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Old 11-18-2014, 01:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mr. Charlie View Post
Because it expresses the many complexities of the human condition with more subtlety than any other form of music, and being purely instrumental means it is more personable and universal. In mans eyes classical music can mean the langauge of life, of nature, of the heavens, the universe, or whatever you want it to mean.
But see, I could say the same thing about the music of, say, Greg Brown, a folk singer-songwriter, really more of a poet. Man can't sing to save his life, but his music is some of the most emotive stuff I have ever heard. Every song speaks to some vital (or maybe frivolous) aspect of the complexity of human life, every line is subtle, full of meaning and depth, every chorus is intensely personal, yet feels that way to anyone who has ever lived, and so is entirely universal.

To me, Greg Brown could be the language of life, of nature, the heavens the universe. It's whatever I want it to mean.

But, is it more subtle, and universal, and meaningful and heavenly than exquisitely plucked shamisen notes, one of a time, meant, each one, to be considered on it's own, for it's own beauty, for the tiny variances in it's tone?Is the fast-paced, progress-driven, mathematically-derived music of Western European composers, better? Is it more universal?

A man could have never heard a shamisen and still be entranced, but I can nearly guarantee you someone who has no background in progressive chordal harmony will not be entranced as easily by the shouting chorus at the end of Beethoven's 9th.

Originally Posted by flora99 View Post
That the reason why, I think that music is a universal language that everybody who wants can understand.
It's a nice thought, but that is both equally true and untrue for any music, really. Western Classical music, it's harmony and it's bland, logical, cold, mathematical tuning system sounds great to those who grew up with it, or with the tuning and harmony it created.

On the other hand, that tuning and that harmony used to sound awful to much of the world including most Europeans, with their own tuning and harmonic systems. However, due to European Imperialism essentially enslaving much of the globe, destroying cultures and forcing Western ideals on local populaces, Western Equal-temperment tuning and progressive harmony has been thrust upon most of the world, so that even other culture's classical traditions adopt it.

But, the universality of Western European classical music is due, not to the glorious, ideal, better-than-the-rest nature of the music itself, but to the power of European aggression, and the horrible efficiency of European guns.

Originally Posted by BongoFury View Post
If you ever get the chance to see a symphony show, go because it's a great experience. It's amazing how powerful orchestral music is played live.
Oh god, yes. As a huge metal-fan, whose friend's are mostly metal-heads, I can tell you that a symphony orchestra can be far more crushingly powerful than a few drop-tuned guitars, a bass, drumset and some amps. Not louder, but far more intense.

Originally Posted by Dulce View Post
it can put you in a more relaxing mood. it makes ya feel so damn good. it's an amazing rollercoaster ride. cheers.
But again, the fan of any form of music will say that. My coworker was listening to Powerman 5000 and Chevelle all morning, talking about how soothing and upbeat he finds them.

Originally Posted by johnkeats View Post
Classical music in essence is the best part of the music world,it dates back to very old times where the music used to be played in the age old kingdoms in Asia & Middle east. It gives complete relaxation to the body, mind and soul. The melodies moves up and down just like a sine wave. Sometimes high and other time low the music brings out the best from the performer. There are lot of places where you can learn but you have to carefully choose the best place to learn and understand the music which is not so easy as it sounds.
Classical music, as in the common practice period and today's composers basically vamping on similar material, is only about 300 years old. Before that there was gradually increasing complexity in the medieval chant music and early polyphonic styles, but that still doesn't take us back very far.

Sure, that chant music was derived from the Byzantine system, but we don't really use any of the same modes, scales, tetrachords, etc, and the system is completely alien to anything Mozart ever did.

As far as Western Classical Music stemming from Asia and the Middle East? No, not really, no. I suppose you could make some vague claims about inter-relatedness, but still, not anymore than any other two musics. People used to think that early Gregorian chant came from Judaic Psalmody, but that's been disproved for decades. 'Twar the Byzantines.

Granted, Byzantium culture basically stemmed back with the birth of all Culture in that half of the Eurasian Landmass, in Egypt and the Fertile Crescent, the Indus and the Tigris, so in that sense I suppose you could say that Western European Classical music of the 17th through 19th centuries was originally Asian in nature, but that doesn't really mean much. The first music that would in any way be considered a related progenitor of the music in question is that of the modal Church chants of Byzantium...

Originally Posted by Vince View Post
I'd say classical music is very unpopular. Unfortunately people don't usually delve that far into it, only touching the pop hits of Mozart and Beethoven.

Some off the top of my head to check out:

Shostakovich - 10th symphony 2nd move., 5th symphony
Sibelius - 5th and 7th, Swan of Tuonela
Stravinsky - Rite of Spring, Firebird
Debussy - La Mer, everything for piano
I agree, to most, "classical" is Bach, Handl, Mozart, Haydyn, Beethoven, Chopin, Wagner, DONE. The don't go farther back, the don't explore the common practice period, and the sure as hell don't get any closer to the current than, maybe, maybe, the Impressionists.

Usually, when people tell me they love classical, they meant he love what is essentially the Classical Top 40. The hits that stream on the radio. Just like most "Rap Lovers" recognize Eminem and Rakim and Macklemore, but haven't the foggiest about someone like Aesop Rock, and couldn't tell you who the heck Eric B is. (Even for all there love of "Follow the Leader.")

But still, the four you've listed, along with the pieces you've chosen, are huge, monolithic composers and compositions, the kind that figurehead in music history course. I mean, heck, Firebird and Rite of Spring were in Disney's Fantasia movies! (Actually, I'm pretty sure Shostakovich was in there somewhere too... )

I mean, all that stuff could almost be considered a hit, or at least making the charts. Why not some of "The Five" outside of Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov? Or, if you want to stick with the biggest names, why not something like Stravinsky's severely under-noted "Symphonies of Wind Instruments?"

Why not enter the 20th century, heck, even the 21st? It's not all Cage's statement pieces, and Stockhausen's bizarre tape manipulations, and Glass and Reich with endless streams of modal arpeggios and repeated notes. It's not all records meant to be ruined and then listened to, or dodecophony...

How about Aaron Jay Kernis' "Symphony in Waves." Gorgeous, beautiful, emotional piece. How about Georg Fredrich Haas' "In Vain" if you can bear to listen to something not tuned in Western equal temperament. (You should, the tuning system we're used to now has been around for centuries, but wasn't really accepted as the standard until about 150 years ago. It's a new thing, the way notes are currently tuned, in this genre.) How about Górecki's "Copernicus" Symphony?

There's so much out there, in "classical" music, and most people don't even, if you'll pardon the cliché, scratch the surface. Even those who scratch it, tend not to really gouge out big chunks!

Originally Posted by Pet_Sounds View Post
It's interesting to note how many people have heard of Beethoven, but how few of brilliant composers such as Dvorak. I think the situation will be similar in 300 years - everyone will have heard of the Beatles, but bands like the Doors and the Beach Boys will be forgotten.
Sure, Beethoven is a household name, but I bet all those people who don't know Dvorak by name still recognize, say the theme to the Largo of his Symphony "From the New World."

But yes, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, unfortunately probably AC/DC, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and a bunch of others, those guys will be in history books of 20th century music in the future, the less innovative or emblematic ones, not so much.

Originally Posted by Mahmoud95 View Post
Its relaxing and it takes me back for a moment to somewhere I would like to go. It gives a glimpse of the past .
As would say a devotee of passive listening of any genre of music, albeit with different specifics. Over and over again, it is shown that the deciding factor in most people's choice of music is familiarity. If you grow up with it, you'll like it. (Yes, some grow up with Country and prefer classical, but really, it's all the same tuning, harmony, rhythms, time signatures, timbral preferences in large part, melodic structure, and general form.)


People try to make Western European classical out to be the music of all musics in a thousand different ways.

"The timbre is clearer." Well, I might say the timbre is bland, homogeneous, and overly pruned of all interesting upper partials.

"It's so complex and structured." try telling that to the devoted practitioner of the classical music of any other culture, and they'll tell you the same thing.

"It's so emotional." All music is. Hell, I've seen people inn my town waaaaay more emotionally over-driven on Dubstep than I have on classical.

"It's so subtle." See my passage above about Japanese music. Classical music is wonderful and above-the-par on many counts, but subtlety is not one of them.

"It's the most beautiful." Said everyone who ever like any music. Beauty is almost all familiarity, and in the only universal sense, it seems to be structural harmoniousness of the sound, another area where Equal temperament is at best a compromise, at worst a butchery of a beautiful, natural purity of sound.

Then there are all the wonderful qualities that Common Practice classical doesn't even TRY to have. Vibrant Timbre, Rhythmic Complexity, Improvisation, Percussion in any real sense, Heterophony, any sort of Interesting or adaptable tuning...

Originally Posted by DoesntReallyMatter View Post
'Classical' music is complex, dynamic, expresses a story without a single lyric.
Classical Music is complex only in it's theory, not so much in it's performance or listening, at least compared to the classical traditions of other musical cultures.

If you mean "utilizes dynamics" then yes, Western European Classical from Beethoven on does generally get both louder and softer and than many other musics. If you mean changing and vital and amorphous, then the same could be said of nearly any culture, again...

But, But, But, two people in this thread have seemed to make the claim that classical music has no lyrics????

Have you ever heard any classical music???? That stuff is FULL of lyrics. I mean, it's descended from a purely vocal tradition of sacred music, which was composed based nearly entirely on Latin lyrics from the sacred text of their religious book.

No Lyrics??? Huh? Waaaah?????

Originally Posted by DriveYourCarDownToTheSea View Post
There's a zillion reasons why classical music is popular.
But, really, this guy has the answer. Nearly every human on the planet likes at least some form of music, and I bet they'd all have different reasons. But I bet all those reasons would basically boil down to, "I like it."

Last edited by Zack; 11-18-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:32 PM   #22 (permalink)
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