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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceMusical Miscellany(Moderators: JP, BGuttman) New Music = the Emperors New Clothes?
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« Reply #60 on: Jan 13, 2012, 06:26PM »

And just like the infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters, one might actually be good! :-P

The problem is, we won't know what new stuff will last.  It takes time.  Will people still be running "Amahl and the Night Visitors" in 2050?  Or will it be like Donizetti's "Il Furioso" -- an opera that is revived just to show how much better his other works are?

I think it's nice that folks like Bruce and Chris are playing new works.  We have to listen to them or they will never  become great.  Sure, there is junk.  There are charlatans.  In the world of sculpture, we have the collections of garbage; some of which will become great art and most of which should be recycled.

We can listen and make our minds up.  But we have to listen.

I agree with what you say, but there are so many aspects in this.

What music made today will stay there in 100 years? There are some answears Bruce G. that you might not have been thinking about, or maybe you have.  ;-)

We have to look in the history. One thing is sure, if a composer make some very different and change the direction, then it will be remembered. A complete new "direction" will be in the history books no matter what. Problem is today we still love all the directions that have been developed in the past history, it have been more and more new styles, today we have problem following the new styles because its endless.

Another thing is it was a bit different in example Bach's time. He did live in a little town and people in Norway, as an example, could not see or listen what he did. No internet, no radio. So his music was "re discovered" about 100 years after his death. People had hard time just to survive. In Norway they eat the bark from trees, so I bet they was not reading the trombone forum in this days. Totally different world all over. There is many explanation why.  But some of it was because the world was so different in all aspects of their life's. Scientists still find unknown music from Bach, Mozart and even Grieg.

Today the music has grown into so many differently styles. It would even be difficult to find all styles it have grown into. Jazz, rock, pop, rap, classical, DJ, do some here know all the styles? And of top on this the styles still grow in different directions. Just look at jazz. How many sub styles are there in jazz? I doubt any here knows. Some creative people try to combine it all. Like jazz/folk music. Jazz/classical, Classical/pop. Its endless today, and there is some of the problem. How to make something new? How to make something new with a substance that will be remembered?

I think the future will loose the styles and be more into the person. Not style, but the person. Because the quality will always be in the person, not the style. There will not be any clear direction like rock/classical etc.. I think it will be much more blend of all music arts, also blend of sound, sculpture, text, story, painting, design, clothes, only fantasy set the limits...... Its nothing new, it did start with the opera many hundred years ago. Text, music, story....how to find up the wheel again? Therefore I say the interesting will be the person. Maybe it always have been like that?.

The problem is how to consume all there is today?  How to consume all that happens around us. I bet even the history people will soon have problem to categorise all that happens. A computer can do it but can we? Today everything is "forced" on to us. Its massive, its industry, because its so easy to "spread the news" with today's technology of communication.

In 100 years it will be difficult to follow everything. It even is today. In 1900 there was a "Ford" in 1950 there was Volkswagen, Volvo, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Cadillac. Today there is Toyota, the best car in the world of course....just joking, but who can follow all the car brands today?

Do you see my point Bruce G.?  I bet its not easy with my English on top of it.  :D  In Mozart's time there was Mozart. In Brahms time it was a lot more, In Mahler's time there was so many. In our time nobody have the clue. Only the computers can count them. That's why I say its not the style but only the person that will survive in the future. I think what all people seek more and more is humanity. Because its more and more a loss.  :(

Leif
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« Reply #61 on: Jan 16, 2012, 12:57PM »


We can listen and make our minds up.  But we have to listen.

Well said, Bruce.
Although I'm afraid many people, even musicians, make up their minds before they listen.

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« Reply #62 on: Jan 16, 2012, 01:18PM »

When we lived in New York City, we used to subscribe to the New York City Opera.  We usually tried to find a series with mostly new stuff.  It became harder and harder as the years went on and NYCO tried to become Met Junior.

I remember seeing something by Alberto Ginastera that I couldn't wait for the end of.

I remember seeing a work called "The Most Important Man in the World" that I thought was good, but highly topical (it dealt with racial discrimination).  I don't think it has been performed since.

I wouldn't be unhappy if the Ginastera work disappeared from view.  Although he wrote some really good stuff also.  But who knows -- maybe in 2030 it will be acclaimed as a masterwork and it's me that's destined to disappear from view (which will probably happen in the next 20 years anyway).

In Mozart's day people probably said that Salieri was the great composer and that Mozart was writing rubbish.  I can understand that I might not be smart enough to recognize great music.

There will always be new music, I hope.  And there will be new masterpieces, I hope.  I want to hear a few that I can recognize.  But I'll probably have to listen to a lot of junk in the interim.  Bring it on.
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« Reply #63 on: Jan 16, 2012, 01:21PM »

Well said, Bruce.
Although I'm afraid many people, even musicians, make up their minds before they listen.

And then here are those who only think that they are listening. Those who "listen" but do not hear. Those whose minds are also pre-made up, but in the opposite direction. Prejudice goes both ways, y'know, witness the people who only think that bop and post-bop are "jazz" or the so-called moldy figs of the late '40s/early '50s who put down the beboppers and championed only older styles.

Duke Ellington's greatest compliment was that something was "beyond category."

Yup.

It's either good or it's not, no matter when it was conceived or in what style it is being played.

Fats Waller once answered the question "What is 'swing,' Mr. Waller?" by saying "If you don't know, I can't tell you."

Yup.

Ditto here. Of course, definitions may vary.

My own definition?

Twofold:

1-Music that requires the use of all three brains...physical, emotional and mental...at a very high level.

and

2-Music in which there is neither room nor accepted excuses for faking.

Dassit.

Or, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain his definition of  "hard-core" pornography in 1964 by saying,

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I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it . . .

Yup.

I know real music it when I hear it.

Bet on it.

Good enough for me, anyway....the results of others may differ. That's what makes horse races. It's also makes what makes bad concerts and lame academic institutions as well.

So it goes.

Attend neither.

You be bettah off.

Bet on that as well.

S.
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« Reply #64 on: Jan 16, 2012, 07:31PM »

I think the main element that makes new music a topic for argument is the question of "who should pay for it?"



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« Reply #65 on: Jan 16, 2012, 07:58PM »

I think the main element that makes new music a topic for argument is the question of "who should pay for it?"


If we look at the great orchestral works that we play so much today, it was almost all "government sponsored".  Haydn was in the employ of a nobleman.  Bach was a church organist.  Mozart spent a short time as an employee of the Archbishop Colloredo but as soon as he parted ways he lived hand-to-mouth. 

Liszt married well.  Chopin had a lover.  Tchaikowsky had a position as a teacher in university.  Borodin was a professor of Chemistry.  Charles Ives sold insurance.

So there were very few composers who actually made money at it.  Most had to compose for the love of it.
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« Reply #66 on: Jan 16, 2012, 08:50PM »

I think Leif nailed it. With today's technology & communication, the world is not only a smaller place, but communication is blurred as a result - we are inundated with multitudes of info bytes that defy categorization. In the olden days there was room to make a statement that today has difficulty in speaking as a voice. I for one have difficulty applying attention of focus to subjects because there are so damned many to focus on. Everything moves so fast nowadays - if a new idea comes along, I think it is swallowed in the deluge of ideas from so many fronts that it doesn't get the chance to be digested or ruminated upon.

Out of all of this 'brain barf' comes some good ideas, but many don't get more than a cursory glance before it's gone - buried under the enormity of input from everyone with a computer and a keyboard/guitar and a fleeting idea.

I think the world moves too fast nowadays to compare it to the past on the same metric. If Mozart had the internet at his disposal, what would his music have meant to the general public? How about Francis Poulenc? Or for that matter Frank Zappa?
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« Reply #67 on: Jan 17, 2012, 02:09PM »

If we look at the great orchestral works that we play so much today, it was almost all "government sponsored".


It's a fairly common argument for government funding of the arts that since governments did it in the past it is natural for them to do it now.

But that "government funding" of old was really just a ruling class using money extracted from their subjects for their own self-aggrandizement and amusement.  They weren't subject to any measure of public oversight such as regular elections to retain their office.

I'm sure some cynic will chime in to claim nothing has changed but really that old mechanism of arts spending is not tenable anymore.









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« Reply #68 on: Jan 17, 2012, 02:47PM »

I have the feeling that we, as musicians, listen (and judge) music too much as musicians. We ask ourselves, is this something we'd like to play or can we relate to it as a musician or a trombone player? This doesn't seem to be such a problem with modern art, fiction or stage.
Music really seems to separate.

In my experience, there are two types of musicians, those who are open to new music and those who are not. This has nothing to do with the quality of the musician. It just is.
For me, the first prerequisite in asking someone to play with MusikFabrik is, other than being a first class player, are they open to it. If not, forget it, it's just not going to work, no matter how good they are.

Once again Karlheinz has some very fitting words.

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When listening like a discoverer, one must not begin by differentiating the world into good and bad or into pleasant and unpleasant, but rather to listen like a true discoverer, like a discoverer of art, disregarding first of all the aesthetic qualities and to proceed as, for example, when one discovers something in nature. Also then one certainly does not say that this flower is a bad flower or that another flower is a good flower; or that this flower is a disgusting flower, which I never want to see again, and that another flower is a beautiful flower, which I would like to see again. Instead, everything is perceived like something phenomenal which exists and which is taken in by someone in order to think about it, in order to create his own world, his thoughts and his feelings, and to form his life according to new impressions. And then – in both discovering and inventive perception – one decides later about the quality, according to the degree of variety, the complexity, the wealth of relationships, and the degree of true renewal. So wherever people are shown something of which they had no idea, they discover the world through the creative activity of others. Then, as listeners, they become creative themselves, and not just consumers.

(Stockhausen in: Entdeckerisches Hören, 1961)

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« Reply #69 on: Jan 18, 2012, 02:52PM »

Here's a thought experiment...

What do you regard as the newest piece of music to earn a place in the standard repertoire?  Something an orchestra can put on a "classical" (not "pops") program and not have to sandwich it between two war horses to keep the audience from running off?

I have trouble thinking of anything after Copeland's productive period that would satisfy that benchmark and that's going back to the 1940's.

I don't think Phillip Glass has gotten there yet.

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« Reply #70 on: Jan 18, 2012, 03:24PM »

Here's a thought experiment...

What do you regard as the newest piece of music to earn a place in the standard repertoire?  Something an orchestra can put on a "classical" (not "pops") program and not have to sandwich it between two war horses to keep the audience from running off?

I have trouble thinking of anything after Copeland's productive period that would satisfy that benchmark and that's going back to the 1940's.

I don't think Phillip Glass has gotten there yet.


I would say that things are better this side of the pond. Just before Christmas I went to see the Scottish premiere of a work by James MacMillan. Full hall and a  stunning new work..... only piece on the program.
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« Reply #71 on: Jan 18, 2012, 07:34PM »

Here's a thought experiment...

What do you regard as the newest piece of music to earn a place in the standard repertoire?  Something an orchestra can put on a "classical" (not "pops") program and not have to sandwich it between two war horses to keep the audience from running off?

I have trouble thinking of anything after Copeland's productive period that would satisfy that benchmark and that's going back to the 1940's.

I don't think Phillip Glass has gotten there yet.


I also disagree with this statement. I am from a fairly conservative area and even have the HSO and DSO play much more recent music than Copland.
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« Reply #72 on: Jan 18, 2012, 09:35PM »

What do you regard as the newest piece of music to earn a place in the standard repertoire?  Something an orchestra can put on a "classical" (not "pops") program and not have to sandwich it between two war horses to keep the audience from running off?

I have trouble thinking of anything after Copeland's productive period that would satisfy that benchmark and that's going back to the 1940's.

That's a good question.

Newest Piece of Music and New Music don't necessarily mean the same thing, however....
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« Reply #73 on: Jan 18, 2012, 09:46PM »

I also disagree with this statement. I am from a fairly conservative area and even have the HSO and DSO play much more recent music than Copland.
 

It's a question, not a statement.

I posed a question.  What are those newer works standard repertoire works that can anchor a program on their own?  I can't think of any that have that status after Copeland.  I'm not saying nothing newer ever gets played, I'm saying it hasn't been able to "stick" and get the repeat performances that get it regarded as standard repertoire.  Lots of new stuff has been played, none of it seems to stick around.

I'm looking at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra 2011-12 schedule right now... in 23 programs there are all of 6 "new" works that date after the 1940's. One of those was a brief Barber piece for organ and orchestra.

None were program closers.  All were programmed with more conventional, European composer music that was the main attraction on the program. I'd be very surprised if any of them get repeated in future years. It doesn't sell tickets or attract donors here in Dallas.

But I'll ask again... can you identify anything since 1950 (?) that has become strong standard repertoire?

Possibly some later Shostakovich might barely qualify?  But later Shostakovich doesn't make many appearances here in Dallas.

Hovhaness? I'm doubtful.  I think he is fading now that he's dead.


 
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« Reply #74 on: Jan 18, 2012, 09:58PM »

Again, are you asking about post-1940, or New Music?

If the former.....

Adams? (Short Ride....)
Corigliano? (Symphony no. 1, or Red Violin...)

If the latter - I think you may be right!

Carter?

I really can't think of much. I'd love to be educated by those of you more versed in the latest orchestral repertoire.....
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« Reply #75 on: Jan 19, 2012, 09:54AM »

Again, are you asking about post-1940, or New Music?


By "newest" I meant "most recent".  What is the most recently composed thing that can be labeled "standard repertoire"?

Since there are works written in the 1940's that can be safely called standard repertoire, I'm wondering if anything since then, of any sort, has become standard rep.

Most of the music we regard as standard repertoire today was embraced by audiences and performers within about 20 years of its composition and usually much faster than that.

We've had several 20 year spans since 1950 but not much written since then has gained acceptance.  It's like music died with Prokofiev in 1953. 

The Adams you mention might be a candidate.  "Short Ride" is getting performed at the DSO later this season.  But that will be the first time.

(By comparison, Saint-Saens' "Organ Symphony" has probably been done 8 times here in the last 20 years.)


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« Reply #76 on: Jan 19, 2012, 12:48PM »

You can easily draw with some music from movies or shows.

Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story draws.
Bernstein's Mass draws.

But you need a composer with charisma.  John Williams has it.  Carlysle Floyd doesn't.  Note that I do not make value judgments about their compositions.  Floyd wrote some really nice stuff.
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« Reply #77 on: Jan 23, 2012, 07:33AM »

You can easily draw with some music from movies or shows.

Most people would call that "pops" and most orchestras have a "pops" series for just that sort of music. They have tremendous promotion behind them that concert music typically does not. That's why I excluded "pops" music from the consideration of what gets to be standard repertoire and what doesn't.
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« Reply #78 on: Jan 23, 2012, 11:52AM »

I think the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story has progressed past "pops".

I would hope that eventually some of the Stephen Sondheim stuff will also.

And even "Tommy".

I know there are some who think that a classical orchestra should limit itself to works no newer than Mahler and an opera company should concentrate on Verdi, Bellini, and Donizetti (all of whom wrote "popular" works in their day).
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« Reply #79 on: Feb 16, 2012, 04:43AM »

These two articles from the Guardian pretty much sum up my feelings in this thread.
One is by Alex Ross, author of "The Rest is Noise" which was recommended by Zack (Houbasstrombone)

I received "The Rest is Noise" for my birthday and will definitely read it after finishing Winston Churchill's intriguing "The Second World War"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/nov/28/alex-ross-modern-classical-music

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jan/30/contemporary-classical-music-finds-audience?fb=native

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