.”
It's worth noting that everyone in that video had specifically said that they are against banning composers, and they are just arguing for recognizing historical injustices.
 
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