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Was Luigi Russolo The First "Extreme" Avant-Garde Composer?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Russolo

Luigi Russolo wrote "The Art of Noises" in 1913. As far as musicologist can tell, this was the first major publication of the use of noise in music. Was he the first or one of the very first to formally address this "new" (i.e. in 1913) artistic endeavor in music?

The Art of Noises (Italian: L'arte dei Rumori) is a Futurist manifesto, written by Luigi Russolo in a 1913 letter to friend and Futurist composer Francesco Balilla Pratella. In it, Russolo argues that the human ear has become accustomed to the speed, energy, and noise of the urban industrial soundscape; furthermore, this new sonic palette requires a new approach to musical instrumentation and composition. He proposes a number of conclusions about how electronics and other technology will allow futurist musicians to "substitute for the limited variety of timbres that the orchestra possesses today the infinite variety of timbres in noises, reproduced with appropriate mechanisms".
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This piece appears to be composed in 1913.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can you verify what piece that is, if it is even a Russolo piece? The video seems to only state that it uses Russolo's noisemaking devices designed in 1913.
That's what I meant to show, Russolo's noise making device designed in 1913 to make noise. Hence it was all part of his art of music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
See this for more, making noise music as per Russolo one hundred years ago. So is it that new today? That is the central question.

 
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That's what I meant to show, Russolo's noise making device designed in 1913 to make noise. Hence it was all part of his art of music.
The inventors of the glass harmonica, the ondes martenot, etc were not major composers either. His invention and his music are separate entities.
 

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The inventors of the glass harmonica, the ondes martenot, etc were not major composers either. His invention and his music are separate entities.
What do you mean by "his [Russolo] invention and his music are separate entities"? See clip above. He made those instruments and composed music.
 

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Isn't Russolo more of an instrument creator than a composer? Just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Isn't Russolo more of an instrument creator than a composer? Just curious.
I think so but regardless he was a composer nonetheless.
 
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What do you mean by "his [Russolo] invention and his music are separate entities"? See clip above. He made those instruments and composed music.
I'm saying that your video is akin to hailing Benjamin Franklin as a great composer by posting a bunch of cool glass harmonica clips. Now Franklin and Russolo *did* make a bit of music, but that's not what we're talking about here, apparently.
 

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What do you mean by "his [Russolo] invention and his music are separate entities"? See clip above. He made those instruments and composed music.
Yes, but I don't think any of his music for those instruments has survived.

If you want really extreme avant-garde music, why not go into microtonality?


There's no need to confine the idea of an avant-garde to the 20th century.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, but I don't think any of his music for those instruments has survived.

If you want really extreme avant-garde music, why not go into microtonality?

There's no need to confine the idea of an avant-garde to the 20th century.
That's what I am trying o find out. Russolo was very early developer of noise music. Your post suggested he was not the first. So who was/were? When? The earlier the more it shows this is now all rather old music too, over one hundred years old.
 

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That's what I am trying o find out. Russolo was very early developer of noise music. Your post suggested he was not the first. So who was/were? When? The earlier the more it shows this is now all rather old music too, over one hundred years old.
No, I was saying that the avant-garde is hardly a feature of the 20th century alone. Many of the composers we today revere as great were considered extreme in their own day, and it's a moving target rather than a factual description of their work.
 

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Actually polyphony was pretty radical back in the day.


Caused riots when the church only approved of religious music. In fact, to quote Wiki here: "It was not merely polyphony that offended the medieval ears, but the notion of secular music merging with the sacred and making its way into the papal court. It gave church music more of a jocular performance quality removing the solemn worship they were accustomed to. The use of and attitude toward polyphony varied widely in the Avignon court from the beginning to the end of its religious importance in the fourteenth century. Harmony was not only considered frivolous, impious, and lascivious, but an obstruction to the audibility of the words. Instruments, as well as certain modes, were actually forbidden in the church because of their association with secular music and pagan rites. Dissonant clashes of notes give a creepy feeling that was labeled as evil, fueling their argument against polyphony as being the devil's music. After banishing polyphony from the Liturgy in 1322, Pope John XXII spoke in his 1324 bull Docta Sanctorum Patrum warning against the unbecoming elements of this musical innovation. Pope Clement VI, however, indulged in it."

God only knows if Schoenberg or Nono composed during the 1300's. They would have been insta-burned-at-the-stake like hot dogs :(.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No, I was saying that the avant-garde is hardly a feature of the 20th century alone. Many of the composers we today revere as great were considered extreme in their own day, and it's a moving target rather than a factual description of their work.
"Moving target" is a convenient avoidance of my question. Do you factually know who were early pioneers of extreme avant-garde music? I suggested Russolo, a name, a link with history, several clips. Yours please?
 

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"Moving target" is a convenient avoidance of my question. Do you factually know who were early pioneers of extreme avant-garde music? I suggested Russolo, a name, a link with history, several clips. Yours please?
No, it's not an avoidance of anything. It is a challenge aimed at the basis of your question.

"Extreme" has no meaning in this instance. It is something that would be defined differently by each generation depending on the vantage point of its own experience.

Gesualdo was "extreme."
Monteverdi was "extreme."
Rameau was "extreme."
Bach was "extreme."
Mozart was sometimes "extreme."
Beethoven was certainly "extreme."
Berlioz was considered undeniably "extreme."
Wagner was considered so "extreme" as to be certainly out of his mind.
Debussy was considered so "extreme" as to not be music at all.

So what's your point? What does "extreme" avant-garde mean in this instance?
 

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"Moving target" is a convenient avoidance of my question. Do you factually know who were early pioneers of extreme avant-garde music? I suggested Russolo, a name, a link with history, several clips. Yours please?
Hmm... maybe you want this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No, it's not an avoidance of anything. It is a challenge aimed at the basis of your question.

"Extreme" has no meaning in this instance. It is something that would be defined differently by each generation depending on the vantage point of its own experience.

Gesualdo was "extreme."
Monteverdi was "extreme."
Rameau was "extreme."
Bach was "extreme."
Mozart was sometimes "extreme."
Beethoven was certainly "extreme."
Berlioz was considered undeniably "extreme."
Wagner was considered so "extreme" as to be certainly out of his mind.
Debussy was considered so "extreme" as to not be music at all.

So what's your point? What does "extreme" avant-garde mean in this instance?
Let me put it this way, as you seem to not understand my question because of the confusion of my usage of the word "extreme". Who wrote noise music first? Did someone before Russolo formalize it with publication, build instruments? Can you provide examples?
 

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"Moving target" is a convenient avoidance of my question. Do you factually know who were early pioneers of extreme avant-garde music? I suggested Russolo, a name, a link with history, several clips. Yours please?
How about Alphonse Allais, who "wrote the earliest known example of a completely silent musical composition. His Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Great Deaf Man of 1897 consists of twenty-four blank measures."

Over half a century later, he was mercilessly ripped off by another composer -- Gage? Page? -- can't quite remember the name. :lol:
 

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Yes, but I don't think any of his music for those instruments has survived.
Do you mean the original recording?

This album contains Luigi Russolo's works (just about 6 min.) but they were recorded in 1977, so not the original.

MUSICA FUTURISTA THE ART OF NOISES (LTM)


But this one (I don't have it) claims to include "Antonio Russolo & Luigi Russolo represented by the only surviving original recordings made with the celebrated 'intonarumori' (noise machines) in 1924."

FUTURISM and DADA REVIEWED (LTM)

1. Luigi Russolo: Risveglio Di Una Citta (3:57)
 
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