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Music Composers Unite!

Hello to all members,

This post is to announce our Winter Music Contest - members were asked to create a piece which evokes the idea of Winter. The rules of the contest are simple: any instrumentation, 7 minutes or less in duration. 16 members total submitted entries, making this one of the most-participated-in contests which I have run on this site! Please take some time to listen to these entries and vote your top three. The winners will have the honor of having their entries posted to the top of the home page of the site until the first day of summer! Please click the link below to cast your vote! Deadline is 2/14/2015 at 5 pm EST!!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R2733RF

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I wonder if he did so happen to have the (usual) advantage of perfect pitch, at least? I don't recall, offhand... Not that, obviously, if he didn't that he couldn't have achieved what he in fact did. I suppose I'm just assuming that his achievements must have been all the more commenable if he didn't, as it would seem to me to be indicative of an even greater drive to get his work done. Although... this may be a rather naive point of view, coming from a man who doesn't have it. 

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

Yes, Paul.  On the guitar.  That's what I have read.  I have recall that the only "performances" he would give for friends or in public, were on the guitar.  I don't even know how "formal" or extensive his instruction was, or if he was at all good at performing.  This makes him somewhat unusual, and one can see why Mendelssohn and others tried to disparage him on that basis alone.  Of course, his compositions were so unorthodox that it is a wonder his works were performed at all.  They have very, very strange rhythmic and orchestral features that set them apart.  He's not my "favorite" either, but I enjoy a lot of his work, and respect his originality.  

I am sure, Paul, you are right to add this fact  of his guitar playing into the mix.  To me, personally, it doesn't matter much, because composing is not the same as performing, and good performers can be bad composers, and bad performers can be good composers, since the two are very different activities.     

Prokofiev was good at both, but said he wanted to give up performing piano sonatas and piano concerti because it took away too much time from his composing.  Liszt and Chopin were, perhaps, the other way around.  Good at both, but preferred the activity of performing to the act of composing.  (Just a speculation).  Perhaps the experts on Liszt and Chopin want to weigh in on that.   

That last paragraph sounds like just about the only plan for such a radical departure that could possibly work, alright, lol. 

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

"I am still (being a psychologist by trade and extremely suspicious) unconvinced that art and the appreciation thereof can be aught but subjective."

Interesting!  

Two close relatives of mine are professional psychologists, and I actually teach courses in introductory psychology (though I did much more course work in philosophy and literature than in psychology).

Not all psychologists believe that the appreciation of art is a "subjective process" of course, and I would guess there is as much disagreement within the domains of psychology and aesthetics as there is in any of the humanities.

But that's purely my subjective opinion.

My own personal dotage will also lead me to soften my stance, and admit that the subjective plays a major (even perhaps a decisive role) in statements about the value of an art object.

But I won't retreat on the "objective evaluation," 

"Mozart's Marriage of Figaro is superior to the Meow Mix Jingle, in terms of artistic quality,"

which I regard as an "absolutely true statement."

Of if I do, it will be because someone conditions me through torture to hate Mozart (the way Alex in ClockWork Orange was conditioned to react badly to Beethoven), and also conditions me to love the Meow Mix Jingle, by injecting me with Heroin every time I hear the latter.

You said: Or if I do, it will be because someone conditions me through torture to hate Mozart (the way Alex in ClockWork Orange was conditioned to react badly to Beethoven), and also conditions me to love the Meow Mix Jingle, by injecting me with Heroin every time I hear the latter. I am deeply offended being the composer of the Meow Mix Jingle..........................only joking!

Paul - Oops!

Gosh Ondib, all of a sudden this discussion seems to have degenerated into a 'My dad's bigger than yours' dialogue. I mentioned that I'm a psychologist simply to give you a better idea of where I'm coming from vis-à-vis subjectivity/objectivity. I could say my Uncle Tom is a brain surgeon, or my Aunt Joan is a refuse collection engineer, or that I have a qualification in macramé, - none of which is the least relevant. I was simply making the point that I approach the subject more from a psychological perspective than a musicological one. I must say I have enjoyed (and learned from) our discourse up to this point and hope I might continue to do so on an appropriate intellectual plane.
 
Paul Smith said:

That last paragraph sounds like just about the only plan for such a radical departure that could possibly work, alright, lol. 

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

"I am still (being a psychologist by trade and extremely suspicious) unconvinced that art and the appreciation thereof can be aught but subjective."

Interesting!  

Two close relatives of mine are professional psychologists, and I actually teach courses in introductory psychology (though I did much more course work in philosophy and literature than in psychology).

Not all psychologists believe that the appreciation of art is a "subjective process" of course, and I would guess there is as much disagreement within the domains of psychology and aesthetics as there is in any of the humanities.

But that's purely my subjective opinion.

My own personal dotage will also lead me to soften my stance, and admit that the subjective plays a major (even perhaps a decisive role) in statements about the value of an art object.

But I won't retreat on the "objective evaluation," 

"Mozart's Marriage of Figaro is superior to the Meow Mix Jingle, in terms of artistic quality,"

which I regard as an "absolutely true statement."

Of if I do, it will be because someone conditions me through torture to hate Mozart (the way Alex in ClockWork Orange was conditioned to react badly to Beethoven), and also conditions me to love the Meow Mix Jingle, by injecting me with Heroin every time I hear the latter.

Yeah, well, don't lose too much heart there, Gav. Even if you got the composer wrong this time, this one still does stand by trying to commit to something a little surprising, formally and especially harmonically, whenever our next contest is a go. Just, uhh, don't hold out any hopes for a 'Tarkus' style and level of approach when it comes down to it...

Gav Brown said:

Paul - Oops!

Mr. Smith, I have penciled in on my calender ; June 15th,2015- debut of 'Paularkus'.

You now have the time and the title, the rest is up to you.   lol     RS

'Malarkeyus' would probably be a little more apt and descriptive, I'm thinking... And, hell, imagine the possibilities: It could be a concept-album dealing with tank like machine/animal hybrids with a kind of robotic down's syndrome indiscriminately plowing under fat American shoppers at a local overstocked Wal-Mart. The penultimate track could even be named 'Black Friday'.
roger stancill said:

Mr. Smith, I have penciled in on my calender ; June 15th,2015- debut of 'Paularkus'.

You now have the time and the title, the rest is up to you.   lol     RS

That's the spirit    go for it Paul   another track might be a spin off  of 'Midnight Special"

      " let the Blue light special, da da da, shine a light on me...  da da da da        RS   ( rather silly)

Paul - LOL I agree

Paul Smith said:

Yeah, well, don't lose too much heart there, Gav. Even if you got the composer wrong this time, this one still does stand by trying to commit to something a little surprising, formally and especially harmonically, whenever our next contest is a go. Just, uhh, don't hold out any hopes for a 'Tarkus' style and level of approach when it comes down to it...

Gav Brown said:

Paul - Oops!

Okay, well, you know what? Maybe I'll just try to weasel in a quick and subtle little reference to that relentlessly brilliant bass-line purely in order to blow your hair back a bit, big guy :) ... But, uhh, yet again, I don't think I'd really count on it, if I were you, lolol. Obviously, it isn't that such a quote, or facsimile, couldn't be easily enough briefly incorporated, but rather the very high expectations that would necessarily follow in its wake... As far as prog rock goes, I wouldn't judge such a presumption as too far afield of starting a more conventional piece of orchestral work with the massive balls required to start an otherwise original piece with the four opening notes of the 5th.

Gav Brown said:

Paul - LOL I agree

Paul Smith said:

Yeah, well, don't lose too much heart there, Gav. Even if you got the composer wrong this time, this one still does stand by trying to commit to something a little surprising, formally and especially harmonically, whenever our next contest is a go. Just, uhh, don't hold out any hopes for a 'Tarkus' style and level of approach when it comes down to it...

Gav Brown said:

Paul - Oops!

Perhaps a contest where the requirement is merely to use 5/4 time?

Paul Smith said:

Okay, well, you know what? Maybe I'll just try to weasel in a quick and subtle little reference to that relentlessly brilliant bass-line purely in order to blow your hair back a bit, big guy :) ... But, uhh, yet again, I don't think I'd really count on it, if I were you, lolol. Obviously, it isn't that such a quote, or facsimile, couldn't be easily enough briefly incorporated, but rather the very high expectations that would necessarily follow in its wake... As far as prog rock goes, I wouldn't judge such a presumption as too far afield of starting a more conventional piece of orchestral work with the massive balls required to start an otherwise original piece with the four opening notes of the 5th.

Gav Brown said:

Paul - LOL I agree

Paul Smith said:

Yeah, well, don't lose too much heart there, Gav. Even if you got the composer wrong this time, this one still does stand by trying to commit to something a little surprising, formally and especially harmonically, whenever our next contest is a go. Just, uhh, don't hold out any hopes for a 'Tarkus' style and level of approach when it comes down to it...

Gav Brown said:

Paul - Oops!

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