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#2100670 - 06/10/13 10:44 PM Is there any good music being composed this day and age?  
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Hamburg-D Offline
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Hey everyone,

I was in Vegas a few weeks ago and went to watch Circ De Soleil with the music of the Beatles.
I've never really paid any attention to the Beatles because the best songs I've heard on the radio weren't that interesting, so I would wonder what the "no so popular" songs would sound like.

After a torturous hour watching this Circ De Soleil listening to all the Beatles music I couldn't help but compare it to something like Chopin piano concerto or pretty much any composition of composers I enjoy: Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert etc...

Obviously I was also thinking, is it even fair to compare? But my decision was YES. Why not? Humans are humans and the song writers of today should focus and put as much energy as the composers in the past no?

The popular music of today are songs. And that's ok, things change... But why the lack of complexity? Almost like shier laziness of the song writers where verse-chorus-verse are composed of 4 repetitive chords.

I keep waiting for a new band, or song that would be more complex, more emotionally deep. Lead throughout multiple variations of the main theme, long sustaining melodies, flying out in tangents for the development section, changing keys without the listener's ears noticing, and coming back to the main theme, but this time in the minor key... No such thing today.
Lack of talent? Lack of effort? Or is it simply that today's listeners demand way less and in turn not pushing the composers towards a new level?

My knowledge of modern music is extremely limited and perhaps I am way wrong. My knowledge is that of backstreet boys, Beatles, Nirvana, and some of the modern compositions you hear at the symphony when you go watch a piano concerto etc...

The modern compositions never sat well with me. I know many people who really enjoy them, but my ear is not accustomed. Even Ravel and Debussy is a bit too modern for my taste but at least with those two, I can understand where they are trying to go with their music. Very modern stuff, I couldn't detect a melody or in which key we are currently in to save my life.

Input? always wanted to ask this question...


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#2100703 - 06/11/13 12:18 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Slightly off topic...

I've been suckered into 3 of those Cirque de Soleil shows in Vegas.. O, Ka, and the beatles one. Hated them all, especially O. They do one trick and repeat it for 15 minutes and then do another and repeat. What a snoozefest.


now sort of back on topic... I did enjoy that China Gates piece that the Cliburn winner played in an early round.

Last edited by boo1234; 06/11/13 12:20 AM.
#2100711 - 06/11/13 12:33 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Absolutely, there is good modern music. smile


Last edited by Orange Soda King; 06/11/13 12:35 AM. Reason: Wanted a recording with both men and women
#2100713 - 06/11/13 12:38 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Another:


Okay, I'll stop. smile

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#2100723 - 06/11/13 01:08 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou
[...] Lack of talent? Lack of effort? Or is it simply that today's listeners demand way less and in turn not pushing the composers towards a new level? [...]


How 'bout evil music industry gatekeepers with an agenda to crude-i-fy and coarse-i-fy society to the point of destruction? (Think about it for a minute before dismissing the idea out of hand...)

I can think of four composers whose work I really like who are/were contributors to Piano World. In order of discovery:

1) Joshua Seth. ("jscomposer" seems to have disappeared, and his YouTube videos are removed. frown Here is a link to the score of one of his compositions that really resonated with me, and that I am working on:)

https://files.nyu.edu/jsg215/public/Nocturne%20in%20F%23%20minor,%20Joshua%20Seth.pdf

2) Maxwell Janis. (pops in from time to time when he has a new piece to share. He was kind enough to send me the score for this one, which I am currently working on:)

Bagatelle (youtube)

3) Steve Chandler. (excellent sense of melody coupled with unpredictable harmonies:)

Chandler--"Consolation" (youtube)

4) Nikolas Sideris. (Modern, right? Love this one. Will never play it, because it's way over my head...)

Sideris--Perniciosus (youtube)

--Andy


Last edited by Cinnamonbear; 06/11/13 02:33 AM. Reason: oops. Sidaras to Sideris.

I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
#2100744 - 06/11/13 02:22 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Love you Andy! Do see if you can edit your post to fix my last name... Hint is on the actual youtube page (Sideris)... But in any case I don't think I've met anyone outside of Greece who can actually spell my last name correctly on the first go! grin French are very nice in pronouncing it right (the accent goes in last syllable), but other than that... teehee!

noambenhamou: You start off with doubts and quite a bit of negativity. Your judgement is your own of course, but your mentioning of minor, major, going back to the key, etc, shows that indeed you don't seem to enjoy much of modern music... Whatever genre it may be!

If you're looking for something that still sounds like Chopin, or Beethoven, I think you're out of luck! I think it's dead difficult to write like these guys did. I won't put it down to the lack of talent, but I will say that the economic and social situation is SO vastly different that we are completely different human beings!

Here's a few pop/rock songs that are worth something I think... each one for their own reasons...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2VzLn6DMCE (Radiohead. It IS repeated, but with such a rhythmic pattern that breaks the 8/8 into bits and pieces)

I won't even link it, because I think the video will steer some trouble, but it's wroth checking out "Ghost (from keep you close)" in youtube! wink REALLY DO NOT WATCH THIS UNLESS YOU'RE PREPARED FOR SOME INSULTING GORE AND STUFF!

But here's something else from deus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gj2MCf2G80 (check out the use of the "golden ratio" in there... )

#2100745 - 06/11/13 02:26 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
French are very nice in pronouncing it right (the accent goes in last syllable), but other than that... teehee!



Whatever you say, Mr. Si-DER-is.

#2100749 - 06/11/13 02:33 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: JoelW]  
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It's siderIS! Gawd! grin

#2100753 - 06/11/13 02:43 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
It's siderIS! Gawd! grin


Wouldn't it be a bit more like Σιδέρης?

#2100755 - 06/11/13 02:46 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Nice way to wreck a thread! wink

Yes, normally it should, but it actually depends on what part of Greece you come from. There's 3 ways to accent the name. The way that MY name is accented is because I come from the islands of the Aegean. Other parts of Greece accent it differently!

Problem solved... moving on...

Andy: Thanks once more! smile

#2100787 - 06/11/13 04:02 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Where's grease? ... sorry about that.

The OP chappie seems to have a bit too much starch in his collar ... to have developed a sore bum

"After a torturous hour watching this Circ De Soleil listening to all the Beatles music".

John, Paul, George and Ringo (the drummer chappie).

Wish I had invested some money in the group in 1960 when they first blazed their way into the public eye ... and to think that after "A Hard Day's Night" Paul McCartney
bought himself a Castle in Scotland ... from where he can keep the English riffraff out.

But imagine still being galled by the music of Ravel and Debussy ... the OP chappie needs to get out more ...
perhaps he should get up out of his atom bomb shelter ...
and smell the roses.

#2100810 - 06/11/13 06:04 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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#2100814 - 06/11/13 06:20 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou

My knowledge of modern music is extremely limited and perhaps I am way wrong.


Yep :-)

#2100815 - 06/11/13 06:22 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Thanks Nikolas for mentioning Radiohead. This is one my my faves by them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1tQFX_9ct0

#2100829 - 06/11/13 08:23 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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From 1969 to the mid-80s, I listened to no pop music at all, only classical. I travel 3000 miles in the summer to play in a Mahler orchestra, and I can't tell you how many hours I've spent playing Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin, on the piano, in the orchestra, or both.

I could go on, but the point is: I'm a classical music guy.

I still think the Beatles wrote some lovely and very clever songs. I also find the Cirque performers and shows very entertaining.

Popular and folk music has always been with us, and by definition it's simpler and more accessible than art music. That doesn't make it bad. Folk music has inspired more than a few art music compositions.





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#2100992 - 06/11/13 03:30 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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There surely is.



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#2101126 - 06/11/13 07:23 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: ClsscLib]  
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
From 1969 to the mid-80s, I listened to no pop music at all, only classical. I travel 3000 miles in the summer to play in a Mahler orchestra, and I can't tell you how many hours I've spent playing Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin, on the piano, in the orchestra, or both.

I could go on, but the point is: I'm a classical music guy.

I still think the Beatles wrote some lovely and very clever songs. I also find the Cirque performers and shows very entertaining.

Popular and folk music has always been with us, and by definition it's simpler and more accessible than art music. That doesn't make it bad. Folk music has inspired more than a few art music compositions.




I think you offered a great explanation.
I really like how you separated "popular & folk music" and "art music". I think you might be very right. Popular music has probably always been around even 200 years ago. It seems as if I only think that 200 years ago great music was composed when in fact, we and I automatically receive a very filtered version of what music from 200 years ago was like. I guess the chances are that there were thousands of composers, and thousands of common "simple" folk songs in that era that did not make it to our day and age.

So in 200 years from now, people will look at our era and only have available to them the "gems" from the past...

#2101183 - 06/11/13 08:50 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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The Beatles create great music.

There is Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Beatles and Mozart.

Last edited by MarkAW; 06/11/13 08:51 PM.
#2101187 - 06/11/13 08:55 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: MarkAW]  
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Originally Posted by MarkAW
The Beatles create great music.

There is Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Beatles and Mozart.


Best song-writers in The Beatles:

1)Paul
2)John
3)George
4)Who's that other guy?

#2101193 - 06/11/13 09:03 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: JoelW]  
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Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by MarkAW
The Beatles create great music.

There is Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Beatles and Mozart.


Best song-writers in The Beatles:

1)Paul
2)John
3)George
4)Who's that other guy?


"Just remember, nothing happened until I got there" ~ that other guy

#2101236 - 06/11/13 10:47 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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I've always preferred Bach, Beethoven and Beer.


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#2101240 - 06/11/13 10:56 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Originally Posted by noambenhamou
Even Ravel and Debussy is a bit too modern for my taste but at least with those two, I can understand where they are trying to go with their music. Very modern stuff, I couldn't detect a melody or in which key we are currently in to save my life.

Ravel and Debussy are more late Romantic than modern. And they say you're supposed to listen for a mood instead of a melody or a key. wink


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2101244 - 06/11/13 11:04 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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I basically hate all pop music. I've tried to like it, but I generally agree with the first poster, it has a pathetic lack of complexity (most of it). I suppose there is some more complex pop or rock or alt music being written than the bland crap, but none of it interests me.

I like listening to new classical music, although I don't really like things like "prepared pianos." I like new music made with the old standbys: pianos, orchestras, traditional instruments. I did not like Theofanidis's 'Birichino' even though I know many in the Cliburn thread seemed to like it. I think repeated hearings of a new work, a good quality work, should make it sound more intriguing, but after 12 performances I didn't want to hear it anymore.

I like listening to atonal stuff, or partially tonal stuff - I'm opening to hearing any "classical" music from Bach to the present, whether tonal or atonal. I don't like Gregorian chants.

#2101248 - 06/11/13 11:16 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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What are you opinions of composers like Mychael Danna and others creating film music? Do you consider this music pop and simplistic?


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#2101249 - 06/11/13 11:17 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Polyphonist]  
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by noambenhamou
Even Ravel and Debussy is a bit too modern for my taste but at least with those two, I can understand where they are trying to go with their music. Very modern stuff, I couldn't detect a melody or in which key we are currently in to save my life.

Ravel and Debussy are more late Romantic than modern. And they say you're supposed to listen for a mood instead of a melody or a key. wink


Idk about late romantic, but I agree about mood vs. key (though in some pieces such as L'isle Joyeuse or Le Tombeau de Couperin, there are definitely keys).

#2101255 - 06/11/13 11:36 PM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Tararex]  
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Originally Posted by Tararex
What are you opinions of composers like Mychael Danna and others creating film music? Do you consider this music pop and simplistic?


Picking up on the idea of film music, what do you think of these?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hFO9sA7LsA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qte_Ne5mpJk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oag1Dfa1e_E


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MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA
#2101273 - 06/12/13 12:42 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Yes and no.

In terms of music being composed for others to play (in the form of sheet music), then I think the number of composers working in that medium and the number of performers interested in new works is at an all-time low. Also, tools like Musescore have made it so easy for people to disseminate their work, that quality control is also at an all-time low. Very few amateur scores are edited and checked by a third party, and many people producing scores can't even play their own music.

But...in terms of music being composed for digital media, I think there's a lot of great work going on. Film, video game, and performing musicians continue to make a lot of really interesting stuff. (Although again, quality control is an issue and makes it difficult to find the good stuff, since amateurs flood the market with garbage and record labels flood the market with formulaic pop trash.)


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#2101275 - 06/12/13 12:47 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: DameMyra]  
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Originally Posted by DameMyra
Originally Posted by Tararex
What are you opinions of composers like Mychael Danna and others creating film music? Do you consider this music pop and simplistic?


Picking up on the idea of film music, what do you think of these?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hFO9sA7LsA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qte_Ne5mpJk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oag1Dfa1e_E


All pleasant enough and typical of film music - just different enough to make you say "where did I hear that before" without being a direct copy of something else. I'm curious as to the advanced musically educated viewpoint. To me, who's only at the point of reading basic key changes, melodies and harmonic progressions, they seem a fusion of a number of genres and often overly dependent on existing classical or folk tunes. But when I review the sheets some seem closer to classical/romantic styles than anything else being created today. There are often interesting progressions and key changes. And there are a few composers creating truly new pieces. Not many though.



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#2101330 - 06/12/13 05:15 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler


In terms of music being composed for others to play (in the form of sheet music), then I think the number of composers working in that medium and the number of performers interested in new works is at an all-time low.


I am curious why you think the numbers of composers writing notated music for others to play is at an all-time low. My impression (but it's only an impression) is that the number is considerably higher now that it was for most of the 20th century. If you look at the composer listings at places like NewMusicBox, or at publishers like Boosey or Schott, it seems like there is a huge number of composers currently active.


#2101335 - 06/12/13 05:49 AM Re: Is there any good music being composed this day and age? [Re: Hamburg-D]  
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Tararex: Media music, and especially film music is dominated by the dreaded "temp track". While making the movie, or animation short, or game, or ad, or whatever, they put on the music they WOULD like to have, but is too expensive to license. So they approach the composer and ask him to compose a track very close, but not too close to the "temp(orary) track"! So a lot of things you hear in films, games and general media, or direct offspring of other works of music, better known...

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