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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've discovered, that many members here have 'politicized' modern music.

It has never been my intention to consciously "politicize" modern music, but apparently those who already have will say otherwise. It seems that a political undercurrent has been uncovered. Some members probably knew this all along.

The question arises: is the dialogue of "traditional forms of art and music vs. modern art" political by nature, since it is perceived by some as being liberal, leftist, Marxist, non-traditional, and even destructive of tradition?

Is this an attitude of those traditionalists who feel their tradition is being threatened?

Does "modernism" equate to "liberalism?"

Will we ever be able to discuss such a thing without it having political resonances, intended or not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I think the answer is yes for some composers, from Lachenmann and Nono donkeys years ago to, for example, Cynthia Zaven and Stefan Prins today. Of course many composers have no interest in politics, obvs.

But where the thread is misconceived is to locate the phenomenon in recent music. For example, Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner all had political agendas, more or less liberal.

It just is a fact that some people who write music have political ideals, and this comes out in their art, and others don't. And my guess is that it's been like that for a good 200 years.
I wasn't thinking about composers, but the listeners here on this forum. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah, well in that case yes, if someone just dismisses all recent classical music outright that's very good evidence that they are Alt Right IMO. Proud Boys probably.
I think you're exaggerating a bit. I hope. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
One person who dismissed all the modern world, including music, was Furtwangler and he had political reasons for do doing I think.
That's interesting, Mandryka. This is beginning to open up a whole new world of political speculation for me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I'm not political concerning modern music, but you are. :tiphat:
That's okay to be non-political about modern music, until a totalitarian government outlaws it for you. Then you're "drawn in" to the politics of it. :lol:

Hey Mandryka, is there a modernist scene in China?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"SHOULD, could, would, oughta, must, gotta:" These are all what are called "parent"words. The sayer is posing as a parent figure and telling you what you "should" do.

Remember those Venn diagram circles in the book "I'm OK, You're OK?" That's where each person has three aspects: Parent, child, and adult. Hopefully we aspire to be the "adult." But if I need a parental consultation for my child-persona, I'm sure I will be provided with one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Since WHAT is perceived by some as being liberal... modern music or the discussion of traditional vs modern music?

And why would modernism equate to liberalism, according to traditionalists? More likely, they would equate modernism with something more radical than liberalism! Liberalism (free speech, markets, conscience) is conservative, these days. When it was radical, Beethoven was writing his early string quartets.
I don't know; ask Ligeti. "Liberalism" as I'm using it is a convenient term, used to contrast with "conservative." But you knew that.

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."
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
View attachment 150127

Anton Webern, whose patrionism "led him to endorse the Nazi regime in a series of letters to Joseph Hueber, who was serving in the army and himself held such views. Webern described Hitler on 2 May 1940, as "this unique man" who created "the new state" of Germany." Louis Krasner was "particularly troubled by a 1936 conversation with Webern about the Jews, in which Webern expressed his vague but unambiguously anti-Semitic opinion that "Even Schoenberg, had he not been a Jew, would have been quite different!"
Wow, is that a photograph of Webern? If so, I've never seen it. From the above, it's no wonder that Schoenberg was upset with Webern. Webern seems to this point to have so far escaped the Nazi connection, but I see it's beginning to surface.

Also, Boulez declared Webern to be the most important serialist, and thus 'flaunted' Webern in the face of the French after Germany had invaded France in WWII. He was aware that this probably went against the grain of French aesthetes, but Pierre was a "punk."

Now that I know more about Webern's sympathies, it makes Boulez' celebration of Webern seem even more pernicious and suspect. Perhaps Boulez had a little bit of that Webern sentiment as well? I wonder, since France as well has had a streak of antisemitism in its culture. Boulez as antisemitic? Perhaps this is too "PC" of me; perhaps not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
I'm disappointed to learn that Webern had some nice things to say about Hitler. Then again, Luigi Dallapiccola was also supported Mussolini up until Mussolini ordered the invasion of Abyssinia and then aligned himself with Hitler and brought Hitler's master race philosophy to Italy; which affected Dallapiccola personally as his wife was Jewish. If anyone could somehow make 12-tone music sound bouncy and bright it was Dallapiccola, but his music takes a darker turn after he became disillusioned with Mussolini.

Along a similar line, Webern does seem to praise Hitler some time prior to the war and the holocaust, the same as Dallapiccola praised Mussolini prior to the invasion of Abyssinia. So who knows how Webern's views would have evolved had he lived to see the full cost that Hitler's regime cost Germany and all of Europe?

Ironically, in a way, it was Hitler and the war that killed Webern. Wasn't he accidentally shot by an American soldier?
Karmic coincidence? Who knows. I'm glad to hear that Dallapiccola didn't directly like Hitler. What you're saying is "give them a break," and I agree. It's like forgiving somebody who voted for Trump early on, before seeing what a mess he made of things.

"It Can't Happen Here" as the old Frank Zappa song said. The lyric has new poignancy these days:

"Who could imagine that they would freak out in...Washington D.C."

 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I'm still on the fence about this. With Trump, there were plenty of warnings, red flags, lawsuits, wacky utterances, weird ramblings, and racism/misogynism/bigotry that should have tipped EVERYONE off from the get-go.

But millions of people saw a pig, and thought, yeah, I'll vote for the pig.
If someone was an "issues" voter, and voted for Trump because of his views on illegal (undocumented) immigration, then I can forgive them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
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? ...the pure music itself does not have any semantic content.
That's true in a very rational, literal sense, but generally speaking, I think music can make people more spiritually aware. In my thinking, "spirit" is Man's essence, which always existed, and preceded any attempt to create a religion, dogma, or semantic meaning.

I talked about this early on in my membership, in the Religious Music forum.

"Religious" Music
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
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?
I remember in cartoons when a poor person was depicted, the same mournful melody was played on a violin which conveyed this perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Here in this forum, I realize now that modernism has been long politicized. I used to think that people here could approach art and music without all the baggage they seem to carry around. Now I know what John Cage meant by "baggage" most people bring to music.

I love music and sound. That's me. I don't try to "convert non-believers" like I used to. Listen to what you want.
 
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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
You can't resist getting into arguments with people who IMO are not very interesting to argue with - I mean they don't bring reasonable or imaginative thinking to the table. So I can imagine that if I did the same I'd feel that I was banging my head against a brick wall and getting no gain in return for the pain.
You're always fun to argue with.

But you know, my own experience on this forum has been positive over the past 48 hours -- I've been encouraged to explore the link between Ives, Cage and Cowell on the one hand, and to think about improvisation and ragas on the other.
"...my own experience on this forum has been positive over the past 48 hours..." :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
This is how I've been feeling. Some of the people arguing for absolute objective "greatness" in music make the same easily deflatable arguments and I find myself repeating the same point over and over.
Yes, it can "great" on your nerves...:lol:
 
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Discussion Starter · #101 · (Edited)
Here is a great example of what I'm talking about, in all its splendor.

PragerU was founded in 2009 by conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager and radio producer and screenwriter Allen Estrin, in order to advocate for conservative views and to offset what Prager regards as the undermining of college education by the left. Much of the early funding for PragerU came from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks.

PragerU releases one video per week on various topics from a conservative viewpoint that according to its site "advances Judeo-Christian values".

The videos support and argue for capitalism, against a $15 minimum wage, and that gun ownership is a constitutional right. The videos promote fossil fuels and dispute the scientific consensus on climate change.

So bear this in mind when you see this video being posted in anti-modernist rants:

BTW, this is supposed to be a discussion, not the Spanish Inquisition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
...the last paragraph in bold.
Regarding that, the status quo can be considered as being 'political' although it is unstated. This is how any dominant faction keeps its power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 · (Edited)
I've discovered, that many members here have 'politicized' modern music. It has never been my intention to consciously "politicize" modern music, but apparently those who already have will say otherwise. It seems that a political undercurrent has been uncovered. Some members probably knew this all along. The dialogue of "traditional forms of art and music vs. modern art" is political by nature, since modernism is perceived by some as being liberal, leftist, Marxist, non-traditional, and even destructive of tradition. This an attitude of those traditionalists who feel their tradition is being threatened. "Modernism" equate to "liberalism" in the minds of those who have 'politicized' modern music. We will never be able to discuss modern music without it having political resonances, intended or not.
 
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