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Wolf_88

Igor Stravinsky - Rite of Spring

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Well i couldn't believe that i'm the only one who enjoys atonality on this forum. So lets discus! This is most likely the most famous work of Stravinsky and the most shocking one. When first performed it was not mush a success, people thought of it as "horrible and vulgar". To me it is probably one of the best pieces of music ever written, so i'm dying to hear your opinions.

thanks in forward!

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Guest BitterDuck
Well i couldn't believe that i'm the only one who enjoys atonality on this forum. So lets discus! This is most likely the most famous work of Stravinsky and the most shocking one. When first performed it was not mush a success, people thought of it as "horrible and vulgar". To me it is probably one of the best pieces of music ever written, so i'm dying to hear your opinions.

thanks in forward!

Personally, I love his work, especially rite of spring! It has influence me in more ways than one ;)

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Well, I don't hear the Rite of Spring as being atonal, if atonal-ness requires a feeling of groundlessness...a lot of the piece consists of static harmony. This harmony is often complex, sometimes made of two or more chords or modes stacked on top of one another (polytonality, perhaps), but what doesn't happen is harmony drifting so fast that I can't keep track of it. If there were a spectrum from modal (noodling around in a scale statically) to tonal (changing chords but with a definite hierarchy) to atonal (too much change), I would put a lot of the Rite in the modal category.

What most has entranced me about the Rite of Spring is the rhythms, the way that Stravisky can take one or two motives and make an insanely unpredictable (while coherent!) melody or phrase with them.

Oh, and let's see, my favorite movements are "Ritual of the Ancients" and of course "Dance of the Earth" though those are translated titles. I tried to arrange the latter for band once.

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Well, I don't hear the Rite of Spring as being atonal, if atonal-ness requires a feeling of groundlessness...a lot of the piece consists of static harmony.  This harmony is often complex, sometimes made of two or more chords or modes stacked on top of one another (polytonality, perhaps), but what doesn't happen is harmony drifting so fast that I can't keep track of it.  If there were a spectrum from modal (noodling around in a scale statically) to tonal (changing chords but with a definite hierarchy) to atonal (too much change), I would put a lot of the Rite in the modal category.

What most has entranced me about the Rite of Spring is the rhythms, the way that Stravisky can take one or two motives and make an insanely unpredictable (while coherent!) melody or phrase with them.

Oh, and let's see, my favorite movements are "Ritual of the Ancients" and of course "Dance of the Earth" though those are translated titles.  I tried to arrange the latter for band once.

745[/snapback]

I'm pretty sure that it's atonal at at leats some point (when you have 4 tonalities at the same time you must call it atonal). And i didn't know that atonality is supposed to be "without harmonoy".

Oh and my favorite is Glorification of the Chosen One and the Sacrificial Dance of the Chosen One.

melody4harmony.mid

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Guest Anders

Wolf, your MP3 atatchment doesen't work! :angry: Anyways, from what little i've heard of the ''Rite Of Spring'', i'd say it's an unpleasant, if not painfull, listen.

Sorry about this, i probably didn't add much too the discussion! ;)

Edit: if anyone could direct me to some mp3s i'd probably have more to say...

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The Rite of Spring is one of my favorite pieces for orchestra. However, it does take some getting used to, because the harmonic/melodic rules that govern it are quite different from say romantic or even popular music. However it does seem abide by a hierarchy of chords and successions, and therefore I would classify it as tonal - but perhaps extended tonality. In my book, the only atonal music is music where pitches are chosen based upon mathmatical/geometric principals (Webern) and also "sound mass" pieces like some of Pendrecki.

Anyways, give the Rite a few more tries and you'll find it to be an extremely passionate, involving work. It also might help to watch "Fantasia" because sometimes an image helps to lessen the shock value of music (we've all appreciated the effects of atonal music in movies, for example).

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Yeh, I have to agree with Jacob and Nightscape in saying that Rite of Spring is not atonal. Sure, it doesn't use traditional harmony, but for the most part, all of the chords have a tonal center (or two, as there's a lot of bimodal stuff going on, and maybe even more). It's true that Stravinsky eventually did some serial stuff later in his career, Rite of Spring certainly wasn't one of them :P (being his 3rd or 4th major composition I believe - after Fireworks, the Firebird, Petrushka, and maybe something else).

Like Jacob, the rhymthic rush is mostly what intrigues me about this piece. At parts, you the rhythms even sound like those from contemporary music (ie, those timpani 5ths or whatnot, from I forgot which section). But no matter how you classify it, it's an enjoyable piece :).

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I too agree that Rite of Spring is not atonal. It just feels that way. It's wildly polytonal in places, and the harmonic structure is nothing if not complex, but a lot of it is quite tonal indeed, especially the melodies. I like Rite of Spring because while it's modern, it is also highly structured. If I'm going to go that far into the unknown, I want a firm rock to stand on, and ROS gives me that. My favourite piece of Stravinsky's, with "Firebird" running close second.

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Yeah, it's not technically atonal or completely lacking in tonality... maybe "distonal" could describe it. There's bits of what seems to be from relatively diatonic scales, but they keep shifting, so it's hard to really say.

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A rift opens in the thread. Shall we discuss Stravinsky, or shall we discuss atonality?

Atonality! That feeling of zero gravity, nothing to hold on to, at least not for long enough to get one's bearings, ever falling, ever rising? Schoenberg's desire for a non-hierarchical set of intervals (do I have this right?) is at odds with the ever-present circle of fifths out of which our pitches lifted (NOT from the overtone series as some say, or at least limited to the first 3, a silly limit we can blame on prudish Pythagoras), and yet it succeeds, perhaps because twelve notes per octave is enough to override our pitch sense, even my own near-perfect pitch. More on that and more over here (look for "Miller limit").

Is any of that discussable?

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As we know, Stranvinsky wrote only a few atonality works after the 1960s.

The achievement of 'Rite of Spring' is the complex of beat and the mixture of harmonic scale and diatonic scale.

And, as a piece for an orchestra of such large scale, the use of intruments is also remarkable, expecially the wind(of course. he love wind).

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A rift opens in the thread. Shall we discuss Stravinsky, or shall we discuss atonality?

Atonality! That feeling of zero gravity, nothing to hold on to, at least not for long enough to get one's bearings, ever falling, ever rising? Schoenberg's desire for a non-hierarchical set of intervals (do I have this right?) is at odds with the ever-present circle of fifths out of which our pitches lifted (NOT from the overtone series as some say, or at least limited to the first 3, a silly limit we can blame on prudish Pythagoras), and yet it succeeds, perhaps because twelve notes per octave is enough to override our pitch sense, even my own near-perfect pitch.

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Two points:

1. As far as I can recall, the reaction from the audience at the first performance of "The Rite of Spring" was mostly in objection to the staging of it. It was this that was thought to be most vulgar: the music was very much secondary.

2. "The Rite of Spring" is also very much not atonal, as has been pointed out. Truly atonal music is a most wonderful experience (wonderful, though I don't find it enjoyable neccessarily), as there is no sense whatsoever of key or even which note is which. I have only ever imagined truly atonal music in my head, as I believe that it does not exist in real life. Serial music is also not truly atonal, as each moment shifts from one note or chord to another and therefore has tonicism of some sort. It's not traditional tonality, of course, as it doesn't follow even simple rules such as cadences: however, a chord sequence doesn't have to be made out of specific rules. C/Db/Eb/Fb/G --> C#/D/Eb/F#/A/Bb (for example) would be considered atonal by many, but still has some following of tonality about it.

"I'm pretty sure that it's atonal at at leats some point (when you have 4 tonalities at the same time you must call it atonal). And i didn't know that atonality is supposed to be "without harmonoy"."

Where's this come from? I've never heard of this. If you have four tonalities at the same time, then it has four tonalities at the same time! It is tonal, as it has four systems of tonality. A piece can have as many systems of tonality as the composer wishes and it's still tonal: it uses tonal principles. Once the composer stops using tonal principles can a piece be considered for its atonal properties. (Atonal means not tonal, not 'without harmony'. All music, so long as it has more than one sound at any one time, has harmony.)

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I'm pretty sure that it's atonal at at leats some point (when you have 4 tonalities at the same time you must call it atonal). And i didn't know that atonality is supposed to be "without harmonoy".

Oh and my favorite is Glorification of the Chosen One and the Sacrificial Dance of the Chosen One.

melody4harmony.mid

Hmm, is it a good idea to post copyrighted material on this forum...? :mellow:

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"I'm pretty sure that it's atonal at at leats some point (when you have 4 tonalities at the same time you must call it atonal). And i didn't know that atonality is supposed to be "without harmonoy"."

Where's this come from? I've never heard of this. If you have four tonalities at the same time, then it has four tonalities at the same time! It is tonal, as it has four systems of tonality. A piece can have as many systems of tonality as the composer wishes and it's still tonal: it uses tonal principles. Once the composer stops using tonal principles can a piece be considered for its atonal properties. (Atonal means not tonal, not 'without harmony'. All music, so long as it has more than one sound at any one time, has harmony.)

Heh, the term for it is polytonality. The most famous example of this is probably in Honegger's Le Roi David, where the "marching of the feet" of the Israelites is in a different tonality as the chant they're singing, and another different tonality for the echoes against the mountains. Definately tonal.

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Please tell me how much Archi is needed in this work(the exact number), anybody?

It's a fact that Stravinsky didn't like Archi. He used a few strings in his orchestral works, while the woodwinds and the brass are often of huge scale. But actually he paid a lot of attetion on the strings. You can learn from his scores to find that the performing and dividing of the strings are carefully arranged. You can see the notes('Sul ponticello' and 'col legno', etc.) everywhere.

Maybe Stravinsky liked the strings to be a group of soli---just like the woodwinds. In the 'Introduction' and 'Mystic Circles of the Young Girls' of 'THE SACRIFICE', the strings are divided to an extent that nearly one stave for one string intrument. Really a creation!

Still, I think the scale of the strings should be enlarged. In some episodes---especially 'Dances of the Young Girls', the strings are not forte enough.

Another thing to be concerned is why Stravinsky never used Arpa?

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*bump*

I love the Rite of Spring, it's really my favourite piece right now.

I bought the score for it, together with the score for the Firebird suite and The Planets bu Holst. I absolutely love the way he extends the harmonies of the orchestra, and treats the whole thing as a gigantic percussion instrument in the ballet.

Btw, Archi is called "Strings" in english. ;-) Arpa is called "Harp".

Anyways, since I'm a woodwind player (clarinet, oboe) I love the emphasis on woodwind, with 5 players pr. instrument group instead of 2 or 3. I also live the unpredictable style Stravinsky writes in.

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How I love the Rite of Spring :thumbsup: It is (my opinion) far better than the firebird. Does anybody know of Stravinky's later works? I would really like to hear them to see how stravinsky grew from where he was.

Also I have mixed feeling on his ballet Petrushka, how do you guys feel about that piece?

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Wanton extravagance...especially since in Stravinsky's orchestral texture, not one of them would ever be heard.

I'm being facetious, of course...but really. Three harps? Wagner did it too...I couldn't believe it when I saw it, when I performed "Goetterdaemerung" this past summer. Wanton extravagance.

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