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Jan-Peter

How do you put your worldview and beliefsystem in your music?

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How do you put your worldview and beliefsystem in your music?

A lot of the great composers like Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Messiaen, have tried to put their worldview in their compositions. So my question is: do you try to do the same? And: how do you do that?

This is NOT a topic about the existence of God etc.(That would be offtopic) This is about your music in combination on your faith/worldview/beliefsystem.

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If this is not an topic concerning God you should not mention only christian composers. For the sake of argument I'd like to add the mystical Skryabin, the mathematician Xenakis, the Buddhist Glass, etc...

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What a fascinating discussion! I tend to disguise my worldview within my music. Numbers I find to be sacred, 'like 3 and 7', I will put in my music - much the same as Mozart did in the overture to Die Zauberflote. Some of the 'hidden' meaning in my work includes: witchcraft imagery, apocalyptic visions, etc. Very fascinating topic, indeed.

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I don't intentionally, but I think there are elements that come out, even in the very nature of not intentionally showing it blah blah "art" poop.

Meaninglessness and arbitrariness are important to my music, as is meaning/good from meaninglessness - something close to synchronicity but not as philosophic. DIY and sort of "blue collar art" are kind of what I aspire to, but I'm not skilled enough really.

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This sort of thing happens naturally. Your worldview is the essence of what you think - it is the combination of your philosophy on a number of different issues. When you express yourself whether it is in a painting, in music or in poetry the way you do it reflects your worldview. When Claude Debussy ushered in the Impressionist movement he brought a completely different way of thinking about melody then composers before him. He focused less on solid lines of melody. He blurred the finite line between melody and accompaniment or the other lines of music written. It was his philosophy on reality, rights and wrongs, existence of God, etc. that led him to naturally find this way of composing that he did. It is not that he necessarily had to conscientiously think about the fact that he was making a statement about his worldview through his music when he was composing it for the statement to be made. Art is an expression of ones worldview and this just comes out in the art naturally.

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@RRR: that is true but on the other hand: just because it comes naturally it doesn't mean you can't analyze what you are doing when you compose.

@jawoodruff: What does the number 3 and 7 mean in your view? And how can I hear that in your composition?

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This is indeed a very interesting discussion! :)

However, I'm not quite sure how to answer, because, you know, I've written pieces about the environment and such, and things that I kinda care about, but they usually don't work. I don't know why, but... well... I guess that's that!

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@RRR: that is true but on the other hand: just because it comes naturally it doesn't mean you can't analyze what you are doing when you compose.

Oh yeah, I agree. I think that the more you effort you put into trying to express something or make something a particular way in your piece the more the art will in turn express your worldview through some kind of statement you make with the composition. The analyzation just helps to add to. It also helps to make the piece work as intended and that good stuff as well.

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The audience is what the audience is. They like what they like. Your music will not change that.

Unless you write protest music.

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Since my philosophy is to have fun doing things, I try to have fun writing. Almost all of my music ends up either sarcastic or satirical, with the occasional bit of seriousness just to throw people off, so I don't know if it's working. I don't think this addresses the question, but I'm not sure what my "world view" is or what my "belief system" may be. I certainly don't write music meant to represent... uh, atheism, or whatever. That's stupid. In fact my protest things have to do more with tangible things, like xenophobia or cultural pluralism.

So, I don't know.

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The only time I put a worldview into music is if the music is programmatic or has lyrics. Otherwise it's just music. It might represent me, or bits of me, or parts of my personality, but there's no way I consciously put my belief system into my absolute music, and there's no way if I did someone would completely accurately get it without program notes.

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The only time I put a worldview into music is if the music is programmatic or has lyrics. Otherwise it's just music. It might represent me, or bits of me, or parts of my personality, but there's no way I consciously put my belief system into my absolute music, and there's no way if I did someone would completely accurately get it without program notes.

Music is, by default, an extension of the composers private thoughts. Even when you utilize alleatoric means to compose, you are still constructing the music according to your own intuition and discretion. That said, it is inevitable that even without a programmatic ideal or lyrics to it... your worldview would be ALL over it.

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Music is, by default, an extension of the composers private thoughts. Even when you utilize alleatoric means to compose, you are still constructing the music according to your own intuition and discretion. That said, it is inevitable that even without a programmatic ideal or lyrics to it... your worldview would be ALL over it.

Agree with this statement 100%.

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