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Fortunately: most of us see guys like him as the short, tempestuous, needlessly puffing, red-faced people they are. I bet you could see them from a mile away on the street!

....Except Schoenberg created something entirely new out of these two broad ideas being the driving force. Couldn't say the same for Berg: he created a unique language for others to be influenced by, but he didn't shake the approach to composition in Western music by it's very roots.

That's all fine and dandy.

Still doesn't rival what Schoenberg and Webern accomplished, at least, the way I and many others see it. You've quite literally just reiterated everything Magna Carta already said so thanks for making all of us read the same exact points, in a convenient wall of text. :glare:

And for the record: I'm not a Berg-hater nor contemptuous of him. I've already said I was quite fond of him as a composer. This is a thread for opinions and those who'd like to play the devil's advocate, so there is no need for hissy fits. Someone earlier called Bach overrated. I didn't agree: was I outraged? Not really. This is an internet forum....go get some fresh air.

You'd have to define 'the very roots' of the 'approach to composition in Western music' then because it was my point that Schoenberg didn't do that either. Schoenberg still employed traditional forms. Schoenberg still made us of standard motivic development practices. Schoenberg still approached orchestration largely traditionally (the third piece of the Five Piece for Orchestra being a notable exception.) And really, Schoenberg's twelve-tone system as he described it is just a different manifestation of the Fugue Principle which has been around for hundreds of years. There's hardly anything 'entirely new' about Schoenberg's system at all honestly. About the most radical departure was the full rejection of voice-leading tendencies and the consistent saturation of the full chromatic in the macroharmony.

You haven't provided any empirical data to support any of your claims. All you do is hide behind vague, arbitrary criteria that you can just shift at a moment's notice. You accused Berg of not being an innovator and 'not doing anything new with Schoenberg's system' or something to that effect. I provided more than enough provable information (as in things that can be argued over on an empirical level) to prove that statement wrong. Berg was just as 'innovative' as Schoenberg or Webern. And unless you can better define your terms and make claims on an empirical level, then there's no reason I, or anyone else, should take them seriously.

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Since when does "empirical data" solve anything in a discussion about composers being better than other composers? I mean, really!

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Since when does "empirical data" solve anything in a discussion about composers being better than other composers? I mean, really!

Actually it certainly does come into play when a person makes rash claims about a composer's perceived "lack of innovation" when compared to other two composers and still fails to provide any. The burden of proof is ultimately on him, especially since he's been shown numerous time his "argument" (well, if he had one, honestly) is misguided.

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Actually it certainly does come into play when a person makes rash claims about a composer's perceived "lack of innovation" when compared to other two composers and still fails to provide any. The burden of proof is ultimately on him, especially since he's been shown numerous time his "argument" (well, if he had one, honestly) is misguided.

There's nothing rash about it. Its an opinion. People have 'em. Learn to deal with that and you'll get along swimmingly in the music world. If you don't and decide to stick to your hard place, then you won't get very far because people won't want to work with you.

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There's nothing rash about it. Its an opinion. People have 'em. Learn to deal with that and you'll get along swimmingly in the music world. If you don't and decide to stick to your hard place, then you won't get very far because people won't want to work with you.

There's a difference between having an opinion and making demonstrably false claims to support an opinion especially when one uses vaguely defined terms in the guise of a reason. He can think however he wants about Berg. But there's quite a difference between saying 'I prefer Schoenberg and Webern's music to Berg's' to 'Berg wasn't as innovative/was more traditional' since these things can be argued on a more empirical level. And it's my opinion that his claims are demonstrably false; something that I've backed up with way more evidence then he has yet to provide me with. Any reason I gave can be argued on an empirical level and I feel this gives more support to my position. yes, he ultimately can have whatever opinion he wants for whatever reason he wants. But if all he has is vaguely-defined rhetoric then there's no reason anyone else should take his opinion seriously besides him.

Not all opinions/beliefs are 'equal.' And music being an 'abstract art form' does not make it exempt from rational discussion.

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Alban Berg.

My case: the only reason why we care about him, is because he studied under Schoenberg at such a critical time. Guys like Adorno or Boulez (with the latter: at least in his past), would talk disapprovingly of Schoenberg. To quote Adorno, he called his works in the late period: "works of magnificent failure". Not a fair assessment as Schoenberg provided momentum for the radical change early on in the 20th century, although he was not able to able to literally do away with tonality himself.

This being said: Berg was simply adopting Schoenberg's systems without successfully taking them anywhere further. Schoenberg's other prized student, Webern, was able to justify his inclusion as a prominent composer of the Second Viennese School.

Let me sound my disapproval of this quote by quoting Marie's son in Wozzeck, famous last words: "hop hop"

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my patience was pushed to its limit when MC kept insisting that I was some guy who found serial composition to be pretentious and conceived simply out of an attempt to "go against tradition"

Actually, no one actually claimed you "found serial composition to be pretentious" or that you considered it simply to arise from a necessity on these composers' part to subvert tradition. In fact, those suggestions wouldn't make much sense given that you are placing Schoenberg and Webern on a higher pedestal for somehow "shaking Western music by its very roots", a commentary that doesn't really make much sense given that they are demonstrably very much rooted in Western tradition with regard to compositional approach. To be perfectly honest, your argument seems to stem from the notion that the music of Schoenberg and Webern have much more a lack of tonal centricity than does Berg's, which is neither sensical nor even the driving factor of their music.

But good job on the straw man there. Seriously, A+.

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Now I am pleasantly amused at how hard these kids are trying to change my opinion about Berg.

If you want to hold your misguided beliefs on Berg, then by all means please continue to do so. However, this isn't a substantive reason why I shouldn't demonstrate why it is misguided. Not all opinions are of equal merit, and those that lack any sort of data to support them should be given less credence and should be addressed. Music being an "abstract art form" does not excuse it from being subject to discourse.

A 'claim' is quite different than something that is explicitly an opinion. There is no burden on me to conjure proof as I'm not trying to force feed any ideas

Yeah, that's a cool red herring or whatever, but you're explicitly making the claim that Berg "is less innovative than Schoenberg and/or Webern" and that he as an "innovator" is therefore "overrated". The burden of proof is ultimately on you to demonstrate why you feel this is so, and so far you've failed to provide any outside of ambiguous rhetoric.

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You know: at first, my patience was pushed to its limit when MC kept insisting that I was some guy who found serial composition to be pretentious and conceived simply out of an attempt to "go against tradition". Now I am pleasantly amused at how hard these kids are trying to change my opinion about Berg.

A 'claim' is quite different than something that is explicitly an opinion. There is no burden on me to conjure proof as I'm not trying to force feed any ideas (I can give you hint, however, as to some people that are). I really couldn't care less if anyone takes my opinion seriously other than me.

I know. How ridiculous has this thread gotten! I agree with your opinion though that means nothing more than we agree and think serialism is kind of lame. Other people can think what they want. I don't care. Just don't make one or the other a 'right' view and get all bent out of shape trying to prove your case to make your opinion fact.

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The most overrated composers of all time are you people, and that is saying a lot, considering the consensus is that all of you suck.

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You started it.

Not that your commentary actually has any sort of bearing over whether or not it should continue, but uh, no.

The most overrated composers of all time are you people, and that is saying a lot, considering the consensus is that all of you suck.

Objectively the best statement ever said in 2011.

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I love how, in this thread, people are making this more an argument centered around serialism.. and less about who they personally feel are overrated composers. I feel Berg is an underrated composer -especially in comparison to Schoenberg and Webern. I feel of the set, personally, that Schoenberg is more overrated. My opinion though - doesn't mean it has to mesh with the established view of these three composers. Just saying.

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The most overrated composers of all time are you people, and that is saying a lot, considering the consensus is that all of you suck.

Ian, you have such a positive attitude.

And Morivou, what the heck?!?!?!?

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Rach gets my vote!

perfectly boring for the time he composed in, in regardance to melodies, harmonies etc. I can understand why very skilled pianists like him, he is obviously a challange, but don't play "classical pop music", people, pop is bad, m'kay. Except Justin Biber apparently :P

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Ok, to get back on topic.

I 2nd SysDaniel -- I believe Tchkavisokoy Tisktaobaokr HOWevERYouSpellHIsName is terribly overrated. I have listened to his first piano concerto in Db Major (no, not Bb Minor!) several times, and I think it is an absolute disaster -- a self-indulgent mess of ideas thrown together. And his ballets absolutely bore me to death, whether it be Swan Lake or the Nutcracker Suite.

The sad thing being, I don't even think he was a bad composer. I just think he made a lot of musical, human mis-steps, despite his talent. I also think he was too touchy to accept criticism, which probably would have really helped his music an awful lot.

All this is very sketchy, of course, but it is what I currently feel.

Also, John Cage is certainly overrated. Speaking of disasters. Sheesh. But I've only heard his "out there" stuff. I seem to remember he actually put some effort into making some music, so I can't go out and say "What a terrible composer" yet, since I haven't seen/heard every facet of him yet.

In terms of purely tonal composers, Mozart would probably have to be the most overrated. And I think he was a brilliant composer (who also wrote great music :)). It's just the excessive praise his music, and he, gets ... it's too much.

I also have piano beginner books that state, as a fact, that Bach is the greatest composer in the history of forever. So I guess that means he's overrated too. (I think his Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is a perfect example of "overrated".) Love his WTC and everything, or at least what little I currently know of it (I'm workin' on it!), and I'm sure I'd enjoy some of his chamber works, but I can't swallow that he's the greatest composer who has ever lived.

Wow.

I have spewed more water-diluted vitriol over the course of this post than I have my entire stay here at YC. I must be in rare form.

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Also, John Cage is certainly overrated. Speaking of disasters. Sheesh. But I've only heard his "out there" stuff. I seem to remember he actually put some effort into making some music, so I can't go out and say "What a terrible composer" yet, since I haven't seen/heard every facet of him yet.

His Prelude and Sonatas for Prepared Piano are absolutely gorgeous in a "Six Little Piano Pieces" kind of way -- simple themes, haunting melodies.

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Whoa. A thread, derailed? On YC?! No way!

IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!!

HAHAHAHA. I've noticed over my 2 years here that this happens on a frequent basis :P

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I would never consider Tchaikovsky as overrated; that sounds frankly just

, but to each his own. I'm just curious as to what kind of brain gets off to thinking in this manner, so I will have to privately stalk you for the time being. His 1st Piano Concerto to dislike, out of anything of his? That's like one of the best melodies I've heard. Self-indulgent, well sure. Where else would he have pulled that from?

I have a difficult time choosing the most overrated composer though. There are so many typical pieces and then just as many pieces that are difficult to judge in terms of objective quality. Certainly one must take influence and impact into account, which is why I use the phrase 'typical pieces,' versus pieces that originated all of these typical pieces. This has nothing to do with the latter compositions, but everything to do with calling the former highly influential "overrated."

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