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Is tonal composition dead? (Read 1739 times)

Offline rakhmaninoff

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Is tonal composition dead?
« on: December 28, 2015, 03:32:11 PM »
Especially for large scale compositions like symphonies, concertos, and operas.

I know there are plenty of aspiring composers who write in many styles but none of them will ever be performed and some of these composers might be the 2nd coming of Beethoven. Their rightful place in the concert hall is ousted by some unknown talentless hack failing to impersonate Sorabji.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 08:40:53 PM »
I compose tonal music as frequently as I am able to. I don't like to write for large scale forces, but there are plenty of people out there who do.

The only way to make big money by writing tonal music is to compose for film and/or television.

I don't think it's quite fair to say that ALL contemporary composers are talentless hacks.




Offline iansinclair

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 12:38:49 AM »
Oh come now.  There are a number of composers out there who are anything but talentless hacks, and some of them are doing large scale works (particularly opera, interestingly).  Many of them compose tonal or at least semi-tonal music -- at least as tonal, in their own way, as, for instance, Hindemith or Poulenc or Britten (just to pick three). 

As to a rightful place in the concert hall... that's another problem.  Most concert halls -- particularly for larger scale works -- have to have music which can attract enough of an audience to at least pay for the lighting bill, if not the musicians.  Some can afford to program the odd new piece, but the competition is terrific.  However if one looks around at some of the semi-professional or collegiate settings, one can find more variety.

I do think that composition for very large or even large forces -- such as Beethoven, for instance, never mind Strauss (R.) or Mahler or Bruckner -- is probably not much of a going thing, but for economic rather than artistic reasons.  As I say, you have to get enough of an audience to pay for the show...
Ian

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 02:21:12 AM »


I know there are plenty of aspiring composers who write in many styles but none of them will ever be performed and some of these composers might be the 2nd coming of Beethoven. Their rightful place in the concert hall is ousted by some unknown talentless hack failing to impersonate Sorabji.


that's quite a scenario you have put forth... so you are an aspiring composer?  which are you?    the 2nd coming of Beethoven or the talentless hack who fails to impersonate Sorabji...  That's all the psychoanalysis I have for today.

Offline preludetr

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 03:39:36 AM »
What Schoenberg did to music was an absolute travesty and the perhaps the greatest crime against art ever committed in the history of the world. Due to his influence, it is now impossible for composers to be taken seriously unless they elect to write music which sounds like dog sh*t. An entire art form, one going back hundreds of years, literally destroyed by one man and his lackeys Berg and Webern.

Of course, I am not arguing that atonal music should not exist. Rather, it should have never become influential. It never should have reached the point where academics feel compelled to pretend to like it for the sake of staying relevant, and where music with wider appeal is stifled. It should have stayed in its rightful place as an experimental fringe element in the world of classical music, as with electroacoustic tape music and so forth.

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 06:02:18 AM »
@ Preludetr,
beauty is in the eye of the beholder… Try Subotnik- 'silver apples of the moon'… E.Carter string quartets… Henry Threadgill.. The Bartok string quartets are an easy transition to 'atonality' though his music is tonal.. There is much that has been written in the last hundred years - which stretches tonality, for lack of a better word… (Of course, Preludetr, Schoenberg transitioned from tonality to atonality to dodecaphonic…  )
Some composers have a sense of adventure… Yes, some of it may be deemed not so good… The same can be said about Any style..  What is the point to limiting ones listening experience to a couple of hundreds years (roughly) of what was produced in Europe.. Many seem to stop listening after the romantic period…
There is an escape hatch though: If one doesn't like it, one can always click their heels 3x and say "I wish I were home"

(sheesh.. there is a whole world out there..)
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 07:38:07 AM »
What Schoenberg did to music was an absolute travesty and the perhaps the greatest crime against art ever committed in the history of the world.

Agreed and thanks to him, we have an endless list of talentless composers who fill up their intestines with notes and fart on a sheet of blank manuscript paper and there you have another atonal masterpiece.

I don't think anyone really likes it, but it looks cool to sing the virtues of some absurd 7 hour pile of trash that sounds like a terrorist attack at a piano dealers.

Thal
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 11:13:47 AM »
What Schoenberg did to music was an absolute travesty
Of what? Schönberg did nothing to music; he composed it, both overtly tonal and less overtly tonal, as suited him at any given time (by which I mean that he did not simply transition from the former to the latter and stick with it, as later works such as the E flat minor Chamber Symphony and G minor Variations for wind band demonstrate).

perhaps the greatest crime against art ever committed in the history of the world
I had no idea that musical composition was subject to the criminal law of any land and am obliged to you for informing me.

Due to his influence, it is now impossible for composers to be taken seriously unless they elect to write music which sounds like dog sh*t.
I do not often see dogs sh*tting so am unfamiliar with what that actually sounds like (although I imagine that it could be almost silent in many cases); that said, composers can be and often are taken seriously if what they write is good enough, irrespective of any influences upon them.

An entire art form, one going back hundreds of years, literally destroyed by one man and his lackeys Berg and Webern.
What utter nonsense! The art form survives and more contributions are being made to it ever second all over the world than was the case in Schönberg's day; it goes back thousands of years, actually and will hopefully continue for thousands more.

Of course, I am not arguing that atonal music should not exist. Rather, it should have never become influential. It never should have reached the point where academics feel compelled to pretend to like it for the sake of staying relevant, and where music with wider appeal is stifled. It should have stayed in its rightful place as an experimental fringe element in the world of classical music, as with electroacoustic tape music and so forth.
Nevere mind academics, what about audiences? What you write is partly simplistic to the point of absurdity (and indeed beyond it) and partly just plain wrong and illogical; when a composer write music of any kind, how often do you suppose that he/she considers how influential it might be, where, when and for how long?

Best,

Alistair
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 11:20:27 AM »
Agreed and thanks to him, we have an endless list of talentless composers who fill up their intestines with notes and fart on a sheet of blank manuscript paper and there you have another atonal masterpiece.
Like the dog sh*tting that I mentioned in my previous post, I've never heard (or indeed heard of) any composers filling his/her intestines with notes (how on earth is that done anyway?) or farting on sheets of blank manuscript paper and, as a composer myself, I wouldn't have either a clue how to do this or motivation to try it (not least because it must be a very messy procedure compared even to using pan and ink). Schönberg was a very widely admired and respected teacher whose students were grounded by him especially in Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms et al and so I do not think that he can be held responsible for the existence of talentless composers who have in any case been around ever since there was such a thing as musical composition. NO list is or can be endless, by the way.

I don't think anyone really likes it, but it looks cool to sing the virtues of some absurd 7 hour pile of trash that sounds like a terrorist attack at a piano dealers.
I did not know that Schönberg had ever written anything of this kind. I have learnt so much on this thread about Schönberg of which I was previously unaware. In any case, aren't governments' security services and armed forces doing anything about terrorist attacks at piano dealers these days?

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 11:34:45 AM »
Especially for large scale... operas.

...their rightful place in the concert hall is ousted by some unknown talentless hack failing to impersonate Sorabji.
This piano opera so far in three volumes with each containing a various and decent number if individual opus is recent. Composer arranger and transcriptionist and pia nist performer all alive.  This gets programmed in various forms into all out concerts w folks like the Tokyo philharmonic or as is in recitals, and numerous commercial releases.

this set in particular  (just three collections of a large growing number) contains over 2 hours of music.


a lot of the style in how this gets laid out for the piano in this iteration is pretty Lisztian  actually. And much if the composing itself is in a necromancer style with sprint klein here and there of modern sounds



   YouTube
[Scrolling Sheet] Piano Opera Final Fantasy I-IX -Full Series 3 Albums-
IkranAhiyik 38,217 views
SUBSCRIBE639
3174
Published on Jun 27, 20140:17 music starts. The 2-in-1 video for the official CD and Sheet Music of ALL Piano Opera Final Fantasy - I/II/III, IV/V/VI and VII/VIII/IX. The score is scrolling so it could be its perfect displaying size.
- Playlist for all 2-in-1 videos: http://goo.gl/jHYH5K

If you like read-and-listen video like this, please spread the word by sharing, and also giving a like, comment and subscribe!

In respond to those existing "full soundtrack" for PO-FF I-VI, I'm now to update it by adding the new entry, with scrolling sheet music visible. Though I've previously done the three books/albums separately, so this video is basically a merge only, but it seems there is some demand for a complete collection. Maybe tired to find videos back and forth?

Resolution: (I-VI) 850 x 1170 / (VII-IX) up to 2552 x 3504

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

0:00:03 / 0:00:13 - Piano Opera Final Fantasy I/II/III
0:50:44 / 0:50:54 - Piano Opera Final Fantasy IV/V/VI
1:40:53 / 1:41:03 - Piano Opera Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX
0:00:00 - (Complete Series: Track List)

~ PIANO OPERA FINAL FANTASY I/II/III ~
0:00:03 - (FF1/2/3 Track List)
0:00:13 - OP1 - Prelude ~ Opening / プレリュード ~ オープニング・テーマ【FF】
0:04:43 - OP2 - Main Theme / メイン・テーマ【FF】
0:08:22 - OP3 - Town Medley / 街メドレー
0:12:56 - OP4 - Mount Gulg / グルグ火山【FF】
0:15:29 - OP5 - Matoya's Cave / マトーヤの洞窟【FF】
0:18:36 - OP6 - Main Theme / メインテーマ【FFII】
0:23:18 - OP7 - The Rebel Army / 反乱軍のテーマ【FFII】
0:26:46 - OP8 - Tower of the Magi / 魔導士の塔【FFII】
0:30:24 - OP9 - Battle Medley / バトルメドレー
0:35:47 - OP10 - The Boundless Ocean / 果てしなき大海原【FFIII】
0:39:25 - OP11 - Crystal Cave / クリスタルのある洞窟【FFIII】
0:42:51 - OP12 - Eternal Wind / 悠久の風【FFIII】
0:46:28 - OP13 - This is the Last Battle / 最後の死闘【FFIII】

~ PIANO OPERA FINAL FANTASY IV/V/VI ~
0:50:44 - (FF4/5/6 Track List)
0:50:54 - OP1 - Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY IV / ファイナルファンタジーIV メインテーマ
0:54:51 - OP2 - The Sorrow of Parting / 離愁【FFV】
0:58:24 - OP3 - Save Them / 幻獣を守れ!【FFVI】
1:01:32 - OP4 - Red Wings ~ Kingdom Baron / 赤い翼 ~ パロン王国【FFIV】
1:05:45 - OP5 - Searching for Friends / 仲間を求めて【FFVI】
1:09:41 - OP6 - My Home, Sweet Home / はるかなる故郷【FFV】
1:13:08 - OP7 - Kefka / 魔導士ケフカ【FFVI】
1:16:06 - OP8 - Theme of Love / 愛のテーマ【FFIV】
1:19:54 - OP9 - FINAL FANTASY V Main Theme / ファイナルファンタジーV メインテーマ
1:23:25 - OP10 - Clash on the Big Bridge / ビッグブリッヂの死闘【FFV】
1:26:40 - OP11 - Dancing Mad / 妖星乱舞【FFVI】
1:37:27 - OP12 - Troian Beauty / トロイア国【FFIV】

~ PIANO OPERA FINAL FANTASY VII/VIII/IX ~
1:40:53 - (FF7/8/9 Track List)
1:41:03 - OP1 - Ami (アミ)【FFVIII】
1:45:08 - OP2 - Fight On! / 更に闘う者達【FFVII】
1:48:12 - OP3 - Cosmo Canyon / 星降る峡谷【FFVII】
1:51:22 - OP4 - The Man with the Machine Gun (ザー・マン・ウィズ・ザー・マシーン・ガン)【FFVIII】
1:54:50 - OP5 - Not Alone / 独りじゃない【FFIX】
1:58:25 - OP6 - Liberi Fatali (リバーリー・ファタリー)【FFVIII】
2:01:48 - OP7 - Words Drowned by Fireworks / 花火に消された言葉【FFVII】
2:05:31 - OP8 - Festival of the Hunt / ハンターチャンス【FFIX】
2:09:03 - OP9 - Force Your Way (フォース・ヨー・ウェイ)【FFVIII】
2:12:26 - OP10 - Roses of May / ローズ・オブ・メイ【FFIX】
2:16:37 - OP11 - Opening ~ Bombing Mission / オープニング ~ 爆破ミッション【FFVII】
2:20:59 - OP12 - Melodies of Life (メロディズ・オブ・ライフ)【FFIX】

~ PROLOGUE ~
2:24:51 - (All Piano Opera: Track List)
2:25:10 - (All Piano Collections/Opera: Album List)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Composed by
- NOBUO UEMATSU 植松伸夫

Arranged and performed by
- HIROYUKI NAKAYAMA 中山博之

Published by
- YAMAHA MUSIC MEDIA CORPORATION

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Final Fantasy Piano:
Audio CD & Scrolling Score Project (http://goo.gl/jHYH5K)

- Piano Opera Final Fantasy I/II/III

- Piano Opera Final Fantasy IV/V/VI

- * Piano Opera Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX

- Piano Collections: Final Fantasy IV

- Piano Collections: Final Fantasy V

- Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VI

- * Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VIII

- Piano Collections: Final Fantasy IX

- Piano Collections: Final Fantasy XI

- Final Fantasy XI Premium Box Piano Collections

- * Piano Collections: Final Fantasy XII

- * Piano Collections: Final Fantasy XIII

(Key: * Scanned by me.)
Category
Music
License
Standard YouTube License

44:36
[Scrolling Sheet] Piano Opera Final Fantasy VII/VIII/IX -Full Album-
IkranAhiyik
22,323 views

1:02:51
[Scrolling Sheet] Piano Collections: Final Fantasy X -Full Album PLUS-
IkranAhiyik
7,862 views

2:11:41
The Great Final Fantasy Medley (120 Tracks) - Complete Mix [FF1~10]
wLasky
371,546 views

55:26
[Scrolling Sheet] Piano Collections: Final Fantasy IX -Full Album-
IkranAhiyik
5,261 views

50:41
[Scrolling Sheet] Piano Opera Final Fantasy IV/V/VI -Full Album-
IkranAhiyik
9,193 views

2:12:33
Final Fantasy Orchestral Album
Paolo Zoratti
1,163,773 views

49:16
[Scrolling Sheet] Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection -Full Album-
IkranAhiyik
5,428 views

1:03:31
[Scrolling Sheet] Piano Collections: Final Fantasy XII -Full Album-
IkranAhiyik
6,372 views

42:15
Top 10 Best Final Fantasy Songs on Piano-Vol.2
Alan Buono
41,468 views

49:53
Final Fantasy 7 Piano Collections-Full Album
Alan Buono
1,015,992 views

49:16
[Scrolling Sheet] Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VII -Full Album-
IkranAhiyik
6,285 views

49:04
Piano Opera Final Fantasy 4-5-6-Full Album
Alan Buono

Offline forte88

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 11:45:49 AM »
Quote
Schönberg did nothing to music

Agreed, the real culprit is humanity(or the lack of it). If anyone has ever looked at a population graph they may have seen that, the point where population started to grow exponentially(the 20th century)coincided with the downfall of classical music. But don't be mistaken! Music and perhaps all individual expression has been on the decline for centuries. My guess is that like with money humanity suffers from inflation, as a whole of course progress marches on, but as individuals we're a tenth of what we were in Bach's days.

So if music is on the decline why was the music in the 60s better than the 50s?
One of the reasons is the main thrust came from what was formerly known as Great Britain, Europe as we all know is responsible for the best science, art etc.
Another reason could  be that we shouldn't look at world population(when was the last time Asia produced anything noteworthy?) but at (oops this sounds a bit racist) race and region.
Because even after two world wars the world population had still grown, in Europe on the other hand there had been a great blood sacrifice.6 millions Jews, 20 million Russians, millions of Germans, Brits etc.
And especially after WWII, after this blood sacrifice especially the Jews came out prominently in arts, science etc, they had after all lost the largest proportion of their race.
Western Europe had now been (reversely) colonized by the US, an English speaking nation and with their junk food came their junk culture; pop art, pop music... and as people are wont to do they copy/imitate (the most undeserving super power in history) success.
So Britain as an English speaking nation had an advantage over say, the historically more musically talented Germany.

Anyway that was just a glitch and since the 60s the population has grown a lot, besides the evil empire now being the sole super power in the world and more and more it's mediocratising the world with its superficial materialism, techno junk, Mammon worship and 'art'.

 

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 02:38:21 PM »
Thal,
you make get a kick spreading your reductionist reactionary adolescent twaddle, and your Quixotic quest may comfort those afraid to come out of their own backyard, but i think it better to keep such pridefully myopic perspectives to your own little closet, lest you be seen as simply a gargoyle at the gate.. Really.  How irresponsible!
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Offline dcstudio

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 05:42:29 PM »
Thal,
you make get a kick spreading your reductionist reactionary adolescent twaddle, and your Quixotic quest may comfort those afraid to come out of their own backyard, but i think it better to keep such pridefully myopic perspectives to your own little closet, lest you be seen as simply a gargoyle at the gate.. Really.  How irresponsible!

Quixotic --you paid attention in World Lit, didn't you

great word for Scrabble

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #13 on: December 29, 2015, 05:54:22 PM »
Thal,
you make get a kick spreading your reductionist reactionary adolescent twaddle, and your Quixotic quest may comfort those afraid to come out of their own backyard, but i think it better to keep such pridefully myopic perspectives to your own little closet, lest you be seen as simply a gargoyle at the gate.. Really.  How irresponsible!

This is an atonal post.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #14 on: December 29, 2015, 06:21:49 PM »
this is a ton post

Offline Bob

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #15 on: December 29, 2015, 07:52:11 PM »
I remember some student/post grad composer who was writing in the style of Mahler.  Everyone was impressed with that.  "Sounds like Mahler."

I wonder how many people are getting the skills to create a piece that's on par enough with the top composers after seeing that guy.  Who else is doing that?   And if someone did write a decent piece... Would it be accepted?  Or if one of the top composers had writing that same piece as their Xth symphony... Wouldn't that be accepted and praised?  But the new composer would be competing with the best from everyone else, and whatever they create first would be their first-probably-less-than-future-works stuff.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #16 on: December 29, 2015, 08:03:43 PM »
Of course it's not dead. Plenty people still write tonally, or partly tonally.

There is, however, a fundamental problem which applies to music, and art, though interestingly, not so much to literature. If a creator is to be unique, recycling the forms of the past doesn't cut it. Even composers themselves often write considerably differently at the end of their lives to at the start (most obvious examples perhaps being Beethoven and Liszt). The need to move forward to something new contains the innate risk that the art form in question ultimately disappears up its own backside in a cloud of self-referential allusions and self-justificatory neophilia. Some contemporary composers are evidently cultural frauds, but history hasn't decided which ones yet. At the point when a "plinker" is truly indistinguishable from sacks of bricks being dropped on the piano, I would suggest representing it as a genuine musical creation is indeed cultural fraud. However, some such music does, under examination, reveal itself to be organised with more complexity and/or sophistication than is immediately apparent. I would suggest that, for example, listening to Scriabin from a musical perspective that has not advanced beyond Mozart would be as confusing as listening to Xenakis et al from a musical perspective that has not gone past 1850.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #17 on: December 29, 2015, 08:08:44 PM »
Bob
I wonder how many people write or have written music on a par with "the masters" but for whatever reason were never discovered.  There are libraries full of manuscripts that do not bear a familiar name are virtually never performed.   If Mendelssohn had not performed St. Mathew's Passion, Bach himself may have been forgotten... The law of averages would suggest there are many others out there just waiting to be rediscovered. It takes a lot of luck and timing as well as great music...IMO 


 


Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #18 on: December 29, 2015, 08:44:30 PM »
dc, it is true that with the discovery of the chest of manuscripts found concurrent with Mendelssohn's performance, and the write up in Schumann's mag, did much to bring Bach's music to the public.. (as it was before mostly performed in churches, or for one's private study at home) there were many teachers/composers who had copies of manuscripts - including Mozart and Beethoven who were singing Bach's praises.. and according to C Rosen, was well known to musicians before Mendelssohn's premiere.
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Offline awesom_o

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #19 on: December 29, 2015, 11:46:25 PM »
Bob
I wonder how many people write or have written music on a par with "the masters" but for whatever reason were never discovered.  There are libraries full of manuscripts that do not bear a familiar name are virtually never performed.   If Mendelssohn had not performed St. Mathew's Passion, Bach himself may have been forgotten... The law of averages would suggest there are many others out there just waiting to be rediscovered. It takes a lot of luck and timing as well as great music...IMO 


 



This post is right on the money.

Not that there is much to be made in music, of course ;)

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #20 on: December 30, 2015, 07:06:29 AM »
dc, it is true that with the discovery of the chest of manuscripts found concurrent with Mendelssohn's performance, and the write up in Schumann's mag, did much to bring Bach's music to the public.. (as it was before mostly performed in churches, or for one's private study at home) there were many teachers/composers who had copies of manuscripts - including Mozart and Beethoven who were singing Bach's praises.. and according to C Rosen, was well known to musicians before Mendelssohn's premiere.

Now, I never said Bach was unknown before the Mendelssohn premier, did I?  I said he may have been forgotten.. there is a well known tale of Mozart sitting on the floor surrounded by Bach motets and saying "there is much to learn from these!"  Didn't Mozart study under CPE Bach.?.

before the SMP performance Bach was known as a great teacher. His music wasn't performed because  counterpoint was so out of vogue--it had been rejected like Disco in the '80s.


I paid attention in Music History ;)   

Offline forte88

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #21 on: December 30, 2015, 07:51:06 AM »
Quote
There is, however, a fundamental problem which applies to music, and art, though interestingly, not so much to literature. If a creator is to be unique, recycling the forms of the past doesn't cut it.

This is obviously not the case, great composers have a unique voice and often used older forms, Mozart looked to Bach, Bach looked to the Catholic composers that came before him. But it is interesting how the degeneracy seen in music doesn't apply to literature.
In language as in music the trend is from highly complex and formalized to simplicity and free(style) and yet we're made to believe that people today are more intelligent than in Bach and Newton's day....

So I don't think it's so much to do with 'recycling the forms of the past doesn't cut it' but that people of today don't think (highly complex and formalized) like that any more and if this was the only thing it still wouldn't be so damning if the aesthetics, profundity, intensity, creativity, etc was on par with the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical period, etc., but unfortunately these things aren't found any more in classical music because the 'composers' of the day express themselves in the language of the day and the 'avant garde' (in this degeneracy) of today is to be found in Techno/House and the like.
Why? Because this is a technological age! As technology becomes smarter we become dumber, less creative, inflated souls. Apparently even the sounds birds make is digital these days

But it is an interesting question why literature doesn't suffer in the same way music does, perhaps because language is restricted by time whereas musical language has a timeless dimension? So for someone sensitive to aesthetics, creativity etc it's easier to compare to notice the decline.
It's an 'inconvenient truth' but it's something that I can't repeat enough: the individual in a population of 7 billion people is very different from the individual when there were only 700 million and this inconvenient truth shows up especially in music because the musical language has a timeless dimension.

So on the one hand be thankful we can still play and thus experience how rich the human experience used to be, but at the same time be rueful if you fancied yourself a composer because even a mediocre composer of a hundred years ago will most likely be better than the best you can come up with. But hey! People are living longer, less disease, more stuff! Consume, that's all an information insect is good for

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #22 on: December 30, 2015, 11:09:10 AM »
be rueful if you fancied yourself a composer because even a mediocre composer of a hundred years ago will most likely be better than the best you can come up with.

Most likely, perhaps. Not in my case, though. I've received nothing but praise for all of the compositions I have birthed, and more than half of my audience are professional classical musicians.

I think you're correct about humanity suffering from inflation. The world of music seems to bear the brunt of the suffering. More people than ever before have music degrees, but Bach would cut through us all like a hot knife through butter.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #23 on: December 30, 2015, 01:37:26 PM »
@forte88: I should have worded my comments better. Substitute "conventions" for "form". Really what I mean is that there are lesser minds who are largely imitators, and greater minds who are able to plough their own furrow, developing and using the lessons of the past to advance into the future. I thoroughly agree about the degradation and marginalisation of culture. America is much to blame with its corporate consumerism: ironic really as America has also been the source of many fine cultural and creative minds.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #24 on: December 30, 2015, 01:43:48 PM »
Especially for large scale compositions like symphonies, concertos, and operas.
Why so?

I know there are plenty of aspiring composers who write in many styles but none of them will ever be performed and some of these composers might be the 2nd coming of Beethoven.
How do you know who will have which of their works performed, when, where and how often? One point to bear in mind when considering this is that there are far more composers around today than there were in, say, 1900 and with every second that passes there's more music to which to listen, so for that reason alone there is a problem for the listener.

Their rightful place in the concert hall is ousted by some unknown talentless hack failing to impersonate Sorabji.
Who's done that, then?

The heaping of abuse and casting of blame upon the head of Schönberg seems for some reason or none to have long since become something of an idée fixe; to continue with this pointless and unedifying exercise today is all the more absurd when one remembers that Schönberg died 64 years ago.

The bonds of tonality had been loosening over many years in many different ways. Consider some of the more chromatically oriented works of Gesualdo. Remember that Mozart and Liszt each wrote 12-note themes (although neither treated them serially). Note how Wagner undermined the notion of a tonal centre and pursued (in Tristan und Isolde especially) an ever greater sense of tonal / modulatory flux that influenced many composers, not least Schönberg. Look at how Chopin (and occasionally Alkan) stretched the bounds of tonality, as did Liszt in later life. Then consider the work of certain other composers active during the first quarter of the 20th century, such as Varèse, Vermeulen and others including Ornstein whose 1915 sonata for violin and piano explores more dissonance than Schönberg ever did - and this was almost a decade before Schönberg began to write 12-note serial music (which nevertheless is shot through with tonal references) - and in any case Schönberg was not the only composer to explore serial writing - just look at Scriabin, Hauer, Roslavets and others.

All that said, tonality is probably more alive and well today than it's ever been, not least because so many composers have enhanced its possibilities.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
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Offline visitor

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #25 on: December 30, 2015, 01:57:54 PM »
.....

The bonds of tonality had been loosening over many years in many different ways. Consider some of the more chromatically oriented works of Gesualdo. Remember that Mozart and Liszt each wrote 12-note themes (although neither treated them serially). Note how Wagner undermined the notion of a tonal centre and pursued (in Tristan und Isolde especially) an ever greater sense of tonal / modulatory flux that influenced many composers, not least Schönberg. Look at how Chopin (and occasionally Alkan) stretched the bounds of tonality, as did Liszt in later life. Then consider the work of certain other composers active during the first quarter of the 20th century, such as Varèse, Vermeulen and others including Ornstein whose 1915 sonata for violin and piano explores more dissonance than Schönberg ever did - and this was almost a decade before Schönberg began to write 12-note serial music (which nevertheless is shot through with tonal references) - and in any case Schönberg was not the only composer to explore serial writing - just look at Scriabin, Hauer, Roslavets and others.

All that said, tonality is probably more alive and well today than it's ever been, not least because so many composers have enhanced its possibilities.

Best,

Alistair
+1 you  beat me to it. Irks me to no end when ignorant people equate 20th century= modern = "atonal" = 12 tone/serialism matrix based composing.

fails to consider diatonicism, polytonality, jazz idiom, modal (ie whole tone), quartal based harmonization and implication, etc.

it is more accurate to state that in addition to true 'atonal' and 12 tone matrix based compositions that there was an expansion of and further development of musical language that allowed for expression and construction that the old conventions were simply inadequate for the task.  There can still be beauty and harsh acidic/stringent dissonance that doesn't necessarily sound like someone is bouncing tennis balls off a keyboard.

it also ignores composers that turned their backs on the modern aesthetic of true 12 tone composing but still wrote in a somewhat tonal but heavily modern influenced based idiom.

ie Talma for example. One would hardly call this 'tonal' or romantic/neo romantic, but even w/ the decidedly mid 20th century sound, i find it super pleasing to listen to




1. Largo. Allegro molto vivace. (begins at 0:01)
2. Larghetto (begins at 5:49)
3. Presto (begins at 10:30)

Offline apmapmapm

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #26 on: December 30, 2015, 02:18:28 PM »

The bonds of tonality had been loosening over many years in many different ways. Consider some of the more chromatically oriented works of Gesualdo. Remember that Mozart and Liszt each wrote 12-note themes (although neither treated them serially). Note how Wagner undermined the notion of a tonal centre and pursued (in Tristan und Isolde especially) an ever greater sense of tonal / modulatory flux that influenced many composers, not least Schönberg. Look at how Chopin (and occasionally Alkan) stretched the bounds of tonality, as did Liszt in later life. Then consider the work of certain other composers active during the first quarter of the 20th century, such as Varèse, Vermeulen and others including Ornstein whose 1915 sonata for violin and piano explores more dissonance than Schönberg ever did - and this was almost a decade before Schönberg began to write 12-note serial music (which nevertheless is shot through with tonal references) - and in any case Schönberg was not the only composer to explore serial writing - just look at Scriabin, Hauer, Roslavets and others.

All that said, tonality is probably more alive and well today than it's ever been, not least because so many composers have enhanced its possibilities.

Best,

Alistair

Well said Alistair.

Offline forte88

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #27 on: December 30, 2015, 04:03:56 PM »
Quote
I think you're correct about humanity suffering from inflation. The world of music seems to bear the brunt of the suffering.

Don't agree with me, people will think you're crazy ;)

Offline emill

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #28 on: December 30, 2015, 05:34:02 PM »
Agreed and thanks to him, we have an endless list of talentless composers who fill up their intestines with notes and fart on a sheet of blank manuscript paper and there you have another atonal masterpiece.

I don't think anyone really likes it, but it looks cool to sing the virtues of some absurd 7 hour pile of trash that sounds like a terrorist attack at a piano dealers.

Thal

Hi Thal, ;D

I admire your facility for the English language and honestly I could not have put it more clearly and vividly as you did! ;D ;D  Perhaps the below video will illustrate what you described. I read somewhere that this is just part of a much longer work. Becomes more frenetic at 5:20 and upwards.

member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline forte88

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #29 on: December 30, 2015, 05:35:44 PM »
Quote
I thoroughly agree about the degradation and marginalisation of culture. America is much to blame with its corporate consumerism: ironic really as America has also been the source of many fine cultural and creative minds.

I think Europe always aimed for the highest in art, music, science etc The name of the game in America seems to be aim for the lowest common denominator and make as much money as possible.

I think the problem with America is that it's a big country and despite its European origin it's devolving into what big countries usually become: conformist.
After making a 'killing' off of WWI and WWII and profiting from Europe's brain drain I think slowly but surely the world is finding its natural balance again so America has been looking for ways to keep the rest of the world down. Anyway this is beyond the scope of a topic like this ;)

The main problem I have with America leading the world is a) that it shouldn't  b) that it's dragging everyone else down to its level and as a type of reverse colonizing, even Britain...
I think Europe has moved on since Adam Smith, but as immigrants tend to do, the US holds on to outdated backward ideas and that's part of the problem. The world is a very different place from what it was in the 1700s.

I think Americas goal for the present and future is to do to/with science what they've already done to music, porn, art, cuisine etc.
It's a scary thought

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #30 on: December 30, 2015, 06:13:31 PM »
Hi Thal, ;D

I admire your facility for the English language and honestly I could not have put it more clearly and vividly as you did! ;D ;D  Perhaps the below video will illustrate what you described. I read somewhere that this is just part of a much longer work. Becomes more frenetic at 5:20 and upwards.



It is dogcrap like that that proves my point. There is no talent here.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #31 on: December 30, 2015, 07:00:29 PM »
As it has been said here, tonal music is not dead… many composers ( Arvo Part,  J.Adams, Riley, Reich, Silvestov, Corigliano, ... ) continue in that line…
There is room in the tent for all styles though..
(and citing one piece as representative of All 'non tonal' compositions is hardly an argument to take seriously.)
 Here is an elegant ('non- tonal') piece for piano by Takemitsu - 'Rain Tree sketch' performed by Peter Serkin:

4'33"

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #32 on: December 30, 2015, 09:03:50 PM »
Hi Thal, ;D

I admire your facility for the English language and honestly I could not have put it more clearly and vividly as you did! ;D ;D  Perhaps the below video will illustrate what you described. I read somewhere that this is just part of a much longer work. Becomes more frenetic at 5:20 and upwards.



 :'( :'( ::) ::) :P      ???

there are no words to describe this...    geez.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #33 on: December 31, 2015, 08:27:46 AM »
It is dogcrap like that that proves my point. There is no talent here.
But you're surely missing the point here. The content of this video proves its own point well enough, so to witness you taking it seriously as a piece of contemporary composition worthy of discussion anywhere (let alone in one in which Schönberg is absurdly accused of what's deemed to be tantamount to international war crimes in music) is at the very least dismaying.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Is tonal composition dead?
«Reply #34 on: December 31, 2015, 10:42:49 AM »
:'( :'( ::) ::) :P      ???

there are no words to describe this...    geez.
Seen it all before. As to Noda's pianistic facility, it is perhaps well illustrated by his performance (or what you will) of the final movement of Alkan's Concerto (no. 10 from Douze études dans les tons mineurs, Op. 39), about which I have no more desire or intent to comment than I do about the Kiyama; it's at
. I have also heard Noda playing what was billed as some of the later numbers in Sorabji's 100 Transcendental Studies, another point here would be equally well illustrated by listening to the same repertoire as played by Fredrik Ullén (although he has yet to get around to those later numbers).

There has been a thread about Noda on this forum.

However, I don't see that any part of this discursive byway provides informative discussion of the thread topic, to which a return would be welcome if members have interesting points to make about it.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive