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Culture Forum

  1. 11 Apr '08 14:30 / 7 edits
    I hope the primary respondents will be musicians or music lovers familiar with the classical music of composers like:

    Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Stochousen, Pendericke, Roger Sessions, Elliot Carter, Henze, and of course all "12 tone" composers of the 20th century.

    You might add some electronic music composers like Morton Sobotnik and Milton Babbitt.

    I would not rule out the tone exploits of an imprivisational intrumental piece as played by say, Pink Floyd. Or an atonal exploitation of rock from Greatful Dead for example.

    When you take the tone center away, do you still have music? Jazz enthusiasts are welcomed to add any Jazz artists if you understand what I mean about Atonal Music.

    The music never resolves to a central and tonic tone. There is no sense of Do, Re, Me, .... It is like a ballet in outer space with no gravity pointing downward to a final place of resolution.

    What do you think of Arnold Schoenberg's concept of all tones being equally important?
  2. 11 Apr '08 14:48
    I don't know anything about the people you mention (bar pink floyd) but going on the exploits of people like Edgar Varese and bits of Zappa and Beefheart I think it's safe to say that not all forms of music require adherence to tonal rules. Music's a form of expression, an audible art and as such is subjective in it's pleasing (or not)of the listener. Popular; probably not. Music; yes of course.
  3. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Apr '08 15:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by jaywill
    I hope the primary respondents will be musicians or music lovers familiar with the classical music of composers like:

    Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Stochousen, Pendericke, Roger Sessions, Elliot Carter, Henze, and of course all "12 tone" composers of the 20th century.

    You might add some electronic music composers like Morton Sobotnik and Milto ...[text shortened]... n.

    What do you think of Arnold Schoenberg's concept of all tones being equally important?
    I think a ballet in outer space with no gravity sounds like an excellent musical goal.


    these are not it, though:


    whitehouse - dans
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkBmpxUF9_M

    msbr (some live, sounds like 'kunbaka in water' but probably isn't...)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-kp-uAevys

    maldoror - butterfly kiss
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isT3kEX2Mnk

    aube - low spin drift
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBmlBsqNvdc

    macronympha & prurient
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pj9CmGf9fY

    a short documentary on why they do what they do (xome & stimbox, too bad I couldn't find any pieces by stimbox online, it's great stuff):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1Qd4LseHDo



    is it music? who cares!
  4. 11 Apr '08 15:13 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Starrman
    I don't know anything about the people you mention (bar pink floyd) but going on the exploits of people like Edgar Varese and bits of Zappa and Beefheart I think it's safe to say that not all forms of music require adherence to tonal rules. Music's a form of expression, an audible art and as such is subjective in it's pleasing (or not)of the listener. Popular; probably not. Music; yes of course.
    Thanks for you comments.

    Edgar Varese would be in the catagory of the atonal composers. I know that Zappa was fond of his music.

    As for Captain Beefheart, the little that someone played me of this band gave me that feeling that they were kind of amatuers at performance.

    Didn't the leader teach them all how to play their instruments?

    Anyway I don't recall enough about what I heard. However, Pink FLoyd's first album had a instrumental on it which strongly ended tonally but was thoroughly an excursion into atonal special effects of an sound distortion type otherwise. Actually it was very innovative at the time.

    Of course the people that Zappa regarded had been doing things like that for decades already. I know that Zappa incorporated some avant garde symphonic styles in some of his music.

    Thanks again for you comments.
  5. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    11 Apr '08 15:14
    I don't think it's possible to take the tonal centre away. No matter how atonal a piece of music is, I still hear a tonal centre there. That is always my criticsm of 12-tone music. Yes, it is still music, but the theory of such music is to create equality within the 12 tones in an octave, and l do not think that is possible, at least to western ears. In that sense, Schoenberg's philosophy is partly a failure, although I consider him a very important composer. The 12-tone movement has run its course as far as I'm concerned, and it did not last very long in music history because it was doomed from the outset. No matter how chaotic any piece of music is, you can still hear a tonal centre. That's just the way human beings have been created.
    As far as electronic music is concerned, I consider all music that reaches the ear of the listener by electronic means to be electronic. And I don't like it at all because it cheats me, the listener. I want to hear the performer directly, not through an electronic speaker. I don't want any medium put between the performer and me as the consumer.
  6. 11 Apr '08 15:23
    Music is the art which cannot be fenced in.
  7. 11 Apr '08 15:27
    Originally posted by jaywill
    Thanks for you comments.

    Edgar Varese would be in the catagory of the atonal composers. I know that Zappa was fond of his music.

    As for Captain Beefheart, the little that someone played me of this band gave me that feeling that they were kind of amatuers at performance.

    Didn't the leader teach them all how to play their instruments?

    Anyway I ...[text shortened]... ed some avant garde symphonic styles in some of his music.

    Thanks again for you comments.
    Yes, I remember there being a lot of stuff on 'Ummagumma' which would certainly push the boundaries of what is considered music. 'Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict' for example.
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Apr '08 15:32
    Originally posted by jaywill
    As for Captain Beefheart, the little that someone played me of this band gave me that feeling that they were kind of amatuers at performance.
    that's what they've intended it to be. don van vliet has always gone against (any) theory in both music and painting. he likes to think of himself as a kid, not bound by established ways on how to do things 'correctly'.


    I wouldn't call beefheart atonal though, it's just more raw than most music... and it actually has a strong blues element...
  9. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Apr '08 15:34
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    I don't think it's possible to take the tonal centre away. No matter how atonal a piece of music is, I still hear a tonal centre there. That is always my criticsm of 12-tone music. Yes, it is still music, but the theory of such music is to create equality within the 12 tones in an octave, and l do not think that is possible, at least to western ears. I ...[text shortened]... tronic speaker. I don't want any medium put between the performer and me as the consumer.
    can you really find a 'tonal centre' in, well, any of the links I posted above?
  10. 11 Apr '08 15:49 / 3 edits
    ====================================
    I don't think it's possible to take the tonal centre away. No matter how atonal a piece of music is, I still hear a tonal centre there.
    =====================================


    I tend to agree with you to this extent - I think that my ear will automatically search out a tonal center. It may be a constantly shifting one.

    But I think I agree with you to the point that I also cannot help but try to locate a reference point albeit, suddenly shifting.

    Of course Schoenberg just took Wagner and Frank's frequently shifting tonal centers to a "logical" conclusion. If you're are going to constantly shift the key then do away with the key.

    Is that a fair statement about Schoenberg?


    =================================

    That is always my criticsm of 12-tone music. Yes, it is still music, but the theory of such music is to create equality within the 12 tones in an octave, and l do not think that is possible, at least to western ears.

    ==================================


    I'd like to hear a atonal Eastern raga. That would be a real innovation. Or an absurdity.

    So you say it is impossible to be truly atonal? They sure enough try hard.

    Would Schoeberg be happy that your ear found a tone center in one of his tone rows?

    Do you think retrograde has any meaning in this scheme?

    ===================================
    In that sense, Schoenberg's philosophy is partly a failure, although I consider him a very important composer.
    ==================================



    Somewhere, I believe that I recall him admitting towards the end of his life that he feared that he had done damage to music.

    Are you aware of such a quotation?


    =======================================
    The 12-tone movement has run its course as far as I'm concerned, and it did not last very long in music history because it was doomed from the outset.
    =======================================


    Interesting and bold comment.

    Sometimes I want to refer to some of these pieces as Sound Drama.

    You do have to recognize that Elliot Carter had a great knowledge of orchestration. I can hear the genius of what he is doing. But still, who comes away from Elliot Carter's piano concerto whistling it down the street?

    I admire Carter's schemes and really brilliant orchestration. But the atonal part has some kind of de-humanizing effect.

    Is that a fair statment? There is something de-humanizing about the obliteration of the tone center. Although you learn to listen to OTHER things rather skillfully composed, IMO.

    =============================
    No matter how chaotic any piece of music is, you can still hear a tonal centre. That's just the way human beings have been created.
    ===================================



    Once again. I think I agree with you. Just maybe some theorists of the future will point out the tonal centers in a Schoenberg striung quartet. What do you think?

    =============================
    As far as electronic music is concerned, I consider all music that reaches the ear of the listener by electronic means to be electronic. And I don't like it at all because it cheats me, the listener. I want to hear the performer directly, not through an electronic speaker. I don't want any medium put between the performer and me as the consumer.==========================


    The first time I heard an extensive piece of electronic music was at the Swedish Pavillion at the World's Fair in New York in the 60s. It blew me away.

    I started to collect a lot of albums on electronic music. I have none anymore.

    I never found out what the piece was. But the rhythm of it and the unusual oscillator sounds really blew me away at the time.

    I was a teenager.

    Thanks for your insights.
  11. 11 Apr '08 15:56
    Originally posted by wormwood
    can you really find a 'tonal centre' in, well, any of the links I posted above?
    I didn't get to listen to any yet.

    If it is low tech I'll try to get it on my PC.
  12. 11 Apr '08 16:01
    Originally posted by wormwood
    that's what they've intended it to be. don van vliet has always gone against (any) theory in both music and painting. he likes to think of himself as a kid, not bound by established ways on how to do things 'correctly'.


    I wouldn't call beefheart atonal though, it's just more raw than most music... and it actually has a strong blues element...
    What would you call the music of Blue Cheer ?

    I'd say maybe it is as sweet as the sound of the Saturn Moon rocket taking off from about 100 feet away.

    Are they still Ginnis Book of Records loudest musicians in the world? Or has time passed me by since the late 60s?
  13. 11 Apr '08 16:03 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    As far as electronic music is concerned, I consider all music that reaches the ear of the listener by electronic means to be electronic. And I don't like it at all because it cheats me, the listener. I want to hear the performer directly, not through an electronic speaker. I don't want any medium put between the performer and me as the consumer.
    That's a very interesting opinion. I've never quite heard anyone be so demanding when it comes to music but to each his own. By your standards I think it might be difficult to find anything that isn't electronic in some shape or form unless it's just you and a couple spoons on your leg.
  14. 11 Apr '08 16:06 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by darvlay
    That's a very interesting opinion. I've never quite heard anyone be so demanding when it comes to music but to each his own. By your standards I think it might be difficult to find anything that isn't electronic in some shape or form unless it's just you and a couple spoons on your leg.
    Antonio Breckenridge's Double Concerto for Spoons and Leg ?


    Just kidding. There is no such piece unless Peter Schekely has thought up something.


    That is a purest notion Attilia the Horn. Would the sound of a acoustic violin upon the human ear involve electro magnetic pulses of some kind ?
  15. 11 Apr '08 16:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by jaywill
    That is a purest notion. Would the sound of a acoustic violin upon the human ear involve electro magnetic pulses of some kind ?
    Nope. But what about seeing an orchestra perform at a larger venue? Do they amplify the sound or is it entirely acoustical? Is acoustical even a word?