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Audiences hate modern classical music

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
October 02, 2010, 02:20:13 PM
Actually the structures of the Webern variations are fairly easy to follow.  Seems to me like people aren't willing to put their bias aside for the sake of rational discussion, either that or they are simply not intelligent enough to understand the music.

Also I find it hypocritical to say the least, that the advocates of the form of nihilism which would deny that any sound or collection of sounds has inherent qualities would criticize a fundamentally structuralist music on the grounds that it uses "unnatural" collections of frequencies.  If people bothered to contemplate the implications of their arguments they wouldn't overlook such contradictions.

Good modernist music is like death metal without romanticism, which is really just a trace of humanism anyway.

Not to split hairs, but it was in part over the music, which was violently different from anything preceding it.  The idea was that many artists of good quality had never before induced a riot, irrespective of their audience.  We can claim they weren't ready for it, those poor plebeians, but really, give me one instance in history where people have been that angered over a piece of music due to the music itself.  Did the introduction of polyphony, chromaticism, harmony, counterpoint, cause fists to fly?  No, but a piece in which gratuitous amounts of rootless dissonance were the selling point did.

The inevitable result of this focus on dissonance/atonality, etc. in modern classical is to portray EVERYTHING in a grotesque, skewed, and "Oh, woe is life" way.  It seems fundamentally sick music in a way that metal isn't.  Metal doesn't compose pieces referencing one's sexual impotence and homosexual tendencies.  Yes, I'm arguing twelve-tone/atonality/serialism, etc, is inevitably linked to a materialistic Freudian/Marxist sickness, or at least really seems to be picked up upon by those types (Adorno).

You're rewriting history to prove a point.  The music was inaudible for most of the performance, and experimental trends had already been alive and well in music for some time.

Also, during the medieval era most of the harmonic language of classical music was considered illegitimate.  The term Baroque was given to the style by critics to imply that it was deformed music.  Beethoven's Grosse Fugue was considered a monumental failure by practically everyone at the time and a critic said of Mozart's Haydn Quartets that they were too complex to be enjoyed.  Whenever a natural shift in style occurs there are those who will not accept it.

And watch this...

Yes, I'm arguing metal, etc, is inevitably linked to a materialistic Freudian/Marxist sickness, or at least really seems to be picked up upon by those types (Chuck Schuldiner).

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
October 02, 2010, 02:55:58 PM
Actually the structures of the Webern variations are fairly easy to follow.  Seems to me like people aren't willing to put their bias aside for the sake of rational discussion, either that or they are simply not intelligent enough to understand the music.

Also I find it hypocritical to say the least, that the advocates of the form of nihilism which would deny that any sound or collection of sounds has inherent qualities would criticize a fundamentally structuralist music on the grounds that it uses "unnatural" collections of frequencies.  If people bothered to contemplate the implications of their arguments they wouldn't overlook such contradictions.

Good modernist music is like death metal without romanticism, which is really just a trace of humanism anyway.

Death metal isn't that romanticist, and romanticism is only humanistic when it is individualistic.  I think people need to remember that romantic heroes were not in fact models for general humanity, but supposed to be essentially god-like beings who claimed exceptional rights to what is forbidden, as a result of their superior nature.

When ecstatic individuals begin spontaneously singing atonal hymns of joy, you can tell me that collections of notes have no inherent qualities.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
October 02, 2010, 03:08:00 PM
When ecstatic individuals begin singing atonal hymns of joy, you can tell me that collections of notes have no inherent qualities.

I'm not making that claim, but this site has used this argument to defend death metal, or at least that the qualities of particular sounds are insignificant.

Anyway, the more important point is that all the criticisms that have been made of atonal music are reducible to "it doesn't sound nice", with irrelevant philosophical points and historical misinformation grafted to it.  I for one think that it is unwise to make absolutist statements about something that one does not understand, personally I reserve my opinions for subjects on which I am well educated.

Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music, music is the BEST.
~ Frank Zappa

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
October 02, 2010, 03:25:49 PM
When ecstatic individuals begin singing atonal hymns of joy, you can tell me that collections of notes have no inherent qualities.

I'm not making that claim, but this site has used this argument to defend death metal, or at least that the qualities of particular sounds are insignificant.

Anyway, the more important point is that all the criticisms that have been made of atonal music are reducible to "it doesn't sound nice", with irrelevant philosophical points and historical misinformation grafted to it.  I for one think that it is unwise to make absolutist statements about something that one does not understand, personally I reserve my opinions for subjects on which I am well educated.

"Death metal uses tremolo strummed power chords in phrasal riffs, creating an internal dialogue of melody to project a narrative which takes us from a starting point through internal conflict to an ending radically removed from the start. This often complex music relies heavily on chromatic scales and solos that resemble sonic sculpture more than a reliance on scales or harmony, and use "modal stripes" or repeated interval patterns (such as a half interval followed by a whole) to maintain a mood. Inherently structuralist, death metal can be recognized by its "post-human" perspective, seeing the world through biology, history, warfare and mythology instead of the "I/me/mine" viewpoint of a modern society."

I don't see anything in there that gives credence to that, but please, if you can find a contradicting statement, I'd be interested to see it.

I'm quite familiar with atonal music.  I've heard a good deal of the stuff, as I previously stated.  I do think it's interesting that prior to the 20th century, no one endeavored to make music that was not in some sense ear-pleasing.  It's based on that, that I make the claim that it's incredibly abstract and theoretical music.

http://www.classicstoday.com/features/043007-serialists.asp

Yep, we're just all unenlightened folk, us non-atonal fellows.

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
October 02, 2010, 03:55:13 PM

"Death metal uses tremolo strummed power chords in phrasal riffs, creating an internal dialogue of melody to project a narrative which takes us from a starting point through internal conflict to an ending radically removed from the start. This often complex music relies heavily on chromatic scales and solos that resemble sonic sculpture more than a reliance on scales or harmony, and use "modal stripes" or repeated interval patterns (such as a half interval followed by a whole) to maintain a mood. Inherently structuralist, death metal can be recognized by its "post-human" perspective, seeing the world through biology, history, warfare and mythology instead of the "I/me/mine" viewpoint of a modern society."

I don't see anything in there that gives credence to that, but please, if you can find a contradicting statement, I'd be interested to see it.

I'm quite familiar with atonal music.  I've heard a good deal of the stuff, as I previously stated.  I do think it's interesting that prior to the 20th century, no one endeavored to make music that was not in some sense ear-pleasing.  It's based on that, that I make the claim that it's incredibly abstract and theoretical music.


Firstly that quote is a description of death metal technique, not philosophy, I couldn't find the quote I was looking for so I'll have a look again later.

Also regarding the statement about ear-pleasing music, there's a period of aesthetic adjustment.  Obviously there is a great difference in aesthetic, and this is not something the ear conforms to automatically.  This is why most people write this music off as random noise, however, those who have learned how to listen to it for some reason or another will realize that it is possible to compose music of a high quality in this idiom.

I agree that this idiom is in a sense unnatural, that is it seems to ignore the nature of the sounds it employs, however, this point is irrelevant because it does not address how this music actually works.  

Most people on this forum have a very limited view of what music should be/do, and all too readily dismiss anything which falls outside of this bracket, however brilliant it may be. 

Five years ago you couldn't have convinced me that Morbid Angel could be "ear-pleasing".

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
October 03, 2010, 02:09:35 PM
I imagine that would sound like grindcore. Or even be grindcore.
HE WHO REAPS STORMS, SOWS WINDS. HE WHO SOWS WINDS, REAPS STORMS.

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart."
-Ecclesiastes 7:2

Re: Audiences hate modern classical music
October 07, 2010, 02:46:15 AM
A few points that may focus the discussion here:

-From John Rahn's "Basic Atonal Theory":

Quote
Thirdly, not all atonal music is good music. In fact, most contemporary music is not very good. The average concert of newly written music will include several pieces which are mediocre, if not just plain awful. This has been the case for newly written music of all historical periods, and the present is no exception.

Often, a performance of a contemporary piece of music receives one of  two reactions:

1) I don't like this; modern music is awful/ is irrelevant/ is pretentious
2) I don't understand this, so I'm inferior and need to study up

The first is egotistical, and the second uses inverted logic. I contend that there is a third possibility, which is simply that the particular piece that you heard was a bad piece. Statistically this is the most likely possibility.

-While this thread is purportedly about "modern classical music", it references only to a very specific period in the 20th century before 1950. Please keep in mind that many composers of this time period, primarily as an attempt to insulate the western tradition from jazz influences (among other reasons), purposefully made their pieces to be displeasing in a conventional sense. This one span of music history does not represent the entire 20th and 21st centuries.

-Probably none of us has heard, digested, analyzed, and performed enough contemporary music to pass such sweeping judgments on it, as if it were a single phenomenon in the first place. Such judgments are infinitely more arrogant than writing any music, "theoretical" or otherwise, ever could be.

-Our personal or the "audience's" enjoyment of a piece is no measure of its value.

-Calling something, awful, pretentious, disorganized, or theoretical does not count as an argument, or even evidence.

Thank you,
Goluf