Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

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Is the pinhed onto something here, or has he finally gone over the edge?

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:34 pm

What's the big diff between "baroque" and "classical?"

It's the big diff between "counterpoint" and "symphony."

"Counterpoint" means guys (girls were not allowed) playing against each other, while "Symphony" means guys playing together.

"Symphony" is an old word, but it didn't become the trendy thing to write until after 1750.

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:06 pm

The father of the romantic symphony (as opposed to those little numbers called "sinfonias" that Italian baroque composers used to stick into their operas) was Franz Josef Haydn, who was born in 1732. study

Because he was the "father," they called him "Papa Haydn," even though he started writing symphonies when he was only 15. Razz

Haydn, at first, had to find the same kind of work as Bach--being the music director (servant) for some rich person.  So he still had to wear that livery get-up like the coachman and the butler.

There are no pics of him in his funny get-up because he wasn't important enough to get his picture taken. Neutral There were no pics until the time when he had become a big shot:



He worked almost all his life, he was a choirboy until his voice broke, then he wrote string quartets.  String quartets are in sonata form--kind like this (at least this is what I hear):

1. Exposition of 1st theme,
2. Exposition of 2nd theme (in a related key, which means it's probably displaced from the 1st theme by a 5th),
3. Development (which means the two themes get all mixed up with each other and modulated this way and that),
4. Recapitulation (the two themes straighten themselves out and sort of repeat the beginning--with a big finish called the "coda."

So, once he got that down, he could go from quartets to symphonies just by playing the quartet parts with 40 guys instead of just 4.  You can always stick in reeds and winds and brass and percussion or whatever, but for all practical purposes, if you got quartets, you got symphonies.

Haydn started writing symphonies when he was 15:

Symphony #4 -- 1757
Symphony #2 -- 1758
Symphony #1 -- 1759

It's true, he wasn't that good with numbers.


Last edited by pinhedz on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:14 pm

The job that got Haydn his big break was the kappellmeister job for Count Esterhazy starting in 1761. study

In 1779, he renegotiated his contract so that he could write music for anybody. Up until then, everything he wrote was the property of his employer. Suspect

This contract renegotiation had HUGE IMPLICATIONS. It meant that if he could sell enough stuff, he wouldn't have to be a servant anymore, he could be HIS OWN PERSON. Shocked

This had never happened before. One of the know-it-all musicalologists wrote this one time:

"This single document acted as a catalyst in the next stage in Haydn's career, the achievement of international popularity. By 1790 Haydn was in the paradoxical, if not bizarre, position of being Europe's leading composer, but someone who spent his time as a duty-bound Kapellmeister in a remote palace in the Hungarian countryside."

He was about ready to bust out of the old system. bounce

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:34 pm

I mostly made all that up, but I think it's in the ball park. geek

I'm open to corrections or additions. Very Happy

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Wed May 01, 2013 8:02 am

Haydn had two star pupils--one was Mozart and the other was Beethoven.

He thought Mozart was super-talented. The lad tried writing 6 quartets like Haydn's, and Haydn knew they were better than any of his. Shocked

Then came Beethoven, but he didn't look so promising. Haydn said "He is unable to do anything in a decent stye," or words to that effect.


You have to expect that from your teachers if you're ahead of your time. Neutral

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed May 01, 2013 8:55 am

The unrare, unsorted demographique of the middling lunch-satchel can be open to highish-arty musics ... but only if the compositions are by fruity, choleric, hysterical Vatyamurtiakinskians.




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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 06, 2013 12:14 pm

So, revisiting the course outline, here is the new paradigm:

Classical, including Romantic and all that (1750 to 1950)
-- composers: independent, with patron or teaching job
-- performers: professional orchestras and ensembles
-- patrons: aristocracy and bourgeoisie
-- audience: same as patron
-- representative music form: symphony and other sonata-form works

Audience/patrons -- Instead of just the master's household and party guests, for whom the baroque composers composed and performed, classical composers wrote music for some semblance of a "General Public" (not field hands and factory workers, of course, but bourgeois types who had enough leisure time and money to go to concert halls and theaters).

Performing -- A baroque composer usually wrote music for specific occasions, at which he himself would conduct. Classical composers wrote music for publication that might be performed all over Europe (God willing).

Salary -- Uh oh. Neutral Not being a household servant any more, a classical composer might not have a salary. That meant he had to sell music or get performing gigs at a regular enough rate to pay the rent.

-- Mozart's problem was not that he made too little money, but that he spent too much. He had a high-maintenance wife and had a very sharp wardrobe.

With the exception of the superstar performer like Paganini and Liszt, most of them ended up having to take some kind of a day job. Many of them gave piano lessons. By the late 19th century most of them were professors, and composing gave them what might be considered just supplemental income.

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:39 am

You can see what's coming--the patrons, the guarantors, the SUBSIDIES.

It's starting to look almost like the 20th century.What a Face Shocked 

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:01 am

So, in the 19th century composers no longer had to be wage slaves--they were free! cheers

Neutral 

The idea of the "struggling composer" is associated with the classical/romantic era, when composers needed to be recognized and have hits, because they didn't have salaries anymore (there's a down side to not being a wage slave).

So many starved for a decade or two before achieving recognition.  And no doubt there were many who never made it, so we haven't heard of them.

Beethoven took on odd jobs, like arranging Scottish songs or mandolin duets, in order to pay the rent.

Dvorak for a time took a job as a director of a music institute in New York City.

Mahler made his living as a full-time conductor, taking 4 months off every summer to write music.

[Mahler said he could only write his "great works," because 4 months a year didn't allow him enough time to write minor works ]



Last edited by pinhedz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:02 am

Gershwin was one of the last of the composers to make a living just by making music.  Like Rossini 100 years earlier, he wrote several hit shows every year starting in his early 20s.  But by his mid-30s he had to move to Hollywood to write movie music, because several of his Broadway shows in a row didn't make money.



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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:02 am

In the 20th century, most composers were also university professors, so they had salaries, which supported them while they're composing. This, off course, reduced the pressure to meet deadlines or have "hits." They could take their time and write for posterity, instead of for their contemporaries.

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:12 am

Libby Larsen (who is still active) wanted to bring back the time when composers wrote for money--instead of for posterity.  Her thinking was that music needed to be accessible enough so that people would pay to hear it, and composers should write with the goal of pleasing them--the ticket buyers (in the hope someone would buy tickets).



So, she vowed two things:

-- She would only write for performance--in response to a demand. There had to be a scheduled performance date, or she would not write. Posterity is not an audience.

-- She would write only for a fee.  It might be only a box of Hershey bars, but she needed some demonstration that it was valued--in keeping with the idea that music (high-art music, that is) could still be a way of making a living, rather than just a side line.

In the end, however, Libby had to resort to teaching, like everybody else.


Last edited by pinhedz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:48 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:24 am

I think Libby could write for the movies, if she got a commission.  


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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:14 am

I think Libby was born too late. Neutral 

We're talking about THE DEATH OF THE CLASSICAL MUSIC TRADITION as a force to be reckoned with. And when I say "force" I'm talking abut MONEY.

The audience got bigger because the money got spread around. In the beginning, hi-art music was entertainment for royalty and the aristocracy, because they had the money and were willing to be patrons.

Then the audience expanded to include the boorgeozee, because they had money and were willing to be patrons.

But now we have arrived at the post-WW-II period, and now THE MASSES have money, so they get to call the shot.

What shots are THE MASSES going to call?  

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:20 am

It's post WW-II, the Eisenhower era, the era of peace and prosperity, THE MASSES have money.

The question is: What do the masses want to hear? They got money (collectively, that is, because there are so many of them and they got disposable income), what direction are they going to take the music?  

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:21 am

This is not a hard question--the time is the 1950s, THE MASSES are calling the shots.

What to THE PEOPLE want to hear?

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:22 am

THE PEOPLE, meaning THE BOOMERS ...

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:40 am

These were the last gasp of the hi-art-music tradition--the forces to be reckoned with (i.e., the composers that could sell tickets):

Respighi -- 1936

Gershwin -- 1937

Ravel -- 1937

Rachmaninov -- 1943

Bela Bartok -- 1945

deFalla -- 1946

Richard Strauss -- 1949

Prokofiev -- 1953

Sibelius -- 1957

Vaughan Williams -- 1958

Stravinsky -- 1971

Shostakovich -- 1975

Britten -- 1976

Khachaturian -- 1978

Copeland -- 1990 age 90

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:43 am

I remember when Copeland died. He had been born in 1900. He was the last.

Libby knew him, but she could not BE him. Neutral 

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:27 am

So, we must move on--on to the present era.

The start date is arbitrary, since change is gradual, and every era dies reluctantly.  I picked the date of 1950--even though some symphony-writers kept going (just as some baroque music was written after 1800).

Uzi's corrections are shown here in red.

Era of mass entertainment (1950 to present)
-- composers: whoever
-- performers: whoever
-- patrons: capitalists, currently under siege by the internet, file sharing and self distro
-- audience: the masses
-- representative music form: same as folk music (or whatever niche an indie self-distributor might select or create for his-or-herself for fun but no profit--with exceptions like Yanni).

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:39 am

Record companies in the 1920s started to figure out that it was not only the aristocrats and the boorgeoizee that were buying the discs (although it was probably only the boorgeoizee that had been buying those Edison cylinders).

The discovery that even people of non-white races were buying records motivated the record companies to make RACE records, just for colored folks.

So, if we FOLLOW THE MONEY, it started out with the Holy Roman Emperor, then with the Royals of all countries, the lesser aristocrats, and by the classical era the boorgeoizee had money, and--after all those centuries--now JUST PLAIN FOLKS have enough that it's become worthwhile to SELL THEM MUSIC FOR MONEY.

Folks never had enough money to pay for music before--that's why what they played was called FOLKS MUSIC.

But now--glory glory Halleluia--FOLKS GOT MONEY.


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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:45 am

It's true that individual members of the masses have less than the rich peoples, but the masses are so massive in number, that they'll buy millions of records--even if it's for cheap.  

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:22 am

So, the really big event of this entire lecture series in Hi-art music, is that it is no longer Hi-art music that is the biggest financial force to be reckoned with--it's just plan folks music that rules the market now. Shocked 

And now they got electricity and synthesizers and really big amps. affraid 

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:29 am

Alright, so the pinhed is repeating himself--but that's nothing new, is it? geek 

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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

Post  pinhedz on Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:37 am

Swing music made money in it's day--and it was mostly played by musicians that took lessons and read music--and it died out around 1950.

Then we had this:


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Re: Linkage between high-art music and social classes explained

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