Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

I don't know if anyone is interested in this. Not sure I am.

The question is: What are quantifiable bullet points that define contemporary music? Do they only apply to concert music, as opposed to something one might hear in a bar? I don't hang out in bars, but I saw one on TV once. Is it only bleeding edge (or bleeding ear)(oops, sorry) atonal-ism? Is it a rock band performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (a real thing)? Is it 4'33? Or ten minutes of seven clarinets playing random overtones? And is it the same thing in different countries and cultures? 

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Lawrence,

I was kind of rushed. I wanted to get them in before our friend departed.

Julie,

Because I don't want to limit myself, I almost never set any parameters ahead of time. Sometimes not even key or meter. I might have a vague idea of the "feel" of the piece. I might have an idea of how it should start. Armed with this information, I open a score and plop down a few notes. Those notes determine what comes next. A melody might begin to emerge. If so, chord structure begins to form. 

So, yes, I am all about how stuff sounds. And I prefer mostly tonal, but a bit of well placed dissonance helps break it up.  

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Not that I care that much, but let's sort of stick to music. But only because I feel the same way about poetry that it seems most people feel about classical music. And to be fair I don't like most classical music. 

dave, still the wily rascal.. It's been a while, but I see you remain the inflammatory cybercop  of yore.

Oh well, someone's got to keep the trolls honest. Good job.
 
Dave Dexter said:

Getting the comma in the wrong place is an abomination.
I think correcting a grammar nazi on grammar is a neutral act.

Roger,

Then try to stay "honest", and comment on the topic.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: the Composer's Forum.

Composemary's Baby

Ya know, I try to start a nice simple thread. I mean, what could possibly be less contentious than a thread about contemporary music? Nobody has strong feelings about that, do they? I guess the "arts" are just trouble. What do any of us think we are doing here? 

What's that, you say? We're here about the music. Huh. Go figure.

I'm all about wide ranging discussion. Truth is I don't care if we talk about poetry. I used to write a lot of it in High School. Loads. But for me it's too limited. Someone puts a few words together. Someone else calls it genius. Same with a painting of a soup can. Same with 4'33. Someone has some kind of laps and likes something I wrote. Go figure.

Let's just try to have a long thread that doesn't get locked. That ends because it was done.

Just for fun...

Sir Thomas Beecham replying to the question of whether he had heard any Stockhausen: "No, but I think I've trodden in some."

While Copland was in Hollywood in 1934 writing tuneful music for a Sam Goldwyn movie, he met Groucho Marx at a contemporary concert at which Coplands' dissonant piano sonata was performed.

"I have a split personality" explained Copland. "Well it's ok," said Groucho, "as long as you split it with Goldwyn."

"I would like to hear Elliot Carters 4th string quartet if only to discover what a cranky prostate does to ones polyphony." --James Sellars.

"I liked the opera very much. Everything but the music." - Britten on Stravinskys The Rake's Progress.

Henzes' opera 'We Come to the River', commissioned by Covent Garden was a complete flop with audience, critics and cast alike. One evening the tenor Robert Tear announced backstage that the audience were being allowed in free. Having paused to allow his colleagues to reflect on this gloomy news, Tear added, "but they are having to pay to get out."

(all taken from Lebrechts' A Book of Musical Anecdotes.)

This and Gav's response are probably the finest posts I have ever read.

Dave Dexter said:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: the Composer's Forum.

I've never seen the film so Gav's went right over my head, but I'm glad I did something right.

Bob Porter said:

This and Gav's response are probably the finest posts I have ever read.

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