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Maarten Bauer

[DISCUSSION] The role of contemporary?

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9 minutes ago, Monarcheon said:

MOD NOTE: This thread was originally locked with posts removed insofar as they became or led to inciting remarks for further review from me and OP. I will admit that this was a hasty decision and I don’t wish to set a precedent of merely halting conversation upon the first sight of danger, though comments that are primarily inflammatory in nature quickly become irrelevant and are socially unwelcome. I want to be clear that my actions were not intended to silence opinions, but quell the heated argument; in this case, my attempts to make peace overstepped and failed. This thread is now reopened as the previous discussion was good, and while I deeply apologize to those involved that I cannot replicate the removed comments, I do hope the conversation can continue as it was, civilly and thoughtfully.

This is very good of you, Monarcheon. Your comment goes a long way in describing your integrity.

As they say, no harm, no foul. 🙂 

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On 5/27/2020 at 6:37 PM, Tónskáld said:

I think we all agree that the standards of art have changed, in that they've been removed altogether.

I think I want to focus on this because this seems to be something people somehow believe but it's really a strange thing to say. For one, people have their own standards and those haven't been removed. Even in the larger context of society, whatever, standards are still there. They may be more varied, but we also have many many more people than two hundred years ago.

 

On 5/27/2020 at 10:46 PM, Quinn said:

Any art form tended to develop upon tradition, evolve perhaps, until the turn of the 20th century when the old order was binned and attempts were made to lay new foundations. Unfortunately most artists/composers failed to realise that their wares are media for communication. If the recipient, the viewer or listener has no knowledge of the symbols being used then no communication can occur, like listening to or trying to read an unfamiliar language.

No, the 20th century didn't "bin" anything (we even had quite a large period of plenty of neoclassic/neoromatic composers!) What happens is that musicology as a field, as well as anthropology and music history specifically became an actual thing. We suddenly began having more access to study materials, academic institutions and actual historical context for things, so many academics became very, very proficient. I'd say the main reason why the 20th century academics are so "far out," is because they are very knowledgeable. Cage himself, who studied with Schoenberg, was extremely knowledgeable. Schoenberg along with Riemann basically established a whole system of tonal functional analysis, besides writing various music theory books (and on composition.) The biggest representatives of "modernism" in the 20th century were usually intellectual powerhouses.

 

I'm friends with a guy who did his composition PhD under Penderecki in Warsaw, Poland. The stuff he was expected to be able to do, in terms of style recreations and "Traditional" music stuff was through the roof. Both my composition professors (one student of Ginastera and Wolfgang Fortner, the other student of Hans Zender) were VERY demanding on me in terms of musicology, analysis, traditional orchestration, instrumentation, etc. We had music history seminars and we needed to make presentations every week on all sorts of things that have nothing to do with 20th century modernism. I know plenty of other examples of people, even from this very forum, who were incredibly knowledgeable and skilled in all the "traditional" things, despite whatever music they felt like writing (Gardner was my favourite, but there were plenty!)

 

So, what happens when you're sitting on such a huge pile of knowledge? Traditional or not? You end up experimenting, you put it to use. I mean, the link between composers and musicologists is really obvious going so far back as the earliest music treatises like Philippe de Vitry's "ars nova notandi" (1322), there was literally no difference then between a "composer" a "musician" and a "musicologist", they were all just the same person doing different roles. This is what leads people like Schoenberg, Debussy, Grisey, Messiaen, Xenakis, Bach, Late Mozart, late Beethoven etc to push their music and themselves into different and more extreme directions. It's inevitable.

 

This is the reason why:

http://www.palestrant.com/babbitt.html

Exists. It's an inevitability of becoming as knowledgeable and skilled as you can possibly be at music.

 

That's the source of the misconception of "modern" music being over-intellectual, or only for "academics," bla bla. But the truth is, the process may be so, but the end result is not. In the end people like what they like and that's fine, but when the discussion turns into trying to analyze reason as to why certain things are the way they are, I feel like there's an incredible lack of knowledge about where many of these ideas originate.

 

In the end, you like what you like and do what you want to do, but when speaking of others, there's a lot out there to read and learn to get a better understanding that it's not just a bunch of old men sitting in some university smoking cigars and saying "HA HA, DOWN WITH THE BEETHOVENS! HA HA HA"

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Maarten Bauer said:

So coming back to the discussion:

What purpose does art serve?
Does art serve a purpose?

 

I don't think art on it's own serves much of a purpose. The artist, be it a painter or a composer, gives the art its purpose. Without knowledge of the intentions of said artist or composer, there is no purpose other than to entertain or shock or provoke others. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony has a purpose, because Beethoven gave it that purpose. And the process by which Beethoven wrote his fifth symphony is as infamous as the symphony itself. My orchestration of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik has a purpose, actually really 2 purposes, one given by Mozart, the original composer, and another given by me, the arranger of the work.

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1 hour ago, SSC said:

I think I want to focus on this because this seems to be something people somehow believe but it's really a strange thing to say. For one, people have their own standards and those haven't been removed. Even in the larger context of society, whatever, standards are still there. They may be more varied, but we also have many many more people than two hundred years ago.

 

No, the 20th century didn't "bin" anything (we even had quite a large period of plenty of neoclassic/neoromatic composers!) What happens is that musicology as a field, as well as anthropology and music history specifically became an actual thing. We suddenly began having more access to study materials, academic institutions and actual historical context for things, so many academics became very, very proficient. I'd say the main reason why the 20th century academics are so "far out," is because they are very knowledgeable. Cage himself, who studied with Schoenberg, was extremely knowledgeable. Schoenberg along with Riemann basically established a whole system of tonal functional analysis, besides writing various music theory books (and on composition.) The biggest representatives of "modernism" in the 20th century were usually intellectual powerhouses.

 

I'm friends with a guy who did his composition PhD under Penderecki in Warsaw, Poland. The stuff he was expected to be able to do, in terms of style recreations and "Traditional" music stuff was through the roof. Both my composition professors (one student of Ginastera and Wolfgang Fortner, the other student of Hans Zender) were VERY demanding on me in terms of musicology, analysis, traditional orchestration, instrumentation, etc. We had music history seminars and we needed to make presentations every week on all sorts of things that have nothing to do with 20th century modernism. I know plenty of other examples of people, even from this very forum, who were incredibly knowledgeable and skilled in all the "traditional" things, despite whatever music they felt like writing (Gardner was my favourite, but there were plenty!)

 

So, what happens when you're sitting on such a huge pile of knowledge? Traditional or not? You end up experimenting, you put it to use. I mean, the link between composers and musicologists is really obvious going so far back as the earliest music treatises like Philippe de Vitry's "ars nova notandi" (1322), there was literally no difference then between a "composer" a "musician" and a "musicologist", they were all just the same person doing different roles. This is what leads people like Schoenberg, Debussy, Grisey, Messiaen, Xenakis, Bach, Late Mozart, late Beethoven etc to push their music and themselves into different and more extreme directions. It's inevitable.

 

This is the reason why:

http://www.palestrant.com/babbitt.html

Exists. It's an inevitability of becoming as knowledgeable and skilled as you can possibly be at music.

 

That's the source of the misconception of "modern" music being over-intellectual, or only for "academics," bla bla. But the truth is, the process may be so, but the end result is not. In the end people like what they like and that's fine, but when the discussion turns into trying to analyze reason as to why certain things are the way they are, I feel like there's an incredible lack of knowledge about where many of these ideas originate.

 

In the end, you like what you like and do what you want to do, but when speaking of others, there's a lot out there to read and learn to get a better understanding that it's not just a bunch of old men sitting in some university smoking cigars and saying "HA HA, DOWN WITH THE BEETHOVENS! HA HA HA"

 

 

 

I often get a kinda snobby view from this stuff, like saying that avant garde composers and listeners are just much more enlightened and knowledgeable than those who dont like it. I dont really dislike all modern music but I find theres an awful lot of pretentiousness wrapped around it.

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23 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

Yes. I as a composer write music that, perhaps, appeals to the "masses" more than much of the contemporary music written (this is not designed to say that contemporary music holds little value, but let's face it, we see from Alma that audiences appreciate galant/romantic music. I don't write it for that purpose, but because it is the style that I like most. This discussion could easily turn into the atonality vs tonality; classical vs contemporary; subjective art argument, but, please, we've had that discussion many times before.

How many people start their composing career writing modern music? Many of us here must have written something that is an imitation of a Classical style (You, Maarten, said that you did.) It was by chance that Alma happened to be prodigious. Add the fact that her parents have good musical connections, and she is set on a path for life, writing music in the style that she started in. As she grows, intakes more music, and gains more independence, she may easily change to write "new" music. But there is a pressure on her, and as you say it could be quite tragic.

I wasn't familiar with Alma Deutscher, so I (naturally) had to go look her up. Turns out she's only 14/15 years old! This, in my opinion, significantly weakens the argument that her concert was sold out at Carnegie Hall simply because she writes in the galant style. I daresay many of the concertgoers were enticed to go because of her prodigy and couldn't have cared less what style she writes in. Most likely, the concert was sold out based on a combination of those two factors, though nobody can really tell which was more influential.

In terms of "writing for the masses," I think this is where modern classical music has really dimmed its future. What I find most interesting is that classical music concertgoing is considered an elitist activity, deemed fit only for certain demographics, social classes, and—in particular—the rich. As proof of this, most people highlight the cost of attending such events. But tickets to live sporting events or pop concerts are no less expensive—most are significantly more expensive—and many people regardless of demographic, social class, or economic status have attended these. So the obvious question is why the stigma of elitism?

I think this has to do with the grave the "classical music industry" has dug for itself. Classical composers by and large haven't written for the masses for at least a century, nor has this been the thrust of the industry/artform. The new products (i.e., compositions) have catered almost exclusively to those who identify as musical elites, and, as a result, the artform has become most out of touch with the society that financially supports it. (Now, I'm not saying that all examples of art in an artform must appeal to the masses, but I am saying that some of it has to if it is to remain viable.) This has been propounded by three generations of academicians acting as gatekeepers to the industry, who have probably only succeeded in creating an echo chamber of sorts: the number of people qualified enough to deem a piece of music as "worthy" is getting smaller and less diverse. Since the new works pander to the elites, the average concertgoer must settle for "reruns of timeless classics" or be forced to sit through an hour or more of music he neither understands nor appreciates. And pay a lot of money for it.

I'm not sure if this model is sustainable. Certainly, many of us can feel the crisis that faces classical music today, as more and more local symphony orchestras close their doors permanently due to lack of public interest and subsequent funding. Could classical music ever really outcompete the film or pop music industries? Probably not, but we've done ourselves no favors by continually narrowing the target audience. If classical music is to make a comeback, I think we have to include the general public once again. We have to increase access. We have to allow them a voice in this process—and that voice might be with their feet and their wallet, which I think we are roundly ignoring.

Please, do not misunderstand me. Classical music is an amoral entity, and the course it has taken is neither morally good nor bad; it simply is. My argument has everything to do with public perception and nothing to do with the inherent value of various styles of classical music. The general public just might adore atonal music, for example, but their opinions were never solicited (or were ignored if they were proffered), and over time this has led to the impression that classical music was "beyond them," written only for enjoyment by the musical elites. The current point on this trajectory of classical music might be interesting and oh-so avant garde, but all of that will matter very little when nobody remains to perform it. We will have killed the beast by snubbing the hand that feeds us.

Sorry for the long post. I understand how touchy this subject can be and decided it was best to fully explain my position. I'm not really concerned with the past of classical music but with its future in our society. Curious to read others' thoughts about this.

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I got quite late in this thread, and I haven't been able to read all the previous stuff, so pardon me if I say something misplaced in the conversation.

I've also seen that this discussion has acumulated a bit of heat, and I want to make it clear that my intention is not to be aggressive in any way. All I want is to add to the conversation however I can.

 

On 5/28/2020 at 8:12 AM, Bradley Scarff said:

my wish is people write what they want over what academics push for them too write in the hopes of creating abstract art rather than art for art's sake. people should have the right to express themselves rather than be choked by having to explain their position in-depth.

The academy is made of people, of composers, not simply from academics in a strict sense. Academics themselves are multi-faceted people, who many times got into the academy to make a living and learn whatever they can to serve their compositional purposes. Therefore, the argument of academics pushing their "rules" down the composer's throat is simply not true. The new tendencies were created to seek for new expressive possibilities, and not to simply "create abstract art". Yes, one could argue that the means through which those new tendencies were produced create too abstract of an art, unpercievable to the average listener, but one way or another the main intention was always to create something relevant.

And btw, isn't creating "art for art's sake" way more abstract than creating what you call "academic-pushed music"? One could also argue that making this kind of "academic music" is creating "art for art's purpose", as you don't have to base it on the world's perception over it.

In my opinion, if you want people to express themselves, considering all the possible meanings one can atribute to that, then stop calling different musical expressions as "academic". This is an extremely limiting conception, as you can simply dismiss as being "academic" whatever you can't find the musical expression in. If one needed to absorb a huge amount of academic knowledge to write music of their liking, than be it.

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3 minutes ago, Jean Szulc said:

I got quite late in this thread, and I haven't been able to read all the previous stuff, so pardon me if I say something misplaced in the conversation.

I've also seen that this discussion has acumulated a bit of heat, and I want to make it clear that my intention is not to be aggressive in any way. All I want is to add to the conversation however I can.

 

The academy is made of people, of composers, not simply from academics in a strict sense. Academics themselves are multi-faceted people, who many times got into the academy to make a living and learn whatever they can to serve their compositional purposes. Therefore, the argument of academics pushing their "rules" down the composer's throat is simply not true. The new tendencies were created to seek for new expressive possibilities, and not to simply "create abstract art". Yes, one could argue that the means through which those new tendencies were produced create too abstract of an art, unpercievable to the average listener, but one way or another the main intention was always to create something relevant.

And btw, isn't creating "art for art's sake" way more abstract than creating what you call "academic-pushed music"? One could also argue that making this kind of "academic music" is creating "art for art's purpose", as you don't have to base it on the world's perception over it.

In my opinion, if you want people to express themselves, considering all the possible meanings one can atribute to that, then stop calling different musical expressions as "academic". This is an extremely limiting conception, as you can simply dismiss as being "academic" whatever you can't find the musical expression in. If one needed to absorb a huge amount of academic knowledge to write music of their liking, than be it.

 

I feel like a need to clarify my stance on the issue better. 

it's not so much the idea of academia that I am against. it's the unnecessary justification for the pieces that I find frustrating. I simply want to write a piece in the style I wish and my teachers are asking "what cultural influences did you make" or "how do you explain this choice" my answer always is there isn't any and it's simply there because it is functional for the music I want to write. I'm not saying one cannot write in the Avant grade style or follow in the 12 tone matrix you can write whatever you choose to write. my issue comes from the fact that many places, particularly in Europe you must have an overly detailed expression of how you were inspired by your composition and it almost certainly must include more factors other than "I really liked the sound I was improvising the other day so i notated it."  this is especially prevalent in countries such as the Netherlands where I saw an article of several composers who said it's very difficult to get works that art commissioned for them performed. 

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1 hour ago, SSC said:

I think I want to focus on this because this seems to be something people somehow believe but it's really a strange thing to say. For one, people have their own standards and those haven't been removed. Even in the larger context of society, whatever, standards are still there. They may be more varied, but we also have many many more people than two hundred years ago.

Saying that this is a "strange thing" to believe is not a helpful argument. It is, in fact, a good example of a veiled ad hominem attack. I am not abnormal for espousing this view, nor is anyone else. I have come to these conclusions based on information that has been presented to me over the years, and your stating that my ultimate conclusion is a "strange one" implies that my contemplative process deviates somehow from that which is considered normal for a human being, at least according to your reckoning. Perhaps it would help if you frame such statements in the future with "I think," or "it seems to me that." (But I think it might be best if you refrained from using ad hominem arguments at all.)

Anyway, to your position...

Yes, people have their own standards—always have, always will—but the difference nowadays is that society accepts each person's individual standard as a perfectly good standard. This "moral relativism" has become the societal standard and it permeates every facet of society, but it's especially deep in the arts and music. Painting with menstrual blood was not an acceptable medium even 60 years ago (and it's probably debatable whether the majority of society considers it acceptable today), but it is allowed today because the artist feels s/he will be justified by his/her moral relativism. If such a painting were submitted before the artistic standards were "relaxed" as they are today, that submission would have ruined the artist's career. No doubt there were artists 60 years ago or more who painted with menstrual blood or urine, but they knew better than to make such things public. Society would have condemned them as perverts—or worse, had them committed to an insane asylum.

But today, that's accepted, even hailed as art. And that is what is meant when I say there are no standards.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jackleaf said:

I often get a kinda snobby view from this stuff, like saying that avant garde composers and listeners are just much more enlightened and knowledgeable than those who dont like it. I dont really dislike all modern music but I find theres an awful lot of pretentiousness wrapped around it.

 

Not sure I agree. What did you mean by pretentious?

I admit, having traced some of the history starting from "Die Reihe" a periodical of the past now but you'll find similar analytical work all over the place. Sometimes the composers' commentaries on their work are elaborate and I'm never sure why they create them, their reckoning of the mechanics underlying their work. Doesn't the music stand in its own right?

Perhaps It acts as additional publicity in their circle, perhaps it was a programme note they felt might be useful to an audience. No doubt some audience members lapped it up as avant garde music had a fling as a fashion. I concluded it was little more than their wanting to be published in a prestigious periodical. I've never minded calling it a clique because it is - a minority of composers, performers, listeners, critics reluctant to respond to comment from without. That's fine. Opera aficionados and dub reggae fans are no different, nor Pink Floyd fans, Led Zeppelin, Bruckner fans (who know all the versions and who edited them, etc)  

However, there's a great body of avant garde and modern work that I'd hardly call pretentious. If you looked into the amount of work that Stockhausen put into Gesang der jünglinge for instance, you'd surely need to adjust your view. Even so, I'd agree that there's also a body of work that seems as if it's been thrown together willy-nilly that I'd think of as pretentious.  Ultimately it's down to individuals to decide which is which but some judgement (if appropriate) can come down to consistency. Does it fit anywhere in the composer's style? An experiment? An exercise formally completed according to bureaucratic tick-boxes. Is there a philosophic basis to it or the composer?

.

 

Edited by Quinn
thank God for an edit button.

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1 minute ago, Quinn said:

Not sure I agree. What did you mean by pretentious?

I admit, having traced some of the history starting from "Die Reihe" a periodical of the past now but you'll find similar analytical work all over the place. Sometimes the composers' commentaries on their work are elaborate and I'm never sure why they create their own view of the mechanics underlying their work. Doesn't the music stand in its own right?

Perhaps It acts as additional publicity in their circle, perhaps it was a programme note they felt might be useful to an audience. No doubt some audience members lapped it up as avant garde music had a fling as a fashion. I concluded it was little more than their wanting to be published in a prestigious periodical. I've never minded calling it a clique because it is - a minority of composers, performers, listeners, critics reluctant to respond to comment from without. That's fine. Opera aficionados and dub reggae fans are no different, nor Pink Floyd fans, Led Zeppelin, Bruckner fans (who know all the versions and who edited them, etc)  

However, there's a great body of avant garde and modern work that I'd hardly call pretentious. If you looked into the amount of work that Stockhausen put into Gesang der jünglinge for instance, you'd surely need to adjust your view. Even so, I'd agree that there's also body of work that's been thrown together willy-nilly that I'd think of as pretentious.  

I'm obviously not Jackleaf, but I took his post to mean that the people are pretentious, not the music itself. Sort of an "Emperor's New Clothes" bit where those who disagree are shamed as being inarticulate. This has been my experience, as well, although it's been very limited, so I can't say whether it is indeed the overall trend. If I approach the "offending" composer's works with an open mind—and a bit of research into their style—I can usually appreciate what they've done. That doesn't mean I'll enjoy it, but it also doesn't give someone else the right to tell me my artistic palate is wrong.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, SSC said:

I think I want to focus on this because this seems to be something people somehow believe but it's really a strange thing to say. For one, people have their own standards and those haven't been removed. Even in the larger context of society, whatever, standards are still there. They may be more varied, but we also have many many more people than two hundred years ago.

Except for what you say about all of this is objectively false.

I don't know specifically who you are, but "we" as in white western people, the people whose ancestors created the bulk of the art we're specifically talking about right now, are absolutely not more numerous in number than 200 years ago. Birth rates have been negative for decades now. We used to have 4 children per woman, now about 4 cats per woman. The population growth is only due to foreign immigration and they usually have above-replacement rates...though like I said, it affects everyone. East Asia, South America...

The other aspect is, as I have pointed out in those surveys in those posts that Monarcheon deleted, as much as 80% of people agree that modern art and such, really sucks.

The main thing here though, is that modern relativists control literally all of academia and political power. They are the people making the decisions and the ones "educating" all the future generations, and have been for the better part of 100 years now.

I'd recommend everyone in this thread to read "The Decline and Fall of Western Art" by Brendan Heard, who has a master's degree in art. In it, he explains the history of all this modernist nonsense and how, during his studies, students who showed real artistic skill was berated to the point of tears for showing said artistic skill. This mirrors the experiences of most art students I know, and also my own experiences in college with their music programs.

People who are going to get educations in the arts and architecture are not learning the kinds of skills and aesthetics of our ancestors. If you want to learn how to paint as well as the renaissance painters did, you will have to learn mostly on your own, because a lot of this stuff is just a couple pages on a text book now that are treated as things that "had their time" and we're "better™" now.

In fact, great works of art are openly defaced by academia because they're "racist" and represent "colonialism", apparently. Abstract expressionism championed in their stead.

https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/university-of-notre-dame-christopher-columbus-murals-trnd-style/index.html

And as I said: No one goes to artschool wanting to paint like Kandinsky. They go because they want to become like the great painters of old. They are not getting this.

Where I live, all the houses in this new(ish) bloc — I remember when they were built. If I wanted to build a half-timber house or something cool like that, I legally could not because the city planners are all modernists. The houses all had to be built with either stucco or siding, only a certain amount of brick on either sides of the garage, no more than about 3/4 meter high, and only certain colors allowed.

So first off, it would not be even permitted to build a house that goes outside of those schematics. Even if it were, I could not find a construction company that could build something traditional around here because architects are not taught how to do it. Once again, old, ornamented buildings are delegated to being a part of architectural history that is now an irrelevant dinosaur. If there is a company out there who could build older, European houses in my area, they would specialized and charge tons of money.

People in the media, academia and politics freaked out when Trump said he wants new government buildings in America to be built in the classical style, something which the Atlantic considers a "bizarre" desire and, of course, said was "fascist"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/trumps-plan-make-architecture-classical-again/606286/

There is also, once again, the matter that in the past, why were artists, musicians, etc. not competing against abstract nonsense? Because everyone knows it was garbage and not worthy of being integrated into the architecture, hung up in art galleries or played in concert halls. Bad bards and street musicians were booed off their makeshift stages and told to practice more.

So to say to the effect that the standards haven't "really" plummeted is just so obviously not true — we're surrounded by the truth of our decline every day — that it's kind of comical.

You were worried about "authoritarianism" to uphold standards. Except the reality is: There is an authoritarian suppression of them.

 

Edited by AngelCityOutlaw
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1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

Saying that this is a "strange thing" to believe is not a helpful argument. It is, in fact, a good example of a veiled ad hominem attack. I am not abnormal for espousing this view, nor is anyone else. I have come to these conclusions based on information that has been presented to me over the years, and your stating that my ultimate conclusion is a "strange one" implies that my contemplative process deviates somehow from that which is considered normal for a human being, at least according to your reckoning. Perhaps it would help if you frame such statements in the future with "I think," or "it seems to me that." (But I think it might be best if you refrained from using ad hominem arguments at all.)

Saying it's a "strange thing to say," means, literally, that I think it's a strange thing to say. It's not an argument, it's an observation! It does not mean that you're "abnormal." Remember, offense is taken, not given. Also, do learn how to use ad hominem, as I did no such thing. At all. I did not base any of my arguments on an attack on your person. IF you want to take my words as an attack, that's on you as that was not my intention. Jeesh.

 

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

Yes, people have their own standards—always have, always will—but the difference nowadays is that society accepts each person's individual standard as a perfectly good standard. This "moral relativism" has become the societal standard and it permeates every facet of society, but it's especially deep in the arts and music.

No, that's quite simply not the case. Moral relativism is overly present on the internet, perhaps, but in real life our laws and civilization at large does not stick to individualistic rules but rather by collective rules. This carries over into art as well, as the reason why "pop music" is so incredibly popular is due to a massive shared taste in a particular set of musical/artistic parameters. It flies totally in the face of relativism when pop music is still working with the same mechanisms it always has for years and years. This has roots in the fact that brains are, well, similar to a large extent and process music (language and syntax expectancy) in a very similar way, so "naturally" people tend to gravitate towards things that hit those sweet spots. Nothing relativistic about that, it's just straight out neuroscience (+ cognitive science.)

 

A society can accept individual freedoms to an extent, which is something defined by the code of law and civil rights of each country. However, they have limits. Thing about art is, there is no real limit to artistic freedom because it's, well, pretty harmless. Unless of course you want to go do actual illegal things and say it's art, in which case I'm not sure how that would work philosophically, but the practical reality is that it'd be the "wrong thing to do." There's no moral ambiguity in general when it comes to many things, and people tend to fall sharply on either side of a spectrum.

2 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

But today, that's accepted, even hailed as art. And that is what is meant when I say there are no standards.

Think of it rather as a change in priorities, rather than lack of standards. Someone doing a painting with menstrual blood is kind of yuck, but it's harming nobody in the grand scheme of things. It really isn't. If someone would think they need to be sent to an insane asylum or have their careers ruined over this, then they need a new hobby. The priority is much rather to avoid pointless conflict, as this would be, than to persecute people for having wacky ideas that are at the end of the day harmless.

 

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15 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

People who are going to get educations in the arts and architecture are not learning the kinds of skills and aesthetics of our ancestors.

I already said this, but here in Germany and in a lot of other places where I have acquaintances and friends in academia, either as professors or as graduates from conservatories or universities (USA, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Russia, Japan, Korea...) I basically see the exact same model of teaching classical music, well, as teaching classical music. The majority of the "modern stuff" is mostly either a single lone seminar somewhere or the composer's faculty which, well, isn't surprising in the slightest.

 

The vast majority (99.9%?) of music played in those academic institutions by the students is music written by the warhorses, with the occasional little concert organized by the composition class. Sometimes it's a little more, but barely.

 

But, no, don't just believe me. Want to play a game with me? How about we start pulling up music curriculums from universities around the world to see what they actually teach. I'd be very shocked if most of it (if not ALL of it) was not western music history, theory, and repertoire.

 

So, tell me, how do you come to this conclusion? Unless "the arts" excludes music, of course.

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2 hours ago, SSC said:

I already said this, but here in Germany and in a lot of other places where I have acquaintances and friends in academia, either as professors or as graduates from conservatories or universities (USA, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Russia, Japan, Korea...) I basically see the exact same model of teaching classical music, well, as teaching classical music. The majority of the "modern stuff" is mostly either a single lone seminar somewhere or the composer's faculty which, well, isn't surprising in the slightest.

 

The vast majority (99.9%?) of music played in those academic institutions by the students is music written by the warhorses, with the occasional little concert organized by the composition class. Sometimes it's a little more, but barely.

 

But, no, don't just believe me. Want to play a game with me? How about we start pulling up music curriculums from universities around the world to see what they actually teach. I'd be very shocked if most of it (if not ALL of it) was not western music history, theory, and repertoire.

 

So, tell me, how do you come to this conclusion? Unless "the arts" excludes music, of course.

 

Well, yes, in that post I was mostly speaking about artschools and architects, but

The subject of (post)modernism in music education has often been the subject of academic papers

https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195394733.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780195394733-e-021

Quote

Education is thus reduced to mere training, where avoiding failure eventually replaces the idea of success. The discussion considers educational worth and value in music; multiculturalism and the music curriculum; how the nihilist position arose; the growth of “big” ideas in the west; the rise of managerialism in education; modernism and postmodernism; and the role of hermeneutics in music education.

and some actually lament there is not ENOUGH modernism in music education

https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/postwar-modernism-and-the-music-classroom-2090-2719-1000113.php?aid=69695

Quote

On the other hand, there has arisen an equally disappointing tendency, particularly in America, to substitute for impossibly high standards none at all.

So this kind of thing definitely exists in music as well and you see it a lot in communities like this where people love to argue about how "subjective" everything allegedly is.

There is also the matter that a lot of the biggest relativists in music today are those who went through these programs. JJayBerthume, popular music YouTuber, appears to have been a casualty too. He recently graduated with a degree in composition, but his music has become inexplicably worse.

He used to compose a lot of really colourful and fun tunes; strong and memorable melodies that one could identify just by its rhythm (as with so many great tunes), tasteful wind flourishes and runs, busy but never in-the-way accompaniment, etc. Since graduating though, a lot of his uploads appear to be a lot more meandering string pieces that form a lot of weird harmonies and don't necessarily sound "bad" but would no doubt most impress Mahler and Shoenberg-obsessed professors.

As many of the professors I know in the music faculty in Canadian colleges and universities are.

There are also plenty demanding that Western Music Pedagogy be purged from universities because it is "white supremacy".

https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/teaching-inequality-consequences-of-traditional-music-theory-pedagogy/

I recall as well, several years ago on OCRemix, a music student going on a hilarious rant about how the definition of "chord" is racist and needs to be purged from his school so that it can be "more inclusive to other cultures which did not have tertian harmony" 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, SSC said:

Saying it's a "strange thing to say," means, literally, that I think it's a strange thing to say. It's not an argument, it's an observation! It does not mean that you're "abnormal." Remember, offense is taken, not given. Also, do learn how to use ad hominem, as I did no such thing. At all. I did not base any of my arguments on an attack on your person. IF you want to take my words as an attack, that's on you as that was not my intention. Jeesh.

SSC, have a look at your posts on this forum. You attempt to weaken an opponent's position by attacking his character pretty frequently. Calling my vantage point, and the vantage point of many others, a "strange thing to say," in order to strengthen your position is an example of ad hominem. Furthermore, requesting that I "do learn how to use ad hominem" in your very response implies that you think me ignorant and uninformed—a way of saying, "this guy doesn't know what he's talking about so you should all ignore him." You're using ad hominem to defend having not used ad hominem.

But let's get one thing clear: I am not offended, and it's interesting that you assume I am. Your opinion is your opinion and you can state it whichever way you like. My goal is to understand the logic behind everyone's arguments (a term I'm using in its logical, not literal, sense), and an ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy.

40 minutes ago, SSC said:

No, that's quite simply not the case. Moral relativism is overly present on the internet, perhaps, but in real life our laws and civilization at large does not stick to individualistic rules but rather by collective rules. This carries over into art as well, as the reason why "pop music" is so incredibly popular is due to a massive shared taste in a particular set of musical/artistic parameters. It flies totally in the face of relativism when pop music is still working with the same mechanisms it always has for years and years. This has roots in the fact that brains are, well, similar to a large extent and process music (language and syntax expectancy) in a very similar way, so "naturally" people tend to gravitate towards things that hit those sweet spots. Nothing relativistic about that, it's just straight out neuroscience (+ cognitive science.)

A society can accept individual freedoms to an extent, which is something defined by the code of law and civil rights of each country. However, they have limits. Thing about art is, there is no real limit to artistic freedom because it's, well, pretty harmless. Unless of course you want to go do actual illegal things and say it's art, in which case I'm not sure how that would work philosophically, but the practical reality is that it'd be the "wrong thing to do." There's no moral ambiguity in general when it comes to many things, and people tend to fall sharply on either side of a spectrum.

So you're saying that moral relativism exists, but not in a real, physical way that has affected society to any degree?

There are a lot of assumptions made in your arguments; forgive me if I tease them out wrongly. First, you assume that societal standards and "our laws and civilization at large" are interchangeable terms. That wasn't my position, as I don't think society's standards are the same thing as the rules and laws upheld by our nation-states. Our civil laws may be influenced by society's mores/standards, but they are clearly not the same thing. However, I think they have changed. The decriminalization of cannabis is a great example, and the legalization of gay marriage another. Neither was legal in any country 60 years ago (to my knowledge). Both of these reflect a shift in the standards of society in the direction of moral relativism.

Second, you claim that pop music is incredibly popular despite my position that artistic standards have changed. If moral relativism were a thing, then shared tastes in musical/artistic parameters wouldn't exist, or would at least depreciate such that no single genre could still be popular. So the assumption here is that moral relativism necessarily results in a shattering of commonalities and shared interests. I don't think that's the case. What it results in is an acceptance of a wider range of those parameters. The biochemical/neuronal basis of what hits the human "sweet spot" hasn't changed, but it can be reached in more varied media now. There are a lot more musical genres in existence today that didn't exist 60 years ago. Just a few that come to mind: Nu Gaze, Crunkcore, CDM, Ratchet. Hard for me to believe these would have been popular even 20 years ago.

Third, based on your final paragraph, you assume that moral relativism means folks may harm each other if the offender feels morally justified in so doing, and that the role of the law is to keep this from happening. I agree with you. I don't know if history has any examples of a civilized society that has descended so far into moral relativism that "anything goes," as it seems humans have always possessed a sense of right from wrong. Expressing moral relativism in art, however, is basically harmless, but that position is relatively new in the grand scheme of things. In a society of moral absolutes, some things were not to be expressed in art, no matter if they brought harm to anyone: religious blasphemy, the sexual act, homosexuality... need I go on? Society's views on these subjects have become much more lax in the last 100 years, reflecting, once again, the taking hold of the modern idealogy of moral relativism.

Finally, you assume that moral relativism necessitates a spectrum, and that because people fall sharply on either side of this spectrum, moral relativism must not exist. I think moral relativism and absolute morality are themselves the opposite ends of a spectrum. Those who belong to one side of the spectrum argue that nobody, not even a higher being, can call the moral shots, while those on the other side maintain that absolute morality does indeed exist and woe betide anyone who fails it. Thus, my position is that this spectrum is further evidence for moral relativism, rather than evidence against it.

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2 hours ago, SSC said:

Think of it rather as a change in priorities, rather than lack of standards. Someone doing a painting with menstrual blood is kind of yuck, but it's harming nobody in the grand scheme of things. It really isn't. If someone would think they need to be sent to an insane asylum or have their careers ruined over this, then they need a new hobby. The priority is much rather to avoid pointless conflict, as this would be, than to persecute people for having wacky ideas that are at the end of the day harmless

Lack of standards, change in priorities... semantics. Nobody who did this today would face insanity charges or even problems with their career, and that was my point. Such a thing would have been considered utterly repulsive a generation or two ago, and the artist derided mercilessly.

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1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

I don't know if history has any examples of a civilized society that has descended so far into moral relativism that "anything goes,

Weimar Republic, which we resemble more every day.

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

Lack of standards, change in priorities... semantics. Nobody who did this today would face insanity charges or even problems with their career, and that was my point. Such a thing would have been considered utterly repulsive a generation or two ago, and the artist derided mercilessly.

The part of his post that you quoted is an extremely common, perhaps the most common, Orwellian trick.

Redefinition, and that is also what has happened to the arts and music. The modernists redefined it as something nonsensical. "Anything is X" and therefore nothing is.

Freedom is slavery, war is peace. Don't think of it like "X"...think of it like, "Y"!

 

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2 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

The other aspect is, as I have pointed out in those surveys in those posts that Monarcheon deleted,

Yes, again, I apologize for that again, and hope there aren't any hard feelings. My bad on that front. 

A quote I found interesting in the second article you linked is the following, in addition to the implied subsections thereafter.
"They may have stirred controversy, but they made teachers think and encouraged pupils to ask questions about the nature of music. Despite what, with hindsight, now seem absurdly dogmatic assertions about what counted as ‘truly modern’ or ‘serious’ music, there was much stimulation to be had from these books which, in my view might be profitably revived today" (Spencer, 3).

I'm a big music education proponent, and I think that perhaps goalpost "standard" that these educators are referring to as derivative from "modernism" may be a bit different than an objective standard, in certain cases. They seem to encourage the relativistic (creative!) ideas of sound organization, the core of the idea being that that process of organization is the most important part, and the outcome, no matter from what process, is valid if the thought is there. The "replaced standard" you mention in your post might, then, be in reference to the lack of teaching standard; if you will, a difficulty in creative assessment led to a lack thereof, as opposed to the actual material.

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1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

SSC, have a look at your posts on this forum. You attempt to weaken an opponent's position by attacking his character pretty frequently. Calling my vantage point, and the vantage point of many others, a "strange thing to say," in order to strengthen your position is an example of ad hominem. Furthermore, requesting that I "do learn how to use ad hominem" in your very response implies that you think me ignorant and uninformed—a way of saying, "this guy doesn't know what he's talking about so you should all ignore him." You're using ad hominem to defend having not used ad hominem.

Yes, well, an ad hominem exists meaningfully when the only argument I present is an attack on your person. I can call you an idiot, and then proceed to make a 5 hours long presentation based on scientific empirical data, and while you may take offense to me calling you an idiot, you can't call that ad hominem because my ARGUMENT was not the insult itself, it was everything that came after it. You can say I'm rude and be sad, sure, but recognize where the argument actually is. An ad hominem is a fallacy precisely because it substitutes a proper argument with the attack on the person, which is not what I did as I did give you my argument (and then elaborated further.)

 

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

But let's get one thing clear: I am not offended, and it's interesting that you assume I am.

I never actually said I thought you were offended, but it's interesting that you infer that from my reply. Are we done with this little show now?

 

2 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

The subject of (post)modernism in music education has often been the subject of academic papers

As does a bunch of other garbage nobody actually reads (even if sometimes it's pretty hilarious.) Case in point:

http://www.trecento.com/misc/new_musicology.pl

That parody is really funny because it's true. And it's also really sad that it's true, honestly. The state of academic papers in the humanities is deplorable, to put it nicely.

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

So you're saying that moral relativism exists, but not in a real, physical way that has affected society to any degree?

No, that's not what I'm saying at all.

 

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

Both of these reflect a shift in the standards of society in the direction of moral relativism.

That entire paragraph has nothing to do with what I was talking about. You specifically talked about individualism, which is why I brought up societal collective "agreements," such as laws and so on, that restrict that individualism as to keep society functioning. That has not shifted into moral relativism, and I don't even know what that would look like because the term is thrown around so much that it's kind of meaningless at this point.

 

I'd like to make an observation: What I gather from these arguments from both Tonskald(maybe) and ACO is that they're really into the whole cultural "war" dealie that has been all the rage since around, what, 2013/2014. It's the same kind of terminology that ends up being anti-"left", etc. What's amusing to me is that artists usually tend to veer into "left" politics by the nature of what they're doing, but composers (musicians in general), like architects, can't really do that too much because there's still a degree of reality that needs to be there. Can't be very "relativistic" when your building shouldn't fall down and kill people, or when you have deadlines and rehearsals and actual responsibilities. Regardless, the arguments have always been there before (and here in the forum too, etc) but now they've got that new coat of paint. So instead of calling things too "subjective," they're "morally relative." Not everything is a moral choice. Deciding to use a violin instead of a goddamn piano is not a MORAL choice. In fact, I'd say that the vast majority of art doesn't even HAVE moral choices! Art is much too insignificant a thing to go that far.

 

Absolutely hilarious that I'm getting called out for using "Orwellian" speak. What's funny is I've gotten into arguments with people all sides of this mess and it's always the same thing, it's the result of extreme postures that argue feverishly against "perceived damage" or potential destruction to things they think are important. Since I'm not in with the cool kids and "picked a side," I'm obviously going to clash with people on both extremes, such as these gentlemen. That's inevitable.

 

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

Just a few that come to mind: Nu Gaze, Crunkcore, CDM, Ratchet. Hard for me to believe these would have been popular even 20 years ago.

But they're not very "popular," are they? I don't think Ariana Grande is singing out there in Crunkcore, right? That you know something exists, doesn't mean it's something most know exist. Hell, I had to look those names up myself to even reply, so well. So much for that popularity argument huh?

 

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

Expressing moral relativism in art, however, is basically harmless, but that position is relatively new in the grand scheme of things. In a society of moral absolutes, some things were not to be expressed in art, no matter if they brought harm to anyone: religious blasphemy, the sexual act, homosexuality... need I go on?

Relatively new? So, you mean to say that you know of every piece of art ever produced across human history and you have come to that conclusion. Of course not, that's silly, but the implication is here, I think, that things are more accessible now than there were before. I think you're making a pretty big error in overestimating just how many things are actually "new," here. These kind of discussions went back more than 2000 years ago, it's not new at all.

 

And the fact that people were killed or punished for making things that were not acceptable does not mean that they didn't get made. That has always been around. Can't contain human imagination, and all that jazz. That we can "accept" them now is maybe newish, but I couldn't say because I'm not that well versed in anthropology to make such a statement.

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

Thus, my position is that this spectrum is further evidence for moral relativism, rather than evidence against it.

I wasn't arguing that moral relativism doesn't exist. So, uh, okay.

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7 hours ago, Maarten Bauer said:

So coming back to the discussion:

What purpose does art serve?
Does art serve a purpose?

I think we're again going to have quite a dichotomized discussion here.

Up until recently, perhaps the last 75 years or so, I think the widely-held purpose of music was to connect to human passion directly, bypassing the written or spoken arts and going straight for our emotions. All artforms are slightly different, of course. Music, unlike a painting, cannot be conceptualized in a single instance. And unlike theater or literature, it doesn't rely on language to achieve its purpose. Ideas are conveyed simply (or complexly) through the various aspects of music we all know and love: melody, harmony, timbre, etc.

With the advent of musicology in the last century, however, music became hybridized into an art-science subject that has been the source of half a century of debate. Is music a science dressed as an art, or is it an art dressed as a science? Depending on your answer, the role of music in society changes greatly.

Academia attracts those who seek knowledge, and the prestige that comes with being an expert. (I've been an academician before, and this was, I'm afraid, true for me. It was also true of my colleagues.) These love the science of things, the ability to gain control over something by understanding it. It stands to reason that, given enough time, the majority of the instructors in the study of music would be proponents of music as a science, since that kind of environment attracts scientists. Their position would be that music is primarily a science, and its expression need not invoke human emotion to be considered "good." The composer's main purpose is to further the science of music, and to that end, he is subjected to the study of music as a science throughout his education. I think this is where we are today.

Before the advent of musicology in the late 19th century, though, music was solely an art. Composers were gifted individuals whose talents were unfathomable, their abilities almost mystical. They wrote music from the heart, not the head, and they studied under teachers in a more vocational, rather than academic, setting. The composer's purpose was to connect to the human experience, the human passion—an art that few possessed. The art of music remains even to this day, but it is philosophically irreconcilable with the idea that music is a science. To assign emotional value to something is to give up the ability to understand it, and this does not sit well with academicians, who are the gatekeepers to the world of modern classical music.

Musicology is not a bad thing, and its development was not detrimental to the history of classical music. It's simply the way things happened. Musical analysis is a powerful tool, but we must realize that intellectual and emotional power are mutually exclusive: the more intellectual power I have over something, the less emotional power it has over me.

Yet no matter how scientific music becomes, the art will never leave it. Thus, I'm not sure how much longer this art-science divide can last. It may be that classical music diverges into two separate fields, one purely academic, one purely artistic. I suppose time will tell.

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7 minutes ago, SSC said:

Yes, well, an ad hominem exists meaningfully when the only argument I present is an attack on your person. I can call you an idiot, and then proceed to make a 5 hours long presentation based on scientific empirical data, and while you may take offense to me calling you an idiot, you can't call that ad hominem because my ARGUMENT was not the insult itself, it was everything that came after it. You can say I'm rude and be sad, sure, but recognize where the argument actually is. An ad hominem is a fallacy precisely because it substitutes a proper argument with the attack on the person, which is not what I did as I did give you my argument (and then elaborated further.)

Yes, I agree with you. But I guess we disagree as to what constitutes an argument ad hominem. Mudslinging is, of course, an outright form of ad hominem, and I do not think you engaged in that. However, insinuations are another form of argument ad hominem and just as fallacious. You may not call me an idiot or a strange person outright, but you insinuate these things to strengthen your position. This position need not be your concluding argument in order for it to be ad hominem.

17 minutes ago, SSC said:

I never actually said I thought you were offended, but it's interesting that you infer that from my reply. Are we done with this little show now?

Here you say that my arguments are a "little show," using the diminutive to imply, I guess, that I'm doing this for the attention, or that it's all logically unfounded. You are, once again, using ad hominem to try to discount my position, only this time, it appears to be your final conclusion. Attack my argument, not my person.

25 minutes ago, SSC said:

That entire paragraph has nothing to do with what I was talking about. You specifically talked about individualism, which is why I brought up societal collective "agreements," such as laws and so on, that restrict that individualism as to keep society functioning. That has not shifted into moral relativism, and I don't even know what that would look like because the term is thrown around so much that it's kind of meaningless at this point.

Then, as I said, forgive me if I've isolated your assumptions incorrectly.

29 minutes ago, SSC said:

I'd like to make an observation: What I gather from these arguments from both Tonskald(maybe) and ACO is that they're really into the whole cultural "war" dealie that has been all the rage since around, what, 2013/2014. It's the same kind of terminology that ends up being anti-"left", etc. What's amusing to me is that artists usually tend to veer into "left" politics by the nature of what they're doing, but composers (musicians in general), like architects, can't really do that too much because there's still a degree of reality that needs to be there. Can't be very "relativistic" when your building shouldn't fall down and kill people, or when you have deadlines and rehearsals and actual responsibilities. Regardless, the arguments have always been there before (and here in the forum too, etc) but now they've got that new coat of paint. So instead of calling things too "subjective," they're "morally relative." Not everything is a moral choice. Deciding to use a violin instead of a goddamn piano is not a MORAL choice. In fact, I'd say that the vast majority of art doesn't even HAVE moral choices! Art is much too insignificant a thing to go that far.

I can't speak for ACO, but I'm not quite sure what in my comments gave you this impression. Yes, cultures are always at war, both internally and externally. I don't see a point in resisting it, though. And I'd also agree that the vast majority of art is morally neutral, although it can't totally escape it. Deciding to use a violin instead of a piano might be immoral if the pianist is your spouse and the violinist is a secret lover.

I am simply trying to better understand your position. You state your argument, I look at it logically, and I cross examine. I truly am not meaning for this to be personal.

38 minutes ago, SSC said:

Absolutely hilarious that I'm getting called out for using "Orwellian" speak. What's funny is I've gotten into arguments with people all sides of this mess and it's always the same thing, it's the result of extreme postures that argue feverishly against "perceived damage" or potential destruction to things they think are important. Since I'm not in with the cool kids and "picked a side," I'm obviously going to clash with people on both extremes, such as these gentlemen. That's inevitable.

I don't consider our discussion a "clash," nor do I consider my posture extreme. I think you bring up valid points and my goal is to understand how you got there. Just because I don't agree with you immediately doesn't mean I'm not listening to what you're saying.

41 minutes ago, SSC said:

But they're not very "popular," are they? I don't think Ariana Grande is singing out there in Crunkcore, right? That you know something exists, doesn't mean it's something most know exist. Hell, I had to look those names up myself to even reply, so well. So much for that popularity argument huh?

Your supercilious tone here almost undoes your argument. But I think you're right; I shouldn't have used the word "popular." "Acceptable" would have been more appropriate, I think. Still, this doesn't undermine my position, that standards of music have changed.

45 minutes ago, SSC said:

Relatively new? So, you mean to say that you know of every piece of art ever produced across human history and you have come to that conclusion. Of course not, that's silly, but the implication is here, I think, that things are more accessible now than there were before. I think you're making a pretty big error in overestimating just how many things are actually "new," here. These kind of discussions went back more than 2000 years ago, it's not new at all.

By that logic, the reverse is also true, SSC. Every piece of art ever produced across human history might also be "traditional" (save what we know of in the here-and-now). The increased accessibility is one plausible explanation, but I think moral relativism is, too.

48 minutes ago, SSC said:

And the fact that people were killed or punished for making things that were not acceptable does not mean that they didn't get made. That has always been around. Can't contain human imagination, and all that jazz. That we can "accept" them now is maybe newish, but I couldn't say because I'm not that well versed in anthropology to make such a statement.

Right, I'm sure unacceptable things have been made all through history. The point was, as you mentioned, that now they're acceptable. Whether that also happened in the distant annals of human history is, I think, irrelevant. In the context of Western art, such faraway happenings don't have much bearing.

51 minutes ago, SSC said:

I wasn't arguing that moral relativism doesn't exist. So, uh, okay.

Again, I wasn't exactly sure what you were arguing, so I apologize for assuming incorrectly.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SSC said:

Not everything is a moral choice. Deciding to use a violin instead of a goddamn piano is not a MORAL choice. In fact, I'd say that the vast majority of art doesn't even HAVE moral choices! Art is much too insignificant a thing to go that far.

That...doesn't really have anything to do with it, no.

2 hours ago, SSC said:

Absolutely hilarious that I'm getting called out for using "Orwellian" speak.

But you don't deny that you are?

2 hours ago, SSC said:

Since I'm not in with the cool kids and "picked a side," I'm obviously going to clash with people on both extremes, such as these gentlemen. That's inevitable.

Centrism is ultimately not sustainable because it involves a fairly-equal acceptance of two diametrically-opposed philosophies. So you wind up being an enemy to both sides of the coin. Inevitable, as you say.

2 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

Right, I'm sure unacceptable things have been made all through history. The point was, as you mentioned, that now they're acceptable. Whether that also happened in the distant annals of human history is, I think, irrelevant. In the context of Western art, such faraway happenings don't have much bearing

I don't think that's irrelevant at all, and that's kinda my whole point.

The way things were in the past, the "role" of artists and such, as they were, were upheld up until a very recent point in history, and they were upheld for very good reasons and the bad things were frowned and kept out of certain places in culture for good reason as well. It didn't really have to be "enforced" either. 

 

Edited by AngelCityOutlaw

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12 hours ago, Bradley Scarff said:

I feel like a need to this is especially prevalent in countries such as the Netherlands where I saw an article of several composers who said it's very difficult to get works that art commissioned for them performed. 

I am a Dutch composer knowing many people from all nine Conservatoires in the Netherlands and this sounds quite wrong-argued. The amount of paid commissions is extremely low. The Arts industry itself is on fire. In this crisis the government said not to help any of the independent artists, because it would cost too much. The financial situation for composers and musicians in NL are a disaster, because of the cuts that the government did ten years ago. Everybody is suffering and in fact, the composers that wrote more accessible music have more chance than the progressive ones. 

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7 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

Here you say that my arguments are a "little show," using the diminutive to imply, I guess, that I'm doing this for the attention, or that it's all logically unfounded. You are, once again, using ad hominem to try to discount my position, only this time, it appears to be your final conclusion. Attack my argument, not my person.

Again, I reserve the right to make the observation that I believe that this exchange (about your supposed ad hominem, which again, you fail to realize how it works DESPITE agreeing with me??!?) has been rather pointless. That you then go and extrapolate that into what you believe I'm implying (again with the assumptions, huh?) is not my problem. You really seem to like assuming and over-analyzing stuff, but it's not going to get you very far honestly if all it does is drag on something pointless like this. That's energy better spent elsewhere.

3 minutes ago, Quinn said:

If you'll kindly excuse me saying so you're flogging a dead horse with this. When the discussion falls to discussing how we discuss, the original topic has been sideswiped.

INDEED.

7 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

I truly am not meaning for this to be personal.

Well that's why I added the (maybe) next to your name. I think you're far more neutral and level-headed than ACO who outright just said:

6 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Centrism is ultimately not sustainable because it involves a fairly-equal acceptance of two diametrically-opposed philosophies.

Which is a bunch of nonsense since he assumes you need to ACCEPT different philosophies, but you can certainly reject them instead. In fact, like I do! I'm not much of a "centrist", but rather I analyze each individual argument on its own merits regardless of they fall on whatever political compass is popular at the time of writing. Turns out I reject quite a lot of arguments from both the extreme "left" and extreme "right." And of course, I also think some positions from both sides are worth considering!

Shocking, I know.

7 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

 Still, this doesn't undermine my position, that standards of music have changed.

No, I get what you're saying. I just think that the diversification and ease of access explains a lot of what seems to have "changed," rather than people themselves being fundamentally different in some way. You actually know those genres exist, which is far more than some guy in some small town in 1780 would be able to know about the world. It's clear that paradigms need to shift, then, as the world itself became incredibly connected in a way that has never happened before. IF you want to say anything is actually new, THAT is actually new, and the result and consequence of that is something we're still trying to understand. What may appear as "change" could be things that have always been there, but because that connectivity wasn't there, you couldn't perceive it and it didn't have as much of an impact.

7 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

The increased accessibility is one plausible explanation, but I think moral relativism is, too.

How? That's what I don't understand. Where's the connection there?

6 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

But you don't deny that you are?

It's a pointless accusation coming from someone who considers me "their enemy," right? I can also reach for my bag of "culture war-speak" and say most of your statements are dog-whistles, bla bla bla. But that's retarded, as is the context for your accusation:

10 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

The part of his post that you quoted is an extremely common, perhaps the most common, Orwellian trick.

Redefinition, and that is also what has happened to the arts and music. The modernists redefined it as something nonsensical. "Anything is X" and therefore nothing is.

Freedom is slavery, war is peace. Don't think of it like "X"...think of it like, "Y"!

Shutting down a possible interpretation because I choose to use a different word to analyze it is -not- redefinition. I didn't take a word and twisted its meaning, I applied an entirely different word to a situation we BOTH saw was happening. If anything, I agreed with the phenomena, but I chose to view it through a different perspective. This is part of normal intelligent discourse and you may not agree with my POV on the subject. HOWEVER, what you're doing is attacking my perceived "method" of doing this, which is frankly laughable. SPECIALLY the "Orwellian trick" bit.

 

Quinn said it brilliantly, so much so I will quote him AGAIN:

16 minutes ago, Quinn said:

If you'll kindly excuse me saying so you're flogging a dead horse with this. When the discussion falls to discussing how we discuss, the original topic has been sideswiped.

 

In the end tho, what I'm for is very simple: Open exchange of ideas. I may think stuff you do is laughable, but much like Tonskald said:

7 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

Just because I don't agree with you immediately doesn't mean I'm not listening to what you're saying.

But I'm probably not as nice as he is about it.

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