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Culture Forum

  1. 23 Jan '09 08:29
    Depending on my mood, I've previously enjoyed some of it as a
    background buzz, but now I think I'm starting to really appreciate it. I've
    listened to SR classical for over a year now when I'm in the process of
    furious programming. I don't know why, but it gives me energy somehow
    to get through those hour long, deeply emerged sessions (I'm sure it's
    all in my head though). Anyway, I usually listen with half an ear, but just
    now I found myself humming along to the grudge of anyone listening
    I'm sure; Maurice Ravel - La Valse.

    Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Does anyone have any tips
    on further listening if I want to learn more about this classical thingie?

    🙂
  2. Standard member ChronicLeaky
    Don't Fear Me
    23 Jan '09 08:43
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    Depending on my mood, I've previously enjoyed some of it as a
    background buzz, but now I think I'm starting to really appreciate it. I've
    listened to SR classical for over a year now when I'm in the process of
    furious programming. I don't know why, but it gives me energy somehow
    to get through those hour long, deeply emerged sessions (I'm sure it's
    ...[text shortened]... ips
    on further listening if I want to learn more about this classical thingie?

    🙂
    I do know what you're talking about. One good thing is to see live classical music, which (like other live music) is a completely different experience from listening to records -- it's very difficult for the music to be in the background when it's the reason you are where you are! One good way to do this is to find out if there is a music school in your area (try the nearest university) and if students give concerts. These are often free and generally very good.

    Another thing is to find a few radio stations which play music from a broad range of traditions/composers, so you can locate your preferences.
  3. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jan '09 14:05 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    Depending on my mood, I've previously enjoyed some of it as a
    background buzz, but now I think I'm starting to really appreciate it. I've
    listened to SR classical for over a year now when I'm in the process of
    furious programming. I don't know why, but it gives me energy somehow
    to get through those hour long, deeply emerged sessions (I'm sure it's
    ips
    on further listening if I want to learn more about this classical thingie?

    🙂
    Here is one of my favorites, Smetana (from Bohemia in the mid 1800's)
    a link to a live performance of a tone poem called Ma Vlast Moldau (My country, the river Moldau, he is like in a boat floating down the river and comes across villages, a storm, a wedding and stuff, great piece, one of 6 in the Ma Vlast series)
    You will have to link to it again to get the whole thing, the first part is about 7 minutes:
    YouTube
    Enjoy. Don.
    I found part two:
    YouTube&feature=related
  4. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jan '09 14:18
    Another live link, another favorite of mine, Jaaquin Rodrigo, a blind composer, he wrote classical guitar/orchestral works for Andre Segovia, this on is called Concerto De Aranjuez. It is played by a Chinese woman virtuoso guitarist, Xuefie Yang, her first name is pronounced 'sue-fay'.
    This is a great performance, it might only be the first part but it gives you the idea.
    YouTube
  5. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    23 Jan '09 14:20
    "It's very difficult for the music to be in the background when it's the reason you are where you are."
    >Very well put! By and large, classical music is not intended to be background music, and therefore to appreciate it, it is necessary to delve deeply into it. It must be understood to be appreciated, and listening to it with half an ear won't get you there.
    >However, as Igor Stravinsky, 1882-1971, said, "Music must be understood musically." Ultimately, it cannot be put into words and ultimately all attempts to do so fail. He also said, "To listen is an effort, and just to hear has no merit. A duck hears also." In other words, it's work.
    >It can be listened to on many different levels: form, harmony, etc., as well as things such as tone quality, orchestration, etc. The best of it is an endlessly deep well from which refreshing water can be drawn at any time.
    >For me, in the end, life wouldn't be worth living without Mozart and Bach. I came to that conclusion as a young boy more than 50 years ago and have never in all those years for one second altered that opinion.
    >"There is no feeling, human or cosmic, no height the human spirit can reach that is not contained in the music of Mozart." – Lili Kraus, 1903-1986, American pianist
    >"Music allows us to gaze into the innermost essence of ourselves." – Richard Wagner, 1813-1883
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jan '09 14:26 / 3 edits
    Another great one from Rodrigo, Fantasia Para un gentlehombre, written for Andre Segovia. Here it is played by Narsciso Yepes, a great guitarist:
    Part one:YouTube
    Part two. BTW, notice his guitar, a TEN string guitar! He is a master of it.
    YouTube&feature=related
    Part 3:
    YouTube&feature=related
    Last but not least, part 4:
    YouTube&feature=related

    If you don't like this, you wouldn't like ANY classical music!
  7. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jan '09 14:39 / 3 edits
    Here is a famous piece called Asturias also called "Leyenda" composed by Isaac Albeniz played by the master himself:
    Andre Segovia. This is an obligatory piece a must learn piece by any budding classical guitarist:
    YouTube&feature=related
  8. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jan '09 15:17 / 2 edits
    Here is a bit of Mozart, a flute concerto, the flute played by Emmanuel Pahud. Nice piece.
    YouTube&feature=related
    I couldn't find the rest but it's nice anyway.
  9. Standard member ChronicLeaky
    Don't Fear Me
    23 Jan '09 15:18
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    "It's very difficult for the music to be in the background when it's the reason you are where you are."
    >Very well put! By and large, classical music is not intended to be background music, and therefore to appreciate it, it is necessary to delve deeply into it. It must be understood to be appreciated, and listening to it with half an ear won't get yo ...[text shortened]... us to gaze into the innermost essence of ourselves." – Richard Wagner, 1813-1883
    I formed the same opinion of Mozart and Bach as a child, too, and I hope I feel the same way for many years.

    This brings me to another idea for Jigtie: you could try playing an instrument. I got into classical music by studying piano for ten years. I never developed the caliber of playing ability that one should develop in ten years, but knowing a bit about music theory (especially, for me anyway, species counterpoint) can help one to spot the seriously clever moments in a piece of music. Sometimes, being on the lookout for examples of some principle or technique can help to listen to music more actively. (This doesn't just apply to classical music, of course.)
  10. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jan '09 15:46 / 2 edits
    If you want to be amazed, take a listen to this little 6 year old girl, Emily Bear, pianist/composer appearing on the Ellen Degeneres Show.
    YouTube

    Here is her Orchestral debut of her own composition 'the love in us':
    Rembember, she is but 6!
    YouTube&feature=related

    Here is another I found, a home video of her playing another of her 126 (so far) compositons:
    YouTube&feature=related
  11. Standard member rbmorris
    Vampyroteuthis
    23 Jan '09 17:16
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    Depending on my mood, I've previously enjoyed some of it as a
    background buzz, but now I think I'm starting to really appreciate it. I've
    listened to SR classical for over a year now when I'm in the process of
    furious programming. I don't know why, but it gives me energy somehow
    to get through those hour long, deeply emerged sessions (I'm sure it's
    ...[text shortened]... ips
    on further listening if I want to learn more about this classical thingie?

    🙂
    I found a series of audiobooks (lectures) on itunes that make a nice accompaniment to many popular pieces (only $4-5 apiece). They're about 45-60 min long, and they give a lot of historical background on a particular piece, along with highlighting many significant/transitional parts of the music. I find that this helps to deepen my appreciation for the music, by helping me to understand what "going on" and placing me in the mindset that the composer (hopefully) intended.

    ^ In iTunes, search ayudiobooks for "Conductor's Guide". They are written and read by Gerard Schwartz. (there are a lot of them)

    I also found that listening to classical as background music doesn't do much for my appreciation of it. I read somewhere once that since classical isn't as immediately accessible as pop music, it may take several listens to really "get" a particular piece. After listening to the same disc/playlist over and over, for several days in a row, you start humming along, anticipating certain parts and really start to get something out of it.

    Enjoy!
  12. 25 Jan '09 04:16
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    Depending on my mood, I've previously enjoyed some of it as a
    background buzz, but now I think I'm starting to really appreciate it. I've
    listened to SR classical for over a year now when I'm in the process of
    furious programming. I don't know why, but it gives me energy somehow
    to get through those hour long, deeply emerged sessions (I'm sure it's
    ...[text shortened]... ips
    on further listening if I want to learn more about this classical thingie?

    🙂
    Listen to some overtures, be it Mozart, Rossini, whatever - overtures are a light, tuneful introduction to many melodies that you've no doubt heard but never knew where they came from. 🙂
  13. 26 Jan '09 00:41
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Listen to some overtures, be it Mozart, Rossini, whatever - overtures are a light, tuneful introduction to many melodies that you've no doubt heard but never knew where they came from. 🙂
    Nothing beats the sound of a live concert. As a piano teacher I have been dismayed to the lack of classical music available now. You walk into a restaurant, grocery store, dental clinic, medical clinic, and what kind of "music" do you hear? It grinds aways worse than the dentist's drill! I am so happy when my students start appreciating the sounds of classical music. I used to play it for my own children after they went to bed at night. Or they would sing themselves to sleep...all four of them together! Is there a university near you that offers music appreciation classes? I took two of these in the evening after my working hours at a bank. I took symphonic and chamber music. It helped me understand what I was listening to. Visiting artists would play for us free.
  14. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    26 Jan '09 10:18
    Originally posted by ale1552
    Nothing beats the sound of a live concert. As a piano teacher I have been dismayed to the lack of classical music available now. You walk into a restaurant, grocery store, dental clinic, medical clinic, and what kind of "music" do you hear? It grinds aways worse than the dentist's drill! I am so happy when my students start appreciating the sounds of class ...[text shortened]... c. It helped me understand what I was listening to. Visiting artists would play for us free.
    >Right on, you've got that right! I walked into the local mall yesterday morning with the intention of buying the Sunday morning paper and eating breakfast in the food court while reading it while waiting for the other stores to open in an hour. The "music" blasting away from the walls was so loud as soon as I entered the mall that I immediately turned around and left. So it cost them business. They think it's music. It's not. it's all about being loud, nothing else.
    >Music requires you to use your brain. Nothing does that more than classical music. Just listen to this so-called "music" seeping through the walls of elevators, stores, and malls, and then you'll see what junk it is. It numbs the brain and the soul.
    >Classical music elevates the human spirit.
  15. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Jan '09 14:44
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    >Right on, you've got that right! I walked into the local mall yesterday morning with the intention of buying the Sunday morning paper and eating breakfast in the food court while reading it while waiting for the other stores to open in an hour. The "music" blasting away from the walls was so loud as soon as I entered the mall that I immediately turned ...[text shortened]... nk it is. It numbs the brain and the soul.
    >Classical music elevates the human spirit.
    Same thing happens to me when I go to Best Buy, the 'music' is so loud and several kinds competing together to make a terrible cacophony of sound that gets inside my head like a dentist doing a root canal. I have no defense against it, I complained to the managers, several in fact, but they looked at me like I was an alien, like what the hell is wrong with you anyway? Same thing happened at Circuit city. I asked them if they could turn it down and no, we have no control over it. I only go in those places if I have to have something they have and nobody else does and I go straight to whatever it is I want a grit my teeth, get my stuff and get out, and it feels so good to be outside of their sound ratchets. I don't like the background 'music' at most restaurants but at least most of them are receptive to the idea of at least turning it down about 40 db. The asssholes at BB and CC look at you like you are a dirty communist or something. It seems to be something maybe some psychologist sold to the upper management of some such rot. I can't understand what is wrong with just NO sound coming off those accursed loudspeakers. I go to some places that have no background buzz sounds and it is heaven to be able to sit down and not be bombarded by this crap any time you go out, so that is how I choose my restaurants now, high on the list is the background noise 'music' at a low enough level it doesn't set off my root canal response.