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Who Needs Classical Music? #2974514 02/08/19 01:21 PM
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Markyboard Offline OP
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This is a short read, a bit annoying at times, repetitive but still well worth it imo. Some will like it, some won't. I'm finding that it answers a number of questions for me personally including why I find myself at odds and so annoyed with the general concert/show going experience (it's not you, it's me freak). That and the concept of music's purposes and challenging the idea that "valid" music comes down to our subjective tastes.

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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Markyboard] #2974516 02/08/19 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
(it's not you, it's me freak)


Was it something I said?


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Synthoid] #2974528 02/08/19 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Originally Posted By: Markyboard
(it's not you, it's me freak)


Was it something I said?



Well if you said it during a concert I was at, then yeah.
blah taz grin

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Markyboard] #2974530 02/08/19 02:05 PM
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Nah, that was Joe.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Markyboard] #2974531 02/08/19 02:13 PM
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One of my pleasures is Talk Classical. Some of the old guys were pretty hip ....




Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Tusker] #2974535 02/08/19 02:51 PM
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I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


"
Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Markyboard] #2974537 02/08/19 03:25 PM
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Super interesting share, Mark.

Based on the synopsis, the book’s premise is pretty much diametrically opposed to my own view. I don’t dislike classical music but I struggle to see what all the fuss is about in a contemporary context.

I think my lack of “appropriate” appreciation for classical music stems from my solid dislike of learning it to pass exams as a little bloke. I didn’t really start enjoying my piano lessons properly until my teacher introduced me to Lennon/McCartney.

However this makes me want to read the book to understand the author’s argument more. Think I’ll check it out.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects] #2974540 02/08/19 03:34 PM
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Who's the "our" in "our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music"?

I ask that rather tongue in cheek, as I presume you're referring to some amalgam of institutions (formal and informal), academia and wealthy patronage or something like that.

But I'm wading in because 1) I'm not going to buy the book cited in the OP...too much reading to catch up as it is, and 2) I personally grew up on classical piano lessons and dearly love some classical music to this day, for very personal reasons.

Inarguably, classical music demands more of the listener than other genres. It is more difficult to 'get it' without prior familiarity, and much of it doesn't reward 'casual' wall paper listening in the same ways that some pop, ambient, etc. may.

But I might suggest it also rewards focused investment of time and attention in emotional and...dare I say...spiritual (or rather, transcendent?) ways that (for me), no other genre quite does.

Of course, I don't think it's the genre alone, but the superlative genius of Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and others which the writing gives wings to. But the marriage of compositional genius, genre-specific vocabulary, passion and spirit - and having 'something to say' - renders (to my ear) beauty, pathos, and emotional content that is unique (or at least, very very rare) in the arts.

Whether contemporary institutions have any part in unspoken nostalgia for white dominance...well, that's simply out of my pay grade to comment on.

I love and adore classical music, although I cannot play it very well. I think it is needed more now than ever to stand in the chaotic village square of our times, and pay testament to beauty and the long pursuit of a thing well done.


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: CowboyNQ] #2974541 02/08/19 03:35 PM
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Mark thank you for sharing. I am really intrigued and went to Audible straight away to look for an audio book version (how I consume the majority of my books these days). Alas they don't have it. I'll get it out from the library and enjoy the old fashioned way.


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects] #2974542 02/08/19 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


And I piss off a lot of people (and possibly you) by calling BS on this.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: BenWaB3] #2974543 02/08/19 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: BenWaB3
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


And I piss off a lot of people (and possibly you) by calling BS on this.


Ya, that's the prevailing view, and the one it pisses people off to challenge.


"
Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects] #2974550 02/08/19 04:19 PM
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The guy I study with, who also teaches classical beside jazz and who is Be-bop era guy (78 or so) said..."we all love classical music to play and listen to but it's truly innately corrupted music because it written and so 'fixed'" .... now he's a real died in wool 'improvisor' for sure.... but he works out a lot of classical music though I tell you for the other half of his students and he does enjoy it he tells me but he never forgets he says it not expressive for the player except in regard to interpretation..it takes more to be an improvisor and he says it's a higher art...I tend to agree.. he gave me classical as an aid to my jazz studies and I still play classical myself to some degree... he has some interesting ideas about it... 1st one to really bring home the point much classical music was gotten to through improvisation prior to the Neo-Classical period. . .

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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Legatoboy] #2974561 02/08/19 05:38 PM
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"I went through a lot of mental pains and anguish about choosing between jazz and classical. I realized that where I functioned was where I should be, and where I functioned was in jazz, so that was it."

Bill Evans

I haven't agonized to the extent of Bill but I have been playing Classical my whole life and still diligently work on the Chopin and Debussy Etudes, as well as occasionally on the the Bach WTC books 1 &2.

But I do function better, and more "at home" in the Jazz/improvisational world. I certainly don't consider myself a "classical pianist" by any means.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Markyboard] #2974566 02/08/19 05:51 PM
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Appears to be an interesting read. I read the first bits so far and will complete out of interest. I already disagree with a number of assertions in the book, but that's cool! It gets me thinking about my views and why I hold those views.
After a certain age, I have been fascinated with the big questions about music. One of the aspects of this forum that I like is that we are all passionate about music (I think). Some of my favorite discussions in life have involved arguing the relative merits of an artist or music. I love that the validity of music is impossible to define yet worthy of countless passionate opinions.

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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: timwat] #2974574 02/08/19 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Inarguably, classical music demands more of the listener than other genres. It is more difficult to 'get it' without prior familiarity, and much of it doesn't reward 'casual' wall paper listening in the same ways that some pop, ambient, etc. may.

But I might suggest it also rewards focused investment of time and attention in emotional and...dare I say...spiritual (or rather, transcendent?) ways that (for me), no other genre quite does.



So, if we substitute jazz for classical music in this statement does the same apply?

That and many folks argue that Jazz is America’s true classical music.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects] #2974577 02/08/19 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.
I don't know how pissed I would be, but I am pretty sure that, were I in the room, I would express an unflattering assessment of your intelligence.


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects] #2974585 02/08/19 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I didn't read the article, but I have been known to piss off rooms of otherwise good friends by asserting that our stubborn ritualistic preservation of classical music is actually unspoken nostalgia for the days of European (white) dominance over the rest of the free world.


Well, that is a really tainted and racist view. It must be tough living with that mindset. Do you also believe that a love of jazz is based on a desire for black dominance? Does a love a synthesizers and electronic music go back to supporting the alliance of Japan and Germany in WW2? Is this based on self deprecation, or a total lack of understanding of the history of music around the world? If you grew up in India or China would you have the same feelings about the historical music of those regions which is just as alive and popular there as classical is here?

I personally would not be pissed off. I don't waste my time arguing with ignorance.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Tom Williams] #2974586 02/08/19 07:16 PM
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All right, since it's on to inflammatory concepts, here's some that I think are true:

(i) a classical musician who doesn't know how to improvise idiomatically is not an actual musician. Studying the scores and recordings is just as important as it is in any other music, but if you just play transcriptions note-for-note, it's nothing more than a party trick. In some cases a very lucrative, creative one, but it's like buying a "saw the lady in half" trick from a magic shop.

(ii) American music (jazz, blues, rock, and all the others) isn't anything without the European art music tradition. Maybe you can make some EDM without tradition, but I've never met anyone worthwhile who considers that a worthwhile pursuit, as a scholar or listener.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: RABid] #2974588 02/08/19 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted By: RABid


I personally would not be pissed off. I don't waste my time arguing with ignorance.


like


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: EscapeRocks] #2974591 02/08/19 07:35 PM
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J_tour said:

“i) a classical musician who doesn't know how to improvise idiomatically is not an actual musician. Studying the scores and recordings is just as important as it is in any other music, but if you just play transcriptions note-for-note, it's nothing more than a party trick. In some cases a very lucrative, creative one, but it's like buying a "saw the lady in half" trick from a magic shop.”

I say: tell that to Sviatoslav Richter or Glenn Gould


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: jimkost2002] #2974592 02/08/19 07:38 PM
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LOL. Yep, no one sounds pissed off about that at all.

See?

facepalm


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: J_tour] #2974593 02/08/19 07:39 PM
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On the subject of being demanding of the listener, I think most instrumental music immediately becomes more demanding than lyrical music. The moment you add text, the musical content takes a back seat and doesn't really need to hold people's attention as much. It has more concrete meaning, is easier to make judgements about, and is grounded in day-to-day human interaction, rather than the abstraction of raw instrumentation.

It's hard to really say that classical music is particularly any more or less demanding than jazz, or some instrumental rock (jam bands, instrumental guitar, etc). And I would say classical opera is a good deal less demanding. Though I would say things with less harmonic and rhythmic complexity are typically less demanding. New Age is largely instrumental, but it's mostly background music, not really meant to demand much attention at all.

The one major exception is instrumental dance music (again, irregardless of genre). Be it EDM, Appalachian Square Dance, or Johann Strauss.


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: jimkost2002] #2974594 02/08/19 07:43 PM
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J_tour said:

“ii) American music (jazz, blues, rock, and all the others) isn't anything without the European art music tradition. Maybe you can make some EDM without tradition, but I've never met anyone worthwhile who considers that a worthwhile pursuit, as a scholar or listener.”

I said:

Um, NO.....American music (jazz, blues, rock) is a FUSION of EUROPEAN HARMONY with African rythmic and melodic concepts .... plus something indefinable... the experience of the forcibly transplanted African and his descendants in America.

If there would be no European harmony, jazz would sound like Fela and Manu Dibsngo and blues would sound like Junior Kimbrough. Rock would sound like the Kasai Allstars


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music [Re: EscapeRocks] #2974604 02/08/19 08:13 PM
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This book's emphasis is on listening to music as opposed to playing it although there are obvious overlaps that he addresses. What I found most interesting was the way music is so entwined in our cultural practices and technology (recorded music) and his attempt to strip this all away addressing only the music itself. I also like how he compares music to other art forms - very revealing with things I never thought of before. I think everyone will find something of value in this book. To me it's important to understand what function music fulfills in our lives. How many times have I read here that a band's goal is to get people on the dance floor In order to sell more drinks? Or that no one in the audience even knows the keyboardist is up there? Or that Tony Banks looks bored because he's not dancing around like a Gorilla? These are all valid points given the expectation of the listener, only as the author points out its way more about the visual with music as background.
.

I knew this 40 years ago- it's why I hate playing for audiences. But that's just me and btw no aspersions cast on those who do like this scene and great respect to those making a living on it. But this is not about the music itself.

So get pissed at each other, agree or disagree with the author, assume what it's about, hate classical music or love it, feel superior or get defensive. I'm going to a rock concert tomorrow night ( Joe Jackson), hopefully with a new attitude.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: jimkost2002] #2974605 02/08/19 08:16 PM
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I think 20th-century American music is one of the greatest artistic creoles ever created. It's the ultimate testament to the complexities of cultural fusion. The struggle of black America to gain acceptance while maintaining their cultural identity, and the discovery rhythmic complexity by western audiences and musicians. It's so much more than "West African meets European Classical", and now you hear it dominating all over the world and seeping into all parts of life. It probably has more cultural significance than the atomic bomb, the personal computer, and the internet combined!


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Markyboard] #2974606 02/08/19 08:19 PM
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Interestingly, the author delves into nearly every point of contention on this thread, albeit in a less charged way. Give it a read! The book does require some patience (me- “that’s crap”; ok let me keep reading) Pause, think , reflect: its that kind of book.


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: jimkost2002] #2974610 02/08/19 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: jimkost2002
J_tour said:

.....American music (jazz, blues, rock) is a FUSION of EUROPEAN HARMONY with African rythmic and melodic concepts .... plus something indefinable... the experience of the forcibly transplanted African and his descendants in America.

If there would be no European harmony, jazz would sound like Fela and Manu Dibsngo and blues would sound like Junior Kimbrough. Rock would sound like the Kasai Allstars

HEAR! HEAR! Without the numerous historical threads of blues and R&B, there'd be no Rolling Stones or Elvis as we know them. R&B doesn't come from Memphis, Tennessee; it comes from Soweto, South Africa. Also, nothing on Earth beats a whole African village singing in harmony, period. like


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: Markyboard] #2974611 02/08/19 08:48 PM
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Sheesh, talk about hauling coal to Newcastle! Classical music is a time capsule of a certain range of eras. To me, it clearly expresses the angles from which the composers saw and felt their times. None of us could manage such work, in part because we rarely know anything near real silence. Most of the earlier legendary practitioners knew little else, life in a few city settings excepted. It makes a profound difference in the musical outcome. Even orchestral film composers, who help to keep the classical idioms going, are still subject to both the obvious and more subtle stresses of our time.

More importantly, classical exposes you to romanticism, odd moments of counterpoint, a sense of instrumental ranges, the dance between subtlety and bombast, etc., etc. Its what primed me to later appreciate jazz, R&B, prog, ethnic folk musics and much more. Bach is classical, but IMO, so is Gershwin, in a sense. They're both highly important to me, just like Gentle Giant. In fact, I'd go so far as to call Philip Glass and Steve Reich classical, due to the inspired form factor and fascinating discipline involved.

If you try to remove any of them from my hall of heroes, I'll fight you like a tanked-up, 6'3" Sid Vicious surrogate and I will leave a mark. Its only fair.

I need classical music because sometimes, nothing but some Ligeti or Saint-Saens "Organ" Symphony will do. Enjoying the high bars they set gives me the impetus to woodshed a bit harder.


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Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: MathOfInsects] #2974612 02/08/19 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
LOL. Yep, no one sounds pissed off about that at all.

See?

facepalm


Nope. I realize that you really want us to be, but that is another "issue" entirely. More than anything it is just curiosity. Why do you have such a need to piss people off? You have demonstrated it several times on the forum, and now you brag about doing it to a room full of people. I'm not pissed. I'm just wondering why? Maybe it is my 20+ years working in the mental health field that drives my curiosity.

Re: Who Needs Classical Music? [Re: RABid] #2974624 02/08/19 09:22 PM
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LOL. Easy, big guy. I'm not anyone worth getting worked up about.

Life is short. Enjoy and don’t sweat the goofy stuff.


"
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