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What is "Profundity"?--Revisited!

34162 Views 1660 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  Luchesi
Back in 2016, we had a wonderful exchange of views on the nature of profundity in the arts. The whole objectivist/subjectivist thang was aired as part of the discussion, as was the linked Understanding versus Appreciating a work. These topics have a life of their own, but I enjoyed this thread very much and trust that others might also. Just my opinion. But just try the first page....

See 4chamberedklavier's post below for link to old thread.
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See my Post #1624. The attraction of one human for another is a near-chaos and, again, a demonstration of the variability of human choice.
Yes we all make choices. But where do they come from and why? Can we make progress in touring CM by catching likes and dislikes on a day, in a year, for a decade.
I didn't do it that way. I had my heroes (the famous guys from general reading), I went through most of their works which were in the forms (pcons, psons, solo piano pieces) I was interested in (as little informed as I was), usually early works to late works. I did the same with Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, early to late works.
This is far too simple a thesis. The world's human population is huge and still growing, yet it is ludicrous to suggest that attraction is the only controlling factor. Consider arranged marriages, the nasty practice of rape, multiple spouses, and the unions of folks very much different from one another in body structure. Endless variability. We can of course identify, ex post facto, clusters.....
Long before that (screwy traditions). Expedient for the survival of populations while being hurtful to individuals.

Music is in the big picture of development.
Again I find your post(s) "elliptical". Not sure what you are saying. Though I think it may be a denial of the primacy of mutual attraction. I could be wrong. :rolleyes:
Yes, it is natural attraction across the human race, but how, what are the specifics? We can't know right from the scores? Why not? What else is there? The answer seems to be that few people care about how music works (the same with geology, meteorology, particle physics, yada yada).

If it's different tell me how..
I think we believe the same thing. Anyone can learn to develop a trained ear, and in fact my daughter eagerly wishes me to learn more theory. I was simply saying that when my daughter and I listen to music today, we may both hear a deceptive cadence, but I am not consciously aware that I have heard a deceptive cadence.
I have a comparatively bad ear for the correct type of chord and even unusual melodies. I get easily confused, I don't hear the right constellation of notes for very long at all. Maybe a minute, and then I'm usually lost. This might be why I have a different take on this, than more expert players in TC.

I've tuned pianos, part time, only maybe 3 pianos a week, since the 70s, but that's acoustic not musical. You check it for music as you go, but it's just a check surely not the initial set up. Every piano must be tuned to itself, 'musically'.
IME there is always someone with a better ear for music. I mentioned I could play lengthy excerpts of Brahms, Schubert and Beethoven by ear. I wasn't boasting, as I know people who can do that far better than I can. I knew a pianist who could play standard repertoire symphonies by ear, improvising harmonies that weren't always exactly right, but were impressively close. You don't have to be someone like that to appreciate classical music.
You play extended parts of movements, after hearing a recording. That's impressive to me. I have to see what's going on. If it's something I've memorized, it's surprising what comes back to me, but I would never trust my memory alone, with a complicated left hand.
Now, a (clever) song, like Stella By Starlight or Cinema Paradiso, Somewhere in Time, I've memorized (exact progressions) to work on by ear, improvising. I don't get tired of those 3, and many others.
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OK, good. We agree there is no need to learn formal music theory or how to read scores to fully appreciate the music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Though I admit The Well-Tempered Clavier is a big bite to chew off. Bach helps the listener by beginning (relatively) simply, but by Book II, more careful and repeated listening is helpful.
"fully appreciate"? Not surprisingly, I could never agree with that. I would never tell a youngster that. Even grownup beginners succumb to laziness and relativism (and they say they really want stick to it this time!). It's all so natural.

If they want to know my opinion, my approaches, my strategies, to get them over the early problems and pitfalls (which is what they pay me for, IMV), their initial attitudes are very important. You have to work at changing your brain learning the new language, as an older beginner (painful).

But even for avid CM fans I would think that they want to learn all they can. I realize it's as distasteful to some people as learning higher math or fluid mechanics (many meteorologists I know still complain about having to learn fluid dynamics, they thought they would never use). I understand it seems a world apart from leaning back and just listening, which are all positive feelings..
OK, thanks. I get the point.

Thanks - no problem.

Just click "Quote" under each post you want to cite, then scroll to the "reply" box and click "insert quotes". A dialogue pops up, showing the quotes (you can delete any you decide you don't want) and you confirm their insertion. I copy and repeatedly paste any quotes I need to break into pieces.

Does that help?
Thanks a lot. I was pressing and pressing Quote on MY reply instead the other replies! I thought it might get me into the process. Silly me.
When I programmed for the observatory fellow forecasters would ask me to make the operational functions more human friendly. More logical to them, with helpful hints, so that anyone could come in and warn the space shuttle and satellite controllers with the codes. They gave me good ideas and I think we succeeded.
IMO, young programmers need to learn, as a priority, what older people have issues with.
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My opinion is the opposite of all of that. Then again, I am the son of an avid amateur classical musician who was listening to all classical music all the time by the age of 4 or earlier, and especially from 12 to 21. As a toddler I sat beneath the stands of my father's string quartet. I didn't turn my attention to other genres of music until I was 21.

It sounds like you started later and have listened to much less classical music than I have. I can play the Brahms violin concerto by ear, not because I have heard the recording, but because I have heard the recording literally hundreds of times.

Learning some formal theory is highly useful, even necessary, if you want to perform or compose. But being a good listener just takes lots of listening. "Lots" as in thousands of hours unless you are a one in a million prodigy.
Wow, you realize that you had a very very rare upbringing. Music comes far easier to you just by listening, concentrating, since you can remember fine details in the melody of a Brahms concerto.

Obviously my worries don't apply to a prodigy or a very self motivated young person, or a very intelligent older beginner, who understands human nature better than I do.

Yes, playing in a rock combo, I started late, late teens, finding my way through the piano works of the big CM names. Listening to orchestral works came later, but listening to them was never a high priority for me. Jazz, yes listening is crucial if you want to sound like traditional, bebop, modern jazz innovators, because so much of it is listening to their finest examples, playing freely, using relative pitch and jazz harmony.
I wonder, when you say "we", who do you have in mind? Your musician friends?

When I speak of objectivity (and what else is there?) I'm referring back to my musician friends. And that gets me in trouble..
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