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p7rv

Confession: I dislike almost all contemporary music

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I think I listen to it only as a stepping stone to writing my own. Feels kinda like a pyramid scam. Ya feel me?

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When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

… Confucius

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I think I understand where you're coming from. Modernism is a sort of neurosis. Still, we all walk the same pavement. What is your contribution?

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4 minutes ago, Ken320 said:

Modernism is a sort of neurosis.

Music in general is a sort of neurosis. In fact, one could argue that the only purity in music is to be found in the static majesty of dead air. Even the harmonic series itself wears a mask to hide its impurity. So, what exactly is your point?

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Ok, I'll play along, and I have plenty to say about it. But before I elaborate, you first. What you wrote is relativist mush, and incoherent. The harmonic series wears a mask? Dude, what are you smoking?

And I wasn't addressing you. I was addressing p7rv.

Edited by Ken320
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22 minutes ago, Ken320 said:

Ok, I'll play along, and I have plenty to say about it. But before I elaborate, you first. What you wrote is relativist mush, and incoherent. The harmonic series wears a mask? Dude, what are you smoking?

And I wasn't asking you. I was asking p7rv.

No thanks, I just wanted to plant a seed.

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10 minutes ago, Gylfi said:

No thanks, I just wanted to plant a seed.

 

You mean lay a turd.

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54 minutes ago, Ken320 said:

You mean lay a turd.

I recommend that you slow down and worry more about thinking than typing. Everything I wished to express is contained within my compact message - if you wish to understand you will need to consider it more carefully. But I guess it's easier to question my lucidity and attack blindly. Why don't I elaborate on it myself? Because I am tired to death of this trite discussion and know better than to steer straight into a black hole. I wished only to express my view through hyperbole, the effect of which seems to have been entirely lost on you, in order to stimulate thought. Do with it what you will, but personally I do not think any self-respecting artist should make statements such as "modernism is a sort of neurosis". It is simplistic at best.

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2 hours ago, Gylfi said:

When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

… Confucius

 

This strikes me as very wise, however, this only gives us the first step, not the conclusion. I know too many composers, and I know too well how many of them think, to keep myself mired in endless introspective self-doubt whenever I encounter a work that doesn't move me.

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4 hours ago, robinjessome said:

Define "contemporary music".

 

I'd also like some clarification.

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Under contemporary here I understand 20th century europe (not Russians) and further.

In my case I did not like it as well but at that time I was still discovering Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann(pff Kamil so basic sheesh) and had chills when listening or playing their piano music. Later I felt some obligation to check out this contemporary music. Schoenberg's Pierot Lunair got me so thrilled I slowly got into the real dissonance. To the point where I listened Xenakis's S.709 on my way to university at 5.00 A.M. when it was still dark.

"Modernism is a sort of neurosis."      Funny. It could be true at least for me. I was on therapies due to stress and anxiety yada yada and diagnosed with neurosis. And by that time I was listening only to atonal, electronic and serialistic music on daily basis because it felt as if my own dissonance within me was connecting with the music and it sucked those feelings up like a sponge. Now I don't think that's what those composers aimed for. Specifically Schoenberg. With him I would assume he wanted to change perspective on music and have us understand that tonality is just the thing our brains were used to for a plenty of time but is not superior to it's counterpart? But this can be just me and I am rudely putting words into his mouth. (Apologies Arnie : I) Anyhow the chills from romantic and classical changed to feelings sponging and structural + technical analysis of a piece. Did someone actually have chills sent down his spine when listening to something let's say Pargeiani: De natura sonorum or really that Xenakis S.709? :D

Should "Contemporary" stand for popular music I would be surprised. It would be no confession of classical composer to dislike pop music but to dislike evolution of the classical sounds like a confession to me.

I like the "pyramid scheme" description though :D Although instead of money I am offered an interesting topic of discussion the more people I recruit. And I actually get that to happen. ..............sometimes............

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I really mean 21st century, although this certainly applies to some 20th-c. music as well.

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8 hours ago, p7rv said:

I really mean 21st century, although this certainly applies to some 20th-c. music as well.

 

...and by "21st century music" you actually mean: "avant-garde contemporary art music", right?  

I'm only being half-facetious, but really, a LOT of music has been made this century.

 

 

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yup. All I'm saying is that it feels like work, is almost entirely unrewarding, and seldom does anything to me intellectually or emotionally.

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Well, in this case I must confess my own guilt.

Not that I haven't tried enough of it. And not that I have made a conscious effort to have some of it actually influence my own music. It's only that I just can't feel enthusiastic about it, for reasons that p7rv just summed up.

And yes, I know that both of us will be immediately frowned upon, because it's our unwritten duty to like and promote "21st century music", understood as "avant-garde contemporary art music". Heresy!

Now, the clarification: on grounds of the time period during which it's being composed, all of our own music qualifies as "21st century music". And that means we actually like some of it.

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I'm inclined to agree, 90% of modern classical music is garbage though a handful of composers, like Arvo Part, are the exception.

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41 minutes ago, Austenite said:

Well, in this case I must confess my own guilt.

Not that I haven't tried enough of it. And not that I have made a conscious effort to have some of it actually influence my own music. It's only that I just can't feel enthusiastic about it, for reasons that p7rv just summed up.

And yes, I know that both of us will be immediately frowned upon, because it's our unwritten duty to like and promote "21st century music", understood as "avant-garde contemporary art music". Heresy!

Now, the clarification: on grounds of the time period during which it's being composed, all of our own music qualifies as "21st century music". And that means we actually like some of it.

 

I agree. I alluded to the neurosis of modernism where the prime directive is to be original, even at the expense of everything else. It's like you came up with a brand new way to kiss your wife, and she looked at you in disgust and said, What was that! And there's no getting around it! You cannot just drive the car, you must build your own road first. You cannot emote any hint of sentimentality because it doesn't fit the narrative. You see how quickly it all becomes absurd and soviet-like.

But the neurosis is born of a type of political correctness, largely academic, where a hierarchy of composers and critics define the terms of what's serious and what's not. And I hate politics. It sullies everything and has no place in music. So, yes, Austenite, the heresy you speak of is real because you are not strictly following the bloody rules, the dogma.

I do like modern music in all of its forms because I am a curious man. But I rarely seek out a second or third listening because the prime directive has become a bore. And deconstructionist music I can hear coming from a mile away. Real talent transcends some of these annoyances - I give you Ligeti - but even he is only worth a listen every couple of months or so, wWhereas I could listen Bach and all sorts of copy cats much more often.

Edited by Ken320
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I agree with you to an extent.
Am I going to say you can't have your opinion? No, of course not. That's why we exist.
But modernist music that has a direction and a somewhat traditional flow, regardless of how it sounds technically (notes/chords/etc.), does exist, in Crumb, Gorecki, and Rautavaara. 
The composition program at the school I'd gone to was notorious for teaching unfocused avent-grade music, the music you speak of.
So yes, it can be disproportionately unfocused crap, but it doesn't account for everything.

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Must we always begin our opinions with the tiresome disclaimer, "Yes, but there are exceptions," etc ... when it's obvious that there are? What are we, lawyers? Besides, we appear to have the exact same experience in higher education. So, it's more than just an opinion, yes?

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Indeed. Most avant-gardist music schools (which tend to claim that they alone represent "modern music" in general) overrate originality, and that pretty much explains what Ken says - that it's rarely worth a second listen, since it's no longer "original" and its shock value is gone.

Those who know me are already aware that the main thing, for me, is not originality, but authenticity and sincerity. Say what you really want to say, no matter if it sounds like Schubert or Tchaikovsky.

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3 hours ago, bkho said:

I'm inclined to agree, 90% of modern classical music is garbage though a handful of composers, like Arvo Part, are the exception.

 

Just a few examples of audiable contemporary music (late 20th and 21st century):

Kalevi Aho: Symphony no. 15

Uljas Pulkkis: Violin concerto, Flute concerto

Magnus Lindberg: Clarinet concerto

Witold Lutoslawski: Symphony 4, Piano concerto

John Adams: most of his opus - selection: Short ride in fast machine, Harmonielehre, Violin concerto

Stjepan Sulek: Symphony no. 6, Vox Gabrieli, trombone sonata (world famous hit)

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Symphonies 7 and 8

Urmas Sisask: choral music, symphony no. 3

Peteris Vasks: Distant Light

Etc, etc...

I will agree that not more than 10% of modern classical music is garbage. You just have to find it unless you have been "brainwashed" by some people who had told you that music which does not use school based harmony knowledge and classical motif work is garbage.

 

 

 

 

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