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Atonal music is crap (Read 9539 times)

Offline faulty_damper

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Atonal music is crap
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:40:45 AM »
This is an excerpt from an article about one of the best painters of 19th century France.  However, the implication is also of atonal music being marketed and sold as superior to the music of "dead white men".

"Allow me to try to characterize how I first came upon this recognition.

Just imagine for a moment that you are a lover of great Classical Music, and among your favorite composers were Bach, Mozart, Haydn and Handel. Suppose you're even a music major, and get your master's degree in that field. Then imagine that in spite of that, you had never heard of Chopin or Beethoven, nor ever heard any of their music. Imagine that both of those artists had been methodically maligned and denigrated in the description told to you by a Modernist music establishment. At the most, you'd heard that they were from a small but powerful group of composers who had run the music world, and who didn't appreciate the greatness of Shostakovitch or Bartok, who had ultimately led to the genius of John Cage. You were taught that Chopin and Beethoven were petty academics who wrote romantic, sentimental, inane, vapid, maudlin and silly works, and you were never exposed to, nor was it arranged for you, to listen to any of their music.

Then imagine that a few years after graduating with your Master degree in music, you went to a concert and heard some of the most intensely beautiful works of your life, with incredible orchestration with profound emotionality, equal or better than you'd ever before experienced. You were awestruck with an overwhelming sense of beauty coming from the minds of obviously consummate genius. Quickly you look at the program and see the names Frederic Chopin and Ludwig von Beethoven; and remember, you're imagining that you'd never heard those names before. The next day you run to the library and find out that they were two of the villains who ran the 19th century music world, who you had been told had no talent and whose music was mindless, shallow and vapid.

But you knew what you'd heard, and what had been written made no sense. Next you run to a music store and find their work on some rare CD's and start listening to everything you can find by them, and despite everything written in the music history books, and everything you'd been taught about them, you were certain in the deepest recesses of your heart, you were certain beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt, that you had discovered two of the greatest musical geniuses in all of history. Racing through your head are an endless barrage of questions, and outrage. How could such masterpieces ... self-evident ... a priori ... self-validating, consummate, masterpieces have been so maligned, that were written by artists who were not just overlooked, or accidentally forgotten, but who were maliciously targeted to be attacked, degraded, and ridiculed ... and the main reason was because they were accused by the modernists in today's music establishment of having not appreciated the genius of atonal music.

So you started searching for every sonata, nocturne, symphony, and concerto you could find that Beethoven and Chopin had ever written. Perhaps you had only just happened to have heard the only good works they had ever written, a "one time" lucky work where they'd hit it, but they really were all those bad things that had been said about them. And then, as you uncovered work after work after work, you discovered that nearly everything they'd ever written during their mature years were as great, or greater, than the first pieces you had heard at that one concert.

Wouldn't the world seem like it was upside down? The professors and authorities who you had depended on to teach you truth and beauty had literally done nothing more than teach you the party line and a truckload of libelous propaganda, for reasons you still could not fathom."

http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/Philosophy/TheReal19thCentury/thereal19thcentury.php


THE QUESTION about atonal music is: what do you hear when you listen to that crap?  Do you really hear music or do you hear crap?  I hear crap.  Crap should not be taught nor be required repertoire to be played in music conservatories.  If you are a music student and are required to play this crap, tell the piano faculty that you refuse to play crap.  Then accuse them of being idiots for asserting that this crap is worthy of any of your valuable time and effort to play.  Crap is to be flushed down the toilet, not written down and printed on clean white sheets of paper.

Offline kevin69

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 11:54:08 AM »
This seems like a straw man: who is actually describing Chopin and Beethoven as 'petty academics who wrote romantic, sentimental, inane, vapid, maudlin and silly works' or as composers with 'no talent and whose music was mindless, shallow and vapid'?

On this forum, i'd have guessed Chopin to be one of the most popular, highly regarded, composers along with Bach and Listz.

Offline swagmaster420x

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 12:13:02 PM »
give example of what you consider atonal music?

Offline theholygideons

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 12:25:25 PM »
Depends on the piece, not the genre of music. Have you listened to Alban berg's compositions? his twelve tone rows actually have musical substance and expressive value through the order of tones he chooses.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 02:23:52 PM »
Yesterday on the radio there was a piece of orchestral "music" by a certain modernist. If you had filled the concert hall with the instruments and then let in a herd of elephants, the end result would be indistinguishable from the actual performance itself.

There is no talent in this bollox and in the years to come we will look back and laugh at the kind of shite that some people once proposed was greater than the giants of the past.

Nobody really likes that kind of music, apart possibly from spotty faced music students who think they look cool carrying around 30 kilo scores written on 25 bars.

Thal

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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 02:42:46 PM »
What many people seem to forget is that atonal music is, by far, the most difficult to make harmonious. Whilst I do find the vast majority of atonal music to be rather dull and discordant, there are pieces I've heard where, at times, atonal music showed itself to be capable of incredible beauty. This, however, is neither the norm nor the likely.

The best example I personally can think of is Sorabji. Originally, I hated his music, because what turned out to be error laden passages were extremely clunky and discordant to me. But, taking a more close listen to it when it came to the softer parts, it sounded beautiful to me. This is just one composer, but it is more or less a matter of proof of concept.

Atonal music that sounds good is possible, but it is unlikely. It takes extreme restraint and incredible skill as a musician to make. Otherwise, you get stuff like John Cage. And, let's be honest. No sane person wants that.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline theholygideons

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 11:52:07 PM »
What many people seem to forget is that atonal music is, by far, the most difficult to make harmonious. Whilst I do find the vast majority of atonal music to be rather dull and discordant, there are pieces I've heard where, at times, atonal music showed itself to be capable of incredible beauty. This, however, is neither the norm nor the likely.

The best example I personally can think of is Sorabji. Originally, I hated his music, because what turned out to be error laden passages were extremely clunky and discordant to me. But, taking a more close listen to it when it came to the softer parts, it sounded beautiful to me. This is just one composer, but it is more or less a matter of proof of concept.

Atonal music that sounds good is possible, but it is unlikely. It takes extreme restraint and incredible skill as a musician to make. Otherwise, you get stuff like John Cage. And, let's be honest. No sane person wants that.
How is sorabji atonal? He's completely tonal in the fact that he even uses normal triadic accompaniments, e.g. in gulistan, but spices things up with extra notes.

Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 11:58:53 PM »
How is sorabji atonal? He's completely tonal in the fact that he even uses normal triadic accompaniments, e.g. in gulistan, but spices things up with extra notes.

A lot of his pieces are also laden heavily with errors, some having thousands of errors, which easily turns "tonal" to "atonal".
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline lelle

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 01:19:26 AM »
Atonality seems to me like the most difficult compositional method to use approperiately. Atonal music is not inherently bad, but there are for sure many atonal works that aren't very interesting or pleasant to listen to. Lots of it is very abstract for sure, which I don't think many people find appealing. Usually not me either. I prefer music with some kind of emotional core, and if atonality is used to convey an emotion and deliver a message to the listener I think it can be just as powerful as tonal music. Dissonance can be used to convey anger very effectively, for example.

One of my teachers told us how he used twelve-tone technique to write a theme for a cat character in a musical. The atonality helped telling about the sly, unpredictable personality of the cat. Atonality is used a lot in film music too.

But there sure is a lot of stupid wankery out there as well  ;D

Offline outin

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 03:44:37 AM »
I am not really sure how to define atonal music, but IMO there's a lot of crap amongst tonal music as well. Music has to be able to evolve and I think it evolved in some very interesting and enjoyable ways on the last century. A world full of Chopin and Beethoven would be really dull (no matter how much I like the former). Every generation of composers have enriched music in some way, but to appreciate it one has to be willing to listen in different ways. My listening has not developed after the first part of the 20th century, but hopefully I will get further along in the future.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 04:08:00 AM »
I am not really sure how to define atonal music

Don't worry, you're in very good company.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline j_menz

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 04:48:17 AM »
This thread, and similar sentiments dotted around the forum over the years, cause me to wonder why some people find it necessary to assert that their particular taste has universal objective validity.

If you don't like something, why not leave it at that without feeling the need to denigrate both it and anyone (or at least anyone's opinion) who disagrees with you?

I can understand how in the case of something you really love that there is a desire to share that, but wanting to share a joy is a rather different kettle of fish than insisting that everyone else be miserable too.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 04:51:26 AM »
I am not really sure how to define atonal music.
I am. By not even trying to do the impossible!

Errors in Sorabji scores, by the way, are now being sorted out in the new editions of his works of which there are now more than 60 (I think - no time to check the precise number) - and yes, he did not write atonal music by anyone's stretch of imagination!

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Alistair
Alistair Hinton
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 04:55:01 AM »
This thread, and similar sentiments dotted around the forum over the years, cause me to wonder why some people find it necessary to assert that their particular taste has universal objective validity.

If you don't like something, why not leave it at that without feeling the need to denigrate both it and anyone (or at least anyone's opinion) who disagrees with you?

I can understand how in the case of something you really love that there is a desire to share that, but wanting to share a joy is a rather different kettle of fish than insisting that everyone else be miserable too.
Agreed wholly - and, in any case, who here or elsewhere is seriously making the absurd proposal that any of the composers of the past 5, 20, 40, 80 or 125 years are somehow "superior" to the great names of the past?

I happen not to write atonal music myself - but so what? I don't write music on purple manuscript paper either...

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Alistair
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Offline outin

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 05:00:32 AM »

I can understand how in the case of something you really love that there is a desire to share that, but wanting to share a joy is a rather different kettle of fish than insisting that everyone else be miserable too.

And I do excuse you for all the Bachs  :-*

But I guess many people have this strong need to be right in everything, their taste as well. Maybe it comes from insecurity rooted in their childhood...We could ask Freud...

Offline vladimir_gouldowsky

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 05:08:03 AM »
.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #16 on: March 05, 2014, 05:13:53 AM »
And I do excuse you for all the Bachs  :-*

And Ludwig?   :-\


But I guess many people have this strong need to be right in everything

Not those of us who are.  8)

We could ask Freud...

Séance, anyone?
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline j_menz

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #17 on: March 05, 2014, 05:19:44 AM »
I don't write music on purple manuscript paper either...

Perhaps you should give it a go. It looks lovely.  ;D

"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 05:20:56 AM »
And Ludwig?   :-\
I don't remember you being pushy for that?

Offline j_menz

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #19 on: March 05, 2014, 05:24:16 AM »
I don't remember you being pushy for that?

Just wait.  ;)
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #20 on: March 05, 2014, 08:13:30 AM »
Since so few of us listen to modern music, it should be clarified that not all "modern" music is atonal.  Most of it is not.  Atonal music sounds like crap, like a kitten stepping on the keys, but even cats are more musical pawing on the keyboard than atonal music.

And about this "music is subjective" mantra, it is not.  Harmony will always rule at the end of the day simply because it sounds better.  It has implicit rules that must be followed because music is a language.  Violating the grammar and vocabulary, as well as musical prose and syntax, makes for very poor communication.  Gibberish is not understood.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #21 on: March 05, 2014, 08:28:18 AM »
Since so few of us listen to modern music
On what grounds and with the benefit of what evidence do you claim this? What is "modern music" anyway? Any music written since an as yet unspefied date on which not everyone would agree in any case?

it should be clarified that not all "modern" music is atonal.  Most of it is not.
It is true that a lot of music is not atonal but, as I have said many times before, tonality and atonality are matters of degree, not of fixed defnition - and, in any case, what of music in which tonality mixez with atonality?

Atonal music sounds like crap, like a kitten stepping on the keys, but even cats are more musical pawing on the keyboard than atonal music.
Whilst there are many women composers today, I've never encountered any feline composers, so I refrain from comment on the bizzare assertion of someone who apparently purports to have sufficient familiarity with cats who compose and/or perform music as be enable comparative judgements of the kind attempted here; that said, some music is crap whether it's atonal or tonal and its crappiness is not dependent upon whether it is the one or the other.

And about this "music is subjective" mantra, it is not.  Harmony will always rule at the end of the day simply because it sounds better.
But what harmony?

It has implicit rules that must be followed because music is a language.  Violating the grammar and vocabulary, as well as musical prose and syntax, makes for very poor communication.
Lots of musics have grammars, syntaxes, rules and the like; they are there both to be followed and to be broken, as some of the accepted great Western composers have done from time to time over centuries.

Gibberish is not understood.
No, but plenty of it's posted here.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline kevin69

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #22 on: March 05, 2014, 11:28:10 AM »
Since so few of us listen to modern music, ...

Really?
It depend on who you mean by 'us' and what you mean by 'modern' but personally i mainly listen to music written after 1960, and mostly since the 1980s.

Classical music is under 5% of album sales, so perhaps 95% of music sales are 'modern'.
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130104005149/en/Nielsen-Company-Billboard%E2%80%99s-2012-Music-Industry-Report#.UxcJM4XTOHg


Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #23 on: March 05, 2014, 11:51:30 AM »


Says it all.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #24 on: March 05, 2014, 12:07:00 PM »


Says it all.
Nice cat; shame about the "piano". Never mind - it doesn't "say it all" at all in any case! It merely says what it says.

Would you not agree that tonal music is as potentially likely to be crap as atonal music? It surely all depends upon the music!

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Alistair
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #25 on: March 05, 2014, 01:32:01 PM »
Would you not agree that tonal music is as potentially likely to be crap as atonal music?

I would most certainly not agree and neither would the cat.

Atonal music can be replicated by a cat, but no moggie could ever play Mozart.

Therefore, Atonal music is crap as the thread title suggests.

Q.E.D or whatever Latin bollox you would like to use.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #26 on: March 05, 2014, 02:01:05 PM »
I would most certainly not agree and neither would the cat.
So no tonal music is crap, then? Really?! Well, we must agree to disagree, then. At least the cat doesn't make silly remarks about it, or about women...

Atonal music can be replicated by a cat
Show me a cat that can write a piece of music (preferably a fugue, of course!) and I might believe you.

but no moggie could ever play Mozart.
So what?

Therefore, Atonal music is crap as the thread title suggests.
Define atonal (there's no need for you to define crap).

Q.E.D or whatever Latin bollox you would like to use.
It's your post, not mine, so I wouldn't use either although, in this case, your particular quod erat demonstrates nothing.

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Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline lelle

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #27 on: March 05, 2014, 03:53:52 PM »
Since so few of us listen to modern music, it should be clarified that not all "modern" music is atonal.  Most of it is not.  Atonal music sounds like crap, like a kitten stepping on the keys, but even cats are more musical pawing on the keyboard than atonal music.

And about this "music is subjective" mantra, it is not.  Harmony will always rule at the end of the day simply because it sounds better.  It has implicit rules that must be followed because music is a language.  Violating the grammar and vocabulary, as well as musical prose and syntax, makes for very poor communication.  Gibberish is not understood.

But there are a lot of rules for atonal music. They're just different rules from tonal music. You can also write with an atonal language but still use traditional rhythm and phrasing (the "cat walking on the piano" analogy lacks rhythm, timing, phrasing, and tonality, but all atonal music is not like that). And, again, atonality is used in film music, musicals, computer game music etc to elicit a certain emotional response from the audience (and does so). Is all that music invalid?

Offline lateromantic

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #28 on: March 05, 2014, 04:07:07 PM »
It's too bad some people don't have a sense of humor:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/weekly/aa062998.htm

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #29 on: March 05, 2014, 04:19:24 PM »
But there are a lot of rules for atonal music. They're just different rules from tonal music.
Indeed - just as they are from medieval music, New Orleans jazz, Renaissance polyphony, Mongolian throat-singing, microtonal music and an other kind that anyone might care to name.

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Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #30 on: March 05, 2014, 04:20:31 PM »
So no tonal music is crap, then? Really?!

Well of course it is, we have Schumann and Sorabji for instance, but at least they tried.

Atonal music requires nothing but a lot of paper and a lot of ink and the hope that some pencil neck tosser will claim it as a masterpiece.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #31 on: March 05, 2014, 04:23:11 PM »
And about this "music is subjective" mantra, it is not.  Harmony will always rule at the end of the day simply because it sounds better.  It has implicit rules that must be followed because music is a language.  Violating the grammar and vocabulary, as well as musical prose and syntax, makes for very poor communication.  Gibberish is not understood.

That implies, however, that harmony and atonality cannot coexist. And the veracity of that statement depends on your definition of atonality. If you choose one of the weaker definitions, that atonality can be considered any work without a consistently prevailing key signature, then plenty of music as far back as the Baroque Era can fall into that category.

And, on the analogy of language, consider atonality to be as if a foreign language that naturally sounds jarring to many. Just like a rougher and coarser language, atonal music is also very difficult to form in a pleasant way. But it's certainly not impossible. And it's certainly possible to make harmony in atonality.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #32 on: March 05, 2014, 04:26:10 PM »
It's too bad some people don't have a sense of humor:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/weekly/aa062998.htm
Oh, I think plenty of people do! Schönberg certainly did; let's not forget his earnest claim that he has invented a system of composing that would ensure the supremacy of German music for the next hundred years(!) - and the debunking of the hoax in the article that you cite quotes the elusive Mr. Kincaid as referring to "early twentieth century German composer Anton Webern", which just goes to show what many of have known for years, namely that you can't believe all that you read on the World Wide Webern.

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Alistair
Alistair Hinton
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #33 on: March 05, 2014, 04:30:37 PM »
Well of course it is, we have Schumann and Sorabji for instance
We had, rather than "have", each of them although we still "have" their music, but neither is an "instance", which seems unfortunate in the context of your failure to cite any number of composers of poor quality tonal music.

but at least they tried.
Which is more than you've done!

Atonal music requires nothing but a lot of paper and a lot of ink and the hope that some pencil neck tosser will claim it as a masterpiece.
Atonal writing requires no more paper or ink (and in any case most composers of tonal and atonal music use music setting software rather than ink these days). I've no more idea when a "pencil neck tosser" might be than I have what "plinky" music is.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline emill

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #34 on: March 05, 2014, 05:03:27 PM »

Atonal music requires nothing but a lot of paper and a lot of ink and the hope that some pencil neck tosser will claim it as a masterpiece.

Thal

But Thal, I think you will have to agree that this requires talent!! ;D ;D

 

** the finale starting at 5:00 is mind boggling!!
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #35 on: March 05, 2014, 05:27:53 PM »
But Thal, I think you will have to agree that this requires talent!! ;D ;D

 

** the finale starting at 5:00 is mind boggling!!
That's one word for it. I've seen this before. It certainly requires something. Talent is not quite the first word that comes to mind, however...

...any more than it appears to do in


Ahem...

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline lateromantic

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #36 on: March 05, 2014, 07:29:42 PM »
If you choose one of the weaker definitions, that atonality can be considered any work without a consistently prevailing key signature, then plenty of music as far back as the Baroque Era can fall into that category.
That definition is not simply weak, it's next to useless.  It wouldn't enable one to distinguish between a work in C Major and a truly atonal work.  Of course, the former technically has a key signature of no sharps and no flats, but since it's invisible, one couldn't determine that it existed unless one already knew the difference between tonality and atonality.  The purpose of a definition, after all, is to enable one to distinguish between instances of a concept and non-instances.

Besides, as we all know, it's perfectly possible to write a piece in (say) E-flat major without using a visible key signature at all.  You just have to include a lot more accidentals.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #37 on: March 05, 2014, 08:21:12 PM »
Show me a cat that can write a piece of music (preferably a fugue, of course!) and I might believe you.

What is important is what the cat can play. This short clip is proof that a cat can play atonal music. My point is that in a billion years, the cat could not play Beethoven.

One can deduce that to play atonal music requires only the brain of a cat. That is why it is and always will be crap.

Thal
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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #38 on: March 05, 2014, 08:48:44 PM »
What is important is what the cat can play. This short clip is proof that a cat can play atonal music. My point is that in a billion years, the cat could not play Beethoven.

One can deduce that to play atonal music requires only the brain of a cat. That is why it is and always will be crap.

Thal

Now I'm curious what Beethoven would sound like on the Katzenklavier.
Per novitatem, artium est renascatur.

Finished with making music for quite a long time.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #39 on: March 05, 2014, 08:55:27 PM »
But Thal, I think you will have to agree that this requires talent!! ;D ;D

 



It certainly requires something. Perhaps ear muffs for the page turner.

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Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #40 on: March 05, 2014, 09:50:31 PM »
What is important is what the cat can play. This short clip is proof that a cat can play atonal music. My point is that in a billion years, the cat could not play Beethoven.

One can deduce that to play atonal music requires only the brain of a cat. That is why it is and always will be crap.
Once again - define "atonal" (there's no need for you to define a cat). That said, what evidence do you have that the brain - rather than any other rather more obvious part of the cat's physique might be involved in demonstrating what you presumably hope would go some way to proving your claim here?...

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Offline lelle

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #41 on: March 05, 2014, 10:03:53 PM »
What is important is what the cat can play. This short clip is proof that a cat can play atonal music. My point is that in a billion years, the cat could not play Beethoven.

One can deduce that to play atonal music requires only the brain of a cat. That is why it is and always will be crap.

Thal

You are wrong. A cat could randomly create something atonal, yes, but it would be about as likely to be able to create a twelve tone serial piece as it would be creating tonal music. And then we haven't even talked about form, and rhythm, and motives and everything else that composers have in their toolbox, tonal or atonal.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #42 on: March 05, 2014, 10:12:53 PM »
That said, what evidence do you have that the brain - rather than any other rather more obvious part of the cat's physique might be involved in demonstrating what you presumably hope would go some way to proving your claim here?...

Prattle on as much as you want, but the cat played atonal music.

End of story.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline j_menz

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #43 on: March 05, 2014, 10:40:28 PM »
Prattle on as much as you want, but the cat played atonal music.

End of story.

Thal

Actually, the cat played perfectly tonal music, it's just that cats employ a different tonality.  ::)
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #44 on: March 05, 2014, 10:43:23 PM »
Prattle on as much as you want, but the cat played atonal music.

End of story.
I neither wish to prattle on or off nor have I indeed done so here, but it would need first to be questioned as to whether or not what the cat "played" was "music" of any kind, tonal or otherwise and second to ascertain whether or not the cat actually "played" anything at all in the sense that "playing" of an instsrument customarily involves some kind of conscious effort to do so on the part of whoever might be doing it.

"Story"? What "story?...

Nice cat, though!

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Alistair
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Offline outin

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #45 on: March 06, 2014, 05:30:22 AM »
Actually, the cat played perfectly tonal music, it's just that cats employ a different tonality.  ::)

Maybe I can ask my cats if they know what is atonal music. I don't let them play though, since it's not good to get cat litter between the piano keys.

Offline lazyfingers

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #46 on: March 06, 2014, 05:40:04 AM »
 

** the finale starting at 5:00 is mind boggling!!
hmmmm.... a couple of wrong notes, bar 257 I think an A# instead of an A### in the RH and he missed the holding the pedal on the b, but other than that, it was note perfect.

Play this all the time when my mother-in-law visits to impress her. She leaves pretty much soon after, I don't know why.

Offline lazyfingers

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #47 on: March 06, 2014, 05:42:21 AM »
Maybe I can ask my cats if they know what is atonal music.
It is extremely generous of you to use the word "music" in association with "atonal" in the same sentence.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #48 on: March 06, 2014, 07:58:31 AM »
I neither wish to prattle on or off nor have I indeed done so here, but it would need first to be questioned as to whether or not what the cat "played" was "music" of any kind, tonal or otherwise and second to ascertain whether or not the cat actually "played" anything at all in the sense that "playing of an instsrument customarily involves some kind of conscious effort to do so on the part of whoever might be doing it.

It does not matter, the cat did it. The evidence is before you.

Thal
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Atonal music is crap
«Reply #49 on: March 06, 2014, 09:25:51 AM »
It does not matter, the cat did it. The evidence is before you.
The video is indeed in front of me but not the "evidence", since its contents do not constitute "evidence" for or against the claim made by the thread topic; this is because what you are writing about it omits to address the salient point as to whether or not what the cat did could reasonably be construed as "playing" in the sense of a conscious replication of pre-existing music or even a conscious improvisation, to say nothing of the tonal/atonal aspects of it; accordingly, the only welcome aspect of your cat video "evidence" is the opportunity that you have given forum members to watch a good looking cat in action, for which many thanks.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive