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Thread: Romantic philosophy applied to pre-Romantic music.

  1. #31
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    I think the Romantic/Classical distinction is based on human psychology. What makes either one dominant in a particular era is the context it is put in. For Mozart's time, Classical was the way to be; as society changed, as power structures shifted from the Church to the sciences, Romanticism cropped up. It will probably continue to cycle like this between the poles of Man's psyche.

    For instance the 1960's was a 'Dionysian' time; now, what was being done then (experimentation, 30 minute guitar solos, underground FM stations, drug-influenced music) is considered 'over the top' or inappropriate.
    If Dr. Phil can't dance to it, it is 'sociopathic' music created by narcissistic ne'r-do-wells. Music must be "certified" by society's standards. Those standards presently are: players can not be on drugs, players must have a healthy perspective and not be 'outsiders' like Jimi Hendrix, volume must be controlled, music must not 'incite' or be overtly political (such as anti-war), and must not "offend" any groups of people who are recognized as 'accepted' in society.

    Now, in the present, music is more controlled than ever. "Experts" know what music is, and what's good. In the 60's, nobody knew. A "poetic" group like The Doors would never have lasted.

    Doesn't this pretty much explain it? I guess to really understand the differences and reasons behind Classicism/Romanticism, you "had to be there."
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Dec-12-2018 at 20:06.
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post

    . Those standards presently are: players can not be on drugs, players must have a healthy perspective and not be 'outsiders' like Jimi Hendrix, volume must be controlled, music must not 'incite' or be overtly political (such as anti-war), and must not "offend" any groups of people who are recognized as 'accepted' in society.



    Not here, listen to some Brixton Drill.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    But then the last stuff Hendrix recorded - songs like Dolly Dagger and Earth Blues - were quite disciplined, tight and controlled. He was moving toward to classical.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    If Hendrix had lasted, he would have felt the pressure to conform to today's "Apollonian" standards. Punk rock was the last dying breath of the Dionysian, and even they disparaged drugs. Now, back to Katy perry.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "Everything transient is only a parable; the inadequate, this is the event; the indescribable, here it is done; the eternal feminine draws us on high." -unknown

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    Senior Member Gallus's Avatar
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    I would say that the main difference between Romantic aesthetics and previous periods is in the direction of emotion, or where it was centred.

    In e.g. the Baroque, the composer was a craftsman who used a common store of techniques for the purpose of creating an emotion in the listener with the goal of pleasing them and/or improving them morally. That is not to say that a classical composer never felt sad and decided to write a sad piece, but that their concern was always how they would be affecting the listener: this is why form and harmonic language were strongly regulated, because to break the bounds of taste in the use of extreme affects would make the listener a slave of the passions, a barbarian, that music would be morally harmful.

    The Romantic period saw a shift away from the composer affecting the listener to the composer writing what affects themselves and letting the listener empathise with him, as what affected oneself took on a universal spiritual importance; that is, one could understand the universe by listening to one's own soul (particularly if one was a 'genius') as the souls of men and nature were fundamentally in sympathy with each other, the natural soul of man was pure and childlike (in contrast to the degenerated society it dwelled in) and as long as it was true to itself could never express anything immoral. That is not to say that the Romantic artist never wrote a piece for the purpose of pleasing the listener, but that their general concern was to write something which was fundamentally in accord with their own being.
    Last edited by Gallus; Dec-14-2018 at 02:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallus View Post
    I would say that the main difference between Romantic aesthetics and previous periods is in the direction of emotion, or where it was centred.

    In e.g. the Baroque, the composer was a craftsman who used a common store of techniques for the purpose of creating an emotion in the listener with the goal of pleasing them and/or improving them morally. That is not to say that a classical composer never felt sad and decided to write a sad piece, but that their concern was always how they would be affecting the listener: this is why form and harmonic language were strongly regulated, because to break the bounds of taste in the use of extreme affects would make the listener a slave of the passions, a barbarian, that music would be morally harmful.

    The Romantic period saw a shift away from the composer affecting the listener to the composer writing what affects themselves and letting the listener empathise with him, as what affected oneself took on a universal spiritual importance; that is, one could understand the universe by listening to one's own soul (particularly if one was a 'genius') as the souls of men and nature were fundamentally in sympathy with each other, the natural soul of man was pure and childlike (in contrast to the degenerated society it dwelled in) and as long as it was true to itself could never express anything immoral. That is not to say that the Romantic artist never wrote a piece for the purpose of pleasing the listener, but that their general concern was to write something which was fundamentally in accord with their own being.
    It's an interesting idea, you make 19th century music sound like the expression of a perception of the real workings of the composer's internal mental life, as if Schumann, for example, was the natural predecessor of the expressionist Schoenberg. However, I'm not sure how widely this idea can be applied -- Wagner? Liszt? Chopin? It's not obvious to me, and there would be a lot of work to do to make back it up.

    The Mozart /Da Ponte operas challenge conventional morality. There's plenty in Mozart which uses "extreme affects " -- think Symphony 40. I don't know about other classical composers, but I'd be surprised if what you said was true (think Haydn op 33/6 iii.)

    Have you heard any of Froberger's representational music?
    Last edited by Mandryka; Dec-14-2018 at 16:37.

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