Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

The question has come up many times here as to what is music.

Isn't that questioned answered by what you compose?

Isn't what you write a reflection of what you believe music is

and/or should be. Or are you merely imitating the efforts and

precedents established by others. This is not to suggest that

imitation and following an established form is a bad thing.

Compared to the number of composers, revolutionary innovators

are few and far between from an historical perspective.

Regardless, there are certain elements of sound and sounds that

seem to separate music from 'noise', and acceptance can be

both individual and regional.

Is there any one common characteristic, across the globe, that

qualifies and separates music from noise?

Views: 8314

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Fredrick, I suspect, from some of the stuff I've read and heard, the people to

consult on those issues would be the CIA and the Russians.

On the lighter side, advertising agencies have most likely done studies as well.

On a higher note, there are lots of videos on YouTube that present frequencies

and specific 'art' for meditation.

You raise and introduce some interesting points that are going to be difficult to

answer, and may be fodder for a whole 'nuther' thread. Tho' I agree that this is

all inter-related.
 
Fredrick zinos said:

Agreed.

However the definition of music, to me, is a less interesting question than: What are the physiological effects sound has on the human brain? How, if at all, do those effects vary as a function of the sound being organized into recognizable patterns as opposed to random (or perceived as random)? What do those physiological effects hint at, if anything at all, with respect to what it is to be human?

Ray, why the hostility?   Granted these posts show up on the main Forum page

listing an index of topics. It only becomes 'front page' when you personally and

individually click on to one. Otherwise, it doesn't exist. Where is the harm?

It's not  taking up your space or your time unless you chose it.

When you buy a Newspaper, do you read it from front to back, all sections?

I only get the paper for the comics and especially the crossword puzzle, but

I still have to buy the whole damn paper, even if I despise the news.

So where is the harm? Is your stock dividend going down because of it?

You are in no way obligated to acknowledge or participate in any discussion.

You, like all of us, have freely made the choice to be here.    or not


 
Ray said:

Yes Fredrick, I suspect the vast majority of those wishing to spend so much of their time talking about music couldn't compose to save their lives. The exception to this rule is present only when such discussion relates directly to the music of those involved in it. Of course, if the management would like to change name of this place to The Musicologists' Forum we could cut out this composing thing altogether and just talk.

Fredrick zinos said:

Ray, yes. you are right but consider this, talking about music is 1000% easier than writing it. We do what is easy. We want to eat dessert first. We are human and not the dominant life form on the planet after all. 

I agree..no hostility is needed--theres no conspiracy to overrun the forum in ANY way, with the possible exception of having hopefully having it overrun with good, constructive discussions.

Also IMHO theres no need for insults, the c word, or any other curses either aimed at individuals here, composers, types of music.ANYTHING.

Perhaps simply SKIP those discussions.

YMMV

Thanks Bob

@Bob: thank you for voicing the "novel" concept to skip uninteresting discussions. I have been doing just that, and have found myself very productive in terms of actually writing music (rather than just talking about writing music, or just talking about music in general).  I don't understand why some people here seem to regard the internet, or this forum in particular, as their personal turf, and feel compelled to make it their personal cause to expunge everything not according to their liking. And get offended or riled up when things aren't going according to their liking. It isn't as though this is annoying TV ads that you can't fast forward over; thankfully the internet is (for the most part) pull media rather than push media, so if you choose not to, nobody can push their agenda down your throat.

Or perhaps, if it annoys certain people (or admins) so, the solution is to change the layout of the front page so that discussions about music vs. critique of music submitted by members are presented separately. Then those not interested in discussions about music can simply ignore that tab / window / whatever in the corner of the screen and all will be well. Or, if they regard computer screen real estate as also part of their personal turf, install the Firefox browser and configure CSS to completely block out that tab / panel / whatever so that it doesn't even show up. It is all within current technical capabilities, without needing to get into virtual fist fights over what people ought or ought not to discuss.

 re-read....  hmmm, smells like mock bait.


ps- what the Bonobos lack in musical skills is made up for

in their culinary skills. Have you tried Mrs. Bonobos's

Temites Al fredo with coconut almond sauce, followed by a slice of

her banana dream pie. :>/
Fredrick zinos said:

Agreed.

However the definition of music, to me, is a less interesting question than: What are the physiological effects sound has on the human brain? How, if at all, do those effects vary as a function of the sound being organized into recognizable patterns as opposed to random (or perceived as random)? What do those physiological effects hint at, if anything at all, with respect to what it is to be human?

+1..Great post H.S. :)

Thanks Bob

H. S. Teoh said:

@Bob: thank you for voicing the "novel" concept to skip uninteresting discussions. I have been doing just that, and have found myself very productive in terms of actually writing music (rather than just talking about writing music, or just talking about music in general).  I don't understand why some people here seem to regard the internet, or this forum in particular, as their personal turf, and feel compelled to make it their personal cause to expunge everything not according to their liking. And get offended or riled up when things aren't going according to their liking. It isn't as though this is annoying TV ads that you can't fast forward over; thankfully the internet is (for the most part) pull media rather than push media, so if you choose not to, nobody can push their agenda down your throat.

Or perhaps, if it annoys certain people (or admins) so, the solution is to change the layout of the front page so that discussions about music vs. critique of music submitted by members are presented separately. Then those not interested in discussions about music can simply ignore that tab / window / whatever in the corner of the screen and all will be well. Or, if they regard computer screen real estate as also part of their personal turf, install the Firefox browser and configure CSS to completely block out that tab / panel / whatever so that it doesn't even show up. It is all within current technical capabilities, without needing to get into virtual fist fights over what people ought or ought not to discuss.

Spot on Bob and HS, Though I think the Forum is set up just fine, there are

always ways to improve... if you have the budget.

ps- Bob,  sometimes it is prudent to fight fire with fire
 
H. S. Teoh said:

@Bob: thank you for voicing the "novel" concept to skip uninteresting discussions. I have been doing just that, and have found myself very productive in terms of actually writing music (rather than just talking about writing music, or just talking about music in general).  I don't understand why some people here seem to regard the internet, or this forum in particular, as their personal turf, and feel compelled to make it their personal cause to expunge everything not according to their liking. And get offended or riled up when things aren't going according to their liking. It isn't as though this is annoying TV ads that you can't fast forward over; thankfully the internet is (for the most part) pull media rather than push media, so if you choose not to, nobody can push their agenda down your throat.

Or perhaps, if it annoys certain people (or admins) so, the solution is to change the layout of the front page so that discussions about music vs. critique of music submitted by members are presented separately. Then those not interested in discussions about music can simply ignore that tab / window / whatever in the corner of the screen and all will be well. Or, if they regard computer screen real estate as also part of their personal turf, install the Firefox browser and configure CSS to completely block out that tab / panel / whatever so that it doesn't even show up. It is all within current technical capabilities, without needing to get into virtual fist fights over what people ought or ought not to discuss.

These are interesting Mr. Z, but they hint strongly

at the of the root of

western civilization's music.

Will the strength of western commercialism overcome the musical dynamics

of other regional sounds, due to the power of money, or will one dominate the other

simply because it is 'nearer to nature'and the essence of(so called) good music?

 
Is there such a work as an Indian Fugue, or an Asian Waltz?

A concerto for Sitar and orchestra or a Pan Flute Rhapsody?

 Possibly there are, but they have never taken the reins and steered

the mainstream direction of music.

There are some here barking, don't talk about music, just go write it.

Yeah, it's fun to go out for a drive, but usually you have a destination

and purpose for the trip. Is your music any different?

Many here seem to tout the fugue as if it is the cream of the crop.

Why, (if I even could) would I want to write one ???)

It seems to me to be a fossil, with very limited appeal.

Others may love the form and structure and the challenge of writing

one, but relative to current tastes and the direction of music, What Up?

As far as I can tell there is no demand or 'appetitie' for the fugue.

It must be a personal challenge kind of thing.

Bach, and others, set the bar and then modern folks go 'a gunnin' for

the mark.

This is why I told my son to shoot for second place, It's close- but

your more likely to survive   lol                            RS

  
Fredrick zinos said:

I want to thank Fredrick for his posting of the links to recreations of ancient Greek and Hurrian pieces of music. I love that sort of thing, though I hadn't seen those particular recreations on youtube before.

Roger, I agree with most of what you have said recently on this thread.  However, on the idea of fugues, I don't agree that a "fugue is old-fashioned," or that people should refrain from writing them. Virtually everyone from Bach to the present has written fugues, or has engaged in fugal and contrapuntal writing. You may as well tell people not to write a sonata, a symphony, or even "a song." Still ...  I thought you made many good points in relation to some arguments, which "displayed hostility." Does it really matter where posts "show up?" You said, "Granted these posts show up on the main Forum page listing an index of topics. It only becomes 'front page' when you personally and individually click on to one."  I agree. I think people are still learning how the internet works, and haven't quite caught on. If they get frustrated, they can take a deep breath, and just join the learning process. We all have trouble now and again. The analogies with newspapers, the comics and crossword puzzles are appropriate. Nevertheless, I think once you master an ordinary listserv, chat room, standard internet forum or other similar venue, it all becomes much easier than having to fold and unfold large sheets of paper.

Some individuals don't have much to say, and are uncomfortable about a "Composers' Forum" in which questions are raised, and issues are discussed which go beyond certain fields of interest or knowledge ranges. That's how it appears to me. A person may display hostility, anger, and attack individuals without warrant. People are obviously not "harmed (at least too badly) by this particular thread or any other. Yet some who say they are harmed (or who imply that the entire forum is harmed) participate in these threads as much (or more) than anyone else. Or they say, "this is my last word here," and then show up again later, with another hostile remark, a short time afterwards. It does seem to be a "novel" concept to suggest to those who don't like discussion X, just skip it. It is still "novel," because people still haven't grasped the idea. It also seems to be the case, that people who protest the content of a thread really ARE interested, but they just disagree with the content, and feel compelled to answer. That means they DO like the thread, or they like the idea of disliking it, and they like the idea of saying so. That's why they don't choose to "skip it."

When people get angry, they sometimes begin to personalize, and they say, in relation to an imagined adversary, "so and so couldn't write a piece of music if their life depended on it," and such things. They make mistaken and false assumptions about individuals without knowledge about the people in question, simply because they don't like their arguments or for some other reason. They may be personally threatened by a certain kind of argument, and then respond emotionally. I think it's wise not to make arguments or engage in discussions about other people's music, except on the "Music Analysis" threads and "Open to Revision" threads. It's even wiser to separate one's broader and philosophical views about music from one's own personal creative methods and musical composition techniques. Schoenberg was a total radical in his own composting style; going even to the extent of saying that music should "give up the concept of beauty." Even Lachenmann has not gone that far. Yet, in Schoenberg's books and his classes, he expressed views that were totally traditional. Any person may fall in any number of locations, along various spectra, with regard to philosophies of music, and musical techniques, and that can even change from work to work and moment to moment.

The notion that this should be changed into a "musicologist's forum," simply because people are discussing music, seems a bit silly. Composers do talk about music, and write about music, and they often do more than grunt their approval and disapproval. This forum was set up so that people could debate, discuss, share compositions and ideas about composing, in whatever proportion they see fit. Composers' can walk, run, chew gum, and talk and compose even while doing so. Engaging in attacks on the thread originator is inappropriate, of course. Though we could have a rule that says, for every word a person writes, she or he must compose one note or one bar of music. Or we could outlaw discussion altogether, and just tell people to post music. Let's debate the question of whether we should simply allow music posts, and no discussion. Let's do that on another thread, or even on this thread. Let's.... (Whoops, that would involve talking though, and we don't want to do that. I guess we are faced with a conundrum).

I want to thank Fredrick for his posting of the links to recreations of ancient Greek and Hurrian pieces of music. I love that sort of thing, though I hadn't seen those particular recreations on youtube before.

Roger, I agree with most of what you have said recently on this thread.  However, on the idea of fugues, I don't agree that a "fugue is old-fashioned," or that people should refrain from writing them. Virtually everyone from Bach to the present has written fugues, or has engaged in fugal and contrapuntal writing. You may as well tell people not to write a sonata, a symphony, or even "a song." Still ...  I thought you made many good points in relation to some arguments, which "displayed hostility." You said, "Granted these posts show up on the main Forum page listing an index of topics. It only becomes 'front page' when you personally and individually click on to one."  I agree. I think people are still learning how a "discussion forum" on the internet works, and haven't quite caught on. If they get frustrated, they can take a deep breath, and just join the learning process. We all have trouble now and again. The analogies with newspapers, the comics and crossword puzzles are appropriate. Nevertheless, I think once you master an ordinary listserv, chat room, standard internet forum or other similar venue, it all becomes much easier than having to fold and unfold large sheets of paper.

Some individuals don't have much to say, and are uncomfortable about a "Composers' Forum" in which questions are raised, and issues are discussed which go beyond certain fields of interest or knowledge ranges. That's how it appears to me. A person may display hostility, anger, and attack individuals without warrant. People are obviously not "harmed (at least too badly) by this particular thread or any other. Yet some who say they are harmed (or who imply that the entire forum is harmed) participate in these threads as much (or more) than anyone else. Or they say, "this is my last word here," and then show up again later, with another hostile remark, a short time afterwards. It does seem to be a "novel" concept to suggest to those who don't like discussion X, just skip it. It is still "novel," because people still haven't grasped the idea. It also seems to be the case, that people who protest the content of a thread really ARE interested, but they just disagree with the content, and feel compelled to answer. That means they DO like the thread, or they like the idea of disliking it, and they like the idea of saying so. That's why they don't choose to "skip it."

When people get angry, they sometimes begin to personalize, and they say, in relation to an imagined adversary, "so and so couldn't write a piece of music if their life depended on it," and such things. They make mistaken and false assumptions about individuals without knowledge about the people in question, simply because they don't like their arguments or for some other reason. They may be personally threatened by a certain kind of argument, and then respond emotionally. I think it's wise not to make arguments or engage in discussions about other people's music, except on the "Music Analysis" threads and "Open to Revision" threads. It's even wiser to separate one's broader and philosophical views about music from one's own personal creative methods and musical composition techniques. Schoenberg was a total radical in his own composting style; going even to the extent of saying that music should "give up the concept of beauty." Even Lachenmann has not gone that far. Yet, in Schoenberg's books and his classes, he expressed views that were totally traditional. Any person may fall in any number of locations, along various spectra, with regard to philosophies of music, and musical techniques, and that can even change from work to work and moment to moment.

The notion that this should be changed into a "musicologist's forum," simply because people are discussing music, seems a bit silly. Composers do talk about music, and write about music, and they often do more than grunt their approval and disapproval. This forum was set up so that people could debate, discuss, share compositions and ideas about composing, in whatever proportion they see fit. Composers' can walk, run, chew gum, and talk and compose even while doing so. Engaging in attacks on the thread originator is inappropriate, of course. Though we could have a rule that says, for every word a person writes, she or he must compose one note or one bar of music. Or we could outlaw discussion altogether, and just tell people to post music. Let's debate the question of whether we should simply allow music posts, and no discussion. Let's do that on another thread, or even on this thread. Let's.... (Whoops, that would involve talking though, and we don't want to do that. I guess we are faced with a conundrum).

O long winded One, like all drums, conundrums can be beat.   lol

... and thank you for shedding some more light on the issues at hand.

You mention 1 very interesting remark;  that music should 'give up the

concept of beauty'. Even though I am somewhat averse to quotes, (mainly

because I like to see and hear people think for themselves)

I think Schoenberg's statement has much to be explored.

But, maybe that should be in an entirely different thread.

I have always entertained the notion that Art is synonymous with refinement.

That would make Schoenberg a heathen and a heretic :>}

This idea does though, open the door to the concept of noise as music, if

we have a 'limited concept '(if we can call it that) of beauty.

i.e. that which is in accord with and in balance with Nature and

natural perceptions...

which qualifies my earlier introduction of the 'concept' of plastic

and the direction of music.                        RS

"... thank you for shedding some more light on the issues at hand."

 Don't mention it.

"You mention 1 very interesting remark;  that music should 'give up the concept of beauty'. Even though I am somewhat averse to quotes, (mainly because I like to see and hear people think for themselves)"

If we believe "people should think for themselves," can we not also include the idea that people should think together and with others? I call that "discussion." Perhaps this could go along with the notion that people can still think for themselves about what other people have said.  But perhaps that's not a good question, because you think for yourself, and you think about what others have said. So you can forget I asked it. Of course, Schoenberg was thinking for himself, and he gave us this and other thoughts, so we can think for ourselves about what he said. If you like to "see and hear people think for themselves," then I assume you like to hear and see what Schoenberg thinks, since he is one of the "people" who has said a few things about music. But I know you know that. So again, forget I asked the question or that I may have made some incorrect assumptions about your attitude towards "quotes."  (I quoted you above. I hope you don't mind).

You said, "I think Schoenberg's statement has much to be explored. But, maybe that should be in an entirely different thread."  That's fair, and appropriate. But Schoenberg's statement about beauty seems to pertain to the main question you pose: what is the definition of music?  Most "official" definitions say something like this:  Music is "vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion." If Schoenberg says music should do without beauty, then that is a major challenge to the traditional conception of music and art, and even to Lachenmann's ultra-contemporary definitions of music. Perhaps this is what you mean when you say, "I have always entertained the notion that Art is synonymous with refinement. That would make Schoenberg a heathen and a heretic :>}"  I agree for the most part. Schoenberg is non-orthodox, or even heathen. It's interesting to me that you include the idea of "refinement" within the idea of art and music. I don't normally associate music (in its totality) with refinement, since Stravinsky's Rite of Spring or even a band piece by Sousa, are both "music," though I don't think they are "refined," in the ordinary sense. In the sense of being elegant or sophisticated. Sousa's work is neither, and the Rite is by no means "elegant," unless you define elegance in a rather bizarre way.

One interviewer reported this exchange with Schoenberg:  'In the ensuing discussion, I referred to “beautiful” music. The word was unfortunate. Schoenberg snapped, “Always you talk about beautiful! Why do you use that word with reference to music? It is too vague. No one knows what beauty is … the word means many things to each person and so it no longer has meaning.'

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2020   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service