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Thread: If music is tuneful, is it "lesser?"

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Default If music is tuneful, is it "lesser?"

    Seems like there is sometimes an intellectual preference for music that is more "rhetorical" as opposed to tuneful.

    In my experience it seems that composers such as (later) Stravinsky, Schönberg, Webern etc. are often placed on pedestals for the music they produce (often lacking any traditional melody whatsoever but brimming with an abundance "theory") but composers like Tchaikovsky are looked down upon for his use of "sappy" melodies and big tunes.

    Seems like sometimes enjoying a good, toe-tapping melody in classical musi is somewhat verboten. What do y'all think?

    By the way, not all tuneful music is good and not all "tuneless" music is bad. That is not at all my position, so please bear that in mind before you personally attack me. I am just interested in the general opinion here as to the question I posed above.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Even hearing name of Stravisnky makes me sick. I don't care if it makes me classical ignorant, but I belive one thing: composer which is able to compose work like Rite of Spring is educated composer. Composer which can write great melodies is talented one.

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Ahh great, now I've done it. In an attempt to correct the misspelled word (tunelful) in the original version of this thread, I've created a double. Now, there are two threads on the same subject. This ought to be interesting
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    Ahh great, now I've done it. In an attempt to correct the misspelled word (tunelful) in the original version of this thread, I've created a double. Now, there are two threads on the same subject. This ought to be interesting
    Let's see whether same people will post different opinions in the two threads... time to diagnose our latent bipolar disorders here!
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    Let's see whether same people will post different opinions in the two threads... time to diagnose our latent bipolar disorders here!
    Wow, I need to find this other thread... though it's probably been deleted by now...

    Tuneful music being "lesser"? Most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Plenty of tuneful music happens to be great. Look at Mahler, Sibelius, Schubert (!), etc... Plenty of great music is tuneful. It's just ignorant to say otherwise.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Super Moderator jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Even hearing name of Stravisnky makes me sick. I don't care if it makes me classical ignorant, but I belive one thing: composer which is able to compose work like Rite of Spring is educated composer. Composer which can write great melodies is talented one.
    There are some great tunes in Rite of Spring. Not the type of tunes you whistle during a walk in the park, but great tunes nonetheless.

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    Wow, I need to find this other thread... though it's probably been deleted by now...

    Tuneful music being "lesser"? Most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Plenty of tuneful music happens to be great. Look at Mahler, Sibelius, Schubert (!), etc... Plenty of great music is tuneful. It's just ignorant to say otherwise.
    I hope it hasn't! There's already a fine number of posts there! And it's older than this one.

    Is Sibelius really tuneful? The adjective doesn't spring to mind when I think about his (glorious) music.
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Herzeleide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    There are some great tunes in Rite of Spring. Not the type of tunes you whistle during a walk in the park, but great tunes nonetheless.
    I find they're perfectly hummable - simple Russian folk tunes, based largely around anhemitonic pentatonic cells.

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herzeleide View Post
    anhemitonic pentatonic cells.
    Gee. Nice words.
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    I would say Sibelius is often tuneful, but in a very strange way.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    A few tuneful composers: Vaughan Williams, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Liszt, Bax, Delius (though hard to hum, they do stick in the mind), Smetana, Dvorak, Saint-Saens, etc.

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    Super Moderator jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herzeleide View Post
    I find they're perfectly hummable
    They are hummable, but somehow it seems more likely to find one humming a Tchaikovsky tune I think.
    simple Russian folk tunes, based largely around anhemitonic pentatonic cells.
    I'll take your word for it, mate.

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    I would say Sibelius is often tuneful, but in a very strange way.
    Right... but that weirdness is what makes the music heavenly.
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    With Sibelius, you could find your self humming ostinato string gestures, like from the 6th Symphony. How weird would people think you are to hear you doing that!?
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Beethoven's a bit tougher to call "tuneful" than some other composers.

    And about "Le Sacre"--I find myself whistling one of the tunes in that WAY too much for my own good...
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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