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#431495 - 11/27/07 08:22 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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To me, the atonal/tonal distinction isn't really the issue. What matters is the quality of the composition, and whether I can "get it" immediately or have to spend some amount of time learning the composer's idiom. The getting it is problematic, because it has happened more than once that I've spent a good deal of time with some music to learn its expressive language, only to find that it really was not as good as I would have hoped. In a way, the makes me feel a little ripped off; certainly it has made me more wary of simply accepting that the composer du jour is actually any good and it's up to me to figure out why. I personally think some of the famous 20th century composers of "difficult" music in fact are really not that wonderful as musical minds, although technically they are fine, even stunning.

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#431496 - 11/27/07 08:45 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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I have found myself progressively liking atonal more and more.

At first, when I first listened to Ginastera's PIano Concerto No. 2, I disliked it very much.

Upon repeated listenings I have grown to like it. It is still bizarre to me, but that contributes to it IMO.


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#431497 - 11/28/07 05:42 AM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Many posters are kinda missing the point. If you listen for tonality in non-tonal music your going to hear nonsense. You hear what you listen for - there is no 'objective' works of art out there, perception doesn't work like that.


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#431498 - 11/28/07 07:02 AM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Originally posted by Balakirev:

But you're probably right--I guess I don't know why I easily get meaning out of atonal music. It just surprises me that so few people get meaning other than utter confusion. Rubinstein's attempt to explain why people forgot Scriabin must have had some effect on me.


Ok Balakirev, you got my interest piqued. What exactly did Rubinstein say about Scriabin?


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#431499 - 11/28/07 07:26 AM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Wonderful, considered, eloquent responses here.

For myself, Atonal 'music' moves me... as far away from it as possible!

Each to his own smile

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#431500 - 11/28/07 07:58 AM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Janus Sachs:
Originally posted by Balakirev:
[b]
But you're probably right--I guess I don't know why I easily get meaning out of atonal music. It just surprises me that so few people get meaning other than utter confusion. Rubinstein's attempt to explain why people forgot Scriabin must have had some effect on me.


Ok Balakirev, you got my interest piqued. What exactly did Rubinstein say about Scriabin? [/b]
I'd like to know this also!

As for the topic, I don't think my answer will have much significance. Take the works of Mozart and Boulez, and for me there are few from each composer that I would actively seek to listen to. That's not because of tonality, or a lack of it, it's purely because I listen to music before I judge it. (I will admit that I may be missing out on some of Mozart's works that I haven't yet listened to - but I also believe that you can't miss something you don't have)

(also maybe it's worth mentioning that atonality isn't confined to classical music either...maybe not)

#431501 - 11/28/07 08:14 AM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Oh,

Just want to say.

That the more I grow older (I'm not THAT old yet, just 30 years old, with 2 kids) the more I start to miss tonal works, no matter what I study or what I write. My PhD forces me to contemporary ways pretty much, but still apart from that, which I do geniounly enjoy I also like Bach, Mozar, Brahms, etc.

Not like only, love is a better word!

The one does not take away the other. They are not opposites.

and luckily the contemporary world (in London and as I see it) is starting to get away from any kind of rules and write anything. The time where you HAD to be a serialist to be anything are long over, luckily. Music is to be heard, for most, and performed by few, and analysed by very few. smile

#431502 - 11/28/07 09:32 AM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  

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Quote
Ok Balakirev, you got my interest piqued. What exactly did Rubinstein say about Scriabin?
This link is the first article I ever read on Scriabin, and this is supposedly what Rubinstein said: "Artur Rubinstein explains Scriabin's decline because of this very romance. "People," he said to me several years ago, "didn't want Scriabin because they didn't want romance or melody in music... they hadn't it in their lives."

It seems like an accurate source, but I have not really checked. It's a very persuasive article. Please let me know if you find out that it's bogus.

Quote
Reminds me of people saying that I don't like rap music only because I "haven't lived it". Or disliking heavy metal because I "just don't understand".
I don't know. The quality of rap music seems to be so much lower than classical. Previously I did admit that I cannot support this position, but the reason I like this music seems to be a combination of continual listening to atonal/non-tonal music and certain emotions in my life.

And I completely agree with those who mentioned that atonal music cannot all fit into one category. I dislike much of Schoenberg's work, while later Scriabin and Messiaen appeal to me. Music should be music first.

#431503 - 11/28/07 10:53 AM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Let's not forget we're talking about something subjective here. Some people will like it, and some won't. And some will like some of it, and some won't like some of it. There's no right or wrong in this particular case, because it's all opinions.


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#431504 - 11/28/07 01:01 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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seems to me that atonality or non-tonality just removes one axis along which music can move (consonance/dissonance axis). So the music relies on teh other axes (pitch continuity/rhythm/dynamics) to move in. How this creates more freedom for the composer rather than less is a mystery to me.

#431505 - 11/28/07 01:06 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Horace:
seems to me that atonality or non-tonality just removes one axis along which music can move (consonance/dissonance axis). So the music relies on teh other axes (pitch continuity/rhythm/dynamics) to move in. How this creates more freedom for the composer rather than less is a mystery to me.
The right answer!


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#431506 - 11/28/07 01:33 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Horace:
seems to me that atonality or non-tonality just removes one axis along which music can move (consonance/dissonance axis).
confused confused
Why would the consonance/dissonance axis have to be removed? I think it's rather extended than removed.

#431507 - 11/28/07 02:45 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Witold:
Quote
Originally posted by Horace:
[b] seems to me that atonality or non-tonality just removes one axis along which music can move (consonance/dissonance axis).
confused confused
Why would the consonance/dissonance axis have to be removed? I think it's rather extended than removed. [/b]
Ah! The wrong answer. There is no consonance/dissonance in atonal (unless you mean the Alban Berg type of atonality).


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#431508 - 11/28/07 03:36 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Ah! The wrong answer. There is no consonance/dissonance in atonal (unless you mean the Alban Berg type of atonality).
I would be very interested to hear who told you something like that. Personally, I'd say that it is impossible to compose music that consists of changing pitches and harmonies that wouldn't in some way relate to the concept of consonance/dissonance. If you know a piece of music where that axis doesn't exist, please tell me about it.

#431509 - 11/28/07 04:23 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Witold:
Quote
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
[b]Ah! The wrong answer. There is no consonance/dissonance in atonal (unless you mean the Alban Berg type of atonality).
I would be very interested to hear who told you something like that. Personally, I'd say that it is impossible to compose music that consists of changing pitches and harmonies that wouldn't in some way relate to the concept of consonance/dissonance. If you know a piece of music where that axis doesn't exist, please tell me about it. [/b]
Surely that's a matter of listener perception rather than the compositional process?

Besides, dissonance/consonance imply unstability around a tonal centre - which atonal music doesn't have.

#431510 - 11/28/07 04:45 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by Witold:
Quote
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
[b]Ah! The wrong answer. There is no consonance/dissonance in atonal (unless you mean the Alban Berg type of atonality).
I would be very interested to hear who told you something like that. Personally, I'd say that it is impossible to compose music that consists of changing pitches and harmonies that wouldn't in some way relate to the concept of consonance/dissonance. If you know a piece of music where that axis doesn't exist, please tell me about it. [/b]
The whole point of using a 12 tone row is to escape consonance/dissonance. Any Webern will illustrate. I have a degree in music - is that enough 'who told me so'?


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#431511 - 11/28/07 05:44 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
The whole point of using a 12 tone row is to escape consonance/dissonance. Any Webern will illustrate. I have a degree in music - is that enough 'who told me so'?
It may be the whole point, but it doesn't guarantee it in reality. It is quite likely that in composing a 12-tone piece you will "accidentally" produce a major triad, or some other tonal-sounding progression. The composer who wishes to avoid tonality will not just let this happen. He/she will use the tone-row to produce the sounds he/she wishes to produce, not just let stuff happen. Even an atonalist will not deny that some intervals produce more or less tension than others, and will use this for their purposes. I mean a composer who is actually writing music, not just applying a formula.
Oh, and I have a music degree too. smile


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#431512 - 11/28/07 06:05 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by currawong:
Quote
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
[b] The whole point of using a 12 tone row is to escape consonance/dissonance. Any Webern will illustrate. I have a degree in music - is that enough 'who told me so'?
It may be the whole point, but it doesn't guarantee it in reality. It is quite likely that in composing a 12-tone piece you will "accidentally" produce a major triad, or some other tonal-sounding progression. The composer who wishes to avoid tonality will not just let this happen. He/she will use the tone-row to produce the sounds he/she wishes to produce, not just let stuff happen. Even an atonalist will not deny that some intervals produce more or less tension than others, and will use this for their purposes. I mean a composer who is actually writing music, not just applying a formula.
Oh, and I have a music degree too. smile [/b]
I think that even composers like Boulez and Stockhausen (in their serialist styles...integral serialism) put a lot of effort into composing with their 'formulas' - I seriously doubt they just bung all the notes into the formula without any regard to aesthetics!

#431513 - 11/28/07 06:08 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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That's all very well Max but, more importantly, have you got a music degree?


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#431514 - 11/28/07 06:18 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
There is no consonance/dissonance in atonal (unless you mean the Alban Berg type of atonality).
kk, I would be interested to know exactly what you mean by this. Are you just talking about the terms, or about how intervals/chords are perceived in an atonal context, or something else?


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#431515 - 11/28/07 06:23 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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I'm talking composer's intentions. Webern banished tonal centers as Max said earlier - without which consonance/dissonance has no meaning (how intervals/chords are perceived in an atonal context). Berg was half-and-half.


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#431516 - 11/28/07 06:35 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Ah, I see what you're saying smile . However, if consonance/dissonance really had NO meaning in the atonal context (without a tonal centre) then a major triad should not sound odd if it appeared. And it sometimes does, in my opinion (I'm thinking late Stravinsky, and Schoenberg). Whereas Berg can drift in and out of tonality because he perhaps wouldn't have agreed that consonance/dissonance had no meaning...
Time for coffee, I think


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#431517 - 11/28/07 06:37 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
That's all very well Max but, more importantly, have you got a music degree?
Two thirds of one wink currently wrestling with Schenkerian analysis and an essay on the importance of plainchant in medieval music.

So I guess...no...maybe I should shut up :p

#431518 - 11/28/07 06:42 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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I think I've heard that there is also a view that some sort of consonance/dissonance perception is hardwired into our sense of hearing, and has some basis in the harmonic series. (But I don't have a music degree, so maybe I heard wrong.)

#431519 - 11/28/07 06:47 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by currawong:
Ah, I see what you're saying smile . However, if consonance/dissonance really had NO meaning in the atonal context (without a tonal centre) then a major triad should not sound odd if it appeared. And it sometimes does, in my opinion (I'm thinking late Stravinsky, and Schoenberg). Whereas Berg can drift in and out of tonality because he perhaps wouldn't have agreed that consonance/dissonance had no meaning...
Time for coffee, I think
Sounds good. The problem is the question was poorly articulated. There is a big difference between atonal and serial. Atonal, as in Berg, does at times have some sense of key - serial never.

Good on ya Max. Keep up the hard work!


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#431520 - 11/28/07 06:49 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by wr:
I think I've heard that there is also a view that some sort of consonance/dissonance perception is hardwired into our sense of hearing, and has some basis in the harmonic series. (But I don't have a music degree, so maybe I heard wrong.)
Exactly. You hear what you want to hear. It's all subjective, which makes life easier for a lot of people..heh

#431521 - 11/28/07 06:50 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Originally posted by wr:
I think I've heard that there is also a view that some sort of consonance/dissonance perception is hardwired into our sense of hearing, and has some basis in the harmonic series. (But I don't have a music degree, so maybe I heard wrong.)
Not in children. They don't develop it till their teens.


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#431522 - 11/28/07 07:14 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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I'd throw in the "it also depends on their environment" stick but I don't think it's really relavent to this topic!

#431523 - 11/28/07 07:15 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Quote
Exactly. You hear what you want to hear. It's all subjective, which makes life easier for a lot of people..heh
I shall state a very relevant quote here:

"Everybody has an answer, but not just any answer, the answer. If you think about it it's truly amazing the sheer number of people that have the officially authorized monopoly on truth." - Nihilism's Homepage

#431524 - 11/28/07 07:28 PM Re: How many people genuinely like atonality\no sense of key?  
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Originally posted by Reaper978:
Quote
Exactly. You hear what you want to hear. It's all subjective, which makes life easier for a lot of people..heh
I shall state a very relevant quote here:

"Everybody has an answer, but not just any answer, the answer. If you think about it it's truly amazing the sheer number of people that have the officially authorized monopoly on truth." - Nihilism's Homepage
Nice quote - though my knowledge of nihilism is limited to The Big Lebowski...

(this is wildly off topic, but I think that I can relate a lot more to your previous postings regarding the situation of the classical artist in the world. I'm more and more drawn to experimentation and finding new ways to express my musical side, and try and express something modern and relatable, rather than letting myself be drawn into the tried and tested "create a time capsule in a recital and take the audience with you" routine. I played a great gig (on guitar) with some friends which was basically all improvised, jazz fusion. think latin american influences mixed with various jazz influences like modern creative and free jazz. it's probably right up your street)

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