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Is classical music dead as a creative activity?
(04-19-2018, 07:49 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(04-04-2017, 11:54 AM)Mikebert Wrote:
(04-02-2017, 06:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think movie music and broadway music often qualifies as "modern classical".  Think Webber and Williams.

I agree.  Formal classical music fell into an academic track mid 20th century with becoming increasingly technical (e.g. Schoenberg).  Movie music was one of the few ways a classical composer could write stuff that people would hear and could come to love.

We talked a bit about it at fish fry last Friday (my wife plays in a community orchestra and we met a couple of orchestra members for dinner).  And Dave the timpanist remarked how after sixty years writing music no one wants to listen to (or play), modern composers are starting to write stuff that's listenable again.  I then mentioned Barber and how we was a 20th century guy who wrote a great piece I really like.  And Dave replied--Barber, here's a guy who when everyone else was writing atonal stuff, continued to write in a Romantic-sounding style, but with clearly modern elements.

But classical musicians can turn to folk traditions to regain melodic coherence. The folk traditions typically do not lack melodic coherence. They may lack the sophisticated counterpoint and may not have enough variation in expression for creating a work of considerable length (an opera, a Romantic symphony, or something like Bach's Goldberg Variations or Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata), but they have the needed turn of phrase.

As I say, I will start believing in twelve-tone music when I start to hear people sing it on the street.

Like like to all that Smile
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
If you have gone to the box stores with some curiosity about the sound equipment sold there, then you will find that as a rule you can no longer take music of your liking to hear how it sounds on the equipment. You get country, rap, or techno-pop, none of which is even relevant to a classical listener. Country music puts a focus on the vocals, and those vocals are much more individual than is the norm in opera or choral music. Besides, no opera singer ever had a voice like Tennessee Ernie Ford, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, or Tammy Wynette -- or whoever is in vogue now. Those sorts of voices would be unwelcome, to put it mildly, in opera. Country music, for whatever its virtues, tends to sound much the same on any playback device. "Rap music" is of course about as much an oxymoron as "ethical psychopath". Techno-pop exaggerates what I least often hear in classical music. You can take your music in, but it cannot be played on such equipment until you have taken it home.

OK, so equipment retailing is different from what it was twenty-five years ago when I got the bookshelf speakers that I now use. My favorite test music was a string quartet because any unorthodox distortion of sound quality would make the two violins, viola, and cello sound unnatural. Violins, violas, and cellos are only about three-fourths of the membership of any symphony orchestra, and there is much great music for string quartet. If a string quartet does not sound good, then what will? People who listen to very different music should probably be listening to it on different speakers, to put it mildly. (Other components except for perhaps the phono cartridge have far less influence on sound quality. Speaker placement matters greatly, and one company goes so far as to tell people that if they don't put the speakers in the corners of a listening area, that they will be very disappointed; that overpowers CD players, turntables, amplifiers, tuners, and cables.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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