View Poll Results: Do you think strong structure and rhythmic skills make for better composers?

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  • Yes, and I agree with your post

    7 29.17%
  • No, though I understand your post

    7 29.17%
  • Yes, but I disagree with your examples

    6 25.00%
  • No, and I even disagree with your examples of which is wich

    4 16.67%
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Thread: Rhythmic structural composers

  1. #16
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    Rachmaninoff is the most blob-like composer I've ever encountered....thick, muddy, sprawling, repetitious, very "blobbish"... the orchestration is generally such a mess, it virtually defines "blob-like".
    but the rhythms themselves are catchy:



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  3. #17
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    "Mozart connoisseurs and admirers know of course about what is bizarre in the finale of his very last string quartet, K. 590. In its development the harshness of the tone language is particularly unparalleled in the Mozart oeuvre. But the unsettling already starts shortly before the end of the first section: The otherwise so airily sparkling sixteenth notes stall all of a sudden in an almost stranded-like repetitive three-note kink. It is just this spot that Mozart vehemently corrected in his manuscript. The investigation of this correction offers us at hand an analytical key to the understanding of this absolutely special movement.
    This spluttering three-note figure, in itself circular, seized up, as it were, against the meter,

    Mm. 122–125, vln 1
    dominates the whole development after its first occurrence and is, of course, heard once again at the end of the movement. Mozart later scrupulously corrected it wherever and in whichever part it appears as well. And indeed, to be specific, its articulation. If in the first draft he had always put sixteenths together in a large legato phrase, then he later corrected the legato (but did not cross it out or erase it in the autograph) by placing under the respective notes the familiar two-note grouping of slurs and staccatos:

    Autograph, mm. 122–125, vln 1
    To date I have never encountered any other autograph where Mozart made such a striking, systematic change in the articulation. Notes, yes, dynamics, yes, but articulation over such a long stretch? ..."

    <The charm of the unsettling. A special autograph correction of Mozart’s in the finale of the F-major string quartet K. 590>


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  5. #18
    Senior Member Ethereality's Avatar
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    My one regret is that I could not save him. With multiple attempts, temporal causality seems not to be overcome. I would've smiled seeing him contend with Beethoven.


  6. #19
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    This particular passage in the Mozart missa brevis K.194 always brings smile to my face. The lyrics and measure length feel somewhat "askew" from the phrase length:
    [ 17:02 ]
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Oct-30-2020 at 22:38.

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  8. #20
    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    No. I think composers should be taken on their own terms. If your idea was correct then why isn't Holst widely considered better than Wagner or Mahler? I don't think there is any 'such and such' makes for better composers.

  9. #21
    Senior Member Ethereality's Avatar
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    I might've said Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak but purposefully wrote Holst and Rachmaninoff to test and see if this holds true, and I suppose many on the poll believe it does. Maybe I should've been clearer; my apologies:

    Per your composer comparison and some forum data, why do people prefer:
    Beethoven to Mahler
    Bach to Wagner
    Mozart to Sibelius
    Brahms to even Mahler or Wagner
    Tchaikovsky to Bruckner, Strauss or Schumann
    Dvorak to Strauss or Schumann etc.
    even Prokofiev over Schumann

    It's just a question of why that is. I agree with your point, there are multiple reasons, but I can't help seeing a pattern. Distinct patterns, that is, in the music.

    In any case, I agree that everyone has their own tastes and might divide the Top 20 into a very different category than 'rhythmic' or 'tightly structured.'
    Last edited by Ethereality; Oct-30-2020 at 23:56.

  10. #22
    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Humans are closer in most striking movement and function to rhytms than to blobs. Rhytm speaks to us, because we are this sort of creature. Now, if humans were mould, and still liked music, maybe they would like blob music more.
    Last edited by Fabulin; Oct-31-2020 at 01:05.

  11. #23
    Senior Member TwoFlutesOneTrumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    I might've said Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak but purposefully wrote Holst and Rachmaninoff to test and see if this holds true, and I suppose many on the poll believe it does. Maybe I should've been clearer; my apologies:

    Per your composer comparison and some forum data, why do people prefer:
    Beethoven to Mahler
    Bach to Wagner
    Mozart to Sibelius
    Brahms to even Mahler or Wagner
    Tchaikovsky to Bruckner, Strauss or Schumann
    Dvorak to Strauss or Schumann etc.
    even Prokofiev over Schumann

    It's just a question of why that is. I agree with your point, there are multiple reasons, but I can't help seeing a pattern. Distinct patterns, that is, in the music.

    In any case, I agree that everyone has their own tastes and might divide the Top 20 into a very different category than 'rhythmic' or 'tightly structured.'
    The bolded are the ones I prefer. A mishmash of rhythm and blob, using your assessment in OP.
    I don't see a pattern in my preference, other than always choosing abstract musical forms like symphony over forms like opera.

  12. #24
    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Romantic music is often said to be a sort of stream of conscioussness, or have this blob-like quality. Long-winded, formless mass of music flowing into more music, without much rhytmic edge, without many sharp contours.

    Some symphonic works seem to fit this mainstream: the symphonies of (for example):
    Raff, Wetz, Mahler, Scriabin, Schreker...

    Meanwhile Tchaikovsky and Dvorak are very purposeful, resembling symphonies of the classical era, or the "early romantics" such as Mendelsssohn and Schumann.

    Were Tchaikovsky's and Dvorak's symphonies out of tune with their era? Not "old-fashioned", but rather... attempting to amalgamate the best of the past and the contemporary instead of just picking one? Notice that both Tchaikovsky and Dvorak were university professors, which gives their formalism some common ground.

    I consider these two composers to be much closer to a "classical-romantic", or "Beethovenian" description, than to some big "romantic"... well, blob of composers conglomerated together.

    "Romantic music" is an unfairly broad umbrella. I find Mendelssohn and R. Strauss to have very little in common. And yet it's relatively hard to quickly state a preference for "Romantic music with well-contoured form", the way fans of some 20th century sub-genres can easily communicate their favourite genre to someone by using countless labels.

    But this question is far from simple, with Berlioz and Bruckner for example being something of both worlds.

    What name to give to such music?
    a) formalist romantic (hard to understand to a normie)
    b) classical-romantic (sounds like simply saying: "the romantic era of classical music")
    c) romantic neoclassical (confusing?)
    d) Beethovenian Romanticist (wouldn't people think of Schubert and von Weber here?)
    e) academic romanticist (what a thing to say on a date!)
    f) something else?
    Last edited by Fabulin; Nov-02-2020 at 14:13.

  13. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    Rachmaninoff is the most blob-like composer I've ever encountered....thick, muddy, sprawling, repetitious, very "blobbish"... the orchestration is generally such a mess, it virtually defines "blob-like".
    As Rachmaninoff is clearly one of the greatest (in the top dozen or two), you are thus saying that thick, muddy, sprawling, repetitious, very "blobbish" can be a good thing in the hands of a highly skilled composer?

  14. #26
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    Rhythm was important because music was connected to dance. But these days there are more listeners than dancers!
    I think this reasoning is fallacious. The meters that composers used were supposed to be danceable meters, but rhythm was not important because of dancing. This is confusing a historical fact about the role of dancing in shaping music and the presence of rhytm at all. Furthermore, the secular tradition of dancing to composed music came after religious music. Bach was extremely careful about rhythm, but it's not because he thought people were actually going to do a minuet when he wrote in triple time.
    Last edited by EmperorOfIceCream; Nov-02-2020 at 23:54.

  15. #27
    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Music was a savannah party trick that some ape devised to woo a female. Sure it has to do with dancing.
    Last edited by Fabulin; Nov-03-2020 at 00:00.

  16. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by neofite View Post
    As Rachmaninoff is clearly one of the greatest (in the top dozen or two), you are thus saying that thick, muddy, sprawling, repetitious, very "blobbish" can be a good thing in the hands of a highly skilled composer?
    Rachmaninoff is clearly NOT one of the greatest composers....I consider him a 3rd, 4th stringer at best.he isn't a highly skilled composer, at least for orchestral works - overly long, repetitive, sprawling structurally, full of dead ends, awkward transitions, all buried beneath a thick blanket of impenetrable sonic murk....
    I've often wondered how Rachm'ff would sound if one of the real masters, maybe Stravinsky, Shostakovich, reorchestrated Rach'ff's works....there's some good detail in there, but it's all covered up by thick, sonic mud.

  17. #29
    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    I must confess I love both the amorphous structures andthe rigid ones. That is to say, I love essentially every composer you stated and I never thought of them as divisive in terms of compositional style.

  18. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heck148 View Post
    Rachmaninoff is clearly NOT one of the greatest composers....I consider him a 3rd, 4th stringer at best.he isn't a highly skilled composer, at least for orchestral works - overly long, repetitive, sprawling structurally, full of dead ends, awkward transitions, all buried beneath a thick blanket of impenetrable sonic murk....
    I've often wondered how Rachm'ff would sound if one of the real masters, maybe Stravinsky, Shostakovich, reorchestrated Rach'ff's works....there's some good detail in there, but it's all covered up by thick, sonic mud.
    As you have vastly more TC seniority than I (3,213 vs 70), I will have to defer to your presumably much greater expertise. But it is indeed a major disappointment to learn that a composer whose works I (and likely many others as well) have absolutely loved for much of my life is only a 3rd, 4th stringer at best.

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