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...As to the rest of it, I'm just making an observation about this forum. There are a lot of conservatives here, who relate only to their brand of classical music, and reject modern music because it's too "liberal." I didn't realize how widespread this attitude is, and never made the explicit connection with politics...until lately.

This makes me realize how fruitless is is to engage in dialogue with them. They can never be "converted" or even expected to be tolerant of modern music and its fans. We are "the enemy."
I certainly have not read every post that rejects modern music, but I always thought people rejected modern music because they didn't enjoy it. In fact, everyone I personally know who enjoys modern music started off disliking most of it. That includes myself.

I often enter threads discussing modern music to let others know that one can hate the music and wonder why anyone would ever write something so awful but later learn to love it. I doubt I've influenced many to modify their views, but if even one person was motivated by my path (and others), that would be worth my posting.
 

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I've always felt that instrumental music can express very little besides broad emotions. Many works, in theory, are intended to convey scenes or ideas (Stockhausen's Gruppen, Strauss's Ein Heldenleben and Eine Alpensinfonie, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique). I can't believe anyone would have the slightest idea about the intended scenes or ideas from the music alone.

The only music that can be clearly political is music with words, music with actions (e.g. ballet or video), or music accompanied by written content.
 

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What about Beethoven in the Appassionata sonata? Doesn't that piece embody a sense of struggle, an opposition to the way in which previous music reflected an immutable divine order.

And what about Cornelius Cardew's Treatise?
Maybe I'm confused by what you are saying, but what about any music could possibly give someone any sense of a god much less an immutable divine order? If someone is already aware that many composers wrote cantatas, masses, oratorios that focused on religious issues, then one might assume other music would have a similar basis. But the pure music itself does not have any semantic content.
 

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It has structural features, symmetries; different types of interactions between voices, instruments; expressive content of timbre, pitch, tempo; it has extramusical relations too - intertextual, for example, and the conventions of the time when it was written.

Have a listen again to the first movement of Brandenburg 5 or the Eroica Symphony.
I think you have to be careful about generally stating there are extramusical relations since we're talking only about the music. What I need to know is how a composer would communicate the notion of poor people rebelling against governments by only using music. How would anyone differentiate that music from music that tried to communicate people fleeing a fire or a race between swordfish?
 

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@chu42: I agree with your comments about the political nature of those actions you mention above. I guess I view them more as political actions of people (choosing to perform various works, leaving the stage bit by bit, etc.) rather than the music itself conveying specific ideas.
 

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I've unapproved many posts that started with a purely religious comment and proceeded with many responses. We will go through later and determine what to keep and what might be deleted.

Please do not post purely religious comments. If you wish to discuss religion, you may do so in the Groups.
 
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