Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Blog

So I have started a new Blog. It will be for all of you who are interested in Music and Music History. It is essentially a study blog but I will try and make it as readable and non-comatose-inducing as possible. You see, I am a bit of a blogging addict. So I figure, if you can't beat it, make it do your homework. So here it is. "Big-time Music Nerd-fest Blog" Feel free to drop by and harass.

5 comments:

Brody Harper said...

Oh sure... start something useful and important... yeah well I started the mustache blog... so there...

seriously though. I am excited to check out stuff that you clearly know way more than me about.

The Cachinnator said...

I'm nerdy enough to be there.

Anonymous said...

Okay, a question for you that I've batted around with musicologists, mainly non-believers in Christianity:

As one matures as a human, should not one's tastes in music also change?

(Subtracting for the nostalgia factor...)

I'm tending to believe that static maturity will yield static musical tastes, and dynamic maturity...etc.

Just throwing it out there...probably posting this on the wrong Seth blog.

Brant

Seth Ward said...

That's a great question. Spurred on a great talk with the wife in the car on the way to Dallas.

I think it goes for all art as well. When I started college, I thought anything that was 'atonal' was crap. Then as my ears became more accustomed to what was happening and more importantly what was expressed, I came to love some things that I would have thought of earlier as grotesque. The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky is a perfect example of that for me. One year I hated it and the next I was an Addict.

I think that you run the risk, at any stage of life, of stagnating for certain. However, within that static state you can still of course enjoy what you enjoy, however you aren't experiencing any real growth, and I also believe it could very well be proportional to your character development. People who never change are usually a tad rigid and dogmatic about life in general. Routine is good, don't get me wrong. Maybe growth is a better word than change, although they are really the same thing, just a matter of perception I guess.

The failure to realize this is why Symphony orchestras are an endangered species today. The smart ones, like the Houston Symphony are doing things like inviting Ben Folds to play his music arranged for piano and orchestra. Suddenly the hall is packed with young listeners interested in the Symphony. Suddenly they are interested in Beethoven again. That could go for any genre or environment. Church (FOR SURE) School, industry...

There is a teacher at Rice that hates tonal music. If it has a traditional tonal beauty to it he thinks it is crap. His music thrived in the 70's when you couldn't find a tonal work in any composer's opus. People where firing bullets through staff paper and calling it music. They were burning pianos and smashing violins on stage and calling it music. Now I have to admit, to keep with this notion of growth, one must say that there is something interesting about that, and let’s be honest, who wouldn't want to see that? -But that is his point of reference and that was where he stopped growing.

Another example in another art form. -I was watching an interview on that guy's talk show that used to come on after Dave. He was older with a deep voice, white hair and a huge smile. Name slips my mind. Anyway, he was interviewing one of the writers for the original show MASH. This writer and the talk show guy started discussing Seinfeld. Seinfeld at the time was just about to peak in popularity. This writer started to criticize the writers of Seinfeld expecting... Tom (the host)...? to chime in. However, the host Tom-something didn't chime. He kindly disagreed with the retired MASH writer and said he thought Seinfeld was well written and original. The writer for MASH seemed stunned and perplexed. They were both about the same age. They both grew up on the same artistic diet. Both were intelligent and witty. One had grown and was still growing and the other was dead and bitter.

I think then and there it occurred to the MASH guy why he had been out of work for 10 years. He was not willing to grow. The world had moved on.


Look at the output of Mozart. He started out very Classical and his early works were pillars of classical symmetry. By the end of his short life, asymmetry was everywhere in his music and he was incorporating more counterpoint in the writing. Counterpoint at the time was considered out of style and old fashioned. If you study the output of Mozart, you will find a steady flow of change in style. More dissonance and more counterpoint as he grew older. As a matter of fact the same kind of Growth could be said of about every great composer with the exception of Brahms. And Especially Liszt. Good lord, the man was writing Atonal music 30-40 years before the first "atonal" piece was penned by Charles Ives.

Anyways, I may not have answered the question and I could be just rambling. I'll pause there.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. I have some follow-up thoughts, but they'll have to wait a bit until I get a few minutes. MUCH appreciated.

I love the internet.

Brant