Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Audiences hate modern classical music

Audiences hate modern classical music
August 05, 2010, 03:27:49 AM
Quote
A new book on how the human brain interprets music has revealed that listeners rely upon finding patterns within the sounds they receive in order to make sense of it and interpret it as a musical composition.

While traditional classical music follows strict patterns and formula that allow the brain to make sense of the sound, modern symphonies by composers such as Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern simply confuse listeners' brains.

Philip Ball, author of The Music Instinct, has drawn on the latest scientific findings from neuroscientists to show structure and patterns in music are a fundamental part of musical enjoyment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7279626/Audiences-hate-modern-classical-music-because-their-brains-cannot-cope.html

Translation: it's random until you apply arbitrary "theory" that is disconnected from the patterns of nature.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 05, 2010, 04:20:53 AM
I'd like to clarify that he's criticizing serialism, which is a technique used in modern classical music, but not all modern classical uses serialism. The theory behind it was to create truly atonal music. ANUS members always praise metal for it's atonal nature. This study can "prove" that metal sucks. His conclusions of the studies are absolutely nonsensical. I can't see how anybody would agree with the conclusion that music is only enjoyable if it's predictable. Not everyone in the world is a ARE YOU TALKIN TO ME? fan.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 05, 2010, 11:21:08 AM
I did not think the article criticised serialist music at all. It simply seemed to say that the structures and patterns of serialist compositions are less observable to the ear than classical music of older traditions. I did not detect any judgment of the value of serial music in the article.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 05, 2010, 02:55:21 PM
I did not think the article criticised serialist music at all. It simply seemed to say that the structures and patterns of serialist compositions are less observable to the ear than classical music of older traditions. I did not detect any judgment of the value of serial music in the article.

Exactly, serial music requires more of the listener, that doesn't automatically make it bad, in fact such a view would amount to the view of music held by your average pentatonic rock fan.  Death metal is mostly theoretically arbitrary too.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 06, 2010, 03:58:42 PM
Translation: it's random until you apply arbitrary "theory" that is disconnected from the patterns of nature.

Bad translation. Better translation:

Music is beautiful as long as you follow correct rules, which "traditional" composers did. These rules are not arbitrary, they are natural. This is so because beauty, not chaos, is natural.
Whatever you honor above all things, that which you so honor will have dominion over you.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 08, 2010, 03:56:32 AM
Music is beautiful as long as you follow correct rules, which "traditional" composers did. These rules are not arbitrary, they are natural. This is so because beauty, not chaos, is natural.

The 'rules' of music are only designed and created in order to achieve a particular end. If your desired emotional destination is on such a different wavelength then another then the 'rules' will naturally be markedly different in order to achieve this end. If one considers Indian classical music it operates in such a different fashion from western classical music that knowledge in western musical theories are unimportant or even useless if one were to write Indian classical music.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 08, 2010, 06:38:32 AM
Exactly, serial music requires more of the listener, that doesn't automatically make it bad, in fact such a view would amount to the view of music held by your average pentatonic rock fan.

Specifically, it demands that a listener bring a boatload of theory and self-righteous pretense with him to the show: it's basically aural jargon, orchestral Newspeak, if you will.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 08, 2010, 08:10:51 AM
The 'rules' of music are only designed and created in order to achieve a particular end. If your desired emotional destination is on such a different wavelength then another then the 'rules' will naturally be markedly different in order to achieve this end. If one considers Indian classical music it operates in such a different fashion from western classical music that knowledge in western musical theories are unimportant or even useless if one were to write Indian classical music.

Sure, there is not only one set of rules for the composition of beautiful music. That is no reason to fall for any kind of relativism, though. Some rules --maybe it is better to call them anti-rules-- only serve to prevent beauty. These are unnatural.
Whatever you honor above all things, that which you so honor will have dominion over you.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 08, 2010, 12:22:04 PM
Maybe you guys weren't aware, but the entire tradition of western classical music is based on a system which detunes natural intervals.  If you want to be consistent with your own theory then you should reject all music played in even tempered tuning.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 08, 2010, 03:08:05 PM
Maybe you guys weren't aware, but the entire tradition of western classical music is based on a system which detunes natural intervals.  If you want to be consistent with your own theory then you should reject all music played in even tempered tuning.

That's a function of instrument design, and it's only true of some instruments (keyboard  and fretted instruments).  Pieces written for strings or voice don't have to deal with the issue of temperament.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 08, 2010, 07:38:42 PM
All I'm saying is that beauty is natural; and from this follows everything else. Because beauty requires a regularity, any system that can offer this regularity will be a good system. Even if it is not as old as the earth.

Compare what you know about religions to this case. Do you see the similarities?
Whatever you honor above all things, that which you so honor will have dominion over you.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 09, 2010, 08:07:20 AM
Exactly, serial music requires more of the listener, that doesn't automatically make it bad, in fact such a view would amount to the view of music held by your average pentatonic rock fan.

Specifically, it demands that a listener bring a boatload of theory and self-righteous pretense with him to the show: it's basically aural jargon, orchestral Newspeak, if you will.

This is misinformation, the basics of serial music can be taught to someone with only rudimentary musical knowledge in a few minutes.  Even the basic ideas of classical music take years for most people to grasp.

Also, for all those who think serial music came out of nowhere, it didn't.  It is basically a return to the linear organisation of pitch that was present in music right up to the baroque era, also serial theory is directly related to the medieval isorhythmic motet.

The real reason I'm playing devils advocate here is not because I have any great love for modernist music, but to underline the fact that the philosophy of art proposed by many on this forum, a sort of awkward combination of structuralism and romanticism, is not consistent with itself, and this is why no one here ever manages to mount a valid argument against modern music without contradicting themselves.  What is needed to reach a more holistic understanding of music, and for that matter art in general, is the realisation that sounds have innate qualities, and the understanding of these qualities is vital to music making.  This understanding is present in an indirect sense through the whole western classical tradition, but it disintegrates in romantic music and is completely abandoned in the 20th century, not to say all 20th century music is bad (Webern is awsome).  The real problem for western music was always equal temperment and an excessive focus on abstract theory, which makes people forget about musical qualities, this is why medieval and renaissance music are generally better than music from later periods.

Structuralism and romanticism are half-truths, its impossible to construct the whole truth out of them, what is needed is a direct insight into the nature of music itself.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 09, 2010, 09:13:46 AM
Sure, there is not only one set of rules for the composition of beautiful music. That is no reason to fall for any kind of relativism, though. Some rules --maybe it is better to call them anti-rules-- only serve to prevent beauty. These are unnatural.

Not all music is meant to be beautiful. Is Gorguts beautiful? Is Havohej beautiful? I enjoy the music of Schoenberg, Xenakis and Messiaen. Beauty may not be a word that springs to mind when one thinks of the works of these men but they have qualities that I enjoy that simply are not found in Bach or Beethoven.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 09, 2010, 02:37:14 PM
Quote
This is misinformation, the basics of serial music can be taught to someone with only rudimentary musical knowledge in a few minutes.  Even the basic ideas of classical music take years for most people to grasp.

It's not the complexity of the theory that's at issue, it's that fact that it's needed at all.  Beethoven requires no familiarity with theory for a listener to grasp: serial music demands both an understanding of the underlying musical practice and of its ideological motivations to be clearly understood, which is why it was, is and will remain purely academic music for pretentious insiders.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
August 09, 2010, 11:07:47 PM
Beethoven requires no familiarity with theory for a listener to grasp: serial music demands both an understanding of the underlying musical practice and of its ideological motivations to be clearly understood, which is why it was, is and will remain purely academic music for pretentious insiders.

It seems one could very easily write death/black metal instead of serial music here.
"Just like your ancestors
you will fight today."

-Rob Darken