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Thread: My brother and I have a long-standing argument about dissonance

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    Default My brother and I have a long-standing argument about dissonance

    Once again, my older brother and I got into a heated argument over dissonance tonight. He and I share a love for a LOT of music...rock bands, classical composers, world music, etc....

    But on one thing, we are opposed. I do not like a lot of dissonance. I can deal with a bit of it..but just a pinch. There are many 20th Century composers I cannot stand to listen to, as their music is like torture to me.

    But my brother keeps telling me "you just don't get it." I tell him, "I get it, but I hate it."

    So he likes Schoenberg, Szymanowski, Feldman, etc...whereas I cannot stand those composers.

    On the other hand, I love the minimalists like Glass, Reich and Riley, while my brother doesn't like them.

    It aggravates me that he takes this condescending position that I don't like dissonance because I don't "get it".

    It seems to me I could just turn his logic around on him and say the he doesn't like Philip Glass because he doesn't "get" it.

    What say you?

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    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cybernaut View Post
    Once again, my older brother and I got into a heated argument over dissonance tonight. He and I share a love for a LOT of music...rock bands, classical composers, world music, etc....

    But on one thing, we are opposed. I do not like a lot of dissonance. I can deal with a bit of it..but just a pinch. There are many 20th Century composers I cannot stand to listen to, as their music is like torture to me.

    But my brother keeps telling me "you just don't get it." I tell him, "I get it, but I hate it."

    So he likes Schoenberg, Szymanowski, Feldman, etc...whereas I cannot stand those composers.

    On the other hand, I love the minimalists like Glass, Reich and Riley, while my brother doesn't like them.

    It aggravates me that he takes this condescending position that I don't like dissonance because I don't "get it".

    It seems to me I could just turn his logic around on him and say the he doesn't like Philip Glass because he doesn't "get" it.

    What say you?
    What does your mum think?
    My new year's resolution is to buy less new music and listen more to the absolutely STUPID amount of music I already have.

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    ..popcorn anyone?
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    Your brother and many others might say that because they enjoy listening to music that many other people "don't get". It was especially "hip" in the 1950's to 1970's not just with avant-garde music at the time but also with other music such as metal music.

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    Senior Member Wilhelm Theophilus's Avatar
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    Is that all he says "you don't get it", or is there more to the argument, does he explain what your not getting?

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    What say we? It depends on if you are a subjectivist or an objectivist

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Obviously, your brother has better taste.

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    Feldman. Dissonance?

    I'm with your brother. Composers since Mozart at least have used dissonance to great effect. And as for modern music I love new chords and relationships between notes when they are shown to have meaning (I mean meaning for me, of course). I find your tastes as you describe them lacking in the grit that makes the pearl. But carry on listening to what you enjoy. The only point in your family discussions are to help each other open up to something which is new to them.

    I wonder, sometimes when I find a piece of music a challenge (which, for me, also equates with "potentially interesting") I listen a couple of times and then put it down. Often I return a long time after (years, even) and it all makes perfect beautiful sense. I feel like the music has been cooking in the back of my mind for all the time I was not listening to it.

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Personally I love dissonances, when I feel it's used in a good way. I'm surprised you don't like Szymanowski. His harmonies are lush, dark and mysterious. So when you're saying " "I get it, but I hate it" I wonder if you don't like a dark and mysterious atmosphere or it's something else.
    What time is the next swan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cybernaut View Post
    Once again, my older brother and I got into a heated argument over dissonance tonight. He and I share a love for a LOT of music...rock bands, classical composers, world music, etc....
    So have you tried something that's sort of in-between - dissonant but also very melodic - like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring?

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    first of all, what does the dissonance mean: a discord, that is disagreement, as opposed to consonance, which portrays a consent, be it single or multiple voice's that represent unity or plurality in opinions, respectively... so when there is a lot of dissonance in a music piece - it depicts a situation gone terribly wrong.

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    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    What if you had to do an assignment on Bartok f.ex. and had to focus on different aspects of the music? I'm sure the dissonances would sound normal to your ears after a while

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Depends how much older and bigger your bro is to you. Seriously, I think I know where both of you are coming from (both from your mom). I believe dissonance can serve different purposes. I know how it felt when I was listening before. It's like hitting a bump on the road during a drive. Some music is like hitting bumps all the time, like going off-road. You have to wonder what it is getting at and look or hear past the bumps.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhdanov View Post
    first of all, what does the dissonance mean: a discord, that is disagreement, as opposed to consonance, which portrays a consent, be it single or multiple voice's that represent unity or plurality in opinions, respectively... so when there is a lot of dissonance in a music piece - it depicts a situation gone terribly wrong.
    situation gone terribly wrong... do you mean like in a huge amount of masterpieces of literature, opera, paintings, cinema and art in general? That's an absolutely normal thing it seems.
    Last edited by norman bates; Apr-10-2021 at 15:47.
    What time is the next swan?

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Given the topic of the argument, does your brother enjoy the argument itself more than you do?
    Last edited by amfortas; Apr-10-2021 at 16:26.
    Alan

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