Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Temperments of the Composers

Temperments of the Composers
November 20, 2008, 05:03:56 PM
I disagree with the predominant belief that composers can be categorized most accurately by era. By technique, surely -- but technique isn't all. It makes sense then to say they have outlooks/attributes that cross technique and genre boundaries.

Instead of categorizing composers by era, it makes sense to use a dual characterization. I've come up with some types I find interesting.

Contemplative/Reverent

- Respighi
- Most medieval music

Faustian/Romantic

- Brahms
- Beethoven
- Schubert
- Bruckner
- Schumann
- Wagner

Pastoral

- Prokofiev

Crowd-Pleasing

- Sibelius
- Tchaikovsky
- Mendelssohn

Academic

- Shostakovich
- Mahler

These wouldn't work as absolute categories, but more like the way tags work on blog posts: they describe, and so are used "randomly" across category lines, like tagging a post with "politics, food, anarchy, USA."

There are whole categories unplumbed here, and some of the more interesting cases cross lines. Bach, for example, verges from academic to Romantic, depending on which piece and for what purpose it was written.

To keep this \m/ ("gay"), I'd have to say the same thing applies to metal bands:

Contemplative/Reverent

- Burzum
- Atheist

Faustian/Romantic

- Immortal
- Morbid Angel
- Deicide

Pastoral

- Graveland

Crowd-Pleasing

- The Abyss
- Massacre

Academic

- Pestilence
- Gorguts

It's an interesting comparison, for minds to feed on, but isn't designed to convince or control them. It's an offering to those who might be able to do something with it, because I'm out of time (OOT) to write about it.

chb

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 20, 2008, 06:10:34 PM
I believe that this is a good idea which is especially useful for music from the modern era because Modernism encompasses such a wide range of different styles. However, I believe that most composers wrote pieces that fit into multiple categories. Shostakovich, for instance, wrote lots of "crowd-pleasing" pieces and to be honest, I find it hard to think of an "academic" piece by him. Bach would fit into all the categories you listed.

I'm sure we could do more with this but I can't think of anything right now. Maybe I'll post again if I have another idea.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 20, 2008, 07:46:00 PM
+ Isolationist/Mystic

John Cage
Sun Ra
Ildjarn
VON

To see it as a cultural landscape, music was probably invented by an innocent idiot whose world was small but animistic, a mystic by definition. Crowd-pleasing instincts developed ancient folk music which in turn begat pop music forms from arias to soul. The distinction between music for different castes created the contemplative music of the brahmins and in a more "secular" form, the highly structured, formal and inventive academic music.

Eventually through intelligence trapped between the Schopenhauerian will-to-live and the will-to-die, romanticism was born to unite cold intelligence and the perception of the infinite with passion and love of life, the solemn celebration of the brevity of our time upon Earth, heroism and hope. Pastoral style is the yearning for lost innocence, a return to the ancestors' moods in a world that is in dire need of primal wisdom.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 21, 2008, 03:06:57 AM
what do you mean by pastoral?

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 21, 2008, 09:40:04 AM
I've sort of been playing around with a similar concept modeled after Jungian personality sorters like the Myers-Briggs...  Same basic principle, four pairs of options

Esoteric

or

Universalist

----------

eMotive

or

Detached

----------

Naturalistic

or

Structuralist

----------

Romantic

or

Pragmatic


For composers, you'd get stuff like:

Mozart:

UDSP

Wagner:

EMNR

Beethoven:

UMNR

Bach:

EMSR (predominately - but in his corpus are works that fit any conceivable combination, which is why I view him as probably the greatest composer of all)

Neoclassical Artists:

Burzum:

EMNR

At the Gates:

EMSR

Immortal:

EDSR

Carcass:

EDSP

Napalm Death:

UMNP

Morbid Angel:

EDSR

Kraftwerk:

UDSR








Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 21, 2008, 01:48:51 PM
Esoteric

or

Universalist

A totally idiotic distinction. Suits the idiot Jung.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 21, 2008, 02:55:45 PM
If you can accurately decode each composer's music type, does it consistently map to their individual personality typology? There seems to be a potential new discipline developing here where a budding musician's quality might be predicted, based on personality, even before they first learn music. Although alarmingly un-democratic, if perfected and instituted, you have a method for filtering non-artists from wasting everyone's time making noise. And, you have a method for identifying and promoting those who are likeliest to create excellence in music.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 22, 2008, 12:14:53 AM
Composers of the western musical tradition have always been heavily categorized beyond a simple epoch of birth. Since the term baroque to describe a period of music has only arisen within the last few decades most baroque music used to (and often still is) organized as sacred, secular and for the court. Also rather than having "sub-genres" such as brutal death metal we today refer to a particular country or region of a country were such stylistic features were common. For example J. Pachelbel is often seen as the pinnacle of the southern German organ school and J.P. Rameau was brought many never before seen music features to the French baroque style. Even the era of the Baroque is split into the transition from the renaissance to the baroque, the early baroque, the middle period baroque, late period baroque, high-baroque and the roco/gallant style. Not to mention the English, French, Norther German, Southern German, Spanish, Italian and Venetian styles which can all be broken apart into further styles depending on whether they are meant of court, church, secular or private use.

In the baroque there is often it's very own culture separate from other musical styles based upon the instrument that the music is written for. There is a long tradition of choral and organ music being taught as completely separate styles of music as the other church music. And when you consider that this is only the baroque and that with the romantic and 20th century styles of classical music bring even more styles of music because of the musical freedom the time allowed there is many times the amount of genres and styles within classical music than metal has ever had. I do not think there is any room for the very personalized lists that have been proposed so far.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 22, 2008, 12:20:57 AM
I do not think there is any room for the very personalized lists that have been proposed so far.

Your unrelated encyclopedia entry notwithstanding, there is plenty of room for thought experiments on this board.  These aren't binding academic exercises.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 22, 2008, 02:18:02 AM
Composers of the western musical tradition have always been heavily categorized beyond a simple epoch of birth. Since the term baroque to describe a period of music has only arisen within the last few decades most baroque music used to (and often still is) organized as sacred, secular and for the court. Also rather than having "sub-genres" such as brutal death metal we today refer to a particular country or region of a country were such stylistic features were common. For example J. Pachelbel is often seen as the pinnacle of the southern German organ school and J.P. Rameau was brought many never before seen music features to the French baroque style. Even the era of the Baroque is split into the transition from the renaissance to the baroque, the early baroque, the middle period baroque, late period baroque, high-baroque and the roco/gallant style. Not to mention the English, French, Norther German, Southern German, Spanish, Italian and Venetian styles which can all be broken apart into further styles depending on whether they are meant of court, church, secular or private use.

In the baroque there is often it's very own culture separate from other musical styles based upon the instrument that the music is written for. There is a long tradition of choral and organ music being taught as completely separate styles of music as the other church music. And when you consider that this is only the baroque and that with the romantic and 20th century styles of classical music bring even more styles of music because of the musical freedom the time allowed there is many times the amount of genres and styles within classical music than metal has ever had. I do not think there is any room for the very personalized lists that have been proposed so far.

You're talking technique and style - we're talking about the other 99% of art.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
November 22, 2008, 04:11:52 AM
Since the term baroque to describe a period of music has only arisen within the last few decades most baroque music used to (and often still is) organized as sacred, secular and for the court.

Interesting. I think it's interesting to organize it by "ideals" as well, which is what others are trying to do. Time period is difficult for me because there's thematic/aesthetic overlap. An artist may be ahead of his time, or she may be updating a former style, or simply influenced by it.

Re: Temperments of the Composers
December 03, 2008, 03:06:06 AM
Interesting prospective. I often think of Metal music as being associated with three modes of thought: the journeying or exploratory one (Summoning, some Burzum), the warring or militant one (Deicide, Antaeus, Slayer, death metal in general), and the mystical or meditative one (Atheist, "Electric Doom.."-era Beherit).