Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst ... 23456789 LastLast
Results 76 to 90 of 126

Thread: Decoding Beethoven

  1. #76
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,715
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Appoggiaturas have no necessary time value. They can be long or short. They can last longer than the note they resolve to. If this one were not there - if we heard the A right off - the underlying progression would be unambiguous from the get-go: a French sixth resolving to the dominant.

    Note that Wagner's spelling of the chord includes a D# - the leading tone to E, dominant of the dominant - and G#, the mediant tone of that same chord. If Wagner had envisioned any other harmonic function for the chord, he could have spelled it F-Cb-Eb-Ab instead of F-B-D#-G#. His spelling is exactly what we would expect for a French sixth which resolves the way it does. He knew what he was doing.

    That G# provides a moment of mystery, of suspense, of ambiguity. A moment! Analysts who try to spin that into a theory that reduces Wagner's entire tonal plan to insignificance need to get some fresh air.
    Perhaps. But many feel that the tonal ambiguity of the Tristan chord and the Prelude as a whole clearly points in the direction of Schoenberg and no tonality at all related to a home base. Wagner wanders far afield from home, more than anyone ever before him. But those who do not like Schoenberg will never acknowledge this because they don’t like Schoenberg. And the reason why they don’t like Schoenberg is because they don’t like Schoenberg and how he changed music in a revolutionary way by creating a new vocabulary that can express the unconscious but that the music conservatives are still fighting and will never accept though it’s already been incorporated into the basic language of music as a whole. Now that’s the problem with analyzing the Tristan chord as appoggiaturas when every note in those chords are treated with equal value rather than as extended grace notes.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-15-2019 at 22:45.
    "That's all Folks!"

  2. Likes millionrainbows liked this post
  3. #77
    On Hiatus
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Perhaps. But many feel that the tonal ambiguity of the Tristan chord and the Prelude as a whole clearly points in the direction of Schoenberg and no tonality at all related to a home base. Wagner wanders far afield from home, more than anyone ever before him. But those who do not like Schoenberg will never acknowledge this because they don’t like Schoenberg. And the reason why they don’t like Schoenberg is because they don’t like Schoenberg and how he changed music in a revolutionary way by creating a new vocabulary that can express the unconscious but that the music conservatives are still fighting and will never accept though it’s already been incorporated into the basic language of music as a whole. Now that’s the problem with analyzing the Tristan chord as appoggiaturas when every note in those chords are treated with equal value rather than as extended grace notes.
    Lark, I know I'm the junior member posting here, but I think it is enough that Schoenberg created a new language to compose music. Experiments are wonderful. BUT, I did not know that he thought his vocabulary could express the unconscious?!?! To me it was exploration with language. I do understand that other composers partially adopted his language but didn't find it expressive enough so they used traditional harmony, but this last sentence is not my primary question.

    If this is too junior a question, just say so kindly.

  4. Likes Roger Knox liked this post
  5. #78
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,715
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    Lark, I know I'm the junior member posting here, but I think it is enough that Schoenberg created a new language to compose music. Experiments are wonderful. BUT, I did not know that he thought his vocabulary could express the unconscious?!?! To me it was exploration with language. I do understand that other composers partially adopted his language but didn't find it expressive enough so they used traditional harmony, but this last sentence is not my primary question.

    If this is too junior a question, just say so kindly.
    Yes, Schoenberg talked about his music with regard to its relationship to the unconscious, which suddenly reminds me of the psychological aspects of Wagner’s own work through music and myth! Schoenberg took it further into the 20th century and this is another tie between them. The psychological has been discussed in another thread which I don’t exactly recall right now related to the portrayal of darkness, the psychological, and the unconscious in music. Schoenberg wrote about the influence of the unconscious with regard to some of his works. Of course, none of this will be willingly acknowledged by those who consider him the ruination of 20th century music. But when one looks at the terrible history of the political turmoil and catastrophic wars during that century, no century ever needed an understanding of the psychological more than that one and needed in music a stronger more revolutionary and liberated language to account for the expression of the psychological and the neurotic, though of course Schoenberg’s music, along with the subtleties of Berg and Webern, was far more than that.

    “Art,” declared Schoenberg to Kandinsky, “belongs to the unconscious!”

    The psychological and the unconscious related to the description of Schoenberg's Erwartung: The depth of the forest scenario becomes a projection room for distressing traumatic states – obscurity, anger, threat, fear, loneliness, horror, darkness – and naturalistically reinterprets the subjective ordeal of suffering the woman lives through in four scenes. The music portrays these deeply psychological states.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-16-2019 at 00:07.
    "That's all Folks!"

  6. #79
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    4,444
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Perhaps. But many feel that the tonal ambiguity of the Tristan chord and the Prelude as a whole clearly points in the direction of Schoenberg and no tonality at all related to a home base. Wagner wanders far afield from home, more than anyone ever before him. But those who do not like Schoenberg will never acknowledge this because they don’t like Schoenberg. And the reason why they don’t like Schoenberg is because they don’t like Schoenberg and how he changed music in a revolutionary way by creating a new vocabulary that can express the unconscious but that the music conservatives are still fighting and will never accept though it’s already been incorporated into the basic language of music as a whole. Now that’s the problem with analyzing the Tristan chord as appoggiaturas when every note in those chords are treated with equal value rather than as extended grace notes.
    Acknowledging Wagner's harmonic and tonal excursions, which I do, is in no way related to ones feelings about Schoenberg. Of course composers were going to explore atonality. It was and is inevitable. Other composers found different threads to pick up on in Wagner's work, like cycles of mediant and submediant related harmonies, hexatonic systems and so on. Wagner's work suggested paths in multiple directions, including his own idea that we'd all be writing music dramas because instrumental symphonies were played out. What I object to is the crass co-opting of someones else's work to justify the existence of ones own—especially given that it is a completely unnecessary and arbitrary move. The only place Wagner's music made Schoenberg inevitable was Schoenberg's head, which is funny because the exploration of atonality was going to happen whether or not Wagner or Schoenberg ever lived.

    What greater comfort does time afford than the objects of terror re-encountered and their fraudulence exposed in the flash of reason?
    — William Gaddis, The Recognitions

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    Basil Valentine

  7. Likes Woodduck liked this post
  8. #80
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    ...the tonal ambiguity of the Tristan chord and the Prelude as a whole clearly points in the direction of Schoenberg and no tonality at all related to a home base. ... But those who do not like Schoenberg will never acknowledge this because they don’t like Schoenberg. And the reason why they don’t like Schoenberg is because they don’t like ... how he changed music in a revolutionary way by creating a new vocabulary that can express the unconscious but that the music conservatives are still fighting and will never accept though it’s already been incorporated into the basic language of music as a whole. Now that’s the problem with analyzing the Tristan chord as appoggiaturas when every note in those chords are treated with equal value rather than as extended grace notes.
    Wow. A ton of assumptions here. Starting at the end:

    1. What does it mean to say that "every note in those chords are treated with equal value"? The various note in the phrase have different note values and different places in the progression.

    2. It is not a fact, but an opinion, that "the tonal ambiguity of the Tristan chord and the Prelude as a whole clearly points in the direction of Schoenberg and no tonality at all related to a home base."

    3. It is therefore not a question of "acknowledging" a fact which doesn't exist. What I acknowledge is that you believe that the tonal ambiguity of the Tristan chord points to what you believe it points to.

    4. What does it mean to say that tonal ambiguity "points" to atonality? The very concept of tonal ambiguity implies the existence of a tonality to possess the quality of ambiguity. I would say that tonal ambiguity, if it points to anything, points to tonality and its possibilities, just as an ambiguous verbal reference points to possible objects, not to an absence of objects.

    There is intentional tonal ambiguity in Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue. There is no tonal ambiguity in Schoenberg's Piano Suite or Wind Quintet; intervallic relationships suggesting known tonal relationships can be picked out on the fly by the ears of listeners accustomed to hearing those relationships in tonal contexts, but this doesn't make the music tonal and "ambiguous."

    Wagner sounds his dissonance in the context of a recognizable tonal progression, and it is explicable in terms of that progression. In doing that, he isn't pointing to music that acknowledges no such thing as tonal progression. Musical styles can point to one another if there are actual anticipations of procedures; we would have a legitimate instance of "pointing" if Wagner had written a few bars of music with no tonal references and no suggestion of movement toward a tonal resolution. To my knowledge, he never did that.

    5. Attributing a theoretical analysis of Tristan to the analyst's attitude toward Schoenberg seems awfully presumptuous. Have you surveyed analysts to determine what their attitude toward Schoenberg is?

    6. Atonality has not been incorporated into music "as a whole." Most music is tonal. In fact, any number of academy-trained composer's have chosen to "unincorporate" atonality in their work. At most, atonality is an option, and for most purposes not a very popular one.

    7. What does it mean to "express the unconscious," and why does atonal music do this while tonal music doesn't? (I know this has been talked about here in another thread.)



    If you want to hear some 19th-century music that really does point to the future (if only briefly) try this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=962lHSUXxI8

    It isn't atonal, as a whole (it's mostly in G minor), but it does get pretty spacey (technical term there).
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-16-2019 at 00:40.

  9. Likes Roger Knox, mikeh375 liked this post
  10. #81
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,715
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    “Of course composers were going to explore atonality.”

    Well, by all means mention a bigger name than Schoenberg. He was the first one there and he taught others. The obvious relationship between Wagner and eventually Schoenberg are too numerous to mention, including the profoundly psychological, and resistance is futile! Those who never speak that well of Schoenberg, or understand or like his music, rarely if ever give him credit for anything, and the above quote is one more example. 20th-century music was a little more involved than that and there’s a clearly evident relationship between atonality, serialism, and the unconscious because it can be heard in the music and in the darkness of some of the stories, such as Erwartung. It was Schoenberg who had the courage to follow his own path against tremendous odds and condemnation. It was he who opened up the language of the unconscious and started to explore it within the context of that century. Practically any music heard on TV and in the cinema has been influenced by him and his own music because of the new vocabulary that he developed to express emotions and states of mind that had never been expressed in music ever. That’s how important he was.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-16-2019 at 01:33.
    "That's all Folks!"

  11. #82
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    4,444
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    “Of course composers were going to explore atonality.”

    Well, by all means mention a bigger name than Schoenberg. He was the first one there and he taught others. The obvious relationship between Wagner and eventually Schoenberg are too numerous to mention, including the profoundly psychological, and resistance is futile! Those who never speak that well of Schoenberg, or understand or like his music, rarely if ever give him credit for anything, and the above quote is one more example. 20th-century music was a little more involved than that and there’s a clearly evident relationship between atonality, serialism, and the unconscious because it can be heard in the music and in the darkness of some of the stories, such as Erwartung. It was Schoenberg who had the courage to follow his own path against tremendous odds and condemnation. It was he who opened up the language of the unconscious and started to explore it within the context of that century. Practically any music heard on TV and in the cinema has been influenced by him and his own music because of the new vocabulary that he developed to express emotions and states of mind that had never been expressed in music ever. That’s how important he was.
    Yes, the stylistic connections between Wagner and Schoenberg are obvious. None of what you are addressing is material to my point, which was narrow: My belief that the alleged oversized role of the Tristan Prelude in the gestation of atonality is a bogus trope. I was making no comment on Schoenberg's music. I think my favorite exploration of the subconscious from that period is Strauss's Elektra.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-16-2019 at 03:16.

    What greater comfort does time afford than the objects of terror re-encountered and their fraudulence exposed in the flash of reason?
    — William Gaddis, The Recognitions

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    Basil Valentine

  12. #83
    On Hiatus
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    and the above quote is one more example. 20th-century music was a little more involved than that and there’s a clearly evident relationship between atonality, serialism, and the unconscious because it can be heard in the music and in the darkness of some of the stories, such as Erwartung.

    It was Schoenberg who had the courage to follow his own path against tremendous odds and condemnation. It was he who opened up the language of the unconscious and started to explore it within the context of that century. Practically any music heard on TV and in the cinema has been influenced by him and his own music because of the new vocabulary that he developed to express emotions and states of mind that had never been expressed in music ever. That’s how important he was.
    Lark, Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to me above.

    I just cannot believe that you truly mean that no Western CM composer had ever before conveyed the unconscious of the composer, of the time, of reality itself! In all of the many posts of yours that I have read (and admired greatly), you have almost always revealed that you have a very balanced view of reality; what do I mean by that? "a both/and" approach. Not an extremist either/or approach."

    I don't think that you believe that no composer before Schoenberg ever conveyed the subconscious/unconscious before! And, even in the horrors of the 20th century (and as you well know there have been horrors in every century) there is that solid ground/the firm bedrock that is the reality of God. Yes, yes, yes, I know we don't discuss that here. Everyone (but Lark) can say that is ridiculous, but I know that you believe that Lark. You recommended Unity on here!

    And if you want to avoid spirituality and theism in this conversations that is totally ok, we don't need to be explicit about it. Come on, how many times have so many of us said that pleinchant, a Renaissance piece, Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner's music "moves" us, it "resonates in us in a way that we can't (always) explain.

    Respectfully, have you not boxed yourself into something that you don't really believe here?
    Last edited by JosefinaHW; Mar-16-2019 at 03:40.

  13. #84
    On Hiatus
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    Again, I would just like to attempt to make myself as clear as possible. We do not have to believe in any god or invisible entity or energy or whatever anyone want to call it to talk about the human unconscious or subconscious. Looking at it over the centuries through literature and other forms of art there are tremendous commonalities amongst most human beings. And that has been conveyed through various art forms throughout the centuries. Unless I am totally confused about what you mean by the un-/subconscious I can't imagine anyone saying it wasn't conveyed in art until Schoenberg.

  14. #85
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,715
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default P

    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    Again, I would just like to attempt to make myself as clear as possible. We do not have to believe in any god or invisible entity or energy or whatever anyone want to call it to talk about the human unconscious or subconscious. Looking at it over the centuries through literature and other forms of art there are tremendous commonalities amongst most human beings. And that has been conveyed through various art forms throughout the centuries. Unless I am totally confused about what you mean by the un-/subconscious I can't imagine anyone saying it wasn't conveyed in art until Schoenberg.
    The operas of Wagner have been mined since their premieres for their psychological content and possible interpretations. Some have even applied Jungian psychology, an approach that uses symbols, archetypes, and dreams to explore the human psyche. Each of Wagner’s operas contains numerous hidden symbols both on the stage and in the musical phrases of the orchestra. By deciphering these symbols, one can discover the unconscious motives and thoughts of the characters within his works. With this understanding, deeper psychological content surfaces in his operas. But Schoenberg mentions the word ‘unconscious’ consciously and Wagner never did that I know of, though there was great psychological content in his music dramas related to the unconscious. The further difference is that Schoenberg dealt with the unconscious within a 20th-century context at the time that Sigmund Freud was on the ascendancy and there was a correspondence of psychology and the music of Schoenberg, if only indirectly. Whatever the psychological content of Wagner, the Freudian unconscious, including its exploration of the abnormal, psychotic, anxious, deeply buried neurotic tendencies and unconscious desires, was not fully revealed and conceptualized until the late 19th and early 20th-century and Wagner had no knowledge of it in that sense. If he did, please point out where he directly talks about the unconscious and subconscious mind. Perhaps he did, but I haven’t seen it yet and it’s not necessary to understand the psychological content of his operas. That’s the difference between the psychological understanding of the 19th and the 20th century. The psychological interests of both composers is another tie that exists between them.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-16-2019 at 05:05.
    "That's all Folks!"

  15. #86
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    The operas of Wagner have been mined since their premieres for their psychological content and possible interpretations. Some have even applied Jungian psychology, an approach that uses symbols, archetypes, and dreams to explore the human psyche. Each of Wagner’s operas contains numerous hidden symbols both on the stage and in the musical phrases of the orchestra. By deciphering these symbols, one can discover the unconscious motives and thoughts of the characters within his works. With this understanding, deeper psychological content surfaces in his operas. But Schoenberg mentions the word ‘unconscious’ consciously and Wagner never did that I know of, though there was great psychological content in his music dramas related to the unconscious. The further difference is that Schoenberg dealt with the unconscious within a 20th-century context at the time that Sigmund Freud was on the ascendancy and there was a correspondence of psychology and the music of Schoenberg, if only indirectly. Whatever the psychological content of Wagner, the Freudian unconscious, including its exploration of the abnormal, psychotic, anxious, deeply buried neurotic tendencies and unconscious desires, was not fully revealed and conceptualized until the late 19th and early 20th-century and Wagner had no knowledge of it in that sense. If he did, please point out where he directly talks about the unconscious and subconscious mind. Perhaps he did, but I haven’t seen it yet and it’s not necessary to understand the psychological content of his operas. That’s the difference between the psychological understanding of the 19th and the 20th century.
    A close acquaintance with Parsifal might cause a bit of a shift in your thinking here. I'll grant you, such a close acquaintance is not the simplest thing to attain. I've been at it for about 50 years! But if you want "abnormal, psychotic, anxious, deeply buried neurotic tendencies and unconscious desires," you'll find them there.

    What really opened my awareness of Wagner's psychological sophistication was reading Robert Donington's "Wagner's Ring and its Symbols." It looks at the Ring from the standpoint of Jungian psychology, and although it's taken a goodly share of criticism (as has Jung) it's still a book that will leave you with an expanded perspective on Wagner.

    It's certainly true that the exploration of abnormal psychology went farther in the 20th century and that the music of Schoenberg and Berg (see Pierrot, Wozzeck and Lulu) expressed things that Wagner's didn't. But of course there's more to man's unconscious life than states of moral, emotional and cognitive derangement and decadence.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-16-2019 at 05:01.

  16. #87
    On Hiatus
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    So, Lark, your emphasis is on the explicit statement and discussion of the subconscious and the Jungian collective consciousness. Ok, I see what you are saying.


    This is a rather embarrassing question because I should know this by now but what is "moral, emotional and cognitive decadence"?

  17. #88
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    13,671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    This is a rather embarrassing question because I should know this by now but what is "moral, emotional and cognitive decadence"?
    It's what you hear when you listen to Berg's Lulu.

  18. #89
    On Hiatus
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    It's what you hear when you listen to Berg's Lulu.
    I've never listened to Lulu. (So in response to my own question in the other Wagner thread, I should just go and put on Lulu.)

  19. #90
    On Hiatus
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    Very interesting and exiting discussion. Thank you, Everyone!

    Good Night.

Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst ... 23456789 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •