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Thursday, May 01, 2003
  filip says:
would you not say though that 'complexity' is just another way of expressing the relative sizes of the technical palette the musician has at his disposal in evoking a musical emotion?
i just love your.... bren! says:
I would say that 'complexity' is an entirely misleading word to apply to music.
i just love your.... bren! says:
The pop musician has as vast a pallette as the classical musician, no?
filip says:
I'd disagree... if only because of the relative lack of musical knowledge that most pop-musicians betray...
filip says:
they have potentially as vast a palette yes
filip says:
as they all use the same notes
filip says:
but educational and contextual limitations apply

Peter has been added to the conversation.

i just love your.... bren! says:
no, not true. It's a blind over-simplification to say that because classical pieces are 'harder to play' they are more complex. For a start, the orchestration that classical pieces rely on is very limited; in pop music the orchestration is potentially infinite.
Peter says:
great opening gambit!
Peter says:
(oh i see i came in halfway through!)
filip says:
I completely disagree...
filip says:
admittedly within each strain of classical music there are certain fixities of orchestration that are adhered to, there are wide differences between periods
filip says:
also I don't mean complex in the sense of harder to play... I mean complex in the sense of just have a full command of music theory... like having a decent command of english before you start writing a novel
i just love your.... bren! says:
that's nonsense. Classical music's formal harmonic structure, certainly pre C20, is childsplay when compared to jazz music's harmonic adventurousness . It's entirely rooted in the diatonic scale, and hung around the tonic, dominant and subdominant. But that's not a valid criticism, because classical music is of a diffent time, addressing different conventions.
i just love your.... bren! says:
Similarly, to say that classical music's pallette is more diverse than pop music's would be a culturally ignorant formal criticism.
filip says:
yes and are we seriously going to sit here and argue that pop and jazz are intimately related, because I think thats crap
filip says:
they are related in that they are co-existant 20th century music forms
i just love your.... bren! says:
You misunderstand me.
Peter says:
i misunderstand both of you
Peter says:
(don't mind me, carry on please!)
i just love your.... bren! says:
I'm not saying that pop music is the same as jazz. I'm saying that pop music is as different from classical music as jazz is. To compare them by the yardstick of 'music theory' is to compare them on the terms of the classical composer. Mozart didn't use samples, and had no concept of stereo phasing or compression. His choruses weren't punchy enough to get to number one. These are all irrelevant
i just love your.... bren! says:
comparisons.
i just love your.... bren! says:
If you want to talk about theoretical complexity, i.e. how hard it is to read the notation, how subtle the harmonies are, then of course classical music is 'superior'. But this says nothing of the 'emotional palette' available to the popular musician that has nothing to do with phrasing or structure
filip says:
yes, but at the same time I feel that to get beyond this simple and I feel reductionist argument that I find the 'agnus dei' of Faure's requiem moving because I am socially programmed to do so, we have to address the facts of the content of the music
i just love your.... bren! says:
no dude, your approach is reductivist. In focussing on the 'content' of the music, you ignore the, more important, social framework around it.
filip says:
aaah but you cannot divorce the social framework of the reception of a genre of music from the initial qualities of that genre that the framework grew as a response to in the first instance
filip says:
its similar to the argument henry and I were having about genes...
i just love your.... bren! says:
it's a good point. Music redefines its audience, in a nightmarish chicken/egg scenario.
i just love your.... bren! says:
But I doubt that the formal aspects of music are what we're talking about; the formal critique arose from and for classical music. It has little to do with pop music.
i just love your.... bren! says:
That's not to say that classical music isn't gloriously technical, and awe-inspiringly vast and subtle. But its nuts and bolts structure can't be applied to pop music.
i just love your.... bren! says:
i finks
filip says:
yeah... I know... I'm still really trying to blunder around for an answer to my question... as I don't think social condition is a strong enough explanation
i just love your.... bren! says:
isn't the reason why music is so powerful that it convinces us that there must be more to it than just notes
i just love your.... bren! says:
...or just social conditioning?
 
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