2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
52 members (bobrunyan, AndrewJCW, apianostudent, Bluthendorfer, Boboulus, brdwyguy, anotherscott, 14 invisible), 580 guests, and 582 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147971 11/30/08 12:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 100
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 100
Quote
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
I think the problem is that contemporary modernist music focuses on "form", whereas most of us when listening music focuses on the "content".

Do you study composition in accademy?
When you belong to the accademy environment you feel a lot of pressure. Many students are praised for their elitism and advantaged even if they don't have much talent, while many are thrown out of the accademy in the middle of their formation because they are not elite enough. A lot of public money from the minister of arts are given to meaningless avant-guarde (anyone remember the violinist who perform naked underwater and the man who filmed himself while cutting off his penis?) Audience is made to feel inferior and brainless and you have to fake many accademic behaviors just to maintain your position and have a chance. And in Europe the situation is worse than in America.

You can't heal a disease from ignoring it. You can't save yourself from wild beasts by ignoring them. You can't solve an economic problem by ignoring it.
Yes, I have studied composition at a university level for a 2 year period (then privately for 1 year)..and I have never experienced the need or desire to defend myself or other artists' music. The competition and economic pressures you describe are issues I am not familiar with. Perhaps a European professional composers' society would be the better place to discuss this topic. Having said that, there are "elitists" from all parts of the world who occationally express themselves in this forum.

I maintain giving attention to "elitists" does just that and nothing more. Unfortunately, your very well articulated arguments will not change the mind of the artistic snob no matter which part of the world he or she resides. Ignoring irrelevant critiques in my opinion is the only way to deal with this problem.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147972 12/01/08 02:00 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
Quote
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
Those of us who still think of a composer as a music maker, a writer in the language of music, and not a laboratory scientist of sound, are considered obsolete ruins of romanticism and anachronistic reactionaries.
There may be people who believe this. You can't stop them believing this. You have no control over what people believe. When the chance comes, you can argue with them. But in my experience - and I even studied composition in the 1960s, when serialism was The Big Thing - I can't say I never heard that view expressed, but even then it wasn't the majority view, and I don't think it is now. So I don't think you need to feel you're fighting some huge battle against the forces of darkness, Danny. Cheer up. Let the laboratory scientist composers have their fun, and realise that perhaps they only make their point so strongly because it is a minority view.

I just don't have such a gloomy perspective as you. If anyone was to think that melody was dead, it would have been us in the 60s. I think few of us would have predicted the way things went in the 80s and 90s. And yet there were composers (here in Australia pretty high profile ones) who were writing melody then and are still writing it now. Sure they dabbled in electronic music and soundscapes, but just as another compositional tool, like all the others.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147973 12/01/08 06:22 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 441
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 441
And don't forget that some laboratory scientists of sound have managed to created some truly wonderful music. Just as in any other field of sciense, most experiments fail to give pleasing results, but sometimes you might get lucky... smile

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147974 12/02/08 12:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 905
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 905
I was to share with you few examples of the proselitist I encounter daily:

______________________________

"The process of creation is the focus; not the glorification of the superficial sounds that only mimic real music. The reinstatement of Xenakis', Nono's, Scelsi's and Estrada's ideals to preeminence was crucial. The recognition of these trends, in preference to those of the more facile and easily attractive ones espoused by Penderecki,
Ligeti and others, had to be ensured.

Modern music is the music composed that results from research into the attributes of sound, and into the ways we perceive sound. It usually
involves experimentation; the experimentation yields special discoveries that bear fruit in the act of composition. Innovations such as atonality, klangfarbenmelody, chord-coloration, granular sounds, near-inaudibility, ataxy, the continuum.

There is so much glitter in the world, and so much noise pollution that we are being rendered incapable of reflection and of creative thought. We become mortified at the thought of a little challenge. We are paralyzed when faced with the challenge of keeping our evolutionary legacy in focus. We cannot afford to trade away quality
for mediocrity, just because mediocrity is easier and more enticing. This would not be an acceptable social outcome. To live we must thrive. To thrive we cannot rest.

Entertainment is a laudable pursuit in certain settings and times. It cannot be the force that drives our lives. If a composer desires to
write entertaining music, that is all right. But that composer must be honest about his or her motives for doing so. Do not write entertainment and then try to con the public by claiming this is great music. It is best to be able to discover the key to the writing of a music that can fulfill a need for tomorrow. By understanding nature, the nature of sound and the human condition, we can write music capable of conveying something essential. That goes beyond
entertainment. It fulfills music's most crucial purpose: providing a teaching role.

It is all right to find beauty in old sources. Even Respighi can be very charming, engaging. It is also just as good to listen to
soothing, euphonious music as it is to write such music. But can't we as composers do better than this? Why can't we give something besides pleasure to tomorrow? Young composers today are at a crossroads. They can fulfill a vital mission by helping fulfill a tradition that carries on a cultural legacy"
_____________________________


_____________________________

"It is in no way surprising for any people, to have witnessed the ever increasing decadence and compartmentalisation of all artistic mediums.
More and more these mediums tend to move towards entertaining the masses, rather than expressing eternal truths accessable only to a group very small in number. These people could be called an
intellectual elite, however their elite status is no longer recognised, because of the inversion of a hierachy which by its very nature should not be inverted.

It is undeniable that music has suffered as much as any other art, to the point where the artistic side is now entirely separate from the entertainment, and whilst the latter enjoys enourmous success, the former dwindles and barely even exists at the current time. These two
groups of music can be traced back to two elements within the music itself, these are the intellectual, and the sentimental. The intellectual element generally corresponds to the overall structure of a piece of music, although a particlar element can be intellectual in
itself this rarely occurs in any western music since the renaissance. The sentimental aspect is more concerned with the character of
particular melodic and harmonic features, these can vary in complexity, but without intellectual guidance they have no actual purpose of meaning. Most recent western music is a blending of the
intellectual and the sentimental elements, resulting in music that, whilst still accessable to the masses, retains an esoteric, inward
nature that is hidden from all but a few. The works of many well-known composers, most notably Beethoven, have a strong sense of sentimentality but ultimately still recognise its subordination to the intellectual. It was only towards the end of the romantic period that the hieracy was inverted, causing works that lost their esoteric
meaning in favour of creating pointless humanistic art, guided only by sentiment.

We have now reached a point where only the sentimental is recgonised, the intellectual being thought of as too complex for the modern
listener, it is hard to imagine how anyone could fail to recgonise decadence is this, but yet it goes largely unoticed by our contemporaries. Looking back it is possible to see, within the realm of what came to be known as art music, some attempts to restore a genuine hierachy in the musical medium. Against the tide of late-romanticism, the serialists attempted to restore a purely intellectual formal structure to music, unfortunately most who followed this school still wanted to create sentimental works and this showed in their compositions.
Only Webern really succeeded in creating true serialist art, that transcended the decadence of the times, because from this particular school, only he understood what it meant to create purely intellectual music. One will notice the
complete absence of anything accessble to the masses in his music, in other words, a complete detatchment of the intellectual from the
sentimental, it seems that in modern times, this is the only way to avoid infestation and eventual destruction of universal hierachy by the chaotic tendancies of the Kali Yuga"
____________________________

Talking about snobbery, elitism and narcissism.
The reason I don't share your optimism is that I see dozen of books every years militantly promoting this morally superior position all accademists should embrace, if they don't want to be ostracized. But I have never seen a book in defense of other alternative modern philosophies in accademic music except formalism and concretism. I have seen no book attempting to defend the audience of being "stupid" just for being disinterested about an highly-technical dimensione devoted to experts alone (as it is in every field of human creativity and knowledge).
I have seen no book recognizing quality criteria even in the content and edonistic viability of music not just it's structure and form.

A brilliant friend of mine has been thrown away from the conservatory where he studied. He had three years left before graduating in composition.
His teachers realized that he is embracing an "anachronistic language" and his works are devoid of formal innovations. The teacher who admitted him in the first time has been accused of blindness as it should have been evident that he didn't belong to the accademy. When he was told he had not been admitted to the next year, he has been strongly advised to "focus on pop music" as that "the max his music can aspire to".
You can imagine his frustration. After leaving education in the accademy his teacher contacted him to collaborate as he thought he was the best element of his composition classroom.
His blog is read by 2000 users a month.

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147975 12/02/08 01:32 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
Quote
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
A brilliant friend of mine has been thrown away from the conservatory where he studied.
I don't mean to sound flippant, but maybe he should look for somewhere else to study where his style is appreciated. Things may well be as you describe where you are, but I'd be surprised if they're universally so. And if his music is "reactionary" he'll probably have more chance of finding an audience than if he was aiming to alienate, like the academics you refer to. If he wants to be a composer and he's good at it he'll keep on composing, won't he? And try to find his niche, like the rest of us.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147976 12/02/08 10:45 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 658
epf Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 658
Danny,

Your first two citations appear not to be elitism per se but, rather, musical gnosticism! Indeed, the comment that "eternal truths [are] accessable[sic] only to a group very small in number" is precisely the definition of gnosticism.

I went over to the college where I studied and had a brief conversation with the composer in residence who claimed that the attitude you noted does not exist in American academia, at least not to any significant degree.

While it is certainly true that there are composers working in what I would call "experimental music" (computer generated music based upon mathematical formulae) and in the continuation of serialism and atonality, and that these composition skills are taught does not mean that these are the "elite." Rather, they are part of a well-rounded set of courses designed to bring the student as much exposure to different forms and styles as possible.

Understanding the nature of sound and how it is perceived cannot but help one to be a better composer. Such knowledge was available to composers of the past who took advantage of it to create the perception of notes that are neither scored nor played, yet which the mind manufactures -- and this reflected an understanding of the mind and the perception of sound.

Yet, in my mind, if music is "organized sound" then the nature of that organization is also a subject for study.

And, as I've said, I doubt that one can argue with those who take such dogmatic stands with regard to music. Their positions are as immutable as those who espouse fundamentalism in religion, physics or any other field of human endeavor.

Ed


"...a man ... should engage himself with the causes of the harmonious combination of sounds, and with the composition of music." Anatolius of Alexandria
[Linked Image]
YouTube Channel
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147977 12/02/08 10:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,546
S
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,546
Danny.

The folks you've described can only survive within academia and then only with occasional support from arts grants and commissions from the like minded. This style of music is a dead end in that it will never garner any public support beyond that. It is irrelevant and far removed from music making by musicians from concert level performers to students just starting out. This music will never emerge from its ivory or ivy encrusted towers because nobody but these folks themselves cares about it. The idea that they are researching human musical perception and psycho-acoustics is laughable. The only response would be to tell them to "get a life."


Steve Chandler
composer/amateur pianist

stevechandler-music.com
http://www.soundcloud.com/pantonality
http://www.youtube.com/pantonality
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147978 12/02/08 01:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
While the folks Danny described only seem to exist in academia, the composers they idolized often did not:

Xenakis wasn't a professor.
Bussotti wasn't a professor.
Scelsi wasn't a professor.
Boulez isn't a professor.
Sorabji wansn't a professor.

If you want a real zinger, tell your elitist composer friends that if they really want to be bold, tell them to quit being sissies who need to have their experimentation subsidized by universities and go get a grant from Bell Labs (like Varese), work for the military (like Theremin), work in the publishing business (like Webern), or convert their own followers and start their own institute (like Stockhausen.)

Or if they insist on working in academia, tell them to take ownership of their position and generate interest in their work (like Cage) instead of whining about how nobody cares.

If you're passionate about what you do, you can make people care. I know someone who was very interested in combining his interests in Ethnomusicology, multimedia, and 60s/70s experimental and electronic music.

Instead of complaining that nobody understood him, he developed a program that's generated a lot of interest and activity in the subject:

http://www.csf.edu/academics/contemporary_music/program

They even have a summer camp!

And if you ever feel like doing a degree in atonal electro-acoustic gamelan with dancing and poetry, they'd probably give you a big scholarship.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147979 12/02/08 01:14 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Quote
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
I wonder.
Have you ever met artistic elitists like that? How do you deal with them?
Yes, I have. This was my primary motivator in staying away from the music departments of any colleges I attended (other than to use their practice rooms).

My first exposure to such indoctrination was when I was a child in Russia, writing cutesy little waltzes and minuets (what else is a 7-year-old girl supposed to write?), being disapproved of by my teachers because I didn't use dissonance and because my music was "too traditional". I didn't want to use dissonance just to please my teachers. I wanted to write the music I heard in my head. At the time, yes, the music I heard in my head was cutesy - but it was my own music, and my own voice.

As a college student, I audited a few composition courses at the music department (even though I was majoring in something else). By that time, my style was very early-Romantic, vaguely resembling Mendelssohn. Everyone else in the class wrote very dissonant music. This was deemed to be the only style worth pursuing. No one actively disapproved of my (consonant) compositions, but I was not expected to know very much anyway - I was just an engineering student. But I really wondered how a class designed to help the students develop their individual musical style (as per the syllabus) could produce so many near-identical - and very dissonant - works. (it appeared to me that many of the students were just setting down notes at random...)

The sentiment I found especially infuriating, which is all-too-frequently expressed by those who really ought to know better, was "Why write in the style of Mozart when Mozart has already said all there is to be said?" If that is so, why must I write in the style of Stockhausen when, presumably, he has already said all there is to be said? Is every composer supposed to invent an entirely new musical language? Presumably not (given the identical works I heard in the composition class) - so why is dissonance all that much worthier of imitation than consonance?

There is a happy ending to my story; I found the ragtime community, where a lot of people compose music in that style. I have been writing rags ever since (on average, one every two months); my music is heard, played by others, and liked by the audiences. And - even though I am writing in an established style - I have my own individual take on that style. My compositions are identifiably mine.

And now that I compose regularly, hear other people's compositions, and see what happens when an old musical style is resurrected and reinvented by a new group of composers, I really wonder what the composition departments think they're doing.

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147980 12/02/08 01:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Quote
Originally posted by epf:

While it is certainly true that there are composers working in what I would call "experimental music" (computer generated music based upon mathematical formulae) and in the continuation of serialism and atonality, and that these composition skills are taught does not mean that these are the "elite." Rather, they are part of a well-rounded set of courses designed to bring the student as much exposure to different forms and styles as possible.

Oh, but if that's what they were doing, wouldn't they also teach their students to write fugues, sonatas, minuets, and other classical forms - in the consonant style that existed at the time these forms were created? I actually did that - I studied composition privately and tried to work my way through the history of Western musical forms. My composition list includes some fairly respectable fugues (that actually sound Baroque), a couple of sonatinas (that actually sound Classical), an early-Romantic sonata, a string quartet, some more modernistic-sounding stuff (I stopped at the early 20th century). But this is not what I saw in the composition department of the college I attended. There, yes, you were supposed to write atonally - but that's all. If they talked about fugues or sonatas at all, it was atonal fugues and atonal sonatas. There was no exposure to any musical language other than atonality, which basically meant that a lot of the students were just setting down notes at random and getting A's for it.

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147981 12/02/08 02:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 441
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 441
Quote
Originally posted by Larisa:
Oh, but if that's what they were doing, wouldn't they also teach their students to write fugues, sonatas, minuets, and other classical forms - in the consonant style that existed at the time these forms were created?
Where I study, and at all other composition departments I'm familiar with, writing in these styles is indeed part of the curriculum. I've studied in depth and written music in the style of Palestrina, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Debussy, Webern, Messiaen and Lutoslawski. These styles are studied as separate subject (don't know what this subject would be called in English), not part of the actual composition classes. I have a hard time believing that there would exist a composition program that don't include very thourough study of our musical past. If you don't know the music of the 18th-19th century, there is no way you can understand the music of the 20th and 21st century.

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147982 12/02/08 04:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 658
epf Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 658
Quote
Originally posted by Larisa:
Oh, but if that's what they were doing, wouldn't they also teach their students to write fugues, sonatas, minuets, and other classical forms - in the consonant style that existed at the time these forms were created?
Where I studied they did, indeed, do just that. Now, I was there in the 1960's but they still teach those classic forms! As I said, I haven't encountered what Danny is reporting -- but then again, I haven't been involved in academia as far as music is concerned in nearly 40 years!

Ed


"...a man ... should engage himself with the causes of the harmonious combination of sounds, and with the composition of music." Anatolius of Alexandria
[Linked Image]
YouTube Channel
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147983 12/02/08 05:21 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
Quote
Originally posted by Larisa:
Oh, but if that's what they were doing, wouldn't they also teach their students to write fugues, sonatas, minuets, and other classical forms - in the consonant style that existed at the time these forms were created?
I'll add a third voice. Where I studied composition they also did just that.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147984 12/02/08 06:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
I must have been unlucky in my choice of composition classes at college. Fortunately, I was luckier in my choice of private lessons.

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147985 12/03/08 03:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 905
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 905
In the accademies where I have been you HAD HAD HAD HAD to write atonal, serial, experimental music. You had to make sure "few" people attended your representations because if your music was "liked" it was not serious and intellectual enough. You had a metaphorical gun pointed at your head, but I wouldn't be surprised if they substitued that for a real gun. Pre-darmstadt forms were skimmed for like few weeks, then you jumped on "the only acceptable standard of educated music of the future" and if you chose to write some expressionism or romanticism instead, you were showed the door. The great composer Elisabetta Brusa has a lot to say about the psychological terrorism sha had to suffer in accademies. As she said "composers who broke out of that mold and now write whatever music they want discuss the serialism years with a ghastly remembrance usually reserved for victims of political oppression". David del Tredici is a big example of a composer who have a lot of horror stories to share about the unoriginal and oppressive accademy establishment.

My problem with the establihsment is not the "sound" of serial and stochastic music per se, but paradoxically the fake intellectualism it promotes. We want to be intellectual and we chose to be hermetic for the sake of it, removing whatever purpose from the act of making music, while failing to elaborate on more important intellectal concepts. For example: does the demarcation between classic and pop music has any meaning at all in the modern era? Should we really expect the next "innovation" from the formal writing of accademic composers as we did in the past? In an era in which our languages have progressed from primitive to a basically definite form, should we "expect" innovation to come from "structural discoveries" or we have simply run out of such discoveries and should expect "innovation" from other attributes of the creative works? Can we really, like Debussy or Mozart or Bach, contribute to an "historical progress" or maybe there's no "formal historical progress" anymore to be part of, just a creative stable fragmentation? Can and should the creative genius, like in the past, be the one who mould the language and revolution it, or actually nowadays creative genius must work within standard languages by manipulating the content rather than the structure? Can and should we really have a modern standard unified style representing modern music, or we should accept that such thing is nowadays impossible not productive? Should we really create the -isms and then work within them, rather than the opposite? Does history really is something you make happen by planning your role in it, or it just happens while you only worry about writing music? Can composers really consciously choose to fit into a narrative selection of "educated classical works" or is it just a big illusion?

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147986 12/03/08 09:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Musgrave has written about that with regard to Brahms. He called Brahms the first "postmodern" composer because he was the first composer to consciously think of himself in the context of history, both before and after.

From reading your posts, I'm starting to wonder if the academic view is strictly European. Many of your criticisms of academia just don't fit here in the US. Composition programs in universities here often foster an interest in things like film music, style/genre crossover, video game music, etc...

Composition in the states seems to be doing very well and I can think of many different composers who have done very well in a wide variety of styles. (Ewazen, Yi, Whitacre, Corigliano, and Bolcom are a few of my favorites.)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147987 12/03/08 11:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 441
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 441
Quote
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
David del Tredici is a big example of a composer who have a lot of horror stories to share about the unoriginal and oppressive accademy establishment.
My teacher studied with del Tredici, perhaps that's why I haven't experienced the problems that you have...

I think it very much depends on where you study. I know that in central Europe, it might be very strict. Up here in the north, it's not quite as bad.

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147988 12/03/08 04:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 498
Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
Musgrave has written about that with regard to Brahms. He called Brahms the first "postmodern" composer because he was the first composer to consciously think of himself in the context of history, both before and after.

From reading your posts, I'm starting to wonder if the academic view is strictly European. Many of your criticisms of academia just don't fit here in the US. Composition programs in universities here often foster an interest in things like film music, style/genre crossover, video game music, etc...

Composition in the states seems to be doing very well and I can think of many different composers who have done very well in a wide variety of styles. (Ewazen, Yi, Whitacre, Corigliano, and Bolcom are a few of my favorites.)
It could be that my reflexive horror of the "compositional establishment" stems from my experiences in a Russian music school as a child. My composition classes there were definitely dissonance-only. No other "musical language" was even considered.

But I did notice a curious lack of consonance - and a curious identicalness - in the pieces that the other students wrote in the one composition class I audited. They were all in the same dissonant musical language, and I wonder if that is because of the culture of the music department in question. Again, I don't know enough to really comment - I was an outsider to that music department.

I also know that with certain rare exceptions (and Bolcom is certainly one of them), when I see a modern composer on a classical music program, I expect dissonance. Film music, sure - that has to be comprehensible to the audience. But "pure music"? Yeah, you've got exceptions like Bolcom or Corigliano (haven't heard the other ones you mentioned), but the overwhelming majority is writing dissonance.

Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147989 12/03/08 05:53 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,278
Quote
Originally posted by Larisa:
I also know that with certain rare exceptions (and Bolcom is certainly one of them), when I see a modern composer on a classical music program, I expect dissonance. Film music, sure - that has to be comprehensible to the audience. But "pure music"? Yeah, you've got exceptions like Bolcom or Corigliano (haven't heard the other ones you mentioned), but the overwhelming majority is writing dissonance.
But bear in mind that regardless of whether your perception of this is accurate, the fact that composers are writing "dissonant" music doesn't mean they do so because they are pressured to.

Also, another side issue smile - when you say "dissonant" do you mean, well, dissonant? (Debussy wrote plenty of dissonant music) or atonal? I wouldn't at all have said from my observation and listening that the "overwhelming majority" of modern classical composers (for want of a better definition) are writing atonal music.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Dealing with elitism (what is art?)
#1147990 12/03/08 08:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 905
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 905
If you mention "movie music" in accademies here in Europe you get shot right there. Special angst is reserved to Philip Glass, John Williams, James Horner and Rachel Portman, to classical piano players who chose to got popular expecially Allevi and Einaudi and to directors who specialized in non-modernist music expecially Tilton Thomas and Gergiev. That crazy man Boulez once said that "whatever composer who don't feel the need to write serial music is useless" and here in accademies they love these words.

Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our January 2021 Free Newsletter for piano lovers is here now...
---------------------
NEW! Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Most realistic Piano VST?
by Rickdiculous - 01/22/21 06:13 PM
An exemplary piano quiz
by Withindale - 01/22/21 05:57 PM
First DP -- PC Connectivity Question
by Mikex3 - 01/22/21 03:09 PM
CA99 vs LX706
by David Izquierdo - 01/22/21 02:50 PM
Test your love for the piano
by EB5AGV - 01/22/21 11:02 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics204,470
Posts3,050,290
Members100,180
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4