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Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Polyphonist #2422270 05/19/15 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Yes. It's not about listening to old or new music, but the best music.

Ouch! crazy

But isn't the entire concept of "best music" entirely subjective, anyway???


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Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
AZNpiano #2422283 05/19/15 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Yes. It's not about listening to old or new music, but the best music.

Ouch! crazy

But isn't the entire concept of "best music" entirely subjective, anyway???


Not entirely.

For example, Mozart's music is "better" than that of his contemporary Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf for reasons that aren't entirely subjective. There's some cultural agreement about what is valued in music of that era, after all, and it is possible to make some more or less objective assessments about those things.

It's not entirely subjective to say that Dittersdorf lacked skill in motivic development, a skill which Mozart possessed. If a person knows what is meant by motivic development and agrees that it is a valid criterion for quality in music of that era, and then compares the works of Dittersdorf and Mozart, it is plain as day which one is the "best".

If you took a group of musicians and musicologists who were quite well-versed in the inner workings of music of that era and asked for their evaluation of the motivic development skills of those two composers, I think I could safely predict that the majority would pronounce Mozart "the best". And that would not be an entirely subjective result, but one based on observable differences in one particular aspect of composition.

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Nikolas #2422289 05/19/15 03:05 AM
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There's one thing that hasn't been brought up I think...availability and exposure...which brings us to COPYRIGHT.

A perfectly reasonable thing surely, but for an aspiring pianists who starts browsing through stuff to play, the old stuff is just easy and free. The teachers and those who publish method books also have it easier with stuff that has entered public domain. The performers are free to perform old stuff without worries.

So when you get acquainted with it you want more and before you know you're obsessed over some baroque, classical or romantic composers. How could that happen for contemporary stuff when there's so little exposure? One would need to be preinterested to find that stuff really...and obsession seldom comes after just an occasinal listen, it needs some time to develope.

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
outo #2422336 05/19/15 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
There's one thing that hasn't been brought up I think...availability and exposure...which brings us to COPYRIGHT.


Yes, in fact, that's one of the main problems, from my point of view, about contemporary music.

Apart from the cost of the scores (e.g. I bought Kaija Saariaho's Prelude & Ballade - just a few pages each - for about USD30 - for which I could have the complete piano transcriptions of Liszt, including the Beethoven symphonies), I'm not sure where I stand with regards to public performance.

I play a monthly recital, and have been introducing my regular audience to more, er, challenging music of late. Of course, I haven't actually performed any contemporary music that's still under copyright, but, figuratively speaking, would it be illegal if I did, and didn't inform (and pay) the publishers?

With music out of copyright, not only can you usually download the music for free (though I prefer to buy bound & nicely printed scores, if available), but there are no restrictions on performing any of them. Figuratively speaking, of course......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Nikolas #2422339 05/19/15 07:15 AM
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Personally I find that my prices in EMF are relatively low.

Problem is that for the States (along with the shipping costs) it goes WAY up. Fairyland in Treble, along with shipping costs at the moment is at $27. But for 72 pages and fairytales, and that cover, I find that it's almost a steal (ok... too much but).

The royalties issue is a big issue actually, though. I had a concert in Athens on the 29th of November (there's a thread here with the whole video), and I, the organizer, publisher, composer AND performer, still had to pay royalties... to myself! Which is as ridiculous as it could get and I'm rather annoyed at the way the local PRO acted (AEPI). Go figure.

But, yes, some scores are quite overpriced and royatlies IS A problem.


Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Nikolas #2422346 05/19/15 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
As far as I can see, the fact that people in Beethoven's day weren't listening to music from 200 years earlier isn't relevant.

It's because in Beethoven's day the music from 200 years earlier was vastly inferior to the music of that time, while today the music from 200 years ago is vastly superior to the current music.


You read my mind. I was just about to write a similar comment (without using the words superior or inferior, but the essence was similar I think).
While I'm involved with a large project all about Beethoven and all, is it, then, true that Beethoven (or the x composer) is the pinnacle of evolution in classical music?

Yes.
So, according to you, all composers still living should just give up and jump out the window! Interesting! grin

Massive, massive fallacy. That would be equivalent to saying all writers today should jump out the window because they're not as good as Homer.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Polyphonist #2422359 05/19/15 08:08 AM
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Ok, let me rephrase that then...

no matter how hard any composer tries, (s)he will always be second to Beethoven (and his classmates actually)? That's a tiny bit distributing as a thought, to be honest! :P

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
outo #2422377 05/19/15 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
There's one thing that hasn't been brought up I think...availability and exposure...which brings us to COPYRIGHT.


I was thinking about the exposure element a while ago, and realized there is are certain feedback loops when it comes to classical music that favor older stuff and work against newer stuff.

The old established repertoire is music we are able to hear these days in great recorded performances, usually with at least several outstanding ones per piece. Plus, if we are lucky, we may also get to hear great performances of the same music live. The remarkable and memorable musical experiences we get from those performances tend to give the music cultural value and cachet. Which, in turn, leads to more pianists learning and presenting that same music. Which results in at least a few more great performances and recordings. Etc. Etc. Etc. It is a process, a feedback loop, that is not only self-renewing, but also tends to narrow the focus of musicians and listeners on a relatively small subset of the quality repertoire that is actually available.

And it disadvantages any music that is not already in the repertoire loop, because that music lacks the cultural value that is bestowed by being in the loop. Which tends to keep great performers from presenting new or obscure music. Etc. Etc. Etc. Or so it seems to me.

Once in a while we see an A-list performer taking repertoire risks, but it's relatively rare to see that happen as part of their regular concert and tour schedules. It's even more rare for others to follow by playing the same music, and moving it into the loop. And, of course, many of the most revered great performers are already dead, and we'll never hear any new music played by them at all.

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Nikolas #2422380 05/19/15 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Ok, let me rephrase that then...

no matter how hard any composer tries, (s)he will always be second to Beethoven (and his classmates actually)? That's a tiny bit distributing as a thought, to be honest! :P
Assuming for the sake of argument that Beethoven was the greatest composer, I don't see what's so bad about being 2nd or even 100th or 500th on some list of the greatest composers(if that was possible to compile). When I go to IMSLP I don't even recognize the names of 95+% of the composers and I think most posters wouldn't either. So I don't see what;s so bad about being 100th on the greatest of all time composers list because there were/are tens or even hundreds of thousands of composers.

To me this is just like when some Rachmaninov fans get upset if I say that in my ranking of composers for piano he would only be somewhere between 10 and 15. I think between 10 and 15 of the greatest composers of all time is pretty fantastic!!

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
wr #2422388 05/19/15 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by wr

But the environment, artistic and otherwise, in which they live has changed. You should remember that people 200 years ago were not obsessed with music from 200 years earlier. In Beethoven's day, almost all of the concert music people heard was not more than 25 years old, i.e., it was music by their own living composers that expressed their own time. This living in the past thing is a relatively recent phenomenon, and, in light of that fact, the "it's timeless" argument is basically nonsense.


One factor may be that today, we are ABLE to live in the past. In Beethoven's day people could only listen to Bach if that's what was on the bill that night, and performers in those times were playing what they themselves wrote.

I can listen to the Ninth Symphony everyday if I want, in the 19th century a person would be lucky to hear it once or twice.

If people in Paris had had the option of staying home and listening to a recording of Bach playing Bach, would they have gone out to hear Herz?

Last edited by Plowboy; 05/19/15 09:30 AM.

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Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Nikolas #2422396 05/19/15 10:10 AM
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I am considered by some off my "classical music" circle , a contemporaryt music "fan". I like Arvo Pärt, and i am also very much into the soviet period composers.

I consider Weinberg and Boris Tchaikovsky top 20th century composers, maybe just a step off Prkofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Messiaen.

I think there are a number of factors that make people less aware of some of these composers, and not only their music being more "difficult" ... what is difficult about this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vslWIhobTGU ch

Something that really bugs me is the reticence of interpreters to display newer music. Especially pianists ... they ignore so much worthy music and instead insist in playing the same repertoire over and over again ...

Last edited by izaldu; 05/19/15 10:11 AM.
Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
izaldu #2422402 05/19/15 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by izaldu
I think there are a number of factors that make people less aware of some of these composers, and not only their music being more "difficult" ... what is difficult about this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vslWIhobTGU ch
The fact that there are contemporary pieces that are melodic doesn't change the fact that much of contemporary music isn't melodic and hence "more difficult".

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
pianoloverus #2422407 05/19/15 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by izaldu
I think there are a number of factors that make people less aware of some of these composers, and not only their music being more "difficult" ... what is difficult about this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vslWIhobTGU ch
The fact that there are contemporary pieces that are melodic doesn't change the fact that much of contemporary music isn't melodic and hence "more difficult".
In a similar fashion we could certainly say that the fact that there are classical music works that are masterpieces doesn't change the fact that the vast majority is rubbish (and thus forgotten today).

grin

(Ok... this is semi-trolling but the point is that there seems to be a rather specific bias towards contemporary music. Some is factual (royalties, copyrights), other is less so (aesthetic reasons, the pinnacle of the music world being 250 years old, etc)).

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
izaldu #2422411 05/19/15 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by izaldu
I am considered by some off my "classical music" circle , a contemporaryt music "fan". I like Arvo Pärt, and i am also very much into the soviet period composers.

I consider Weinberg and Boris Tchaikovsky top 20th century composers, maybe just a step off Prkofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Messiaen.

I think there are a number of factors that make people less aware of some of these composers, and not only their music being more "difficult" ... what is difficult about this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vslWIhobTGU ch


I don't know about difficult.....but it's not very pretty.


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Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Nikolas #2422425 05/19/15 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Ok, let me rephrase that then...

no matter how hard any composer tries, (s)he will always be second to Beethoven (and his classmates actually)? That's a tiny bit distributing as a thought, to be honest! :P


If you are trying to compose new classical music, then I think that you will not only be second to Beethoven, but also Mozart, Bach, Liszt, Brahms, and maybe a few more. I don't see why this isn't obvious.

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
pianoloverus #2422430 05/19/15 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by izaldu
I think there are a number of factors that make people less aware of some of these composers, and not only their music being more "difficult" ... what is difficult about this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vslWIhobTGU ch
The fact that there are contemporary pieces that are melodic doesn't change the fact that much of contemporary music isn't melodic and hence "more difficult".

Let's not forget that composers can write very different music for different occasions. So, just because you heard an avant-garde, noisy and tuneless piece by someone, doesn't mean that he isn't capable of writing the most mellifluous, sweet music - at the same time.

For instance, when you hear something like this:

http://youtu.be/v8mod9wAtMM

....would you believe that the same composer wrote this?

http://youtu.be/zpJB-XXE9Xg (played by the composer, who was former Master of the Queen's Music and is still composing today).

and this: http://youtu.be/vkioMJJaz1I

So, I'd say, listen to contemporary music with an open mind - you never know when you might find something that really speaks to you.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Nikolas #2422442 05/19/15 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

The fact that there are contemporary pieces that are melodic doesn't change the fact that much of contemporary music isn't melodic and hence "more difficult".
In a similar fashion we could certainly say that the fact that there are classical music works that are masterpieces doesn't change the fact that the vast majority is rubbish (and thus forgotten today).

grin

(Ok... this is semi-trolling but the point is that there seems to be a rather specific bias towards contemporary music. Some is factual (royalties, copyrights), other is less so (aesthetic reasons, the pinnacle of the music world being 250 years old, etc)).
Are you saying that my statement you quoted isn't true?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 05/19/15 12:20 PM.
Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Damon #2422492 05/19/15 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Ok, let me rephrase that then...

no matter how hard any composer tries, (s)he will always be second to Beethoven (and his classmates actually)? That's a tiny bit distributing as a thought, to be honest! :P


If you are trying to compose new classical music, then I think that you will not only be second to Beethoven, but also Mozart, Bach, Liszt, Brahms, and maybe a few more. I don't see why this isn't obvious.


I think Rubinstein once said he did not want to compose for this very reason. He felt he could never equal the great classical composers of the past.



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Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
Damon #2422555 05/19/15 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Ok, let me rephrase that then...

no matter how hard any composer tries, (s)he will always be second to Beethoven (and his classmates actually)? That's a tiny bit distributing as a thought, to be honest! :P


If you are trying to compose new classical music, then I think that you will not only be second to Beethoven, but also Mozart, Bach, Liszt, Brahms, and maybe a few more. I don't see why this isn't obvious.
Well... because you offer the following idea as factual/certainty: No one out of the billions born after Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Brahms, etc, and no one from those yet to be born will ever, ever, ever be better.

Isn't this a bit close minded?

(BTW, this isn't personal and I have no intention to stop composing.).

Re: Being obsessed with the old. Good or bad?
pianoloverus #2422557 05/19/15 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

The fact that there are contemporary pieces that are melodic doesn't change the fact that much of contemporary music isn't melodic and hence "more difficult".
In a similar fashion we could certainly say that the fact that there are classical music works that are masterpieces doesn't change the fact that the vast majority is rubbish (and thus forgotten today).

grin

(Ok... this is semi-trolling but the point is that there seems to be a rather specific bias towards contemporary music. Some is factual (royalties, copyrights), other is less so (aesthetic reasons, the pinnacle of the music world being 250 years old, etc)).
Are you saying that my statement you quoted isn't true?
Nope. But what I'm saying is that if what you're saying is true (And I do agree with that, then in the same idea what I'm saying is true. Which means that since there's so much rubbish classical music written 200 years ago and we get only the good stuff, we couldn't possibly begin to resonate with a composer. A work maybe, but as bennevis says the same composer could be doing marvelous stuff the one minute and rubbish the next.

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