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CLASSICAL  October 2006

CLASSICAL October 2006

Subject:

Re: Music as Language

From:

Anne Ozorio <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 25 Oct 2006 22:15:58 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (76 lines)

Karl Miller wrote:

>In what ways do you see recorded music as limiting?

Think about it.  How long has music existed and how long has recording
existed?

Next, we've become so conditioned to listening through recordings
that recording values shape how we listen.  They aren't the same thing.
Remember, Gramophone magazine is called "gramophone", not "music".  It
was created for the new rich who had the new technology and wanted
something to play on them.  It's not so different from car magazines and
other "boys toys" magazine.  Naturally things like timings etc.  are of
great importance to that idea or music, but fundamentally, music is much
more than that.  Since when did a performer think, "Rats! That was 11'12
and Rostropovich did 12'13!" I'm doomed!" At least not a good musician.

Here, we've been discussing the ability of music to communicate beyond
language.  That's a completely different stratosphere from the "recording"
approach, thank goodness, but the "recording" mentality does exist and
not necessarily conducive to indepth involvement with music on a deeper
level.  (good thread and thanks to Karl!)

Thirdly, there is so much more to the musical experience than simply
listening.  As others have mentioned, there is body language, atmosphere,
ambience.  There's so much more in live perfomance than just on recordings.
Even recordings of live music aren't the same.  (Although a really good
studio performance remains good recorded because it captures the
communication between performers and is generally better than sloppy
live performance) Of course recording has opened music to a larger
audience, but as technology, it's still at an early stage.

I've said before, recording are just snapshots, capturing a moment of
experience.  They aren't "the" experience.


>Thinking about your post I am also reminded of the attempts to represent
>in music, the visual arts...many of which are based upon the works of
>Klee, an artist who was, conversely, influenced by music.  And then
>we have everything from Disney's artists providing us with an abstract
>representation of Bach to the graphic displays many computer audio players
>offer.  I wonder if any of us look at those.

Many of us grew up on Stokowski and Mickey Mouse.  I watched that again
recently and was surprised how good it was.  But then, as with all art,
quality is what makes the difference.  Personally I can't at all relate
to computer art.  Boulez's expresssion of how he was influenced by Klee
is moving.  And Stravinsky being fascinated by Hogarth etchings.  Music
and painting, sculpture, poetry etc have been connected again and again
in history because, I think, all are forms of expression, and artistly
sensitive people pick up on that.

>And on the subject of notation...as I mentioned before...my fascination
>with electronic/computer music which, when looking to do something other
>than replicate acoustic instruments, pieces like Berio's Visage, the
>works of Parmegiani (a favorite of mine), Henry, Eimert, et al...Is
>electronic music of this sort perhaps more "absolute" in that it cannot
>be notated.

Is annotation connected to "absolute"?  That'steresting idea.  For me,
annotation is merely a tool, like script is a way of pinning down language
(which itself is always evolving) "Absolute" music, if it exists, will
be "absolute" whatever the system used to pin it down.  With computer
generated music I think it's more a case of us not having the script
yet.  Improvisation is another story altogether, and for me, anyway, one
of the more exciting aspects of new music.  The notation we use is a
western concept: in other societies and other musics it isn't that
important.  That's why I'm interested in ideas that aren't necessarily
defined by notation.  I'd love to see Takemitsu's diagrams, for example.
Which brings us back, full circle, to the idea that one form of art can
inspire another, quite unconsciously.  So many composers have spoken of
hearing musical ideas evolve from non musical material that it's pretty
much a given that the barriers aren't great.

Anne
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