Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
This has very little to do with the future of classical music, but I though it was interesting anyways so I thought I'd post it.
It is a video on Tool's Song "Lateralus" and it's connection to the Fibonacci Sequence.
Have a good break everyone.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I can't say that I feel wholeheartedly that this is good OR bad. I would like to say that it is bad, or perhaps more accurately that it is creepy, but really it would be hypocritical of me to say such a thing as I participate in all of this online living as much as I revile it.
But, specifically in the context of classical music and the world of the arts, I must say that as much as part of me enjoys reading that pianist Jeremy Denk has uncontrollable urges for rice krispie treats, at the same time the larger part of me mourns some sort of loss of mystery. I guess it is too late: mystery as a concept is not much present for this latest generation of artists, and it is perhaps silly to mourn something that is long gone in the eyes of modern culture in general, but really! I wouldn't want to have been sitting in a darkened concert hall, listening to Claudio Arrau, and have it even remotely possible that I could have wondered if he had gotten his rice krispie treat fix recently.
I know I keep picking on think denk in my discussions of the classical blog, and this is perhaps unfair as there are many other blogs like this one. But it is a great example in my view of both what is so great about blogs and all of this connectivity in general (getting to know artist's deep thoughts!) and what is so intangibly disappointing about the same (the same!).
As a result of this increase of interest in other out-of-the-mainstream types of music, there has been a decline in the amount of money made with the mega-pop hits 1. It seems that the record-holder for fastest-selling album in the first week belongs to *NSYNC, with their No Strings Attached (2000), the “last bit of manufactured pop” selling “virile young men” with “looks and scripted personalities” to young women before Napster happened 1. All this is good news, because world's population can more easily than ever branch out into classical music if they aren't already fans. From the 2006 Nielsen SoundScan, the service that tracks music sales for Billboard and other music industry companies, it was seen that there was an increase of 23 percent in classical music sales from 2005 2. The comment by the Pacifica Quartet that they have never felt more optimistic about the future of classical music perhaps finds basis in this phenomenon of increased willingness and means to explore different types of music. Anderson places emphasis on the point of the consumer's increasing consciousness of choice, saying that we are “becoming mini-connoisseurs, flexing our taste with a thousand little indulgences that set us apart from others.” This individuality in consumption has weakened the shared narrative of a culture and has created thousands of niches 1.
The exact effect of the Internet on the sale of music is hard to quantify. There are views that the spread of peer-to-peer sharing of music amounts to nothing more than piracy 3, as well as more positive views that file sharing is actually helpful 4, to views that file sharing is only part of the matter 1. The view of the RIAA is that pirated online marketplace currently dwarfs the legal marketplace, and thus compromises the ability to invest in new artists 3. This situation gave rise to digital rights management (DRM), where someone who purchases a song online or rips a song off a purchased CD can only create so many copies of the song on so many devices. The view of some artists, though not most of the highly established artists, is that any distribution of their music is good since it increases their exposure 1,4. Anderson believes that the a fundamental change in commerce model in the move to the Internet as happened to be realized by large-scale file sharing is the primary reason for disruption of music sales. The fact that the sheer size of the selection available through piracy was much greater than commercial channels, and the ease made piracy a natural choice. Of course it is almost impossible to determine which of these is more correct than the others.
Another effect the Internet has had on music comes from online communities like Youtube and Myspace. Myspace has made social networking with other musicians much easier and greatly facilitates distribution of one's music. Youtube is another phenomenon which has greatly encouraged dialogue between music-lovers, both between amateurs and professionals. Youtube is being used by amateur musicians to show off their prowess and to seek advice, which comes in abundant amounts. Professional musicians are also using Youtube as free promotional publishing. Viewed differently, Youtube users are no longer content to just consume content, like downloading and listening to mp3's, but are now actively creating their own content 5. According to Tapscott and Williams, there has been a shift from a traditional consumer role to a “prosumer” role, a consumer who creates value and well as consumes it 5. An example given was LEGO, which introduced a website on which you could make your own designs and the company would send you the pieces needed to build it. The designs were also stored online so you could browse other people's designs also. A manifestation of this in music in a production of mashes, remixes, and music videos by fans 5. What are some implications of this new prosumer culture for classical music?
1. Anderson, Chris (2006). The Long Tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0237-8.
2. http://lashawnbarber.com/archives/2007/10/18/the-long-tail-of-classical-music/ Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
3. http://www.riaa.com/faq.php. Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
4. http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
5. Tapscott, Wolff and Anthony D. Williams (2006). Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything. Portfolio. ISBN 978-1-59184-138-8.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Then, I read A previous article which bothers me a whole lot. I wouldn't consider anything is black/white, nor noise/music. It's up to us to decide when and what duality can comes into play. what is music? Is it just something that we create, and can anyazled? If this is true, then, everything is MUSIC...even so called the "noisy" ones. Even Cage's 4"33 is music, because he believes that music is always around us. So silence and noise = music...It is only when a person's whose ideas are so convincing that (s)he can persuaded the public into his belief. Thus, his ideas are emobided in his work, and can produce whatever he wishes ---- music.
I think it's so interesting how composers can love the idea of playing a string quartet in a helicopter (eg. Stockhausen). [My first reaction is, I want to create a piano piece that invovles throwing a torch into the piano, so that we can listen to the strings being transformed (creating a time intervals and sounds between the bass and sorprano), also, it would be interesting to see the interactions between the flames and piano as they create their own music.] My second reaction is somewhat more musical, it is the fact that the nosie of the helicopter can be interpreted as an ostinato bass, or cantus firmus if you will. and the string quarter is a new composition that added onto something that is constant. My thought is, hey why not?! Isn't that what we had throughout the centuries, is a constant bass from renaissnace to james brown, is that freaking ground bass that gets our blood going....and still do, like in the Rock and Roll. Here's my last spile
Monday, December 10, 2007
Consider this as a comment to RFlat's post! I just think it should be its own post because I posted Stockhausen's questionnaire last week to give a good example of a living composer of the ''old school''. When I heard in the radio that he was dead, I was first of all very surprised because he has been quite active in the public during the last year. The second thing I thought was that we really are entering a new time. The generation of Stockhausen is about to die, all those composers who made 21st century music to what most people consider noise are dead already or very old. Stockhausen went far over the top sometimes. But in my terms, he was very "authentic". I played one of his piano pieces and some chamber music, which is how I became interested in him. These works are probably his more traditional ones in terms of instrumentation and appearance. Sometimes I wished he wouldn't do such controversial events like his helicopter quartet or wouldn’t say all these offensive things, e.g. about 9/11. All in all, people were talking a lot about his curious personality, but unfortunately not about his music. This strikes me. Why do they have half an hour long documentaries on the radio with old interviews, funny episodes, but NO MUSIC? They could have played something, an excerpt from an orchestral work or one of the piano pieces.
This only enhances my theory that even people who talk about contemporary music don't listen to it. This is such a big misunderstanding, why do people feel like talking so much that they forget what they are talking about? How many of us actually listened to music by some of the composers that were mentioned in our readings? I can say for myself that I went to the Library once to listen to some Birtwistle - and that was pretty much it, because I'm lazy. Some of you could pretend that you really wanted to listen to some Lachenmann, but it wasn't in the library. That's at least an excuse.
Here is an interview from 1999 with Stockhausen in a British magazine, which is quite interesting and also entertaining. Please don’t waste your time and read the whole thing, if you are interested in Stockhausen try to get some scores and CDs! Here is a very short paragraph:
Ben Hollings: Do you think there will come a time when the pen and paper are no longer part of the composing process?
Stockhausen: Well, I wouldn't recommend that because when working, it's not important if it's on paper or a screen where you have a light pen or something like that. What is important is that, working on paper, to take what you say means spending time, unlimited time, on composing. And if you don't use paper, you might use a monitor which is fed by a computer or whatever it is. It is necessary that the spirit of the composer can concentrate on what he sees so that his eyes can help organize it into symbols which are used for other human beings to produce the sound. (...) http://www.thewire.co.uk/articles/140/
As you could read in the following text, Mr. Stockhausen has moved to the star of Sirius last Thursday (that's also where he came from, of course) and will continue to compose from there for the whole universe and in eternity. And I really hope that people in two or fifty years will not only remember him in this crazy context, but also remember some of his achievements in music and sound.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
As many of you know, one of my earlier projects on Wiki was to update the Longy School of Music page. I just remembered to check the 'talk' page, and found that Voceditenore had added a Footnotes section! This is essentially a way to clean up the look of a page, and make the links easier to verify. Please read his comment on the talk page, it makes a lot of sense. He also includes a link to the Wiki page that explain how to create footnotes as well as the page that explains how to properly cite sources within Wikipedia.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Art is artificially created beauty, isn't it.... So, could Art be ugly?
For reference, in russian it is the same...
I really want to see some responds and comments on this point....
I just uploaded my introduction for the Impetus section of Composition to the Wiki page. Check it out!
Click here to view and comment on my progress on the article.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Source: Music, Noise, Silence, and Sound
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
2 term "classical music" as an quality mark when you name music.
3 term "classical music" as a period in music
4 term "classical music" by typological means
free russian english translator
so instead of this link that we were trying to use
it was actually this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Futureclass/Sandbox , if you notice difference only in capital first letter, but since computers are using a 32 character code it is different for them.
*(if you will go there now, I made a link to a actual Sandbox)...
Blogging <= can't we just make an internal link to "blog" page and make a subtopic there about classical music blogs, or I don't know concerts review blogs?
I noticed that the wiki pages of some institutions (e.x.. UC Davis and Berklee) have a link for a list of notable alumni. It would be nice for Longy to have one, too, but I don't know where to find this information. Perhaps someone could start it? Also, the wiki page says that Longy is the only conservatory in the Boston area that follows the French conservatoire model, but it doesn't explain what that is, and I dont' know what it is, either. Could someone clarify that?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Another page I found, said that sales for Classical music was actually up (as seen from the Nielsen SoundScan report comparing 2006 sales to 2005 sales which they make available in the article) due to internet sales (this they did not provide a source for). The article basically espoused Chris Anderson's view from his book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. It basically says that physical record stores cannot keep a huge stock of classical CDs because they won't sell well and have to make room for popular CDs that sell well. With the internet, it is much much cheaper to keep a large inventory so people who are looking for a specific CD will be able to find it online. Though they won't be able to sell very many of each CD or song, since the inventory is so large, they will make pretty good money.
And a note about the Nielsen SoundScan sales report - it is the source for Billboard ratings, and the RIAA actually uses an independent sale-tracking system. The Nielsen report tracks sales from retail sales (like when a barcode is scanned), mass retail, and online sales, only exculding some independent retailers and online outlets. The RIAA report tracks shipments, according to the wikipedia article, which is sourceless for this point. Makes me wonder... how could they say they have lost 300 million due to piracy?
The only catch is that the article must come from thier list of core subjects. So I reviewed the list and there 27 articles about classical music on this list. These articles range from composers - such a Mahler - to instruments such as the violin and trombone.
The contest is posted in your watchlist section of your user page.
Monday, November 26, 2007
http://tinyurl.com/367fhl , you have to look at it at the library because it's from the JSTOR catalogue!
In 1984, the International Music Council (I didn't know something like that exists) sent out questionnaires to leading persons in the music world. One of these questionnaires was published by the very eccentric and controversial composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. He is "disgusted by the world's most famous interpreters who are not serving musical progress" and thinks that music has never been in a worse status than now...
Reading his text was quite interesting, sometimes even funny; although I have great respect of the music of Mr. Stockhausen, his opinions are quite arguable. I think this text represents the opinion of a whole generation of especially European composers in a maybe exaggerated way - I have to think about Boulez, who is also famous for his arrogance towards other music than the one he's writing himself. Nevertheless, I think it's a waste of time to talk about how backwards or arrogant these opinions are. And I feel that a lot of people do it. They spend a lot of time blaming composers like Stockhausen for their isolation of the masses, they blame Schoenberg for his idea of concerts only for experts. But they forget that this doesn't matter any more. Instead of complaining, they should just play the music and try to make it interesting for a wider range of audience.
I write this because I was irritated during the last weeks that Schoenberg is always called the bad guy who's fault it is that we don't enjoy contemporary music anymore. I got this impression from different directions, including the books we have to read. Doesn't everybody know that the model of concerts for experts doesn't work any more? Isn't it clear that an attitude like the one of Stockhausen leads to nothing? Compared to Stockhausen, I'm pretty young, and when I was introduced to his music in high school, there was a clear distinction between the music he writes and what else he says. Why can't we like the music of someone and at the same time distance ourselves from the personal opinions of the composer?
(I thank Alex Ross for the very nice comment on Schoenberg during the question-session - it felt really good to hear that not everybody hates him)
But what was always sad about Pandora is that it wouldn't touch classical music with a 10-foot stick. Well, no more! On Nov. 15 Pandora announced the creation of "Pandora Classical", boasting of over 10,000 'songs' by over 500 different composers from baroque to contemporary. Cool! To commemorate this happy occasion I updated Pandora's wikipedia page!
As for the service itself... well... I'm going to hope that as they continue to upload more music by more composers, identifying more 'genes', their ability to read my mind will improve. On my first test of the new classical service, I created a station and told it that I like Bartok and Prokofiev. I was deliberately non-specific (meaning, I didn't say I like Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle and Prokofiev's 1st symphony) because I wanted to see where it would go. The player started off with Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, and followed that with Bartok's concerto for orchestra. Nice (if not particularly inspired) choices, both of which I like. I decided to just keep clicking 'Yes, I like this' for everything to see where we would wind up. Within 8 'songs' we were at Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. (Which, actually, I do also like.) But I was curious... why would Pandora think a Bartok/Prokofiev person would also like Swan Lake?? I hit the 'Why did you play this?" button and was told Pandora thought I would like it because of the 'non-pitched percussion instruments'!! Which in turn was due to me saying that I enjoyed it when Pandora picked Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin...
You can see why I think the service will need continued tweaking.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
A) Classical music as a political asset. Time magazine and other newspapers use to print the president's favorite classical music pieces.
B) Since the "British invasion" of the Beattles, it became fashionable for intellectuals to listen to commerical music instead of classical music
C) Orchestras are not seen as common cultural heritage of the people - only the elite. This led to classical radio stations and elimination of classical music sections in newspapers and magzines.
D) A vast over population of classical musician exceeds te demand and positions available.
E) To cast an aesthetic preferences as moral choices are absurd
Even though the article is 15 pages long, it's a fast, funny read. Enjoy:)
The project seems to huge to deal with on an individual level. Thanks to Honorable Ruler and our thoughts for developing an outline, we have a place to start. I was thinking that if we divide up the outline among ourselves and start fleshing out the section with already existing Wikipedia articles - all of a sudden we have a direction to go. For example, I was thinking that the composers of the class would want to flesh out the "composition" section. I am intersted in the music education section due to my background as a teacher. As you can see, I have fleshed out the music education section and the improv section.
We may want to spend the last few weeks of the class finding articles, judging their quality, and organizing them onto our outline. The next step would be to fix "edit" the articles that are in dire need of help. Plus, this will give the next FCM class a clear place to continue our work.
What do you guys think?
Hope this helps.....
I was just on violinist Hilary Hahn's official website, and she has a page entitled "Opinions" http://www.hilaryhahn.com/opinions.shtml in which she shows a few interviews that she gave to several other musicians who she has worked with on projects and on tour. I thought that 2 of the questions that she asked people were particularly interesting in regards to some of our class discussions over the course of the semester, which were about classical music in schools and applause between movements. Basically, most people are talking about why applause between movements isn't something to get all upset about, and various reasons why classical music education in schools is good for students to become well-rounded, helps develop additional enriching ways of thinking, etc. I just found it really cool to read.
I can't find the link icon on the blog thingy. I'm sorry, I'm lame.
I updated my user page.
I’m using my user page to introduce the lists of musical projects and organizations that contribute to the future of classical music. But I’m a little stuck with my user page. If anybody has any suggestions, please let me know!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
at Honorable ruler user page I just made few correction under listening ... link them to wikipages also...... dunno what to do with mine user page....
P.S. Alex Ross book is a good piece of reading, his ideas more and more support mine that Musicality is very subjective.... and musician taste is given thing... And society and surrounding people are the one who forms it for you.... and I bet because there is may cultures and more and more dissipation between society level somebody will truly love Britney Spears and somebody will prefer Mozart....
Is it again peasants vs bourgeois?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Obviously it doesn't work..AHHHH! Instead of being frustrated and angry, here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:At_the_Inn
PS once you get there, to to section 3 "Reformers and their musical innovation."
PSS Someone smarter than I please create a link for easy access.....
link: (hope it works) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:At_the_Inn#Reformers_and_their_musical_innovations
Monday, November 19, 2007
Anyways, what really impressive what the point that he made about how often we hear 20th century music, and how much we actually enjoyed them; and some of them do not breka away from the tonality. For example, Shostakovich symphonies/prelude and fugues. When it comes to Philip Glass, he wrote so much on film music, and little do we pay attention to music when we see a movie, but, the distribution of soundtracks do catagorized under the "soundtrack" section, but the music is 20th century. Samuel Barber's Adagio for String is being score under Platoon, and often played at the Copley Square mall, or just malls in general. (It's not like people hated the music). It's the fact that we gave 20th century music such a bad name. Because we are stuck to Schoenberg's idea of unresolved dissoncnes. And Ross pointed out that maybe that's what Schoneberg wanted. He wanted the music to sound so dissonanced, maybe is his way to reflect on today's society. But, the way he organized the music in the most mathematical, conscious way that it influenced many many composers. Such as Messiean, known for his total serialism, And Webern, pointillistic style with 12 tone. Which reminds me of "Less is more." philosophy, and associated it well with "minimalism." If Schoneberg's truly wanted to achieve music that reflects today's world, he definately succeeded!!! Reason I said it is because although the society is very organized within a hiearchy, we have order, justice etc. But, we faced with stress, have to deal with the noise in the city (such as cars engines' their honks, traffic noisce, construction sites, backgroud radio, elevator music, subway's vibrations, other people's conversations especially on their cells etc.) It's a bleak loney world.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Feedback, either here or on Wikipedia would be appreciated!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
As many, if not all, of us have discovered, there are some fairly bad wiki articles out there. There are many solutions, but I decided to focus my attention today on the MIDI Composition article. It was a short article that had a flag suggesting it be Merged into a larger article, Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Wikipedia has very strict protocol regarding this procedure, and after slogging through the various processes I discovered that it's really just there to keep things from disappearing without a trace. If you ever find yourself in a position to Merge an article, make sure that if there are others interested/invested in it that they know/approve by making a new topic on the discussion page. This will prevent other users from taking offense and simply undoing all your work. For Wikipedia's specific instructions on how to merge pages, go here. It's really not as difficult as it appears!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've added content on my user page. I have some wikipedia articles and external articles listed and have created a tentative outline for the Internet section. Feel free to modify or add to it.
Much of the stuff is about DRM and how the recording companies are affected by Internet distribution. I don't know whether this stuff greatly affects classical music or not.
My user page
Monday, November 12, 2007
As a result, the wikipedia people has attached some guidelines for our first articles to our futureclass user page. Also, there are wikibots from Classical Music Project and Opera Project that are very interested in our articles. I'm not sure if we want to connect to their projects or keep separate.
I'm sorry about opening such a big can of worms....
Sunday, November 11, 2007
The articles don't go too in-depth so I don't know what to make of them. But something in one of the articles bugged me:
"The result is a 40-second "hymn to God" that Pala said sounds best on a pipe organ, the instrument most commonly used in Leonardo's time for spiritual music. A short segment taken from a CD of the piece contained a Bach-like passage played on the organ. The tempo was almost painfully slow but musical."
A Bach-like passage? During the Renaissance? Of course, they said it was a short segment from a CD of the piece, but why do they mention that, then, unless it was supposed to be directly related? People, please.
Friday, November 9, 2007
2. I've also updated the outline (based on our in-class picture) and started getting internal links going. I thought it would be interesting to see what is already available on wikipedia. It's really enlightening. I've started to be convinced that we really can make a great contribution.
To name just a few of the problems with the articles I've linked to thus far:
- "Modern music" might as well not exist - it is the stubbiest stub I've ever seen!
- "Modernism (music) does not cite any references or sources
- "Contemporary classical music" has a section needing citations, and is in major need of some self-referencing help (see all the red text).
- "Tonality" - the factual accuracy of the article is disputed. See the talk page.
- "Twelve-tone technique" - check out the talk page to go to "WikiProject Classical music." The article also needs some "detechnicalization"!
- "Music education" needs a world perspective, not just U.S. Also check out the talk page to see some other issues.
3. I'm just beginning to post my articles by showing what categories in our outline they could support. Would it be worthwhile to start a page with the outline-as-it-goes so that we can all contribute our articles in like fashion?
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Most notably it talks about recording quality and the peripherals that make many recording great, i.e. album art, liner notes, etc.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I'm still working on updating the Longy Wiki page. I haven't edited the blatant advertisement yet, but I've been working on getting the historical information more recent then 1985. Check back tomorrow for more!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Here's the answer that I've been wondering about, that is how does online purchase for $.99 cents per song can be so profitable. The answer by Apple itunes explained that, "out of the 99 cents that Apple charges for a song, about 65 cents goes to the music label that recorded it. Another 25 cents goes for "distribution costs"—mainly credit card charges, but also for the servers, bandwidth, and other expenses needed to operate a large online service. Marketing, promotion, and the amortized cost of developing the iTunes software itself eats up the rest." From an artist point of view, they now have more options as to how to get their songs "out-there." For example, the artist can now sell their CD online, also known as "CD Baby, in Portland, Ore., which describes itself as "a little online record store that sells CDs by independent musicians." The second option is to join the MUDDA organization which founded by Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno. "MUDDA stands for Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists, [it] acts as an online collective for artists to sell their music directly to the public." Artists are now able to create, advertise, and sell their music freely among the public. It has no restrained from the record labels. Isn't this is what music is all about?!
All quotations are drawn from this article, http://spectrum.ieee.org/dec04/3857
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Would someone who knows how to do this kindly elaborate or correct the above statement?
Thus, your Wikipedia contribution, Adam, (for which, thanks) is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Frazin. As a link, it would look like this, with "this" being the word that I highlighted before I clicked on the link icon.
Your blog posting would be a good place to amplify your Wikipedia additions. For instance, Adam, you have amplified Howard Frazin's entry. Did you attend the premiere? Did you like the piece? What can you tell us about it? This pediatrician, did he also commission the piece? Were there in fact jazz elements to it?
We're all ears! I appreciate your enhancing Frazin's presence on Wikipedia.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
In March of 2007, Frazin's new Double Tuba Concerto was premiered at Fanuil Hall, in Boston MA. It was performed by the Boston Classical Orchestra, under Steven Lipsitt. The Tuba soloists were Boston Symphony principal Mike Roylance and pediatrician/jazz musician Eli Newberger.
Rose says, "'I don't believe in the argument that those masterworks, as the highest expression of Western artistic thought, need to be constantly played over and over again...I think we minimize their impact by doing that. I think Beethoven would be shocked with our current musical culture--shocked and upset. He wouldn't recognize it.'"
"...[W]hile new music is isolated within the classical music world, it is also strangely off the radar screen of many who follow other trends in contemporary visual arts or theater. Then there is the problem of the name. A well-educated friend of mine once confessed that he hadn't realized classical composers still existed. After all, he asked, wasn't classical music an art form of the 18th and 19th centuries?
"This is the murky cultural netherworld in which contemporary music ensembles exist, perform, and fund-raise. What's more, many casual concertgoers associate all 'new music' with the aggressively complex modernism of the postwar avant-garde, but that tradition actually represents a small slice of today's vibrant musical landscape."
He carries the same frame of mind to his work as music director of Opera Boston, which he was appointed to in 2003.
"...he has helped steer the company into its position as the most artistically vital opera organization in the city, with productions of 20th-century classics...and under-explored operas from within the repertory, such as Verdi's 'Ernani' and Mozart's 'Clemenza di Tito.'"
Monday's Boston Globe had an article, "The power of music," in the Health/Science section.
"Just why evolution would have endowed our brains with the neural machinery to make music is a mystery.
'It's unclear why humans are so uniquely sensitive to music - certainly music shares many features with spoken language, and our brains are particularly developed to process the rapid tones and segments of sound that are common to both," said Dr. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist whose latest book, "Musicophilia," is about the brain's sensitivity to music.'"
The healing power of music covers every imaginable arena: stroke (for speech and movement), pain (burn patients, colonoscopy procedure), schizophrenia, premature infants, hospitalized children in general...
"MY MUSICAL life is driven by the consideration of four questions," says Michael Tilson Thomas (who is universally known as MTT). "What is happening, expressed in terms of melody, harmony and form? Why is it happening? As musicians or audiences, what does this mean to you? And what do you propose to do about it?"
"What concerns me is that people are growing up not experiencing classical music, or its interpretation - that is the zeitgeist," he says. "Keeping Score is an attempt to address this."
The $23 million (£11.4 million), five-year project has kicked off with explorations of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Copland's Appalachian Spring. Each programme comprises radio and TV shows, DVDs, public performances and schools events. An interactive website allows users to follow timelines and open the scores and explore themes and motifs highlighted under a moving cursor as the music unfolds.
"In our society it's a goal to try to meet in the middle," he asserts. "In music, that's a terrible idea - extremes are better, but everyone has to know where they are. There is a fear/embarrassment threshold to recognise and cross."
For some music lovers, interaction with an orchestra might still mean little more than paying for a ticket and turning up. But beyond the passive experience of sitting through a concert, a world of engagement in the music, via technology, awaits. Punters can take it or leave it, but for orchestras the marginalisation of classical music and concern for public access to it is introducing systemic change. "In the old days," says MTT, "orchestras didn't envisage that music education on this scale would be part of their future. But that future is here, and I'm impatient for this work to go forward."
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I think we as musicians just have to keep thinking up new, creative ways of presenting our music and of creating projects that we work on. Everyone says that you just have to find your own nitch. Classical music certainly won't 'die out' or anything, people's tastes will change back and forth, popularity will rise and fall, it's just how things work, and I don't know how reasonable it is to worry quite so much about it.
I'm just overwhelmed and am not quite sure what else there is to say.
I have to finish a paper soon for a class I took last semester. (Because I changed my topic a hundred times, I got some extra time.) I was thinking about posting something about it before, but I wasn't sure if it's appropriate. The paper is about an essay of the philosopher Walter Benjamin. In 1936, he wrote an essay called "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility". It's the most famous writing of Benjamin today; it has almost become a winged word.
According to Benjamin, every hand-crafted piece of art (especially fine art but also music) has a certain "Aura". Contemplating an object, people experience this aura. However, it is destroyed when the piece of art is reproduced mechanically on LP (CD, DVD, you tube...). Benjamin admits that every composition is intended to be reproduced in a certain way (painters teach students by letting them copy their own works, a composition is reproduced at every performance); however the value of a technical reproduction is different. A camera can copy a picture in the most perfect way, no painter could ever do it better. A recording can be played at any time any place, no musicians are needed. In both examples, the technical reproduction is superior to the manual version. However, the emphasis doesn't lie on the piece of art itself, but on the fact that it's reproduced. The sound of a recording is not art, but only a document of it.
This is just a very, very brief summary on one of the aspects and I'm not very happy with it. For the whole text, go to http://tinyurl.com/yqrqg. Benjamin has been criticized by many people, e.g. Adorno, his theory has been called incomplete and one-sided.
I'm not a fan of this text either, but I think it's incredibly interesting. He totally underestimated the role of the new evolving media. The very best advantage of reproduction, the easy accessibility, isn't considered at all. When he talks about "people", he has very few very intellectual old men in mind. This is an assumption, but I think I'm right. The question is only: are we right to laugh and shake our head about his ideas? Right now, we are probably as far away as we can be from the ideal musical world he had in mind. We are not even thinking about the "value" of a Mendelssohn symphony Nr. 5 radio broadcast, we are not hesitating to listen to it in the background. But we claim to listen to music and often forget that this music was intended to be art and not background noise. If I go on thinking, I'll probably become even more conservative (is that really conservative?) so I stop here.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Going back Cook's view of industrialism in making music, I am beginning to think that that model is starting to change or is at least becoming significantly modified. And that has to do with the influence of the Internet.
Our motivation for making careers is first of all to earn money in order to be able to live. In order to make money, we need to participate in a capitalist society. However, I think the connection between industrialism and making money is becoming weaker and weaker.
The Internet has really turned everything on its head, and when we think about the future of classical music and how it will be influenced by the Internet, just thinking in terms of a greatly increased means of distribution is not enough.
The stockpiling of labor used to be a laborious process. First, it was through hand-made items. Then, it was through mass production by the industry. Now, it is simply through an internet protocol. One copy of one file on one server can be sent to any computer connected to the internet that chooses to view it, creating a number of copies equal to the number of computers that choose to access it. Thus, while handmade items are expensive and mass-produced items cheap, Internet content is free. And the very nature of music, so ephemeral that it is able to be stored in an abstract file on a computer, ties it inseparably to the Internet. This, of course, pits a musician's need to make money at odds with the nature of Internet distribution (free, and there is no non-artificial way to make any Internet download transaction cost money).
And the very nature of making money off of the Internet is now different. Instead of exchanging money for goods, it is now influence and popularity that determine how much money is made on the Internet. For instance, take Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc. Because of the sheer volume of users who visit those sites, those companies are able to leverage ad purchases and other things I don't even understand.
If the financial motivation for making music were gone, it would be detrimental to the quality of music that is available. We would be back to a society of amateur music makers. Youtube particularly fosters an amateur music making community, as I was saying in the reply to I'm thinking's post. However, there is the belief in a capitalist society that if you are excellent, you will be recognized and rewarded, and Youtube especially provides a gigantic user base for democratic evaluation of performances. This creates an interesting question of how one might be able to leverage popularity for one's career in the future.
Yesterday I listened to Itzhak Perlman concert in Boston Symphony....
When I found out that he is going to play solo music I was so excited that I will hear the ONE, THE very PERLMAN...
J.S. BachSonata No. 3 in E Major for violin and keyboard, BWV 1016
that was really good
R. StraussSonata for violin & piano in E-flat Major, Opus 18
I had a feeling they were reading it
SchumannPhantasiestücke (3 Fantasy Pieces) for violin & piano, Opus 73
he was over using gliss...(though hiss gliss is very nice.)
Small works.(Sight reading and not a great choice)
Perlman playing wasn't perfect, it was a lot squeaking false notes......
for example: in Saint-Petersburg we have pianist Grigorii Sokolov and when he is playing encore pieces you can hear that work have been done the same way the serious pieces been worked: with form, idea and real phrasing..... but he is not very popular and not world famous, but is very well known in Russia and Germany...
And even more afterwards everybody in the hall was applauding and as always everybody was telling each other how great it was......
If you have a big name, name start to work on you.......
Sunday, October 28, 2007
1. Although Hewett examines the entire musical realm, he defines his discourse in terms of Western classical music. Why?
2. Why is the term “world music” a misnomer?
3. What does Hewett see as a reason for the “unhealthily hermetic character” of modern music?
4. Why does Hewett see as ironic the attempt by modernists like Boulez to rebuild the musical realm?
Chapter 1 Depths and Shallows
- Historically, in what regard has its social function been an important component of music’s identity?
- When music began to be transported from one location to another, what new formal aspect was created?
- As the Age of Sentiment shifted criteria from taste to sincerity, how were musical forms affected? The notion of “pretty”?
- What was lost as certain features of music became highlighted for particular attention?
- What ironies are suggested when Couperin is accepted into the canon while Liszt in not?
- Is all folk music admired?
- What is the artistic response to a middle class that does not want to be highbrow all the time?
- “In traditional societies, music cannot be a matter of personal choice.” Why?
- Enumerate other ways in which our Western conception of music differs from that of traditional societies.
Chapter 2 Words, Words, Words
- In what regard is music “cultural fly-paper”?
- As music evolved from a public to a private endeavor, what changes did it undergo? Conversely, what changes emerged in the public music experience?
- Characterize Stravinsky’s and Schönberg’s opposing concepts of music’s content. Which 19th-century figures would agree with one or the other of the two composers?
- How did composers and promoters respond to music’s becoming, increasingly, the province of professionals?
- How did 19th-century musical trends develop in the 20th century?
Chapter 3 Things Fall Apart
- How has classical music historically viewed the musical Other? In what regard is this view more complex that the view held by tradition musical cultures?
- In addition to a gloomy Viennese mainstream, suggest a second vein in which modern music developed in the 1920’s.
- Before Western music embraces a novelty, it customarily neutralizes it. Which musical cultures was Western music able to embrace readily? Which cultures, conversely, proved problematic? For what reasons?
- As we read in Levine, “mass culture” poses problems for modern music. How was jazz regarded, positively and negatively, in the first decades of the 20th century?
- Hewett suggests an underlying cultural agenda behind Schönberg’s 12-tone system. What is it? Why is his point curiously valid?
- What qualities in Balkan folk music allowed Bartók to constitute his later compositions in a wholly different light?
- In retrospect, what salient characteristic dominates the music of the 20th century’s giants?
Chapter 4 Multiplicities
- How did fascism and Stalinism respond to the modern?
- How did mid-century composers respond to the absence of a simple, agreed-upon ordering of music?
- How do middle-class audiences frequently respond to compositions that lack melody, harmony, tempo, or form?
- What is the ironic result of the cult of “pure” music?
- How do composers like Carter and Ligeti manage, in some regard, to make their music a collective experience?
- How is Boulez’s highly mathematical system problematic in a way that Schönberg’s is not?
- How does one best describe the institutional unity shared by the highly personal constructions of modern composers? How does this differ from 19th-century
, for example? Vienna
- What danger do we court in our neutrality?
Chapter 5 Text, Body, Machines
- Explain the distinction that Hewett makes between craft and technology in modern music.
- In the first half of the 19th century, sincerity and simplicity were acceptable modes of musical discourse. What specter arose in the second half of the century? With what unfortunate and enduring results?
- What key elements of classical music composition does electronic music eliminate? What “metaphysical duality” is lost as a result?
- How does a score differ from a blueprint?
- In their attitudes towards the score, how do contemporary composers and performers differ from their counterparts who worked before the end of the 18th century?
- The increased fetishization of the score has what result on performance?
- What expressive need does the violence of modern music serve? What is its opposite?
- Why did most mid-20th-century composers ultimately abandon attempts at styles of notation that gave performers more choice?
- In what respects are the solutions of John Cage, Luciano Berio, and others, problematic?
- How have some composers attempted to reconfigure the relationship between text, performance, and audience? With what result?
Chapter 6 Authenticities
- In its futile attempt to reconstitute a historical unity, what result has modern music achieved instead?
- In what respects have the paradigms of modern music changed in the past 30 years? What are some characteristics of the recently new plurality?
- Since so few specifics characterize the bulk of modern music, is it sufficient for it merely to aspire to seriousness?
- What traps make authenticity a slippery criterion?
- What contradictions inhere in discussions of the authenticity of world music? Jazz? Baroque and classic repertoire?
- When composers scrupulously avoid expressivity, what ironic result ensues?
- When obliquity becomes a composer’s goal, what dangers lurk?
Chapter 7 Expression Makes a Comeback
- What reasons does Hewett offer for spending more time on modernist music than on neo-tonal music?
- At the start of the modern era, when tonality was seen to be not a law of nature but a convention, what changes occurred in its status within a composer’s available choices? With what results?
- How does Hewett characterize sentimentality? How does minimalism avoid genuine sentimentality?
- Hewett describes the music of several American composers. Which are you moved to investigate? Why?
- How does Hewett distinguish between discourse and gesture?
- What lay behind the 19th-century dream of a music without conventions? As modernism strove to realize that dream, what new conventions did it create?
- What characterizes modernism’s fraught relationship with the past?
Chapter 8 The New Naivety
- In modernism’s continuing dialogue with the past, what form of memory produces a deep discomfort?
- What other processes tinge the “desire to re-enter a lost paradise” that characterizes the new tonality?
- Repeated patterns, and references to tonality, make possible un-classical classical composers. For all that they reject, what do they still desire?
- What function did the “web of allusion” serve during the period of common practice?
- What does Hewett see as the result of a musical discourse consisting solely of evocations?
- How have the sampler and the fader affected modern music?
Chapter 9 Rediscovering Music
- When it seeks public funding, what double bind does classical music encounter?
- When music loses its social function and becomes an autonomous realm, how do performers and listeners then participate?
- How is modern music faring in its strenuous efforts to maintain the integrity of its realm and not be taken over by expressivity, evocation, words, and images?
- Discuss the two parodic inversions that music has undergone in the past decade?
- What is the unspoken assumption of their music that composers fail to question? Why is this dangerous?
- Why does Hewett feel that Western classical music offers the last best hope for the future of music? How do you evaluate his reasons for denying comparable status to one or another of the rival claimants for musical “depth”.
- How is Hewett able to state that classical music is both historical and contemporary?
- Within the concept that music only serves us well when we submit to it, what advantages does classical music hold over other musical practices?
- What results will ensue if and when we are able to make musical culture active again rather than passive?
- What advantages are there to being musically bilingual? Why does Hewett embrace this condition?
- Hewett invokes Leonardo and Jung to suggest an essential component that is missing from our contemporary experience of music. What is that component? How are we to compensate for its lack?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The historical performance is a great thing. It is quite obvious that a historically informed performance is often more enjoyable than a performance that applies twentieth century techniques to a historical work. One would think that, at least in respect to instrumentation, the work would just work better, because the performers are playing the instruments that would have been played at the time. This may also speak to the “all powerful composer”. You are playing his/her work as he/she intended right down to how many buttons the oboe would have had at the time. However, I think we can say, for any composer, they did write for the instruments of their time not the ones of the twentieth century.
The problem I see with promoting historical performance, which I’ve already told you I think are great, is that, could it not lead to more specialization in musical performance: ensembles specializing in musical performance. It is no doubt important to understand the music of the past in order to understand that of the present. Yet this is the present, and as artist we must not lose touch with the world of our time. That said the idea of a historically informed musical performance is certainly attractive. It may even be compared to musical authenticity. Cook subjects that an ensemble would gain authenticity by being historically accurate. This is perhaps the most obvious way that music is used to create a perception of the world. In this case the performers are creating a perception of the past. They, in doing so, may even present something about the world today.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This article discusses the use of SmartMusic, a program that allows students to play into a computer and get instant feedback on how many notes they played correctly or incorrectly. Is this helpful for band directors? It's got to be. Is this helpful for the student? Maybe note-wise. But perhaps at the expense of other musical aspects (all of which are waaaaay more important than just right notes), including the students' mental and emotional approach to learning music. This article does address that aspect, and says that the program could never replace individual lessons with a person. My own inclination is that this could, in the long run, be more harmful in the creation of the upcoming generation of musicians than beneficial. I realize, though, that I tend to be an old stick-in-the-mud, and am refraining from giving an "authoritative" opinion...
"Yet the question remained as to how useful information is in art. If there's a formula here, it's that knowledge equals understanding equals appreciation. But what's really needed is an intuitive response. My strongest emotional experiences of the two concerts were where understanding didn't come into play. The copious Rothko Chapel explanations felt like layers of scaffolding that were meant to buttress the experience but might have obscured what's there - and taken away a sense of discovery. All you really need to know is that Feldman makes expressive use of silence and composed with sophisticated structural concepts."
I had been convinced more and more lately that more explanations were the way to go, but now I'm not quite sure (although I haven't quite changed my mind completely). Of course, I'm sure there isn't any particular rule that would work in every given situation, and that the performers or music directors would have to just use their own judgement, based on who they expect their audience to be. In class we've discussed cases in which prior explanations seemed to get better responses from the audience... I wish I could wrap up this post with some sort of stance one way or another, but I really don't have one right now. I'd be curious to hear what everyone else thinks about this.
Appomattox is about the days leading up to the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, -- the ethos of the time, how our present time has been affected by it, and what is still left to do.
Scheduled Premiere: October 5, 2007 at San Francisco Opera at War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California (USA) directed by George Wolf.
San Francisco Chronicle Website – SFGate.com
Philip Glass’ ‘Appomattox’ to have a World Premiere in San Francisco
Philip Glass opera 'Appomattox' both impressive and inconsistent
Monday, October 22, 2007
Ethnomusiclogists such as Bartok himself, found there is a need to explore real human emotions. Reasons why we consider these transcriptions as 20th century music is due to the fact that the composer is in the 20th century era, despite the materials that he gathered was more than hundred years ago. Because he was the first to transcribed Eastern European folk tunes and infused with Western harmonies. We see it as innovative. But, what's really interesting is that we don't necessary perceived them as traditional "folk tunes" as an essential musical element. Instead we still analysis these folk tunes with Western theory symbols.
What I don't understand is: If we valued the folk tunes so highly as a part of 20th century music practice. Then, is it fair to say that what we perceived as "ancient" or "traditional" practice is a modern creation as long as there's an infusion invovled? Therefore, the raw creativity will be consider as "present" music taht represents today; in which symbolized our present society. If such "present", (20th century) music that we create today will surivived into in the next decades then, it will consider as a "high" art, or "class." In order words, the categorization of arts really does rely on time reference --- not how we perceived it as.