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Do the Classics Suppress Contemporary, Creative Works of Music? Literature? Art?   You are logged in as Guest
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BarkellWH

Posts: 3247
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

Do the Classics Suppress Contemporar... 

I have moved the last exchange betweem Miguel and myself in order to begin a new thread because the topic interests me. Do the timeless classics in music suppress and prevent new, contemporary, creative works in music? Does this occur In literature? In art? And if only in music, why is it that only music is so affected by the classics, but not literature and art? I have quoted Miguel first, followed by my response. Would welcome views and responses on this topic.

Quote: Bill, there is more to it than that, though. I am no snob, but I do not want to hear the warhorses either. Maybe one or two. Classical music, like any art, needs new compositions of merit to be heard and established, or else it's nothing more than a living museum, musty and sadly nostalgic. That is why, yes, many object to the compulsive programming of Mozart. As someone said, "It may have been better had Mozart not lived"--because, despite how beautiful his music is, its very renown serves to suppress new creative works. There probably won't even be anymore concerts after this generation. Unquote.


Miguel, I would push back on the idea that the classics (Mozart et. al.) represent a "living museum" and that they are "musty and sadly nostalgic." What I consider "sadly nostalgic" are pop and rock music that remind people of their high school days, or their prom date, for example. That is both musty, sad, and a little bit maudlin, as if their high school days were the high point of their life.

Mozart and the greats of classical music, as well as composers for the guitar such as Isaac Albeniz and Francisco Tarrega, remain appreciated and played today for the same reason great art and great literature remain appreciated. There are works of music, art, and literature that have withstood the test of time--yes, they are timeless. They speak to us in a way that goes beyond our temporal existence. And I see no reason why such classics cannot be played along with contemporary compositions, just as there is no reason why one cannot appreciate reading the works of Tolstoy and Hemingway while equally enjoying the contemporary works of, say, Joyce Carol Oates and Thomas Pynchon.

Regarding the view that Mozart's (admittedly beautiful) music's "very renown serves to suppress new creative works," it is not its "renown" that is at work here. Rather, it is its high caliber and beauty that is in play. Yet, I fail to see why that should prevent and suppress new creative works. In fact, does it really prevent and suppress new, creative works? Are there not new compositions and works being produced today? Just as there is contemporary literature that is being published that is read along side the classics? And contemporary art work that is being produced and appreciated along side the classic works of art? Is music so much different from literature and art that creativity is stifled by the classics?

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 1:53:50
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1799
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

Perhaps it depends where you live. In France both are alive and kicking. In Guadeloupe both are as dead as a dodo.

Here's a friend of mine Szuhwa Wu performing Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch: La nuit rouge (de ses paupières).

Enjoy!!


Also, for an ecological perspective, coming first can offer real advantages.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priority_effect

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Ay compañerita de mi alma
tú ahora no me conoces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 2:16:10
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1732
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

I have moved the last exchange betweem Miguel and myself in order to begin a new thread because the topic interests me. Do the timeless classics in music suppress and prevent new, contemporary, creative works in music?


This is obviously a side-issue to the discussion; but when I saw the Subject, I thought it was about (for example) Mozart suppressing Salieri.

I know the dictionary meanings of contemporary include modern, but IMHO this usage creates so much ambiguity, it’s best avoided:

“If this misuse goes on, c. will lose its proper meaning altogether, and no one who reads that (say) Twelfth Night is to be produced with contemporary incidental music will think the sentence capable of any other meaning than that the music will be by a living composer.”

Fowler’s Modern English Usage

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 17:11:19
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

My reply to this question would be that the classics, of any sort, in any art form, today have no effect in either encouraging or suppressing the emergence of new musics, new pictorial art, new anything art. It is not that the past is dead--it is not for the small, unique audiences for any given past oeuvre or genre or school or artist. It is rather that the past has become irrelevant in an age of instant and constant communication on a global scale, where ideas and their exact opposites suddenly flash into existence like real and virtual particles, or matter and antimatter. These ideas flutter briefly and then are instantly replaced by even newer ideas. We are down to a metaphorical quantum realm in the history of the arts.

I hate to be a bore (again), but I remind all that this notion of the arts ultimately tending and trending into Brownian motion was definitively postulated by the estimable Leonard Meyer of the University of Chicago's Music Department back in 1967, in his essential book Music, the Arts, and Ideas. Meyer devotes the center third of the book to this theme, in a section titled As It Is, and Perhaps Will Be. The power of Meyers' insight and analysis back in 1967 is revealed by his seeing these forces in motion long before the arrival of the Internet cemented his predictions into place; the Internet being the final deus ex machina for the increasing entropy in the arts. Read the book.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 17:51:53
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12998
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

Yes they do...and thank god because new "music" is crap anyway.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 19:27:26
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to Ricardo

;;;'and thank god because new "music" is crap anyway.''''''
Great someone says that every century , every generation ,,, and yet music just keeps one moving and evolving regardless...because its a human creation ..it has to .

Classic music was 'new ' at one time ...new harmony ., new ideas .. not accepted by the church or many people when it came out first ...it was the 'new' crap music .

music and the arts , is a living thing .. it grows and changes with the people , it cant be helped .. it has to ...even language changes ...
People are always gonna experiment and change things ... its thier nature .. sometimes its better sometimes not .

Or ask the opposite question ... why doesnt music stay fixed and unchanging?..
its because its created by people ..who are not fixed and unchanging ...

there will always be a following of older styles and music , literature,and art .. but the present one , todays one ..will be changing and evolving ....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 21:22:53
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

John Cage had little use for Beethoven, but he said Mozart was very important to him. Just as an example far new music being influenced by the classical cannon.

A world without Mozart would be less fun place. Classics don't suppress the making of new music. If anything the classics feed into making new music.


quote:

I hate to be a bore (again), but I remind all that this notion of the arts ultimately tending and trending into Brownian motion was definitively postulated by the estimable Leonard Meyer of the University of Chicago's Music Department back in 1967, in his essential book Music, the Arts, and Ideas. Meyer devotes the center third of the book to this theme, in a section titled As It Is, and Perhaps Will Be. The power of Meyers' insight and analysis back in 1967 is revealed by his seeing these forces in motion long before the arrival of the Internet cemented his predictions into place; the Internet being the final deus ex machina for the increasing entropy in the arts. Read the book.


This has got to be one of the worst critical theory books ever written. The guy who wrote it was looking in the wrong place. He predicted artistic entropy.....what a joke.

I read this book and I have to say, it's garbage. This guy is an academic wonk who never left his office, probably never had sex, and never looked at a Matisse painting. This book reads like a reactionary tract meant to counter the liberal critical writing of the mid 1960's.

Meanwhile, Dr. Meyer is navel gazing in his office, Phillip Glass, Louise Bourgeois and Phillip Guston, Ed Rusha, Chuck Close, and a few hundred other great artists are making art and music that is 30 years ahead of it's time.

Do yourself a huge favor and let go of this Meyers' masterpiece of misinformation. Go read something like Dave Hickey's books, or Robert Hughes, or practically anything and stop fixating on this twit. Read John Berger's books from 1967 for Gods sake. Meyers books are so bad that they make Berger's Neo-Marxist finger wagging and badgering seem pleasurable by contrast.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 21:44:42
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3247
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Go read something like....Robert Hughes,


Robert Hughes is one of my favorites. Hughes was a real Renaissance Man. He was not only an arts and cultural critic, but a historian as well. And he writes beautifully.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2015 23:53:20
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1799
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
Yes they do...and thank god because new "music" is crap anyway.

If I'm not mistaken traditionalists in flamenco would say much the same about Paco's solo tripping to the moon and beyond.

And if only I could filter Entre Dos Aguas when I look for Paco on YouTube.

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Ay compañerita de mi alma
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2015 0:32:05
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to estebanana

Banana, your display of spleen is remarkable. Did I probe too deeply? Did Meyer flunk you? I suggest you check out more about Leonard Meyer via a brief Internet search; familiarize yourself with his career, credentials, ideas, regard with which he is held by peers, etc., then tell us why you resorted to an ad hominem rave/denunciation rather than a cogent rebuttal. This episode is a blot on your escutcheon, Sir. Or perhaps the spleen is really directed at me......

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The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2015 2:45:11
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12998
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to Dudnote

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dudnote

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
Yes they do...and thank god because new "music" is crap anyway.

If I'm not mistaken traditionalists in flamenco would say much the same about Paco's solo tripping to the moon and beyond.

And if only I could filter Entre Dos Aguas when I look for Paco on YouTube.

"Would say"??? They DID and DO say that...and at this point in time he is dead and gone and his music is now "classics" isn't it?

As Kiko pointed out, even Bach/Mozart were "new" music once, and yes it was crap to the old schoolers at the time. So my statement holds as relevent for any and all time periods.

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www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2015 3:41:48
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3524
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

Well, take a gander at the Phoenix Symphony's offerings this season:

http://tickets.phoenixsymphony.org/single/EventListing.aspx

We have "race car music", cartoon music, Harry Potter music, Batman music, Indiana Jones music, Whitney Houston music...


...and Beethoven and Mozart. No classical music composed within the last century.

But given there's only a few Mozart concerts and lots of movie and pop music concerts, perhaps I shouldn't be taking Mozart to task; it's really Whitney Houston who is suppressing the creation, or at least the performance, of serious art music. And no, pop music is not serious music and will never be classical in the same sense as Bach or Mozart, not unless the plot of Idiocracy actually happens and the human race breeds itself so as to lose 50 IQ points on average.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2015 4:17:24
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3131
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

It was only in the 19th century that "old" music began to be played regularly in concert. Brahms certainly felt inhibited by the perceived excellence of Beethoven, but eventually he produced four symphonies that remain popular. Largely due to the eminence of Beethoven and Brahms, Schoenberg was motivated to the utterly radical move into serialism.

Beethoven's competitive reactions to Mozart and Haydn were against contemporaries of his youth.

Bach sought out examples of earlier excellence, trekking on foot to Lübeck to learn from Buxtehude, and copying out by hand works of Vivaldi and others. Heinrich Schütz praised his Venetian master Gabrieli, but remained very productive into old age, in a very different style. Handel travelled to Italy to learn opera, and Mozart was taken there by his father for the same purpose.

In flamenco guitar Niño Ricardo and Sabicas served as inspirations to Paco de Lucia, and Paco's innovations have unleashed a wave of creativity among younger players.

The towering figures of, for example Goya and Shakespeare seem not to have prevented a continuing surge of creativity in painting and literature.

But of course we will have heard little or nothing from those who are cowed by the great accomplishments of the past.

What's "great" is notoriously time dependent. Beethoven's work generated a good deal of trenchantly negative criticism, though this faded late in his career. During the next generation Beethoven was the prototype for the Romantic era's idea of the divinely inspired genius. During my lifetime, Bach's reputation seems to have overshadowed what Beethoven's was in my youth. Miles Davis has overshadowed Louis Armstrong, though they were equally revolutionary. And so on.

So Bill, my reply to your thesis is yes, there has been some inhibitory effect, reported by some of the great artists, but it didn't really hold them back.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2015 22:58:27
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3131
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miguel de Maria
not unless the plot of Idiocracy actually happens and the human race breeds itself so as to lose 50 IQ points on average.


During the last several years working at Kwajalein I had what I considered to be an overly exalted reputation. When I moved out there in 1991 there were a number of people at least as expert at the same job I had. My reputation in later years was, in my opinion, mainly due to the fact that I was the last one left standing. The rest had left, and had not been replaced by people of equal ability, training and experience.

Sitting in my accustomed place in the front row of a mission planning meeting, a new young computer programmer came in and sat beside me. A young man nearer her age said, "There's a place here where you could sit."

She replied, "I"m going to sit here next to Richard. Maybe some of that intelligence will rub off on me."

I said, "Every major problem of the planet is due to the over development of the human cerebral cortex."

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 25 2015 23:11:26
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to runner

quote:

Banana, your display of spleen is remarkable. Did I probe too deeply? Did Meyer flunk you? I suggest you check out more about Leonard Meyer via a brief Internet search; familiarize yourself with his career, credentials, ideas, regard with which he is held by peers, etc., then tell us why you resorted to an ad hominem rave/denunciation rather than a cogent rebuttal. This episode is a blot on your escutcheon, Sir. Or perhaps the spleen is really directed at me......


It's a terrible book. I picked it up at the library on your recommendation and found it not only poorly written, but full of bad ideas.

You mistake spleen for book trade. I've read yours bit you never read mine.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 0:40:32
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to estebanana

I think you mean to say that you think it is a terrible book. And I'll go on record as thinking it is a wonderful and relevatory book, though a difficult one, worth the close attention of anyone interested in the larger issues in the arts. Prrhaps you read it hurriedly. Try it again. And spleen is difficult to disguise as something else.

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The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 2:40:32
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3247
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

So Bill, my reply to your thesis is yes, there has been some inhibitory effect, reported by some of the great artists, but it didn't really hold them back.


I agree, Richard. And that was really the main point of my initial comment. There is no "dead hand" of Mozart et. al. suppressing the composition of serious (classical) music, either in the past or today. In fact, I tend to agree with Miguel's observation in his post above, that the suppression of serious music today, represented by the "pop" musical program of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra (race car music, cartoon music, Harry Potter music, Batman music, Indiana Jones music, Whitney Houston music...), represents the triumph of the lowest common denominator, and may even signal diminished IQ. Next on the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra's agenda: An evening of "rap."

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 2:50:28
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

The suppression of serious music today has nothing to do with past icons preventing the birth of the new. Rather, it is a matter of demographics, economics, and technology. Technology, first, because the attention span of the population as a whole has been and continues to be rapidly eroded by a growing addiction to instant but so very brief stimuli. Economics and demographics combine to indicate that the paying audience for serious/classical music is constantly shrinking as the aging population of its enthusiasts literally dies away. Orchestras all over the U.S.-- not every one, but many--teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, and need to get paying customers into seats. Roll over Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news.

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The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 3:09:18
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3247
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to runner

quote:

Orchestras all over the U.S.-- not every one, but many--teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, and need to get paying customers into seats.


...and if the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra's program, as related by Miguel, is any indication, they do so by appealing to the lowest common denominator. That kind of music can be performed without a full orchestra. All you need are a few instruments (or none at all) and strobe lights. Eminem as serious music. After the long evolutionary journey to walking upright comes the descent to knuckle-dragging once again (musically speaking).

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 6:25:03
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to runner

quote:

I think you mean to say that you think it is a terrible book. And I'll go on record as thinking it is a wonderful and relevatory book, though a difficult one, worth the close attention of anyone interested in the larger issues in the arts. Prrhaps you read it hurriedly. Try it again. And spleen is difficult to disguise as something else.


I really mean it's a terrible book. And, No, I would not try it again.

You're a funny guy, I've read far deeper into these kinds of books than you have, yet you still think you are going to save me from myself by saying: "...anyone interested in the larger issues in the arts." That is condescending and also a bunch of nonsense.

I get the sense you are not formally educated in literature, art history, music or studio art. If you were then you would know that a person who's gone through that type of college program would have to read many, many books about theory and aesthetics. And not only read the texts, but participated in hundreds of hours of seminars and structured conversations about these works. In art and music education those of us who have gone through to advanced degrees have had to reason through difficult ideas, defend them, reformulate ideas and often decide what we thought was true five or ten years past is no longer true. We are prepared to leave school with a good set of diagnostic tools to determine which parts of art and music theories remain relevant and are salient in the world of art as it develops.

The problem I encounter, more times than I wish, is that not everyone has a deep professional grounding in theoretical evaluation. It's not a level playing field, many who come from other disciplines try to catch up to what music majors, literature majors and art majors learn early on when they are taught to work through texts. Most of the time I choose to ignore those who would talk about these kinds of books and try to act like big shots because they read such & such. It's mainly boring for me, and in street language it's called "flossing"; in academic language it's called 'signifying'. A person cites an example of a book to signify a body of discourse they use to pump themselves up so they look like a heavy duty discourser.

I've seen plenty of that kind of signifying and flossin' off all kinds of art and music, and it's not interesting enough to play back into. It's better not to engage with a flosser or rampant signifier. The reason is that you can't talk to people who do that kind of cultural flag planting like adults, you have to talk to them like children. What I mean by that is people who have read extensively and deeply don't become offended when you tell them a book they suggest is piece of crap. They simply counter your jab with another book or challenge you on a specific point that then leads to discussion and moves on from the crappy book you're not interested in. The problem with amateurs and late comers to this game is that they get their feelings hurt and take it personally when you trash out and idea they present, over and over. Often times responding not with a challenge that can be argued out, but an excuse like " Ah well the authors credentials are beyond reproach. And you are in the dark." Who cares?

People who have not been through the hundreds of hours of group discussions it takes to get through to get an advanced degree in art or music have to slow down for those who get butt hurt when their precious ideas are taken down. See, I don't care what Leonard Meyer says because I've torn it apart and reconstructed it, and torn it apart again a dozen more times than you have.

You keep putting something in my face I've already dealt with and moved on from; the problem is that you can't understand my reading on these issues because you keep foisting that same text on people without reading the texts recommended to you.

Intellectual discourse is not a one way road. Your road is not the only road.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 9:25:29
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to estebanana

Banana, your latest effort is truly remarkable, and quite self-revealing. We are engaged on this nominal topic of whither serious music among, if not "friends", then certainly among a group, an easy informal group, of intellectual fellow travelers. But the wildly increasing ad hominem quality of your remarks, your own obsession with your implied qualifications and my implied lack of them, and these increasingly verbose pronunciamenti of yours, raise questions in my mind. I repeat that Meyer's books are, in my opinion and in the opinion of many professionals in the field--none of them your equals, to be sure; you are sui generis--well worth study, whereas you have no such opinion that they are terrible; you have it as a fact from God. We should all be so blessed.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 11:24:39
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1799
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to runner

quote:

ORIGINAL: runner
but I remind all that this notion of the arts ultimately tending and trending into Brownian motion was definitively postulated by the estimable Leonard Meyer

Brownian motion? Totally random in it's direction, independent from the directions it took in the past and free of constraints? I don't believe that for one second. Perhaps at the creativity level of the artist IF they are truely exceptional. But those random mutations which constitute true creativity have to be financially viable. The market will decide if something very original sinks or swims and there is a massive market advantage to having already established a name for yourself. This makes it very tough for something truely new to become widely known without the backing of a media giant.

Please enlighten me about this arts tending to Brownian motion idea because all I see is arts being constrained by cultural inertia. Example: if art was truely random music theory would fall apart, you wouldn't keep hearing the same chord sequences again and again, in fact chords would be random and not built with rules (triads). Example 2: Flamenco puro. Example 3: Entre dos Aguas (again and again).

Until this Brownian motion idea is cleared up I'm quite prepared to believe what Estebanana has been saying and I'll stick with my preconceptions that I've better books to read. I don't choose my books at random

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tú ahora no me conoces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 11:50:37
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to runner

quote:

Banana, your latest effort is truly remarkable, and quite self-revealing. We are engaged on this nominal topic of whither serious music among, if not "friends", then certainly among a group, an easy informal group, of intellectual fellow travelers. But the wildly increasing ad hominem quality of your remarks, your own obsession with your implied qualifications and my implied lack of them, and these increasingly verbose pronunciamenti of yours, raise questions in my mind. I repeat that Meyer's books are, in my opinion and in the opinion of many professionals in the field--none of them your equals, to be sure; you are sui generis--well worth study, whereas you have no such opinion that they are terrible; you have it as a fact from God. We should all be so blessed.


Runner,

Do you even understand the first and basic question Meyer is asking in this book? Seriously, do you even comprehend how out of touch and out dated Meyer's basic premise is?

Do even know what he's writing about? His reason for writing the book was to hypothesize about his idea at the time; which was a concept of cultural entropy creating an atmosphere in which the arts would aesthetically degrade in.

The problem is context; Meyers scope and field of vision is so limited that he argues this concept from a point of view that Western Classical music has aesthetic hegemony over other forms.

I don't know if you see a problem here, ah but I certainly do. It's a bunk premise from an academic standpoint, and here's why:

First, writers like Anthony Appiah, Ishmeal Reed and Imiri Baraka, bell hooks, et al, who began during and after Meyers' 1967 essay to publish works which soundly refute the concept of hegemony in western music, literature and art - To name a few.

Meyers premise was already off the table at the time of publication or soon after. The idea that an "entropic" force, what ever the hell that means, was not a factor in academic discourse, because the focus had already shifted to a more world view and the judgement of, or evaluation of aesthetic merit was not simply a matter of making references to the Western cannon of symphonic music and calling anything afterwards a decadent slip into entropic chaos.

On the contrary, around the time Meyer was lamenting the downturn in aesthetic values, a diverse and multi-valent music world was developing which included Western classical music ad music from all over the world. Meyer even managed to reach the wrong conclusions about western music if one can view it as a self contained unit.

This particular book by Meyer is not really an important book. It may be that it helped you, but you have a fixation for this essay which is a blind spot to other ideas. And most certainly a blind spot to you to be able to critically examine the book.

Here is the difference between you and I. I was trained to be critical of a book that I feel I have a fixation on, and further, to question why and examine my motives unflinchingly. I was taught to be prepared to turn myself inside out to be able to refute or accept a text as part of an ability to look at a text with as much objectivity as possible. The difference between us is that I have more of that capacity without getting my feelings hurt, it's not a personal thing to me. The frustration is that guy like you take it personally, soe nothing ever gets talked about becsue you call ad hominem on every one else.

Grow up and take your medicine like a man, or refute what I'm saying with real logic. So far you have not demonstrated you even understand the message of the text.

To sum it up in the most common way, I'm calling you out on your BS. Either really dig into the text and understand it objectively and in its historical context, or shut up.

_____________________________

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 13:05:22
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to estebanana

Banana, it is clear to me that you have issues at present; issues with me, issues with anyone holding opinions at variance with your own, issues with others' recognition of your qualifications--your persona as the Country Boy with seven PhDs, whistling Dixie and John Cage as he tinkers in his workshop. Not working for me. Do us both a huge favor and ignore my posts.

Dudnote, I have neither the time nor the inclination nor even the ability to attempt to compress Meyer's arguments concerning the future of the arts into a couple of Foro paragraphs. But it is not a big read in Meyer's book; he works through the subject thoroughly in about 80 pages, and I recommend you get it from the author directly. Music, the Arts, and Ideas is demonstrably an important work, as evinced by the strange passion it arouses in Stephen, as he denounces it with foam-flecked lips. If you really are interested in pursuing this topic, reading the book would be a great place to start.

_____________________________

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 13:34:55
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to Dudnote

quote:

Until this Brownian motion idea is cleared up I'm quite prepared to believe what Estebanana has been saying and I'll stick with my preconceptions that I've better books to read. I don't choose my books at random


Believing what I say would be foolish, just because I said it. But I encourage you to push Runner to explain his notion of Brownian motion.

There's a lot of citing this and that, but very little substance in tangible understandable language being said. If you cite an author or text, you should be able to break it down into a conversation and not continue to 'signify off' of it without any meaty information coming out of the citation.

Meyer's text is written in convoluted academic speak. It sounds impressive but at it's core, in my opinion it's a tract of aesthetic nihilism. I call BS on this text because of this, and because I view it in a larger context of academic art writing, which I know a bit about.

I also suggest you read the actual book, like I did, before you formulate too strong an opinion. It sucks, but you have you find our for yourself why.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 13:41:34
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to runner

quote:

Dudnote, I have neither the time nor the inclination nor even the ability to attempt to compress Meyer's arguments concerning the future of the arts into a couple of Foro paragraphs. But it is not a big read in Meyer's book; he works through the subject thoroughly in about 80 pages, and I recommend you get it from the author directly. Music, the Arts, and Ideas is demonstrably an important work, as evinced by the strange passion it arouses in Stephen, as he denounces it with foam-flecked lips. If you really are interested in pursuing this topic, reading the book would be a great place to start.


See? You can't break it down.

And I will not apologize for putting my time in listening to music and reading books, or being a country boy with an MFA degree.

_____________________________

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 13:44:18
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3524
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

The one known as "The Professor", like "Gojira" emerges from the dark and storm-tossed sea, his elemental motivations terrible and unknowable, to wreak havoc on the silly works of hubris the small ones have erected during his slumber! I had always wondered what people learned in MFA programs, and now I know--the ability to authoritatively and eloquently assert the size of one's picado.

On to lighter things.

The Death of Classical Music

If we really wanted to know if Mozart is to blame for strangling our contemporary composers, we would need to look at more than the Phoenix Symphony offerings. I would guess the chain of causation is somewhat complex. However, if I were a composer and I saw that the traditional outlet for music, the symphony, was full of three chord pop ditties played by fifty pieces, along with a few warhorses by the 300-year past masters, I don't know that I would even attempt to write symphonies that would never be performed (or paid for). I would know that the few slots allotted to serious music would be earmarked for dead German guys and not waste my time. If I may be so arrogant as to draw an analogy between myself and a classical music composer; I don't feel any economic motivation to write music or make CDs when I see no one buying them. Ten years ago, we easily sold a CD or two or ten at our normal gigs, now, it just doesn't come up.

It's an interesting thing that, while IQ has been on the rise for years, young people appear to be getting even dumber. Perhaps, on the contrary, they consider us older folks to be moving in molasses, mentally. After all, at a social gathering, we need to look the other person in the eye, use that outdated form of expression, conversation, sometimes even go to the unspeakably tedious lengths of finishing our sentences. Our minds are moving so slowly that we can't even eat, spend time with our partner, and use Facebook/Twitter/GodKnowsWhatTimeWaster on our phones at the same moment. It must be hard for them to comprehend the impenetrably glacial processes of minds that don't consider poker players or DJs or video game stars to be fundamentally different from, say, top musicians or athletes.

It may be that Beethoven/Bach/Mozart is really the only worthwhile serious music and thus the only stuff that should be performed. I enjoy when it is programmed! However, the same does not go for Recuerdos, Leyenda, Capricho Arabe. Bill might call this, using his favorite debate tactic, "false analogy." (just poking fun, Bill) These pieces have far more in common with Pops pieces and movie music than with the first rate composers. I would rather hear Koyunbaba.

And by the way, Professor, thank you for sharing that tidbit about signifying. I think in my circle we might call that name-dropping. But this ivory tower takedown of runner did serve to illuminate where Rudy Ray Moore got his schtick. May I present, the Signifying Monkey:



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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 15:30:07
 
timoteo

 

Posts: 219
Joined: Jun. 22 2012
From: Seattle, USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

the attention span of the population as a whole has been and continues to be rapidly eroded by a growing addiction to instant but so very brief stimuli.


"Like" ...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 16:21:31
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to Dudnote

As an inducement to Dudnote and others to read the book, and at the risk of cruelly oversimplifying Meyer's thesis, I offer the following condensation:

Meyer notes that the history of the arts is marked by long periods of very little change-- periods of stasis. The art history of Ancient Egypt, much of Chinese history, Persia, many other examples, show that stasis typifies much the greater part of cultural history. This pattern was broken in the West with the advent of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the rise of science, the simultaneous weakening and multiplicity of religious doctrine, new philosophies, etc., such that for several centuries now, we think of successive movements in the arts-- let's say baroque, classicism, romanticism, modernism for example--as the normal paradigm; the New replacing the Old every 15 or 20 years. So stasis was replaced by change, growth, movement, "progress".

Meyer postulated, though, a return to stasis, but stasis of a completely different kind from the glacially slow reworking of a few themes that typified past cultures over centuries and even millennia. The new stasis is instead the cumulative result of a vast multiplicity of trends, movements, artists, styles, materials in constant creation and dissolution, but on a small scale and a short timeframe. The cultural signal-to-noise ratio drops to the point where no dominant artistic impulse can expand and mature enough to generate a viable tradition or school of large or lasting proportion. Here I quote:

".....change and variety are not incompatible with stasis. For stasis, as I intend the term, is not an absence of novelty and change-- a total quiescence--but rather the absence of ordered sequential change. Like molecules rushing about haphazardly in a Brownian movement, a culture bustling with activity and change may nevertheless be static. Indeed, insofar as an active, conscious search for new techniques, new forms and materials, and new modes of sensibility.....precludes the gradual accumulation of changes capable of producing a trend or a series of connected mutations, it tends to create a steady-state....."

So, Brownian motion. Or the snow on the screen of an old TV; the stasis of continuous, small-scale change. The arguments for Meyer's thesis are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, sources, authors, and cannot be summarized here, but they are cogent and fascinating, and I again encourage those interested enough in the subject to read Meyer for themselves. And Meyer's insight is given more credence, as I have indicated, by the advent of technology only dimly foreseen in 1967; technology that serves, via instant, global communication, to further particularize and yet homogenize any and all artistic experience.

_____________________________

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 21:01:05
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Do the Classics Suppress Contemp... (in reply to runner

quote:

As an inducement to Dudnote and others to read the book, and at the risk of cruelly oversimplifying Meyer's thesis, I offer the following condensation:

Meyer notes that the history of the arts is marked by long periods of very little change-- periods of stasis. The art history of Ancient Egypt, much of Chinese history, Persia, many other examples, show that stasis typifies much the greater part of cultural history. This pattern was broken in the West with the advent of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the rise of science, the simultaneous weakening and multiplicity of religious doctrine, new philosophies, etc., such that for several centuries now, we think of successive movements in the arts-- let's say baroque, classicism, romanticism, modernism for example--as the normal paradigm; the New replacing the Old every 15 or 20 years. So stasis was replaced by change, growth, movement, "progress".

Meyer postulated, though, a return to stasis, but stasis of a completely different kind from the glacially slow reworking of a few themes that typified past cultures over centuries and even millennia. The new stasis is instead the cumulative result of a vast multiplicity of trends, movements, artists, styles, materials in constant creation and dissolution, but on a small scale and a short timeframe. The cultural signal-to-noise ratio drops to the point where no dominant artistic impulse can expand and mature enough to generate a viable tradition or school of large or lasting proportion. Here I quote:

".....change and variety are not incompatible with stasis. For stasis, as I intend the term, is not an absence of novelty and change-- a total quiescence--but rather the absence of ordered sequential change. Like molecules rushing about haphazardly in a Brownian movement, a culture bustling with activity and change may nevertheless be static. Indeed, insofar as an active, conscious search for new techniques, new forms and materials, and new modes of sensibility.....precludes the gradual accumulation of changes capable of producing a trend or a series of connected mutations, it tends to create a steady-state....."

So, Brownian motion. Or the snow on the screen of an old TV; the stasis of continuous, small-scale change. The arguments for Meyer's thesis are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, sources, authors, and cannot be summarized here, but they are cogent and fascinating, and I again encourage those interested enough in the subject to read Meyer for themselves. And Meyer's insight is given more credence, as I have indicated, by the advent of technology only dimly foreseen in 1967; technology that serves, via instant, global communication, to further particularize and yet homogenize any and all artistic experience.

_______________


Ok FINALLY, you talk about the text itself instead of admonishing me to read it until I get it. You know it is insulting and patronizing to tell someone over and over to read book you think they don't understand.

Now that you've outlined what you think is good about the book, I can take that and tear it apart and reason out why I still think the basic premise is a poor reason to write a book.

Meyer is not the the only one who's made that comparison between stasis and movement. It's not that difficult to follow, the examples may be good, but the conclusion is still not an absolute truth, or even important for other readers.

The conclusions he reaches are crummy. In the final analysis people like Meyer claim, and lament, that there is an end to an 'ordered' view of history and that the it's sad that the 'ducks not longer line up neatly for us to count'. The problem is that this kind of linear view of how history works has been taken apart a put back together many, many times since then.

And you still don't take up the books that I have mentioned not only in this thread but in previous threads where you have flogged the Meyer book over my poor wretched back.

Seriously, you keep telling me "Oh poor Stephen you must read this book until you get it, until you understand it." Ok. I went to the library and dug out your book, read it, disliked it, told you why, and yet yo still never bother to read anything I mention.

And I'm a bad guy because I call you out on this? Good luck.


quote:

So, Brownian motion. Or the snow on the screen of an old TV; the stasis of continuous, small-scale change. The arguments for Meyer's thesis are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, sources, authors, and cannot be summarized here, but they are cogent and fascinating, and I again encourage those interested enough in the subject to read Meyer for themselves. And Meyer's insight is given more credence, as I have indicated, by the advent of technology only dimly foreseen in 1967; technology that serves, via instant, global communication, to further particularize and yet homogenize any and all artistic experience.



This part is still complete nonsense.

Right now there is more classical art and realism being painted and drawn more than any other time in history by virtue of the fact that there are more artists today. I chuckle when I hear people say realism is dead and they get all sad and misty at the passing of great art into the abstract and self indulgent realm. Because of modern communication, the internet and fast safe travel more artists are able to move around the world and the internet to study painting, and help each other an influence each other by internet communication.

In Florence in in 1505 there were a few studios, perhaps a dozen, and a few hundred artists making the work we today call "The Classics". The signal to noise ratio in that time period was just as great as it is today, but the only reason we see it in more sharp focus is because process of historical organization history has selected it out for us. We have historical hindsight and this is a selective kind of vision. Previous to Meyers grand theory, (and it's not original to Meyer, it has it roots in 19th century German art historians, and further back in French art history keeping and on through Bernard Berenson's categorizations) historians and epistimologists had begun to to work on ideas that looked at the way in which knowledge is archived, history is sorted, and how pieces of history are selected out a reassembled into an illustration of how one society or culture views history.

This a particular work by Meyers work comes at a time when art historians are beginning to write about an idea that runs counter to the type of historical over view Meyer holds true. And this is why his conclusions are false. Histories are not one history in sequential order for every cultural vantage point. Meyer holds onto a construction of history which makes a Western cannon of history be at the apex of how one should order the sequence of what he calls lulls or periods of stasis.

These periods are seen as distinct creative zones because of the way history has been carved into bite sized chunks, the reality is that there is an over arching trajectory of human consciousness through art and the 'stasis-progress-stasis' model does not cover the ways in which similarities between vastly different time periods remain in connectivity. There is in the Stasis-Progress model a lineal time arrangement of art movement to art movement that provides a clever and convenient explanation for how one style evolves into the next, but there also exists a more 'global' (not literally global, but global in the sense that is is universal) connection between separate tie sequences.

Now in the end Meyer argues that there is an end to history, this is a preamble to Postmodern theories that most people take with a grain of salt today; He says a culture comes to a cultural culmination or reaches a level of continuity that cannot be surpassed and thus peters out, resulting in stasis. He cites Egyptian art and in it's classical form regales with it's virtue. This is fine, but it does not account for the way shifts between periods really happen. What he calls cultural inactivity, because he wants us to think BIG and see grand vistas, causes us to forget to look at the over arching connective sequences that move counter to the grand sweeps in history, there is counter current or undertow or geologic movement that is always in play in history that a grand sequence of linear set cultural events can't track.

These slower moving artistic trends are like cultural plate tectonics, they move slowly and are vital to the set up of the what some historians want to call the bigger more important events. These are transitional moments which are as important as cultural high points. A good a example of a transitional period would be Late Dynastic Egypt where the last 'grand' dynastic art is becoming less common and the Fayum period dynasties produce realist high quality funerial portraits in wax.

To be cont.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2015 23:47:14
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