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Using some film music as a substitute for the contemporary classical music that you are failing to find is a common reason, I think, for people wanting to term orchestral film music as "classical". I am not sure why, though, it is so difficult for you to just say "I like some orchestral film music as much as I like the classical music of the past".

It is fair enough that you don't like much real contemporary classical music. You don't have to. You are not alone in it. But it is strange to say so when there is such a huge variety of it. Something for everyone I would have thought. But the way you go on to typify contemporary music suggests you prefer to focus your attention on music that you don't like (and possibly don't understand - hence your reference to "chaos"). Maybe you need to feel angry about something?
Never felt a "need" to feel angry about anything. It usually happens naturally. Sorry, couldn't let that one go! :ROFLMAO:
However it is, and while I acknowledge that you are entitled to your own taste, I really don't think you should dismiss composers and their music as "talentless" and "sham", especially while claiming objectivity. Why would someone spend their life pretending and struggling for their pretences to be heard? It just doesn't ring true. Also, you must be aware that many people actually enjoy and like - and claim to be uplifted and moved by - the music you are dismissing. So you must also feel they are deluded or feigning it ... or what? You dismiss a lot of people's integrity in your need to justify a taste that is just that: a taste that is no more valid than theirs.
Well, fair enough. I don't need to justify my taste because I know it's no more valid than anyone else's. However, there does seem a need to explain something you mentioned further. It's the age old question: Do some people actually believe some of the things coming out of their mouths or what they do? It took me decades to finally come to the realization that yes, they do. I should have come to this realization sooner having one very close family member who is a pathological liar and another who is so delusional about what's happened to her in the past (and present). Einstein is credited saying once that, "there are two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, but I'm not sure about the universe." If he did say it, he got it wrong. It's not so much human stupidity rather than the human ability to self delude that seems to be infinite.

There are talentless hacks in every field and in every profession. I went to high school with a guy who is now a medical Dr. He is licensed and has his official bona fides. He's a fun guy to hang out with with a very quick wit, but I wouldn't let him give me an aspirin. I don't think some of these composers (or artists) pull the covers up to their chin at night, close their eyes, and say to themselves, "I'm a fraud." Just like Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot never said the themselves at night, "I'm an evil, monstrous, SOB." But that's exactly what they were. They were convinced they were doing "good." Hard for some people like us to believe that, but it's true. If we can't say the emperor is naked when he is, we have lost our way. Every system can be gamed. Maybe it's perhaps those who kept pushing the artistic parameters further and further out to absurdity for legitimate reasons, and then other's found a way to game the systems. No one was ever there to say wait a minute, you might want to think about the potential consequences.

I don't have the energy to go into this now (one thing I hate about discussing complex things like this on the internet is it takes too long to type all of this stuff - how I wish we could have discussions via phone or something like skype), but there is a whole other philosophy here of post modernism that has deeply infiltrated the art world (and many other worlds unfortunately - particularly as of late). It is a philosophy that is anti-beauty, anti-structure, and seeks to tear down all the old structures and institutions. To deny this is to be woefully naive and/or ignorant. That's all I'm saying. How so many people can see this happening in other areas of our world, yet not in their own is part of the self delusion. You like atonal, contemporary, avant-garde music? Great. I say rock on! Good for you. Keep listening, keep exploring, keep enjoying. There is some Bartok, Stravinsky, Frederic Rzewski, Tristan Murail, etc that I listen to when my wife's not around because she can't stand the stuff. I get it and I understand why she doesn't like it. I'm certainly not putting any of it on at a party. That's being objective: Understanding that just because I like it or enjoy it, doesn't necessarily mean it must be good.
Some film music could absolutely be called "classical" music and some can not. I believe the greatest contemporary "classical" music written today is in movies. I believe many contemporary and modern composers and fans of "classical" music reject film music as being classified as "classical" for a variety of reasons. Not least of all because much of the film music that could be considered classical and could stand on it's own also reveals how pathetic and awful some contemporary classical music is. There is some great 20th century and modern classical music out there, .
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That is the strangest part.

I do not begrudge anyone their personal taste, nor their dislike for modern classical. It is the need (maybe too strong a word) to post on threads started by those looking for more modern music recommendations, that many of the anti-modernists have.

With only a few notable exceptions, I do not listen to any classical music earlier than the 1920's, and most of the music I listen to is from post WWII. But I have never once posted on a thread about someone looking for more Baroque or Classical era recommendations.
You seem to be someone that I would enjoy sitting down and chatting with. I have read your posts for years. Your choice in music is most often polar opposites of mine. I admire the fact that it is so different from mine. I continue to explore 20th & 21st century music. There is a thread in Solo & Chamber Music section about solo piano music after 1970 that I am in the middle of now. I go into these threads and explore all the links and listen. I would say about 80-90% I do not like. Some, I have stronger opinions about. But there is that 10-20% where I discover a new composer that intrigues me at worst and enjoy at best. You have a great attitude about those who differ in taste than you do. Kudos Simon Moon!

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Well, fair enough. I don't need to justify my taste because I know it's no more valid than anyone else's. However, there does seem a need to explain something you mentioned further. It's the age old question: Do some people actually believe some of the things coming out of their mouths or what they do?
You're kind of in two boats here.

What sinks discussions like this frequently is accusations of bad faith. Sometimes this isn't even intentional, like the horary old "emperor's new clothes" cliche - we can throw up exceptions for anything, but a general rule that I like sticking to is that people generally believe what they say. Especially when talking about listeners - any argument that a listener to music is somehow lying, delusional or otherwise some kind of poser when talking about the music they like kills discussion.

If you want to say listeners are deluding themselves when they say what they like, you aren't interested in discussing music. Once you wade into the realm of explaining away the tastes of others as some kind of fault, further discussion gets more and more toxic.
 

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You're kind of in two boats here.

What sinks discussions like this frequently is accusations of bad faith. Sometimes this isn't even intentional, like the horary old "emperor's new clothes" cliche - we can throw up exceptions for anything, but a general rule that I like sticking to is that people generally believe what they say. Especially when talking about listeners - any argument that a listener to music is somehow lying, delusional or otherwise some kind of poser when talking about the music they like kills discussion.

If you want to say listeners are deluding themselves when they say what they like, you aren't interested in discussing music. Once you wade into the realm of explaining away the tastes of others as some kind of fault, further discussion gets more and more toxic.
That maybe true, but that's not what I did. I wasn't referring to the listeners. I was talking about (SOME) composers.

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OK, is this a good time to p!ss everyone off?

Fine.

There's not an awful lot of Classical music composed post-1930 that I enjoy listening to. Sure, there's some, and I occasionally go out on a limb and listen to something less than a hundred years old in the genre, usually on the recommendation of someone on this site.

I think I'm being pretty generous giving all the post-1920 Classical sub-genres a listen once in a while, when there's a good chance I won't really be captivated by it. And, I've found some stuff I like. Although, I'll admit it's usually some tonal throwback.

But I find that these experimental, avant-garde, 12-tone, sound-collage, minimalism, and randomness genres to be pretentious and often irritating (and I can APPRECIATE music that is "intellectual", even if I don't listen to much of it).

Again, there are exceptions, but here's the thing; I really enjoy Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Debussey, and other composers that have similar styles. And I listen to these types of works far more often. I could pull up a random track from ANY of these composers, and be pretty certain I'll enjoy it. Not so much with Post-Modern and "Contemporary".
 

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Discussion Starter · #266 · (Edited)
In a lot of cases one of the things that makes me feel weirdest about this whole topic is an implied elevation of orchestral film music when film music is all over the place stylistically.

To put it another way rhe question of whether "film music" is classical music makes zero sense. Film music isn't a style at all, it's a discipline, or occupation.
Indeed if you read the title of the discussion and the text of OP is clear that I'm asking why WHEN the score of a film has a classical style many people say that it's not classical music.

I know that "film music" is not a genre of music. This is what I'm saying. There are indeed examples of film scores based on pop or jazz music and no one says that it's not pop or jazz because it was composed for a film.
However, the films nominated at the Academy Awards for "Best original score" have usually a neoromantic score, with some exceptions.
 

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Indeed if you read the title of the discussion and the text of OP is clear that I'm asking why WHEN the score of a film has a classical style many people say that it's not classical music.

I know that "film music" is not a genre of music. This is what I'm saying. There are indeed examples of film scores based on pop or jazz music and no one says that it's not pop or jazz because it was composed for a film.
However, the films nominated at the Academy Awards for "Best original score" have usually a neoromantic score, with some exceptions.
Well, classical music moves forward. Some more conservative composers manage to develop a distinctive voice while following conventions that are 50 (perhaps even 100) years old but that is quite rare. Much orchestral film music seems to look back further than that and I'm not sure I discern a distinctive voice in it either. Of course, that's all fine and the best does an excellent job as film music but I'm not sure I have heard any since Walton and Prokofiev which work as standalone music for me - and even for them I feel concert suites prepared from the film music seem to work best.

Yes, Romantic styled music (you call it neoromantic but I don't hear the neo so I'll misspell it "necroromantic") seems to appeal to the Academy and may indeed work best with the films they choose to elevate. When pop music is used, it is usually a soundtrack of already known songs (so no awards for that) but the use of jazz (i.e. improvised music) in films is usually reserved for more arty films (not the Academy's thing). Improvised music is difficult to use with a film because it is not composed and timings are far from precise - often the film we see has been prepared to fit the music rather than the other way round.
 

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Never felt a "need" to feel angry about anything. It usually happens naturally. Sorry, couldn't let that one go! :ROFLMAO:


Well, fair enough. I don't need to justify my taste because I know it's no more valid than anyone else's. However, there does seem a need to explain something you mentioned further. It's the age old question: Do some people actually believe some of the things coming out of their mouths or what they do? It took me decades to finally come to the realization that yes, they do. I should have come to this realization sooner having one very close family member who is a pathological liar and another who is so delusional about what's happened to her in the past (and present). Einstein is credited saying once that, "there are two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, but I'm not sure about the universe." If he did say it, he got it wrong. It's not so much human stupidity rather than the human ability to self delude that seems to be infinite.
It is not only what people say - although the only access we have to their inner worlds is their behaviour and words - but you can choose to deny the honesty of reports of being moved, inspired, transported by music that you happen to dislike. They must be lying? Yes, you say but they don't know they are. Occam's Razor suggests it might be easier to believe them (there are so many): that they really are moved by music that you happen to hate. But, of course, you may have God-like privileged access to what is going on in their heads..

There are talentless hacks in every field and in every profession. I went to high school with a guy who is now a medical Dr. He is licensed and has his official bona fides. He's a fun guy to hang out with with a very quick wit, but I wouldn't let him give me an aspirin. I don't think some of these composers (or artists) pull the covers up to their chin at night, close their eyes, and say to themselves, "I'm a fraud." Just like Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot never said the themselves at night, "I'm an evil, monstrous, SOB." But that's exactly what they were. They were convinced they were doing "good." Hard for some people like us to believe that, but it's true. If we can't say the emperor is naked when he is, we have lost our way. Every system can be gamed. Maybe it's perhaps those who kept pushing the artistic parameters further and further out to absurdity for legitimate reasons, and then other's found a way to game the systems. No one was ever there to say wait a minute, you might want to think about the potential consequences.
Yes, there are charlatans in many fields and they are only credible because there are also effective practitioners for people to mistake them for. Also, they tend to target profitable areas of expertise. I guess you would need to be a bit stupid to choose to be a fake in a field which is so difficult to make a living from even when you are good. I'm not sure where genocidal dictators come into this nor do I think their psychology can be simplified in the way you attempt to do (did they really feel they were doing good at the height of their crimes?). Nor does it seem relevant or helpful to this debate. Although he once said (in his youth) that all opera houses should be burned down, I don't think Boulez ever killed anyone with his music.
 

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I wonder if you find my response to Varick to be bullying? I wonder if you can substantiate your claim that posters who "discuss (their dislike of modern music) in good faith" have often been bullied in the past.
Are you expecting someone to go back and ‘sleuth-out’ evidence from thousands of posts?

I suppose also that I can find it a bit tiresome to see, as used sometimes to happen, all modern music dismissed in threads that are specifically about appreciating and enjoying modern music!
(From above) If so, can you substantiate the above?

Anyway, my point is - if you have something valid to say then spit it out but try to do it without insulting others.
On that subject, you know it’s easier said than done, isn’t it.
 

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I think we can all remember, those of us who were here, and I think we know how it went.

I don't think it is hard to express an opinion respectfully. Most of us manage it regularly.
 

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I think we can all remember, those of us who were here, and I think we know how it went.

I don't think it is hard to express an opinion respectfully. Most of us manage it regularly.
Who is ‘we’? When it comes to discussing contemporary music, in my experience, it isn’t just how opinions are expressed, it is how they are received. Respectful opinions are not always received in kind.
 

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For me works like this have a place not that far away from the big tent of CP era CM and would likely be more mistaken for CM by ticket-holders as part of a Los Angeles Philharmonic concert than some of the works commissioned by said orchestra.

 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
For me works like this have a place not that far away from the big tent of CP era CM and would likely be more mistaken for CM by ticket-holders as part of a Los Angeles Philharmonic concert than some of the works commissioned by said orchestra.

Thi score is good. Did it get a Oscar nomination?
 

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Sure it is - issue resolved.
I don't know if this is true, but that's a little besides the point. I think it's more that "film music" is more like "popular music" or "sacred music" in that it's a description of the music's purpose and doesn't really describe the music aesthetically.

This can still be a valid genre but I think the point is that it encompasses a huge variety of styles and aesthetics which don't necessarily have anything to do with each other beyond having a shared utilitarian purpose.

(to that point, I think asking "is film music classical music?" is like asking "is sacred music classical music" - clearly some film music is in the style of classical music, but it doesn't make much sense to say it all is, no more than saying that since Western liturgical music is part of the tradition of classical music, that non-Western sacred music is therefore classical)
 

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Discussion Starter · #279 ·
Yes, but John Barry won for Dances with Wolves.
Dances with Wolves won in 1991. The other nominated films for "Best original score" were:
  • Home Alone
  • Havana
  • Havaloc
  • Ghost

So, what does the movie "sense and sensibility" have to do with Dances with Wolves?

P.S. according to me, the best nominated score of 1991 is the one of Home Alone by John Williams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #280 ·
Assuming Grusin wrote it for the movie, yes it's film music.
The word "film music" only says that a piece of music was written for a film. It doesn't tell you anything about the style of the music.

These four pieces were all composed by Dave Grusin for a film.
The style of each one is different, so you should give a different name to each style.

Jazz?


Instrumental pop?


Spanish/Cuban music?


Neo-romantic?



We can make a discussion about the what is the correct name of each style, but there is no such thing as "film music" if we speak about styles.
 
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