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Maarten Bauer

[DISCUSSION] The role of contemporary?

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GENERAL NOTE

When we keep continuing discussing whatever is an insult or ad hominem attack and that is the focus and not the actual discussion topic, I will close this thread.
Keep up the high-quality discussions we had in the beginning. Now what is left is a negative fruitless discussion.

Be more clear in your arguments when giving your opinion. It is all about ACCEPTING EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS in discussion.

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48 minutes ago, Maarten Bauer said:

ACCEPTING EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS

Yeah, that's the main thing isn't it? I think we should be able to make our positions clear without needing to treat eachother as actual adversaries as ACO likes to do. Remember: When discourse fails, all that is left is violence. That's really what's slowly happening here. I'm all for discussing things, but the moment terms like "Orwellian" get thrown around, I'm not going to sit around and pretend that's OK. Next thing that usually happens is people start calling eachother hitler, right?

 

So, I'd advise people who want to have the actual discussion (not just parrot whatever party line they heard somewhere and want to advocate) to re-state their points of interest so we can carry on actually having fun and bouncing ideas off eachother. I think that though I may have started off on the wrong foot with Tonskald, I actually want to talk further with him about his POV because I'm curious and want to explore maybe a perspective I wasn't aware of. Who knows? I certainly won't know if we stumble every two posts on "AH HA! You're using THIS Orwellian TRICK to TRICK US!" Because everyone will get fed up with the pointless antagonistic exchanges, and rightly so.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours 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 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?

.

 

 

Ok maybe I was too harsh but for my taste I'm not big on a lot of big name modern composers I think often they're praised on concepts or being influential in academic circles rather than the merit of their own music.

Edited by Jackleaf
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, SSC said:

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.

And I reserve the right to believe that it has not been pointless. Who is to say which of us is correct?

Your ill treatment of others' character is borne of one of three possibilities, as I see it: a) you're engaging in ad hominem to justify your position; b) you feel it's wrong but do it anyway—which, in essence, would make this immoral behavior; or c) you feel morally justified in so doing—which would indicate that you believe you have moral high ground. Of the three, option A is the least defaming to your own character, so I'm going with that option.

Once again, saying that I "really seem to like assuming and over-analyzing stuff" is a personal attack, and not a refutation of my logic. Such comments should have no place in a logical discussion. I'm not persisting with this because I want to be right or I want to show you up; I truly am trying to help. What you have to say will be much better received by your audience if they feel they're being respected and not personally attacked.

I apologize for prolonging the debate of a side issue. 😔

4 hours ago, SSC said:

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.

Yes, yes, yes! I understand your point here. I agree that increased access can explain a lot of what seems to have changed, too. That makes logical sense to me. But I think that a shift in idealogies can also provide an explanation, and it's on you now, if you disagree, to refute that claim logically. Increased connectivity, globalization—whatever you want to call it—does not mutually exclude a societal change in human thought; the two can happen simultaneously. Again, if you disagree with that statement, then please refute it logically.

4 hours ago, SSC said:

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

I'm loving this—I think we're actually getting somewhere in understanding each other's positions!

My basic assumption is that societal values are a reflection of its mores, its standards. And, since societal values change over time, so, too, must the standards of that society. In our discussion, that society is modern Western civilization. What I'm proposing is that the societal values of Western civilization have changed over the past 100 years, and, according to my logic, this is due to a change in its mores or standards.

The "values" of a society is difficult to definitively classify, but it would include things such as its culture, art and laws, as well as many other things. The arts are a great indicator of societal values because there is little moral "risk" in art. In other words, what might be illegal if conducted among society is permissible in the arts (to an obvious extent). Thus, artists may push their craft to the edges of societal morality rather than stopping at its civil laws, and we can get a clearer picture of what a society values from the arts than we can from, say, its rules and regulations, which take far longer to reflect a shift in idealogy.

What is considered acceptable art today is quite a bit different from what was considered acceptable 100 years ago. According to my line of reasoning, this has happened because of a shift in societal values. Now, to your point, I can't say that it's the only thing that has caused this shift, as I do think other factors—such as increased accessibility—have played a role. But I do think this shift in standards is what allowed these changes to happen, and, as such, has played a pivotal role in determining the course of Western arts.

4 hours ago, SSC said:

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

Thank you for the compliment. 🙂 

2 hours ago, SSC said:

Yeah, that's the main thing isn't it? I think we should be able to make our positions clear without needing to treat eachother as actual adversaries as ACO likes to do. Remember: When discourse fails, all that is left is violence. That's really what's slowly happening here. I'm all for discussing things, but the moment terms like "Orwellian" get thrown around, I'm not going to sit around and pretend that's OK. Next thing that usually happens is people start calling eachother hitler, right?

There's no need to incriminate anyone. Are you ACO's actual adversary? If you're not, then his assumptions are baseless and your actions will reflect that. (I haven't perceived that sort of behavior from him, but that is your business, not mine.)

Also, please be careful using the rhetoric that when discourse fails, all that is left is violence. This is a virtual forum and violence serves zero useful purpose here. None of us has any power over anyone else (except the tyrant Moderators... jk, jk) save the power we allow them to have over us. All of our virtual violence serves only to make us appear more of a jacka$$ and less of a person capable of respecting the opinions of others. (I understand you weren't necessarily saying that you would resort to violence, but I think it's a useful reminder, nonetheless.)

2 hours ago, SSC said:

So, I'd advise people who want to have the actual discussion (not just parrot whatever party line they heard somewhere and want to advocate) to re-state their points of interest so we can carry on actually having fun and bouncing ideas off eachother. I think that though I may have started off on the wrong foot with Tonskald, I actually want to talk further with him about his POV because I'm curious and want to explore maybe a perspective I wasn't aware of. Who knows? I certainly won't know if we stumble every two posts on "AH HA! You're using THIS Orwellian TRICK to TRICK US!" Because everyone will get fed up with the pointless antagonistic exchanges, and rightly so.

The bit about starting off on the wrong foot warmed my heart. I am very much interested in what you have to say, because I can tell you're very passionate about it. Thank you for bearing with me and my long logical rants. 🙂 

Edited by Tónskáld

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3 hours ago, Maarten Bauer said:

GENERAL NOTE

When we keep continuing discussing whatever is an insult or ad hominem attack and that is the focus and not the actual discussion topic, I will close this thread.
Keep up the high-quality discussions we had in the beginning. Now what is left is a negative fruitless discussion.

Be more clear in your arguments when giving your opinion. It is all about ACCEPTING EACH OTHER'S OPINIONS in discussion.

Oh, I'm sorry, Maarten. I'm just now seeing this. I'll cease and desist.

I apologize to the forum for sidetracking us from the discussion.

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47 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

And I reserve the right to believe that it has not been pointless. Who is to say which of us is correct?

It's perfectly fine if we both have different opinions on that exchange.

47 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

But I think that a shift in idealogies can also provide an explanation

Yeah, but I don't know which came first. To me, it seems more likely that modernism (inter connectivity, instant communication, etc.) have triggered many ideological shifts, if not created entirely new ideologies. I think that much is evident, as something like "globalism" would be a nonsensical term in 1800.

47 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

According to my line of reasoning, this has happened because of a shift in societal values. Now, to your point, I can't say that it's the only thing that has caused this shift, as I do think other factors—such as increased accessibility—have played a role. But I do think this shift in standards is what allowed these changes to happen, and, as such, has played a pivotal role in determining the course of Western arts.

Yeah, I also would tend to see it the same way to a degree. From a matter-of-fact point of view, it's undeniable that the so called "moral zeitgeist" has changed drastically in the last 100 or so years, and that the 20th century has left a huge scar across our culture, in many regards not just artistic. I don't think there's a singular cause for this, but a group of factors that happened to appear within close proximity to each other, such as the result of industrialization, technology advancements, economic models being refined and higher standards of living being achieved (sometimes.) All of those things are very significant and modern art does reflect them to a great degree (La Fabrica Illuminata from Luigi Nono, 1964, is a good example of a piece that reflects and explores some very modern territories.)

I think the issue is this: as I mentioned our brain likes "candy music", which is what you usually find with pop music, etc, which has been designed in such a way to excite the hypothalamus through a well crafted syntax-expectation manipulation. This is why music written intuitively by, say, Bach, does many of the same things that music written intuitively by, say, Michael Jackson, would do. It's our brains being, well, our brains. Now, when we start to get away from that, for whatever reason, it's obviously not going to be immediately popular or appealing. However, judging music just by how much of a brain-candy it is, is to me quite shallow. I'm not saying it's without merit, as I also tend to like a lot of pop music, as I think everyone does.

But the fact of the matter is, pieces like that one from Nono that explore "elsewhere," are a direct reaction to the time he lived in. Modern music, with all it's millions and millions of POVs and stylistic variations, is a mirror to the sudden realization that we are millions and millions of people, all different in many ways (and yet very similar in others.) In the end, you can think it sounds like garbage, or not, but value judgements are to me really boring. We can sit around and talk about how we like this or that, or don't like this or that, but that brings really nothing.

Additionally, when I was talking to a cognitive scientist from the Max Planck institute in Leipzig years ago, I actually asked him this exact question:

If emotion in music is linked intrinsically to our ability to recognize the language elements within musical syntax and process them as we would language, does this mean that something like Xenakis' music is never going to be perceived in the same way as, say, Mozart.

To which he replied that the issue is not that it's impossible, is that the "language" is not something we are "fluent" in. That is to say, due to the individual styles of a lot of modern composers, it's hard to establish a common "language" that the brain can latch onto to form deeper emotional connections. In such way, the way we react to that music ends up being very superficial (with only base emotions being expressed, rather than the nuance we feel when listening to music that is made in a way that we're familiar with.)

This is also why, the more you are exposed to "modern" music, the more you actually start to get more out of it. It's by virtue of learning the idiom of that kind of music so your brain actually moves on into further interpreting nuance and depth. This is very similar to hearing people express emotions in a language you don't understand, and then being able to understand what they're actually saying. The first allows you to see emotions, yes, but very superficially. The second opens way to a whole different level of interpretation.

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5 minutes ago, SSC said:

Yeah, but I don't know which came first. To me, it seems more likely that modernism (inter connectivity, instant communication, etc.) have triggered many ideological shifts, if not created entirely new ideologies. I think that much is evident, as something like "globalism" would be a nonsensical term in 1800.

That's fair. Again, though, I don't think it's unreasonable to think they occurred simultaneously, or even independently of each other, at least fundamentally.

7 minutes ago, SSC said:

Yeah, I also would tend to see it the same way to a degree. From a matter-of-fact point of view, it's undeniable that the so called "moral zeitgeist" has changed drastically in the last 100 or so years, and that the 20th century has left a huge scar across our culture, in many regards not just artistic. I don't think there's a singular cause for this, but a group of factors that happened to appear within close proximity to each other, such as the result of industrialization, technology advancements, economic models being refined and higher standards of living being achieved (sometimes.) All of those things are very significant and modern art does reflect them to a great degree (La Fabrica Illuminata from Luigi Nono, 1964, is a good example of a piece that reflects and explores some very modern territories.)

Agree with you 100% here.

8 minutes ago, SSC said:

I think the issue is this: as I mentioned our brain likes "candy music", which is what you usually find with pop music, etc, which has been designed in such a way to excite the hypothalamus through a well crafted syntax-expectation manipulation. This is why music written intuitively by, say, Bach, does many of the same things that music written intuitively by, say, Michael Jackson, would do. It's our brains being, well, our brains. Now, when we start to get away from that, for whatever reason, it's obviously not going to be immediately popular or appealing. However, judging music just by how much of a brain-candy it is, is to me quite shallow. I'm not saying it's without merit, as I also tend to like a lot of pop music, as I think everyone does.

Forgive me, but I've lost the thread of your argument here. I understand the point you're making, I just don't see how it ties in with our discussion. (For the record, I agree with you. I'm curious to see if humans' brains adapt to enjoy music that we consider unappealing today.)

11 minutes ago, SSC said:

But the fact of the matter is, pieces like that one from Nono that explore "elsewhere," are a direct reaction to the time he lived in. Modern music, with all it's millions and millions of POVs and stylistic variations, is a mirror to the suddenly realization that we are millions and millions of people, all different in many ways (and yet very similar in others.) In the end, you can think it sounds like garbage, or not, but value judgements are to me really boring. We can sit around and talk about how we like this or that, or don't like this or that, but that brings really nothing.

Ah, yes, I see what you're saying in this paragraph. The broad variety of modern music is a result of a smaller world, so to speak, and not a shift in idealogy. All the different styles have come about because cultures that were heretofore not "touching" are now in seemingly constant contact. I think that makes perfect sense, and I don't disagree with you here even at a fundamental level.

But... (I'm sure you saw that coming, lol) it's my opinion that the idea of value judgments of art being meaningless reflects a much deeper change in society. Perhaps that is attributable to globalism and/or cultural awareness, but I think it's better explained by the fact that Western thought has changed in the past 100 years. It makes more sense, at least to me, to reason that the value of art is a reflection of a society's values more so than a reflection of the degree to which that society interacts with different cultures.

In the end, though, does it really matter how these changes came to be? Society is what it is, value judgments in art have been done away with (or relaxed a lot), and the world's cultures continue to be in increasing contact with each other. On these things, I think we agree wholeheartedly.

33 minutes ago, SSC said:

Additionally, when I was talking to a cognitive scientist from the Max Planck institute in Leipzig years ago, I actually asked him this exact question:

If emotion in music is linked intrinsically to our ability to recognize the language elements within musical syntax and process them as we would language, does this mean that something like Xenakis' music is never going to be perceived in the same way as, say, Mozart.

To which he replied that the issue is not that it's impossible, is that the "language" is not something we are "fluent" in. That is to say, due to the individual styles of a lot of modern composers, it's hard to establish a common "language" that the brain can latch onto to form deeper emotional connections. In such way, the way we react to that music ends up being very superficial (with only base emotions being expressed, rather than the nuance we feel when listening to music that is made in a way that we're familiar with.)

This is also why, the more you are exposed to "modern" music, the more you actually start to get more out of it. It's by virtue of learning the idiom of that kind of music so your brain actually moves on into further interpreting nuance and depth. This is very similar to hearing people express emotions in a language you don't understand, and then being able to understand what they're actually saying. The first allows you to see emotions, yes, but very superficially. The second opens way to a whole different level of interpretation.

I wonder if children who were made to listen to nothing but "modern" music during their verbal development years would find human patterns of speech illogical and unnerving, much like those who are first exposed to "modern" music? There's no doubt that human emotion is somewhat learned, since even here in this forum we have as many different emotional reactions to, say, Beethoven's Fifth as we do the people that listen to it. And I further agree that the more one listens to "modern" music, the more one starts to appreciate it, or at least understand it.

And this brings us back to the overarching question: "What is the role of classical music in society today?" I don't think society has a very clear answer from the music community.

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56 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

But... (I'm sure you saw that coming, lol) it's my opinion that the idea of value judgments of art being meaningless reflects a much deeper change in society. Perhaps that is attributable to globalism and/or cultural awareness, but I think it's better explained by the fact that Western thought has changed in the past 100 years. It makes more sense, at least to me, to reason that the value of art is a reflection of a society's values more so than a reflection of the degree to which that society interacts with different cultures.

Not exactly. Value judgements are still VERY important to most "normal" people. They aren't very important -TO ME- (in music), but that's down to ME being an anomaly. I think that at large people make very harsh value judgments about art constantly and that informs other people and causes a chain reaction that makes people's careers work or not. The point is, I think that the average joe still has quite a respect for "classic art," if anything due to cultural baggage, that is very very hard to erase (I'd say almost impossible.) Obviously the effect of that baggage is lessened when the individuals don't actually experience that art regularly (as is the case with classical music in general. It's a niche genre at best in the large world of music.)

 

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

I wonder if children who were made to listen to nothing but "modern" music during their verbal development years would find human patterns of speech illogical and unnerving, much like those who are first exposed to "modern" music?

Children can learn more than one language, and that same process is true of other cultural products like music. If you expose your child enough to modern music (as I have seen in person with multiple friends' children, etc,) they'll think it's just "one more type of music," and be done with it. It's quite simple really! They may like it, or not, but that's an issue of taste, not language. And it also varies greatly from piece to piece. The brain structures aren't negotiable (though they are flexible to a degree,) but just like any tool they can be used in many different instances with different results.

1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

I'm curious to see if humans' brains adapt to enjoy music that we consider unappealing today.

No, I wouldn't think brains would change at all. Not anymore than they have changed through the last 300 or 500 years, etc. But what may change is the cultural baggage that is in inherited and which languages are taught as being "normal." This normalization allows for a wider range of options, obviously, as I've stated before. Again, though, value judgements don't have anything to do with this, as they'll form automatically when people judge things (and they will judge things.)

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1 hour ago, SSC said:

Not exactly. Value judgements are still VERY important to most "normal" people. They aren't very important -TO ME- (in music), but that's down to ME being an anomaly. I think that at large people make very harsh value judgments about art constantly and that informs other people and causes a chain reaction that makes people's careers work or not. The point is, I think that the average joe still has quite a respect for "classic art," if anything due to cultural baggage, that is very very hard to erase (I'd say almost impossible.) Obviously the effect of that baggage is lessened when the individuals don't actually experience that art regularly (as is the case with classical music in general. It's a niche genre at best in the large world of music.)

Ah, see, this hasn't been my experience, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree based on anecdotal evidence. I certainly don't consider you an anomaly; I have had similar discussions with my liberal arts friends many times. Their position is "if it's art to the artist, then it's art to me," and we the audience have no right to criticize the artist's creative process/result. But, again, that's only a few other people that I know and I can't speak for society at large.

You've used the term "cultural baggage" a bit in your writings here so I took a moment to look it up. Here's the definition I found: "The term cultural baggage refers to the tendency for one's own culture to pervade thinking, speech and behavior without one being aware of this pervasion." Is this a good thing or a bad thing, in your opinion?

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37 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

Is this a good thing or a bad thing, in your opinion?

I think it's inevitable, so stuff like that isn't "good or bad," it just is. I'm not saying it's beyond judgment, but I don't have an opinion of it being good or bad, just how it works and what it affects.

 

39 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

Their position is "if it's art to the artist, then it's art to me," and we the audience have no right to criticize the artist's creative process/result.

That's not my position. To me the most important things is that people do things. Everything after that, who cares? People can criticize, judge, hate, love, ETC, who cares? It's going to happen anyway so who am I to say anyone "has no right" to do any of this? The artist isn't some deity, and I pretty much loathe the word "art." It's a stupid catch-all term and it means essentially nothing without a lot of context. People have every right to their opinion and can criticize everything they want. A composer just has to have thick skin and stand behind their work, end of story. Can't do that? Afraid people are going to say your piece for marimba and vuvuzela is garbage? Maybe you should be in a different field then!

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23 minutes ago, SSC said:

That's not my position. To me the most important things is that people do things. Everything after that, who cares? People can criticize, judge, hate, love, ETC, who cares? It's going to happen anyway so who am I to say anyone "has no right" to do any of this?

Oh, yes, I understand your position. I was bringing up my friends' position as representatives of the liberal arts field. I didn't mean to imply that was your position, as well. My bad.

24 minutes ago, SSC said:

I pretty much loathe the word "art."

Oops, I don't mean to offend. If there's a better word you'd prefer that I use, just let me know.

26 minutes ago, SSC said:

People have every right to their opinion and can criticize everything they want. A composer just has to have thick skin and stand behind their work, end of story. Can't do that? Afraid people are going to say your piece for marimba and vuvuzela is garbage? Maybe you should be in a different field then!

I think I understand you here but I want to make sure. It sounds like you're saying people are going to pass judgment on your creative endeavors no matter what, so the important thing is to not let that fear keep you from creating.

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23 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

Oops, I don't mean to offend. If there's a better word you'd prefer that I use, just let me know.

Nah it's just my own opinion. I think it's a word to describe people's work, and for that is fine. Just when people start questioning "what is art" and "role of art" is really the wrong mindset, to me. I think it's much more important to look at it in the individual level.

 

25 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

I think I understand you here but I want to make sure. It sounds like you're saying people are going to pass judgment on your creative endeavors no matter what, so the important thing is to not let that fear keep you from creating.

Yep, that's part of what I'm talking about. But crucially, what people's creations mean to other people is important. I think you can't generalize the topic in a way that "gets you somewhere," let's say, because we can only speak of personal individual experience. I mean we talked about the massive shifts in ideologies, aesthetic paradigms, etc, but in the end it comes down to how people react to the works created around them. If they want to champion them or tear them down, or are indifferent and soon forgotten.

 

So when it gets written as question like you did here:

5 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

"What is the role of classical music in society today?"

I think that's a trick question because you can't really answer it beyond it being something we inherited from previous generations. Additionally, I don't think it's necessary for something like "classical music," whatever that may be, to have a "role." You can say it has a place, and that people enjoy it, teach it and practice it, yeah. That much is true, but Beethoven's music is quite alien to us, we can't help but view it through our own modern lenses despite studying history. We can't know what it is like to sit under the night sky of 1830 europe and look at the stars, with virtually nothing to get in the way of the light, sound, etc of just nature and the experience.

The bond between, let's say for the sake of this example, the romantic period and the conception of "nature," is huge. Works like Winterreise from Schubert (1827 for the music, 1824 for the poems by Müller),  up to stuff like Das lied von der Erde from Mahler (1908-9), and just about a ton of things in between and a little earlier, all talk about a very strong connection and admiration for nature. In Winterreise's case the connection is a twisted one of mirroring the protagonist's emotions, but also of delusions and hallucinations up to the very end where one of the first instances of musical realism appear (Der Leiermann.)

We can study it, as such, through our modern sources and read the texts and the things written back then, but that world to us is actually lost and quite alien compared to what we have now. And I'm not talking about not knowing details about the historical aspect, context and influence of those works, but the simple fact that that's the ONLY way we can experience it. We need to build our own image of what it was like to be in that world, and from there we can try to piece together what kind of things inspired those people to do what they did.

People make the mistake to think that because they can buy or download a score from Bach and play it and it sounds nice, they have somehow a "connection" to it, but in reality it comes from a completely different world in just about every sense of the word. It probably doesn't even sound remotely like what it did back then, despite the huge effort in attempting to recreate historically accurate performances, it's still very debated how that should be done.

So, having said all that, isn't it ironic that the music that would most likely actually speak to us of the actual world we have now, is some of the least "pleasant" one? I'm not implying that 1700s europe was some utopia, far from that, but I am very thankful to the people that opened my eyes to actually seeing music that is about the world I actually understand. A very complex, very out-of-control, battered by world wars, proxy wars, mega-corporations, extreme new global ideologies, etc world. And of course, out-there crazy music has always existed in some manner or another (see: Heinrich Biber - Battalia à 10 (1673) but not to this extent.

But it may not actually be that the music is "out-there" or crazy, just that our world just became that crazy and out-there, and we're just seeing the inevitable byproduct of that.

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So we've heard a good deal from myself and SSC.

Anyone else—What's the role of contemporary classical music (or art in general) today?

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On 5/30/2020 at 12:49 PM, SSC said:

They aren't very important -TO ME- (in music), but that's down to ME being an anomaly.

This is what you said in reference to value judgments about music. You yourself said they weren't very important. Who cares if ACO thinks your music sounds below garage-tier recordings rock music? Not you, according to your own statement. And then you put up some works to defend ACO's value judgment that will likely end this thread.

Sigh. Now, I'm going to throw logic aside and just tell you how I feel.

From the moment you entered this thread, everything has been about you. We were having a perfectly civil discussion, yet within literal minutes of your arriving on the scene, the thread had been shut down and you were on the forum chat, touting it like it was a victory for you. Even now, you say:

21 minutes ago, SSC said:

Let's get this thread outright locked already, eh?

This is how little you care about what others might value. You would rather prove your point to save face than preserve enjoyment for others who have nothing to do with this. They/we are innocent bystanders who have become casualties in this war to salvage your own ego. I was enjoying this discussion immensely, as were many others—who have since left the discussion because it became awfully one-sided. Yes, you can project your feelings and say "this is all ACO's and Quinn's fault, they're the ones who attacked first." When we point fingers, though, there are always three pointing back at us. Recognize your part in the blame, too.

And that's what I'll leave you with: admitting your mistakes. You aren't a perfect human being and nobody expects you to be, except maybe yourself. Give yourself a little grace and apologize to others every once in a while. It'll keep you humble. And I think people will like you more for it.

For my part, I enjoyed our discussion. Unfortunately, I've found your behavior towards those who cross you inexcusable and have blocked you, so I won't be able to see your replies. I'm sorry to do that, but these kinds of hostile exchanges between parties affect me deeply, and if I have the power to avoid witnessing them, I will exercise that power.

To the moderators: I hope this thread can be salvaged. 🙏

To the forum: I apologize for my part in feeding these unprofitable exchanges. Please, please overlook the unrelated discussion and continue to offer up your opinions on this very interesting subject!

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This is just a friendly reminder to please stay on topic, and to avoid personal attacks.  Differing points of view is expected from such a diverse group.  Let's all be mindful of each other's background and experiences.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

Are you saying this is the role as society sees it, or is this the role that proponents of consumerism are pushing on society? Or both?

There is a bit of both involved in it. It kinda creates a feedback loop.

Incoming longpost:

I kinda talk about this in my thread on here about the deification of Film/Game composers, and I have had a number of (disappointing) discussions with composers, even very successful ones, IRL and online.

On a number of occasions, I have talked with trailer music composers and the like who literally cannot fathom the idea of music not simply being a "product" but something more important than just a tune that fits the latest Marvel trailer. I have had many conversations with musicians who believe that a musician's skill can purely be measured in how many soundcloud or youtube followers you have, unaware of the fact that the most popular music YouTubers are often just hot girls with patreons and modest musical skill. 

Everyone wants to be an "epic" composer because that's where the money is and having your track in the trailer/game/movie is like this big status booster, because so many people are hooked on these products and even incorporate it into their identity.

For example, for years I was a part of another forum called OCReMix, and I have a few remixes that were on their albums and YouTube channels and such — some of them have 10s of thousands of views, I think. Some guy even made a guitar hero play-through of one. While I really liked the community there, the one negative thing I can say is that a lot of people had too much attachment to "video game music" in particular (because they were super attached to video games) and it is my opinion that the site frankly has leveraged that consumerism against the musicians. Like, a few years ago, I remember there was this big blow up when it was found out that the owner of the site monetized all of the thousands of remixes on their YouTube channel (a service they do not pay for) and had intentionally avoided telling the community about that change for 3 whole months and his defense was "nobody noticed."

As you might expect, at first, this sent the community into a rage, but the Admin was able to easily dispel by spinning some yarn about how it was going to make the site better and enable them to better realize their "mission" in spreading the love and cheer of video game music (I guess) and that he intended to file for the site to become a non-profit organization. They have since become a non-profit, going about whatever their crusade supposedly stands for, and that means that any excess money not used for "operating costs" (of which they have very little) goes back to furthering that cause. The Admin, who just finished admitting he deceived the entire community, expects you to believe that he does not make any money of this endeavor he's been building for most of his adult life.

Now, all of the remixes past and present, which were created for fun by fans and do not generate them money, are pulling in ad revenue not just for OCReMix (via a platform it does not cost them to upload to) but a portion also goes to all of the video game publishers who own the music, and are multi-million or billion dollar, global corporations all while the musicians make nothing. The community is now not just fine with it, but many champion it as something virtuous because they see these games as a part of their very identity as a musician, but in reality — they're just being exploited. Giving once free but now paid advertising to global corporations via music remixes that can never truly be theirs. I once got into a heated argument with the community about why we should place more value on our OWN compositions than on covers of video game tunes. Music which, while certainly has a lot of good stuff, was ultimately made to be attached to something that was meant simply to sell, sell, sell. It is not of the same origin as something like Beethoven or Grieg, and their connection to PEOPLE.

The one musician who first brought this whole monetization fiasco to the community's attention, and was a respected member of the community with more posted remixes than anyone for a long time, was quickly turned on by the community and banned for opposing the Admin's decisions. 

To most of those people, music is at its best when it's a part of a consumer product; consumer products that their fandom of, forms an integral part of who they are as not just musicians, but people. It's sad.

When you say "composer" to most modern people, they think of all the mini Hans Zimmers working on the next movie or they think of old guys who make a bunch of weird, abstract art music they don't like and doesn't resonate with them. 

But when you sit in on say, a really-great Celtic folk music performance: And you just are awestruck by the performances, the catchy and soaring melodies, how well crafted the whole piece is, how everything falls into place so perfectly and both layman and expert alike are inspired by its beauty and genius — it is the same as one feels gazing upon the Neuschwanstein Castle or one of the Japanese castles while the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, at the Chapel in Notre Dame, or standing before a Bernini sculpture or Bryullov painting — even though the name of the composer of the piece may be lost to history, it's beauty endures and it still burns with the unique spirit of the people who created it, and still brings them together and inspires them forever.

THAT is what it's supposed to be about — and avant-garde noise and drone music, or meaning/formless splatter paintings, and a cross dumped in urine will never be able to be that kind of positive force. 

Edited by AngelCityOutlaw
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General note

Thanks to a report that I got, I censored the thread. Normally I am strongly against filtering, but whenever discussion online get this heated, there must be control. Therefore I hid some of your comments that were not anymore about the topic, rather. I am deeply sorry that this must happen. 

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All this conversation gives me headache. Did you guys ever considered the fact how much wonderful music you could have composed throughout all this time you were spending posting these replies and doing all this bickering? 🙂 You will not find similar answers between each other anyway. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Sojar Voglar said:

All this conversation gives me headache. Did you guys ever considered the fact how much wonderful music you could have composed throughout all this time you were spending posting these replies and doing all this bickering? 🙂 You will not find similar answers between each other anyway. 🙂

I hope you are aiming at the whole negative discussion, not the discussion itself about the questions I stated.

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15 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Incoming longpost:

I'm not going to quote the entire thing, but I originally came from OCR too, which I joined in 2004 or thereabouts. I was mostly lurking, but I did eventually want to make a remix of my own, but I ended up making it way too original to the point where, well, I ended up having played in a concert in 2007 detached from its origin as a "remix". I think making remixes is nice, but I could never bring myself to spend so much time on something that isn't ever going to be really mine. I don't want to talk badly about people who do remixes, but to me it would be a waste of my time. Really f!ucked up the deal with the monetization, but that kind of shady stuff is pretty common in this kind of thing.

 

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3 hours ago, Maarten Bauer said:

I hope you are aiming at the whole negative discussion, not the discussion itself about the questions I stated.

 

I am a quite poor philosopher. 😋

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10 hours ago, Sojar Voglar said:

I am a quite poor philosopher. 😋

 

Discussion about these questions I consider equally important as writing "beautiful" music. It is definitely not a waste of time. In fact, a composer that thinks about these questions has more chance to write good music than a composer who neglects to think about them. 

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To me an artist is a bigger word than musicians or actors.

To me the word means 'insane' and someone who uses this insanity to produce

something.. hopefully that betters the world or maybe just expresses something.

I don't see a need for an artist to have a purpose other than producing more art.

That would be the purpose of art that it has no purpose, that the

question in and of itself is the purpose that who knows why.

 

I feel taking art too seriously is a problem. Not just for artists

but for everyone. It was meant to be a 'joke' in a sense.

I mean the subjects in music are not actually real. It's pretend.

For the sake of analysis, you can take things seriously. But the artist

must respect all art. Because he's the only one who can understand

what it takes to create it. It also should help extend creativity if you

value everything.. you wouldn't hesitate to imitate those that even you hate. 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, marsbars said:

To me an artist is a bigger word than musicians or actors.

To me the word means 'insane' and someone who uses this insanity to produce

something.. hopefully that betters the world or maybe just expresses something.

I don't see a need for an artist to have a purpose other than producing more art.

That would be the purpose of art that it has no purpose, that the

question in and of itself is the purpose that who knows why.

 

I feel taking art too seriously is a problem. Not just for artists

but for everyone. It was meant to be a 'joke' in a sense.

I mean the subjects in music are not actually real. It's pretend.

For the sake of analysis, you can take things seriously. But the artist

must respect all art. Because he's the only one who can understand

what it takes to create it. It also should help extend creativity if you

value everything.. you wouldn't hesitate to imitate those that even you hate. 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, sure, but when the purpose of the artist is to create more art. What is then the purpose of art? 

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