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Old 02-20-2012, 05:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rubato View Post
I wasn't trying to generalise Avant-garde as being devoid of expression nor was my argument against avant-garde, I was speaking specifically about those who get caught up too much in trying to bring something new to the table.
But you did make the generalization that avant-garde composers were more caught up in innovation, and that through this mentality personal and creative expression is "crippled."

Also, I am not implying that you are against avant-garde music. You claimed that you were under the impression that those who compose music through the use of unconventional (or avant-garde) techniques are more focused on innovation and less on artistic expression, and I said I was confused by this notion. That's about it.

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Seeing as how the subject deals with my view on music I thought it was relevant, If your piece is supposed to represent something surely it would be better to use one or more aspects in your work that would point to it rather than just randomly mix things together that have nothing to do with it.
But I don't think I ever said anything about this. What exactly does this have to do with anything pertaining to the discussion?


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I agree 100%; there is a popular notion that novelty or difference has an intrinsic value.
Would you mind sharing a few examples of this?

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The problem is when musical taste becomes a sort of social signifier; of class, education, & political beliefs (etc.), as then some people will opt to like music (or at least claim to like certain music) to fit into their desired social scene.
What does this have to do with the discussion at hand?

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I know some praise this type of self-sorting, but it strikes me as horrible; dystopian, even.
I understand why you don't like it, but how is it dystopian?
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jack Pat View Post
But you did make the generalization that avant-garde composers were more caught up in innovation, and that through this mentality personal and creative expression is "crippled."

Also, I am not implying that you are against avant-garde music. You claimed that you were under the impression that those who compose music through the use of unconventional (or avant-garde) techniques are more focused on innovation and less on artistic expression, and I said I was confused by this notion. That's about it.
I said the change in the very foundation of the musical language has sought demand for innovation, it's those that follow this trend for innovations sake that have crippled much of the musical expression by looking at music in a purely semantic way. That is not to say that all instances of innovation have ignored musical expression, in fact it is the need for musical expression that has created new ideas.

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But I don't think I ever said anything about this. What exactly does this have to do with anything pertaining to the discussion?
I was over simplifying my belief that art (in the context of getting an idea across) is to minimise subjectivity through context.

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I'm being ignored here but anyway....just listen and don't worry about theories.
Sorry, I wasn't ignoring you, I agree with your posts I've just got nothing to add. As much as I enjoy listening to music I also like to discuss it, we live in a time where music is going through some obvious changes which brings up some interesting topics.

Last edited by Rubato; 02-20-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rubato View Post
I said the change in the very foundation of the musical language has sought demand for innovation, it's those that follow this trend for innovations sake that have crippled much of the musical expression by looking at music in a purely semantic way. That is not to say that all instances of innovation have ignored musical expression, in fact it is the need for musical expression that has created new ideas.
Yes, I understand what you said. I'm just perplexed in how you come to the conclusion that avant-garde composers are more focused on innovation and less on musical expression.

Here, since we're going in circles, I'll ask you a few questions:
  1. Who specifically do you think is following the trend you mentioned?
  2. Why do you dislike this trend? Yes, it can potentially deplete the level of creative expression, but it is also helping expand the musical vocubulary (which could, in effect, assist others who are more inclined to focus on this expression).
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes, I understand what you said. I'm just perplexed in how you come to the conclusion that avant-garde composers are more focused on innovation and less on musical expression.

Here, since we're going in circles, I'll ask you a few questions:
  1. Who specifically do you think is following the trend you mentioned?
  2. Why do you dislike this trend? Yes, it can potentially deplete the level of creative expression, but it is also helping expand the musical vocubulary (which could, in effect, assist others who are more inclined to focus on this expression).
Cage, Reich and Webern for his overly strict use of "atonal" techniques

True, in the long term the new ideas might help bring more color to whatever system of tonality we end up with, but as it stands at the moment it's nothing but lab work.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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atonality - a term that makes no sense but somehow managed to become standardised through much use before anyone could argue the concept.
"Atonality" means the piece does not have tonal center, there's no root note. Generally speaking, a music piece (with a tonal center) has a key (a root note A to G#), a scale/mode (Major, minor etc), a chord progression (e.g. I - IV - V etc), and a melody (and the notes in the melody generally corresponds to the notes in the chord) and form how sections of the piece or song is arranged (art music: ABAB folk:AABB or pop music: ABACAB i.e. verse chorus verse bridge verse chorus). I'm not familiar with atonal music, I don't listen to it. So I'm guessing it doesn't have some of those characteristics of tonal music, how much I don't know.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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"Atonality" means the piece does not have tonal center, there's no root note. Generally speaking, a music piece (with a tonal center) has a key (a root note A to G#), a scale/mode (Major, minor etc), a chord progression (e.g. I - IV - V etc), and a melody (and the notes in the melody generally corresponds to the notes in the chord) and form how sections of the piece or song is arranged (art music: ABAB folk:AABB or pop music: ABACAB i.e. verse chorus verse bridge verse chorus). I'm not familiar with atonal music, I don't listen to it. So I'm guessing it doesn't have some of those characteristics of tonal music, how much I don't know.
But just because traditional tonality has used a notes closest relations of the harmonic series doesn't make a system that uses more distant relationships lack tonality. The only difference is that the music becomes more relative than functional while those relationships are still new to us.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I said the change in the very foundation of the musical language has sought demand for innovation, it's those that follow this trend for innovations sake that have crippled much of the musical expression by looking at music in a purely semantic way. That is not to say that all instances of innovation have ignored musical expression, in fact it is the need for musical expression that has created new ideas.
But is not innovation the base of change? There has always been innovation in music or we would still be listening to primal drum beats and wails. In a sense, there are those that seek innovation solely for its own worth, but I've found that those whose music lies in the epitome of innovation do so either because of their own unique and natural style, or because they are using innovation itself to express themselves. If you take what's already been done a million times and play it with new lyrics, that's not expressing yourself. Sometimes taking a stride against the stream serves as a sound enough segue into expression. Sometimes innovation--and this an English class "out there" attempt--serves as a focus point for those disillusioned by the common trends in music and feel the need to represent those of the same mindset through an innovative technique that projects the woe of being lost in the sea of regurgitated trends.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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But is not innovation the base of change? There has always been innovation in music or we would still be listening to primal drum beats and wails. In a sense, there are those that seek innovation solely for its own worth, but I've found that those whose music lies in the epitome of innovation do so either because of their own unique and natural style, or because they are using innovation itself to express themselves.
I did mention that "That is not to say that all instances of innovation have ignored musical expression, in fact it is the need for musical expression that has created new ideas." of course the means of expression are going to expand as we get restricted by cliches that sound insignificant when used and unintentionally disturbing when avoided, it's when they put the cart before the horse I have a problem, that is to say expression creates innovation, innovation doesn't create expression.

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If you take what's already been done a million times and play it with new lyrics, that's not expressing yourself. Sometimes taking a stride against the stream serves as a sound enough segue into expression. Sometimes innovation--and this an English class "out there" attempt--serves as a focus point for those disillusioned by the common trends in music and feel the need to represent those of the same mindset through an innovative technique that projects the woe of being lost in the sea of regurgitated trends.
and this is where I see the problem, it seems jumping against the stream is given more importance. The old may be tired but it's certainly not exhausted, we should seek to expand and enrich not to create a split by casting out the old and celebrating a new model that has no resemblance to its forebears.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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and this is where I see the problem, it seems jumping against the stream is given more importance. The old may be tired but it's certainly not exhausted, we should seek to expand and enrich not to create a split by casting out the old and celebrating a new model that has no resemblance to its forebears.
But most innovation does not cast out these trends but does exactly what you speak of. New trends do not necessarily herald the casting out the old, most of the time it is the new that society attempts to cast out and the old where these people hold their hearts. Innovation often expands on the unworn areas of conventionality, it is just that you (or so I assume) have been hearing innovations of innovations of innovations within music, so it seems to be an ejaculation of strangeness for the sake of itself when it is, in fact, an elaboration of the unexplored beauty within conventional techniques that the artist utilizes.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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But most innovation does not cast out these trends but does exactly what you speak of. New trends do not necessarily herald the casting out the old, most of the time it is the new that society attempts to cast out and the old where these people hold their hearts. Innovation often expands on the unworn areas of conventionality, it is just that you (or so I assume) have been hearing innovations of innovations of innovations within music, so it seems to be an ejaculation of strangeness for the sake of itself when it is, in fact, an elaboration of the unexplored beauty within conventional techniques that the artist utilizes.
Much of the change music has gone through was through attempts to cast out common practice tonality and basically invert the entire system, this isn't a change in style it's a change at its most fundamental level, it was only picked up and incorporated back into the system by Stravinsky and a few others.
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