199223Re: OT: Sophisticated music (was: Native languages of the Americas ...)
- Oct 22, 2013On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 9:13 AM, Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...> wrote:
> Hallo conlangers!When it stops being a punchline. ;)
> On Monday 21 October 2013 17:30:00 Garth Wallace wrote:
>> On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 4:04 AM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
>> <tsela.cg@...> wrote:
>> > Not necessarily. At home I can get two TV channels devoted to classical
>> > music. Both also feature jazz concerts prominently. So clearly for the
>> > people who run those classical music channels, jazz falls under the
>> > "classical music" moniker.
>> I think it has more to do with the fact that they are both now
>> considered "sophisticated music for intellectuals".
> When will they start playing progressive rock? That certainly
> also is sophisticated music for intellectuals ;)
(I like a lot of prog rock, but it's had image problems for decades)
> But the victory of the serialist avant-garde after 1945 (beforeI like some of that "unlistenable" stuff... :P
> 1945, there still was the classical modern current represented
> by Hindemith, Stravinsky and others; and that was considered
> the mainstream of modern classical music, and the avant-garde
> was a specialized minority current) left a vacuum. There simply
> is a demand for music that is new, sophisticated and listenable.
> The avant-garde was new and sophisticated but widely considered
> unlistenable. And what happened? People "discovered" modern
> jazz, which gave them new, sophisticated and listenable music.
> (Bebop, the first genre of modern jazz, began about 1940.)
> History repeated itself when modern jazz began to stagnate andWellll, kind of. Rock is very faddish and seems to swing between
> was eclipsed by free jazz in the 1960s. Again, the new
> sophisticated music was "unlistenable" to many. Again, there
> was an unfulfilled demand. And that is part of the reason why
> progressive rock became so immensely popular in the late 1960s:
> it fulfilled the demand for new, sophisticated and listenable
periods where artists try to branch out, and where artists try to
"return to a more pure style". Even punk, the DIY-above-all movement,
has given rise to progressive offshoots like No Wave and
> The decline of classical progressive rock, no as much due toYes, the "punk killed prog" narrative is nonsense. Progressive rock
> punk or disco (which appealed to *different* audiences than
> progressive rock)
had already gone into eclipse by the time punk started to get big.
Punk was reacting more to the perceived inauthenticity of arena rock.
> as due to the hostility of rock journalistsNot sure how much influence the rock journalists had. I'd say the
> whom the progressive rock musicians gave too little "sex, drugs
> and rock'n'roll" to write about, and also due to unmistakable
> stagnation in the works of the major progressive rock bands,
shift in radio formats probably had a bigger impact. In the early
'70s, DJs on FM stations had wide leeway to play whatever they liked.
In the mid-'70s, program directors and consultants took more control
and the focus shifted to more commercial and slickly produced, less
Also, the USA never went in for progressive rock in a big way; the big
'70s English-language prog bands were all from the UK. Those bands
either broke up from internal pressures (King Crimson) or gone chasing
after a more mainstream audience (Genesis and Yes successfully, Gentle
> left a yawning gap, and most people seeking sophisticated musicI'd say you're not looking in the right place. There's some very
> turn to classical music and modern jazz, grudgingly accepting
> that "no good music is made anymore these days", often being
> unaware of the fact that progressive rock never really died,
> but continued to flourish in the unlit no-man's land between
> mainstream, underground and avant-garde.
> I somehow do not expect hip-hop or electronic dance music
> to spawn anything that can be compared to modern jazz or
> progressive rock in its sophistication in the foreseeable
> future, though. These musics seem way too limited and
> formulaic to me. However, jazz and rock were that before
> 1940 and before 1965, respectively, too (at least, those
> genres were at least *hand-made* and not parasitizing music
> recorded earlier), so we are perhaps in to a surprise.
experimental electronic stuff out there, particularly the IDM genre
(it stands for "intelligent dance music", a term that nobody likes
including the DJs, but seems to have stuck regardless), like Aphex
Twin, Squarepusher, and Boards Of Canada. I have an album of Aphex
Twin music played by the avant-garde chamber group Alarm Will Sound,
and the modern jazz trio The Bad Plus has recorded a cover of "Flim".
As for hip-hop, the focus is usually on lyrics and vocal delivery,
with backing beats of secondary importance (especially since
scrathcing fell out of fashion), but guys like DJ Shadow and DJ Spooky
That Subliminal Kid have done interesting work in the instrumental
>> > rather than the weird and atonal "modern classical music" that isThis seems to be slowly changing. But I live in an area that's pretty
>> > being made nowadays.
>> If by "nowadays" you mean "a brief period in the middle of the last
>> century". Even Boulez doesn't really mess with serialism anymore, and
>> he was one of its biggest purists in its heyday.
> Indeed, serialism is no longer the thing in academic music
> composition, and much of the more recent music, starting with
> minimalism and New Simplicity, is indeed quite listenable.
> But the classical music audience has developed a very strongly
> conservative attitude which looks upon anything composed after
> 1945 with distrust. The "unlistenability" of "modern classical
> music" is a cliché and a prejudice that few people are willing
> to put to the test. Contemporary academic music, whatever it
> may sound like, exists in an ivory tower at the exclusion of a
> wider audience.
open to new musical ideas.
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