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Thread: Can Film Music be Classical ? Let's settle this once and for all !

  1. #121
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    Except that they are not comparable since ballets and operas are identified by the composer - recognition that the most important aspect of the work is the music. Films are the director's work, the music is just one of the collaborative ingredients, along with the costumes, art direction, and cinematography.
    What about directors WHO COMPOSE FOR THEIR OWN MOVIES?

    Alejandro Amenábar
    Clint Eastwood
    Charlie Chaplin
    John Carpenter
    Dario Argento
    Alejandro Jodorowsky
    David Lynch
    Satyajit Ray

  2. #122
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    One of the most widely used forms for contemporary orchestral music has been the concerto. I doubt it is possible to write a concerto for one or more solo instruments with orchestra without a deep awareness of the concertos of, say, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok and their followers ... .

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aries View Post
    Instrumentation and size can change, but orchestras always had a (primarily) non-electric sound generation.
    Always had doesn't mean always will or always must. And that's just orchestral music. Orchestras dominate the more popular forms of film music (the music written for rather over the top - IMO - big Hollywood films) but could never be an essential ingredient in a definition of classical music.

  4. #124
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    a "i promise i'm not trolling" counter-question - if Bach's Cello Suite #1 appears in a film, does that mean Bach is a film composer?

  5. #125
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    What about directors WHO COMPOSE FOR THEIR OWN MOVIES?

    Alejandro Amenábar
    Clint Eastwood
    Charlie Chaplin
    John Carpenter
    Dario Argento
    Alejandro Jodorowsky
    David Lynch
    Satyajit Ray
    An irrelevant footnote. How often have these directors been hired to score a movie by a different director?
    Last edited by SanAntone; Aug-01-2021 at 18:33.

  6. #126
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aries View Post
    Instrumentation and size can change, but orchestras always had a (primarily) non-electric sound generation.
    Orchestras have evolved, and some "old tech" instruments were discarded, while others embraced.

    The Symphony Orchestra continues to evolve; the lute is gone, the viols are mostly gone (with the exception of the double bass), replaced by those newfangled stringed instruments from the violin family. The harpsichord is an obsolete instrument that generally only gets dragged onstage when we're play baroque classical music.

    It wasn't until the early 1800s that there was a conductor that actually stood up in front of everyone with a baton and did nothing but conduct.

    In one of his symphonies, Strauss wrote a part for an alphorn.

    It seems to me that you are confusing Classical Music with the Symphony Orchestra. The "basic" 19th-century orchestra is still around, but there was a time when it was still a rapidly developing structure.

    Sure, orchestras always had a (primarily) non-electric sound generation, but the use of electricity didn't really become a wide-spread thing until the early 1900s (Gas lighting began in the early 1800s and continued in widespread use for almost a hundred years).

    The Vibraphone has been used in orchestras since the 1930s, and THAT is an "electric" instrument.

    True, the orchestra IS "primarily" a "non-electric" entity, and that's mostly because of tradition, and the fact that the majority of the Tradional Classical repertoire (and the vast majority of Classical Music that is performed these days) was written prior to 1950. Using this history to discount the present ignores how things have evolved.

  7. #127
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    An irrelevant footnote. How often have these directors been hired to score a movie by a different director?
    In the overall sense of music, it may be a footnote, but it's certainly not "irrelevant".

    And it's point on in answer to your claim, which is dubious.

    For instance, in the case of ballet, your claim that ". . . ballets and operas are identified by the composer - recognition that the most important aspect of the work is the music" belies that the music may have been commissioned by a Professional Ballet, and advertised as a BALLET (a dance artwork) with new music by "Insert Composer Here".

    How many ballets were composed by the choreographer?

    You seem to be applying different "rules" according to genre.
    Last edited by pianozach; Aug-01-2021 at 18:52.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    You seem to be applying different "rules" according to genre.
    i mean that's kind of the point of genre! just as an example - taking into account that a lot of house and techno music was historically made for dance floors, and that therefore the discipline of that genre's composition is entirely different (and should be evaluated differently) than that of say, a pop ballad, is also "applying different rules according to genre"!


    applying different "rules" is kind of how we define genre boundaries in the first place, is what I'm saying
    Last edited by fbjim; Aug-01-2021 at 18:55.

  9. #129
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    In the overall sense of music, it may be a footnote, but it's certainly not "irrelevant".

    And it's point on in answer to your claim, which is dubious.

    For instance, in the case of ballet, your claim that ". . . ballets and operas are identified by the composer - recognition that the most important aspect of the work is the music" belies that the music may have been commissioned by a Professional Ballet, and advertised as a BALLET (a dance artwork) with new music by "Insert Composer Here".

    How many ballets were composed by the choreographer?

    You seem to be applying different "rules" according to genre.
    Le Sacre du Printemps was a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev - but it is always identified as a work by Stravinsky. The same is true for Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, and every classical ballet.

    Even though the names you listed also wished to control the score does not change the fact that their role was as the director of the film. The footnote is that they also took responsibility for the music.

    I'm not the one wishing to change the rules, you are and your friends who wish to cross genres by calling film music classical.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Aug-01-2021 at 19:08.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    Always had doesn't mean always will or always must. And that's just orchestral music. Orchestras dominate the more popular forms of film music (the music written for rather over the top - IMO - big Hollywood films) but could never be an essential ingredient in a definition of classical music.
    Yes, and that wasn't my statement. Chamber ensembles, solo classical instruments/singers and operas are as classical as orchestras.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    It seems to me that you are confusing Classical Music with the Symphony Orchestra. The "basic" 19th-century orchestra is still around, but there was a time when it was still a rapidly developing structure.

    Sure, orchestras always had a (primarily) non-electric sound generation, but the use of electricity didn't really become a wide-spread thing until the early 1900s
    Electric light is a modern technique. Candels are classical for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach
    True, the orchestra IS "primarily" a "non-electric" entity, and that's mostly because of tradition, and the fact that the majority of the Tradional Classical repertoire (and the vast majority of Classical Music that is performed these days) was written prior to 1950. Using this history to discount the present ignores how things have evolved.
    My definition doesn't rule out electric instruments in classical orchestras/music. I said that explicitly. There is room for development. But as long as something is written for orchestra etc. there is a connection to the classical non-electric tradition.
    Last edited by Aries; Aug-01-2021 at 19:39.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    Le Sacre du Printemps was a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev - but it is always identified as a work by Stravinsky. The same is true for Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, and every classical ballet. ...
    The *music* is identified as a work by Stravinsky. But initially that music was part of an overall package over which Stravinsky didn't have total control and the sole input. The same is true for Swan Lake and the Nutcracker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fbjim View Post
    a "i promise i'm not trolling" counter-question - if Bach's Cello Suite #1 appears in a film, does that mean Bach is a film composer?
    If it appears in a film, does it mean it's not "classical music" in that instance?

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissident View Post
    If it appears in a film, does it mean it's not "classical music" in that instance?
    That's an interesting question - in that instance, in its context as a film score, I'd say no - in the sense that if you were at a movie and Bach was playing in the background, you wouldn't say you were listening to a classical music performance. You're watching a movie.

    This is different, however, to speaking of the Cello Suite as a specific work, for which background music during a film was not the intended context.



    e) to be less controversial in the "if you sit on a stump, is it a chair" sense, i'd say that having classical music in it doesn't make a film a classical music performance (or pop music/a pop concert, or house/a rave, etc)
    Last edited by fbjim; Aug-01-2021 at 20:28.

  14. #134
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post

    I'm not the one wishing to change the rules, you are and your friends who wish to cross genres by calling film music classical.
    “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

    But, who makes the rules, and why? The commercial music industry divides its product into genres for marketing purposes. Musicologists and music historians divide music into genres for clarity and ease of reference. Talk Classical's administrators also must define what they mean by "classical music" for the purposes of discussions here.

    These definitions are not necessarily identical to each other, nor are they set in stone or incapable of evolving over time. To me, any definition is legitimate so long as it is generally understood and useful. What isn't legitimate, to me, is to hide arguments over whether certain music is important, worthwhile or 'serious' behind a debate over whether it qualifies as "classical music", and that clearly is what some, but not all, posters are doing here.

    Another problem here is that posters are confusing and mixing various traditional definitions of classical music: (1) music from a certain European tradition, mostly of the aristocratic class, from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries; (2) European 'serious' art music from 1600 until 1900, or 1950, or 2021; (3) art music from any old and long-accepted and respected cultural tradition, whether European or not, including Indian, Chinese and Japanese traditions.

    Obviously, film music can be derived from classical music under any of those definitions, or from something else entirely. What is unique to film music is the purpose for which it is edited, produced and used, i.e., to accompany a film or movie. IMO, it won't be long, given the advance of technology, before we begin to argue over what a movie is. Movie theaters are fading away, as is the distinction between movies and TV.

    All of this is good reason to avoid semantic arguments such as those presented in this thread.
    Last edited by fluteman; Aug-01-2021 at 20:45.

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  16. #135
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it wipe out an entire symphony orchestra, is it still classical music?
    Alan

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