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Why? I don’t find the subject that simple.
Sure, there are some characteristics of things (music, faces, etc.) that are objective. I believe the assessment of beauty occurs in the human brain, and processes occurring in the brain I view as subjective because they are specific to individuals.

I find that to be a distinction without a difference. Your final sentence conflicts with the sentence that precedes it. In the end, nature is using the parameters that humans interpret as ‘beauty’ to guarantee the procreation of the species.
Nature does not act to guarantee procreation. The laws of nature act on all objects in the universe, and one outcome is that there are some objects that reproduce. Another outcome is that some large objects collide with other large objects causing the extinction of some species. I would not say nature acts to guarantee the extinction of species.

Maybe evolution is not the best topic to discuss when viewing the objective/subjective nature of music on a classical music forum. At any rate, I think it's not productive for me to continue.
 

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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..
 

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I agree. My daughter (well versed in music theory) and I (not well versed) had a thought about responses to music. She says that we both hear the same sounds though I may be less aware consciously of what I hear than she is.
I do not agree. You can develop a well-trained ear with or without formal training in western music theory, though some naturally have better ears for music than others. For example, you may have no clue as to what a Neapolitan sixth chord is, but if you are an experienced classical music listener, you will easily and immediately recognize it in practice.

It's sad that some members here endlessly promote that fallacy, as it can intimidate people who might otherwise be willing to investigate classical music.
 

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I do not agree. You can develop a well-trained ear with or without formal training in western music theory, though some naturally have better ears for music than others. For example, you may have no clue as to what a Neapolitan sixth chord is, but if you are an experienced classical music listener, you will easily and immediately recognize it in practice.

It's sad that some members here endlessly promote that fallacy, as it can intimidate people who might otherwise be willing to investigate classical music.
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.
 

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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'.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
 

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I believe that I could be mistaken, but I feel that most posters who discuss commonality actually believe there is significant commonality among humans.
All true. The commonality is exhibited at it strongest in the shared need for air, food, water. It weakens when we turn to shelter (read Darwin's and others' reports on the indigenous inhabitants of the Straits of Magellan.), ability to bear pain, many other such manifestations. When we get to matters of appetite, preference and the like, the commonality begins to lose its unifying power and we get innumerable clusters of opinion on what is Good, Bad, Ugly, Beautiful. Venn diagrams that show highly variable degrees of overlap amongst populations.
 

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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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All true. The commonality is exhibited at it strongest in the shared need for air, food, water. It weakens when we turn to shelter (read Darwin's and others' reports on the indigenous inhabitants of the Straits of Magellan.), ability to bear pain, many other such manifestations. When we get to matters of appetite, preference and the like, the commonality begins to lose its unifying power and we get innumerable clusters of opinion on what is Good, Bad, Ugly, Beautiful. Venn diagrams that show highly variable degrees of overlap amongst populations.
Yes, and that is the great thing about art, including music. It can't be reduced to a single set of principles. Even in this modern age of information and technology, where everything is available everywhere, the moment you leave, say, the US, Canada and northern Europe (and maybe Australia and New Zealand), and walk the streets, the music is different, the food is different, the architecture is different. If you have a sharp eye, ear and tongue, you can still see, hear and taste the difference in different parts of the US, though corporate America has tried mightily to create national uniformity in taste, with some success.
 

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Hardin's essay deals profoundly about a profound subject--the fate of humanity and of the world's biosphere that bred us and increasingly is less able to support either itself or human well-being. The insights are profound. I have rarely read another such.
OK, thanks. I get the point.

That's fine, and I'm sorry if my responses frustrated you.
[...]
Thanks - no problem.

I'm wondering how you do posts like that. I tried but I have so little time. Multi quote didn't work, at the time. So frustrating after 40 years of programming for the general public. Drafts, insert table, insert quote? I should read the instruction page. Maybe FAQ, I've forgotten since the April launch.
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?
 

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Or maybe it's "sentimental" (inspiring images of "Fate knocking on the door"), depending on how one perceives, maybe that's why, (which is not a bad thing). Btw, how would you describe the difference between "sentimentality" and "profundity" in these matters?
It's not for us to declare that what some describe as a 'profound' emotional response to music is something else (such as sentiment) though I think we are entitled to ask what the word 'profound' means if not just 'strong'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,653 ·
It's not for us to declare that what some describe as a 'profound' emotional response to music is something else (such as sentiment) though I think we are entitled to ask what the word 'profound' means if not just 'strong'.
I still like my definition that the profound is that which A) asks questions about what we know about the reality around us; B) links together disparate facts/data points into a revelatory, cogent, predictive theory (story) of how the world or parts of it are assembled and/or operate; and C) that manner of communication which accurately and fully conveys the theory (story) to others. C) is profound because it is the carrier of profundity.
 

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It's not for us to declare that what some describe as a 'profound' emotional response to music is something else (such as sentiment) though I think we are entitled to ask what the word 'profound' means if not just 'strong'.
As I said way back, the definition of "profound" that Stange Magic stubbornly sticks to here is a legitimate one in common usage. A broader, less precise, more colloquial definition, such as used by SanAntone above and by you now, is also accepted common usage. The original post here by KenOC invites us (challenges us?) to attempt to pin down 'profundity' in a more precise way, and I think suggests that the definition used by Strange Magic is the one that applies to this discussion. Otherwise, there is little one can say in response to KenOC other than to shrug, and quote Louis Armstrong when asked to define jazz: If you have to ask, you'll never know.
 

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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..
 

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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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"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..
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.
 

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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.
 

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OBJECTIVE GREATNESS IN ART

Art is subjective.

But the criteria that people use to subjectively assess art can often be quantified objectively. But even that is only of partial relevance, as everyone has different tastes. Bob loves bold colors, Steve loves pastels, Jerry loves still life, Maurice loves Impressionism, Reid loves cubism. I think John Cage is overrated, and someone else thinks he's the Second Coming.

We all VALUE different things in art, whether it's Fine Art, Classical Music, Pop Music, dancing, sculpture, film, or some other media.

And the things I love, music included, are a flexible bunch of things. Today I'm in one mood. Tomorrow I'm in a different mood.

I have my entire digital music library on shuffle. I love me some Iron Butterfly, but not first thing in the morning - and when it comes on first thing, I press the 'next' button. Ah, Mozart.

But, let's say, for instance, that I could quantify music (and folks have quantified music), breaking it down into several dozen components; things like bpm, keys, harmonic complexity, wavelengths, number of instruments and voices, formats, lyrics, etc. Then I feed in the Top 500 Pop Hits of all time into a computer for analysis (or maybe even just the Top 30 Beatles Hits*), and ask that computer to write a sure-fire Hit Song based on that. Would that work? Maybe, and maybe not.

THAT is because objectivity is not the last word when it comes to ART. People are diverse, cultures change, issues become relevant, styles fall out of favor.

Objectivism in regards to Art is only half the story, or less. We see it in the Film Scores threads, where one person loves one piece of music for its depth and beauty, while another rips the same piece apart for its shallowness.

There are some issues that I will pursue, and some I won't. I think that it's obvious that Mozart and Beethoven had far more impact on the development of Western Music than Michael Haydn . . . I haven't done THAT research personally, but I do rely on the expert opinions of learned musicologists, and most, while admitting that M Haydn has been unjustly overlooked, will confidently tell you that Mozart and Beethoven have had far more influence and impact.

As for Bach, his influence in his day may not have been monumental, but his legacy just keeps growing every decade since his passing, overshadowing both his contemporaries and predecessors.

SO . . . Citing Beethoven's use of "third modulations" is merely an objective tidbit. When Beethoven does this, it can be 'profound'. At other times it might sound 'generic'. It depends on the listener, the listener's mood, the intent of the listen.

* As a true Beatles fan, there have been people that have deliberately tried to write and record "in the style of the Beatles". Todd Rundgren's Utopia did an entire album of songs that sounded Beatle-y, and the songs are pretty credible, although none became hits. Klaatu released several songs that sounded so much like the Beatles that people actually though the band WAS the Beatles in disguise. At the other end of the spectrum is the fake band The Rutles. What's amazing about the Rutles songs (all written by Neil Innes), is that while the songs all have identifiable elements of Beatles songs, for the most part they all suck, yet still sound like 'awful' Beatles. The lesson here is that one doesn't simply use objective components (types of guitar sounds, phrasings, subject matter, formats, hooks, etc) and produce GREAT music.

While I'm fairly well versed in Classical Music, I evidently have far more trivial expertise in Pop music. Here's some of those well-done Beatles examples:

 
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