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Thread: Why do I like Bach, but not Mozart or Beethoven?

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    Default Why do I like Bach, but not Mozart or Beethoven?

    I've really just started to explore classical music recently. It seems that I like baroque and some romantic period composers, even the renaissance composers. but not the classical period. I don't seem to connect with Mozart or Beethoven which is kinda strange because everybody likes them. I don't know much about music theory so I don't exactly why I like/ don't like some composers.
    Does anyone have any idea why it might be that I like Bach but not Mozart or Beethoven?

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Perhaps you just haven't heard the right pieces yet?

    Take these two and call me in the morning.


    This one starts out with a slow buildup, so give it a chance. Serious goosebumps should be settling in at around the 2 minute mark.



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    Senior Member regressivetransphobe's Avatar
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    It means you got good taste,
    People who hide are afraid!

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    It is a wide-spread misconception that we all must like the same composers, because they are the famous ones. Listen to all the great names, and by all means sample the less famous ones for that's where some of the real positive surprises are. But do not be surprised or even alarmed that not every famous name will click with you. As an example: I love Bach (my favourite composer), but can just about tolerate Handel, Telemann, Corelli and Vivaldi, even though they are in the same period and general style.
    Und Morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen.....

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    Senior Member crmoorhead's Avatar
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    What have you tried listening to? Bach is probably, IMO, the best of the three but there are plenty of works by the other two that are equally as enjoyable. Maybe symphonies turn you off and you prefer the more intimate setting of Bach's time. Or maybe you love Bach's choral works and the other two don't compare. I find that it just takes time to get to into works that initially don't do anything for you. It took me a while to get into Haydn, but then it just seemed to click with me.

    What are your favourite Bach pieces? How do you find Handel?
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    Senior Member Xaltotun's Avatar
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    If anything, this just demonstrates that Bach is worlds apart from Mozart or Beethoven (who aren't exactly alike, either!). There's no reason you should like all three of 'em. Art Rock said it well. Myself, I love Beethoven, sort-of-like Mozart, and don't care much for Bach (or baroque music) at all.
    Music is not the sounds you hear

    Music is not the notes you see

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Let's not over-analyze...

    Generally speaking, I get that some composers are an acquired taste, buit that usually applies to contemporary music - I guess this is the rare occasion where it applies to classical/early romantics.

    As you explore musical periods, it is my hope you will find composers you will like. I also agree with "Couchie", that you probably need to find the right Mozart/Beethoven works. Since Bach's music covers a wide swath, I'm curious what area of the Bach catalogue you fancy most, and whether/bot you've looked at works from other composers that cover similar types (e.g., solo keyboard works).

    In my view, music appreciation is just as much about sampling the menu as it is about sitting down and having a meal!

    Good listening!
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    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Maybe because Bach doesn't sound like Mozart or Beethoven.

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    A couple of Mozart pieces I find very Bach-like are the Fantasy in c minor, k475 and also in the same key the first mvt. of his fourteenth sonata for piano...hmmm, Beethoven definitely has his moments in the sonatas but nothing sticks out...still half asleep here...definitely some of the early sonatas have traces of the great father

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    I remember an old song, "I don't know why I love you like I do. I don't know why, I just do."

    That's how I feel about some composers: some click and some don't. Explore the ones you enjoy and keep testing the waters with the others.

    One thing that's helped me with classical composers is, listen to the bass line. They were concerned with movement over melody, so the bass helps to highlight the journey they're taking me on.
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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    I feel the same way; love Bach, dislike Beethoven and Mozart. I don't feel any particular rush to "learn to like them" either, I just don't like them at the moment. If I do ending liking them somewhere down the line, so be it. I'll wait for that click to happen. I've got a whole lifetime to wait.
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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    I feel the same way; love Bach, dislike Beethoven and Mozart. I don't feel any particular rush to "learn to like them" either, I just don't like them at the moment. If I do ending liking them somewhere down the line, so be it. I'll wait for that click to happen. I've got a whole lifetime to wait.
    Exactly! Let it come to you. That's my motto. I already have small works I sorta like by Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach.

    Just, make sure you don't die anytime soon and miss the chance.
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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    I sometimes ask myself questions like this, but I really wouldn't expect even my best friends to have much insight into the matter, let alone folks on the internet.

    I'd bet it's just a matter of exposure / time. Some music grabs some people right away, some music is an acquired taste.

    I do not hold with the "passive response" theory of taste, in which one just likes some music and just doesn't like other music. To me, classical music is not a buffet in which it's ok to pass over the stuff that doesn't look immediately appealing; it's more of a book in which it's not ok to skip chapters. You don't have to like them all, but you have to read them all carefully. And, I'd wager, most people who do the careful reading come out liking the music. Not all of course, but most.

    My own struggles are with very late romanticism: Bruckner, R. Strauss, Mahler. Don't care for a lot of Wagner so much either. I don't listen to them as much as to music that I like more easily, but I return to them occasionally and, slowly, they're growing on me. My goal is to understand why other people love their music so much.

    But otherwise I've done pretty well for myself. I'm good with most music that I've heard from Perotin to Brahms, and from Debussy on, including the modernists (Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartok, Ives) and minimalists, both of which seem to bother a lot of people. I haven't exposed myself to a lot of the post-modern guys (Xenakis and so on), but I like what I've heard and I'll get to it.
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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Would anyone argue that it's a matter of maturity in liking certain time periods or genres of classical music? As in, it's possible not to be mature enough to even understand them?
    "Before I became the director [of the St. Petersburg Conservatory] I knew the treble clef and the bass clef, now I know the wrench too." - Glazunov
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    Quote Originally Posted by superwomant View Post
    Does anyone have any idea why it might be that I like Bach but not Mozart or Beethoven?
    I don't see how anyone can be expected to answer this without you telling us which works of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven you have listened to. I wouldn't be surprised if it's very little.
    GoneBaroque likes this.

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