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Pet hates

Discussion in 'General' started by techneut, May 12, 2011.

  1. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Even Bach?? :shock: :wink:

    That is so odd. I've always thought of it as overly bright.

    Agreed, though there are some rare exceptions where it's done well. And I like it the other way around quite a bit (though I think it's rare exceptions in both cases - most people suck at music)...I was sitting in the lobby of our music building one day, and one of our theory profs was leaving the building, all the while casting bemused looks in the direction of the room where a string quartet was rehearsing. He looked at me and said, 'That's the Stones.' It was - Paint it Black, actually - but his reaction makes me think that isn't done too often, which is a shame, because I'd really love to hear a string quartet play something like Welcome to the Jungle. I heard a saxophonist practicing in the concert hall the other night, playing AC/DC's Thunderstruck (the guitar part). I couldn't tell if he was gasping quick breaths or circle-breathing, but it was unbelievably virtuosic either way.

    Amen!
     
  2. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I once posted such an arrangement, which I made for the piano, on this site and it was not appreciated. If I remember, the reaction was, "I hope this is not the sort of stuff you will be posting."

    I was thinking of dissonance the other day. there is a Lyric Piece by Grieg where there is a sequence of 24 bars (6/8) where there are 7ths and 2nds and yet one would not say the piece is full of dissonance. Maybe one should say "where dissonance is used to produce ugliness"?
     
  3. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    To twist a well-known proverb: Ugliness is in the ear of the beholder! I admit it took some time before I started finding beauty in Schoenberg's music, but nowadays I even enjoy listening to Ligeti. These people weren't actually trying to sound ugly.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    What Lyric Piece are you referring to?

    And I actually found a little Schoenberg that I like to! Except I can't remember the name right now. It's something like 6 Little Pieces, or something like that (printed it out, but it's at home).
     
  5. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I am referring to op 54/2, but of course that type of dissonance has since become a cliché.

    As I mentioned earlier, Schoenberg is dreary to my ears, and I find little difference between his Peléas and Mélisande and his Moses and Aaron, but the Gurrelieder, them I like. I do however, recall enjoying a symphony by Einojuhani Rautavaara (What I name! aT first to remember it I had to think, "I know you honey!" :)) only to find out it is serial (but fortunately not a killer).
     
  6. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    There is some Schoenberg that I don't mind such as the Verklaert Nacht, his early Chamber Symphony, and the String Quartet #4 at least. Of course the early stuff is before his serial stuff and to me has somewhat a sense of a late Mahler development section after it went over the tonal precipice. It could also be that over the years, movie music during tense, dramatic scenes often resembles Schoenberg and company so the sound is not as foreign as it once was.

    I actually like the Penderecki "Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima", and that really can't be classified as much of anything but ugly. But its purpose was to convey the ugly aftermath of the nuclear bomb. I am also quite fond of the Berg Violin Concerto and the Rite of Spring.

    To me, it is not so much the amount of dissonance, it is whether it is used with a purpose. I'm reminded of styles of jazz, not necessarily the wild modern modal stuff, but even ballads where everything is harmonized with some dissonance. The basic harmonic units of jazz are 7th chords (dissonant by nature, all containing a 7th or in in version a 2nd) with the addition of 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths. These dissonances actually give the lushness to the harmonies and we do not necesarily perceive them as "dissonant" (in fact they are often referred to a "tensions")

    I'm reminded of some early level students when they run into certain dissonances for the first time. Particularly when they are practicing slowly, it comes out more. They first think that they have played something wrong. Then they try just that, playing louder and louder (I guess thinking that that will make it go away), and then decide that it is wrong. Over the years, I have learned to point these things out on new pieces. I show them that when it is in context at the tempo that we will play that it works. I have them try it out and listen to the sound of the "clash" (and then with the resolution) so they can get used to it and then tell them that if when they practice they don't hear that "clash" then they are playing it wrong.

    I'm not sure that art is necessarily intended to always be beautiful. It should be thought provoking and interesting. There is some art in which there is aesthetic "beauty" in the ugliness portrayed. Some of Goya's etchings come to mind where he portrayed ugly scenes about war and did nothing to "beautify" the image.

    That of course does not mean that I do not enjoy beautiful art.

    Scott
     
  7. In-Flight Piano

    In-Flight Piano New Member

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    I agree that not all dissonance is bad. The Fugue in b minor from WTC1 has lots of dissonance, but this is my favorite piece of music ever. This is not the ugly kind.

    The kind of dissonance that I don't like, is the kind in Lowell Liebermann's Three Impromptus, Op.68.
     
  8. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Preciesely! I used to teach a year-long course in cultural history that approached the arts in chronological fashion. Each style is best appreciated in the novelty that it presented to the times then current, and in the context of the cultural history. To best appreciate the atonal school, one must come to understand the frustration that composers had arrived at with tertian harmony. They felt (wrongly) that they had scaled all its potential, and so abandoned building taller sky scrapers (7th, 9th, 11th, 13th chords) and changed the whole alphabet from tertian harmony to secondal (Bartok), quartal/quintal (Debussy), removed the sign-posts along the roads of scales (whole-tone), liberated symmetry, rhythm and tessituras (Stravinsky), emancipated tonality (Schoenberg), drew on cultural influences (Nationalism), finally (?) going so far as to be overwelmed by mathematics and phasing (E. Carter and others) and even the abandonment of artistic creativity and self itself (Cage and the aleatoric composers). The musique concrete movement at least tried to find other-than-musical sound and manipulate it into sounds never before heard or imagined on planet Earth. The series of wars and atrocities in the 20th century went a long way in stimulating artists everywhere in evey medium.

    @Monica: you have the title correct (in English, though)
     
  9. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I like to equate musical dissonance with spices in culinary arts. Who in there right mind would pick up an onion and start eating it like an apple? Or pop a clove of garlic into the mouth like a grape? Or put a spoonful of salt, pepper or horseradish in their mouth like a tablespoon of honey? Yuck! Yet who wants to eat food without all of these "ugly" "foul" ingrediants? Not me. Likewise, we need these dissonances to "flavor" our music. Certainly all do not have the same taste for foods, or music. It has taken me a good few decades to appreciate blue cheese, but I love VERY HOT flavors, yet I care nothing for radish. So it is with music, it takes significant understanding to appreciate the "untasty" works. ... but thank God for Rachmaninoff (an out-of-style anachronism) anyway!
     
  10. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    Interesting. I was reading something the other day, I can't remember where, arguing that the notion of artists as our "social conscience", that literature, music, painting can be provocative and challenging, is relatively new. They were saying that artists of all sorts used to be more like craftsmen, serving rather than critiquing society, and the transition from craftsmanship to individualism took place during the 19th century. Goya was indeed named as a pioneer of this new attitude. I think the chronology is a bit off (Mozart toyed with librettos that brushed against the fence of censorship, and challenged the musical conventions of his time in some interesting ways), but I agree with the main point. Nowadays it seems essential that at least some new art should be provocative.
     
  11. In-Flight Piano

    In-Flight Piano New Member

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    Here's the thing. There has never been a composer who always stuck with conventions. The way I see it is, there is a difference between being creative and being provocative. Creativity does not have to shock anybody or be way out of form. Its just a clever, controlled excursion from the norm.

    Even Bach, who is often seen as the epitome of Baroque musical conventions, sometimes pushed the boundaries of the Baroque period with occasionally peculiar chords and rhythms. But it's all subtle creativity to hold your attention and keep you from losing interest, but not enough to shock.
     
  12. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    When I was thinking of those Goya etchings, I wasn't even thinking (or remembering) when he lived. I checked it out and he was actually born 10 years before Mozart. Though the artist as social conscience attitude was identified with Goya and that time period, it could have had its inception before that time, as you touch upon about Mozart's choice of some of his librettos and the manner in which he wrote the music for them. Had Mozart lived, might he have evolved in a similar direction? Was there something in the 18th cent. enlightenment air that was leading artists in that direction by the early 19th cent.?

    Scott
     
  13. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I must say when I come across a piece of "art" that is shocking, agressive, ugly and provocative, my reaction is to look elsewhere. It does not provoke me: it merely disgusts me. We have the press to shock us, to show us people being killed or whatnot. Must art also do it? To what avail? We need art to relax, not to shock us. Somehow I do not like being slapped on the face and having my nose rubbed in the mud.

    One of the reasons why I find myself enjoying music more and more, moving away from novels and the cinema, is that, as an abstact art, the only truly abstact one, is that it is pefectly possible to enjoy oneself without having people fighling, stripping, killing or yelling **** words. I have enough of this just opening my window in the morning without wishing to have more.
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    A different kind of 'hate' but I just have to get something off my chest:

    I hate when people say "enjoy" when they are submitting a recording. It's like they assume/think their playing is so great and that we are so fortunate because we get to listen to their great recording.... :roll: :roll:

    I wish members would stop that!!
     
  15. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    To disrupt the self-indulgence in such posts, one should state instead, "Not bad, for Jerry's kids." :p I may have said that about me on an occasion. Hey, those who can't laugh at themselves, leave the job to others! Reminds me of the Polaner All-Fruit commercial years ago - at a formal formal table, the guy blurts out in a twang, "Could you please pass the jelly." The lady of residence almost passes out in disgust over the faux pas. :p

    Hates:
    Erik Satie - Gymnopedie in particular. The most over-rated composer of all time! There is more music contained in 30 measures of rests.
    WCRB - Our only classical station. Daily broadcasts contain some of most innocuous music ever written. I have to switch to CDs in the office - even the patients complain about the selection of music on the station.
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think I've written that on occasion. But it was really a hope that people would enjoy the music (which would have been new to the site), not my playing per se - which would have been adequate at best.
     
  17. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    Oops, guilty as charged, sorry.

    But seriously, why post anything if noone's going to enjoy listening? Either the performance is good enough that it's musically enjoyable to listen to, or else people can enjoy picking on the faults...but if there's nothing to enjoy, then we're wasting our time.
     
  18. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    When one submits a recording one hopes it will be enjoyed, but when one is asking others to judge it, it is not appropriate to say in so many words: "This is very good what I am playing and you are going to like it!"

    Now, imagine at a piano competition, one of the participiants tells the jurors, "Enjoy my performance!"

    I would be surprised if this competitor would even be allowed to play.
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ok, I feel better now.... :lol:

    @George - try an internet classical radio station. I listen to one all the time while I'm at work (except right now I've got classic rock playing). Here is one I use most:

    http://www.accuradio.com/


    You can choose many different genres and even specify particular instruments. There is a short commercial every now and then but it lasts only about 5 seconds.
     
  20. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Just added to Favorites! :D Thanks Monica.
     

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