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Josep Montserrat

Tonal teachers in europe?

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Hello, Young composers,

Any of you know teachers that could teach tonal composition in Europe? It would be interesting make a recompilation of them

 

Thanks in advance

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I think everyone who's a proper teacher can teach you to write any kind of language, if that's your thing. You should make a list of people you get along with, since that's much more important in a teacher. What's the use of someone who can teach you X, if they're insufferable idiots?

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31 minutes ago, SSC said:

I think everyone who's a proper teacher can teach you to write any kind of language, if that's your thing. You should make a list of people you get along with, since that's much more important in a teacher. What's the use of someone who can teach you X, if they're insufferable idiots?

 

@SSC, I do agree that it is important for the student to get along with his/her teacher. However, I think what he wants from a teacher is someone who doesn't force atonal music theory down the student's throat, and so one's best chances at getting that would be by studying with somebody who composes tonal music. These days, it's extremely rare for a composition teacher to only teach tonal music, and it's debatable if such a teacher even exists anymore. Also, most of the composition teachers throughout the world who teach standard modern (atonal) composition are atonal composers themselves, and their students mostly end up becoming atonal composers. So, the logical conclusion would be to study with a tonal composer, and hope for the best.

@Josep Montserrat, Honestly, I've been wondering about this myself. I don't know if this counts, but I know of an improvisation professor at the Cologne Conservatory, whose improvisations/compositions(?) are tonal. I don't remember his name, but I can find out, if you like. If not, maybe there are some professors elsewhere who compose film music, which is tonal for the most part.

Best of luck, Josep, and keep composing! You write amazing music!

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7 minutes ago, Theodore Servin said:

@SSC@Josep Montserrat So, the logical conclusion would be to study with a tonal composer, and hope for the best.

That's like saying you'd rather study with someone who can only teach you how to paint using the color red. You'll be just much poorer for the experience even if "that's what you want." Often, what you want and what actually helps you improve are two very different things and a good teacher will know this. He can keep writing tonal stuff, nobody can take that away from him, but trying out other stuff is what makes you, you know, grow as an artist.

 

PS: I also think that if anyone is going to "force atonal music theory" (whatever that may be) down anyone's throat, they aren't a stellar individual in the first place. That's not how you teach anyone anything.

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1 hour ago, SSC said:

That's like saying you'd rather study with someone who can only teach you how to paint using the color red.

I have to agree with you for this comment, but I think what @Theodore Servin is trying to say is that there's no point having a teacher who paints using the colour green when you want to know about red. I have met composers in workshops who write atonal/experimental music and although they were good at teaching me to develop my tonal style, they were more comfortable with other composers who write "modern" music.

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7 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

I have to agree with you for this comment, but I think what @Theodore Servin is trying to say is that there's no point having a teacher who paints using the colour green when you want to know about red. I have met composers in workshops who write atonal/experimental music and although they were good at teaching me to develop my tonal style, they were more comfortable with other composers who write "modern" music.

I don't get the criticism then, if they were able to help you out, then weren't they doing their job?? Just because someone likes to write in X language doesn't mean they're incompetent in everything else. In fact, I'd say my teachers who pushed for really modern stuff were both extremely well-versed in tonal music in general. Like I said at the start, any competent composition teacher should be able to help you regardless of what language you want to use. It matters much more that they're not stupid and anti-pedagogic.

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I hope my view isn't too contentious but I don't think a person can teach anyone to compose. A teacher can show them the tools - how to write CPP harmony, that's mostly tonal; counterpoint and stuff, though I'd recommend asking someone skilled to check one's work. But the spark of creativity has to come from the would-be composer. Doesn't matter if you want to compose like Mozart or Brahms, Beethoven, Haydn, early Prokofiev, you have to come up with the thematic material and learn how to manage it. Best is to study the works of these composers and find out how they reached their solutions. A teacher might make suggestions or help a student to avoid traps but can't do the composing for the aspirant. 

As I see it, anyway. 

Edited by Quinn
"and stuff" like serial music or sound organisation.

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Here is an [ongoing] list of classical music professors who compose/improvise tonal music. Some of them are from Europe, but because the percentage of teachers who teach and write tonal music is so small, I'm including anyone who fits the bill, even non-Europeans.

-Morten Lauridsen, professor of composition the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

-Michael Gees, professor of improvisation and composition at the Cologne Conservatory

-Georgs Pelēcis, professor of counterpoint and theory at the Latvian Academy of Music, also the first president of the Riga Center of Early Music

Edited by Theodore Servin
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Thanks a lot for your comments and suggestions,


 

In fact Theodore, first, I am looking for somebody who doesn’t force me to write atonally, and secondly, I am looking for a master in tonal music, without despising the other “styles” I want to be a proficient composer when it comes to tonal music. And to become proficient, I would like to find a teacher that be an expert in this language.

Yes, language could be a better methapor than a color, if you want to be an expert in english, is good for you to know that russian and chinesse exist, but you don’t need to spent a huge amount of hours learning all these languages.

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Theodore, thanks for your list, I will check it, I really appreciate that.

Yes in fact, nowadays, tonal music is not well considered in the academic circles, I started the bachelor of composition some years ago, and despite I had a scholarship, I decided to abandon the bachelor due the pressures of some teachers asking me for a change in my creative orientation.

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9 hours ago, Josep Montserrat said:

In fact Theodore, first, I am looking for somebody who doesn’t force me to write atonally, and secondly, I am looking for a master in tonal music, without despising the other “styles” I want to be a proficient composer when it comes to tonal music. And to become proficient, I would like to find a teacher that be an expert in this language.

So how do know someone is a "master in tonal music"? What kind of thing are you looking at to determine that?

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16 hours ago, Josep Montserrat said:

Thanks a lot for your comments and suggestions,


 

In fact Theodore, first, I am looking for somebody who doesn’t force me to write atonally, and secondly, I am looking for a master in tonal music, without despising the other “styles” I want to be a proficient composer when it comes to tonal music. And to become proficient, I would like to find a teacher that be an expert in this language.

Yes, language could be a better methapor than a color, if you want to be an expert in english, is good for you to know that russian and chinesse exist, but you don’t need to spent a huge amount of hours learning all these languages.

 

I feel your pain. The pressure to compose a certain way can do a lot of damage. Probably best to turn to tonal composers you like and study their scores. They're the best teacher. No one can teach you to create. Anyone who claims they can is a con artist. The best is they can help you resolve problems you hit, point out inconsistencies and incongruities and things. Perhaps they can suggest exercises but they're usually at an elementary level.  

I do write "atonally" but I'm never too far from a tonal centre. I also write tonally. The impetus comes from me, not what some "professor" tried to teach or force me.  

Edited by Quinn

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