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  1. Greetings to all fellow composers! For some bizarre and peculiar reason, we are living in an age where people are becoming obsessed with thinking that we have to label every single compositional style that composers write in. I was reading a book by the australian composer Andrew Ford (it was called "Illegal Harmonies") about modern music since 1900 and I was amazed to see that the glossary of musical styles (Impressionism, futurism etc.) went on for about 50 pages! I don't really see the need to label music in this way as the words hardly help anyone just listen to the music and the sounds created.In my opinion, all of these words that we apply to different styles of modern classical music are absolutely meaningless. To show you what I mean I'll use the labels "Impressionism" and "minimalism" as examples. Impressionism is a word used when describing the style of painting that was around in France in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This style was influenced by the effect that light had on certain objects and places; often artists would paint the same object/landscape with different lightings to create very different images (Monet has done some good examples of this). Now, what musicologists and whatever have done with this word is this: they have used it to describe the music by the French composers Debussy, Ravel, Satie and several others. The thing that doesn't make sense is that in order to make the music go with this label means that he music has to take the features of impressionist painting (the effect of light on objects and places) and apply them to the music (which would therefore sound completely different). Even thought Debussy has written music that happens to have titles that you would imagine you'd find on a painting by Monet (e.g 'The Sunken Cathedral') it techincally is NOT genuine impressionism. In the long run, Debussy hated the term anyway. Minimalism is a term that is used to describe the fine arts that has very little or no diversity when it comes to the art elements (colour, shape, form, tone, line, space and texture). Musicologists have taken this word and stupidly applied it to the music of composers such as Philip Glass and John Adams. A lot of the works by these so called "minimalist" composers are bursting with colour and harmonies that you would not expect from an artist like Carl Andre. The only thing that someone would say that is "minimal" about their music is the lack of motific development. If I let a six-year-old listen to the first movement of Glass' first violin concerto or Adams' "A Short Ride In A Fast Machine" and asked them to describe the music they just heard, the word "minimal" would pretty much definitely not occur. In the long run, Glass and Adams (just like Debussy with "impressionism") they hated the term anyway.
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