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#1654125 - 04/04/11 07:24 AM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: kevinb]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by kevinb
Even Bach (sorry) had his off-days.



Umm, no, he really didn't.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

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#1654127 - 04/04/11 07:27 AM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: kevinb]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by kevinb

There's a huge difference between 'dull' and 'dark'. And between 'depressing' and 'serious'. At least, that's how it seems to me.

I did not complain about music that is dark and serious. Some of my favourite music is as dark and serious as it comes. I complained about music that is dull and depressing. 'Rite of Spring', for example, is -- I would say -- dark and serious. But it's not depressing, and it's certainly not dull.

On the other hand, I find a lot of Vivaldi's music dull and depressing, even when it is lively and light-hearted. Sorry, I know he has many fans. But I find some of it rather, well, businesslike ad uninspired, and it makes me think "here we go again". Of course, given Vivaldi's prolific output and the conditions in which he worked, it's hardly surprising that he had to be businesslike about it.

I certainly wasn't intending to pick on the classical era. There is good and bad music of all era and all genres. It's completely unreasonable to expect that every piece of music in a particular genre, or even from a particular composer, will fill your bucket. Even Bach (sorry) had his off-days.



I don't really care about specific word comparisons. If you find Vivaldi dull and depressing then you DO indeed have a problem and the problem is NOT with the music (I'm not some great Vivaldi proponent either).



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1654225 - 04/04/11 10:46 AM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by kevinb

There's a huge difference between 'dull' and 'dark'. And between 'depressing' and 'serious'. At least, that's how it seems to me.

I did not complain about music that is dark and serious. Some of my favourite music is as dark and serious as it comes. I complained about music that is dull and depressing. 'Rite of Spring', for example, is -- I would say -- dark and serious. But it's not depressing, and it's certainly not dull.

On the other hand, I find a lot of Vivaldi's music dull and depressing, even when it is lively and light-hearted. Sorry, I know he has many fans. But I find some of it rather, well, businesslike ad uninspired, and it makes me think "here we go again". Of course, given Vivaldi's prolific output and the conditions in which he worked, it's hardly surprising that he had to be businesslike about it.

I certainly wasn't intending to pick on the classical era. There is good and bad music of all era and all genres. It's completely unreasonable to expect that every piece of music in a particular genre, or even from a particular composer, will fill your bucket. Even Bach (sorry) had his off-days.



I don't really care about specific word comparisons. If you find Vivaldi dull and depressing then you DO indeed have a problem and the problem is NOT with the music (I'm not some great Vivaldi proponent either).


That's OK: we can agree to differ.

Nevertheless, if you feel that the entire output of every composer whose name we remember is all top-notch stuff, I'd suggest that you have a problem -- one of discrimination.

It's easy to forget that the classical music we all know and play represents the best of 400-odd years of work by thousands and thousands of composers. I suspect there's a good reason why the rest of it didn't make it.



#1654277 - 04/04/11 12:18 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: kevinb]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by kevinb


That's OK: we can agree to differ.


Of course, we can. It happens all the time.

Originally Posted by kevinb

Nevertheless, if you feel that the entire output of every composer whose name we remember is all top-notch stuff, I'd suggest that you have a problem -- one of discrimination.



Well, IF I felt (and I don't) that the entire output of every composer whose name we remember is top-notch stuff, then who would I be discriminating against? You did say those whose names we remember, so, wouldn't it be rather that I (and everyone else) have a faulty memory?

Originally Posted by kevinb

It's easy to forget that the classical music we all know and play represents the best of 400-odd years of work by thousands and thousands of composers. I suspect there's a good reason why the rest of it didn't make it.


If it's the best of the best, then the best qualifies as "dull and depressing"?



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

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#1654404 - 04/04/11 03:40 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores

Originally Posted by kevinb

It's easy to forget that the classical music we all know and play represents the best of 400-odd years of work by thousands and thousands of composers. I suspect there's a good reason why the rest of it didn't make it.


If it's the best of the best, then the best qualifies as "dull and depressing"?


I don't think that's what I said. Or at least, what I meant to say. It seems to me that I'm entitled to find some music pretty dull -- and I mean that not in the stylistic sense, but in the psychological one. Since I haven't listened to the entire output of every composer who ever lived, I wouldn't want to put a figure on what proportion that amounts to.

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.


#1654424 - 04/04/11 04:09 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by kevinb
A lot of classical music is, to mind mind, dull and depressing.


That's YOUR problem. It's your perception...formed by you. There's is more than plenty of excitement in the darkest, most serious music. I'm sorry that you don't hear it.


I came quite late to classical music. I took a music appreciation class in college a million years ago and I distinctly remember wondering what was wrong with me, that I didn't enjoy this stuff. Of course, I knew the problem was with my ear, not the music.

A couple of decades later I happened to catch some Bach at a friend's house and it blew me away. I couldn't believe how wonderful it was..

But it's been a process. It took me a while to warm up to Beethoven who used to strike me as bombastic and dull. To be truthful, some of his stuff still does, but in the main I now find his work magnificent...

Mozart was much easier for me to get. Chopin easier still. I still have a ways to go however with many composers.

#1654430 - 04/04/11 04:16 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: kevinb]  
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

#1654436 - 04/04/11 04:20 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.

This is my philosophy and experience exactly.

That's why, every few months, I try Alkan again. So far, nothing. frown

-Jason


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
#1654442 - 04/04/11 04:26 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.


+ 1

I'm the same way. Sometimes it bothers me that I like everything I hear; I feel like I should be more discerning or selective or something. But then, why should someone not want to enjoy music?

#1654445 - 04/04/11 04:28 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.


The problem is that we (communally) tend to define 'great' in terms of 'people whose work we all consistently like'. It's hard to disagree strongly with what you say because, well, it's almost tautological.

I concede, however, that there are composers who many people -- particular academically-minded musicians -- tend to put in the 'great' category even though many people have no taste for their work. Which is why I said your argument was only _almost_ tautological. wink

I wonder sometimes whether, for example, Schoenberg would be regarded as a great composer if he had only ever worked in serialism. Or Messiaen if he only ever worked in his own modal system. There must surely be a very strong connection between 'greatness' and 'consistently likeable output'.




#1654487 - 04/04/11 05:32 PM Re: Does classical music really make you depressed? [Re: stores]  
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by kevinb

It seems to me that the more music you listen to, an the wider the range of different composers and genres, the more music you're likely to find that doesn't do much for you. If you confine yourself -- for reasons of taste or because of professional pressures -- to composers who music is widely recognized to be consistently excellent, then of course you're going to encounter far fewer howlers.



There's little that I've ever come across from the great composers that I don't like and what I've usually found when I do encounter such a work it's because I don't understand it.


Understand how? Why must one understand music to enjoy it? Music requires no explanation IMHO. If it needs explanation, well then the point it lost. If you dissect & analyze ANYTHING you will gain more knowledge and appreciation for it, true, but that's appreciating with your head, not your heart (unless it's something you already appreciate and like and want to further study it). There is plenty of classical music I don't like, and I do understand it - the context, the intentions of the composer, the notation, etc. As a musician I can appreciate that, but I still find the music boring or uninteresting. If everyone were to like everything, that would be strange indeed..

Last edited by ghostwind; 04/04/11 05:34 PM.
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