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pateceramics

How Finicky Do You Get With Your Markings?

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Just polling the room...

 

 

How dictatorial do you get with your markings?  If you get too fussy and mark every possible tiny crescendo and accent, you run the risk of someone taking you absolutely literally and working so hard to recreate what you have indicated in the score that all the joy is sucked out of the performance.  Or worse, an irritated conductor berating their group for enjoying themselves, and being moved to deviate from the markings.  

 

On the other hand, if you are too minimal in your directions, there is the inevitable raised hand at the back of the room every thirty seconds during rehearsal from the local ensemble pedant, wanting the conductor to specify all the details you have left out.  (The answer to all such questions being, of course, just watch the conductor, but that doesn't stop people from asking the questions.)  

 

So out of curiosity, what do you do to try to find a balance?  

 

I generally mark the first few hairpins to remind musicians to work for a nice line, and then only mark major crescendos and diminuendos.  I mark major dynamic shifts that are important for technical reasons.  For example, if the sopranos need to be singing forte to help them soar up to a climactic high note, then everyone else needs to be singing loudly enough to support them, so I'll mark it.  But small variations in tempo or dynamics, I tend to just leave to the discretion of the conductor and performers.  

 

Thoughts?

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I just do whatever feels natural. I used to be obsessed with the visual presence of dynamics and articulations in my scores (so much so that I might pass on something even if it's what I had wanted musically). Now, I just do whatever I need, regardless of how it looks. A single bar might have 4-5 dynamics changes in it because that's what I want.

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Huh...  I guess I usually err on the side of letting the performers just do what's natural, so I'm trying to stay out of their way with markings as much as is practical.  

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My approach falls somewhere between Cadenza's and Pateceramics. Beyond the first few measures, I only indicate dynamics, techniques, tempi or expression when I deem it absolutely necessary. In similar passages, I just write 'simile' or even write nothing (assuming smart performers who know their way across a score).

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i only include truly essential information in my scores, leaving the finer details of interpretation up to the performer(s), as one can see -

 

aelhyik.png

excerpted from my latest composition silver canticle of fractals in aurora australis for left-handed violinist and trainyard

 

there are at least 19 other places i could have inserted a dynamic or expressive mark in that bar!

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Eh, being more familiar with notation programs and their playback, I certainly mark everything.  I don't agree with the performer's interpretations.  Playing rubato, when it is not marked is annoying to me.  It should be played as written, just as countless composers throughout time have asked/demanded.

 

However, not being commissioned, I am lucky to be performed - in this case, I am just happy to be played, and give them a lot of freedom, on most levels.

 

Thus, it depends - though, still, my markings, in either scenario, are heavily written.

 

In my beginning, I wrote few markings, but over time, that is something I found as a fault, and needed correction.

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Be as precise as you can (much easier in the era of notation software), but try to avoid patronizing the performer too much (with bowing or fingering marks for instance).

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I try to be as precise as possible. The thing is, I don't really like the idea of "performer interpretation" that much; in order to ensure that a performance of your piece is as true to your intentions as possible, a composer needs to leave as little up to the performer as he/she can. Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but I never want someone to be in doubt after watching a performance of my work simply because a performer took a liberty.

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Eh, being more familiar with notation programs and their playback, I certainly mark everything.  I don't agree with the performer's interpretations.  Playing rubato, when it is not marked is annoying to me.  It should be played as written, just as countless composers throughout time have asked/demanded.

 

However, not being commissioned, I am lucky to be performed - in this case, I am just happy to be played, and give them a lot of freedom, on most levels.

 

Thus, it depends - though, still, my markings, in either scenario, are heavily written.

 

In my beginning, I wrote few markings, but over time, that is something I found as a fault, and needed correction.

Huh... I wonder if needing to put every little nuance in one's notation program to get the playback you want, is nudging us all towards more markings.  Since we know we will be judged by professors, competition judges, and publishers based on the computer generated playback, we mark EVERYTHING, so that the playback will sound less computerized.  I wonder if there was a bit of a shift when the notation programs first became decent.  If before that point, when you sent live recordings of performances or just the score off to contests, etc, if most people were less fidgety about their markings...

 

(Looking at my score for Bach's "Tilge, Hochster, meine Sunden," which has absolutely no markings for the vocalists for the first four pages.  Just marked Largo and Forte for the strings at the very beginning, and the rest is up to you.)  Although that may just be this editor.  

 

Maybe it's also a bit less obvious what is appropriate treatment of a phrase in more experimental/atonal work, so composers are marking more these days to be sure their intentions are understood.  Whereas in ye olden tymes it was all about stodgy old tradition.  Music commissioned and performed for big stodgy institutions like the Catholic church or the court of King Ferfinhausen XII was perhaps more likely to gradually evolve, rather than experience revolutionary changes over-night, so the composers could count on performers to understand what they wanted, while leaving much unsaid.  

 

Perhaps?  Quick!  Someone write a thesis!  (:

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I find that the most important markings are the things a conductor should convey to the players. Dynamics as a group, or an unusual balance requirement should be marked clearly for the performers. Those markings are needed because the musicians can't see the whole score, and they don't have the big picture view of it. They're also needed because you can't count on a conductor to point them all out, or the musicians to actually listen to the conductor.

 

Beyond that, the performers are usually smarter than the composer when it comes to the music. Considering that their rehearsals may likely be more intensive than your time spent actually composing, the musicians can often develop the best dynamic and articulation concepts on their own. They know their instruments, and probably better than you. 

 

This is why I see a decent trend in my music, where a larger group = more markings.

 

Just, don't be a Webern. http://imslp.org/wiki/6_Bagatellen,_Op.9_(Webern,_Anton) That's just too much to accurately play.

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Maybe it's also a bit less obvious what is appropriate treatment of a phrase in more experimental/atonal work, so composers are marking more these days to be sure their intentions are understood.  Whereas in ye olden tymes it was all about stodgy old tradition.  Music commissioned and performed for big stodgy institutions like the Catholic church or the court of King Ferfinhausen XII was perhaps more likely to gradually evolve, rather than experience revolutionary changes over-night, so the composers could count on performers to understand what they wanted, while leaving much unsaid.  

 

Perhaps?  Quick!  Someone write a thesis!  (:

 

You made quite a few assumptions (some quite rude) in that last paragraph. Just because a piece of music NOW sounds "stodgy" does not mean it did at the time. In fact, Bach was constantly criticized for being too old-fashioned, and not writing in the "new" style of the time, the style gallant. Audiences of the past had very little tolerance for styles they considered old and tired. And as for there being no revolutionary changes during "ye olden tymes", that is just silly. The transition between the Baroque era and the Romantic era was only fifty years long. Western art music went from pure counterpoint, with no use of chords as we think of them, to being almost purely homophonic chords with a melody in only fifty years. Lastly, performers could NOT be counted on to understand what the composer wanted. There are countless accounts of composers being humiliated by terrible performances by sub-par performers throughout the common practice period. However, when a piece had great performers excessive markings would only be detrimental to the realization of the piece. 

I agreed with your first paragraph in your post, but your last one seemed superfluous and used far too much ignorant essentialization. I even agree with your observation about experimental and atonal works needing more markings than more traditional works do. But don't insult the great masters of the past by insinuating that their music was old and uninventive when it was first written. They were revolutionary for their time. During their time their music was considered insane and often unintelligible by any but the best performers of the era.  

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Bach generally didn't include dynamic markings because in his time dynamic contrast was created by adding or taking away voices from the texture rather than having the voices sing louder or softer. Other composers of the time only found use for "loud" and "soft" because the technology to give individual instruments a wider dynamic range did not exist. Dynamic marks and performance directions have become more detailed as instruments have become better, and expressive marks and interpretive gestures have become more commonplace as performers have become better. (The standard of playing technique nowadays is undoubtedly the highest in recorded history. In Paganini's day only Paganini could play his violin caprices; today every Juilliard student can do it.) We are confident in giving a performer detailed instructions because we know the performer is capable of executing those instructions with a degree of musicality. If Bach had attempted to detail his scores so carefully he would have utterly befuddled the musicians of his time—even the degree of detail he did add (i.e., writing out all the ornaments and prohibiting the performer from adding more) was decried by performers of the day.

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You made quite a few assumptions (some quite rude) in that last paragraph. Just because a piece of music NOW sounds "stodgy" does not mean it did at the time. In fact, Bach was constantly criticized for being too old-fashioned, and not writing in the "new" style of the time, the style gallant. Audiences of the past had very little tolerance for styles they considered old and tired...

I agreed with your first paragraph in your post, but your last one seemed superfluous and used far too much ignorant essentialization. I even agree with your observation about experimental and atonal works needing more markings than more traditional works do. But don't insult the great masters of the past by insinuating that their music was old and uninventive when it was first written. They were revolutionary for their time. During their time their music was considered insane and often unintelligible by any but the best performers of the era.  

Apologies, Michael.  I was being flippant.  Typing is always a poor conveyor of tone compared to face to face interaction.  I love the old masters and I don't consider them stodgy at all.  More the institutions that tended to pay their bills.  Which must have been exceedingly irritating to their creative impulses.  

 

But you must admit, 50 years is a long time, compared to the rate of change enabled by today's more universal access to education, technology, and global culture.  Think of the advances made possible by the development of multi-track recording.  Think of how that speeds up the rate of experimentation because of all the time and money it saves for a musician and the access to music making it enables.  You don't need to be the organist and choir master of a grand european cathedral any more to have access to a group of musicians to play your new composition and see how it sounds.  You don't have to be male to get an education in composition.  You don't need to cater to the tastes of the current church music committee, or the duke who isn't actually interested in music, but thinks it makes him sound important to have a court composer.  You just need a laptop.  It allows you to compose more quickly, try and discard ideas more quickly and the whole pace of change speeds up.  

 

It allows me to write this paragraph and send it out to you and everyone else here across timezones and across the world without taking the time to check my spelling, or ponder the possible interpretations of my choice of words.  (Apologies again.  Bach, Handel, Brahms... drool... some of my very favorites).  But just think what Bach would have come up with if he could have funded his composing through a kickstarter campaign; or been exposed to the music of the Tuareg people, or even just the composer in the town 100 kilometers away without having to go visit, or have a score sent with a messenger on a horse.  All the same changes and innovation happen, just faster.  

 

And now, because I do not need to hie me to a typesetter, pay a scribe to set it down in ink for me, or have my nephew memorize the message and walk to your house to repeat it to you, I shall hit "Post" and hope you are entertained rather than further offended.  (Just got back from a thoroughly enjoyable rehearsal of Elgar, Bach, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi and Dvorak and am off to bed).  (:

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Apologies, Michael.  I was being flippant.  Typing is always a poor conveyor of tone compared to face to face interaction.  I love the old masters and I don't consider them stodgy at all.  More the institutions that tended to pay their bills.  Which must have been exceedingly irritating to their creative impulses.  

 

But you must admit, 50 years is a long time, compared to the rate of change enabled by today's more universal access to education, technology, and global culture.  Think of the advances made possible by the development of multi-track recording.  Think of how that speeds up the rate of experimentation because of all the time and money it saves for a musician and the access to music making it enables.  You don't need to be the organist and choir master of a grand european cathedral any more to have access to a group of musicians to play your new composition and see how it sounds.  You don't have to be male to get an education in composition.  You don't need to cater to the tastes of the current church music committee, or the duke who isn't actually interested in music, but thinks it makes him sound important to have a court composer.  You just need a laptop.  It allows you to compose more quickly, try and discard ideas more quickly and the whole pace of change speeds up.  

 

It allows me to write this paragraph and send it out to you and everyone else here across timezones and across the world without taking the time to check my spelling, or ponder the possible interpretations of my choice of words.  (Apologies again.  Bach, Handel, Brahms... drool... some of my very favorites).  But just think what Bach would have come up with if he could have funded his composing through a kickstarter campaign; or been exposed to the music of the Tuareg people, or even just the composer in the town 100 kilometers away without having to go visit, or have a score sent with a messenger on a horse.  All the same changes and innovation happen, just faster.  

 

And now, because I do not need to hie me to a typesetter, pay a scribe to set it down in ink for me, or have my nephew memorize the message and walk to your house to repeat it to you, I shall hit "Post" and hope you are entertained rather than further offended.  (Just got back from a thoroughly enjoyable rehearsal of Elgar, Bach, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi and Dvorak and am off to bed).  (:

I wouldn't say 50 years is a long time, because an actual style came out of it. In the 20th (and now 21st) century no real style ever came about and had a significant impact. Every decade or so a new style would become vogue, have a few pieces written, and then be left having been experimented with, but never mastered. I do not think we are progressing faster musically than we once were. We are just having more material created and then discarded without any actual development or movement in music. Music isn't getting better, it is moving laterally from one genre/technique to the next. 

And sorry if my original post was harsh. I did not mean to imply you did not like the great masters of music. 

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In the 20th (and now 21st) century no real style ever came about and had a significant impact

Neo-classicism? Serialism? Aleatoric music? Spectralism? New complexity? Electronic music? Sound installations? I'm not sure how you're disregarding all of these ideas (or perhaps you were simply unaware of them). As well as this, it's important to understand that there now exists far less consistency of 'style' than in Classical music before the 20th century. The development of Western music has occurred in a logical manner: everything grew out of those things that preceded it and makes perfect sense in historical context.

Music isn't getting better, it is moving laterally from one genre/technique to the next.

 

Well, yeah. Music isn't ever 'getting better'. It can't get 'better', only different as the time in which it is written changes.

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But we digress...  getting back to markings...  

 

As a performer, I find too many markings in a score visually distracting.  It's all well and good if someone will spend 6 months learning a piece to notate the heck out of it.  Unfortunately, the more common scenario outside of the classroom is to be sent a score 2 days before the dress rehearsal to look at on your own, and then only have a single run-through with the conductor and the other musicians, with whom you have never worked previously, before the performance. Working musicians have to work a LOT to make a living, so they digest enormous amounts of music on short notice even under the best of conditions.  

 

Surprise!  You're doing a solo!  In fifteen minutes!  Comes up more frequently than you might guess.  

 

Any students here, practice your sight-reading skills.  Composers, have pity and use fewer markings so you have room to print the notes a little larger.  

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Composers, have pity and use fewer markings so you have room to print the notes a little larger.  

 

It all comes down to circumstance. If I write densely notated music, I wouldn't expect some college kid to successfully perform it after only having looked at it once. It would be silly for a composer to remove things to make it 'easier' to play, the better solution would be to find better performers and situations where they have the time to prepare accordingly. 

 

Also, where dynamics (specifically) are concerned, it's good to understand that in a lot of new music, they don't necessarily serve to reflect phrasing. Dynamics change the timbre of instruments and in music which it frequently changes, it contributes to a sense of depth in what you hear. 

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Neo-classicism? Serialism? Aleatoric music? Spectralism? New complexity? Electronic music? Sound installations? I'm not sure how you're disregarding all of these ideas (or perhaps you were simply unaware of them). As well as this, it's important to understand that there now exists far less consistency of 'style' than in Classical music before the 20th century. The development of Western music has occurred in a logical manner: everything grew out of those things that preceded it and makes perfect sense in historical context.

 

Well, yeah. Music isn't ever 'getting better'. It can't get 'better', only different as the time in which it is written changes.

I am not ignoring those styles. Most of them came and passed without any significant addition to our culture. They were fads. Serialism never took off outside of universities, aleatoric music is considered nonsense outside of avant-garde music circles, spectralism failed to gain an audience, and even performers for the most part. New complexity suffered the same fate as the others, being completely incomprehensible unless you knew the score inside and out. Electronic music in art music is a sad joke. Art music composers refuse to admit that pop musicians and audio engineers are decades ahead of them in how to utilize electronics in music, and refuse to learn from them. Insisting that the same, dull effects that pop and rock musicians used 30-40 years ago are "new" and "fresh". I wouldn't consider sound installations an advancement in music itself, simply a new venue in which music is performed. And I quite love the idea of it. Neo-Classicism is the only style that you mentioned that didn't flop on its face and fail to become anything more than a pompous fad. 

 

Just because a style comes out of another style in a logical way doesn't mean it was an advancement. It's different. It has changed. Change is not innately good. Nor is being different. A style can make logical sense from where it came, and still be trash.

 

And I would argue that music CAN get better. In the sense that there is good music, and bad music and in 40-50 years music from the past 40-50 years will be looked at as, generally, bad. Especially the music that is currently praised and forced down the throats of students by theory, history, and composition faculty. In 40-50 years the pop music of our time will be better remembered for its exquisite balance of intellectualism, poetry, and aural beauty than art music that never stopped trying to be experiment and do something completely new and therefore never mastered any single style to create beautiful music.

 

Don't take this as me saying that all of these styles are innately bad, because they are not. The problem is that composers never settle on any single style long enough to master it. To say anything significant with it. They simply play with it a little, then toss it aside for the next movement, leaving a trail of mediocre scores behind them. There are, of course, exceptions to this, and every movement has at least SOME significant work, or at least an influence on a later significant work, but not enough to give merit to the movement and take it from the category of "bad" to "good".

--

On the actual topic of the thread: I believe that use of markings has become both a blessing and a curse. Many, many composers (including my composition teachers) teach that absolutely everything you want to hear should be marked, and I agree with that with movie scores, sound installations, and some tightly choreographed dramas. However, doing this in concert music is insulting to the performer. You are telling the performer that they are too stupid to make this music say what you want it to say, and to say it significantly. You are saying that their 5, 10, 20, 50 years of training wasn't enough for them to even begin to understand what you could want from them musically. As a composer, you should also be an instrumentalist, so think like an instrumentalist. Would you WANT to play a score that demeaned you as a musician? Probably not. So I would say that marking should only be used when necessary. If you want a hairpin crescendo, then put it there. If you just want the phrase to be played with good expression and musicality than leave it up to the performer. Try to think of what you are actually trying to achieve with each marking, and how you, as a performer, would interpret the markings, and if they are truly necessary. 

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Most of them came and passed without any significant addition to our culture. They were fads.

You're having a hard time understanding this because your perception of importance is tied into mainstream integration. Also (and again): style =/= idea. For example: the falling out of the Webernian pointillist-type aesthetic is not in any way an indication that those ideas introduced by the serial movement have suddenly become useless to the next generation.

Serialism never took off outside of universities

...and yet, it introduced an influential perspective on viewing music and the manipulation of its parameters.

aleatoric music is considered nonsense outside of avant-garde music circles

A misconception. Music considered aleatoric is very, very diverse (and a great deal of it exists outside the realm of Classical music).

spectralism failed to gain an audience, and even performers for the most part.

Not only is this entirely wrong, but it is the complete opposite of what is occurring (especially in Europe). Spectralism is a step in the direction of technical clarity. Not only this, but it has contributed to a resurgence of orchestral music. It is also a relatively old movement, originating decades and decades ago (and not losing any steam). Hardly a fad (though I don't think I could say the same for certain aesthetic approaches inspired by it).

New complexity suffered the same fate as the others, being completely incomprehensible unless you knew the score inside and out.

New complexity hasn't suffered from anything, at all (quite the opposite, actually). The ideas are influencing a huge number of composers today and have inspired the formation of many, many new ensembles of high-level musicians.

Electronic music in art music is a sad joke.

That's kind of your own fault for associating the electronic 'music' of today with Art music. Things like sound installations and programs aren't Art music, though they're inspiring a great deal of composers in that tradition. Is that association the only reason why you think it's a 'joke'?

Art music composers refuse to admit that pop musicians and audio engineers are decades ahead of them in how to utilize electronics in music, and refuse to learn from them. Insisting that the same, dull effects that pop and rock musicians used 30-40 years ago are "new" and "fresh".

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say here since you're clearly basing your perception on 50 year-old trends.

Neo-Classicism is the only style that you mentioned that didn't flop on its face and fail to become anything more than a pompous fad.

It's great that you say that because Neoclassicism was the least influential movement of those that I listed. A lot of the music was great, but you know: subjective opinion on the music from a movement =/= success of said movement.

Just because a style comes out of another style in a logical way doesn't mean it was an advancement. It's different. It has changed. Change is not innately good. Nor is being different. A style can make logical sense from where it came, and still be trash.

And to this, I can offer nothing more than, well, you're wrong because you're looking at the history of Western music with tunnel vision. You're also making the mistake of associating words like 'good' and 'bad' with the sequence of movements. You'll learn that music/art/literature/etc. is unlike technology or medicine: the end isn't improvement and economy because it's impossible for that to happen. The arts reflect the ideas and events of the times. Change is inevitable. It's not 'good' or 'bad' because....it can't be either.

And I would argue that music CAN get better. In the sense that there is good music, and bad music and in 40-50 years music from the past 40-50 years will be looked at as, generally, bad. Especially the music that is currently praised and forced down the throats of students by theory, history, and composition faculty. In 40-50 years the pop music of our time will be better remembered for its exquisite balance of intellectualism, poetry, and aural beauty than art music that never stopped trying to be experiment and do something completely new and therefore never mastered any single style to create beautiful music.

Unfortunately, history doesn't cater to your own subjective views of what is 'good' and 'bad'. 'This music is historically insignificant because I personally don't care for it' is fallacious thinking (the same kind your above arguments are all made of, those attempting to discredit ideas because you think "it's hard to understand" or "seems like nonsense"). One will only remain a craftsman if they continue to think that art gets 'better' or 'worse' throughout time.

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To a certain degree postminimalism + new electronica + noise + sound art + free improvisation + EAI + some "new complexity" composers should all be classified together as a new genre, distinct from "classical" and "popular" musics although deriving from both. If there is a 21st century mainstream it's embodied in a focus on performance (or rather, a return to a focus on performance, after 200-300 years of the focus being on an abstract process called "composition") and specifically those aspects of performance that can't be easily translated into recorded sound. The time period in which recordings were central is a blip in history; a gap of fifty years between the invention of magnetic tape and the invention of the internet. Now that recordings are digital and digital media are free, pop music, which used the recording as the embodiment of the work, is forced to evolve. This is a good thing. The concept of the work, whether a score or a recording, is problematic, and is part of cultural narratives we are beginning to abandon as a society.

 

Regardless. I agree that much of the work of the past 40-50 years will come to be regarded as, if not bad, at least reactionary (which is often the same thing). Many musicians shied away from the tough questions that had been posed in the fifties and 'sixties in the aftermath of the worst disaster in human history. Pierre Boulez obsessively reworked his early, epoch-making pieces, each reimagining less striking than the last. The Germans turned out infinite imitations of Lachenmann and Stockhausen that addressed the surface rather than the ideas behind their music. The Americans churned out bland serialist music for a few years before returning to their prewar tendencies of churning out bland neoromantic music. (Of course, they were well out of the war.) Minimalism was a poor attempt to achieve some of the intensity and power of pop music, which itself was repeatedly sanitized and neutered for the enjoyment of middle-class white audiences. Here we are in the twenty-first century now. The classical audience is older, richer and more fascist. They demand composers write a certain kind of music, and composers (who largely are the children of that same audience) are happy to oblige. As for pop music, it is developing a "canon" of essential recordings, to which younger artists are denied entry. When the recording companies die it will too, as tonal music died with the social order that supported it.

 

"Style" is a red herring. Some 20th/21st century composers who had a real impact, on classical, pop and whatever will take their place—and on the wider society—include Strauss, Stravinsky, Webern, Varèse, Cage, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Reich, Cardew, Radulescu, Feldman, Penderecki, the GRM, L'itineraire, — and moving outside the strict idea of "composition", Young, Riley, Zorn, Fluxus, Bang on a Can, and more i can't think of right now.* You probably don't like any of those people because you think music ought to be like it was in the nineteenth century, and that's fine. Not everyone thinks the world is a better place with women wearing trousers, nonwhites being allowed to rule themselves and gays being alive. To claim none of those people/groups was remotely influential however is rather blind.

 

also Rachmaninov and Puccini and Korngold, but it's kind of cheating to include them >.>

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I'm generally not too picky about having every little detail in the score. I figured people will take it too seriously and not enjoy playing the piece. You definately have to find a balance between too little and too many. For me, if its something that should come natural, (like a slight crescendo on an upward run, for example) no need to over mark it. A good musician should do that anyways. Now if its something not so obvious, (like a decrescendo on an upward run) then it's time to mark it.

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I'm generally not too picky about having every little detail in the score. I figured people will take it too seriously and not enjoy playing the piece. You definately have to find a balance between too little and too many. For me, if its something that should come natural, (like a slight crescendo on an upward run, for example) no need to over mark it. A good musician should do that anyways. Now if its something not so obvious, (like a decrescendo on an upward run) then it's time to mark it.

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Just a final reply to Cadenza and .fseventsd:

No, I do not want music to return to how it was in the 19th and 18th centuries. Nowhere in my posts did I say that. At all. Yes, all of those movements have influenced new musicians, but very few are making a significant impact on our culture. Most are writing music that is performed once, usually in an academic setting, and then never heard again outside of that academic setting. 

Also, Cadenza, how can you say that installation and program music aren't art music? YOU are the one who is confused. Something can be art music without being absolute music. Is opera not art music? Is Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet not art music? No, it IS art music. It is not, however, absolute music.

 

Also, my views of music's worth is not in mainstream integration. Bach's music was good. It was always good. During his life it was never integrated into the mainstream. And nowhere did I say that any movement was, in and of itself, bad. Only that these movements failed to become significant. Yes, some did change how we view music. But the music itself did not do that. The theory behind it did. The music never succeeded outside of academia. 

 

You assume that, because I believe that music should be pleasant to listen to, that I believe that all non-tonal music is bad. That simply is not true. I simply do not agree with how anyone who writes in these modern movements is given a free pass to write music that sounds BAD. Not that those movements cannot have good music, but the composers use the movements as excuses to not have to work harder to write things that sound pleasing to the ear in the name of "experimentation. 

I won't respond anymore, however, as this is not the point of this thread.

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