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Thread: 12 tone is the language of the serious composer

  1. #61
    Senior Member Simon Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
    Hmm, apparently you do.
    There have been many anti-modernism threads that I have not posted on. I read them, but almost never post.

    I made an exception here, just so there was a differing opinion on the thread.

    I will bow out now.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

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    Senior Member eugeneonagain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Moon View Post
    Why would my opinion of music I don't enjoy, be worthless? I don't find the opinions of those that don't like modernism worthless. My complaint is the condescending tone.
    I agree that there is a great deal of condescension, but it comes from both sides. Perhaps the dice are weighted in favour of pre-modern music on this particular forum.

    I mentioned opinion because I don't think there is much store to be put in an opinion (that is, a view that may or not be based in knowledge, since it's not all aesthetic pronouncements) based upon pure dislike or disinterest. I learnt my lesson about this with regard to Bruckner's music.

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  5. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Moon View Post
    There have been many anti-modernism threads that I have not posted on. I read them, but almost never post.

    I made an exception here, just so there was a differing opinion on the thread.

    I will bow out now.
    I re-read this entire thread and didn't find anything substantially anti-modernism about it. There were posts questioning the present-day relevance of 12-tone music, but that was in keeping with the OP. So, I'm not sure what your 'differing opinion' was about.

    I would also add that in the last few years, the mods have made it particularly clear that if a thread is started that is obviously meant to be pro-modern music, then that is no place for posts critical of the genre. It is a legitimate perspective and as someone who who doesn't like most mid 20th century music and on, I have had to monitor my own posting. In any event, there have been a number of threads supportive of modern music where there have been no condescending remarks.
    Last edited by DaveM; Mar-14-2018 at 03:57.

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    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    Some of Wuorinen's own later music has suspiciously tonal tendencies, to my ear:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Moon View Post
    I have continued to try to get into pre-modernism for years, decades even. I hear it on classical radio, I used to have a pretty big collection of most of the major composers from pre-20th century, I hear it at friend's houses. It just does nothing for me.

    I also see no reason for either/or. It's not like I ever made a conscious decision to not like pre-modernism.

    Why would my opinion of music I don't enjoy, be worthless? I don't find the opinions of those that don't like modernism worthless. My complaint is the condescending tone.

    A couple of months ago, there was a thread started with the title, "your favorite 12 tone piece". There were multiple posts by non-fans like, "the shortest one". Again, I have no problem with those that are not fans, just the snarky, condescending comments.

    Asking out of genuine curiosity: when does your interest pick up in the transition to modernism? Do you enjoy Debussy or Prokofiev? Perhaps late Scriabin? Or just serialism?

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Moon View Post
    I have continued to try to get into pre-modernism for years, decades even. I hear it on classical radio, I used to have a pretty big collection of most of the major composers from pre-20th century, I hear it at friend's houses. It just does nothing for me.
    this is unfortunate. You can train your brain to start enjoying a particular music. I always liked rock, but did not like jazz. Then I learned to enjoy jazz by reading about the best jazz albums and I slowly started listening and enjoying. Like you, I could enjoy modernism and romantism almost from the start and did not like classical era and baroque. Again, you can train yourself by picking a couple of the best works and listening patiently over and over again. At least it worked for me and I am glad it did. I can enjoy almost any music, with the exception of some pop

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  10. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by isorhythm View Post
    Some of Wuorinen's own later music has suspiciously tonal tendencies, to my ear:

    This video is not available.

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    The only modern piece I continue to find interesting (thus far) is Stockhausen's 'Gruppen'.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34_SfP7ZCXA&t=562s
    Last edited by janxharris; Mar-13-2018 at 22:27.

  12. #69
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    This forum really needs Some Guy to return.

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    Rather than have this thread degenerate into a pro/anti serial discussion, I choose to think the OP was just calling attention to an obnoxious statement made 40 years ago by a composer who thrived on making obnoxious statements. :-)

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    Some political and other off-topic comments have been removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    “While the tonal system, in an atrophied or vestigial form, is still used today in popular and commercial music, and even occasionally in the works of backward-looking serious composers, it is no longer employed by serious composers of the mainstream, it has been replaced or succeeded by the 12-tone system.”
    A true statement when 'serious' is defined as Wuorinen would (presumably) have done so - but, of course, he did not, nor does anyone, have a right to assume objectivity.

    I'd never heard of him till this thread.

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    Senior Member Room2201974's Avatar
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    I've known a group of composers representing three generations of writing. While I make no claims that this group is a representative population sample, I'd like to point out that only one of them was/is a dedicated serialist. The rest had studied 12 tone, written in 12 tone, and decided that it was a method of organizing composition, and not the only method of organizing composition.

    One particular composer out of this group used to misquote Shakespeare and say, "I'm here to hold 'as twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time my own form and pressure.' And I don't always need a tone row to do it."
    "He who makes songs without feeling spoils both his words and his music. " ~ Guillaume de Machaut

    "It is insulting to address anyone in a language which they do not understand." ~ Benjamin Britten

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  20. #74
    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    I'd never heard of him till this thread.
    Hhmmm ... if you've never heard of Charles Wuorinen before, then you aren't a 'serious' listener/collector of contemporary classical albums. Discs of Wuorinen's music have been produced throughout four decades.



    https://www.discogs.com/artist/16399...uorinen?page=2

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    Personally I love the idea of not having a tonal center everything gravitates towards but the problem with the 12 tone technique is that it precludes repetition, which is something I love too much about music. This means the pleasures of percussive modernism, as in Prokofiev and Bartok, are nowhere to be found there.

    There's some interesting twelve tone-ish Soviet music, perhaps most notably Nikolai Karetnikov. There's a certain low-key dark beauty to this piano piece, I find




    This symphony is straight up amazing

    Last edited by BiscuityBoyle; Mar-14-2018 at 19:18.

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