View Poll Results: Did the common practice era peak with Brahms or Rachmaninov?

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  • Common practice peaked with Brahms

    13 39.39%
  • Common practice ended with Rachmaninov

    7 21.21%
  • Other

    13 39.39%
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Thread: The Common Practice Era: Did it peak with Brahms, or Rachmaninov?

  1. #106
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    No, aesthetics being political is just another way of saying that art can't be separated from the society which produces it, or the society and culture of the audience.

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  3. #107
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fbjim View Post
    No, aesthetics being political is just another way of saying that art can't be separated from the society which produces it, or the society and culture of the audience.
    It's just another way of saying that all existence is political, which is something I don't accept. If I were to favor funding a Bach choir over a nude dancing troupe it doesn't mean I'm a Nazi. (And I don't think art should be banned or censored, incidentally.)

  4. #108
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    I do not like Boulez either, so what?
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

  5. #109
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arpeggio View Post
    I do not like Boulez either, so what?
    Nothing, I guess. What was your point? Continuing this weird objective-subjective obsession that so many here seem to have? Subjectively speaking, of course.
    Last edited by consuono; Apr-19-2021 at 23:56.

  6. #110
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    Nothing, I guess. What was your point? Continuing this weird objective-subjective obsession that so many here seem to have? Subjectively speaking, of course.
    Give me a break. You do not know? I refuse to believe that after all of this time you have to ask that question.

    (I think that this is an example of a person asking a question they already know the answer to.)
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

  7. #111
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arpeggio View Post
    Give me a break. You do not know? I refuse to believe that after all of this time you have to ask that question.

    (I think that this is an example of a person asking a question they already know the answer to.)
    No, I really don't know what the point is other than wagging a finger at the "objectivists" (which over dozens of pages in that other thread was never clearly defined). The ones most obsessed with it seem to be "subjectivists" who ironically are apparently 110% sure they're right. Whatever "right" means.

  8. #112
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    Useful for analysis, but my giving you the objective measurements of the Parthenon won't in itself make you think it's a beautiful building. Greatness *does* influence listening habits, btw.
    You said it wouldn't influence you to enjoy Boulez. The same is true of everyone, i.e. they won't enjoy a composer they don't like even if they're told he was a great composer.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Apr-20-2021 at 00:12.

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  10. #113
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    You said it wouldn't influence you to enjoy Boulez. The same is true of everyone, i.e. they won't enjoy a composer they don't like even if they're told he was a great composer.
    Well SanAntone the problem is that to imagine Boulez being demonstrated "objectively" as a "great composer", you'd have to subject his music to a standard other than his "own demanding esthetic requirements" as I think you put it in some other thread. By that standard I'm also a great -- er, interesting *to me* composer. So no, I agree that Boulez isn't great.
    Last edited by consuono; Apr-20-2021 at 00:17.

  11. #114
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Well, Hitler did not like Boulez’s music either, just sayin if the shoe fits...
    Last edited by Bwv 1080; Apr-20-2021 at 00:57.

  12. #115
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    You said it wouldn't influence you to enjoy Boulez. The same is true of everyone, i.e. they won't enjoy a composer they don't like even if they're told he was a great composer.
    Yes. And FWIW, I've consistently said this supposed subjectivist / objectivist distinction is illogical and ridiculous. There are those who believe certain art is of inherent value, independent of how it is perceived. They are more comfortable thinking of it that way, perhaps because they are worried that their own perceptions are suspect and unreliable. My guess is, due at least in some instances to a lack of knowledge of music theory, say, what a fugue is, how it is constructed, and why it 'works', why they like it so much is a mystery to them, when it's really rooted in what one expects and wants to hear in harmony, i.e., harmonic progressions (or modulations), ambiguities and resolutions. What one expects and wants to hear in this regard, in turn, is rooted in one's own experience. Certainly, harmonic progression is only one possible element in music, and some music lacks it entirely.

    What would spur these people to conclude that certain specific harmonic progressions or modulations, ambiguities and resolutions are inherently superior to others, aside from this insecurity in their own preferences due to lack of basic music theory knowledge, I don't know. They don't care what your perceptions are if you disagree, though if you agree, they do take comfort in numbers. But, as you have repeatedly pointed out, if numbers matter, why isn't the latest hip hop sensation the greatest musician? Why isn't Jay Z the master rather than Bach? Good question. The real answer is, we value long standing cultural traditions that help bind our society together. But only Strange Magic and Portamento seem to enjoy discussing anthropology here.
    Last edited by fluteman; Apr-20-2021 at 01:09.

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  14. #116
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arpeggio View Post
    I think it would kill some of our members if they came up with objective criteria to judge music and then discover Boulez is a great composer.
    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    I still wouldn't be a Boulez fan, nor would very many others. Not much would change.
    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    Well SanAntone the problem is that to imagine Boulez being demonstrated "objectively" as a "great composer", you'd have to subject his music to a standard other than his "own demanding esthetic requirements" as I think you put it in some other thread. By that standard I'm also a great -- er, interesting *to me* composer. So no, I agree that Boulez isn't great.
    I posted the exchange to refresh your memory. Moving the goalposts won't wash. You said objective criteria demonstrating Boulez's greatness would not change your opinion of his music, and you went on to say nor would it change many people's opinion of his music.

    So, I ask again: what good is objective greatness if it won't influence a listener's opinion of a composer's music?
    Last edited by SanAntone; Apr-20-2021 at 01:07.

  15. #117
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    I posted the exchange to refresh your memory. Moving the goalposts won't wash. You said objective criteria demonstrating Boulez's greatness would not change your opinion of his music, and you went on to say nor would it change many people's opinion of his music.

    So, I ask again: what good is objective greatness if it won't influence a listener's opinion of a composer's music?
    The answer is, it establishes a long term cultural tradition that helps bind our society together, even if we never have quite the same tastes in music. It has a practical purpose, arbitrary though it inevitably is. That's why I like a society that values, and preserves, a tradition of musical diversity.

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  17. #118
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    No, I really don't know what the point is other than wagging a finger at the "objectivists" (which over dozens of pages in that other thread was never clearly defined). The ones most obsessed with it seem to be "subjectivists" who ironically are apparently 110% sure they're right. Whatever "right" means.
    I am a member of the greatness is in the ears of the beholder school.

    I refuse to believe that any veteran of this forum does not know this. This is a point I have made countless times over the years.

    I have also stated many times I am an adherent to the aesthetics of John Dewey.

    After all of these years if someone still thinks I am an pseudo self-righteous, anachronistic, subjectionist, I give up. I have been accused of being all sorts of things over the years.

    I really am an agnostic, dyslectic, insomniac who spends his evenings contemplating the existence of dog.
    Last edited by arpeggio; Apr-20-2021 at 02:03.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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  19. #119
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    The answer is, it establishes a long term cultural tradition that helps bind our society together, even if we never have quite the same tastes in music. It has a practical purpose, arbitrary though it inevitably is. That's why I like a society that values, and preserves, a tradition of musical diversity.
    It hasn't bound this forum together. It's been a very divisive issue played out over hundreds of pages in several threads.

    My point is simple: if alleged greatness does not convince anyone to change their opinion about a composer, why elevate it to such a level as to argue endlessly about it and alienate countless fans of classical music?

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  21. #120
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    No, I really don't know what the point is other than wagging a finger at the "objectivists" (which over dozens of pages in that other thread was never clearly defined). The ones most obsessed with it seem to be "subjectivists" who ironically are apparently 110% sure they're right. Whatever "right" means.
    I'll try, one last time. The debate here, called empiricism v. rationalism outside this little TC hothouse, is not about which side is right, but rather, which approach is a more useful way of thinking of the world. I've defined both approaches as clearly as I could, once again in post 115. I've even made your argument (in favor of rationalism) for you, as there is a potential advantage to the rationalist approach in the arts, as it promotes social unity through long term cultural traditions. The other side of the coin is that it also can promote elitism and intolerance of diversity.

    Please stop trying to "prove" your position. Proof is an empirical concept, and you are only handing the empiricists the win. If you want to represent the rationalist side effectively, point to the human need to organize into societies and the need for long term cultural traditions to hold societies together. Point out that our individual uniqueness and diversity in the way we see things is a strength, but so are our common values. Paradoxical, but true. Therefore, we need different people to take a leap of faith and accept the idea, without proof, that were are the same in certain important ways, so our society will hold together. You and I may not agree on Boulez's Notations, or Brucker's 8th symphony, but there need to be enough cultural traditions we do agree on that we can live together in the same society. QED.

    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    It hasn't bound this forum together. It's been a very divisive issue played out over hundreds of pages in several threads.

    My point is simple: if alleged greatness does not convince anyone to change their opinion about a composer, why elevate it to such a level as to argue endlessly about it and alienate countless fans of classical music?
    As you can see, I've taken this simple point of yours to heart and made one last attempt to convince these rationalists of the futility of proving the 'rightness' of their position. I hope it helps.
    Last edited by fluteman; Apr-20-2021 at 02:21.

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