Tuesday, July 18, 2006

history and classical music are so bound up together its sometimes hard to think of the music without the context, which is perfectly fine most of the time. The problem i find is that the genre is so tied to some perceived tradition, and old forms for the music, that its being crushed by conservatism. I will admit, writing a sonata in B minor is a temping thing to do. It sounds so... lofty, so elegant it just rolls off the tongue- "excuse me sir, I must play my piano concerto #3 right now, or would you prefer my symphony concertante in A?" But these things are not so lofty. There is no implicit connection between calling a piece a symphony and it being anyway connected to good music. I wrote 3 piano sonatas by the time i was 15 (4 movements et all!). This is nothing to be proud of, either. Sure it sounds impressive (moreso to non-musical people) but the music was so shitty, the quality was so impossibly low that any other idiot could have pounded out something more interesting. This shouldnt show as much that i had any kind of talent, but that writing a sonata or a symphony or whatever else can be incredibly brainless, we just unconsciousness associate the name with quality, so likewise composers name their music after something associated with quality. Its essentially a shallower and less offensive kind of historicism, a historicism of forms rather than of content.

We should learn from history rather than try to repeat it, right? but still classical muscians are imitating historical models, repeating historical musical languages and instrumentation rather than learning from them. I love bach as much as the next classically-trained dude but im not going to sit around and write suites for harpsichord, no matter how atonal, minimal, post-minimal or contemporary my language is... why? (wouldnt it make a cute little reference of how far we've gone?) no...because its still keeping with history, imitating history rather than examining and utilizing the ideas in history.

Thats my incoherent rant for the day, and sometimes i just have to rant.

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