Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way of life?

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RE: Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way

Parla, if you are such and expert on all things classical music, with such an enormous music collection, why have you only sought fit to enlighten us all with your comments since joining on the 6th of August? Thats an average of around two posts a day. Run out of listening opportunities have you?

RE: Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way

Well, well, well. We might reach sometime the...essence of our object of love. Or not?

Anyway, 20thcenturymuse, obviously the topic is of minimal interest to you compared to whether I am run out of listening options. However, a more pertinent question would be whether and how I manage to make my living and have enough time to send about two posts per day. If, apparently, I have resolved this one, your question looks almost irrelevant, weak and definitely out of any decent interest.

Graig, you read my post before the final editing, where I corrected the "objective" to "subjective". Besides, the rest of the paragragh wouldn't make sense.

As for the "precision" thing : When an average musician tries harder and harder to achieve the perfect tone, intonation, pitch, changes instruments, studies further and further, indulges in all kind of research to provide the most accurate and "precise" score of the composer, who, in his turn, he did his respective work to achieve the best possible esthetic, intellectual and emotional outcome, then, we cannot put this in the same basket even with the "Kind of Blue" or "A day in  the Life", for all their worth. In a more earthbound paradigm : whether we like very much "junk" food, it will always be junk. We will never dare to call it a gastronomic experience par excellence. That's why, also, junk is cheap and the gastronomic experience almost prohibitive. In this way, we all know what a good housing is and what cannot be called as such, even if we (have to) like it. A hut is a hut and a mansion is a mansion. So, in music too, there are categories, different forms, fashion, cross(over the top), etc. Of course, in every field there is "good" and "bad" music, but this doesn't mean that a "perfect" song of Leonard Cohen can go hand in hand with Schubert's lieder. It's our prerogative to opt for Cohen (for any personal reason), but Schubert, in musical terms, is Schubert. The taste is our personal world, the value is for the Art's existence and "reason d'etre". Definitions confine our subjectivity and make it fit in an artificial (made by definitions, laws, rules and regulations) objectivity which helps us live together and, sometimes, comprehend each other. (It wouldn't have any validity your love for somebody, if you didn't approach love with the same values as his/hers).

If we pursue progress, development and excellence in our life to improve our standards, our life and our final outcome, then the same applies in music, which is one of the aspects of human civilisation. So, it's not a matter of "inferior" music versus "superior", but rather where every different form stands. Its purpose gives it its "reason d'etre".

As for the "survival" thing, if you judge whether there is trouble in the country by what's going on in your neighbourhood, then, when the fire reaches you, it will be too late. We have to see how the classical music is treated by the artists themselves (who have the legitimate right to make their livings by making any concessions), the media, the state authorities, the intellectuals, the "producers" and, eventually the people.

Parla

I’m still struggling to

I’m still struggling to understand why you think someone like Miles Davis or the Beatles are not also striving to achieve as ‘precise’ a sound/tone as a classical musician. Certainly, Sgt Pepper took months to record and that time was spent trying to create and perfect a set of musical and non musical sounds – why is this intrinsically different from a violinist preparing to record a Bach violin Sonata?

(Your analogy with junk food is, I recognise, deliberately provocative, but it simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Junk food can be identified by objective criteria - the absence of vitamins and the presence of saturated fat – but there are no corresponding criteria which would afford greater value to Schubert that to Leonard Cohen. And of course the statement that ‘Schubert, in musical terms, is Schubert’ is a mere tautology.)

RE: Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way

To answer quickly the second part : If you recognise "objective" criteria in matters of food, you cannot arbitrarily say that in music there are only subjective ones. Otherwise, there is no value whatsoever in creating music. On the other hand, if musicians/composers/producers find out that the trend is no value, they can easily manipulate your subjective taste. In the same way, good musicians, instead of striving for excellence, brilliance, perfection, etc., they will simply fool you. I can go on, but...you have to get it, by now.

As for your "strugle", Miles Davis and Beatles are milestones and legends for what they have done, not for what they have not. Jazz relies on the dexterity of the great musician who can take a (simple) theme and transform it in improvisations (which are not written and that's why they cannot be repeated) Besides, the essence of this form of music is the spontaneity of the improvisation and not the form of any compositional work. That's why any recording is a gem. In the Bach violin sonata there are thousands of written notes, different forms of composition (sonata, rondo, etc.), modulations and so on. An equation cannot be compared with higher mathematics (see Cohen and Schubert).

I think you'e still in doubt, but if you are in the journey is more important than the destination. If you are still on your basis, then, ask any classical musician or professor of music about the objective values in music, so that you may understand what "Schubert means, in musical terms, Schubert".

Parla

RE:

parla wrote:

I think you'e still in doubt, but if you are in the journey is more important than the destination. If you are still on your basis, then, ask any classical musician or professor of music about the objective values in music, so that you may understand what "Schubert means, in musical terms, Schubert".

For someone who raised this topic, and who clearly holds strong views on it, you seem curiously reluctant to explain what you mean when pressed (‘the journey is more important than the destination’ indeed). But it really takes the biscuit to suggest that the only way to do grasp your point is to ask a third party such as a professor of music who happens to be passing by.

If you can’t explain what you mean yourself, I can only conclude that this entire thread is a total wind up on your part. Have you nothing better to do with your time?

 

RE: Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way

I start believeing, Craig, that you don't want to get it (although I suspect you have it - that's why I mention the "journey") and you try to escape in an easy and convenient way ("wind up theory" and "nothing to do with your time").

If it was a "wind up theory", we wouldn't have 22 replies so far (some people seem to find the topic quite substantive) and as for my time, the same applies to you who challenges me with this question (you could easily ignore the thread). I think we recognise both to ourselves that we love, have a passion and care about the future of a music which is already "old"  (classical), but we still believe is worthwhile.

I think I gave you enough examples why this music (the classical) is the reference point (it was the first to be created in western music and the scholars and musicians put their benchmarks to define it). If you accept that Science is objective, then Music, like  any other Art form, in terms of its composition, teaching and its general creation as well as its performance is governed by laws equivalent to those of other Sciences (and that's why we have Conservatories, special schools, professors, etc.). If you still believe that in Art there are no specific laws and the artist can practically do whatever he likes and should be judged by the result only, fine. In this way, we all are artists, in a broader sense, with whatever this might mean (who is going to judge whom and on which grounds?).

Finally, just contemplate whether you can love something or somebody and you cannot define it or him/her. I don't think your only definition would be "I like it or I like him/her or its to my taste". There are certain attributes, features, characteristics that define what we call love. And that's why we all can know that we speak about love and not about another notion.

Anyway, eventually its your choice to believe whatever you wish, but the chances are few to communicate...

Parla

RE: Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way

If the interest of some people and my concern about the future of the classical music, expressed in extensive exchanges (see me and John Gardiner), is simply a "wind up", let it be (if that is more convenient to you). For me, this thread expresses the genuine interest of finding out from people, who are supposed to be like-minded, what they think about this serious (whether you want to recognise it or not) matter.

The "Schubert is Schubert" doesn't constitute a "rational argument", but a statement on a fact of Music, like "a Rolls is a Rolls" in the auto business (you cannot mix a Rolls with a "WW").

However, if you are picking what is convenient to you to prove my lack of valid arguments, what is your answer(s) to all the other examples I have stated, except the one on "junk food" (that you found it provocative). And, in any case, which is your valid argumentation for whatever you believe Music is all about.

Finally, obvious is what you can define in objective terms, not what you simply claim in subjective ones.

At the end of the day, however, we will find ourselves "lost in the translation" of indifferent matters and to the critical question "whether we can live without this music", some others will simply reply :"yes, you can and you deserve it"!

Parla

RE: Why and how important is Classical Music

Don’t let them get to you Parla lad.

Give us that story again, you know the one, something about how that prof you used to love told you chamber music is three people playing eighth notes to nobody in particular and pop is four morons playing three chords to a couple of thousand half-stoned people. Can’t get enough of that story. There may have been loaves and fishes in there too.

RE: Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way

20thcenturymuse keep up being out and around the topic you want to evade (like despicable tax), but for quite a few times you stay in. If you are still here, doing the easy and low thing of watching (as being "out"), then, answer me a duofold question : which is your perception of and relationship with classical music?

Tagalie, once more thank you for the only pertinent, well articulated and valid answer to my original question. Not optimistic at all, but reality bites. I fully comprehend you don't share the joke of my late prof, but it was simply a joke about how we have to distinguish things we like equally most, but they might be differernt. Pop is made up by few (in most cases, very few) notes to serve a different purpose (definitely not the glory of music) and classical, whether we like it to believe, is made up of thousands notes, in a difficult construction form (sonata, rondo, variations, fugue, rondo-sonata, etc) with modulations, transpositions, etc (just name them), to serve another purpose (maybe closer to music, musicians, music lovers and so on).

I appreciate your taste about Mozart's K.491. May I suggest to try (if you haven't done it so far) the K.478 and 304, both among the least popular works of Amadeus, both in the minor mode (g and e respectively) and both lights away from "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" (any work of Mozart in the minor is considered by the "cognocenti" as major music events, but you may always argue : what do they really know?). However, I am a little bit perplexed how you explain the superior "quality" of K.491 vis a vis the "kleine Nachtmusik", when the former is of the less popular works of Wolfgang and the latter, though "light as a feather", is one of the most popular works in the classical franchise. If everything in music is a matter of taste the K.491 is a little more than nothing and "die kleine" a major work of Art. Or, eventually, there are some "imaginary high grounds"...or some "rules governing what constitutes 'good' music"?

After all, dear Tagalie and Craig, what is "taste"? How you define it? If you consider as taste any "obvious response to natural causes" (like I happen to accidentally hear something and immediately I say "I like it"), then we are lights apart. However, if you define "taste" as what has been developed in your lifetime, based on your knowledge and different types of experience (which tantamount to knowledge), then we are in the same boat and practically we say the same thing : "The more you know, the better you choose". And to use Tagalie's words : "rewards can come from effort" (not from the obvious response to a natural cause). Thanks Tagalie.

I hope we are in less thin air than before.

Parla

RE: Why and how important is Classical Music in our modern way

'Classical Music' is, unfortunately, a 'label' we probably don't need. I can't pretend to be erudite on the subject of music, but I am very bored with the pedantry that seems to envelope this genre.

This ridiculous thread just typifies the over-analytical nonsense (I'd say crap) that pervades throughout the Gramophone forum. Whether it be hardware/software, opera or recent concerts, there always seems to be someone who wishes to let us all know how 'discriminating' they are!

No, Parla, you are not discriminating. You have, after travelling the world over (thanks for letting us know), found a music that resonates with you. The End. Simple.

I love 'Classical Music' I hate 'Trad Jazz'. I love The Stone Roses I hate Oasis......... who cares? 

Thank God for Tagalie - he does speak sense.

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