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Author Topic: Should the term "notated music" replace "classical music"?  (Read 310 times)
roshankakiya123
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« on: October 28, 2017, 02:21:57 PM »

The common practice period encompasses: the baroque, classical and romantic periods. Nowadays, the music of the common practice period is simply referred to as classical music. Despite being concise, the term "classical music" is being used incorrectly in this case since the term "classical music" only relates to music of the classical era. Should the status quo be challenged now by recommending the use of Steve Reich's term "notated music" rather than "classical music"?

Here is an interesting article about this matter: https://www.carnegiehall.org/BlogPost.aspx?id=4294976584
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ahinton
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 03:07:38 PM »

The common practice period encompasses: the baroque, classical and romantic periods. Nowadays, the music of the common practice period is simply referred to as classical music. Despite being concise, the term "classical music" is being used incorrectly in this case since the term "classical music" only relates to music of the classical era. Should the status quo be challenged now by recommending the use of the term "music of the common practice period" rather than "classical music" when collectively referring to the baroque, classical and romantic periods?
No, despite the sheer inadequacy of the term "classical music"; where would that leave music written since, say, 1908 or indeed any music of Romantic persuasion written since then - and, for that matter, where would it leave all pre-Baroque music?

Best,

Alistair
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Alistair Hinton
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cuberdrift
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 04:11:00 PM »

Maybe not.

Prokofiev, Berg, Xenaxis, they are classical composers. They are not common practice.

Classical music, they say, is the long tradition of music centered on the written score.

What's weird is if it is synonymous with Art Music, which it probably isn't.

I think there are three kinds of music: Art Music, Popular Music, and Folk Music.

Art Music -> Music with aesthetic goals
Popular Music -> Music that appeals to and/or is composed for the "masses"
Folk Music -> Music of the masses where there is no particular composer

The three kinds may intertwine, of course.

And I don't think all kinds of classical music can be considered "Art" music. For example, I'm not even sure many of Bach's cantatas are "Art" music, sure they are beautiful/complex, but they were IIRC for church use and not to be "critiqued" by a bunch of scholarly intellectual musical enthusiasts/academics.

All I know is that Classical Music = The long tradition of music centered on the written score.

I have read the Wikipedia definition of "Classical Music", and more or less it says:

-> Classical Music is an art music tradition
-> It is distinguished from other kinds of music by its extensive use of the score
-> Not like in popular music, Classical Music has many instrumental forms
-> The tradition generally ranges from the 6th century AD to the present time

This is quite weird in many ways, I think. Of course there is instrumental pop. Of course pop music uses the score.

And I don't think they used sheet music in the 6th century.

Also, Scott Joplin isn't used in the conservatory because he is pop, not classical, right?

Whatever.
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roshankakiya123
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 04:43:35 PM »

.
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iansinclair
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2017, 05:09:45 PM »

Good grief.  Well, it would probably be better, if somewhat pedantic, if one were to refer to Classical Period when wanting to define that particular period of music.  Or Romantic Period.  Or Baroque.  Or whatever.  And then to allow, unremarked, the term classical music to refer, in a general sort of way, to music generally performed by more or less trained individuals from more or less tightly annotated scores.

One might compare that to the term romantic music vs. Romantic Period.  A lot of romantic music -- depending on one's taste, of course -- which is hardly to be termed classical, never mind Classical or Romantic.
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Ian
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2017, 06:22:02 PM »

This has been common practice for quite sometime depending on the circle one runs I,  my music theory professors and music history professors did that and when speaking w them it's the term I used, it just depends on one's audience
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klavieronin
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2017, 11:48:07 PM »

I remember having this discussion with one of my lecturers at university. Her suggestion was to use the term "concert music" instead of "classical music". I personally like this term but it's not in wide enough use to be practical yet.
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cuberdrift
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 09:12:46 AM »

Most terms aren't necessarily defined strictly in only one way, maybe unless you're referring to its dictionary definition or unless it's a Constitutional law or something.

I propose that "Classical Music", in the Western sense, is:

1.) Music of the tradition spanning from the early Baroque up to some or most of the avant-garde, which relies heavily on a written score using certain standardized instruments.
- Why is this so? When you say "Classical" it's always about having a score and performing from it. Avant-garde composers are also usually trained in conservatories, which in turn are schools which originated from this tradition which "codified" Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. as "golden age" composers; in other words, these contemporary composers are directly tied to the classical tradition despite being very different.
- It is a tradition because I think, more or less, most composers of this "tradition" studied each other's musical works (e.g. Beethoven studied Handel, Chopin Bach, Bartok Liszt, etc.) and were therefore familiar with each other's music
- By contrast, folk musicians don't necessarily "codify" their musics
- Pop musicians are also influenced by one another but they don't necessarily use a score in their performances
- Certain composers like John Williams, George Gershwin, and Scott Joplin aren't really "classical" composers because they didn't intend to join this "community" of "academic" music...err...wait...what...huh?

2.) Music studied and propagated in "conservatories", schools dedicated to systematizing, codifying, and enriching music of the above tradition. Individuals who study in this manner, are, therefore, "Classical" musicians.

Anyways, let's just describe it in simplest form:

The kind of music that has been codified centuries ago by a bunch of composers who wrote a lot of complex works for powerful people and is still being studied today by musicians who want to replicate this music.
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visitor
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 01:34:05 PM »

honestly most of the time i just call it art music , if the person looks lost or stares at my like i have a third elbow popping out of my forehead i'll clarify 'classical' music. it's not that big a deal.
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arnerich
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 06:22:01 AM »

I prefer "concert music" as well.
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cuberdrift
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 10:57:17 AM »

honestly most of the time i just call it art music , if the person looks lost or stares at my like i have a third elbow popping out of my forehead i'll clarify 'classical' music. it's not that big a deal.

How about Rick Wakeman or Art Tatum? I would say their keyboard solos can be considered "art music".

I prefer "concert music" as well.

Doesn't Justin Bieber also do concerts?
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nw746
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 11:02:04 AM »

ASCAP also calls it "concert music". Most of my non-classical friends/acquaintances call it academic music.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 01:15:36 PM »

I and my performing friends call it "legit." 
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Tim
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 05:22:35 PM »

Sets and subsets terms of music depends on the context of those folks  being addressed with such terms.

Many terms can apply.. (and the question of which can provide endless debate/discussion for those inclined to search for fault lines in the grand category of Music… Much of the time, it is too general to discuss the more (interesting) idiosyncratic aspects of any  particular composition - .. Of course, if the composition in question is a 'paint by numbers' by design,  then a simple term is all that is needed.. But it seems the only ones who consider That way of writing (as meaningful?) would be our dear documenters - the (so called) Musicologists.

ps.. the idea of 'notated music' as a fault line reminds of Delius, who, (after loosing his sight) was suspect of what he termed 'paper music'… (music written for the 'page'; the eye.  Not so much for the ear…)  - (context, of course, is everything - re these questions)

Reich's characterization, (my sense of it - from him) is to draw the division between improvised music, and music which is scripted.  (iirc, his early interest  in jewish chants, and drumming from N Africa… and 'modernism' -he studied with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud -(i.e., his:'come out') shaped this characterization
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roshankakiya123
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 08:57:14 PM »

ps.. the idea of 'notated music' as a fault line reminds of Delius, who, (after loosing his sight) was suspect of what he termed 'paper music'… (music written for the 'page'; the eye.  Not so much for the ear…)  - (context, of course, is everything - re these questions)

You are right. The term "notated music" suggests that the music to which we are referring has been written for eyes rather than ears. However, it is still a logical term to use in spite of that because Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin etc. all notated their music on paper and it is their music to which we are referring.
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outin
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 05:00:11 AM »

You are right. The term "notated music" suggests that the music to which we are referring has been written for eyes rather than ears. However, it is still a logical term to use in spite of that because Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin etc. all notated their music on paper and it is their music to which we are referring.

But other kinds of music is often notated too.
This has been solved in a quite practical manner where I come from: Classical music is what is referred to in this thread whether Baroque or contemporary. If one wants to refer to a certain period one just says classicism or Viennese-classism.

There will always be some hazyness in the boundaries of course, but that's not an issue really. And these days you can see a symphony orchestra play a pop song or a metal band play an opera song, even though the end result is always horrible...
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My summer projects: Scarlatti K87, K466, K109, Scriabin op74 preludes, Chopin Waltz 69-2 and Berceuse. And just exploring more music...
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