Monday, November 19, 2007

Alex Ross lecture + my pessitimistic reaction.

What really struck me about the Lecture was not the fact that music can serve as a weapon (eg: Shostakovich's 7th Symphony vs. the German army). Although, it is quite impressive.
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.

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