Steve Schwartz makes an number of honorable, defendable points:
>What bothers me about this criterion, I guess, is that it reminds me so
>much of the aesthetics of Rococo, galante, and classicism, which elevated
>melody at the expense of everything else.
This is indeed a bad memory. Of course, I wasn't advocating anything
of the kind, just that melody, as one of the many, valid components of
music, get just a tiny bit more emphasis in fashion one of these days.
>I don't disagree with any of this. Indeed, I love a great tune. But
>it's not the only thing about music that grabs me, and I suspect it's
>not the only thing that grabs most listeners.
So true. A great melody alone does not a great piece make. The Kallinikov
symphony, for instance.
>I suspect that composers are not that interested in song right now. ...
>What can a composer do with song that hasn't already been done?
Substitute any element of music for "song" in the last sentence, and the
statement could still be made in good faith--and proven wrong. The same
goes for song. Structure isn't everything.
>I strongly doubt that a composer who does indeed care about catchy
>tunes, has the talent to create them, and the skill to work them into
>a convincing extended structure would catch on any more than Boulez.
"Catching on" is a little vague here. Serious CM will never catch on
to the broad general public, nor should it. Catching on to the history
of music is a different story. Both Boulez and Steve's hypothetical
composer might do this. Catching on to me would be more likely with
Composer Hypothetical than Monsieur B.
>In the meantime, I'm going with what's actually out there, seeing the
>good in it as much as I can.
I'm doing the same--and hoping for a tune now and then. And I've found
a few, too, and wouldn't mind more.
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